Advisory meetings with Karrot

2023-10-17 meeting

Attendance: @jane.losare-lusby (facilitator), @nicksellen, @nathalie.szycher, @john.l.clark (secretary)


  • Nick: “we did it!”
  • Nathalie: good summary of what happened; could review it in more detail
  • This policy focuses on the core team, doesn’t address broader categories of participation, but have certainly gained clarity around governance
    • Could do a debrief on this process? A: yes

What are reactions on this as a collaborative work between the Karrot team and the FOSC Circle? What feedback do we have? (E.g. what went well, and what went poorly?)

  • John: review period? Enjoyed the framing of a formation of a temporary organization, making progress, innovating and learning in ways
  • Nick: made a note in the thread about review period; also enjoyed working towards clarity around what we were all wanting from coming together in these meetings; glad for structure and space for being heard: wanting that in more spaces
  • Membership policy seemed like a manageable stepping stone to work on
  • Also have thoughts about how the Karrot-specific meetings happened; discussions there can be free and rambling, which is both pleasurable and sometimes challenging to effectiveness
  • Nathalie: collaboration encouraged both teams to “do their homework” with more energy; glad for additional support around intentionally looking at governance; sees FOSC as providing a space of support for governance enthusiasts
  • Jane: pleasantly surprised at the progress that we’re seeing in the Karrot community; meetings seemed to get progressively more focused; curious about where we want to go from here; interested in participating or hearing a summary around the review of this policy

What’s next?

  • Nick: possible next steps:
    1. write up our experience, hopefully in an interactive space
    2. visioning exercise with the existing members
    3. look at some of the groups that use Karrot and explore their governance needs
    4. something that would particularly benefit or interest SoFA folks?
  • Nathalie: thinking a bit more short term, still interested in the membership policy; do FOSC folks want to consider feedback on that policy?
  • Explore ways for Karrot to embrace more tools from sociocracy? Maybe have Karrot take the sociocracy evaluation? Also happy to take a break and come back as needed.
  • Jane: excited about write up idea and sharing outcomes from our work; unsure of how much FOSC can contribute to the visioning work; also unsure of the direction for engaging with Karrot users; excited to do another round of feedback on the membership policy; wanting to make sure our FOSC work can scale to work with other groups
  • John: interested in hearing more about Karrot’s process around the membership process; curious about what Karrot might be wanting; feeling the tension around perhaps artificial limitations in FOSC, as we might be happy to talk with software folks and also organizations who are users are software (and even others)
  • Nick: the write-up could include an extended exploration of the internal Karrot processes; interested in exploring how to nudge users of these software tools towards beneficial governance tools (e.g. sociocracy); dialogue between the governance of the developers and governance encouraged in users; “add buttons in a way that is well-informed”
  • Nathalie: could see this going to the FOSC backlog: “sociocracy in the software”; wondering about hand-offs to other resources that SoFA has available
  • Jane: could see us doing another meeting around shaping strategies around sharing practices with users of our projects
  • John: happy for another meeting to continue work from this meeting

Next meeting: 10-31, agenda to plan the write-up, explore ideas around encouraging best practices, Jane will send out a specific invitation

2023-09-05 meeting

Attendance: @jane.losare-lusby (facilitator), Vas, Nick, Bruno, @nathalie.szycher , @john.l.clark (secretary)

Report on last meeting:

  • Karrot team decided to do some work on a membership policy

Nick: made a lot of progress on a membership policy in recent meetings; still a draft

Agenda for today

Nathalie: could provide feedback on current proposal draft; different scopes of threads could come out of talking about this proposal draft

Discussing the current draft

Jane: seeing open questions, possibly other feedback?

Bruno: second section is slightly outside the scope of the particular membership in Karrot; interested in placing this work in a larger scope; focus is on the first section

Jane: what is blocking this proposal?


  1. Membership and bank account? Maybe not with the current bank account set up
  2. Section for members on the forum
  3. Tilmann as a member? Just ask him?
  4. When do we introduce additional circles?
  5. Shift from Q&A format to more declarative format
  6. Mention the existence of the larger contextual material, but perhaps not include them directly in this document

Vas: largely agree with Nick; do we need to have another bank account?

Noting the process listed here for excluding someone if necessary.

Nathalie: maybe not include the current members in the policy; would be good to include other governance elements in a broader governance agreement

John: are meetings exclusive to members? if not, remove as power. agree w/ nathalie about building towards a more complete governance document. Vision/Values/Mission/Goals/Domains/etc

bruno: this is one piece of the larger puzzle which includes vision, values, decision-making process, other circles and modes of contribution; want to emphasize that this is connected to additional ongoing work

Jane: noting no answer for the last question in the first section (relation of membership to governance); this relates to points others have made earlier; reminder that no decision is final, can always make updates with feedback

Next steps

  • listing members clearly on the forum (and removing them from the policy)
  • following up with Tilmann
  • separate out the question of additional circles (Jane mentioned a SoFA article on this)
  • sort out bank account issues
  • clearly define member removal process (also linked with broader governance work)
  • processes for removing members may need to be a separate conversation
    • Jane: is this blocking the policy overall?
    • Bruno: not for me
    • Vas: have had membership related issues, would be happy to have this ready for this policy; we’ve postponed working on it before
  • Nathalie: would appreciate having clear statements around decision-making

Proposal (Jane): rewrite the document in a declarative format, remove member list, remove bank access statement, establish a space to list members, follow up with Tilmann; clarify a process for both decision-making and removing members

  • Nathalie to lead the text around decision-making
  • Bruno to update format of docment and to lead the text around member removal
  • Nick to set up web/forum space for member list

Nathalie: would be enough to clearly state the power; doesn’t need to state the mechanism yet
Jane: are you willing to resolve that concern?
Nathalie: yes

Vas: excluding someone from Karrot is very much a decision-making process; happy to draft the exclusion text, but wanting more discussion about it
Nathalie: current draft seems to indicate a process already
Jane: in sociocracy, this would be another consent process, but without empowering the member in question with the ability to object

Next meeting

Maybe 4 to 6 months from now? Jane: maybe 2 months?

Meeting creates a nice deadline to work towards.

Proposal: 10-17 at the same time? ← no objections