2015 Jan – Spokes Meeting Agreements

Spokes meeting minutes 13th January
Reclaim the Power Regional Spokes Skype meeting Minutes
1. Decentralising Working Groups

a. Handover from previous working groups to people in new working groups i.e finance, media, social media, outreach (at the February gathering)

The discussion highlighted the fact that these don’t all exist formally and that working groups will need to re-form somewhat at the national gathering. There are only temporary working groups at present. The problem that the same old people always take on the work is because we are not very good at skills sharing and mentoring. At the national gathering this can be discussed and new working groups formed, making sure that all WGs all have a mix of new and experienced people.
AP (Kara & Sheila) identify/clarify what the current & past working groups are, what are their remits, what is their current situation, and who are the contacts for each. Summarise and upload as a document to National Basecamp project. Also, contact people who have responsibilities/experience in all the working groups or have had them in the past to make sure they come to the NG, and to hand over to new WGs.

b. Ensuring that people in new working groups have access to the right email accounts that are externally and internally clear and known
c. People need to know how to contact each working group / the people who are bottom lining a working group via the above email system

Proposal; At the meeting a document will be drawn up with a contact. Initially this might be personal, but the aim would be for each working group to have their own email address. This will enable different WG to contact each other.

d. Set temporary spokespeople for each working group until Feb NG

It was felt that this is not really possible, given time, and also that the working groups are not properly in existence at the moment.

e. Finance handover needs to be explicitly clear, set clear budgets for working groups/events

AP The new finance working group will draw up a document explaining how much money there is and how it might be spent (or could be based on the past). If/how it would be divided between regional groups and the national group. This document can be amended and changed once we know what we are doing but it’s good to have something to work with.

Proposal That at the NG a workshop creates a mandate for the finance working group so that people are clear that there is transparency and the money is being spent responsibly.

2. Working together regionally

a. Rotating regional spokes where possible.

Agreed as an aspiration, but only where a region is big enough for 2 spokes- then one can change and one can stay, to maintain coherence. It was recognised that smaller regions might not be able to do this.

b. Regional and working groups spokes council for basic organising, idea sharing and proposals for gathering – so regions and working groups are both represented, but basic process is not bogged down with large numbers of people

c. Agenda and proposals available few weeks in advance so that regional groups get to discuss them and their spokes are empowered to represent them

d. System where each regional group can feed in items they would like on the agenda (set a deadline for when they need to be in to the Gatherings WG)

e. RtP should be a collaboration of regions with all being equally informed of other outside events in advance and the option to take part – we need to make sure this happens

f. Email accounts for each regional group and all RtP emails go to those, at the moment using individual accounts could mean that messages aren’t passed on if that person is busy. Each regional group can then decide how they will share that information

3. Making Structure and communications clear

b. Is basecamp the best tool to use? What else is available that might be easier for new people to interact with?
Agreed that this discussion is inevitable, but online nothing is actually secure, and basecamp is what is being used, so it’s not practical to try and change, given that there is no dramatic reason why anything else is better.

c. We give each regional group an official email address and all communication on basecamp and for organising goes through them, rather than personal networks.

Agreed with the caveat that this inevitably does not always work. There should also be back up contacts for each region on a document on Basecamp.
AP (Barlow, Liz) work out what regions are active and identify contacts with them. And clarification on what they are called. This could be an information document on Basecamp. Hannah Martin has the admin rights to set new groups so could be contacted. AP Sheila can explain how to add people it’s really easy!
Proposal NG- evening skillshare- Basecamp. And make a document how-to guide in this skillshare.

d. Proposal Each regional spoke gets given a mobile phone that is used for immediate communication – so we don’t have to rely on personal networks to organise meetings.

AP Rachel will get these for the NG. This is good for rapid response and is a physical handover thing for spokes- makes it more real and means falling back on social connections is less likely.

4. National Gathering – February

a. Agenda points each region would like at National Gathering
c. Regions to be able to facilitate spaces
Proposal- Hannah puts an ‘advert’ for regions that they can identify something to bring to the national gathering- to host a space/facilitation/workshop etc……using the open space or in another way so that they are involved in whatever way they choose. This will go out with the Agenda to regional meetings And in the future spokes set the agenda for meeting.
AP Take it to regions to look at the agenda. Needs a deadline. End of this week. Tom will try and let the other regions know
e. Make sure there is a 12 month strategy laid out at national gathering
PROPOSAL brainstorm for a strategy at the NG, for about an hour, with the previously agreed aims and objectives stuck to- and made explicit, and then a strategy working group goes away and works this up and feeds it back via spokes. *consensus*
AP Hannah Smith will talk to Hannah Martin about agenda to fit it in. (not in open space…..)

6. Any other business

d. Training for working groups should go on over Easter – again to avoid summer, but to provide a clear time to bring new people in to get them the skills to run the camp.

f. Celebrate Camps and large actions (like Cop 21) as times to come together, but do not build them up too much, in case they deflate people (like Copenhagen 09)

AP The COP meeting Agenda needs to be sent out by Liz and Sheila
AP Skillshare / Training agenda request to be sent by Kara
AP Gathering Agenda to be sent out by Molly
we need to make sure all spokes are on Basecamp

Questions for all spokes to take back to regional groups regarding COP21
The COP21 WG need responses to Questions 2 – 4 by the end of Tuesday 27th Jan
AP Question 1 should be considered for a wider discussion at the national gathering.
AP contact Kara & Sheila with responses to questions 2-4 BEFORE end of Tuesday 27th Jan

1. Do you think Reclaim the Power should respond positively to the call
out from European networks to mobilise for the COP21 in Paris in December
(i.e. Do you think we should mobilise people from the UK to travel to Paris in Dec 2015?) – a question to be discussed at the National Gathering, but people can think about it in advance

2. For anyone who heard about or remembers the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in Dec 2009, what lessons do you think we can learn from that mobilisation, about how we could address COP21 better? (i.e. POSITIVE suggestions)

3. Q: Do you think it’s right to target our actions at the negotiators, and/or do we feel we need to target our actions elsewhere, e.g.: towards corporations / the wider public/etc?
(Some European NGOs are proposing a mass march on the final Saturday (12th Dec) of the Paris talks, after the negotiations are scheduled to finish on the Friday (although the talks could carry on to the Saturday). The proposed message / rationale is to have the “final word” on the talks, since the real/meaningful decisions are not necessarily made in the talks, and that we (civil society) shall continue to organise for climate justice in our home countries regardless of the international deal that is (or is not) signed. While RtP can’t influence when the big mobilisation will take place, but RtP can decide what its strategy will inform RtP efforts)

4. If we were to go to Paris, what kind of actions would you want to do/think would be most effective (eg bike blocs, marches, or any creative ideas for actions?)