Organization Structure

Decentralization

Since our mission is to include other researchers and artists, we want our organization to be able to grow and change over time as it adapts to the needs of our members. This is why we opted for a decentralized organization structure.

We aim to increase the overall resilience of the research group, empower participation, decrease bottlenecks and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy. In general we want to focus on connecting people and allow our little community to flourish.

How does this work in practice?

The main approach is to making existing power structures visible by formalizing them. We aim to keep things as transparent as possible, so that members can find all the information they need to join & participate our projects, following their excitement and curiosity.

If any of our members has an idea on how to improve VCL, or wants to start a new project, they make a proposal to the Anchor Group, where all of our management decisions are made.

Once a proposal is green-lit we will either create a new role or a new group, whose coordinator has a mandate to lead the group in whichever way they see fit.

Decision making tools

Here are four different ways to make decisions. We will choose together whichever is best suited for each situation.

  • Mandate: I'll decide, then respond to questions.

  • Advice: I'll listen to input, then I'll decide.

  • Consent: I'll proceed if nobody objects.

  • Consensus: I'll proceed if everyone agrees.

Remember that the prerequisites for this to work are transparency, a shared direction, psychological safety, conflict resolution and regular reflection, ...

We generally make decisions that are helpful for VCL as a whole, and all our members. Try to remember that decisions are not necessarily about personal preference, but about what we together think is the best strategy forward for the whole organization.

It's helpful to distinguish preference from tolerance: "I prefer this proposal, but I'm OK with this proposal as well. I object to this proposal". Decisions should be “good enough for now” and “safe enough to try.”

Internal Communication

All internal communication is done exclusively using our private workspace on Slack. We use google drive for meeting notes and sharing internal documents and google calendar to notify other members of group and project meetings.

Who do I contact if I need something?

  • If you are a member and you need something related to VCL's inner workings, first check the list of internal groups, since there already might be a role or group related to your issue. If there is a group, get in touch with the groups coordinator via Slack.

  • If there is no group related to your issue yet, get in touch with the Coordinator of the Anchor group.

  • If you are not a member, and you have questions about VCL, please contact the General Secretary.

  • If you have questions about one of our community projects, get in touch with its coordinator. You can find a list of projects here and on our website.

  • Also check the list of members, in case you are looking for some specific expertise.

Annual General Assembly

Once a year the Anchor Group invites all members to join us for a weekend retreat, to review the last year and plan our next years strategy together.