How Should Progress Studies Movement Make Decisions?

I have been active in the Progress Studies (PS) movement for a little over a year. Most of the “action” takes place on the Progress Studies Slack channel. If you have not yet joined, I encourage you to do so. Activity has really picked up over the last month, since I started this “Let’s Debate Progress” series.

So far the PS Slack channel has been good for chat, but it has not been good for action. I propose that we adopt a new group process for debating and accomplishing tasks within the PS movement. The purpose is to make our PS decision-making processes:

  • More inclusive
  • More transparent
  • Lead to group decisions faster
  • Lead to more action to get things done.
  • Allow the people working on official PS projects focus on their work, not endless debate.

Below is a rough sketch of the process that I propose:

  1. Someone proposes a debate with Slack channel on a key question or task that is fundamental to growing the PS movement. I started that process in early December with my “Debates” page on my blog. I am happy to accept ideas, or you can post yourself. Keep in mind that we are a very small group, so we need to focus our efforts on what adds the most value per unit of work. We also have very little money at present.
  2. We debate in Slack channel for a week or so.
  3. When it appears that the debate is dwindling down, then I will send out an opinion poll similar to the one I just sent.
  4. I will do my best to share the results of the poll in the most transparent way possible without revealing any personal opinions or data. Keep in mind that I am currently limited by the functionality of Google Forms.
  5. If we decide on action, we attempt to recruit one person who takes the lead on the project. Anyone else can help, but once the group decides no one can derail the implementation. The person who volunteers should understand that they are doing the project for the good of the PS movement, not exclusively their own self-interest. Everyone else should assume good intentions until proven otherwise.
  6. While implementation is taking place the group should have a discussion as to the best means to govern the new technology, process, etc (if appropriate).
  7. When the person taking the lead thinks that the project has been completed, the group can take a second vote in an opinion poll as to:
  • Whether the result should become an official technology/process etc within the PS movement
  • What type of governance is most appropriate.
  1. If necessary, we may need to elect or call for volunteers who will play a role in the day-to-day governance. We need to separate implementation and governance completely, as they will likely be completely different people with different skill sets.

Note that all of this is preliminary. Everyone who is currently active in the PS movement needs to understand that as the group grows, its goals, strategies and methods will change to the reflect the desires of new members. It is quite possible that in the future, we will develop a better means to solve problems, but I think that this is the best that we can do now.

So what do you think?

Is this a good model for taking action?

Is there anything missing or that needs to be changed?

Join the debate on the thread that I post in the “General” channel of the Progress Studies Slack channel.

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