A number of conversations have been going on regarding the creation of an organisation ( aka community with a legal structure ) to facilitate the work of Edgeryders and the future development of the Edgeryders platform. What a few of us (Darren, Ksenia, Noemi) want to propose here is the creation of a not-for-profit organisation to facilitate the collaborative projects of Edgeryders, helping us to working together effectively.
A organisation with a legal identity would-
- be able to attract more funding than one without.
- have greater legitimacy in all kinds of interactions and negotiations, (in this respect it would also benefit from having a good relationship with the Council of Europe and be able to use this social currency as leverage to promote its work)
An organisation has a set of aims and objectives which act to clearly (and legally) define what it is all about to anyone who is interested. This provides a level of clarity when engaging with others (particularly important for funders)
As an organisation, Edgeryders would act as a link between opportunities and community projects,providing a platform for its members to promote their own initiatives, and implement them at local, regional , national or international levels.
There is a particular interest in having a legal entity to use for organising Edgeryder ‘branded’ events. It may also give greater legitimacy to the distributed think tank function of Edgeryders.
Funding could be pursued to-
- pay for the functioning of the organisation (maintaining the website, organising events etc.)
- distribute to Edgeryders: is this a necessary, or desirable function or does it cause problems creating one more step between projects and funds? Would it be better for each project to seek its own funds?
- Social incubators are being offered funding to redistribute to projects. Other large funding streams work in a similar fashion - funding trusted organisations who redistribute funds. Can/should Edgeryders seek to perform such a function?
- Previous Edgeryder discussions about funding are here
- Are there other ways funds can be gained or channelled that make this effort unnecessary?
- Are there other ways we could organise activities without being tied to a legal identity?
- What would be a good time scale to get something registered?
- A tentative timeline would be to collect input from the community by end of August/ or September because summer's slow? and then move on to get things done: either testing this vision, or start crowdsourcing to register ER; And have a formal organization with mission, objectives, by the end of 2012
- Who should the organisation support? Support already existing initiatives, organisations etc and connect them with institutions,problems and funders? Some sort of a network optimisation thing.
- How about status issues? Who is a member of ER organisation, who isn't (officially we are over 1000 on the platform, but 200 active at most)? Are we in favour of membership fees?
- Who will do the work of registering the organization? Obviously this will depend on where we are registering it..but intentions should be signalled from now :)
- Who will do the work of keeping the organization going? Legally speaking, we would need a board or some sort of official representatives, depending on our status. Practically we probably wouldn't want it to translate into hierarchy or decision-making power, or paid work which is not approved on a democratic basis.
- What legal structure should we use? Some kind of non profit would appear appropriate. Different countries have different rules and types of legal entity - each may have benefits or restrictions. Please comment on this with specific info from your own country.
- Would it be best to register in a country with a big concentration of ERs who want to get involved?
- How can we cover costs to register the organisation? Do we go for crowdfunding online? (check this one startsomegood.com )
How will decisions be made? Can we create an effective system of open governance? This is a super important question and needs to be clarified before taking any real action.
WHAT KIND OF ORGANIZATION DO WE WANT?
- How will tasks, selection and assignment be organised?
- Should we prototype it before registering formally? We could first try with a small fund for informal communities (K had some ideas about this..).
- Partner organizations? is this too early to bring to the discussion?