Methodological document for the ecosystemic decision process
0. Process of this document
This is a draft being worked on by the ecosystemic council. As a first draft will be published on the social network and members will be able to make contributions to it, which the council may or may not include, and once they have a more solid proposal it will be voted. For this document to be approved it must receive at least 75% of votes. It needs a very qualified majority because it is the ground for all other decisions. If approved, the community can start working hereunder, otherwise it will have to keep searching for community proposals that serve to generate a new, better consensus document to be voted again.
1. Goal of this document
To define a methodology document on how decisions are taken in the Ecosystemic Council, and especially which topics are decided by the council and which are subjected to cooperative voting, and what is the role of the Fairnetwork discussions.
The proposed method consists of a combination of three methodologies which are usually separated but in 2017.fair.coop they complement each other: the Council, collaborative decision making through the social network, and voting.
Each of the three forms has its strengths and weaknesses, so it comes to making each of them reinforce and control the others.
The council has the advantage of having a visible group behind it, trusted by the members, and with the responsibility of making decisions. But it also has the disadvantages of being a closed, small group, implying that by default it does not include the wealth of ideas and points of view from all members.
Open participation on Fairnetwork allows collective intelligence to be put to work to produce the best ideas and refine the arguments, plus it’s the closest thing to an assembly in which any dissenting opinion can enrich the commons to generate new consensus; its disadvantage is that, with this virtual format it may become too difficult to reach and implement agreements. Furthermore mistrust, which is often greater in virtual spaces, can hinder its efficiency.
Voting’s disadvantage is to not allow the constructive work of the participants, nor to do qualitative improvements or take responsibility, but it allows a greater numbers participating than any other method, and results are clear and unambiguous. Also, they can be called by different subjects in accordance with the corresponding methodological agreements.
None of the three tools could face this challenge by itself, but the three together and can do the job if well employed!
2. General overview about decisions that can be done in FairCoop
- General Branch: Makes decisions about the overall functioning of 2017.fair.coop.
- Economic branch: Makes decisions on the various economic tools and operation of this system.
- Extension Branch: Coordinates and organizes the networking and supports local nodes.
3. Decisions to be made in the Council
- Decisions about people/collectives/nodes that will manage tasks/projects related the 2017.fair.coop ecosystem priorities.
- Decisions about projects that are to be presented to the Ecosystemic Council if they are already part of the faircoop priorities:
- Check if the project is matching the criteria of FairCoop.
- How many FairCoins are going to be donated to each project.
- For how long projects have to be saving the donations before they can use them.
- Agreements with strategical external partners that will help with the faircoin/faircoop ecosystem.
- Other kind of diverse decisions that the council members appreciate as urgent.
4. Decisions to be made between the council and the fairnetwork
Defining the objectives of the council (including proposals of tasks or projects that need to be developed in order to achieve these goals).
Decisions about the funds donated to the Ecosystemic Council:
- What are the concrete goals that these donated FairCoins have to cover.
- What is the process for taking decisions about this Fund (process for accepting projects and for defining expenses).
- Defining the criteria for accepting projects: projects with greater impact will be prioritized (defining what’s understood by “greater impact”).
- How is this Fund managed.
5. Decisions to be taken in the Fairnetwork
Topics that are:
- Public enough to be discussed in an open forum.
- Easy enough to generate a consensus in a fourm.
- Especially topics that do not affect all the 2017.fair.coop, and therefore don’t need the participation of everybody but only people interested in the topic.
6. Decisions to be done by the voting system
Most of the previous topics, if there are not consensus inside the council or between the fairnetwork members. Ever if there are time enough.
The most strategic decisions about the future of Fair Coop.
The election of the council members.
Proposals that don’t have support of the Council if they have at least a support of 10% of the 2017.fair.coop full members (extended in point 9).
Related to the methodology of voting:
- If there is a majority of more than 75% no blocking is possible.
- If there is a majority between 60 and 75% the council can block the proposal if has a consensus, only arguing that their block is key for the Fair coop future.
- If there is a majority of less than 60% there are two ways:
- If it is an important decision, the debate needs to continue in order to create a bigger majority.
- If it is not so important, the decision can be made.
7. About the methodology to choose members of the council
The Ecosystemic council is formed by between 6 and 10 members, that are chosen by all the faircoop members once a year.
The process will be like this:
- Two months before the date of election the current council will call for new candidates.
- Between 2 and 1 months before the elections the candidates will present themselves individually.
- Between 1 months and two weeks before elections, the candidates will be published and shared, and all the members will be able to ask them anything.
At the moment of the vote every faircoop member will be able to vote 6 members and the 6 highest voted will immediately become council members.
The chosen council member will be able to choose up to 4 more members, whether they are candidates or not, if they consider that this will useful for their work.
Otherwise a council member only can be part of this council a maximum of three years.
8. About council methods and transparency.
The ecosystemic council is based on periodic meetings within the period that decide but is meeting at least once a month.
The council could have an internal discussion space, but must to have also public spaces through the Fairnetwork. The council must promote and prioritise public spaces and discussions whenever possible.
Specifically, also the council is responsible for:
- Publishing the notes of their meetings periodically in the ecosystemic community.
- Publishing with the help of economic management commission, the accounts of the faircoop ecosystem at least once every two months.
- Ensure that topics that are going to be voted, are provided with all the necessary resources and are disseminated in enough time.
9. About the ways in which FairCoop members can be active:
Proposing discussions and participating in the network:
Anyone is free to join the open discussions in the Fairnetwork forums and of be part of the discussions started by others. This is the most qualitative way of political participation in faircoop and whenever possible will be promoted by the FairCoop councils.
Being part of comissions, working groups, local nodes, projects:
Anyone is free to be involved in any commission or working group part of the faircoop. Also everyone is free to be part of a local node. These groups are open, because Faircoop is an open cooperative, and must remain like this.
Likewise for participation to be continuous and avoid any position with community support from being silenced; at any time a group of members will be able to gather support for a voting proposal on FairNetwork and if they get enough support they will be able to call a vote.
This minimum number is by default 10%.
This post is also available in: Spanish
This post is also available in: Spanish