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Governance

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Contents

First principle

The person with the most knowledge about a situation should be empowered to make decisions about that situation. Thus EcoReality governance is based on the principle of stewardship, which means that individuals act on behalf of various resources, be they physical, organizational, or conceptual.

This is not to say that others do not have input to such a process, but they should generally defer to the steward.

Second principle

EcoReality is committed to radical transparency, in which essentially all decisions and processes are open to public examination.

An important exception is that personal information about members, other than names, basic contact information, and what they choose to divulge about themselves, is kept private.

Other exceptions may arise from time to time, and are expected to be transitory, for example, initial negotiations on purchasing an important resource when counter-offers may be tendered. After the conclusion of such a transaction, the details of the negotiation will be made public.

Soft hierarchy

Coop members make decisions by consensus, while recognizing that micro-management is inefficient.

Stewards are elected by consensus of the members, and have considerable autonomy and accountability for acting on behalf of resources that cannot speak for themselves.

Notification

Most routine consensus decisions ("ordinary resolutions") are made by those present at a meeting. To that end, efforts must be made to ensure that interested parties are present. The agenda for each meeting will be posted on the website and may also be posted on paper at a central point in the village.

A "surprise meeting" as a way to get around dissenting members is not tolerable. If a controversial issue is slated for vote at a meeting, every effort must be made to allow members interested in that vote to participate. In particular, no decision concerning a resource should be made without the participation of that resource's steward.

Certain decisions ("special resolutions") are made by consent of every member, whether they can make it to the same meeting or not. These are typically decisions that would strongly impact every member, such as adding a new member, expelling a member, or changing the coop's rules. Members who will be absent and out of contact for long periods are encouraged to assign a "non-veto" temporary power of attorney, to avoid holding up coop business in their absence.

Formal Governance

These general principles are embodied in our legal entity's memorandum and rules.

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