Council 2010 02

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When: 1266462632 unix time
Place: Free Geek PDX meeting room
Facilitator: Jiro/Richard
Scribe: Martin
RT Jockey: Vagrant
Minutes Checker: Debra
Attendance: jiro, debra, martin, vagrant, board jon, ryan, daniel, steve, richard, dave, ali (late)
Last meeting:

Consensus Training - Jiro

Deep democracy concepts

  • Ranks (power)
    • Social rank
    • Knowledge rank
    • Psychological rank
    • Spiritual rank
    • Local rank
    • Contextual rank
  • Conflicts occur when two parties each feel lower ranked than the other
    • It is easy to miss the ways in which you are powerful. Celebrate your powers, use them joyfully, and you can better see how others view you.


  • laurel1.0 - integrate items from 06/2009 meeting into general priorities - CARRYOVER
  • dave - proposal for agenda item deadline - DONE



Agenda item deadline: Dave (NEW)

  • We have grown to the point that our big-picture topics are too much for a once-a-month, casual meeting to cover. Last-minute proposals come in without sufficient background information, and even the most present and aware staff members still feel the need to research a topic before they get discussed.
  • PROPOSAL: Council will enforce a strict deadline for additions to the agenda of both discussion items and proposals. Facilitator has the discretion to override this for emergency items.
  • Discussions could still birth new proposals; this is intended to encourage knowledgeable discussion and the positive effects thereof.
  • Poorly-researched items can still slip past the facilitator - they are not omniscient - but this is still a positive change.
  • This stands to improve our documentation archival, somewhat. If we need to, we could start giving proposals IDs.
  • CONSENSUS on this proposal (yay!).
  • For the time being, let's set our deadline to one week. Encourage people to get their items out before then, though.
  • COMMIT - Richard will edit the meeting-minder to fit the one-week deadline.

General Priorities: Martin (OLD)

  • Organizing unmet needs
  • Tabled to next month

Discussion of council recruitment

  • We need more background information on this. Someone should put links to the council list for next month.

From Matthew and Wren's email input (if we have time?)

  • Discussion on the list, started by Matthew.
  • Debra: I believe Matthew is correct in pointing out (without using the words) that we do not have sufficient Access to Power, Trust or Respect.
  • Dave: We are doing much better than ever before in breaking up cliques. We are giving computers to more people than ever. Staff respects and appreciates volunteers more than ever. Previously over-empowered volunteers may see this as a loss of power.
  • Martin: Are there suggestions for strengthening those three areas?
  • Martin: For instance, using survey data would more would give more power to people who can't come to council (and do the research needed to participate).
  • Richard: "Anybody" and "everybody" should be qualified: the power should be limited to the members of the Free Geek community
  • Vagrant: Earlier days saw people more easily come in with a skillset and take on a project. Now, the more formalized volunteer intake prevents this (but comes with significant gains). Actively preventing equal access to power is more important to avoid.
  • Jon: Can we streamline having your voice heard? Council-ombudsman helps. Surveys may work. Comment cards, appropriately used, maybe. The cost of entry may (or may just feel) too great to overcome for many.
  • Debra: Council-ombudsman is helpful, but nobody knows about them.
  • Ali: Creating a group of informed community members, ala council, is important, but offering lower-commitment channels is happening all over. Council should be people committed to the long-term vision of free geek, and it shouldn't be the only place volunteers can access power.
  • Debra: Inreach and I talked about having suggestion box or survey form to make suggestions, comments, ask questions, complain, or whatever, which was indicated to be "in progress".
  • Daniel: Continuous feedback is critical to improvement.
  • Ali: We could really easily make a box.
  • Debra: I want to see this on our website, with posters everywhere to point people to it.


New commitments, and Carry-Overs copied from above.
  • martin - integrate items from 06/2009 meeting into general priorities - CARRYOVER
  • richard - edit the meeting-minder to fit the one-week deadline

Next Meeting

  • Facilitator: Dave
  • Scribe: Ali
  • Minutes Checker: Richard
  • RT Jockey: Martin
  • Reporters to other meetings?
  • Date and time: March 17
  • Place: Free Geek PDX meeting room
  • List of unfinished business for the next meeting: