Hey y’all, I’d like to give an update on preparations for the general meeting and pitch a new format for gathering, sharing ideas, and making decisions.
For an co-op like Resonate, having a general meeting has complex administrative, legal, and logistical requirements. These requirements exist to guarantee that all members be able to introduce and participate in decisions that affect the whole of the co-op.
While general meetings are often social events as well, at their core they are formal meetings to vote on major proposals – proposals which ideally should have opportunities to be discussed and refined before arriving at a general meeting.
To pass the rulebook amendments raised by myself and @sganesh, a general meeting would be required. Nevertheless, it is not urgent to make these changes now versus at our annual general meeting in early december.
@boopboop’s proposals pertain to our platform. While a general meeting is a valid and powerful format to make such proposals, these could be just as well implemented by other means.
Reading the comments by @angus and @Sam_Martyn, they are interested in meeting other members, talking about what brought us all to the co-op, and what we want Resonate to be. This we can do whenever – all it takes is for someone to host the party!
progress and challenges
Over the past year, our small crew of workers and volunteers have made really incredible progress. This is all leading up to December 1st, the date planned as the “Resonate Renewal”. There is a lot of great news to share and celebrate, from governance refinement, administrative and tech backend development, a new resonate player and website soon to come, a new communications strategy, nominees for Treasurer and Secretary, the Handbook, new payment and bookkeeping standards, more organized collaborative processes, the rebuilding of this forum – it’s quite a list!
At the same time, resonate has deep challenges to overcome. At both the governance level and the technological level, there is significant work to be done and very little money to do that work with. To be clear, hosting a general meeting right now would require major logistical work from folks who are already at their capacity, at the same time taking them away from key projects the co-op desperately needs. For that reason, I have been considering canceling this general meeting and focusing on the annual general meeting in december. By then, new development work on administration should make general meetings much easier to organize.
This challenging situation has brought me some new clarity and excitement about how we can approach democracy at Resonate. The formal nature of the general meeting seems to be the wrong venue for what we want to do together most of the time. We want more opportunities to meet each other as people, discuss ideas for Resonate, and then have processes to refine or implement our vision.
So I’d like to shift our scheduled general meeting this saturday to become our first Community Assembly – a space to gather, check in on the co-op’s status, share visions and proposals, socialize, learn new skills, get involved and take initiative.
An assembly would still be structured, but less so than a general meeting. Unlike during a general meeting, proposals could be raised, discussed and acted on more spontaneously – with “straw poll” voting throughout the assembly so that participants are highly engaged in the process.
Popular ideas raised in these assemblies would be referred out to existing teams at Resonate for exploration and implementation, added to our development to-dos, or a spontaneous crew could be entrusted to take on a task for themselves. Ideas that aren’t quite settled could be taken on by discussion groups or continued in the forum. Finally, big decisions which are beyond the scope of an assembly can be put on the agenda for a general meeting.
Assemblies would be an active and lively part of Resonate, gathering together our community every month or two, then dispersing out our efforts, then gathering again. Orbiting each assembly would be social meetups, music parties, and workshops/skillshares hosted by the co-op and members.
The community assembly would also be an opportunity for members to take turns facilitating. The assembly will give future (and present!) chairpersons at Resonate an environment to practice and learn which the general meeting isn’t suited for.
december on the horizon
Leading the initative to have this general meeting was @brndnkng who hosted weekly meetups to discuss membership, co-op culture, and more. Thanks to his facilitation and the work of participants like @LLK, @richjensen and @sganesh, essential topics came to light – and a lot of important work has come out of it.
I believe that assemblies would fill an unexplored opportunity for democracy at Resonate, at the same time allowing the time and resources to make sure that our upcoming annual general meeting in december meets all its legal and administrative requirements. Please share your thoughts and hearts on this – and offer any advice or questions you may have.