Guild organization and consistency

I’d like to discuss organization principles here and more broadly touch on what/how guilds should strive to achieve consistent organizational practices. I shall create a detailed post later with some of my initial thoughts, but please use this as a jumping off point!


Some history of meta-organization at Noisebridge…

Before Guilds, there was the"Fractal Working Group" concept, which a small group of us came up with pre-Reboot around 2014. The idea was to give people a “factory method” for generating a working group.

The word “Working Group” emerged out of those early conversations as our terminology of choice for the special-interest committees that formed around immediate concerns. Examples:

  • Safe Space working group (began post-Reboot 2014)
  • Kitchen working group (we got rid of the kitchen during the Reboot tho)
  • Fundraising working group (began late 2017 / early 2018)

I think it’s worthwhile to talk about the deficiencies of the “working group” model as we work to make the Guild model successful.

  1. Working groups did not have consistent methods of accountability. So people outside those groups had to follow byzantine routes to get access to documents, records, emails, etc.
  2. Working groups were often indistinguishable from cabals. Some groups operated private channels on Slack, sometimes for good reasons (e.g. in serious AHP cases, the protection of the accused from further smearing and protection of the victim from victim-blaming until we could figure out exactly wtf was going on). People became paranoid about these groups as not being transparent or fair, which was also a fair criticism. The Safe Space Working group, for example, became obsessed with “red flags”, a few of which, imho, were just classist and racist dogwhistles.
  3. Working groups did not have a built-in ethos of knowledge transfer. “Teach and Learn” should have been a principle of those groups, but it seemed not to be. When these groups died off, valuable institutional knowledge died with them.
  4. Working groups had no support from the culture of Noisebridge in terms of growing the sizes of these groups. Work all fell on the few who started these groups, naturally leading to burnout and the ultimate demise of these groups.
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Morning @Mark, you made a wonderful point in the meeting about needing to work together as guilds. I’d like to continue the conversation. What are your suggestions?

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For anyone reading this:
I think this conversation will be continued in various places, not necessarily this thread specifically. It has quickly gotten somewhat complex.

A prototype guild Charter has been posted in its own thread for discussion.

There will also be a ‘Guild Guidelines’ collaborative document thread.

And seemingly, somewhat frequent meetings will start taking place, with their own threads here so we can comment on points made.