Governance Meeting Notes

This thread is for meeting notes from any of the sessions we hold, they should ideally include:

  • date
  • participants
  • notes
  • actions / outcomes
  • date time for next session


Date: 2020-10-01T09:00:00Z
Participants: Bruno, Katie, Nick

  • document meta-reflections on the process
  • each stage with variable duration as needed
  • standard weekly session at Thursday 1pm
  • write updates to the forum thread (We are designing governance features and we need your input!)
  • incorporate more casual input from the forum thread back into the process
  • tricky spreading it out over such a long time period
  • design probes / cultural probes - tasks for people to do in their own time. groups can do within themselves, then feedback. might be a way to engage people who participate in their groups, but not so much in karrot.
  • shared stories of scenarios groups encounter, and how to address them. collecting stories of governance experiences.
  • ideas on how to organise ourselves:
    • forum thread is way for people to participate
    • maybe another place for meta-reflections
    • notes from each meeting, should they be on forum thread (or is it too long)
    • maybe find a BBB instance to use (, foodsharing, … kanthaus people)
    • creating sub categories in forums, and use the forum thread as the main entry point

Actions for/before next session

  • fiddle around with forum categories (Nick)
  • publish these minutes on a new thread (Nick)
  • send katie the book (Nick)
  • write a summary of this meeting/process on the main forum thread (Bruno)
  • reflect/brainstorm personally on the stage 1 questions (particularly, set the long term goal, sprint questions, map parts, and wondering which questions to ask “experts”) (all)


Date: 2020-10-08T11:00:00Z

Date: 2020-10-08T11:00:00Z
Participants: Bruno, Joakim, Katie, Nick

Discussion on long-term goal

  • We want Karrot to:

    • encourage participation
    • create accountability
    • facilitate in-person meetings/decision-making and not conflict with it
    • sanction behavior that goes against group’s rules
  • Facilitate taking responsibility in completely voluntary groups while avoiding positions of power?

  • Nick: To have a general purpose non-capitalist community organising platform that can support and encourage groups to use democratic governance processes that are informed by, but also inform, theoretical models.

Discussion on process questions

  • Nick: In someways we end up needing to remake all of society - e.g. to support the peoples lives who design and build the tool. How to respect the autonomy of the groups to organise as they wish without dominating them with our ideology. Karrot design and development should be accountable and informed the experience of actual groups.

  • Online/offline tension: Groups are sovereign but we should facilitate rather than dictate their processes. Voting and decision-making outside of meetings: Karrot doesn’t understand what happens offline

  • Philosophy on avoiding hierarchy - should we be clear?

  • Power vs responsibility: positions of responsibility become power quite quickly

  • Joakim: it’s very easy to get in a power position. Develop feature in Karrot when someone has too much power

  • Katie: Lift voices of those who don’t speak and take space. Idea: The trust Karrot system - could we flip that on its head to encourage people to participate?

  • This process started thinking about governing bad behaviour and now the conversation has changed to encouraging positive behaviour and participation

  • Consider changes in governance as groups scale

  • checkout

Actions for/before next session

  • Write a summary of our discussion (Bruno)
  • Do the homework of writing a long-term goal and questions
  • Maybe start the map when we’re done with the above
  • Get a BBB instance (Nick)


Date: 2020-10-15T11:00:00Z

Date: 2020-10-15T11:00:00Z
Participants: Bruno, Joakim, Katie, Nick

  • checkin

  • Joakim: thought about how even some of the existing features can be helpful to avoid conflicts, like the feedback, but many people don’t use or do not understand how to use them.

  • not much work has been done since last call, but in the very few minutes before the call Bruno came up with a suggestion for the long-term goal and the process questions based on previous discussion

Long-term goal

“Karrot will facilitate groups in organizing and making decision in a democratic and transparent way, encouraging participation from all and avoiding the formation of unaccountable and fixed hierarchies between participants.”

  • Some reflections on the meaning of hierarchy… In a sense, hierarchies cannot be fully avoided because of different levels of participation, skills, knowledge, etc. Itt is even desirable that some take the lead. The problem is with abuse of power, non-consent of others, etc. People should be accountable.

Process questions

  • “How to encourage participation even from those less active in participating?”
  • “How to encourage the people who are most active in participating and taking responsibility, while making them accountable for their actions and keeping them in check.”
  • “How to be a complement for in-person meetings and other offline processes for making decisions, instead of something that would conflict and not combine well with these?”
  • “How to enhance, rather than disturb, existing decision-making processes that groups already use?”

Drawing a map

We used Big Blue Button to start drawing the map / user journey. It’s perhaps not the best tools for thit but it worked. At least Nick and Katie could collaborate on doing some beautiful artwork while having the discussions. :slight_smile:
We marked some of the steps that we identified as important to work on.

  • checkout

BBB whiteboard is very basic, so we can’t move stuff around… will be refined!

Actions for/before next session

  • Write a summary of our discussion (Bruno)
  • Organize the map (Katie)
  • Start some interviews (Bruno, Joakim, Nick, Katie?)
  • Maybe set up spacedeck to continue working on the map (Nick)


Date: 2020-10-22T11:00:00Z at

Expected to finalize the map, pick a target on the map to focus on while sketching later on and discuss some material gathered from interviews