I have briefly discussed this with the board and I want to open this up to a wider audience:
tl;dr Foundation meetings should resolve critical issues globally and finally, cannot currently because of legal shortcomings.
We have a very poor process of making decisions globally right now, as there is not even a proper forum to discuss or resolve such issues. Recent cases of this have been OTSconf and Hackership where we need some governance instrument. Potential other issues could be budgets (see Meetup troubles.)
It’s also —maybe most importantly— a matter of fairness: other chapters should be involved in our decision making as well. Up to now, Global Review Meetings have largely been lengthier incarnations of Berlin Organizers.
Additionally it also brings clarity to debatable topics: Currently it’s up to the Board to define what the OpenTechSchool brand entails, at their discretion and at any convenient time. With such an instrument we could make this more democratic. Once a project has received approval by the Foundation at large they are at much safer grounds in respect to their relationship to the OpenTechSchool.
In German foundation law —our governing body of law— there is an instrument called an Extraordinary General Assembly (AMV, Außerordentliche Mitgliederversammlung) which covers all these cases well — people disagree with something in the Foundation, call for an AMV¹, have the issue resolved, done. Decisions made by the members are final; the Board has to execute them.
The crux of the matter is the format of this meeting: Every voting member needs to be physically present. If Berlin calls for an AMV, at least Melbourne and San Francisco are going to have a hard time — it’s not terribly convenient for all the other chapters as well.
I propose changing the Charter in such a way this is no longer true and members can vote from abroad. I have an amendment lined up for the upcoming (regular) General Assembly which I’m going to present in due time.
Opinions? Thoughts? Praise? Objections?
(¹ This step actually involves a petition signed by at least 25% of the members currently.)