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21 December 2012 – minutes

2.00 – 5.30pm
Present: SP, CK, JR, MB, JS, AS, DG (via Skype for the launch review)

Reflection on launch

Likes

Diversity of people
Hearing new things
Venue/ set up/ having two rooms
Artwork on walls
Hearing difficult things and then having a dance to balance it out
Structure – funeral then celebrating/ upbeat
Speaking to people who had applied
John and Tracy great MCs
Some of the spoken word was really great
Fun, enjoyed it
Atmosphere
Quite a lot of new people
People were excited about Edge
Achieved goals in communicating what Edge is
Nice to have mix of donors and activists
Having people seated worked well
Great turnout

Room for growth

Longer time for dancing
More networking, perhaps facilitated
Some performers were pitching
Lots of last minute jobs
Damage to halls unfortunate, perhaps better next time to be based there for a couple of days or at least have organisers based in same location
Organisation tricky – main organisers not in London, difficulty communicating with Dan in SA
Perhaps performances too long – or just some were too long
Perhaps better to have actual performances rather than people talking about projects
Theme could have been more powerful
People didn’t know who other people were at the event; perhaps room in the programme to get to know each other (facilitated)
Have something for people to leave with; how can people get involved?
More diversity in programme; dance, music, spoken word etc
Check-in volunteers better (some came at different times)
Don’t start with solo artist; daunting for them and less impact than having group

Set up general EdgeNews email list, with e.g. monthly emails. Send initial email to everyone. Ask them to let us know if they don’t want to be part of Edge in future and if so we can unsubscribe from mailing list

Separate Edge members list for online discussions.
Pay DG – £350 plus £80 travel expenses and other expenses

After first round, consider launching in other places around UK, perhaps smaller afternoon events.

DG will send more info on listening exercise he needs to do as part of Training for Transformation work; finding out about injustice in different communities etc. Could this tie in with Edge?

Membership

3 categories of people re membership:

  • Infiltrators who want to influence Edge;
  • Well meaning people who aren’t on our wavelength politically;
  • We want to attract people who came in the early stages of Edge, where did they go?

Process we’ve agreed looks about right for now. Need to work on values statement so we attract the right members. Should just be a case of bringing together key parts of values statement. ‘Systemic change’ is being misused by big NGOs. Need to make clear that we don’t think that our existing ‘democratic’ system is good enough, has to change, not just tweaking. Also, distributing wealth through charity not good enough. Not just equality of opportunity. Empowering groups to make change themselves, not well meaning people aiding or training them. Not about getting our pet projects funded.

Won’t invite new members until after first round. Invite successful applicants to apply as members.

JS will look at writing new concise values statement next week.

SP to send the two versions of the values statement written previously to John.

Taking out applications that don’t meet the criteria

Main criteria

Groups with income over £100,000 (not a published guideline)
Based or working overseas
Good works/ charitable
Political parties/ religious/ don’t meet values? (not published guideline, so prob can’t eliminate on this basis)

When notifying groups we should try to give them some indication of why they don’t meet the criteria. Use mail merge to add line to individual emails with reason.

CK, JR and MB (others?) to look at applications in next week.
Any groups with 3 or more people who support taking out out will be highlighted.
Check to see if any disagreements about groups eliminated.
Notify groups after Christmas.

Need to work out criteria re individuals. Big difference between supporting long-term proven activists and ‘life-style’ activists who aren’t very active. For wider discussion at next meeting.

Short-listing

All members take part in short-listing.

Each member scores 1-10 using the Google survey tool. Also ask for comments about reasons for score to feed back to group and ask if member knows group. Make clear that shortlisting is based on scores only, not comments.

Top 50 applications asked to provide more info? They can provide this in written, audio, film or through meeting.

Network for Social Change model – each applicant has a sponsor, then Network members visit and assess the applicant and present this to rest of membership. Should we follow same model?

Original idea was that applicants would send in the additional information, with help from members where needed, but there wouldn’t be any assessment by an individual member/ group of members beforehand; the assessment would be made collectively at the meeting. It would be up to members to read the applications prior to meeting and then discuss at meeting how much funding should be allocated.

Should we have a small group go and visit the applicant? Or speak on telephone? Would they be assessing or information gathering?
Should groups come to the meeting to present? (keep changing our minds on this).

If we have enough members, perhaps 10 people commit to working with 5 groups to help them apply and visit/ phone.

SP: Can we learn from some of the US funders? XminY?

Needs discussing at January meeting

Community outreach role

Unfortunately this will have to wait until the next meeting.

Next meeting

Doodle for best date.
Sign up members, elect directors.
Figure out process after short-listing and membership.

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