Decision making - delegation to the monthly call

Point of information: what decisions will be made on the monthly call.

Ahem, sorry, more to follow here #techFail

At the last CoTech meeting in Sheffield we decided that we would empower a committee-style group to make decisions on behalf of CoTech on a monthly call. The next one is 31st July

The June call happened, but not everyone came. @annie kindly took notes which are available here: https://wiki.coops.tech/wiki/Circle_Call_2019-06-26

One of the things that we decided is that, in order to function, the phone call group needed to have a mandate to make operational decisions. We decided we’d been given that in the meeting at Sheffield and so, in future, are going to make these sorts of decisions regardless of how many people are on the call.

By an operational decision we mean a decision that:

  • Does not fundamentally affect the nature of the organisation (e.g. it’s for worker controlled+owned technology/digital co-ops)
  • Does not directly effect co-ops that are not taking part (e.g. it doesn’t use their branding, cost them money or expose them to unreasonable risk)
  • Is part of the expected activities of CoTech - e.g. organising events, marketing/PR, discussions and other activities to support worker ownership, open and fair technology, etc.

Non-operational decisions (e.g. ones that will be referred back to a wider group) would include:

  • Going against any decisions previously made by the wider group (e.g. changes to the constitution)
  • Carrying out commercial activity directly as CoTech - e.g. a joint pitch branded as “from CoTech”
  • Mandating co-ops to do things they have not agree to - e.g. agreeing that non-participants will contribute time or money beyond what they’ve already committed to

If you’d like to discuss any of this please come to the next call.

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Thanks @harry there is a thread for the next call, in three weeks time, at the end of the month, here:

Decisions about membership would be another example of a non-operational decision.

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@harry thanks for following up on the last call with this. What you have outlined looks eminently sensible and I, for one, fully support it. See you at the next call!

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I actually that admitting members that meet the main definition e.g. they are definitely a worker co-op and they definitely “do tech” then they should be admitted as an operational decision.

If they don’t neatly fit that definition - e.g. GreenNet which is still technically a charity not a co-op - then it should be put to the wider membership via Loomio.

I don’t particularly mind either way - I think the call group should be bold and apologise if it makes mistakes, and I think that’s what the last face-to-face decision empowered them to do.

I agree @harry

A change in the membership criteria or the decision to admit an org not meeting the criteria should be referred to the whole group but admitting an org that clearly fits the definition of membership is surely the definition of an operational decision rather than a policy decision?

Are you both sure about that given that we have, in effect, scrapped the quorum for the call and there is no requirements for things like this to be on the agenda before hand, so a co-op could be proposed and agreed during a call with only a few co-ops present.

In a sense I think this is perhaps a moot point given that any org that would be applying for membership would presumably be submitting a copy of its governing document as the only way to evidence that it does meet the criteria, and that it would be a trivial matter to ensure that this governing document is made available via Loomio, and using that any member org could raise a concern in advance of the call. In a case where the governing doc was only made available a short time before the call then those on the call could simply defer. The concern here is that the people on the call make a decision that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, an org gets the nod for membership which subsequently has to be rescinded, and CoTech gets egg on face.

Is loomio used as part of the meeting process? Re: https://help.loomio.org/en/guides/governance/

That guide always felt like a good way to balance between paralysis of uncertain authority (such as quorum issues) and feelings of forward motion.

Membership is identity and “selfness” for a group, so seems a thing not to rush, even if it seems it can be? I dunno :slight_smile:

EDIT: tl;dr - membership seems non-operational in spirit. I humbly take cues from Enspiral’s People Agreement on this :slight_smile:

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