Meeting Notes, 21st December 2015
Happy Summer Solstice, Gien! And a miserable Winter Solstice to us northern hemispheroids.
HOW IS EVERYONE?
Gien has been meeting with a collaborative technology association, some people who are building collaboration platforms
Sam talked to Namaste foundation about potentially supporting OSCE, it seems positive. Sam finished his documentary about POC21 and is slowly emerging back into the world again.
Erica is about to finish work and head up to Scotland for the holidays
Silvia has been working on sponsorship brochure with Lars + Jaime
Sharon, Lars & Sam had a workshop at the CRC 1026 meeting in Potsdam, introducing academics from the sustainable manufacturing field to concepts of OSCE.
Lars just had a meeting with Uhcholl Simon Lee from CRCLR Lab focusing on how the local organisation of OSCEdays events fits in with the global organisation (We’ll be working together on OSCEdays Berlin this year).
a rough design prototype is done:
- let’s get design professionals to have a look at our rough outline, to give suggestions how we can improve it, what the most important factors are in terms of clarity, UX and aesthetics. Feel free to reach out to anyone you know who might be able to help. Should we start a forum topic to work on this?
- we need to add newsletter signup to the front page
- we should add faces of the people behind the OSCEdays (more than last year, but smaller)
- maybe have a real map (OSM) so we can show different locations within towns & cities
- maybe a link or headings to show the different topic channels we’re working on?
- we need to have a clearer link to the forum and also emphasis on this forum - it isn’t clear that this is where the work happens!
- what do we want in an ideal website? eg linked data, decentralized information…
We have a new section of the front page: ‘Challenge Sponsors’ which introduces challenges put on by sponsors, and links to those challenges on the forum. There will also be an explanation of what ‘challenge sponsors’ is all about, for transparency & accountability and to show how it helps the OSCEdays.
This Challenge Sponsors section could also be mirrored with local sponsored challenges in local event structures on local pages.
A question from Gien: how do we provide structure or resources for local organizers to arrange local sponsorship? what information or support can we provide them?
- let’s try to make the document a story - a beginning, middle and end, with statements backed up with examples.
- do we need a new order of pages?
- more visual evidence would be useful - photos etc.
- maybe split the 2015 & 2016 stories
- what is still ongoing since 2015? eg CRCLR lab in Berlin
- how do we measure and show our impact?
- how do we communicate the challenges, sectors and topics that we’re looking at?
- choose case studies - which would appeal to industry, which to TSB, which to development?
- Erica will look into the media coverage of OSCEdays
- do we have any good quotes about OSCE or last year?
- let’s show our community partners, experience and network eg POC21, DIF festival
- We can go a few pages longer but only if it is more visual & well-designed, without more text
- Erica will improve the text over the next week
- Sam will also tweak the design before the next meeting.
- We should share it with people with expertise in communication (eg Grit Hartung)
- The next brochure will be ready for our call on Jan 4th
There was a discussion about the order of the sponsorship packages in the brochure: should they get bigger down the page (because we are ‘adding’ value) or should they get smaller (because the biggest is the most important and sets expectations high)?
Two related things we need to prepare for this year’s event:
- how can we effectively support the projects and challenges after OSCEdays?
- how can we gather feedback and information on local events, effects of OSCEdays etc?
maybe some kind of survey, but more live? last year we were asking a lot in terms of our processes - let’s make it more simple.
FOUNDING THE ORGANISATION:
The statutes of the OSCE eingetragener Verein (registered Association) were analysed by the German Finanzamt (Tax Authority), and they required some changes.
An updated version has been sent back to them - note that this version does not include a definition of what Open Source Circular Economy is. It appears to have confused the Finanzamt, as we are meant to be a non-profit but then we are talking about Economy and ‘producing and manufacturing’ things.
We have had some great help via email from Moritz and Martin from the RFF about how to word our statutes for the Finanzamt (Tax Authority) - we need to be careful when organising sponsorship etc.
When you are a tax-free org, you have a ‘Zweckbetrieb’ (‘purposeful operations’) for which income is not taxed, i.e. the core charitable activity of the organisation.
In addition to this, you can also do a limited amount of ‘Geschäftsbetrieb’ (‘business operations’) which is normal business stuff, consulting etc.
If we earn anything through Geschäftsbetrieb, then we need to pay tax on that. However, there’s no clear definition of what constitutes Zweck- or Geschäftsbetrieb, and no specific number or ratio of purpose- to business-operations that is given.
When we earn money, we claim it as either Zweckbetrieb or Geschäftsbetrieb, and the Finanzamt interprets/audits that claim. So it is worthwhile keeping a little part of any money in reserve, in case we have to pay surprise tax, or pay a lawyer, etc.
- The Vorstand runs the business of the Verein, they are the holder of the bank account. They have to do what we say, eg if we say “buy this building”, then the Vorstand first checks that it is in line with the legal requirements and responsibilities of the organisation, and if so, does the bidding of the Board of Stewardship. The Vorstand does not make creative or leadership decisions about the activities or direction of OSCE - they have only legal & financial responsiblities.
- At the end of the year, the Vorstand makes a financial report and a business plan for the next year
- The Vorstand has to report anything that happens with the association’s money to the Board of Stewardship.
- The Vorstand can’t just quit or abandon their position, they are legally responsible for the association, it is * their ass on the line.
- Changes in Vorstand have to be agreed upon by the Board of Stewardship or determined by a court of law.
We have a very good candidate for a Vorstand of the OSCE e.V: Janosch Dietrich
Janosch has a lot of experience setting up and running a not-for-profit Verein and dealing with large amounts of money as a Vorstand (not currently an issue for us…)
He requires payment of €24/hour, and we will guarantee him 10 hours of work per month, for 12 months. Janosch will join our next call.
We should run our sponsorship packages past him.
We should communicate to him that we will ask a lot of him at the beginning, as we don’t really know what we are doing. This will likely gradually reduce as we learn from others and our own experience.