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Working Groups

Status: Proposed

Published onFeb 18, 2022
Working Groups
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This policy is based on the current operations of Metagov as of August 2021.

Please feel free to add comments directly in this doc.

Working Groups

Working groups are the basic operational entities of the Metagovernance Project. They are active collaborations that contribute to the core mission, ranging from 2-3 people working on research papers to large 20-person teams working on a software project. You don’t have to form a working group to collaborate with other people in the Metagov community!

But becoming a formal working group is a way to participate in our shared resources, including:

  • Publication on the Metagov website

  • Use of the Metagov legal and financial infrastructure

  • Opportunities to coordinate and collaborate with other working groups, including at meetings of the Core Group

Further, leading a successful working group (formal or informal) is one of the criteria for being elected a member of the core group, the primary research and coordinating body of the Metagovernance Project.

To start an informal working group, just join the Metagov Slack and start working with someone. For most people just joining the Metagov community, we recommend the informal route at first.

To start a formal working group, apply here. The application takes about 15 minutes.

Existing working groups

An up-to-date list of working groups can be found here.

Application

To start a formal working group, use the Google Form. To start an informal working group, just start a Slack channel or message someone.

Decision criteria

The core group uses the following criteria to evaluate working group applications:

  1. Does the project synergize with the Metagov mission and other working groups?

  2. Have participants already been engaged in the Metagov community and demonstrated collegiality?

  3. Does Metagov have the capacity to support this working group, or should it be a separate entity?

Governance

The internal governance of a working group is up to its members, and governance processes should be publicly available. Presenting an initial version of working group governance is part of the application process.

Working group lifecycle

We think of working groups like organisms. They don’t live forever, and they can mutate and split. Here’s a rough overview of how.

  1. Pre-formation process

    1. Begin work and start to define scope and norms

    2. Identify need for greater participation in Metagov

  2. Formation process

    1. Complete application

    2. Establish internal governance processes

    3. Receive notice of acceptance or feedback for re-applying

  3. Sunsetting process

    1. Reach relevant milestone; either:

      1. Time-bound reached

      2. Milestone complete

      3. Absorbed into another project

      4. Waning participation

    2. Close down; either:

      1. Core group votes to remove the working group

      2. Working group decides to withdraw application

      3. Core group approves a new application for modified working group

To remain active, working groups should expect to do the following:

  • Hold regular meetings and conduct regular activites

  • Remain aligned with the core mission of the Metagovernance Project

  • Publish current internal governance documents

Violations of the Code of Conduct may result in a working group being removed from official recognition by the Core Group. A working group as a whole is accountable to the Core Group and, if legal issues are involved, the Board of the Metagovernance Project.

Comments
2
Cent Hosten:

Proposal:

Per this CommunityRule page “Metagov [draft v2]”, section “Membership > Exclusion”:

Exclusion The core group may remove participants according to the procedures laid out in the most recent version of the Contributor Covenant (contributor-covenant.org).”

Amend this proposal to adopt and link to the Contributor Covenant.

Cent Hosten:

Proposal: Add two additional steps to the Formation Process.

(1) “3. Create a public channel in the community forum for your group.”

(2) “4. Announce the creation of your channel on the community forum.”

(3) “5. Pin a link to your meetings for attendance by observers.”