Meeting Notes Reference

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Congratulations and/or condolences! You're reading this because you're participating in a meeting of Noisebridge!

Meetings should be limited to an hour when possible. Shorter is fine, but avoid rushing.

You should read this instructional section thoroughly, and treat them as a guideline for how to host a meeting of Noisebridge. There are three ingredients to an Excellent meeting: A number of note takers, some facilitators, and participants.

Meetings are just one of the tools used at Noisebridge to create net forward progress on whatever it is we're all trying to do. Meetings aren't the only way to make decisions or have discussions, and in fact its usually a much better idea to talk about things outside the meeting before dragging the entire community kicking and screaming into it.

Note Takers[edit]

  1. Confirm last meeting was saved
    1. Check Last meeting page to confirm the Riseup pad notes were saved there at end of last meeting.
    2. Does the text date match the page date? Great!
    3. If not and the Riseup pad looks like last week, copy the unsaved notes into Last meeting. If you need to clear up confusion, check the meeting notes archive to make sure.
  2. Take new notes
    1. Open the shared text editor pad on our sandstorm instance.
    2. Project the notes in real time for all to see and announce the URL to collaboratively take notes on the major points of the meeting.
    3. Copy paste the Meeting Notes Template] markup into the Riseup pad.
    4. Begin lines with * or separate lines with blank space because Mediawiki syntax ignores single carriage returns.
  3. Save and share the notes at the end of the meeting (instructions at the bottom).


There are generally two kinds of facilitator roles at a Noisebridge meeting:

  • Stack taker - Useful when a lot of folks want to hop on the discussion stack. This gives everyone a turn to have their feelings heard. Usually only works when there is exactly one stack taker.
  • Moderators - Keeps the meeting moving and prevents everyone from wasting too much time on one subject. Anyone is free to pick up moderation and move the meeting along.

In general, moderators should:

  • Understand the structure of Noisebridge decision-making
  • Make sure everyone gets a chance to speak.
  • Speak only minimally yourself.
  • Keep the meeting moving, and avoid getting bogged down.
  • Identify discussion items, arrange times limits for talking about each item.
  • Identify and summarize consensus, suggest things that need to be done.
  • Get the membership binder and ensure that it is returned safely.


Everyone at a Noisebridge meeting who has consented to participating in one is a participant!

  • Say your name before you talk.
  • Remain on-topic, and speak as concisely as possible.
  • Assist the note-taker with any links or corrections that are needed.
  • Remain respectful of other participants, their time, and the consensus and moderation process.

Meeting Start: Introductions[edit]

Noisebridge is a 501(c)3 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 is your name?
    • What pronoun do you use? You don't need to feel pressure to work out your entire identity -- just let us know what to call you when we talk about you in the third person.
    • What do you do ?
    • What do you maintain at Noisebridge?
    • If you are new, how did you hear about Noisebridge?

Short announcements and events[edit]

  • Cool new projects? Something you'd like people to know? Say now, but keep it short! One or two sentences please!
  • Any happenings at the space of which members should be made aware.
  • Don't hog everyone's time since we all just want to hack!
  • Check Newsbridge for weekly updates on cool things at Noisebridge, possibly not announced at the meeting.


Our one Rule is to Be Excellent To Each Other

Invite a volunteer to describe what it means to be Excellent.

Some specific points you might prompt the group to touch on, if it doesn't happen naturally:

  • What to do if you feel uncomfortable.
  • Noisebridge strives to be radically inclusive. What does that mean?
  • Noisebridge has an Anti-Harassment Policy. What does that mean?


Invite a knowledgable volunteer to describe who can participate at Noisebridge.

Questions that could be addressed:

  • How does one get an rfid key for the door system?
  • Where do virtual conversations within the community happen? (e.g. Slack, Discuss)
  • How does one get access to Slack, Discuss, and whatever else?

Access and IT[edit]

  • Get a github account
  • log an issue in the tech-support repo
  • subscribe to (star) the repo
  • help when someone else raises an issue
  • It's for NB things, not personal things. It not to fix your laptop. If you are a new philanthropist or member you can raise an issue there to get your access changed, for example. Or you need help getting access to the wiki or communication platforms. This is a volunteer org, so don't go acting entitled.
  • it's separate from NB architecture so it does not suffer correlated downtimes.


  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to describe Philanthropy, 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(?)

Membership Binder [edit]

  • Invite a knowledgeable volunteer to describe Membership, and the application process.

Being a member of Noisebridge is not like being a member of a gym or your local chess club. Anyone can come to Noisebridge to hack and learn: you don't need to be a member for that. At Noisebridge, membership is something different: it means taking responsibility and committing to help to maintain, improve, and govern Noisebridge. As a member of Noisebridge, you don't just come here to hack and learn, you actively work to improve what you see around you, help to deal with problems, and make this community and space better than it is today.

  • Read off any names from the binder for the past month. Mark down a check or other indicator on every open application to keep track of how many weeks they've been read out.
  • Anyone eligible to join this week should
    • introduce themselves,
    • answer any questions members may have for them, then
    • leave the area in search of gifts (traditionally beer and a lime, or cookies) for the rest of the group.
  • The rest of the meeting should reach consensus on whether they may join.
  • Remember to applaud new members when they return.

Financial Report[edit]

Fundraising Update[edit]

Fundraising team gives update on fundraising


  • 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.

Proposals from last week [edit]

(Add any items which are consensed upon or someone has raised a principle objection for to the Consensus Items History page.)

Proposals for next week [edit]

(Add any new items for consensus to the Current Consensus Items page.)


Longer discussion items belong here. If there are several competing discussion items, check in with folx on their conversational stamina at this point. It is OK to table a discussion item until next meeting, or to ask people to take it "offline" (i.e. after the meeting or on Discuss).

Discussion Items[edit]

Each discussion should have a named section.

Note-takers should try and keep track of how the conversation flows. It is OK not to name names (e.g. writing the conversation as a story in which Noisebridge itself is the main character), but a lot of times writing the conversation more like the script of a play makes the reading of the notes a lot easier.

End of Meeting[edit]

  1. Return the membership binder to its rightful location.
  2. Discuss any items for which there was not time during the meeting.
  3. Enjoy the company of your fellow hacker, robot, or robothacker.

Note taker posts the notes[edit]

  1. Clean and tidy the meeting notes including removing all these really verbose instructions.
  2. Fill out the short summary at the top listing just announcements, consensus items, discussion topics, and names of new members and philanthropists.
  3. Copy paste the notes to the next meeting page. (They will become Last meeting at midnight.)
  4. Email the meeting summary to Noisebridge Discuss and Noisebridge Announce lists.
  5. CC on the email and if there are new members and philanthropists.
  6. Edit the Current Consensus Items if anything is proposed for consensus next week.
  7. Edit the Consensus Items History if anything was reached consensus or failed to reach consensus this week.

Fun things to do after[edit]

  • Reprise of the Hackernationale. [This is anarchy - we do what the wiki says!]
  • PGP Key Signing could happen now (if it doesn't happen before any given Meeting). Ask others around the space or check the list to see who wants in on the action.