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How we work together

This version was saved 10 years, 8 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Paul Crosland
on October 30, 2009 at 1:36:36 pm
 

This page is being overseen by the Community Conflict Transformation Group

 

"Who are these people? Who elected them?

And how do I replace them with some of my friends?

Can you hear us? Are you listening?

No power without accountability!"

(NPWA lyrics by Billy Bragg)

 


 

 

How we work together -guidelines which you are asked to be familiar with.

 

Freelending CIC's Community Conflict Transformation Group offers the following ground-rules for use by all meetings.

 

  1. We ask for a standard of participation that is upheld by all who serve as trustees to a charity. The primary responsibilities of trustees are as set out by the Charity Commission: “Trustees have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.” The charity commission emphasises the duty of prudence, the duty of care and the importance of compliance with (charity) law and with the charity's constitution.

 

  1. The purpose of meetings is for participants to take collective responsibility to make appropriate decisions that move us forward in line with our aims.

 

  1. Each participant is responsible for working with each other and with the meeting's chair with maximum efficiency in the use of meeting time, taking into account our key values of mutual respect. This involves understanding each other and a strong recommendation that only one person talks at a time.

     

  2. When someone begins speaking they commit to first summarising something of what the previous speaker said, unless the wish for confirmation of understanding has been waived by the previous speaker. The previous speaker has the responsibility to ask for clarification time if the understanding demonstrated is not 'good enough' for them.

 

  1. The meeting's chair holds the main responsibility to plan for meetings. The meeting's chair will ensure so far as possible that the agenda contains:

  • contains clear and workable proposals prepared and circulated in advance.

  • contains an early indication of the current level of resources available to enact our current aims and operational plans

  • identifies which agenda items are for decision, which for information and which for discussion

  • prioritises items to make the best use of time available

  • gives intended timings for specific items.

 

  1. In order to support the meeting's chair in prioritising the meeting more effectively, it is strongly requested that meeting participants' initial support or objection to the agenda proposals be received prior to the meeting by their marking the agenda on line with (Support/Unclear/Object & Initials). At the meeting, once everyone has had the opportunity to indicate a quick reaction to any proposal on the table, the proposer will have the opportunity to amend the proposal. The meeting's chair will check if anyone has any principled objections to the proposal and will seek a consensus decision, whilst reserving the right to move forwards on the basis of a majority decision.

 

  1. Where the decision is made to move forwards on the basis of a majority (rather than a consensus) decision, the dissenting minority will be encouraged to articulate how they would change the proposal to be able to support it. Beyond this, the meeting's chair will seek to address any outstanding principled objections at a subsequent meeting or through ad hoc arrangements outside the meeting. In the event that a participant cannot accept the view of the majority, their minority view can be minuted. Meanwhile, meeting participants will be expected to treat majority decisions as organisational policy and enable the organisation's policy to be implemented. (The obvious exception to this is in relation to matters which they believe compromise their official responsibilities in relation to the organisation.)

 

  1. Diversity of views and opinions are welcomed, with the intention that through discussion a collective view will emerge that all can accept, or at least live with. The use of a circle process may be appropriate for these discussions.

 

  1. At any stage where the meeting is ready to delegate a task to an individual or group of individuals, this will be encouraged, and a clear reporting back structure enabled. Delegation will be to either one person, or three, or 5 etc, with a requirement that decisions be made by the delegated group without any abstentions. The same attempt to reach consensus is preferred to majority decision making in the delegated groups.

 

  1. The intention is that interactions between meeting participants will be conducted with respect for each other and our aims. Where participants have a sense of not having been respectfully listened to and this is a matter of importance to the person in this position, they have a responsibility to voice this concern, with the intention of meeting participants being that all such matters can be dealt with in positive and restorative ways to address the situation.

     

  2. The principles of a restorative approach to 'conflict' are that the priority is to restore connection, enable mutual understanding, clarify responsibility and support actions to be taken by participants in accord with values of mutual respect. We uphold these principles, aware that 'conflict' is an inevitable, and often can be seen to be a fruitful part of decision making and of sharing anything in life together.

 

 

 


 

Shared Project Aims

(-see front page for a slightly edited version)

 

First Aim

We are working to enable the sharing of resources and resourcefulness specifically by establishing in 2009 a website  that enables people to find and lend items that otherwise would not have been so accessible to them. The working title of this website is freelender.org

 

Second Aim

We are seeking to work with others who share values of generosity and trust-building in sharing community resources; in 2009 to establish clarity with justfortheloveofit.org about our working relationship, and later (?) with other providers e.g. freecycle.

 

Third Aim

We are committed to establishing by 2010 ways for the work of freelender.org to be self-sustaining or amalgamated with an organisation that is self-sustaining. (We define self-sustaining in this context as meaning having the wherewithal to continue to develop and market the freelending work and respond individually to enquiries within 5 working days,)

 

Individual Vision & Mission Statements

People involved in Freelending CIC may support the above aims and work effectively together whilst having different value systems, personal visions and missions. One supporter of the above aims may have a personal vision of building the essentials of community - fellowship, security and meaningful participation in a totality greater than one's self and be engaged with freelender for that reason. Another supporter of these aims might simply want to borrow and lend rather than spend.

 

The values that we have identified as part of our individual missions

 

 

  • Self-care & mutual care. Connected as we are, we choose to accept responsibility for supporting and caring for each other in all our endeavours both personal and professional. 

    We also choose to accept responsibility, both individually and collectively, for creating the conditions in which we can meet our personal and communal needs for safety and well-being.

    Our personal and professional endeavours inform and enrich one another. In all situations, we can remind each other of our human potential for frailty and strength, disappointment and excellence and allow space for celebration, mourning and remembering.

    We remember that empathy, compassion and trust energy are the cornerstones of our philosophy.

  • "Be the change you want to see" (Gandhi). As individuals we celebrate the power that we can contribute to achieving our shared vision by modelling the behaviour which we wish to see manifest in the wider community.
  • Flexibility - in upholding values of care and 'being the change we want to see' we work to stay focussed on aims (getting our needs met) above being focussed on how we feel about a proposed way forward.
  • Responsibility - We choose not to engage in master/servant relationships. We carry individual and collective responsibility, transparency and accountability. 

    We hold the intention to complete all tasks to the best of our ability and within any deadlines.

    We also accept that there may be occasions when we fall short and need help. If and when this happens, we agree to inform any peers who may be affected by this in a timely manner and to request their support. We understand and celebrate that such requests will be met with compassion.

    We commit to discussing with each other the behaviour patterns we display when we feel pressure, stress or discomfort. This also involves making peers aware of what actions they can take to give support at these times.

    We understand that when people have unmet needs for support, understanding, respect and consideration they are unlikely to feel well enough to undertake their tasks with positive energy therefore we individually and collectively embrace opportunities to attend to what is alive in us.

 

(This section written with thanks to the CPS Ethical Constitution -CPS Website)

(We are also interested in finding a simple and effective set of guidelines for running sociocratic processes)

 

Levels of decision making

 

The Project Steering Group

 

This group oversees the Project Steering group (link to page of this name) page.

 

The members of the project steering group are:

  • Paul Crosland (project management)
  • Edmund Johnson (technical management)

We put proposals to each other (or will receive them from other levels of Freelending CIC) and reach decisions in relation to them on the basis of consent.

Others may be invited to join this group, e.g. from Freecycle UK.

  

Development groups

Anyone can set up an ad hoc group with aims. This newly formed group will then ask for a respresentative on the Freelending CIC Steering Group, and any other relevant development group to join in the ad hoc's groups proposal making process.

The current list of development groups is:

  1. Networking and Campaigning group
  2. Marketing Group
  3. Website Development Group
  4. Community Conflict Transformation Group
  5. Staff Recruitment and Induction Group
  6. Fundraising Group

 

Consent decision making at each level

(More will be written here outlining the basics of formulating proposals, quick reactions to proposals, re-formulating proposals in the light of quick reactions and the choice to consent or withold consent from the proposal. Without consent the matter is referred to a higher level; with consent people are elected to enact the proposals.)

 

How to establish or join a working group within freelender

-see the section above on ad hoc groups then join the freelend yahoo group to propose the new group you'd like to establish or join.

 

Open Source Design

Further reading

Wikinomics - How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, Don Tapscott and Anthony D Williams, Penguin 2006

Rebel Code - Linux and the Open Source Revolution, Glyn Moody, Penguin 2001

 

Infotopia - How Many Minds Produce Knowledge, Cass R Sunstein, OUP 2006

The Future of Work, by Thomas W Malon]

 

Code of Conduct

We have borrowed the following parts of the Ubuntu code of conduct:

 

[ Ubuntu is an African concept of 'humanity towards others'. It is 'the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity'. The same ideas are central to the way the Ubuntu community collaborates. Members of the Ubuntu community need to work together effectively, and this code of conduct lays down the "ground rules" for our cooperation.

We chose the name Ubuntu for our distribution because we think it captures perfectly the spirit of the sharing and cooperation that is at the heart of the open source movement. ]

 

In the Free Software world, we collaborate freely on a volunteer basis to build software for everyone's benefit. We improve on the work of others, which we have been given freely, and then share our improvements on the same basis.

That collaboration depends on good relationships between developers. To this end, we've agreed on the following code of conduct to help define the ways that we think collaboration and cooperation should work.

 

Ground rules

 

Be considerate.

Your work will be used by other people, and you in turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and we expect you to take those consequences into account when making decisions.

Be respectful.

The freelending community and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to the community. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behaviour and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the project.

Be collaborative.

freelending is about collaboration and working together. Collaboration reduces redundancy of work done in the Free Software world, and improves the quality of the software produced.  If you wish to work on new code, at least keep your  colleagues informed of your ideas and progress. It may not be possible to get consensus from your colleagues about the correct implementation of an idea, so don't feel obliged to have that agreement before you begin, but at least keep the outside world informed of your work, and publish your work in a way that allows others to test, discuss and contribute to your efforts.

When you disagree, consult others.

Disagreements, both political and technical, happen all the time and the freelending community is no exception. The important goal is not to avoid disagreements or differing views but to resolve them constructively. You should turn to the community and to the community process to seek advice and to resolve disagreements. We have the freelending yahoo group for consultation and advice. There are also several Project Teams and Team Leaders, who may be able to help you figure out which direction will be most acceptable.

When you are unsure, ask for help.

Nobody knows everything, and nobody is expected to be perfect in the freelending community. Asking questions avoids many problems down the road, and so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful. However, when asking a question, care must be taken to do so in an appropriate forum. Off-topic questions, detract from productive discussion.

Step down considerately.

When you leave or disengage from the project, in whole or in part, we ask that you do so in a way that minimises disruption to the project. This means you should tell people you are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where you leave off.

 

Self responsibility and parting

We are likely to make additional requests which we will ask you to respond to if you begin to work with us and then leave.

We will respect your choice to leave and try to learn what we can from the time we've spent together working towards shared aims.

 

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