OSI-US Board Meeting February 28, 2008
Thank you for your comments, adjustments, corrections.

Present: Peggy Holman, Karen Davis, Lisa Heft, Tree Fitzpatrick, Gabriel Shirley, Douglas Germann Sr., Christine Whitney Sanchez -- Absent: Phelim Mc Dermott, Ed Laboy, John Engle, Kerry Napuk. Notes-taker: Lisa Heft

We began by sharing a moment of silence together.

Check-in: Karen will check with Kerry to see how he is doing and if he wishes to stay involved in the Board.

1. Gauri Ghatnekar Email to OSI-US (Peggy)

Peggy received an email to OSI-US requesting contact regarding some project or service in Kashmir. It may be unsolicited advertisement mail, but it is hard to say. Some said it felt like a random email broadcast for advertisement.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreed to let it go - if it is a real request for Open Space of some kind, the requestor will contact us again.

2. OSI-US Annual Give / Gift Letter (Doug)

Thank you Doug for all your work on it - it is really quite fabulous. Peggy is thinking about Tree’s question - since its key purpose is fundraising for OSI-US - why not a sentence up front or putting that bullet first? Is our purpose first in the letter to spread the word about, open and hold space for OS -or- to generate income?

Gabriel noted the Obama campaign’s email blast was good about that sort of thing - weaving asking for money into a larger story in a really nice way. Every time significant things happen or they reach a significant goal in the campaign they lead with gratitude for previous support, then say what opportunities exist, then their next goal, then opportunities for participation. As theirs is a repetitive thing that pattern seems to work well. Tree notes we do not have to limit ourselves to one letter a year - a later letter can remind folks of ways to open space. Gabriel adds we could have incremental goals through the year and make a letter/campaign around various things. Lisa shared how Access Queen invites people to contribute money and other resources - whatever is the amount they can contribute.

Doug wanted to make the first item something that people easily could do - and he would like us to recall we were excited about doing the letter in this fashion as it was a new way to look at it - let’s give rather than go to people with our hand out. Also he feels the folks who have been giving are used to seeing an email from us asking for money - he feels that will trigger their response. He does not want us to hold our hand out, but instead to get people involved in many ways. Karen recommends putting the question ‘where do you want to open space’ as a lead in.

Peggy’s thought - she was talking with a colleague about mass mailings - he says the mailings that say ‘dear so and so’ even when they are a mass mailing get a much higher response rate. If she provided the email list is someone equipped to do an email mail merge that would make this more personal? About 400 names - with a high percentage of bounce-backs. With a more personal touch she would be more comfortable with this dual-purpose letter. Karen cautions against using someone’s names too many times; Lisa also recommends using first name only (first and last sounds like a bulk mail letter for sure). Gabriel underlines it feels better coming from a person rather than an institution and it is great to respond to a human being. It is signed ‘Peggy Holman, Open Space Institute’ and Peggy is fine with this.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Tree is willing to put names in manually and send out each email individually. Knowing that this is will take several hours, Tree is interested in taking it on. Peggy will help her with the technicality of how to send it ‘from within’ the osi-us mailbox and will send Tree the email list. Peggy has sent out the adjusted letter to us so Tree now has a copy to use as well.

3. Training Next Generation (youth) of OS Facilitators(Christine)

Doug contacted Becky through Larry (not having Becky's email address) to invite her to a future Board meeting. No word yet.

Lisa’s thought about young people and OS: her impression by reading the minutes from this discussion was that this concern (where are the young OS facilitators) sprang up because folks noted all the ‘white hairs’ at OSonOS by the Sea. She sees lots of young OS facilitators - many come through her workshops, she recommends some for work, she mentors many. She recommends that the group is older at something like OS by the Sea because of cost issues - cost of air travel, hotel, and so on. What makes it so that Lisa sees so many young people at her workshops? asks Christine. All Lisa’s workshops are ‘pay-your-own-price’ - plus there is very low cost accommodation nearby (a hostel for $30/night) for those who may need it. There also are 2 meals a day offered in the workshops, as well, for any price anyone pays. Lisa feels this cost accessibility brings in more diversity and more youth.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Keep in the bin.

4. Meeting Day - Thursday or Friday? (All)

Lisa’s parental care day, for the time being, is usually on Tuesdays or Thursdays. All of us can meet on most Fridays - though when some of us travel, we often have Fridays as travel days. Peggy recommends we move it to the THIRD week of the month to avoid confusion.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement that now our meetings will be held on the Third Friday of each month. As there was a question about adjusting the start time and we needed to end this particular meeting, we agreed to discuss adjusting or keeping the same start time at our next meeting.

5. Girl Scout Convention Video (Christine)

The Girl Scout Convention video from 2005 is coming our way for OSI-US - Christine ordered 40 copies to be delivered to Peggy’s house. Peggy noted the distribution for OSI-US product is now being done by Breakpoint Books in Florida (not by her). She doesn’t know if Dave can keep 40 in stock - perhaps ship 10 or 15 to Dave and the rest to Peggy, who can ship him the remaining copies as needed. They will be in a little plastic case. After those 40 copies (CWS co-owns it) we can probably get some more made ourselves if we want to do that. This video will be disseminated through the Girl Scouts to 3-4000 people.

These first 40 copies are free to us and we can price them for sale however we wish (Peggy says that extra copies may be $8 per cd for 100 copies). Christine has been showing this at workshops - it gives a good feel for very large scale use of OS - people get really excited because of how they see the energy and the process. It is not a how-to video, but more of a 15-minute long case study.

Peggy’s thought on pricing - drop the price on the USWest video from $40 to $25. Doug suggests possibly bundling them? $30 for each? Karen also notes there may be Phelim’s video if it’s still existing after his computer loss. Gabriel reminds us to ask what is our purpose - if it’s not an income generator, look at how we get it out there more. Peggy says we make the most money on these - she suspects if we frame it right it might be a great income generator. Christine asks if we can consider having it a downloadable payable thing, to reduce the footprint and the expense for folks outside the country for mailing? This technical aspect can be discussed with Michael Herman.

By the way: Peggy knows of a site that lets you send really large files. Yousendit.com You can do it free up to 100 megabytes.

The video for 2008 convention will be produced externally - which will create nice web versions and make it work much faster.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Gabriel will send us a link to the video soon so we can make an assessment as to how to price it. Christine will let us know when it is approved for public release.

When we are ready to go live with it, we will contact Michael H to add it to the website. Check at that time to see if it is Christine or someone else who will take this action item.

Agreement to keep this item in the bin.

6. Including Personal Reflections in the Minutes We Post on Wiki (Karen)

As Karen was doing the previous month’s notes - and looking also at our ‘going deeper’ session notes - this came to mind. She wants to be sure everyone is comfortable including some of these personal things on the wiki. Gabriel does not have a personal reaction to that stuff being out there but he wonders about its purpose out of context. Such as if someone from a business ‘googles’ one of us when we are seeking a position with them, and they find a set of minutes with those personal comments - which would potentially be out of context for the reader. It is one thing to send these personal thoughts to share out to Board - posting on wiki however is another issue. Our thanks to Karen for bringing that up.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Recommendation to not post that part of our minutes publicly - if those sorts of reflective, personal thoughts are captured, that version could go out via email to the Board but deleted from the version going to the wiki.

7. Linking Videos on You Tube and Other Portals (Kerry)

As Kerry was not present, this was not discussed in this meeting.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

See below (Item #8)

8. US Website for Practitioners (Kerry)

As Kerry was not present, this was not discussed in this meeting.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Keep in the bin - when Karen asks Kerry how he’s doing and if he still wishes to participate on the Board, she will ask him about keeping or retiring these several agenda items linked to his name.

9. Celebrating OSI-US 10th+ Anniversary (Kerry)

As Kerry was not present, this was not discussed in this meeting.

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Agreement that we drop this item until we have an excuse for another anniversary.

10. WOSonOS2008 2008 update (Lisa)

The website is almost almost ready, visa invitation letters are going out to folks who are requesting them, registrations are happening, and everyone who registers receives a personal thank you from Lisa with an accommodation list. Lisa is also responding to special requests (for example sources of information for family-friendly activities in town, links to resources for lesbians and gays, etc. as per each request).

Actions / Decisions / Agreements :

Lisa will give updates at our meetings.

NEXT MEETING: Friday March 21 11a PST / 7:00 GMT

BIN for March 21, 2008 OSI(US) Board meeting:

1. Kerry’s ‘Linking Videos on YouTube?’ etc. and ‘US Website for Practioners’ items - keep in bin or retire?
2. OSI-US Annual Give / Gift Letter (Tree)
3. Training next generation of facilitators (Kerry, Christine)
4. Monthly Meeting Start Time - Change to 1 Hour Earlier? (Doug)
5. Girl Scout Convention Video (Christine)
6. WOSonOS2008 Update (Lisa)
7. Grants and payments to individuals (Doug)