I need to share something that is heavy on my mind – regarding OSCEdays and the future of it.
I think, we all know, we are at a critical point for a while now. Sadly we have a pretty unhealthy project. With a lot of success, but without funding. And way too much work. The amount of work necessary for OSCEdays is already much to high to be done with unpaid work. And there is much more waiting for us in the future with our current plans…
And then stuff happens like that to a BoST call 2 weeks before the event only 4 (3) people show up with only 30min time. The time we have to build all of this shrinks.
And there is no one to blame for this, this is no ones fault, no one is doing anything wrong.
The only thing there is, is an insight to gain for us or a truth to aknowledge: Everything, the whole project, is blown out of proportion! The complexity is to high. It is far off from sustainability.
Adjustment is needed. We have to cut back. And this makes me ask a question:
##Should we really found an organisation?
You know that the founding of the OSCE association failed and that we have to do it again. So we are in the situation to not have an association yet. And maybe this is a good thing.
###Why do we want an organisation?
The goal of having an organisation was to be able to do all kinds of projects. Not just run an annual event, support the community, do policy work, design work, communication work; engage in international research clusters, house the OSCEdays infrastructure, and, yes, to get and process funding to do all of that.
For that we wanted to establish an independent organisation and structure where a real international community can onboard, make decisions online together, invent projects and so on… A real global, active community, exploring new ways for almost everything.
###What is the true situation?
But the situation is now:
- We don’t have funding. And there is not really something on the horizon.
- We don’t have this structure for an international members base and participation in the association.
- And here comes the important bit: I don’t really see or feel a need for this international organisation. People love the idea. But noone is asking for it at the moment, really (which could be the source for making it happen.)
We could create this, yes. And it would work. But it is a horrible horrible amount of work (found again, set up a structure to onboard association members, advertise it, create a platform documentation and a process for an 8 week ongoing discussion and election process, have candidacies for the BoST, come up with ideas to talk about …). Wow! And we don’t have funding to pay someone to do it. And we don’t have enough resources in our group (free time) to do this as well. And no real need for this expressed by a members base – which could be translated into resources.
It is an absurd situation! Or, it would be absurd, if we were still going for it …
So maybe we got lucky that the founding failed. This gives us the possibility to step back from it. And approach it from a different angle.
So I’d like to suggest something different instead:
##OSCEdays Project – by CRCLR e.V.
The local OSCEdays Berlin event is run by the CRCLR e.V. – a new association about circular economy here in Berlin, founded amongst others by Alice, who was part of the initial OSCEdays group as well.
Simon from CRCLR asked me, if we can merge the two associations (as we have founded the OSCE e.V. here anyway in a presence meeting with the same community members), and my first response was:
No, we can’t! Because OSCE e.V. needs to be there to support a global community. CRCLR is focussed on Berlin! And how could I trust an organisation when I am in Shanghai, Lome, Bangladesh or wherever to serve my interests when that organisation is 50% focussed on Berlin…
That was what we said a year ago. Sounds good and smart, in theory. But – given the situation described above – I think it is … not that smart – it would be daydreaming.
So I propose to think about making the OSCEdays a project of the CRCLR e.V. – house it there.
The Berlin community is super active! Look at the program (still growing). And Berlin is an international city. So why not start here. And reach around the globe. And connect a global community. As a side project of an existing e.V.
I think it might be possible to make the OSCEdays a relatively independent project inside of CRCLR – with an own funding activities and an own governance – established through an own document with rules. There would still be the Board Of Stewardship. We would be members of the CRCLR e.V. with the powers to run the OSCEdays project on a strategic level – to make sure, it also serves a global community.
This all would have to be fledged out more detailed. But in general, it would be the same what we do right now I guess. Just money is run through CRCLR. And over time we can have a discussion how to formalize the BoST and OSCEdays project within CRCLR.
We would not need to establish an international members base and voting and so on…! We would get rid of a mountain of work that noone can do anyways! The better starting point to grow towards our initial goals.
And if there are one day problems we can still create a new association. When the need and the resources are there for it! (It could be part of the OSCEdays BoST job to always make sure, growth happens in a way that it is possible to separate the two associations in the future. We could start with a brainstorming to forsee problems that could come up and invent design suggestions to avoid them as much as possible. But this is already on the next page… )
I mean, that is all not optimal. The contrary. But I am not even sure if we can find enough time to maintain OSCEdays and get it to a sustainable stage inside CRCLR…
What happens to the bank account we already have? And Janosch? He got hired. And added work already. My suggestion: There is a small amount of money from Suez. It should cover his expenses – his work and the fees he paid so far. So let him close the bank account again. And we are done. We are not officially registered somewhere. Except in the bank.
Let’s discuss this, sometimes. Maybe after the event.