Global Gathering 2020 - Day 10 - Global Governance - Tools to support us

Google Doc
Slack channel: #global-tools

What is the purpose of this session?

  • Get a better understanding of how everyone feels about OFN’s current tools
  • Source as many ideas as possible

What outcomes/deliverables do we want?

  • An action plan (people in charge / steps to fulfil the needs)

Who is facilitating? Rachel, Andy, Thomas

Who is scribing? Andy



Intro - Thomas’ Presentation

Andy leads us in a collaborative brainstorming around two questions in Google Doc :

  1. What is the most frustrating aspect of collaborating with other people right now at OFN?
  • Problem of transparency - e.g. too much happens in Slack, #WWMD (what would Myriam do?)
  • Problem of lacking an index - where is all the information?
  • Problem of duplication - lacking single-point-of-truth
  • Problem of lacking clarity re: expectations around tools - e.g. are we expected to read all messages in Slack? Anxiety re: keeping up with conversations. Difficult to get an overview of what’s going on globally
  • Need for balance between clear process and agility
  • Rachel highlights that this session was crafted around the question of choice of tools, but what’s emerging here is that a lot of the difficulty is with the processes around our existing tools
  1. What are the best tools you use: why do you think they would be interesting for OFN and why do you think they are easy to use? (even if it’s outside of OFN, or not a computer/digital tool)?
  • Key considerations: ease-of-use, versatility (multiple functions in one), powerful search, security, interoperability
  • Theresa wonders if we can construct a list of core tools everyone in Global OFN community needs to use, plus list of supplementary tools for specific functions
    • Need for clear onboarding with tools - symbolic work of granting OFN belonging, identity
  • Lynne highlights tension between openness (Discourse, Slack) and privacy/security (Google Drive)
    • Eriol shares some concerns re: data security at OFN (e.g. personal political security)
    • Thomas also brings the corporate perspective re: HR, grant applications, etc.

Go deeper in one tension - Rachel and Thomas

  • 2 key tensions emerging from governance discussions so far - focus on one for this exercise:
    • Where we’re making decisions
    • How we manage projects
  • First steps to creating a grid for evaluating different solutions (not only software solutions) for our different requirements
  • Grid in Google Doc allows us to vote on the importance of different criteria for:
    • a) tools generally
    • b) a decision-making tool (e.g. Clear process for surfacing information relevant to the decision, Voting tool, History of decisions made, underlying reasoning, etc.)
      • Rachel: Voting criterion - this is an open question, voting suggests a particular approach to decision-making.
      • Theresa: we are more focused on consensus, so would rather need a tool that could show dissenting views, who’s being left out, etc.
      • Thomas: maybe we can say participation instead of voting
      • Andy: potentially we need different tools for different types of decisions (including which circles are involved in the decision - Slack could be sufficient for small circles)
      • Lynne: maybe important mantra is “nothing about us without us” - we have to be able to make decisions at different levels (individual, work group, OFN as a whole), but also consult those who our decisions affect


  • Thomas: Animate discussion regarding tools, choosing tools, being part of the implementation of new tools
  • Slack channel #global-tools will carry this discussion forward

Detailed notes:

See Google Doc for Andy’s detailed notes and collaborative documenting :slight_smile: