The FairShares Association has opened a Community Forum on Loomio that anyone can join.
After the first FairShares Association conference, members established a Loomio group to experiment with online collaborative decision-making. Nine months on, members have got used to taking decisions online. Recently, it was proposed that we should open a ‘Community Forum’ to engage the public and create a Users forum for people applying FairShares principles but not contributing directly to its development.
On 30th March 2015, the group approved the proposal so anyone can now participate in developing the FairShares Association on Loomio by joining the Community Forum to participate in debate. Click the link, then use the ‘Join’ button in the top right of the screen. To make things easier, you can register on Loomio using a Facebook, Google or Twitter account.
Once you have joined the community forum, you can initiate and participate in debates, make proposals, take votes and publish the outcomes. Although votes in the Community Forum are not binding on the association itself, they will undoubtedly trigger debate and discussion amongst members. The FairShares community can act on its own decisions irrespective of whether members choose to formally adopt their position on behalf of the association.
We imagine that some community forum members will want to apply for membership of the association as a way of recognising their work.
We now have a simple process for applying to become a member. Labour Members are recognised for the work they do developing the intellectual property on which FairShares is based. User Members are recognised for the work they do disseminating, teaching and promoting FairShares ideas and concepts. Sometimes there is a fine line between the two so it is possible to apply to be a member of both groups. To apply to become a Labour or User members, open the sub-group (on the right hand side of the Community Forum) and click ‘Apply to join group’.
A current member will send you an (online) form – it has only three questions on it. The application is then reviewed by a founder and one other member. If both agree you can become a member, your membership application will be approved. There is no cost to membership, but we do encourage members to take out an annual subscription to offer financial support for the work we do.
We are now actively building our subscriber base (£24 for indivduals, £96 for social enterprises, and £192 for corporates and universities). Subscribers do not have to become members (and vice versa) and will automatically be invited into the Community Forum (and get a complimentary copy of our first publication).
To set up your subscription visit http://www.fairshares.coop/subscriptions.html.