In an IOPS blog published September 17th, Michael Albert proposed that IOPS members engage in a “shared campaign” to achieve the preconditions for holding an IOPS founding convention and proposed a process for the development of the campaign. (See http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2650-convention-conditions). Here’s the proposal:
“That between now and November 15, in chapters, in blog posts and comments on them, and in the forum system, and particularly, with people in IOPS we know and live near and are building chapters with, we discuss conditions that would need to be met to have a founding convention - and steps to accomplish those goals. Once some clear options emerge, we also do simple polls on each aspect, to get a sense of people's reactions to them - like straw votes.
“Based on all that discussion of possibilities and on the survey polls about all the many aspects, those ICC members who have been very actively involved in the discussions are entrusted to distill at least three campaign proposals (more if really needed) that try to embody the best and most favored aspects that have emerged from the exchanges into viable full programs. They aren't deciding anything, they are rather assembling aspects that people have favored in the polling.
“The three possible campaigns are posted, etc., and there is another week of discussion, and then the formal proposals are put to a vote of the whole ICC - including first asking them for amendments and incorporating those. This yields three perhaps slightly improved paths, with their levels of support from the ICC.
“Then, after another period for deliberation, the entire membership votes among the campaigns. What emerges, becomes our plan.”
Since then, at least one forum topic and two blogs have considered what the preconditions for a founding convention should be and what strategies to use to achieve those preconditions. (See http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2nd-proposal; http://www.iopsociety.org/forum/interim-goals-for-founding-convention) However, to date, there’s been no focused discussion of the merits of Michael’s shared-campaign proposal. I’m posting this in the hope that it will prompt that discussion.
The arguments in favor of a shared campaign to achieve the preconditions for a founding convention are straight-forward: (1) a shared campaign requires and encourages solidarity and a commitment to each other to act; (2) every IOPS member can take some action to further the goals of a shared campaign, and such a campaign ensures that those who would otherwise be uncertain about what to do will know what they can do; (3) the alternative to a shared campaign is to identify the preconditions for a convention and then, in effect, to wait for them to happen – sort of like waiting for the weather to change; (4) IOPS should start as it means to go – that is, what IOPS does during this “interim” period and whether it can begin now to apply the principles in the Mission statement to achieve the preconditions for the convention will determine if and when IOPS is really ready to hold a convention. As IOPS member Thomas Halbert observed recently:
“In my opinion it is not a question of numbers of members that can determine if an organization can be founded or not. It is determined by the level of achieved activity that reflects the entire program of the interim pre-organization. And not represented by just one country or continent if it honestly would call itself an International organization. The day the organization is ready to get founded it will just be a formality that confirms an organizational body that is up and RUNNING.”