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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Proposed roadmap

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Proposed roadmap
Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2005 10:58:17 +0100

Tom Chance wrote:
> Yes, a great idea. A lot more can be achieved in person with a well 
> facilitated, free flowing discussion :) If the meeting is well advertised, 
> and there is plenty of effort to gather opinion from those who cannot attend, 
> then IMO exclusion shouldn't be a big problem.

*Well facilitated* is the key and beer doesn't always help...
July and August are probably two bad months for exclusion, with
students away from their campuses working to make ends meet,
while workers go on their annual holidays and shutdowns.

> Alex Hudson wrote:
> > I think the most important thing is to find out what tasks people think
> > AFFS should focus on - the structure and stuff should support the work,
> > rather than the other way around.
> I agree completely [...]

Some may want AFFS defined in terms of tasks people want it to do.
The community will need to know what AFFS is, before it can say
what it should do.  This is a circular problem.

We can tackle circular problems by spiralling up. We have
something called AFFS and it has some structure and stuff, so
let's invite people to review that and act on the review. Some
people have already started, in their own way. Can it be drawn
together and more people be brought into the process?  (Periodic
review is part of voluntary group "good governance" too.)

Imposing organisational structures is a bit wrong, even if we
have consensus on what should be done. The AFFS structures
is flexible, with a fairly minimal constitution as core and
then rules which are easier to change. It needs some to start
and others to help it evolve. We won't get it right every
time. No-one does. But we can do well enough.

The amendments at last year's AGM tried to put too much procedure
into the constitution, which is the opposite of letting AFFS
be flexible, needing large majorities to change. I think the
changes were too many, resulting in little review before the
meeting, little agreement on this list and a low vote.

When there is broad consensus, committee should adopt working
rules so all know what needs doing to keep most people happy. It
should be publicly recorded which committee members voted for or
against which rules this year. I hope that all those rules will
be presented to AGM for review and support.

I agree with John that the AGM has to be the final
decision-maker, but I think Tom's idea may be a good way to
develop the question that is put to the AGM, as long as no-one
then gets there and presents it as an unmodifiable done deal. One
month isn't enough to ask everyone.

Recently, committee went prophetic, awaiting clear signals from above
and using Spokesmen of the Approved Word. Instead, all ctte should
discuss things and actively shape the structures to serve members.

On work leading: I seemed to be alone when trying to avoid
tasks being forced through the webmail last autumn, which
obstructed work by making GPG and other mail tools unavailable.
I'm glad a committee member now writes that structures should
support the work.  Maybe things have moved on a bit.

MJ Ray (slef), K. Lynn, England, email see http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

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