[Noisebridge-discuss] Please Note: Bureaucracy Changes Reverted

Adrian Chadd adrian.chadd at gmail.com
Sat Mar 29 01:50:59 UTC 2014

I believe the TL;DR version of this is "they are already trying to do this."


On 28 March 2014 18:45, Matthew Senate <mattsenate at gmail.com> wrote:
> Have the members of the board considered simply being active members rather
> than active board members?
> The nature of do-ocracy is to pre-process, create parallel threads,
> reduce/filter/harmonize, come back in to the wider collective, publish early
> and often, stay transparent, get feedback, improve, and collaborate with
> other individuals, clusters, groups, and through this process engage the
> whole community. Why not simply participate, horizontally, with everyone
> else? Or at the very least, if you want an "active" group, to decouple it
> from the authority of the corporation's Board of Directors?
> For instance, your task as any "active" group could be to isolate concrete
> and discrete issues that Noisebridge currently has, so that relevant and
> effective remedies can begin to be articulated. Why not make a list and
> publish it to all, ask for and let folks incorporate feedback? Maybe an item
> on that list would be "decision-making" and I'd love to see what precise
> issues exist in that regard.
> Unless your actions as a board limit your own power, or distribute power
> among more people, then otherwise, to be an "active board" is to be
> hierarchical. There is no way around that.
> To be "active members" you have my sincerest, deepest respect and
> admiration.
> // Matt
> On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 6:02 PM, Scotty Allen <scotty at scottyallen.com>
> wrote:
>> Madelynn, I wanted to thank you, and the rest of the board, both for
>> all the hard work and energy you're putting into trying to restore NB
>> to it's former glory through a more active board, but also for the
>> integrity you've shown in reverting this first attempt at changing
>> some fundamental things about how Noisebridge functions.
>> I'm a south bay hacker who has a dear love for noisebridge but mostly
>> watches from the sidelines due not having the time to drive up to SF
>> often enough.  I wish Hackerdojo displayed the vibrancy and energy for
>> hardware and non-startup hacking that NB does.
>> That being said, I wanted to give a bit of constructive advice, which
>> you and the rest of the board very well might have already figured out
>> from your initial efforts: please communicate with the broader
>> community more, particularly the _why_ in addition to the what.
>> From my perspective, it took me a while reading the github documents
>> to even figure out what you had changed, and it certainly wasn't
>> immediately clear what your motives were for specific changes.  My
>> guess is that this led to a lot of speculation, even though I think
>> you and the other board members had the utmost of good intentions.
>> I think it would be great if you could find a balance between your new
>> active role in making some sorely needed changes, and communicating
>> those effectively in advance with the membership and broader
>> community.  I'm not saying don't make the changes you're making - just
>> move a little bit slower and spend more effort to get broader buy-in
>> about what you're doing, through explaining the reasons, motivations,
>> and thought process.
>> Those of us waiting and watching from the sidelines would love to come
>> back and be more involved in NB when it's a bit safer/less sketchy
>> physical place to be where other hackers are actually hacking.
>> With great love and respect for NB and it's community,
>> Scotty
>> On Fri, Mar 28, 2014 at 5:15 PM, Madelynn Martiniere
>> <mmartiniere at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > The board of directors has reverted the changes to /bureaucracy until
>> > further discussion with the greater Noisebridge can be had. Policies to
>> > add
>> > required discussion periods are also in motion within the board to make
>> > sure
>> > that incidents like this do not occur again. Given the gravity of this
>> > decision, this is a one-time exception, not a precedent.
>> >
>> > I believe Naomi put it best in a previous post to the list:
>> >
>> > "This "active board" thing is in its infancy.  We only just decided at
>> > the
>> > ONE meeting we have had so far, what the rules of engagement and proper
>> > process were.
>> >
>> > Were we supposed to have gotten it right on the first try?  No.
>> >
>> > Could I have imagined that the insanity that transpired this first week
>> > would ever take place?  Hell no."
>> >
>> > The decision to have the board take an active role I think is a pivotal
>> > one
>> > in improving some the issues that Noisebridge has been facing
>> > increasingly
>> > over the years. But neither I, nor the rest of the board, have any
>> > intention
>> > of disempowering the membership, turning Noisebridge into a
>> > dictatorship, or
>> > any of the language I have heard used over the last few days. We want to
>> > be
>> > in service to the membership, not to rule over it.
>> >
>> > My offer to have a productive dialogue with anyone who has feedback on
>> > this
>> > process still stands.
>> >
>> > Cheers,
>> > Madelynn
>> >
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