Meeting Notes 2016 08 30
These are the notes from the The 425th Meeting of Noisebridge. Date: FIXME THE DATE HERE Note-taker: FIXME YOUR NAME HERE; Moderators: Patrick
- One or two bullet points of high-level meeting summary.
- 1 Meeting Summary
- 2 Introductions
- 3 Short announcements and events
- 4 Safe Space
- 5 Participation
- 6 Philanthropists
- 7 Membership Binder
- 8 Financial Report
- 9 Consensus and Discussion
- 10 End of Meeting
- New members:
- New philanthropists:
- Consensus Items:
- Discussion Items:
- 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'."
- Introduce any experimental or unusual moderation techniques that may be using during the meeting like: direct responses, limited speaking time, orderless stack, &c.
- Round of introductions (remember, announcements come later):
- What's your name
- What do you do
- What do you maintain at Noisebridge?
- if you are new: how did you hear about Noisebridge?
- Roger - taking notes and therefore brief.
- Ryan - been here a while, starting to do laser cutting classes in the future
- Robert - Likes building robots, found out about noisebridge about a week ago
- Douglas - Hanging out on Tuesdays with Simon, Interested in the laser cutter.
- James - a show coming up in the theater festival using things that he's made here for the last 6 years!
- Snays - roommate told them about noisebridge - new to the city. into image processing and such things.
- Jarvis - Android Developer, Game Developer
- Travis - likes rails. sum total == rails
- Joyti - lawyer slash software developer
- JSK - part of the old crew from '07. Moved to AUS to make new spaces there. Likes to make embedded lisp on ESP8266
- Joe - Into functional programming - Haskell, and DBs too! Teaching a class!
- Scotty - laser cutting all the things. headed to Kyrgyzstan. Starting a hackerspace with Renat, Tilek, and Bektour. As part of Kloop.
- Trent - Freelance web developer
- Patrick - Write software, administrivia for Noisebridge. Trying to do less Administrivia and more Software.
- KK - "I'm new". Security testing. Just visiting SF for a week!
Short announcements and events
- Joe - Haskell Hack Night - this coming week ~30 people. Wondering about which of Tues-Thursday suits best to host. begriffs.com/haskell is the mailing list for it.
- Scotty - -there's a bus pirate that's being donated to the space which has a board w/ instructions and directions attached to it. It's a debugging and prototyping tool for microchips. Interactive CLI for messing around w/ chips. Great way to get started if you've never messed around with microchips!
- Trent - Python class is not running on Monday due to holiday.
Noisebridge is a safe space. Invite a volunteer to describe what that means.
- Roger - noisebridge is a space that strives to be free of harassment, including over such things as classes, race, gender identity.
- Douglas - Noisebridge is not a place to come pick people up
- Roger - noisebridge strives to not need that disclaimer
- Joe - there's folks that you can talk to anonymously about harassment.
- Ryan - there's a list on the door
- Scotty - that's different - for "get this person physically out of here". There's the Safe Space Workgroup which loosely meets to discuss these things. You can reach out to any one of these folks individually in confidence and they'll work to help you.
- Ryan - is there a slack for this?
- Scotty - there's #space-guardians which is about physical security issues and the like in the space, but there's also the #sswg channel for talking about these community and social issues.
And if there's an issue that you'e uncomfortable with, you can engage a trusted member of the community. The SSWG doesn't meet often, but we will meet if there is an issue.
- Patrick - Is there anything else that someone would like to add? We strive to follow these rules in spirit.
- Scotty - radically inclusive means that we want to try and include as many people as possible in noisebridge who can both contribute too and benefit from the space. Specifically we don't want to discrimate against people for simply being homeless for example.
What it doesn't mean is that "we include everyone regardless of their behavior". We exclude people who are not *excellent*, to the space or to other members of the community.
- Patrick - We have tried to instill the notion that participation at Noisebridge is not a right. It is a privilege. We exclude people who are marginalizing or harrassing members of the comunity without remorse.
- Trent - Noisebridge is open from 11 AM- 10 PM. If you come here by ringing the bell, it's because someone has decided to let you in. However, we also have RFID tags/clipper cards if a member has decided that you are a consistently good contributor to the space. It lasts 30 days, and can be renewed indefinitely.
- Trent - If you find yourself around the community relatively often, it's good to e on Slack. We discuss activities, and the functioning of the space. If you ask around, there are poeple who can get yoiu into the invites channle.
- Scotty - To participate, you don't have to be a member, you donn't have to be a philanthropist, you don't even need a token. You don't need special status.
- Patrick - Slack has an expectation that you physically participate in the space. Some people are active in other spaces, and we ask them to not chime in when we are discussing NB business.
- Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to describe Philantropy, and the application process.
- Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Any applicants must have their sponsor present to vouch for them.
- If there are no objections, they're a philanthropist! Their pledge should be handed over to the Secretary posthaste, after which their token will be updated to give them the 24/7 access they've earned(?)
- Patrick - Philanthropy is a way to support the space (with $$$$$), and participate more. In return you get a 24-hour token. You're trusted to know the social expectations, how to take care of people that might be tweaking and trying to use the bandsaw. It's not membership, it's not a lot of commitment. You won't get roped into administrivia. The primary benefit is access. And thank you for sending $$$$$.
- Patrick - To be a philanthropist, you need the signature of just 1 member. If there are no objections from members, then congratulations! Confirmations happen at meetings. You'll understand how to use the space. You'll understand that this is a privilege that is revocable. You can give tours, etc.
Ryan is filling out a form right now.
- Scotty - It is our goal to get enough sustaining donations to cover our monthly costs. We are close. Donate. Send us money. Repeatedly.
- Scotty - membership is a more involved process than philanthropy. We recommend that people think about ti only after having been here a while and gotten to know folks. It's *not* like a gym membership. It's like a stewardship. Members are invested in steering the direction of the space. They pay the same monthly fee, ($80, $40), get 24/7 access, but importantly can fully participate in our consensus process. Because any single person can block decisions from going forward we're deliberate about opening up membership to everyone.
The process is pretty lengthy. 2 members as sponsors, and then your application is read aloud for 4 meetings. At the 4th, members decide if you are ready for membership. Most people who apply become members, but it is a selective group of people that apply
- Funds in bank: ~$50,000. But a large chunk of money ($15k) was given to us in accident by google :( :( :( :( :( ;_;
- Noisetor (See the bulletpoints at the bottom of http://noisetor.net/finances/#summary): PENDING
- Any other details by those participating in handling our financials
Give us money.
- Patrick - Our goal is to find a more secure place for noisebridge. Buying a permanent home. It's difficult, because we have very lumpy income. Your recurring donation is special to us because it shows the size of the community and gives us stability.
- - What's our recurring income
- Patrick - Not sure. We're halfway there.
Consensus and Discussion
- invite a knowledgeable volunteer to give a brief primer on consensus process
- It is important that everyone in attendance understands at least:
- Blocking with verbalized principled objections.
- Why we use consensus over other approaches to decision making.
- How consensus isn't a legislative process
- Why consensus isn't applicable to some things like conflict resolution, resolution of time sinks, and the like.
- Patrick - Noisebridge is a do-ocracy. Most things can be done "Do-ocratically" (on your own). If you think it's going to be cool and be a net positive for the space, go for it!
- Patrick - But large decisions are not done do-ocratically, they are done through concensus. It's slow, and rightly slow. Rarely used for this reason. It's the opposite of majority vote. Any member that objects will kill the measure.
- Patrick - Blocking cannot be an end. It must be the start of a conversation.
- James - If you are willing to do-ocratically do an action, you must be willing to repeal that action. If you are told that knocking down a wall was a bad deal, you must be willing to rebuild it.
- Patrick - Distinction: concensus (little c) vs Concensus (big C). Concensus is the formal process. concensus is asking around, making sure that something is a good idea.
- Patrick - Everybody is open to discuss, but at the end of the day, only members' dissent is counted.
* John Shutte submitted a concensus item *in absentia*: <>
Patrick - We have a fund from google. We do not want to use it for rent, we want to use it for equipment. It is a matching fund. John would like there to be a concensus requirement for expenditures over $2500, or if the manager wants to spend money out of the fund for himself (a check on conflicts of interest). Patrick - This is sort of what we've been doing, but this is codifying existing procedure.
If any important discussion happens, it should be happening after forward progress is made during consensus.
- Scotty - Expendables fund
- Scotty - we should consider a mechanism with which noisebridge can purchase expendables like sharpies, screwdrivers, toilet paper and the like that we use on a constant basis.
- robert - costco?
- scotty - not so much the where, but the funds. Right now it's ad-hoc "someone should buy toilet paper". Some things are better than others (sharpies for instance run out). There's also the open-loop pattern where we say "if you use a component from NB donate into the bin", but this money is accounted as going to rent and not for these components. So we have a net drain on these resources which only get filled when people donate components specifically. It'd be nice to close this loop to allow people to donate specifically to replace these items with their donations. It'd be nice to also earmark some portion of recurring donations such that we could replace these on a monthly basis.
- scotty - dunno how exactly to do this, so want thoughts. We have 2 things that are very hastily managed that are similar to this: 1. The laser cutter donation box, and 2. the laser cutter fund. We have money in the box, and we need to put it somewhere.
- robert - I agree. Took a chip out of the components and was looking for fund box over there.
- Patrick - Cash is the devil. Everything to do with cash eventually trickles into rent. Example: There is a box that says "Donate" by the front door. There are T-shirts across from it. We have no way to tell what money comes from T-shirts.
- Patrick - It needs to be so simple that a 5 year old can cover 12 months worth of administrative backlog quickly. I plan to have donate.noisebridge.net be able to allocate funds differently.
- Scotty - Could we, today, establish a separate digital fund as an MVP
- Patrick -Sure, I could hack on that tonight, or create a separate project
- Trent - Is it possible to make a recurring donation to an "expendables" project
- Patrick - That can happen.
- Scotty - I can't champion this, because I'm too busy learning Kyrgyz from a bunch of nerds in Bishkek (*Roger took some editorial discretion with this line*)
- Scotty - It looks like we're steering towards division of finances
- Joe - Doesn't accounting software exist?
- Patrick - ohgodwhy.jpg
- Patrick - Google spreadsheet is straight up better. It doesn't require constaint maintenance. Again, 5 year old being able to deal with it in a night.
- Patrick - NB needs to be resilient enough so that if the hackerspace shits itself (again) and no one touches anything financial related for 18 months, we're not completely screwed.
- Robert - what would it require to make more lockers appear?
- Trent - There's a locker cleanup right now. There is a malloc scheduled for September 20th (verify in the lockers mailing list archive, list.noisebridge.net/lockers).
- Robert - "My grandpa lives in Watsonville, and he knows people who know people." He might be able to find someone who has some old lockers that could be donated.
- Patrick - They need to be small, optimally, since the space is very modular and this way stuff can be reconfigured.
- Scotty - If you have a locker and aren't donating, you suck.
- Patrick - We don't generally merchandise. We haven't sold them online, bar one fundraising event.
- Robert - There's a soldering thing done at Makerfair, for example
- Patrick - There's a noisebridge badge project, people sell equipment to make a noisebridge badge at cost. It got pretty far, but we lost out of steam because we were feeling the crunch from the Flaschen Taschen.
- Patrick - An idea, what kind of sites sell T-shirts
Trent's compulsory 1-minute libary training session
- Trent - Also, the LEDs are hackable
- Trent - Right now, we need to take books that don't belong in Noisebridge off the shelf (he holds up a biology book as an example) and into one of those banker's boxes, so that we can donate it.
- Trent - Make sure, if you do fill a box, just let me know and I will record where the books went and put them away.
- Trent - In the detail page, you can find the location for each book.
Patrick (on John's behalf) talks about accepting grant funds
- Patrick - NB has 501c3 status and can act as a pass-thru 501c3 org for other projects. John has been thinking of a consensus process in order to make this a more common thing at Noisebridge, as it is a way to provide sponsorship/grant funding for a smaller project. It also can be a source of funds, since we could take a 5% cut as an administrative fee.
- Patrick - This is something that's very common. There are organizations whose sole purpose is to sponsor projects in this way. Noisebridge is finally getting stable, and is stable enough to do this.
- Patrick - Projects that go through this process should also go through consensus. It can be a problem if the goals diverge from that of Noisebridge. Specifically Defense.
(At this moment, a raccoon peered through the Mission street window. If we are lucky, we will be able to attach a photo to these notes)
- Patrick - If you have a software project that you want to work on, NB could accept grant funds on your behalf and disburse the funds.
- James - We could offer sponsorship of a class, gifting, without grants
- Patrick - Yes, we could do that.
- Roger - It's a good idea, but separate from this discussion.
- Jason - So Noisebridge will write grants
- Patrick - Noisebridge will only act as a vehicle to receive money as a charity. This is purely us existing as a 501c3 (Jason: Just like franchising) Yes.
- Patrick - There's a proposal that John has written up. It's in a draft state.
- Patrick - Related, Noisebridge has a sandstorm instance at [noisebridge.sandcats.io].
End of Meeting
- Return the membership binder to its rightful location.
- Discuss any items for which there was not time during the meeting.
- Enjoy the company of your fellow hacker, robot, or robothacker.
Note taker posts the notes
- Clean and tidy the meeting notes including removing all these really verbose instructions.
- Fill out the short summary at the top listing just announcements, consensus items, discussion topics, and names of new members and philanthropists.
- Copy paste the notes to the next meeting page. (They will become Last meeting at midnight.)
- Email the meeting summary to Noisebridge Discuss and Noisebridge Announce lists.
- CC on the email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org if there are new members and philanthropists.
- Edit the Current Consensus Items if anything is proposed for consensus next week.
- Edit the Consensus Items History if anything was reached consensus or failed to reach consensus this week.