Meeting Notes 2017 06 13
These are the notes from the The XXXth Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: June 13, 2017 Note-taker: John Shutt; Moderators: Mitch Altman.
Thomas Shutt Memorial Foundation is now a fiscally sponsored project by consensus, Asya and Scott became philanthropists, the Noisebridge 10th Anniversary Ball is coming up and we're going to figure out what that means.
TLDR what happened at the meeting:
Announcements 10th anniversary scavenger hunt, beginner's class on solar panels Tuesday at 2pm, Thursday 6:30 to 9:30 ManyLabs / Noisebridge Arduino projects at 7th and Folsom, Mitch is running Hacker Trip to China in October
Finances: $83,119.26 in the bank. ~$30,000 for Noisetor, $7,318.89 in equipment fund, $783.29 in the laser maintenance fund, $1,095 in Thomas’ memorial fund, the rest in general fund, which is a little under nine months regular expenses.
New members: Lee Azzarello read out for 1st week, Merlin read out for 2nd week
New philanthropists: Asya, Scott
Consensus Items: Thomas Shutt Memorial Foundation fiscal sponsorship
Mitch just got back from China, where 2K+ Hackerspaces have been created in the last year alone.
Mitch - cofounder 2007
John - helps with tracking finances
Vanessa - architect (missed the next description)
Scott - known for lasers and webcam blockers, and will spend more time working on code-based projects
Greg - watching us from the corner
Aleks - man of mystery
Alden - electronics engineer, brought a binary wristwatch he designed
Sydney - just moved here from east coast, fashion designer, maintained sewing machines at makerspace at MIT
Jonathan - does software professionally and likes people here, invited by Andy to help with 10th anniversary ball
Eliza - visiting drew, does code things and hardware things
Drew - likes distributed systems and communism
Moses - software developer, working on a startup
Asya - applying to be a philanthropist, sponsored by J
Daany - works on book scanners
Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to explain what Noisebridge is about
Noisebridge is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides a space for creation, collaboration, and learning about technology and creative projects. Noisebridge provides space, power tools, and infrastructure to help the public learn new skills and create cool things. Noisebridge continues to exist through and depends entirely on membership fees and donations. Our code of conduct is 'Be excellent to each other'."
Mitch: Noisebridge has no leaders. We're self-organizing. Everything at Noisebridge happens because of do-ocracy. People like *you* do it. If you need help and can get other people to help, you can make it happen. We have a culture built up over a period of 10 years. Part of the idea of this section of the meeting is to pass on that culture.
Short announcements and events
Jonathan: For 10th anniversary, working on a scavenger hunt that will get people to learn how to use different things at Noisebridge, talk to new people, and learn new things along the way.
Scott: Tomorrow at 2pm, will be teaching a class on the basics of solar panels. We'll be doing the quickest hack possible, which is using superglue to make connections to build something that can go up to over 5 volts and charge a AA battery. Most of the students will be 8 years old, but it's for all ages.
Alden: Got a federal grant to teach kids binary code, and they were rewarded with a binary watch when they could prove they could add binary numbers. [Walkthrough of how the watch works.]
Vanessa: We should talk about classes at Larkin Street.
Mitch: Wednesday 14-June 6:30 to 9:30 ManyLabs at 7th and Folsom, Arduino accessories that they bought and are not using. We are talking about joint ManyLabs / Noisebridge projects. "Grove Accessories." I'll be there and people from Noisebridge will be there to teach even people who know nothing about microcontrollers and Arduinos how to build them.
Mitch: Another thing -- every year I organize the Hacker Trip to China. I bring a group of people to China in October with a loose outline, things to see, places to go. We show up at a particular hotel in Hong Kong on Oct. 8 this year and bop around and get shown around by local geeks to hackerspaces, manufacturers, universities, schools, and bureaucrats. Anyone who wants to give presentations on projects or whatever can do so! This will be the 7th one.
Mitch: One more thing, we're going to have a 10th Anniversary Ball. We don't know what that means yet.
Moses: Announcement and a question. How do I get on Slack?
Mitch: We'll talk about that two sections on in the meeting.
Drew: Noisebridge is a social space. Part of the reason it exists is to meet other people. Everyone should feel comfortable and in control of their situation and interacting on their terms. To help facilitate that we have a safe space policy. We have one rule, be excellent to each other, and the safe space policy elaborates on how to be excellent. It outlines general expectations that everyone around you is comfortable and having a good time, and if someone is uncomfortable with your presence maybe you remove your presence from them. And if at any point you feel uncomfortable or unsafe in the space, or a danger to you or themselves or someone else, anyone in the space is empowered to ask anyone else to leave. If someone asks you to leave, even if you haven't done anything wrong, you have to respect that.
Mitch: We want everyone to feel welcome here and that this is a wonderful place for them to do the things they want to do here.
Drew: Congratulations! You're all participating in Noisebridge. We have members, but you don't have to be a member to do most of the things at Noisebridge. If you know something will be excellent and want to do-ocracy it, you can do it! If you're hanging out in the space a lot, people may empower you to get into the space with a Clipper card, a plastic token, or any RFID token, for daylight hours. If you hang out a lot more and want to take more responsibility to the space, contributing to the space as a whole, you can become a philanthropist at $80/month or $40/month starving hacker rate, step up for the community, and get 24-hour access and know how to open and close the space.
Mitch: There is also Slack. We communicate mostly in the space, and occasionally with the email list, and a lot on Slack. We're looking at free open source versions (minus IRC trolls). We do have IRC, though, too. Slack is invite-only, which is how we ensure no trolls are there, and make sure people who have been to the space a few times and know someone who is on Slack, that person can ask on Slack for that person to be invited. We want as many people on Slack as possible, but want them to also be involved in the space as much as possible.
Mitch: Noisebridge has members, as Drew said, but you don't have to be a member to do anything at Noisebridge. We don't want money to be an impediment to people coming to Noisebridge and doing cool things. It really is a space for anyone to come in and do cool shit, as long as you follow our one rule. A philantropist has more responsibility, but it comes with 24-hour access. You have a responsibility to know how to close the space, and make sure if you leave the space at night, you don't leave behind anyone who doesn't have 24-hour access. To become a philanthropist, we have forms. First one is from Scott. Another from Asya.
Mitch: A "philanthropist" is not someone who gives lots of money to Noisebridge, it's someone who takes responsibility and knows how to open and close the space.
Both Asya and Scott are confirmed as philanthropists!
Mitch: Lee Azzarello is up for membership. This is the first week. There is also Merlin, who is in their second week.
Aleks: I think she decided to become a philanthropist instead.
Mitch: [sponsors her anyway]
Funds in bank:
$83,119.26 in the bank. ~$30,000 for Noisetor, $7,318.89 in equipment fund, $783.29 in the laser maintenance fund, $1,095 in Thomas’ memorial fund, the rest in general fund, which is a little under nine months regular expenses.
We have a year left on our lease (through end of August 2018). Equipment fund can be used to pay for 1/2 of cost of new equipment that will be kept in Noisebrige (such as Axi-draw, welding equipment, 3D printers, etc.). If you have cool ideas for tools (NOT materials), propose it, raise 1/2 the money yourself (and/or with the assistance of other members/grants), then Noisebridge will cover the other half.
Proposals from last week
As some of you know, my younger brother Thomas died of a sudden cardiac arrest last Tuesday. He was only 25 years old. My family and I are devastated. I don’t know when I will be able to think about anything but him. He was my best friend and the kindest, funniest person I’ve ever known. From what the detective and his roommates said, he died doing what he loved: writing. He was a New York Times and USA Today best-selling urban fantasy and science fiction novelist and collaborated with author all over the world. He quit his day job last year and committed himself fully to his writing. He has published six novels, with five novels completed and scheduled for release this year, and countless stories edited for others. His friends in the author community set up a GoFundMe to raise money for funeral expenses and people have been asking if they can contribute to a charity in his honor. We are planning to set up a nonprofit Thomas J. Shutt Foundation to give grants, awards, and scholarships to young writers to support them as they develop their craft. Our first program will most likely be a small scholarship for local high school students interested in creative writing. WHY FISCAL SPONSORSHIP? We’re starting the process of setting up a separate nonprofit organization, but it will take a while and people are asking to donate now. For that reason, we are seeking fiscal sponsorship from Noisebridge to accept donations while we create an independent organization. We will begin creating incorporation documents this week, but getting approval may take two to twelve months. We anticipate having our independent nonprofit set up before we give our first grants, which means that Noisebridge would act simply to receive donations, hold them, and keep track of them before transferring the funds to that organization. We anticipate that the new organization will have a board of directors composed of Thomas’ immediate family members. The board will create plans and judging criteria for giving grants, awards, and scholarships. We will keep Noisebridge apprised of our progress towards becoming a recognized independent nonprofit, and will only transfer collected funds once we have demonstrated to the Noisebridge community and board of directors that we have reached that goal. We anticipate that managing the foundation’s funds will involve some extra overhead for Noisebridge, with the bulk of the work falling upon the treasurer. Since I’m currently the treasurer, I volunteer to handle all of this extra work. With lowercase-c consensus from the current board members and officers, I have set up a project donation page for the memorial foundation, which has already received several hundred dollars in donations. https://donate.noisebridge.net/projects/thomas-j-shutt-memorial-foundation I recognize that this does not line up with the official process for seeking fiscal sponsorship, which requires full consensus for Noisebridge to sponsor a project. This will be the first week of that full and public consensus process. If Noisebridge does not reach consensus to sponsor this project, I will deal with the consequences of creating the project early—mostly, risking disappointing any donors who need a guarantee their donations will be tax-deductible. I considered it worthwhile because of the time-sensitive nature of the issue. Our public memorial service will be taking place shortly before the Noisebridge meeting where this consensus proposal is introduced, and we want to provide visitors who want to donate to a charity the option of donating to the foundation. I also apologize for only raising the issue with board members and officers before creating the project. It was not an attempt to sidestep full community discussion of the project. This is the worst experience of my life and I am having trouble discussing anything at all with anyone outside of immediate family right now. I did not want to air news my brother’s death too widely outside of the communities that already knew him until it became necessary. Thank you for everyone who learned about this on Facebook and has sent condolences. I will not be back in San Francisco until June 5th, but if there are objections or concerns about this fiscal sponsorship proposal, I can discuss them online or over the phone.
FINANCIAL DETAILS There will be several possible sources of funds for the Thomas J. Shutt Memorial Foundation:
Individual donations, either online or by check
Ongoing royalties from Thomas’s published books and books scheduled to be published this year
Cash, bonds, or other parts of Thomas’s estate, if any remains after end-of-life expenses and paying creditors
Donations from family
Profits from selling stocks, bonds, or other investments purchased with foundation money
Payments from any active life insurance policy—we are still trying to work out if he has coverage
We intend to set up and run this foundation in a way that ensures it will continue well after our own deaths. To that end, we intend to only spend 4% of the principal in a given year on grants and awards, with the rest of the fund invested conservatively in a mixture of stocks and bonds. For the period of time that Noisebridge would be acting as a fiscal sponsor, it would be purchasing those stocks and bonds. When our independent nonprofit is established, Noisebridge would transfer ownership.
Consensus is reached: Proposal Approved.
Proposals for next week
(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)
Discussion Longer discussion items belong here. This is the last part of the meeting so that people can break off and continue their discussion afterwards.