[hackerspaces] Maker community principles

Ben Brown ben at generik.ca
Wed Sep 25 17:29:12 CEST 2013

Yikes. Do you actually have that many members show up for a board 
meeting? Do you hold separate general member meetings for all the 
pertinent stuff separately or do you cram it all into those?

We welcome members (and occasionally, the public) to sit in on board 
meetings, but usually only a handful attend (we have about 55 members 
including the 7 on the board). Openness and transparency is important to 
us as well, so long as member's privacy isn't violated. Because of that, 
we don't normally name members who are behind on dues unless there's a 
suspension on the table (which would be announced publicly anyway), for 

If your concern is members are being left out because of physical space 
constraints, what about streaming your meetings online via webcam and 
using IRC to conduct business with remote participants? If there are 
times that meetings need to be face-to-face (depending on your bylaws), 
limit the frequency of them and try and find a larger space to use for 

Chaotic meetings can be smoothed out by a powerful meeting chair. 
However, controlling a meeting of 180+ attendees would be a massive 
undertaking for anyone.

Ben (Kwartzlab Makerspace)

On 9/25/2013 11:11 AM, Randall G. Arnold wrote:
> Greetings all,
> A little over a year ago I got the ball rolling on a Maker community 
> for my area.  As we've grown and developed guidance and governance (we 
> have established a nonprofit foundation for Makerspace facilitation, 
> managed by a board of around 12) we've run into the usual potholes and 
> fences.  Unfortunately the sticky ones are personal and political.
> In particular, my philosophy is to start every endeavor, every Board 
> meeting with the *default* attribute of openness/transparency and only 
> restrict general member attendance when absolutely necessary 
> (security, venue limitations, etc).  Caveat being that attendance != 
> participation.  It's a given that you can't cram 170 general members 
> into a 12 ft x 12 ft room, nor should Board meetings be spectacles.  
> But when assemblies are restricted for whatever reason, it's my belief 
> that proceedings be made fully available to the general membership.
> However I've been met with some resistance on the very subject of 
> openness.  Based on some push back, I feel out of place in the very 
> organization I started.  After years of involvement in open source 
> communities, I have strong feelings on the subject but I'm willing to 
> listen to opinions from all directions.
> What I'd like to ask everyone on this list is: what are YOUR thoughts 
> on this topic?  And can anyone point me toward policy that supports or 
> even argues against my beliefs?
> Thanks,
> Randall (Randy) Arnold
> founder/director, Tarrant Makers
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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