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Founding Convention

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Yes, I am making an analogy between Pinocchio as a wooden boy, and IOPS as an interim organization.  That just happened.  Now, please bear with me.

My thoughts below are based on the following premises, most of which are generally agreed upon and derived from previous discussions spanning the last 2-3 months:

  • We are an interim organization.
  • We do not want to be an interim organization; we want to be a real organization that operates in accordance with IOPS defining documents. 
  • We need to have a founding convention to formally launch IOPS as a real organization and disband the ICC. 
  • We need to decide when to hold this founding convention.
  • Part of this decision requires having a shared understanding of what is meant by "founding convention."
  • Part of this decision requires setting criteria for us to achieve - based on time, numbers, and/or levels of activity.
  • A shared campaign to meet these criteria is necessary to achieve them.
  • There is currently one proposal for a plan to embark on a shared campaign to achieve the criteria (ref (a) below)
  • There are two proposals for the criteria (preconditions) to achieve prior to holding the founding convention (ref (a) & (b) below)
  • These last 2 can be a bit confusing, especially if you don't have a lot of time for reading
  • The important thing is that we AGREE on something, and SOON, and start ACTING on it, COLLECTIVELY.  Pinocchio never got to be a real boy by sitting on his ass.
  • SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound
  • KISS - keep it simple, stupid!
  • This is a critical discussion - and yet only a few are participating.  We need to hear from everyone!


HERE IS MY PROPOSAL FOR THE CRITERIA/PRECONDITIONS, which I believe is #3 after those of Albert and Evans.  I have no changes or counter-proposals to Michael Albert's proposal for embarking on a shared campaign.

Proposed criteria/preconditions:
>2,500 active members OR >50 active chapters

Active chapter:
1. Must have regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings (at least 1 per month) consisting of at least 5 people.

Active member:
1. Must respond to communications from other members.
2. Must belong to an active chapter.
3. Must have attended 1 of the previous 3 meetings.


Some background reading for those with a buttload of time:

a. Michael Albert's 17 September proposal to embark on shared campaign to achieve preconditions for holding founding convention, along with a proposal for the necessary preconditions:

b. Mark Evans' proposal, a refinement of Michael A.'s proposal: http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2nd-proposal

c. Michael Livingston's "Case for a Shared Campaign", advocating the need for all members to consider the above proposals: http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/case-for-campaign

d. Michael Livingston's piece advocating the need for IOPS to "recruit from within":

e. Various forum topics dealing with the criteria or preconditions for holding a founding convention: http://www.iopsociety.org/forum/interim-goals-for-founding-convention

Discussion 48 Comments

  • John Keeley 15th Nov 2012

    Please can someone explain the need to specify certain numbers of active members & chapters?

    Obviously we would like as many active members as possible so that we can claim to be an organisation worth taking note of. But at some point decisions need to me made & made in a way that reflects our values, particularly self-management.

    If there's a good relationship with those who organise the World Social Forum, would it not be worthwhile considering launching at the 2014 WSF under the banner of 'Create Another World'?

  • Will Henry Lapinel 15th Nov 2012

    John - thanks for the comment!

    To answer your first question - my best answer is, as you say, that having a founding convention worth noting would require having a certain number of people present. In my mind, the main purpose of the convention would be to get media attention. A large gathering of people, formally launching an organization. One guage for determining how many people could be present is measuring the number of active members. Just going off of registered members could be very misleading.

    I've thought of using the WSF as a venue as well, but I don't know much about the WSF or the magnitude of the logistical and political task of using such a venue.

  • Lambert Meertens 15th Nov 2012

    The WSF issue also came up in this blog: http://www.iopsociety.org/forum/interim-goals-for-founding-convention/whole-world-week. I never explained my statement there that our founding convention cannot be held in conjunction with a WSF meeting. My reason for saying that, was that WSF have a hard time getting media attention, and I was afraid we might be seen as trying to steal the limelight from them. But if they are happy with it, I don't see a problem.

    At our current rate of growth and in view of the percentage of actually active members, 2014 seems a bit optimistic for the proposed "preconditions"

    • Will Henry Lapinel 15th Nov 2012

      Lambert - thanks for clarifying about the WSF, I was thinking of you when I read John's question. :)

      Yes, 2014 seems optimistic, at our current rate of growth. 2020 seems optimistic too. It seems optimistic to think we will have a livable planet in 100 years. However, we don't have time to wait until 2014. That is too damn long to start this thing. If we can't make this happen before then, then either a) something about this organization is off-putting, or b) we are not doing enough. I don't think it's a), and in any case, we are certainly not doing enough. Joining any organization is a big step, and people need to feel needed; they need to feel welcome as part of something good and important; they need people to laugh with and people to lean on when times get tough. They need real people they know asking them to join the cause, not cyber-people making mass appeals on the internet. I don't think this is happening, but maybe I'm wrong. Very few chapters are meeting face-to-face. I contend that our near-complete lack of activity should be resolved before we start making changes to the organization. I also contend, along with several others, that the resolution should be through a shared campaign to achieve the goals/criteria/preconditions, once they are decided.

  • John Keeley 16th Nov 2012

    Maybe we're expecting too much from local chapters at the moment.

    There's needs to be regular meetings at region & national levels first. In the case of England (or Britain or the UK) we need at least quarterly meetings otherwise people are just going to drift away; they don't have enough people locally currently to form active chapters.But by meeting with others regularly, discussing Fanfare or whatever, the organisation is active, the members are active, & eventually the local chapters will get off the ground.
    For bigger countries like the USA, you may have meetings based around States. Maybe some European countries need to get together, e.g. Benelux.

    Can we ensure everyone who's a member of IOPS has a meeting to go to in the first few months of 2013?

    Maybe all structured around a reading of Fanfare?

    • Will Henry Lapinel 17th Nov 2012

      Maybe John, but I'm not sure that "regular" meetings are practical beyond the chapter level. I'm just thinking of all the driving required. Perhaps a single state/regional and/or national convention, prior to the international convention, would be more do-able?

      "Maybe we're expecting too much from local chapters at the moment."

      Honestly, I don't think we're expecting enough from local chapters. To me, local chapters are the fundamental unit of the organization. I know there are a lot of cities with only 1 or 2 people, but that's why we have to recruit. I know it's tough, but there's just no way around it. I have recruited 1 person this week and I know one person that has recruited 3 since they joined. What if everyone in the organization took this level of responsibility for the most important aspect of IOPS at this time - growth in membership?

    • Preeti Kaur 24th Nov 2012

      Hi John - given your comment here, you may be interested in this recently posted blog: http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/iops-development

  • David Jones 17th Nov 2012

    Hi Will,

    Lambert wrote this on one of the forums you linked above, just gonna repost it here, since I thought it was a good idea:

    "One thing we could do collectively now, to which many members could potentially contribute, is collaboratively produce an ''IOPS Handbook'', being a repository of practical advice and suggestions for local activism, including organizational things like how to set up a chapter and hold productive internal meetings, but also how to engage with the community, organize demonstrations and other protests, and organize open informational meetings such as film nights.

    "I may seem a bit silly to think ahead so much, as almost everywhere setting up local chapters is still rather remote and we do not have much actual experience to base this on. But most of this can be based on common sense and experiences from other contexts that equally apply to the IOPS context. Moreover, engaging in the production of such a book may actually inspire people to initiate local activities, and it is better to have something like this too early than too late."

    One suggestion pertaining to the above. PPSUK was set up some time before IOPS and the London chapter there (and a few others) have been active for some time. I think we could all benefit from some information from its members on how that chapter was set up, what it's been doing for the last year or so, tips on what to do and possible pitfalls to avoid when establishing new chapters ourselves and planning meetings and events etc. etc. For those that haven't much experience with organising that sort of information could go some way towards giving new members the confidence to start local chapters.

    Or does such information already exist somewhere on the site, or elsewhere? I might have missed a blog on this sort of thing...

    • Will Henry Lapinel 18th Nov 2012

      David - thanks! I wholeheartedly agree with Lambert and you that we could greatly benefit from such information. And to reply to Lambert - "it may seem a bit silly to think ahead so much, as almost everywhere setting up local chapters is still rather remote and we do not have much actual experience to base this on." - I strongly disagree. Setting up local chapters is the crucial issue of the moment for IOPS. It is not early; it is now, and it is not rather remote; it is happening in several cities, slowly but surely. If I had the time I would head up such an effort, but as I'll be heading out of country soon I can't commit. However, I don't think it would take very much time to make such a basic publication available.

    • Sarah Owens 18th Nov 2012

      I agree with Will Henry's strong disagreement. Setting up local chapters - meaning, if you are a chapter of 1, find a friend who agrees with the IOPS commitments, get together and sort out what to do next - is where our energies must be focused.

      If for any reason, health, finances, time or other circumstance you simply cannot work directly to recruit and gather, then you can provide invaluable support for the local effort by returning discussions on the site to their proper focus. Be, in other words, our "Jimminy Cricket." Ask, "Is your chapter active?" And, if not, "What are you doing about it?"

    • Lambert Meertens 19th Nov 2012

      I agree that setting up local chapters is a crucial issue, and wherever there are possibilities for these, they should be grabbed with both hands. However, the reality is that in 99% of the cities and towns of this world there is currently not even one member, and for most members it is the case that they are locally the only one or have just one other local co-member, not enough to base a chapter on. So both almost everywhere (and much more so in most developing countries), and for most members, setting up local chapters is indeed still rather remote. I believe it will be valuable if IOPS can nevertheless somehow engage these geographically isolated members in meaningful ways.

    • John Keeley 19th Nov 2012

      Hence for the UK we need someone who makes sure all new UK members are sent a welcoming message & to at least give them the encourgaement to come & meet other members, like a mebership secretary.
      Or this can be disolved regionally.
      Someone does the North, someone the Midlands, someone the South (except London which is big enough to have its own London 'membership secretary'). Otherwise, people will drift away.

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012

      "We need someone who makes sure all new UK members are sent a welcoming message & to at least give them the encourgaement to come & meet other members, like a me[m]bership secretary." Yeah. We need someone. Like a secretary. Meaning, someone else, I guess?

      I'm really glad you articulated that thought, John Keeley, because it's a view expressed implicitly all over this site.

      I send a message to every new member of the Oregon & Salem chapters. Michael Livingston realized after writing his "Recruit From Within" blog that he should take himself seriously, and so started sending a message to every new member of the US chapter, including invitations to read specific material and participate in specific projects.

      There's nothing stopping anyone from such important, behind-the-scenes, usually unrewarding and unacknowledged work. I encourage you to take yourself seriously, and invite someone in the North, someone in the Midlands, and someone in the South and in London (which will you take responsibility for?) to join you in sending a welcoming message to all new members. It takes seconds, once you decide what you're going to say, check the person's profile and add something personal.

    • John Keeley 20th Nov 2012

      I've already set up a zsocial group for 'IOPS South BUT not London', so I'll try & do that region.
      It is a bit strange being in an organisation with so little structure, but we're getting by, more or less.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 19th Nov 2012

      Lambert - without using channels of mass communication (i.e. primarily the left media, which has heretofore not reported on the formation of IOPS) I don't think we can do much, at this point, about cities, much less countries, where there currently are no chapters. I realize that this leads to the unfortunate result that our organization will have to begin chiefly in a few cities. I think we need to accept that and stop hoping that we can spontaneously achieve an international, classless, racially diverse demographic. We should be careful not to bias the organization by prioritizing regional, race-specific or class-specific concerns, but we shouldn't let the fear of bias paralyze our activity. We should aspire to diversity, but we should not let that paralyze efforts to grow the organization's membership. So, we have to start with what we've got. After we have several fully functional chapters that can take actions and make an impact in their own right, we stand a chance of garnering attention in other cities and other countries. But it won't happen the other way around. We have got to build the chapters where they are, and that INCLUDES chapters of 1 or 2 people. I don't accept the idea that one person can't establish a chapter in their city.

    • Lambert Meertens 19th Nov 2012

      Gosh, I hope that these one-member chapters will be truly self-managing in accordance with our organizational commitments and do not get too much into a fight when assigning the roles described at http://www.iopsociety.org/projects/local-chapter-project/facilitating-local-activity – while it will, of course, be a problem that too many empowering roles get concentrated in one person. But there is the obvious advantage that when a meeting is called, all members will be in attendance. 100% active and committed members, yay!

      In any case, you apparently agree with me that it is not silly to think ahead so much. The only difference is that you think it is actually not that far ahead.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 19th Nov 2012

      Lambert - the sarcasm is not helpful. I obviously am not suggesting what you describe. What I am saying is that chapters with only one person have a responsibility to grow that chapter.

    • Lambert Meertens 19th Nov 2012

      Well, I'm sorry. I misunderstood it when you wrote that one person can establish a chapter in their city – I really thought you mean a one-member chapter.

      Of course every single member can try to convince other to join IOPS, and if successful that can become the core of a new chapter. I'm hesitant to consider growing that chapter their personal responsibility. I've been trying to harass people into joining IOPS wherever I go, including parties, but in more than three months I've snared just one new member.

      I've no idea how to do it, but I've been thinking we should somehow, collectively, spend more effort on a concentrated outreach to the Third World.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

      Hey, no hard feelings. I'm just a sensitive guy.

      3 months and "just" one new member? Lambert, that is great. Now think of the implications - with that success rate (assuming your fellow member is equally diligent), you could have 2 new members in the next three months. If you are meeting regularly and retaining members (keeping it "sticky"), that is no laughing matter. And don't underestimate the impact you have on talking to people, even when they don't join.

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012

      Lambert, you are not the only one who is "hesitant to consider growing that chapter their personal responsibility", or that managing the project he or she created is his or her responsibility, or that welcoming new members to his or her country, region or city is his or her responsibility, and that is exactly what has to change. I'm not buying that you have no idea how to talk to people about what matters to you, what matters to them, how IOPS can help win a better world, no idea how to plan an agenda, write a constitution, find or suggest activities with existing, sympatico orgs, participate in them, talk about IOPS, build trust, exhibit integrity, consistency, solidarity. I think you know all these things, so go do them in the name of IOPS if you mean what you say. And if you know people in the 3d world, by all means reach out to them, but we all need to stop distracting each other from the simple, hard and often unrewarding in the short term work of organizing. And it wouldn't hurt to lose the snark and sarcasm, either.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      Sarah, by quoting as you did, you create the suggestion that I said I'm hesitant to consider chapter growing my personal responsibility. Apart from the fact that I think I'm doing far more than my share in local organizing efforts, that is not what I wrote and not what I meant. Not every member has to opportunity and ability to grow a chapter single-handedly, and if they are made to feel they will be held responsible for failure, the unintended consequence could be that they may not even try.

      I feel that being a participatory organization also means that we approach chapter building in a participatory way, and that together we try to find ways to help out where local conditions are less favourable.

      At the moment, everything we do is hard and often unrewarding. It is made more unrewarding if honest ideas about what may best further our aims, which may require looking beyond the most immediate short-term needs, are labelled as distractions.

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012

      Glad to hear you consider growing your chapter is your is personal responsibility.

      An honest distraction is still a distraction.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      I do not agree it was a distraction in the first place.

      And I'm curious to see what happens when these nested replies run out of the margin.

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012


    • Sarah Owens 18th Nov 2012

      "Or does such information already exist somewhere on the site, or elsewhere? I might have missed a blog on this sort of thing..."

      Though hardly a "repository of practical advice and suggestions for local activism", there is an IOPS project attempting to facilitate local activity here,

      http://www.iopsociety.org/projects/local-chapter-project .

      All are invited to join and contribute.

    • Lambert Meertens 19th Nov 2012

      The advertized purpose of this project is to encourage members to generate local content for their local chapter page. That presupposes that their local chapter exists in some form beyond leading a purely virtual existence as bits on the IOPS web servers.

      So what about setting up a project for producing an IOPS Handbook? Should that be a separate project, or could it be a sub-project of the Local Chapter project?

    • Will Henry Lapinel 19th Nov 2012

      Lambert - good point; I think it would work well as a sub-project - it would give people something to work on.

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012


  • Thomas Hallbert 19th Nov 2012

    I have been hesitating in front of launching a convention prematurely. But now after meeting both Michael Albert and a handfull of IOPS-members in Paris the 11th of November I am less eager to hold on the brakes in font of it.
    Out of 7 members turning up at the meeting 1 is french, 1 is german, 1 is brittish, 1 is greek, 1 is belgian, 1 is american and I am swedish, and we all live and are active in France. Our common profile is rather International. Maybe this is occurring also in other countries?
    My theory is that the majority of the present members of IOPS are people who all share an International spirit. And have practical experience from this.
    Concerning IOPS being interim or established as an organization is for me the same. It is a fact that we are organizing and if a large number of our activists ask for a convention I will certainly not opose to that.
    The earth is burning under our feet and I want to save as much time as possible to turn into activity.
    So an IOPS handbook might be handy, as long it does not turn into a brick.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 19th Nov 2012

      Thomas - that is great and encouraging news to hear, and your sense of urgency is a shared feeling, I think.

      I think I agree with what you seem to be saying - that the founding convention is merely a formality - when it happens, IOPS must already be a capable organization. The chapters must be autonomous and active; but we must also have established decision-making procedures/mechanisms for chapters to decide as an entire organization. I think it will be a good idea to have it, if only for the potentially wider audience, via left media coverage, we may reach by holding a founding convention.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      I once went through the whole membership list, and in doing so I was struck by the large number of expats. There must indeed be some connection between having an international experience and the propensity to join IOPS. It could be that the actual international experience makes one more ready to see the potential of IOPS, but it could also be that a certain disposition makes one both more ready and likely to embark on an international adventure and more disposed to join an internationalist and adventurous organization like IOPS. Or a combination of the two.

      If IOPS is a functioning grassroots organization, the founding convention will be a solemn confirmation of what is there already. If IOPS is not yet functioning as a grassroots organization, the founding convention will be premature.

      If the handbook turns into a brick, it may be handy to keep it in case we need to throw something at an authoritarian figure. The question arises, is this brick an essential object?

    • Sarah Owens 20th Nov 2012

      Thomas, I tried to write a sub-project description that steers it clear of bricks. I invite you to join the Local Chapter project for the sole purpose of monitoring this sub-project and dropping a corrective word whenever your brick-detector starts chirping.

      http://www.iopsociety.org/projects/local-chapter-project/handbook-subproject .

    • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

      I think this would be a great project for members to come together and work on.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

      Correction - "IS" a great project. Thanks for starting. :)

  • Victor Hertzfeld 20th Nov 2012


    I think we need to focus on building healthy functioning chapters. If we have a convention prematurely it be a disaster for a couple reasons. One, it will be a very small number of people who might as well meet by teleconference, such that the conference will be more theater than substance. Second, it will be a gathering of those with the resources to show up. Those with the time and resources to travel across the world to attend the convention will have an exaggerated influence. Finally, if sufficient number of people have not thought through their thoughts on their vision for the organization, bad decisions will likely come out of the convention.

    I would feel more comfortable with the ICC's passive leadership than a premature convention. With the ICC they know they are unelected and will such be careful and operate primarily by suggestion. Furthermore they are well respected activists and intellectuals who are fairly well prepared to provide a passive leadership role. However, a convention has as its purpose to lay down structure, and if the permanent or semi-permanent rules, direction, vision of the organization is set by people who either either unrepresentative or ill prepared for the task the results could be poor, which could derail the project.

    Someone reading this might ask what solutions do functioning chapters offer to the problems I describe here. One, chapters can pool resources and send delegates to the convention, so this will at least in part mitigate the problem of only the more privileged members being able to come to the conference. Second, chapters are where new individual members will discuss issues of organization structure, direction, vision, etc. - in other words, chapters are where the base of the organization will prepare itself to participate in a convention meaningfully.

    Furthermore, chapters will be where the real life of the organization will take place (both before and after the convention), so in building chapters we will be building the organization and preparing for the convention.

    I would suggest various national chapters or regional chapters set criteria for the number of functional chapters needed to have national or regional conventions. Have national conventions prior to one big premature international chapter.


    • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

      Justin - great to hear your thoughts on this, thank you. I completely agree on the #1 priority being chapter-building (as you guys are doing quite capably in San Diego - I wonder if you guys might be willing to take on the chapter-building handbook idea that Lambert mentions above - just something very basic for inexperienced IOPS members who are all on their own). We also agree that a premature founding convention would be very unwise.

      You and John Keeley have a good point about a need for regional and national conventions preceding the international one.

      All that notwithstanding, what do you think of Michael's proposal that we embark on a shared campaign to reach agreed-upon minimum criteria for a founding convention? I think it is very important, especially while we are "interim", to set a goal for the organization, to have a landmark to achieve. Otherwise, I think people feel like they're waiting for something that may never come.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      What about a long lasting campaign for building more healthy functioning chapters and (as part of that) also attracting more members, without tying it to numerically specified preconditions? The handbook could be part of this, but also the shared production of promotional material (flyers, posters, T-shirts), and a more attractive and "sticky" IOPS website.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      I share Justin's concerns about a premature convention. In addition to what he wrote, if there is a risk of the vision of the organization being set by people who are (or, just as bad, may be perceived as) unrepresentative of the grassroots members, even if the result is quite good, individual members might not feel committed to the outcome and the effect might be less instead of more coherence.

  • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

    Lambert - long lasting shared campaign, yes, but without preconditions, no. I think setting organizational goals is absolutely essential. And I don't understand the fears about it.

    I share those fears too - but I'm not proposing to hold a convention prematurely. The question is whether to embark on a shared campaign to discuss, agree upon, and collectively set out to achieve a certain size and level of activity. This puts something finite ahead of us. It gives people an idea of where we're going. There are no costs associated with such an endeavor, that I can think of.

    What do other people think? Is setting goals a bad idea? Anyone else out there reading?

    • Will Henry Lapinel 20th Nov 2012

      Woops - second paragraph: by "those fears" I am referring to fears of holding a convention prematurely, not setting goals.

    • Lambert Meertens 20th Nov 2012

      For the sake of clarity, I'm not against setting goals per se. But I am against goals of the form "We all commit to each getting X new members during the next Y months". Apart from the question who "we all" is (including members who don't visit the IOPS website and are not even aware of these discussions?), this implies a diffuse individual effort and is so far removed from the reality on the ground that I'm afraid "we all" will only end up frustrated if we weren't already. And, most importantly, goals of this form have little to do with the actual functioning of IOPS.

      So – forgive me for rambling because I don't have clear worked-out ideas on this – I think we may have more effect from a campaign in which we select a number of promising target locations where a functioning local chapter seems within reach (e.g., San Francisco), and mount a concerted effort to get such a chapter there off the ground, with the support of committed members in (relatively) nearby places. And after such a round, we try to learn from the successes and inevitable failures, and start a next round of what appear then to be the most promising candidates. All while remaining realistic – there has to be at least a fair chance of success. Here endeth the rambling (for now).

    • Will Henry Lapinel 22nd Nov 2012

      Lambert - perhaps the "how" of achieving goals that you mention may not be the best way. I too can see some reasons why that might not be the best approach. I think the "how" should be tactics-based and effort-based and not results-based. But if you are not opposed to goals per se, what do you think of the proposed goals?

      I like your ramblings - concentrating on getting one chapter up and running would be a very worthy effort. Concentrated effort is good. My only concern, just thinking aloud, is what role would non-chapter members play in assisting the growth of this chapter? Would people from outside the city try to reach in via the internet? This may be viable, I don't know. I'm more apt to think a parallel approach may be a better use of peoples' time, but I also understand that trying to start a chapter all alone in your city is very daunting. Maybe - and thinking aloud still - we could support each other by trying different recruiting campaign tactics as an organization and sharing results - like, for example, "this week we pledge to print fliers and post them at 2 locations".

    • Lambert Meertens 22nd Nov 2012

       "But if you are not opposed to goals per se, what do you think of the proposed goals?"

      Could you be more specific which proposed goals you mean? Those given under the heading Features of a Possible Campaign at http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2650-convention-conditions appear unrealistic to me, and I fear that the efforts spent on a campaign with these goals will not be optimally directed and lead to needless frustration.

      For concentrated chapter-building efforts, I'd indeed hope that at least some members from geographically neighbouring areas (like Oakland and Berkeley, together 33 members, for the case of SF) would be willing to give a hand with such things as organizing Introduction to IOPS meetings, e.g. by helping to distribute flyers and posters. Also, functioning chapters could decide (I'd assume) to be open to members from neighbouring areas where the density is yet insufficient for establishing functioning chapters and assist with building (e.g., once SF is functioning it could accommodate the 14 members in Silicon Valley). The total campaign would consist of several such concentrated efforts executed concurrently, and then several rounds. Hopefully, this could be coordinated through the Local Chapters project: selecting promising targets, and contacting members there with specific suggestions on what they can do. (For SF you can see that some members have already been trying to do something in the past: http://www.iopsociety.org/united-states/california/blog/san-francisco-council-for-iops.)

      I keep hoping the problem of adding new languages to the website will be solved soon; having local languages up on the website will help to sustain campaigns in non-English-speaking areas.

  • Thomas Hallbert 21st Nov 2012

    Well setting goals is fine, I set goals every morning for the day to come, for tomorrow and the future. Tomorrow my goals might have changed or developped. With no goal I would maybe not even get out of bed.
    As for the International, I suppose many are scared in front of the intelectual chasme to comprehend a global structure, like the vertigo in front of the endless universe. But I try to see the world also as my living room, to make it easier to grasp it.
    The International is nothing less or more, than a huge network of bridges between groups and individuals sharing the visions of IOPS.
    It is loud and clear that the International is subordinated to global autonomous diversifull non-authoritarian groups and individuals, and not the other way around.
    And I think that each member of IOPS is like a bridgestone connecting the local activities to the international scenery, which might be a heavy load of responsability important to share with others, wether being members of IOPS or not.
    Members of groups who are fully engaged in their activities often do not have energy over to be engaged in even another activity as the International.
    This is why the International is important to add force to existing and upcoming activities as well as building an International conciousness that will become the foundations of tomorrow.
    OK I hope I got this right now.

    • Will Henry Lapinel 22nd Nov 2012

      Thomas - by International, are you referring to the founding convention? I think I understand what you're saying, but not sure about the terminology.

    • Lambert Meertens 22nd Nov 2012

      I think it refers to the notion of a political International as treated here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_international. If IOPS is formed by self-managing local chapters grouped into self-managing national branches (which I'd prefer to call "chapters" as well), then it will be much like an International in that sense, the main difference being that the national chapters are not parties.

  • Will Henry Lapinel 22nd Nov 2012

    All - thanks very much for your feedback. Just to bring this back to center, to remind everyone - we have a few proposals on the table for goals for a founding convention. There is a lot of background reading on this, and it can be confusing because the discussion spans several blogs and forums. I tried to post them all on this blog, but if you are coming into this late and are confused, just holler out and I'm sure someone will help you out.

    I'm traveling out of the country Friday, so I won't be replying to comments on this blog for a few days. I hope the discussion will continue though, and I hope many other members will offer their opinion on this important subject.

  • Thomas Hallbert 22nd Nov 2012

    I want to respond in the correct column but there is some kind of bug, both in Firefox and IE, so I can only add a comment.

    With International I refer to IOPS. Not especially at the founding convention, as IOPS is allready an International even though still interim.

    And IOPS as an International would represent much more than the so called political and elitist internationals.