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Sunday, July 29 • 11:00am - 12:50pm
Beyond the Membership Model: Experiments in Emergent Organizations

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Grassroots groups seeking to be democratic often default to a voting membership model. But what are other ways we might seek to share power? Valerie Costa and Meg Wade have helped transition 350 Seattle, a grassroots climate action organization, from a hub-and-spoke decision-making model to a more distributed, networked structure. Throughout this process, 350 Seattle has grown tremendously and is now one of the largest 350.org local groups in the country, with a six person staff collective and 30+ person highly-engaged leadership team. The group has become a political force in Seattle. 

In this session, they will share their experience with this process, including the challenges and questions it has provoked, and then move to facilitate small group conversations on strategies for distributing power in our organizations. Themes that might be addressed include: non-hierarchical staffing models; dealing with boards; fostering equity and recognizing privilege; and using emergent rather than formal strategic planning processes. Participants will have a chance to connect with one another and the Nonprofit Democracy Network for ongoing support and learning.

  • Valerie Costa, she/her, @valeriecosta
  • Meg Wade, they/them or she/her, @megnwade

Affiliated Organization:

avatar for Valerie Costa

Valerie Costa

350 Seattle
Valerie Costa is a member of the staff collective of 350 Seattle and an organizational development wonk. She's been working with grassroots organizations since her teens and has been pondering the question of how to make the way we organize together more democratic, flexible, and... Read More →
avatar for Meg Wade

Meg Wade

350 Seattle
Meg Wade is a trainer and facilitator currently serving on the staff collective for 350 Seattle. Their past work spans numerous pro-democracy initiatives, from election law research to community currency projects to participatory budgeting for both cities and organizations. Meg is... Read More →

Sunday July 29, 2018 11:00am - 12:50pm PDT
4th Floor Meeting Room B

Attendees (8)