Fractal Working Group
current version: 0.0.1-uberalpha
The "FractalWorkingGroup" is NOT a group; it is a "factory method" for a group.
The FractalWorkingGroup factory method serves the following purposes:
- to establish a basis of functionality that makes it easy for new groups to spin up (and fade away);
- for members to find productive engagement in the Noisebridge community;
- to allow Noisebridge as an entity to adjust rapidly to changes both internal and external;
- to help groups -- and therefore Noisebridge -- live long and prosper.
Based upon the mathematical concept of a fractal, the Noisebridge "Fractal Working Group" concept entails the following:
- a group can begin with an individual or group of individuals at any time, for any reason.
- groups may change their style of decision-making to whatever the members of the group would like. Full consensus should be considered the "default setting". The purpose is to encourage experimentation in social structures (policy, governance, size, attention to documentation, etc.)
- groups should use the lessons learned from operation to make proposals and recommendations to the Noisebridge General Meeting.
- groups should do-ocratically make most decisions themselves without seeking permission at the NB General Meeting.
- groups should bring potentially controversial decisions to the NB General Meeting, keeping in mind that actions may impact more than just the group itself.
- groups should seek in all respects of operation to uphold the Noisebridge_Vision.
- groups should strive to choose communications medium/media that preserve history, so that Noisebridge as an organism can best analyze successes and mistakes. See below.
- any NB member* may join, observe, or send suggestions to any group. (*"member" means any Board Member, Member, or Associate Member, and any other formally approved NB participant)
- any NB non-member may participate in a group with the sponsorship of one formally recognized NB "member" as defined above.
- groups should declare and practice a "continuation strategy" (except in the case of a deliberately time-limited group). See below.
Groups need to communicate well to work well. Groups that communicate badly fall apart quickly.
Mailing list options:
- New or temporary groups are welcome to start a discussion on noisebridge-discuss and coordinate there. (It is quite Excellent to talk about projects at the space on the list.)
- Groups expecting to be long-term, primary groups -- or groups with too high a signal/noise ratio when they operate on noisebridge-discuss -- should request a mailing list from Rack.
- Make a new "channel" in https://noisebridge.slack.com (if you don't yet have a Slack account, ask User:Nthmost or User:daravinne for an invite).
At Noisebridge, people come and go. Involvement waxes and wanes. This is expected. The group should continue to do good work.
Pick at least 2 continuation strategies from the list below:
- offer free training in technical skills to encourage participation from newbies.
- bring successes, discussions, and solicitations for feedback to the NB General Meeting on a regular basis.
- actively seek out new members as needed/desired both from inside and outside Noisebridge.
- announce at meetings or in mailing lists that the group will disband if new members/leadership don't step up.
Keep in mind:
- be wary of growing large too quickly, before you've had a chance to settle into a method of communication.
- don't be afraid to spin off a new group, perhaps a specialist group, if your group feels unwieldy.
- expect (don't be surprised) that people will come and go. design your group with that in mind.
Notes and Further Recommendations
- Groups should have meetings and take meeting notes, much like the Noisebridge General Meeting.
- Groups should have a wiki page linked below, to make sure people can find out about the groups and what they're about.
- When the list is long enough, we'll make a separate WG wiki page listing all existing groups, each linked to the group's individual page.
- Some groups require (yes, require) technical or other skills and expertise. (e.g. managing the LAN.) Care should be taken to encourage skillful participation without becoming exclusionary. Responsibilities shared by few are a liability, and cause Noisebridge as an organization to be fragile.