Why are we creating a board?
We've got some exciting news to share about Web of Change and the evolution of our community institution.
If Web of Change has touched your life or career and you have felt the desire to give back, today we are opening up two new engagement pathways for building this community together: five spots on our new board that will steward the next phase of growth of our institution, and four spots on the the 2013 event advisor team to take us to Austin.
Michael will write more about the Event Advisor roles in a separate post. This group of volunteers will be a new version of the "Convenor" or "Anchor" role from past years, and will support and enable a much expanded Event Producer role filled by a single professional paid staff this year.
Creating a proper Board of Directors is a critical step in the formalization of a more transparent and open shared decision making model for Web of Change, and ensuring our leadership reflects the creativity and diversity of the community. As a separate non-profit entity we can also seek outside funding to expand our programs and impact.
Here's the background poop:
- After 12 years, we need to “grow up” to the next level: get a more formal, non-profit structure that can stand on its own
- We have consistently heard of the need for some more formal governance,transparency in decision making + clarity on how others can get involved
- We currently have some modest funding that wants to support current + future growth, but they also want governance and a board in place first. More funders are possible but we need the right structure
- We want to create a formal board to help decide on the new program ideas, how to stage program execution, and manage potential growth opportunities
The power of Web of Change has always been in our collaborative, distributed, and networked values, behaviours, and structure. So the current steering committee of Jessy Tolkan, Jason Mogus, and Michael Silberman decided that the process we would undertake to create a new board should be done in a collaborative, distributed, and networked way!
Some important board details:
- This board, comprised of 7 members of our community, will serve as the decision making and oversight body for the annual event, as well as the overall strategic direction of where WOC may go in the future. There has been significant discussion and brainstorming about the expansion of WOC beyond an annual gathering, and this board will, amongst other things, help to guide the community towards the most effective strategic thinking as to how we can most effectively serve the larger tech/progressive communities.
- The role is be voluntary (no paid compensation). We hope to cover expenses related to in person gatherings/meetings as they arise.
- Time Commitment: The board will convene quarterly over the course of each year. With 1 meeting being all day and in-person, and the other 3 quarterly meetings taking place via video conference for no more than 2 hours each.
- The initial board term will be for 2 years, by which point we hope to enact a staggered set of terms to allow for new leadership on the board.
- WOC intends to remain community driven by its members, and by the innovation and commitment of volunteers. This board is not intended to replace that core element of WOC, but rather to ensure that key strategic decisions as well as financial oversight and structural responsibilities are being made by a responsible, committed, and diverse set of leaders from the community.
- The board will convene for its first meeting (via video conference) in Q1 2013, with an in person strategy meeting taking place in September, just before the annual event in Austin, Texas.
If you're a WOC community member - meaning you've attended at least one WOC gathering over the past 12 years - hop on over to the crowdsourced board nomination process page to see how you can get involved.