6 May 2011 minutes
DATE Friday 6th May 2011
LOCATION Royal Festival Hall
THOSE PRESENT:Metod, Karem, Charlotte Sharon, Phil, Cinzia, Marsha
Item 1: ACTION, REPORT FROM EL RANCHITO AND INTERMEDIAE, LATITUDE FESTIVAL
To discuss: Next Huntorama trial: To propose 3rd trial Huntorama – Actions in London sometime around late May / June, but before the summer. What needs to be done? Who wants to imagine and put together the Action List?
Metod to report back from Neil's meetings with El Ranchito and Intermediae.Is the Latitude Festival invitation still a relevant activity we should engage with? Are there any pros or interest among the group?
Summarizing past e-mails, we confirm that Latitude doesn't seem the right thing to take part in for CP right now.
Metod reports from a meeting Neil had in Madrid: They love the idea of the Hunt (it meets the Matadero's four main objectives), and they have in mind ways of including local constituencies. The proposal needs to be made sharper and clearer - it needs to include different possible scales: how would it work for 20, 100 or 500 people; possible dates; and an itemized budget. It needs to be ready for June (we are not sure when) for a big meeting where final decisions about projects will be made. They think they can source additional funding. CP has already been included in El Ranchito's publicity as 'residents'.
3rd trial Huntorama: to develop the project, we should focus on what we, as CP, value. We decide to take on Marsha's suggestion of concentrating on actions, instead of things. We'll be working on ethics, instead of themes. Marsha reminds us that the starting points of the Hunt are that it's FREE, COLLECTIVE, OPEN, FUN, and it intensifies your experience of your own environment. Marsha's experienced the last trial as COLLECTIVE ECSTASY. Cinzia links the experience with CP's Song Writing workshop. Marsha underlines the value of movement and being embodied, and how we should try to keep this flowing in the phase of 'curating' what is brought back at the end of the Hunt - DO NOT FREEZE! we want to come together in energy and movement.
Action1: Madrid Hunt proposal to be 'improved' - we did not decide who will do this and by when.
Action2: Phil, Cinzia, Charlotte and Sharon will meet on Tuesday 10th May to develop a list of actions for the next Hunt trial and suggest a date.
Item 2; REVIVING SELF-ORGANIZATION
To discuss: See Marsha's Open letter, and the following rolling discussion
Nobody seems to have any questions about Marsha's open letter. We all feel that she has started a good process.
Sharon feels that she is still learning about CP. We need a forum to voice 'things'.
Karem feels that some don't have the capacity to confront others they disagree with. This could be one reason why some leave CP. It's more economical to leave than to disagree.
Marsha feels that this happens when people feel that they can't change their context. She thinks this is very negative. She mentions that there are multiple WEs operating at the same time.
Charlotte says that some premises of CP can be intimidating if you are not 'initiated'. Also, there are multiple social conventions in play and some go against what we need to do to keep CP functioning, i.e. editing a wiki entry by someone else.
Cinzia loves the fact that in CP we are not all bound to the same ideology, but we can think differently and still work together on the basis of shared values.
Sharon thinks that this is a good time to revisit the Open Organization workshops, since there are 4 new members.
Marsha thinks that there should be acknowledged ways for new and old members to voice if they feel uncomfortable about something and to 'absorb the trauma of having spoken out'.
Metod feels that there is an issue of status.
Sharon admits feeling daunted but realises that she is learning about Open Organisation and CP and that she can sit with her discomfort.
Marsha thinks that it take a particular personality to be able to do this, and that CP pre-selects members on this basis because of how we function together. Assumptions are made about what CP is, and this is cause of discomfort for some. Something about multiple perspectives ...
Cinzia observes that we are talking about CP as if it were an entity outside of us. We should visit how we perceive this, and the different motivations for being part of CP - and how these shape CP itself.
Metod and Marsha talk about common aims, creating and having things in common.
Marsha thinks we could revive the Elevator Pitch.
Karem feels that there is an element of mysterious magic and we are afraid that if we say too clearly what CP is, it might disappear.
Marsha states that the elephant in the room is power.
Cinzia reminds that power comes in different forms and dynamics. The Open Organization guidelines have been written to foster good practice and balance these dynamics out.
Referring to a point raised in workshop 1, Charlotte asks whether there is a perceived difference between what CP is and what it does. If we focus too much on the structure might we eclipse the projects?
Marsha agrees, but reminds us that CP's reason for existing is to operate differently. CP is about shared knowledge. She feels that lately these reasons are not embodied in our projects anymore. Urgency takes over. We need to strive for a better balance.
We discuss at what price we get things done, how the exception becomes the norm, feeling the responsibility of getting things done, and that doing things last minute means that the last and the loudest contributions go through. This is against CP's ethics. We need to find ways of managing better these difficulties, because they seem to be here to stay.
We discuss some more. Marsha compares CP with the Precarious Workers Brigade: they are militant! All members are there at all meetings.
Cinzia suggests that we need to find practical solutions. Talking is good but at some point we need to do something practical. She proposes that if we decide to have seasonal meetings, these could take a workshop format. 3 CP members could take an hour each to work on an activity with the rest of the group that addresses a particular issue that resonates with them. These activities would be useful in finding solutions to the problems that we are facing. The final hour could be used to round up the session and bring everything together. We all like the idea of seasonal meetings. We decide to dedicate 4 hours every 3 months to 'taking care' of CP. We realise that is it difficult to co-ordinate everyone's schedule. We settle on 17th May (TBC) (has been circulated on e-mail in advance). We will meet for food at 5.30pm and work together 6.30-10.30pm. In tune with Cinzia's proposal, we decide to plan 3 practical activities focused on some of the ongoing difficulties. Marsha and Kuba will co-facilitate the first hour and Cinzia the second. For the third hour we want to do/make things/events/other that embody CP's Aims and Objectives. The last hour is for bringing things together.
Marsha offers to hold the session at her flat (Thank you Marsha!) (ALL THIS IS TO BE CONFIRMED WITH ABSENT MEMBERS)).
Action 1: 17/5 (TBC): Marsha and Kuba will co-lead the first hour.
Action 2: 17/5 (TBC): Cinzia will share her Balance Sheet and do something about motivations.Action 3: 17/5 (TBC): Everyone to re-read Aims and Objectives.
Item 3; STRATEGIES AND WORKSHOPS
To discuss: Cinzia's proposal of suggesting ways to counter our organizational difficulties through practical solutions. It might be useful to check the Open Organizations' website in advance
This item merged with the previous discussion.
Item 4: UPDATE ON THE ARTHUR ZMIJEWSKI / BERLIN BIENNIAL
To discuss: Marsha to report if there is anything to report.
There isn't anything to report. We are still waiting.
Item 5: Kuba's terrific invitation to Poland, Terry Smith's Free School in Oxford
Metod suggests that we could use CP's leftover budget to fund the trip to Poland, although not many people seem to have time to go.
Marsha reminds us about The commitment with the Free School on 13th-14th August.
Action1: Sharon offers to compile availability when we are exchanging e-mails about arranging a meeting.