Committee vs community meetings and Here Comes Adam's Two Cents because people keep encouraging me

There is a committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow night as is typical of the forth Tuesday of each month. The designation of committee members vs non-committee members has always been a bit of a problem for me. It feels like there’s an expectation non-committee members are discouraged from having input on the direction the association takes and on formal decision making. The flipside to this is that it also feels like the committee is required to be the direction setting and formal decision making apparatus. To some degree that’s true by virtue of the positions we have nominated for and the formal structure and reporting requirements of being an Incorporated Association.

I feel like this is not optimal for the kind of community that I feel MHV is aspiring to be, or at least the kind that I want MHV to be aspiring to. A lot of cool ideas don’t get progressed because the expectation of who is going to manage, approve or work them ends up falling on the shoulders of a few. With sufficient transparency, any member has the authority to manage, approve and work on projects which improve the space and the community. I’m seeing more of these things starting to happen which is great. There’s renewed interest in getting the laser-cutter going. Stephen’s robot sessions have been great. There have been some more focus sessions. I’d like to see more of this happening and more of the community getting excited and participating or at least spurring on the folks who doing those things because the return on effort is lower than we’d like.

I feel like having “Committee Meetings” is not the way for this rag tag group of hackers to keep things alive. The committee has always worked on a ‘get as close to consensus as possible before making any decision’ model (the one time we pushed this is arguably the time we got something properly wrong). I’d like to see more of the people who engage in the space taking part in the discussions on where to go and what to do. I’d like to change to “Community Meetings” and have everyone bring their ideas, their support, their progress reports and their effort to the group. The Committee would still be the final authority on spending association money and would still be responsible for maintaining our legal obligations & paying our accounts, but the rest of the authority and responsibility would be more formally distributed among the members.

How this would shake out, I’m not sure. I think having more regular round table discussions about what everyone is doing in and around the space is the first thing to try. Some mix of the old maker meetup format and the old committee meeting format. I have some ideas that I’d like to flesh out round the table downstairs tomorrow night. Something along the lines of an informal moderated discussion.

Who’s going to come along and be a part of this?


I’ll be there :smile:

Perhaps a shared meal, and some homebrew is also in the spirit of the meeting?

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Absolutely yes.

I will be there and am happy to contribute in the spirit Adam suggests.

I’ll be there! All your suggestions sound great Adam.

+1 to all, good idea, I’ll be there!

Sounds like a great idea Adam, thanks for taking the time to write about it.

I’ll be there.

+1 from me too.

I’ll be there.