Global Gathering 2020 - Day 9 - Discussions and Proposals Session 2

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Google Doc
Miro board

What is the purpose of this session?

  • Clear pathways for global governance and coordination
  • Agreement on some key actions

NB. Very tight facilitation in this session to keep ourselves tool agnostic throughout

Who is facilitating? Kirsten

Who is scribing? Gen

What outcomes/deliverables do we want?

  • 45 mins Circles Pt 2: Agreement on next steps for implementation of revised Circles structure for decision-making and information flow
  • 45 mins Discussions & Proposals: very rough draft run . .
  • 30 mins Overview of Forthcoming Sessions: can we see potential cohesion in discussions


We spent the majority of the session working on the circles. Kirsten took the draft circles and sub-circles we identified in Session One in the Miro board and translated them into the below table. We then collaboratively edited this table, adding more detail on the purpose, functioning and membership of each circle, and using comments to indicate open questions. Our subsequent discussion highlighted some open questions and potential changes to the circle structure elaborated so far.

We then spent some time brainstorming and discussing information flows between circles. We identified some principles that are important to us (e.g. defaulting to open), as well as potential ways of realizing these principles (e.g. dedicated communicator roles), and ways in which our current information flows are not functioning optimally (e.g. global monthly catch-up).

As these first steps took quite a while, we then decided to skip the draft run exercise, where we would have attempted a “Coordination Circle” meeting, assigning Action Items surfaced during the Global Gathering to specific circles.

Instead we spent some time identifying open questions that we have yet to answer. We then tried to identify upcoming sessions during the Global Gathering where these questions might be addressed further.


  • Rachel will take the lead on a decision-making discussion
  • We will establish coordination circle

Detailed notes:
See Google Doc

1 Like

Sorry I couldn’t attend the session yesterday.
In the holacracy process, is that if a role in a circle has a decision to take, this role should ask any other role impacted by the decision to see if there can be some negative impact, or workload, or… on them. So a role is entitled to take decisions given the perimeter of that role, but if tension arise on some other roles it is supposed to take them into account… else that might escalate in some bigger issues and conflicts. It spread the decision making load, every role is sovereign to take decisions within their perimeter, that’s why it is important to clearly define the competences of each role.

I think it’s important not to take decisions in synchronous meetings, but write proposals, cause not every entitled person can attend every meeting given the scope of our community. And some “absent” person can have very important objections. Or if decisions are taken they should be documented and a short period of time left for any objection if some absent people may have.

About tools, there is a need for decision making tool like Loomio maybe, OR there is a voting / poll system within discourse that might exploring maybe. But I think there is also a need for a more visual tool like Glassfrog to be able to follow the evolution of circles (new circles and roles will be created as we go, some will reshaped, etc.) and people also will change roles, etc. I’m not recommanding we use Glassfrog, as it’s locking the governance in the full holacracy model. Maybe it worth exploring other tools. Or see if the way we want to work fits into glassfrog… I’m not sure a spreadsheet will enable us capture our human organisation properly.

I’m wondering actually if we need processes and the structure will come from the processes, if the holacracy framework per say is not what we need, as it gives a pretty clear process, and the circles emerge from following up the processes. Just to have a bit more clarity on this I’ll ask a good friend of mine whose job is to support organization implementing the holacracy governance framework, at least it might give us more inputs / ideas.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend the tools meeting today, but I’m happy to participate to a small working group that could elaborate a concrete proposal to be discussed, taking into account all the comments and feedbacks from those sessions.