"FractalWorkingGroup" is both a group and a concept. The members of the FractalWorkingGroup are working to develop and improve the abstract concept of Noisebridge working groups. The Fractal group serve 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.
"work in progress -- please edit as you see fit!"
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 Mission Statement.
- 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, Council Member, Associate Member, and any other formally approved NB participant)
- groups should declare and practice a "continuation strategy" (except in the case of a deliberately time-limited group). See below.
Mailing list options:
- new or temporary groups can begin email discussion by creating a TOPIC on the Members email list (NOT Discuss). http://www.list.org/mailman-member/node29.html (note: this has yet to be set up)
- Groups expecting to be long-term, primary groups should request a mailing list from Rack.
- We have a group at https://noisebridge.slack.com -- ask User:Nthmost or User:daravinne for an invite (that's the only way it can work, unfortunately).
- Create a "room" for your group. Working Groups have the convention of #name-wg (with any number of words in $name)
- 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.
- announce at meetings or in mailing lists that the group will disband if new members/leadership don't step up.
- 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.
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. (Eg, managing the NB wifi.) 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.