VISIONS & GOALS WORKING GROUP
October 24, 2011
Members Present: Andy, Ehud, Patrick, Jessica, Zosera, Leia, Abe, Ryan, Keri, Molly, Dorje, Frank, Jim, Ted & David
Guests Present: Saracen(?), Patrick(#2) & Beth (all from Public Relations WG)
Meeting convened at 12:30p.m.
The meeting begins with 1 minute of respectful silence.
Andy and Dorje volunteer to co-facilitate. They will make clear when they wish to speak for themselves as individuals, as opposed to as facilitators.
Zosera proposes that designating a vibes-keeper could be a good idea; he or she can help us to keep from getting too frustrated or angry with each other by requesting that we take a break from difficult conversations when appropriate. No one opposes the idea, and Molly volunteers to do this.
Abe reviews the work of the group to-date. The original draft document, much of which was brought to the GA on 10/23, was a joint effort of over 200 individuals, in-person and online. It was then further workshopped by a few individuals and focused in such a way as to serve as a prelude to inviting GA members to join the working group. He reviews the invitation statement to the Visions & Goals working group. Abe then calls for on-time starts to these meetings, and he expresses frustration with the large amount of time consumed by the working group in the past on waiting for meetings to start.
Throughout the course of an hour, the question of setting regular meeting times and locations is extensively discussed and debated. In order to allow for the greatest amount of participation from people of all walks of life, the following times, durations and location are ultimately agreed upon in stages, by consensus.
Meeting Location: Atrium at 60 Wall Street
Meeting Schedule: Monday, 5:30pm; Tuesday, no meeting; Wednesday, 5:30pm; Thursday, 12:00pm; Friday, 5:30pm; Saturday, 12:00pm; Sunday, 12:00pm.
Meeting Durations: 5:30pm meetings will always attempt to end in time for the members to attend the GA; weekday 12:00pm meetings will attempt to end in time for traditionally-employed members to return to work from their lunch breaks; weekend 12:00pm meetings will be able to run as long as may be needed.
At two points in the discussion above, interruptions from members of the Public Relations working group occur. Their repeated request was for a spokesperson, or some way to keep in touch with the group’s activities. Several members of the group were annoyed by the first interruption from a single member of the PR group. Abe offered to send them our minutes and a link to anything we might produce on the NYCGA website, but he made clear that designating a spokesperson was an extremely uncomfortable idea for him, due to the high risk of ‘runaway spokesperson’ syndrome. It needs to be very clear that this working group is 100% committed to the leaderless model. Zosera called a point of process during the second interruption from two additional members of the PR group to complain of the treatment received by the first member. Point made was that these interruptions from the PR group were not a valid part of the working group’s business meeting and should be handled outside of the meeting. This received consensus support, and after Abe reiterated his former proposal regarding general information sharing, the PR interruptions stopped.
Andy proposed that before the adjournment of each of our meetings, the agenda for the following meeting should be set. This received consensus support.
Abe reports that we received a great deal of written feedback on the draft document at the 10/23 GA, and he proposes that review of those items be placed on the next meeting agenda. This receives consensus support. He also comments that setting the right process for our proceedings will be extremely important – he recommends strongly that we work this out as we proceed.
Ehud comments that we should be focusing on two key things: creating continuity of conversation and also creating a space for others to bring their input into this process from outside the local group. He also suggests that we can benefit from having facilitation at these meetings that is purely uninvolved in the outcome of the conversations.
Jim proposes that processing of the feedback from the 10/23 GA be placed on the agenda for our next meeting. This receives consensus support.
Abe notes that minutes, draft documents and other related Visions and Goals working group materials will soon be available on the NYCGA website. Go to http://www.nycga.net and just look around for “Visions and Goals.”
Ted comments that open-source technology be used in our online activities to achieve transparency and invite as many people everywhere into the discussion as possible, and he will tell us more about what tools are available in this regard in later meetings. Also, he proposes that a conversation should be placed on the agenda for our next meeting about how to properly involve non-members of this working group into the process of drafting visions and goals for the wider movement. This receives consensus support.
Meeting ends at 2:00p.m.
 Editors note: ‘single quotes’ represent the minute-taker’s editorial restatements, which are necessary for brevity from time to time; “double quotes” represent actual quotes from individuals.