Mary reports that we have 3 new sponsors: EcoFlora, Brothers Drake, & Global Gallery. The tables are filling, & a new twist is that sponsors now can have a table for their own guests. The video is moving forward as planned. Mary is working on a list of things that need to be completed on the day of the event to make requests for volunteers.
Action Circles Update
Agent of Change
The Agent of Change circle had people who were committed as facilitators, but lacked support in initiating and coordinating new courses. As of September, we have Samira Zoofan as an intern to fulfill that role. With this development, we anticipate increased energy in the circle. Sara, Erin, & Chuck are meeting Samira next week to go over her role & responsibilities & to offer her guidance. Sara remains the convener of this Action Circle. The next Agent of Change course date will be set for October.
Communications and Membership
MemCom is an energized team taking action to invite members into gatherings (2nd Friday Social) and exploring changes to best leverage social media & the website.
2nd Friday Socials: Energy is high & attendance is modest. A strategy to increase attendance is to get the word out more effectively, beyond standard listservs, e.g. flyers in coffee shops & libraries.
Social media & website: Chuck is committed to starting a Director’s Blog. The action circle is exploring on the website what is antiquated & out-of-date, what can be collapsed into fewer categories, how to have more pictures & links to bring the site more alive. They are looking at the U.S. Transition website as an aesthetic model. Next meeting: 9/26.
Falling under the umbrella of MemCom but initiated out of GTBS action circle, the membership policy is on a fast-track redesign track. The membership form needs to be created (with definitions defined) prior to GTBS; however, it must be in alignment with the database & the infrastructure being created. Hence, Dominic, Richard L., Mary, Carol, Jim C., Chuck & Dan are involved in defining terms & creating the document. Because of the tight timeframe involved, the MemCom action circle will not have the opportunity to be fully involved.
The last EI AC meeting was in June; attempts to reconvene in August & September have not been successful. Ellen is the convener & finds that AC members have other commitments that call their attention.
EI course materials are now available to anyone who wants to initiate a course. Prior, individuals could only access materials by going through the AC (aka steering committee). This decentralizing means that this is one aspect that the AC is not needed in its current form.
Ellen has had success initiating EI courses through churches, & she will continue to pursue that. However, there isn’t energy around EI AC to initiate, coordinate, or facilitate courses.
Recommendation: retire this AC & have materials available on-line until more energy is available. An intern may be an opportunity to re-ignite this AC in the future.
One lament in talking with Chuck is that, like Your Money or Your Life, EI has been a gateway course that also got people more involved in their community.
Transition Central Ohio
TCO made the decision to become a transition hub (rather than a transition town) about 1 ½ years ago, wanting to support surrounding communities in becoming transition towns. Specifically, TCO goals are to: 1. Foster transition initiatives and 2. Help networking and bringing resources together.
TCO has been slow in setting that goal & the necessary supporting actions. The connections they have had with the Sustainable groups has been adversely affected, with Mac having a sense that TCO was moving too slowly for the action-oriented Sustainables.
Mac wants to map out central Ohio & the various Sustainables, arranging meetings for TCO to visit each community & offer education/support around transition. He would also like to re-establish relationships with the Sustainables & determine how TCO can offer support.
Mac & Emelyn talked about setting up a meeting with the Sustainables to watch Transition 1.0, allowing 45 minutes for Emelyn to share about somatics and practices the groups can do together to re-establish trust, create goals & supporting actions around clear commitments & agreements.
Recommendation: Emelyn will attend the next TCO meeting to speak to gaining clarity of goals, strategies to achieve those goals, & commitments to fulfill on those strategies. Out of that, work can begin on re-establishing relationships with the Sustainables.
Simultaneously, Chuck recommends support for Tom Lasik in the newly formed Sustainable Hilliard—an opportunity here for mentoring & support. It would be helpful if someone commits to attending the next Sustainable Worthington meeting.
Also, the possibility of an intern to support this AC.
Support Our Local Economy
SOLE continues to be a highly energized & active AC. They exhibited Saturday at Independents Day downtown. There is also a focus on GTBS business sponsorships drawn from businesses who are already members of SOLE.
The $2 bill campaign, initiated at ComFest, continues. SOLE business members are being sought out to participate in a “Round-Up” campaign: a card is displayed by the cash register about benefits of buying local & SOLE’s “Think Columbus First” campaign in order to generate income for SOLE. Also asking these businesses if they would be willing to have their business listed on the SOLE website as a founding partner.
In addition, Simply Living is being highlighted as a partner in the SOLE project, linking GTBS & accepting business memberships.
No new board members. Karen J. remains a prospect, but currently unable to commit.
Development and Fundraising
This AC will be back in action after GTBS. Business membership groundwork is being laid in soliciting GTBS sponsorships.
Although finance does fall under Board responsibilities, Dominic foresees an Action Circle forming to perform internal auditing and processing—ensuring accounting is following procedures. This Action Circle is not formed at this time.
Recommendation: Chuck suggests that this be a standing-committee formed by the Board, involving Allison & cross-training with Joanne.
IT (Information Technology)
Dominic is passing the lead on the project with Groundworks to Richard Lamprey—this is Richard’s area of expertise.
Currently, the IT Circle is working with Groundworks to get financials in the databank such that reports can be run with confidence as to the integrity and reliability of the data.
Joanne & Allison involved with Groundworks. Dominic hopes to have 2-3 folks on the IT team once things with Groundworks are completed.
This spring, the Grant Seeking AC submitted policy recommendations to the Board for when Simply Living is ready to write grant proposals. With this completed, the AC is retired for now.
Recommendation: The Grant Circle recommends that Simply Living develop its infrastructure and program development before pursuing grants. In addition, management of the grant should fall under the Executive Director or a Program Development Circle.
Sue suggests that when it is time to for grant-seeking, Simply Living has the opportunity to solicit 2 or 3 members who have expertise in grant writing to volunteer, e.g. submit one grant per year for the organization.
Chuck suggests there may be appropriate funds to seek currently, although unlikely we would obtain them.