[hackerspaces] RANT!: SO VERY frustrated with lack of local activity :( Warning: some negative energy present - sorry

Mars Saxman mars at redecho.org
Sat Nov 26 19:20:31 CET 2011

On Nov 26, 2011, at 6:58 AM, B F wrote:

> I'm a founding member of a crafts group
> and wrote the bylaws for it (which, unfortunately, are rather
> inapplicable to a makerspace).  These bylaws essentially set up a club
> within a club.   

The bylaws may not be applicable but the organization sounds a lot like what we are doing here at Air Light Time & Space. We have an "inner club" we call "the board" or "the LLC", which bears financial responsibility for the space and makes legal decisions. This group has no defined officer roles and manages itself via consensus. Then there is an "outer club" consisting of all the regular dues-paying members, who get a key and the use of tools and facilities, and agree to follow the shop rules. We don't pretend that this is a democratic system, but of course the board is very keen on keeping the space full of happy, dues-paying members, so in practice we pay close attention to what the general membership wants.  

We started organizing a year ago and opened our space in February, so we are still quite a young organization, but we like this management style so far. Things get done, the do-ers are basically in charge, and we don't waste a lot of time on process. It's great to hear from your craft group's experience that this style of organization can succeed long-term. One thing I realize from what you've described is that the ALT&S board is probably too small. It hasn't been a problem yet but over the long term we should probably make more of an effort to look out for particularly active, enthusiastic, self-starting members and recruit them onto the board.


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