IOPS: Facilitating Fledgling Chapters

 ZGroups is a new feature on ZCom that facilitates members of the Z community to come together around shared interests.  You can start a new group or join an existing one.  Once you are a member of a group you can work with other members to design your group page and use it as an organising tool. 
One such group is IOPS – International Organisation for a Participatory Society – which has been set-up to help bring together people who are interested in building a new international organisation around participatory vision and strategy.  If you visit the ZGoups page and look at the introductory information for the IOPS group you will see that part of this effort is to help develop and create fledgling chapters.
These fledgling chapters constitute the basic units of the overall organisation.  They are referred to as “fledgling” to indicate that, to the best of our ability, they are to be developed in-line with our participatory vision – i.e. self-managed by the members. 
These chapters could be National in scope – like PPS-UK – but within these National chapters we could also have regional and local chapters – as with, for example, PPS-Birmingham, PPS-London, etc. etc in PPS-UK.  So we can imagine an international organisation made-up of different layers of chapters, all of which are self-managed.  We can even think of these “different layers of chapters” as the nested council system in embryonic form. 
Okay – but how best to facilitate the development of such an organisation?  Well it seems to me that it might be an idea to have a sign-up system that automatically put members into chapters.  So for example, if x wanted to join IOPS they would first go to the group page on Z.  But instead of just requesting to join that group they would have to fill in an on-line application form that would have required fields as part of it. 
This would include geographical information like –

  • Country
  • Region
  • Local

I imagine we would have to give it more thought than that but you get the point.  Each geographical category would have a drop-down bar with it and applicants would have to choose from the options. 
The end result would mean that all IOPS members fall into a National, regional and local chapter.  As a result, when people join IOPS they will not just be members of some unstructured organisation but instead will see where they fit alongside other members.  The advantage, it seems to me, is that with this new sign-up system we automatically generate the chapter / council structure we desire.

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