Governance Circle Summary (Jan 29th)
At the 29th Jan Strategy and Planning session we had a discussion about how we govern Campaign Lab and make better long term decisions. It also covered a discussion about the pros and cons of becoming a cooperative. Some of the points have been summarised here for continued discussion.
In order to apply and accept funding Campaign Lab needs to form a legal entity. Campaign Lab isn't viable for charitable purposes status and is disallowed from CIC status due to its proximity to promotion of political activity. As a result, and due to the strong belief amongst the current team that the wider group of volunteers should have power over the direction of the organisation and community, we've suggested that a Worker's Cooperative is most suitable.
With this as a starting point, the group discussed who has the right to become a member of the Campaign Lab Cooperative. Several other cooperatives allow volunteers or staff to become members after a period of time, often between three and six months. We suggested that the volunteers and staff could apply to become members after three months of involvement, which would equate to participating in any three Campaign Lab events over a three month period, or remote work over a similar time period.
We briefly talked about the responsibilities of Cooperative members, but this is better expressed as the right to vote and participate in discussions and decision making on issues of governance and activities of the cooperative at large.
We recognised that good structures and systems play a role in mitigating risk, potential conflict and misunderstandings. Good governance mitigates risk.
The circle discussed decision making processes for the would-be Cooperative or during Democracy Hours. We understood to test the monthly or bi-monthly strategy meetings as a space to prepare and pool collective intelligence on issues and planning, before refining the ideas asynchronously on Loomio, and then deciding upon them at the Democracy Hour.
Lastly, we discussed issues associated with fundraising, that Campaign Lab is too closely associated with the Labour Party and therefore too partisan to receive funds from a wider variety of sources. We suggested that for these purposes we should seek to re-define ourselves as progressive, and that we should develop an accompanying value statement.