Town Hall Meeting 2012

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This is a draft of a new or in-progress document, and is likely to have a few people specifically working on it. You may wish to check in on the discussion page to see what the purpose of the document is and who's working on it; then feel free to give this article love and attention if have extra of those things.

Consider joining the Regulars AT Lists DOT Freegeek DOT Org for information about future events like this

This is the page recording the planning process and results from the Town Hall Meeting 2012. It is still in progress and the "notes" section will be updated when the facilitator's notes have been consolidated into a readable format. Please check back here throughout October 2012 to get the latest updates on the Town Hall.

Notes from the Event

Facilitator writeup (PDF)

Meeting Agenda

Free Geek Town Hall Meeting Saturday, September 22, 2012 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Helium Comedy Club

  • 2:00 – 2:15
Casual Mingling. Conversation starters to be submitted:
What’s your favorite thing that happened to you, or happened at, Free Geek in the past year?
Butcher Paper Question: What inspires you?
  • 2:15
Welcome (Dina). Introduce facilitator
  • 2:20
Meeting Overview. Facilitator provides outline and goals for the afternoon
  • 2:25
Introduce Board of Directors (Dina - Facilitated self introductions)
  • 2:30
Board Report – (Dina) Accomplishments and challenges of the past year at Free Geek and hopes for the Town Hall Meeting
  • 2:45
Board Elections – Introduce each candidate. Each candidate states:
Why they want to be on the Board
How they have volunteered at Free Geek
Why they would be a good Board Member
Election Process explained. (Liliana)
  • 3:00
Collective Report: 20 – 25 minute overview of Free Geek (Reuse, Sales, Administrative Services, Receiving & Recycling, and VETS) regarding:
Past Year Accomplishments
Past Year Challenges
This year’s Goals
  • 3:25
Preparing for the Brainstorms – Facilitator explains each group, each group’s goals.
  • 3:30
  • 4:00
Small Group Discussions (2 rounds, 20 min each)
Keeping Up with Hardware Technology (Mark)
Keeping Up with Software Technology (Jason O)
Education and Job Training (Anne G)
Funding and the Future (Marketing and Development) (Dina D)
Planning for next year and other ways you can get involved at Free Geek? (Kathie S)
Community and Volunteer Experience (Larry L)
Groups will discuss:
Free Geek Strengths
Free Geek Challenges
What they would change
  • 4:45
Large Group Re-Cap
Each group facilitator provides summary report and top 2 recommendations from each of the two groups on that topic
Q & A
Volunteer Commitments – If there is one or two strong ideas that volunteers could commit to, get sign up list to create work groups
  • 5:30
Wrap Up/Next Steps

NOTE Due to low volunteer attendance, the 6 groups were combined into 3 groups that focused on two of the topics suggested. Attendees were polled before dividing into groups to decide whether to work on one long group discussion of about 40 minutes or two shorter sessions of 20 minutes each. A majority favored shorter group sessions with the option of participating in two conversations.

Small Group Discussions

(2 rounds, 20 min each)

  • Keeping Up with Hardware Technology + Keeping Up with Software Technology
    • Facilitators: Mark & Jason
Group will address how Free Geek is poised to address changes in hardware, from PC’s to laptops to handheld devices. & changes in Linux Operating System and changes to distribution, and proprietary and open source software.
  • Education and Job Training + Funding and the Future (Marketing and Development)
    • Facilitators: Anne & Dina
Group will discuss accomplishments and opportunities for fundraising and marketing & what Free Geek’s strengths & challenges in community education and job training and make recommendations for the future.
  • Community and Volunteer Experience + Planning for next year and other ways you can get involved at Free Geek
    • Facilitators: Larry & Kathie
This group will discuss past year volunteer experience, and recommendations for the future & opportunities for increased volunteer involvement at Free Geek, specifically planning for next year’s Town Hall Meeting.


Really nice, welcoming & organized venue
Great facilitator
Board facilitation of groups
Focused, informative and engaging reports
Group participation

Less successful

Low attendance by volunteers
Not enough information in the Web Announcement (event address)
Scribe roles/responsibilities for Collective Staff could have been clearer
Not enough info about our agenda for the meeting
Not enough context for the Volunteer Candidates' speeches. Perhaps have them introduce themselves after/during small group discussions

Publicity/Informational/Planning Materials

Print this double sided landscape
Candidate Nomination Flier
Print this landscape and cut in half
Candidate's Questionnaire
Give to nominees and use answers to populate the Voters Guide
Town Hall B&W Poster
Print this portrait on A3 paper (Meeting-room Printer can do this)
Voters' Guide
Print out double-sided and short-edge flip. Fold in half and distribute prior to Town Hall Meeting
Closure Signs
Edit in LibreDraw. Print landscape and post at least 3 days prior to event
Created in glabels. Distribute at THM and keep at Front Desk
Voters' Guide Insert
Made in LibreOffice Impress to tell people when to vote. Should be included with the Voter's Guide. Next year we should include this information in the packet.