Experiences like the rise and the decay of many previous processes show that the assembly-processes are complex. A large number of people participating in an ambitious process without a consistent work methodologies with challenges, which means we may have little chance of success.
Beyond a special moment, when a single proposal can mobilize many people, a process of building self-management is a long-term challenge in which one of the key elements is the continuity of the working teams and the capacity time spent on it.
In this sense, we must be aware that the motivated people with a common goal will be a minority that participate actively in the weekly process. Many people may can not be there reasons like family, health and labor among others. There will be many people who could maintain a high rate of involvement only in a specific project, knowing that will be part of this common global self-management proposal. We can not pretend that these people who are key inthe consumer group, in the social center or in the free school, are also doing the coordination of the local assembly. Therefore, we shouldn’t think that they don’t want to be with us because they are not joining the weekly meetings; it is more likely that they would like, with all their energy and experience.
It is very important that we learn to organize the “common home” at least in two organizational speed levels: on the one hand, they may be assuming weekly tasks revitalization of joint projects and facilitating the participation of the other, on the other hand, we need a the key day to provide expertise to the process.
How about speed for the 2nd monthlyinvolvement? Let make monographic assemblies, which last a whole day and learn to work in depth on an issue, so that these meetings allow us to start a new project in our local area, which is taken by all people who are part of this process, and help to move forward in our integral cooperative process.
It is like unadjusted local politics with opening spaces for citizen participation, where they can proposed, discuss, decide and put those actions into practice which parts of the community considered as necessary.
The first assemblies
The initial meetings will be space to put the first foundations and shared principles, while working on mapping resources necessary to weave this network of initiatives and projects. At the same time begin to create committees from which you move forward the development of the integral cooperative: economic (and legal) management to support the development of cooperatives, answer legal questions and doubts relating to the administration, bookkeeping and submit balance sheets, etc… .
Welcome, to establish contact with persons interested and informing them of the levels of partner and managing;
Coordination (and extension), to organize meetings, facilitate interaction between internal workgroups and other outward projects and initiatives, like tasks and resource management that other commissions not assume;
Communication (transmission and informatics), external communications, telematics management tools (blogs, mailing lists, email accounts, etc …), generate documentation and communication through the media, etc …;
Social currency (and exchanges), to promote the formation of social currencies and network projects (e.g. producers) to socialize their knowledge and begin to encourage their use.
On the other hand, we would place the thematic groups (housing, health, education, food, energy, etc …), which would generate, according to the interest, availability and resources of the participants to develop a public cooperative model in each field.
From here, you can build the initiated dynamic work. Each group or task force would have its own dynamics and assemblies, and the assembly-days would be a general coordination space, where common developing strategies are defined.
Here are some tools that may be useful when the assembly process is already underway:
Realize a map of local self-managed spaces (assigned, leased, squatted or property), and a shared calendar in order to know when these spaces are free: to conduct meetings, carry out projects, establish information points, host broadcasting, etc …
– To prepare these assemblies, an appropriate methodology needs to follow. You may choose a common goal for the next month and begin to develop it. For example job center, the problem of housing or others that may be of general interest. Once you have chosen a common objective at least one month in advance, you can prepare a new assembly, where local people can start preparing proposals on how to generate projects that help solve the problems.