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The original board of directors who found the Kamloops Makerspace
What a dirty word.
Good governance with good intentions is the hallmark of our
government“makerspace”. Implementation with integrity is our core passion.
Nonprofit governance has a dual focus
- The organization’s social mission.
- Ensuring the organization is viable.
Both responsibilities relate to responsibility the board has with respect to the exercise of authority over the actions the organization takes. Trust and accountability are an essential aspect of organizational viability so we achieve our mission in a way that is respected by our members and community.
Our mission is
The purposes of the society are:
a. To provide a physical space where makers, hobbyists, inventors, artists, engineers, and other innovative people from all walks of life, can come together and share ideas, knowledge, equipment, and opinions in a collaborative and creative atmosphere
b. To organize and host workshops and events focused on teaching specific or broad skills related to tinkering, using tools, and making things to members and the community
c. To provide related services and tools for fostering creativity and progress in the arts, science, and technology as determined by the members
There are many governance structures and equally as much work done on them. Here is an interesting paper on makerspace governance.
I believe there has been considerable resistance to formalizing a model for the space, due to concerns about it taking the freedom and creativity out of the space. I believe however it will do the opposite. Good governance can:
- Reduce “Burn Out”
- Set expectations
- Reduce conflict
- Create professionalism
- Increase safety
- Encourage growth
- Define values
- Guide decisions
- Ensure continuity
- Increase diversity
- Meet legal requirements
In order to achieve these goals, we need to start with defining our values. If a value is maintaining freedom and creativity, we must ensure that any guiding material meets that value. Organization does not destroy values it can ensure them.
This is a big job
Governance is not something banged together at a meeting, deliberated upon and passed. Governance is a series of methods used to ensure that decisions and actions meet our needs and values. Needs and values change, and as such so will our methods of governing ourselves. As such it is important that our board establish committees and task forces to create these frameworks. Such committees would be responsible for:
- Reviewing and revising
- Getting approval from
- Creating policy
- Reviewing, revising
- Getting approval from
- Board development
- Terms of reference (Job descriptions)
- Succession planning
- Strategic planning
- Goal setting
- Operational planning
- Monitoring the above and making changes as needed.
Right now these burdens are carried almost solely by the board and due to the strain, we experience burn out or the overlooking or underperformance of some of these important tasks. Implementing proper governance can reverse this and ensure we thrive in the future.
It is important to understand a boards purpose is usually not in executing actions but more in setting direction. Board members can, but not always have to be directly involved execution. This has certainly created tension in the past, especially when a board member moves focus to governance issues due to frustrations they may have on an organizational level. Recognising a separation between decision making and execution will be vital in creating a safe effective organization. I applaud all the hard work of the previous board and everyone who works so hard to ensure the success of Kamloops Makerspace. By setting terms of reference we can ensure that peoples work is respected and never duplicated or devalued.
I have tried to keep this as concise as possible, however, as you can see this is a wide-ranging and important subject; that resembles a significant challenge for us to overcome in 2018 and the future. I would like to be part of governance on a committee level and talk to it at further length at the planning session January 14th, 2018. I have not covered everything here as I aimed more to explain the general need for addressing this. I look forward to everyones input of this.
RE: Members Meeting - Sun Jan 14 4 - 7 pm
@Grant-Fraser Thank you, treasurer is a vital role and coming into it at a time of considerable turmoil you have done an amazing job. I would suggest that some of the tasks of the treasurer such as dealing with membership tracking should be done in a separate role to reduce the inevitable burnout of the position. Thank you again for all you have done to grow the space, Grant.
@kile thanks. I would love to do a presentation on governance and sit on a governance committee if the new board wishes to form one. This would be a significant help in drafting new bylaws. Kamloops Makerspace has had great growth however a strong foundation will help future stable growth
RE: Bodging stuff together with metal. Part 1
@pierre Firebricks are overkill for arc welding as slag and sparks cool down to fast to transfer any serious heat. Sheet metal on the ground and up the walls a couple inches. (to the height of working would be great for grinding) Fireproof silicone the corners and most importantly put in a curb. Sparks tend to hit the ground and slide off under something, that is usually the culprit in welding fires. We should have a considerable amount of tin around.
RE: P-38 CAN OPENER
@pierre they are certainly pricey but I m thinking of ordering some. I usually have a P38 or 51 in my wallet. I like the P51 more because of my arthritis. Those things have helped me through some weird binds. The FRED might not wallet stow as nice.
IFAK knives are another one of those cheap handy EDC things as well.
RE: Draft Safe Space Policy
I’ll offer up the 4 agreements from Miguel-ruiz. Again, not exactly what we need. But i see it as an example of a broadly applicable (encompasses all interpersonal interactions) and clear guide.
Be impeccable with your word
Don’t take anything personally
Don’t make assumptions
Always do your best
“Don’t take anything personally” is perhaps a little deeper than most drafting or working under policies like this generally want to go. But this is plain good advice for any interpersonal interaction. I’ve seem so many of the kinds of grievances that policies like this facilitate blown up into full scale administrative war when it really should have never been taken personally.
Sometimes people are assholes to others. It usually has a lot more to do with the asshole than the other.
A long shot at barking up the wrong tree, but having something like “Don’t take it personally” would make me very pleased.
Also, don’t make assumptions…
Are you sure that person intended to hurt you? Are you sure that you understand what they meant? Perhaps the other was simply not being impeccable with their word? Maybe a conversation to clarify would be better than administrating resolution?
Again as with not taking things personally, this turns the mirror on the accuser and the spotlight off of the abuser, which can be uncomfortable for the post modern liberal mindset. I understand. I just feel responsibility should always be evenly distributed, even in cases of clear cut wrong doing.
RE: Draft Safe Space Policy
I also have issues with the “unwanted negative behavior” phrase. I’ve seen a lot of objectively very reasonable behavior be labeled negative and unwanted from a subjective perspective.
I don’t like vague personally. I think we can and should have broad, basic and general terms that are also very clear and definite.
My main worry in this is that subjective perspectives (whether the perspective of the individual filing grievance or the board passing judgement) are given sway over objective and collectively defined policy.
I think this board and subsequent boards need clear benchmarks (like the mission statement) to guide and inform decisions on specific instances related to this policy moving forward.
If we are drafting a mushy, unclear policy, trusting the board with final judgement based on unknown or unclear criteria, why all this trouble drafting a policy?
If that’s the strategy we decide upon (not what id vote for), then why not be honest and just offer a channel for complaints and grievances at the mercy of the board?
I think @Vaughn had it right at the last meeting. We need 3 or 4 very clear, Simple but broad statements defining general terms, the board makes its decision based on the broadly applicable objective policy.
@kile we went over that lateral violence list last week. Much of it is fine with me. Save a few things that imo again give a little too much leeway to the subjective to define almost anything as violence, bullying or harassment. Sometimes sharing this planet with other beings can be upsetting or uncomfortable, and especially the younger generations are always looking to hang blame someplace. However, oftentimes its really nobodies fault, and alking others to take responsibility for our own feelings is asking far too much, especially when such transactions are written into policy.
In general i think that list drills way too deep into granular detail for the purposes of this policy. Although it was certainly worth my read to clarify where i stand and could offer a little language to help us draft a clear and useful policy.
I’d encourage everybody interested to give it a read.
@Grant-Fraser i like the two lists you posted. Neither feels exactly right to me for our purposes, but they offer a good example of simple and clear guidelines for group behavior. 6 is the magic number on both, I’d like to see us cram it into 5.
RE: I'm selling my 3D Printer
Would love to see it on the MakerBus. Fundraising if anyone is interested. I am down for $50. This printer has been used for many public events such as Art in The Park and Hot Nite in The City. I believe it is responsible for generating new members and will continue to be available to space for such causes. Until the bus is going it can remain in the space for members to use. Anyone interested in supporting this please post here. And thanks to @ColeVanD for everything he has done for the space, especially on the 3D printing front.