Changing the preparation process of the General Assembly of Kiez Burn e.V.
This advice process is about some changes of the voting process of Kiez Burn e.V. to have better (and better prepared) votings for the board at the General Assembly.
I'm member of the board of Kiez Burn e.V.
Information gathered before posting.
Discussions within the board and also with Remy
People/roles most affected by this proposal.
Members of Kiez Burn e.V.
People/roles with the most knowledge and experience relevant to this proposal:
Do we have actual lawyers in the community?
Finance lead @Kathleen
Kiez Burn e.V. is not only organizing the event and our community around it, but is also handling a lot of responsibility. Past experiences has shown that trust is an important topic, be it from the community (and especially members of Kiez Burn e.V.) towards the board and also within specific groups working on events and topics. Especially when people just show up at the assembly it is very difficult to build trust or even get an idea about a person one is maybe seeing for the first time.
The process should be as open and transparent as possible, and should allow all members of Kiez Burn e.V. to get a better idea of who they are voting for. It should still allow late comers to allow themselves to get in last minute, but the main goal is to move most if not all personal presentations and discussions in the time before the General Assembly.
so, my suggestions for an useful search and election of candidates would be:
Week 6 before the assembly date (4 weeks before the official invitation):
We're announcing the search for candidates. Verein members are invited to submit their candidacies for the board. We're also describing the chances and expectations for the positions (like: meeting frequency, estimated time investment, also "official" tasks). We're inviting candidates to a information meeting ~1 week after the announcement. A deadline of 2 weeks is set for the first round of submitting candidacies. The candidacies shall include a picture and an a bit of description about the person and their goals, and will be published after the deadline in a discord group (or by other means)? A (probably too verbose) example: https://beachl.de/vorstellung-der-vorstandskandidaten/. We can also start collecting questions of the Verein members which can be answered later on discord or live events.
Week 5 before the assembly date:
Information meeting for potential candidates (like we had last year).
Week 4 before the assembly date:
Deadline for submitting candidacies for the first round of candidates. After the deadline, the names of the candidates are announced, and their descriptions are published.
Week 3 before the assembly date:
One (or more?) events are organized for candidates to introduce themselves and answer questions from members. These events can take place online or in-person. The questions and answers will be published on discord.
Week 2 before the assembly date:
Deadline for questions from the members to the candidates. So the candidates have enough time to answer the questions. the candidates answer the submitted questions and provide their answers to the members. These answers will be shared on discord, too.
The general assembly takes place, where candidates are introduced briefly again, and members can vote. If last minute candidates will show up, they will need a longer introduction and shall also be prepared for the questions the other candidates had already answered (we don't have Sparkle pony positions).
How would the proposal be implemented?
It will be implemented as a communication and event plan mostly for the time before the General Assembly. Our bylaws are mentioning a "Versammlungsordnung" (assembly rules), which could/should descibe how the General Assembly is done, but I couldn't find yet someone who has it, so it might be work in progress since some years. If it actually exists, it should be updated accordingly.
Who would implement this proposal?
When would this proposal be implemented?
It should be added to Wisdom and the communication plans in summer latest.
What would be the cost (time, money, effort, etc.) of this proposal?
What are the advantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counterproposals)
Members actually know who they are voting for and why, and also the candidates signing up for a position are getting a clearer picture of what to expect. Ideally the general Assembly is getting a bit shorter since the candidates are already known.
What are the disadvantages of this proposal (relative to the current situation and/or counterproposals)
It adds a bit of additional communication with the candidates and requires them to write about them and also to answer questions.
It is overhead if we are happy to find candidates at all, we don't want to scare them away.
A decision if we want to implement this preparation process for the next General Assembly.
Alex Kaos Fri 7 Apr 2023 7:09AM
Totally agree. I expect al of the increase in work will be from the boards side in organizing and communicating the process, but the transparency will be a heathy addition to the process, and I expect will be very welcome.
Cris Wed 26 Apr 2023 1:18PM
Super nice! Thank you, Owl!
I love that this proposal throws some light on the shadowy process of electing the shadow council, makes it way more public and available for anyone to step up as a candidate, and gives transparency to what the new Board might be up to the next year.
In my experience, tho, there used to be quite little interest into knowing who the Board is and what they do. I hope this might change with this new procedure.
But what I'd like to suggest to add to this proposal is on the other end: for the new board candidates to get to know each other, see what their visions and working structures are, and if they can work good as a team. In the past, we rather had too few candidates, and they needed to be able to team up nicely, to work closely in regular meetings through out the whole year.
Maybe in week 5 & 3 there's a space within your program, where they meet and get to know each other, talk about their expectations and visions and figure out if they can work good together?
On another hand, there were conversations in the past about Board candidates could present themselves as a team, as in, being voted in block. Is this idea still around?
Kris Wed 26 Apr 2023 1:30PM
@Cris Having been on an exec team for a volunteer org where the GA went “oh, the two of you are so passionate (aka arguing all the time) let’s just pick both” I like the latter idea. It really depends on whether we focus on stewardship/conservation or executing efficiently and with purpose. With moving and so on I think the board needs to move toward executing.
Owl Thu 25 May 2023 10:33AM
@cris if we switch to voting in block, the new potential board has to be chosen upfront. That might work in low candidate situations, or if we expect a lot of continuation within the board (like @Kris is suggesting). On the other hand it is somewhat intransparent, since the board is "mingling" behind closed doors, and only presenting the "final result". That makes it easier but less interesting, and if the board is heading in a different direction as the members, more difficult. It would also take away the possibility for members to add themselves as candidates on short notice. It is right that we probably don't want to completely change the board with the upcoming tasks at hand. But what we change shall probably last for a while. So my stake would still be: create more transparency before the election, so the election itself can be smooth. What to you think?
CJ Yetman · Thu 6 Apr 2023 12:43PM
Love it! Though, requiring every candidate to respond to an unlimited number of questions could get out of hand. In practice, there will be next to zero questions though I suppose.