Exceptional SOM: Constituent Assembly of the Decidim Association
Fundació Ferrer i Guàrdia
In this assembly, the statutes of the new Decidim Association will be approved, after voting on some amendments if necessary. The general guidelines of the Internal Regulations and of the members of the Coordination Committee will also be approved, wich will be chosen provisionally to create the census of associates ans develop the aspects that have not yet been specified in the Regulations. Those who have previously checked in Verification Comitee will have the right to vote
The session begins at 11:12
Presentation of the session
It is recalled that in February 2016 the Decidim was put into operation and that it has been growing, creating a robust product. At this moment there are 80 instances of public administrations. Today we are referred to from NY and Mexico City. There are more than 30 active instances and more than 30 associations that want to make use of it.
At the beginning of the Decidim there were clear principles: the project had to follow a democratic process and the construction of the software should be free. The software design has also been democratic. Incompatible with a person deciding everything. We need a community, and therefore, from the beginning of the project we started working in this community, building the project beyond what could happen with the public administration and beyond what could happen in relation to changes at the political level. Democratic governance is basic and one of the results we expect from this process. The Decidim association should be a reference space where the software will be democratically decided and today we are gathered to materialize this process.
The participation of everyone is appreciated and the order of the day and the voting procedure that will be done solely and exclusively through the Metadecidim are explained. It is reported that the voting is already activated and that it will be possible to vote until 1:00 p.m.
Return of the Monitoring Committe.
It explains how the governance process has taken place. What is interesting is that this does not stop, that it does not stop now with the formalization of the Association. Many projects still remain to be defined, including the Internal Regulation and the ethical code.
We must incorporate more people and socialize the software and solve the problem of communication. It is a process that began during the Christmas holidays and has had an interesting participation.
The different phases that have been marked by the verification process are explained:
- 56 verified people.
- Proposals phase: 100-130 participants
- Drafting of bylaws and internal regulations.
- Proposal voting period.
- Return and preparation of the first drafts.
- Process of amendments to the Statutes and internal regulations.
- The elaboration of the internal regulation that must be specified later is pending.
- 24 amendments and 90 comments have been received that add value and enrich the debate. They have also been taken into account in the statutes and that is important because not only the amendments have been taken into account.
There is still work to finish consolidating the governance process.
The constituent assembly today, February 16, should serve to approve the bylaws and the Coordination Committee with the roadmap for the one-year forecast, so that by 2020 the association can function. There are 56 verified people and this number should be tripled for the regulation debate. We need more social base in the community.
Explanation of the result of the amendments to the Statutes:
- All amendments have been collected and incorporated, with the exception of some submitted after the deadline and some that were incompatible with another amendment made. A couple of amendments have been partially incorporated with the approval of the authors.
- The governing and advisory bodies are the ones that have generated the most controversy, as well as decision-making, and the sphere of action of the association because it must reflect the international will (a last modification has been made in this sense).
- The internal regulation is still to be defined, there have only been 4 amendments made and for that reason the Regulation process will be reopened, this one only for verified people.
- There is a need to establish a code of ethics to define possible incompatibilities to be a member of the decision-making bodies of the association.
- We currently have an organizational chart with which the internal regulations must be worked on, it is an image but not the definitive one, there are things to be specified.
- The committee has a specific roadmap for 1 year and a list with the proposal of members that is in the Meta to consult and vote.
A turn of words opens and the following contributions are made:
- Everything that is not in the bylaws should develop the internal regulations.
- It is necessary to define how the Code of Ethics should be developed. The confection must be with the internal regulation and that everyone can participate. The consultation participation module should be improved so that only the verified people in the process can vote.
The Coordination Committee is presented and the roadmap is explained
In February 2020 elections will be held to choose the Coordination Committee according to the Regulation that we will approve later, what is presented and voted on today is an interim committee for the duration of one year.
To be ethical and as transparent as possible, no one is proposed in the Coordination Committee of the developer companies or the professional team linked to any type of contracts.
The proposal of the members of the committee is:
• Vowels: Yaiza Blanch, from Som Energia, a reference in the cooperative world
• Alicia Mullor, facilitation expert
• Pablo Aragón, UOC and Eureca
• Antonio Calleja, researcher at the UOC. Decode Project
• Juan Linares, doctor in research and researcher at the UOC
• Silvia Luque, Francisco Ferrer Guardia Foundation, participant from the beginning
• Treasurer: Nuria Alonso, Collectic and accumulates knowledge of the Decidim in training topics
• Secretary: Bru Aguiló, sociologist trained in social and human rights
• President: Guillem Marpons, free software expert and with commitment to the project
Everyone is thanked for their commitment and it is emphasized that they will have the support of the organization.
Guillem Marpons explains the road map for this first year
4 stages are foreseen:
- April: it is planned to sign a framework agreement with the association, the Barcelona City Council and Localret. The City Councils may adhere through Localret.
- September-November (JAM'19): approval of the Internal Regulation, the code of ethics and a series of criteria and procedures to certify supplier companies. Some organs, councils and committees of the organization chart will also have to be implemented.
- From there, the verified partners with the established criteria can participate in the process.
- In February 2020: the voting and the election of the new Coordination Committee and the Committee of Democratic Guarantees are foreseen.
- Framework Agreement: other agreements and agreements may be derived to manage and advance the management of the association.
Turn of interventions
A debate begins on the convenience of the participation of the companies in the different decision-making bodies of the association.
This will be an important issue to be developed in the future through the process of participation in the preparation of the Internal Regulation, the Code of Ethics and the criteria for the certification of the Decidim companies. In any case, the goal of building a diverse ecosystem of companies, distributive that grows the productive fabric around the Decidim and free software is highlighted.
Dynamisation: How will the association influence the Decidim project?
The participatory workshop opens: How will the association influence the Decidim project?
In terms of: Extension, Development, Management, Community, Citizenship.
That is why 5 groups are made one for each area and the participants are asked to generate proposals.
Subsequently, they are also asked, which of the proposals intersect with other areas of work.
Summary of conclusions:
• Go to important conferences on democracy and technology.
• More presence in the networks and work well on the subject of communication.
• Open the Goal internationally, outside of Catalonia. Use English as the main language.
• Separate the story of decidim.barcelona and decidim.org.
• That companies offer an affordable decision.
• Improve documentation to facilitate extension. Make tutorial videos for the deployment of participatory processes.
• Identify existing networks of global cities.
• Enhance modularity "repository plugins".
• Quality technical documentation. Facilitate the technical level, a way to do it could be, personalizing but with a generic level, and ensure that technical measures facilitate customization.
• Ensure the installation and improvement of the software, which has a simple package without problems when updating.
• Technical measures to facilitate personalization.
• Figure of the product owrer that is at full time, to facilitate communication if there are doubts.
• Hire someone for management (contracts, accounts, etc.).
• Professional team (Decidim Team) and what will be its evolution. Currently they are people with links to contracts with other entities, it is possible that it will remain that way for a while and we are moving towards a hybrid model, to a greater autonomy of the association.
• Quantify what minimum resources are necessary for the operation of the association:
• How to scale these resources with the extension and growth of own resources? There are a number of professional profiles needed.
• How to finance us? Through an agreement, through assigning the budget of the different entities, the association can bill for services, subsidies, etc.
• The Association can invoice for its services (eg Som Energia).
4. Community, can the association strengthen the community?
• Caring for and pampering the community by improving:
• SOM: Periodic meeting of the association and community and managed by the association itself. Offer attractive talks at the SOMs.
• Traveling SOM? To help and grow the social base and the most involved citizens and also with the LABs.
• Reduce the periodicity, not a monthly one, but expand the time frame between them. Reduce the quantity and increase the quality.
• Metadecidim: Dynamize better to give a quick response and solve any doubts that may arise. Also strengthen the future work committees through the Goal.
• Communication: communication of everything and not only of the SOMs. Communication can be improved by involving entities and in their own communication. Involve twitter profiles of the community
• That all instances of the Decidim have a link with the Goal, hyperlink the goal space to all instances, so that more citizens can be involved and have more resources to increase the community and the association through citizenship.
• If you want to create community, you must create merchandasing as well.
• Assign a person to energize the community and the committees of the association. The bridge between the association and the community.
• Publicize active extensions and explain success stories.
• Publish case studies (scientific or press).
• Promote public discourse on the democratizing capacity of the platform.
• Need to reach other territories and bring the platform closer to initiatives of a collective nature and community perspective.
• Periodically disseminate the processes, public memory of communicative key and indicators.
• Overview of everything that is happening on the platform.
• Powerful product web, more generic web with all aspects.
• Tutorial videos and extend the presence in networks and be present continuously.
• Dissemination of Decidim.
• Link citizenship with the community and also management (budget).
• The goal is to know and use #decidim. To have an overview of the campaigns that will develop the processes of the Decidim to take advantage of and reuse the BBPP.
• Mapping of entities and organizations of the third sector that could be susceptible to use them. Prioritizing and being proactive in the contact and dissemination of the Decidim.
• Links with the community, extension, development, management and community, in the search for the responsibility of implementation of measures.
There is an open debate and new proposals are made:
• It is proposed that companies do not pay economic quotas but in development.
• Reach other profiles through communication, more gamberra and more attractive.
• The digital platform can be a brake on citizens who do not have an e-mail. In this sense we have to find more ways to hybridize online and face-to-face participation.
• We should bet on an itinerant SOM, there are determinants and conditions of participation and groups that do community work that could be nourished by the platform and the community. We must expand the horizons and go beyond the Fabra i Coats and the Eixample.
The results of the voting are reported:
- 19 votes in favor
- 3 blank votes
- 1 vote against
- 18 votes in favor
- 3 votes against
- 1 blank vote
The assembly is concluded and the foundation charter is signed.
You can find the report in the form of an act here: