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AIM is drawing close, and motions are circulated, so I took the freedom of commenting on a few ones, that seem interesting. Here's Motion 03:

That the CISV International Board of Trustees stop the use of electronic communications (email, online chats, messaging) during motion discussions at AIM.

As a doctor, I've always been told to treat the underlying cause first and not the symptoms. This motion is a typical example of simply giving a pain killer instead of trying to figure out, why the pain exists.

Why do people use electronic communications during the board sessions? Here's my (obnoxious) guesses:

  1. The board meeting is boring and irrelevant. Stuff presented has been heard many times before.
  2. Good discussion is impossible in a board meeting session setting. Instead of participating in the "official" discussion, trustees chat with in the "virtual board meeting" with selected others.
  3. The trustee is unfit to his job - he has no interest whatsoever in listening in participating in order to bring his NA or international organisation forward.
These reasons already hint, how to tackle the problem.

On the other side are obvious advantages of having all electronic communications and the world wide web available during the sessions: Assuming you are an avid multitasker, you can quickly look up documents, get quick answers to questions that don't affect everybody else. Furthermore you can manage meetings and discuss with other AIM-participants outside the board.

Summing up the above, I would reject this motion, but I acknowledge the need for some change to the way the board of trustees work. To be a little more blunt: A meeting of 60 people sitting around a table is probably the worst possible way to discuss and achieve anything.

I should conclude that there is a certain unpoliteness, when people seem to care only about their 14'' screens while someone is presenting something important.

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There is a procedure in CISV where you can raise a point for discussion without making a motion. That is what this should have been. We don't need to waste (ineffective) motion discussion time pointing out that we have exclusive practices in the board (which, I believe, this is targeted to).

The exclusive conversations taking place in small groups online could easily be solved by having a breakout session of roundtables on the motions, which could include the entire AIM not just the trustees, and then only voting in the board.

Besides, it is inclusive as well as exclusive. As it is now, many trustees (new and old) depend on other countries as mentors and ask important questions in the chats that they would never be willing to ask out loud in the board, or the point would have passed by the time it was their turn. Some NAs use it to communicate with those back home. And of course, Committee chairs, whose committees are working in another room, can call them to come for a presentation or to answer a question about their work or report.

It's worth discussing and making a "gentleman's/ladies' agreement" not to be rude, but really, we need to break our addiction to thinking something must happen in a motion in order to be important.

I feel that this motion should be somehow included in the GBR one since the real issue is the format of AIM and not the use of technology. I hope that the GBR motion will be integrated with this concern.

Teo, I don't think it's the same. The motion states that the Tf should consider the opportunity that electronic communication provides... but it is more about cost effectiveness of AIM.

I think that this is an issue with trustees having parallel msn chats, and not being fully engaged in the plenary discussion

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on July 16, 2009 9:44 AM.

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