16 May 2009

An Agenda for the June 30 Co-Creation Meeting

Posted by Admin under: Events; Forum .

Update – June 26, 2009

Over 30 truly remarkable people have confirmed so far, so we expect it will be an interesting and productive meeting.

(For those who have not committed, there is still time to RSVP, or email us if you can’t come but still want to be involved. We are also looking at streaming the event live for those who can’t be there in person. Let me know if you are interested in this option.)

I have posted some material regarding the development of the Forum at our new web site.

In particular, I would draw your attention to our Mission Statement – “To support the leaders of the sustainability revolution; to deepen our awareness and understanding of the challenges facing the world and the development of creative and enduring solutions” – and the further discussion of the mission at the Mission page.

Of course, I fully anticipate that this mission will evolve over time. We must expect, if we are seeking to find more “natural” solutions to our current social, economic, and environmental problems, that these will need to be emergent solutions, and there’s a lot that cannot be fully pre-determined. There are critical initiatives that need to get started, but our objective should be to continually develop them.

Then I hope you will get a chance to review the proposed agenda for the Tuesday event:

To start with, we need to talk a little bit about why we are here.

  • What are we about? -> our mission, our vision, our philosophy
  • Why another organization? -> why it is needed, what makes us unique, and how we intend to proceed
  • Why take an experimental approach? -> organizationally, philosophically, practically
  • What we intend to accomplish -> the larger vision, and how tonight fits into it

At this point we need to shift gears. To get things done, we need to get to work. This is not about idle chit-chat, nor is it about just listening to everyone’s opinion and going home. We do want everyone’s input, but we want to be clear about fitting that input into what we are building.

We also want to get down to very practical issues:

  • Membership costs and categories
  • Dues vs. program costs vs. investments
  • Volunteer roles
  • Charitable organization status
  • Program design and delivery
  • July meetings
  • Organizational structure and decision-making

Once we have resolved some of these things (or received adequate input on them), we can perhaps return to the larger issues:

  • What will members get out of their participation?
    • Training
    • Support
    • Program Participation
    • Investment “returns”
  • How do we partner with other organizations?
    • ISE
    • TTG
    • Transition NJ / Community Green
    • Others
  • What should our priorities be?
    • Creating programs
    • Creating alliances and coalitions
    • Enrolling members
    • Seeking sponsorships, grants, and other funding

I do want to be clear that this is an organizing meeting, and that we are looking for people to commit to signing up as members. We have laid out the proposed membership structure at the Organization page, and I will go into this in more depth at the session on Tuesday evening. The important things to bear in mind are:

(a) You can “pay” part or most of your membership fees by contributing time rather than money, if you have more of the former than of the latter.

(b) We do expect to charge a reasonable amount for our all-day programs, but we’re also looking at offering a  2 for 1 option if one person will also assist with the event.

(c) We are creating a “Program Investment Fund” (and kicking it off with a $2000 investment of our own), that will be managed by those contributing, to support initiatives we decide are important. All corporate and other contributions will go into this fund. We’ll maintain individual accounts, and people will be able to withdraw any unallocated amounts should they need them.

(d) We encourage the formation of local chapters, and will train other people to lead these events.

We’ll also entertain other suggestions, and I’m reviewing a number of other organizations and models for possible application.

(From June 16, 2009) Our first follow-up session to the conference Workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, June 30, from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Hartman Lounge. We then have 2 all-day Saturday sessions scheduled for July 11 and 25, also in the Hartman Lounge (in the Mansion at FDU Madison). Here are some thoughts for the June 30 meeting:

To start with, we need to talk a little bit about why we are here.

  • What are we about? -> our mission, our vision, our philosophy
  • Why another organization? -> why it is needed, what makes us unique, and how we intend to proceed
  • Why take an experimental approach? -> organizationally, philosophically, practically
  • What we intend to accomplish -> the larger vision, and how tonight fits into it

At this point we need to shift gears. To get things done, we need to get to work. This is not about idle chit-chat, nor is it about just listening to everyone’s opinion and going home. We do want everyone’s input, but we want to be clear about fitting that input into what we are building.

We also want to get down to very practical issues:

  • Membership costs and categories
  • Dues vs. program costs vs. investments
  • Volunteer roles
  • Charitable organization status
  • Program design and delivery
  • July meetings
  • Organizational structure and decision-making

Once we have resolved some of these things (or received adequate input on them), we can perhaps return to the larger issues:

  • What will members get out of their participation?
    • Training
    • Support
    • Program Participation
    • Investment “returns”
  • How do we partner with other organizations?
    • ISE*
    • TTG
    • Transition NJ / Community Green
    • Others

What should our priorities be?

  • Creating programs
  • Creating alliances and coalitions
  • Enrolling members
  • Seeking sponsorships, grants, and other funding
_____________________
*Important: Please note that the Sustainable Leadership Forum is not affiliated with or endorsed by Fairleigh Dickinson University, or with or by the Institute for Sustainable Enterprise at this time, although we are discussions as to whether and how the Institute can support this and other initiatives that involve training, leadership, membership, and networking activities.

Because of my role at the Institute and as Manager of the Sustainable Business Incubator, ISE has allowed me to use their facilities to introduce and promote this nonprofit program. This is not an endorsement, and we are reviewing the pros and cons of reaching an agreement, or having the Forum and other similar programs be completely separate from my role at the University.

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