Updates on the governance design process

Hello! This post is a short recap / key info page on the work that the Governance Task Force has taken on since September of proposing an update the the governance of the IOP Alliance.

The overall process is described here. In a nutshell:

  • We are looking at governance of the IOPA in 2 phases. First (1) we look at two elements: membership and decision-making. Then 2: that membership, with this decision making structure, as defined in phase (1), will look at other elements, such as relations with the different entities that the IOPA operates through/sets-up. We call these elements “secondary elements”, not because they are secondary in nature, but secondary in chronology.
  • Chicken/egg: How do we decide on decision making ??!! Where we are heading as this current task force: a proposal on membership and decision making, to submit for approval according to the present and the future:
    – the current decision making structure
    – the decision making structure that would exist if the proposal is approved
  • Anyone can join the task force. Introduce yourself here!

Where is the work at?

We are currently in the “High-level concepts” phase. The community feedback phase was launched on April 20th during this call. This miro board was used to present an overview of these proposals.

You can read the notes for the previous meetings on the rolling agenda/notepad, though I would suggest heading first to the miro board, on which we have been capturing and grouping the elements that we are working on
(i.e: workstream 1: decision making, workstream 2: membership, workstream 3: foundational documents).

A short update on each workstream:
Workstream 1: Decision-making:
We abstracted from the way the IOPA is currently structured, and identified where the need for decision-making happens, from which a list of governance “bodies” emerged. We are now looking a their roles/responsibilities/mandate source. If you have suggestions, join, the next call or add it in this thread
Workstream 2: Membership:
Angles we are exploring: why a membership, why be a member, and what does membership look like in networks that we are inspired by. If you have suggestions, join, the next call or add it in this thread
Workstream 3: Foundational documents:
We are writing a code of conduct.
We are also at the very beginning of drafting a charter: all inputs are welcome in this thread.

Gratitude: Task force members, thank you for your time and brain power! Also, this process is supported by the digital infrastructures incubator of Code for Science and Society and the Sloan Foundation.

Hello! Some updates and next dates for the work on the governance design process.

On May 20th, a call with members of the IOPA council and other community participants presented high level propositions on the membership structure and decision making structure. The objective was to gather feedback, get a feel for how much buy-in there is for these proposals, hear questions, discuss them.

The proposals are presented on this miro board: High level proposals review IOPA governance

Some key elements are:

Membership structure:
For the membership structure, the high level proposals discussed were that:

  • Anyone can be a participant/contributor to the IOPA, as long as they respect the Code of Conduct
  • Membership would come from signing a document showing alignment with the purpose of the IOPA, and pledging to contribute to it (a constitution/charter of some kind)
  • We would like to look into a tiered membership model for organisations

Discussion points included: the complexity of navigating a network of participants and members that are part of many organisations, and have varied levels of time available to participate.

Decision-making structure:
For the decision-making structure, the high level proposals discussed were:

  • Members vote for representatives, who may then take decisions within boundaries
  • Boundaries are defined in the CONSTITUTION, which is owned by all members (and can only be changed with their approval)
  • Path to raise major issues back to full membership - can also be activated by membership (e.g. 25% of membership can force a vote on an issue)

In the Alliance, two main bodies of decision-making would be:

  • A community council
  • A tech committee
    In addition, specific committees could be set-up, on a needs basis.

At the initiative level, working groups would have their own charter defining their own governance and decision making models.

Discussion points included:

  • Equity vs. equality: that with a diverse membership, we would need to look at creating an equitable decision-making/voting structure.
  • The order between the two governing bodies (tech committee and community council), and which should have prominence on the other if any.

The next opportunities for live discussion on the proposals will take place here (jitsi link), on Thursday 11th of May, 09:00 UTC and Thursday 25th of May, 17:00 UTC - if these timeslots do not work for you, do reach out to me directly and we can schedule another time.

Hello :wave:t4:

Bringing your attention to this growing thread over in Consolidated Community Announcements channel, as it has landed in the area of governance, by way of the Code for Science & Society project work that @BarbaraSchack and I are undertaking:

Collaborative Panel at IASC: The Open Source Hardware Commons - Resources and Follow-Up

Feedback and questions most welcomed.