AGM 2005

Following the Towards Carfree Cities V conference, World Carfree Network's second Annual General Meeting was held on July 22, 2005, from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm at the University of Technology and Economics (BME) in Budapest, Hungary. It was attended by approximately 50 people. Members of 24 Member Organisations (including the new ones) were present. Seven staff members of the ICC (International Coordination Centre) were present. The minutes were taken by Jason Kirkpatrick, but people from individual working groups have added detail.
This page contains the decisions of the full plenary. The details of individual working group discussions can be found via links from this page.

9:30 - Welcome to meeting; introduction to consensus; overview of network's development in 2004-2005
10:15 - Small working groups discuss network functioning
   a. Member organisations
   b. International Coordination Centre
   c. Charter and Statutes
   d. Priorities and long-term strategy
11:30 - Report-backs from working groups
12:00 - Discussion and decisions based on conclusions of working groups
13:00 - Lunch
14:00 - Small working groups discuss existing World Carfree Network projects
   a. World Carfree Day
   b. Worldcarfree.net website
   c. Car Busters magazine and World Carfree News e-bulletin
   d. Towards Carfree Cities VI - Bogota
   e. Steering Committee and Advisory Board
15:30 - Report backs from working groups
16:00 - Discussion and decisions based on conclusions of working groups
17:00 - Ratification of final decisions
18:30 - end

Introduction by facilitator Daniel Swartz. Overview of consensus process, how it works, reasons for using it, hand signs, ways of saving time in decision-making. Overview of programme. Steve von Pohl provided an overview of the network's progress since the last AGM.

Participants broke into five working groups (as listed in programme above), and came back with the following reports and recommendations:

Member Organisations:
At the 2004 AGM, which was our first, we graduated all 26 Provisional Member Organisations to Full Member Organisations. This year we had 27 new Provisional Member Organisations. We decided to graduate 26 of them to Full Member Organisations. The remaining one, called The Research Institute for Development, Communication and School Partnership (RIDCSP, based in Kumba, Cameroon), we decided we did not have enough information about and had not had direct contact with them. RIDCSP will remain Provisional until the 2006 AGM. We will find out more information about the group before then.

Fees: Member Organisations will be asked to pay at least for the cost of a Car Busters magazine subscription, on an annual basis. This is voluntary and they will receive the magazine regardless of whether they pay. Any additional voluntary Member Organisation annual fees (above 30 EUR or 30 USD) will go into a fund to be used according to the discretion of the Steering Committee. The money in this fund does not necessary have to be spent within the year it is received. The suggestion was made to revisit this decision next year to be sure that offering the magazine in some cases without payment is financially sustainable for the network.

Most of the time in this working group was spent brainstorming what types of resources (either physical, financial, skill, etc.) the member organisations present were lacking. Then we analysed in what ways the network could assist with these. About 80% of the "missing resources" brainstormed are or could be provided by the network in some way. Click here for details on this working group.

International Coordination Centre:
This working group was intended as an evaluation of the ICC's work, communication, etc. This was not actually done. Instead, the group discussed the role of the ICC and what people would like to see from the ICC in the future.

No binding decisions. Click here for details on this working group's discussion.

Charter and Statutes:
The following actions were taken by the AGM:

  • Charter

    It was suggested that the Charter should be amended to include not just cars but also other motorised vehicles ("individual motorised vehicles") especially including the motorised two-wheelers which cause such serious problems in Asian cities. No language was adopted as it was felt that this change actually required a significant rewriting. The change was referred to the Steering Committee with a request that a draft be developed for submission to the 2006 AGM. A draft should be circulated on the Internet listserv for discussion prior to the AGM.

  • Statutes

    1. Staggered Steering Committee Membership Terms

      In order to ensure continuity on the Steering Committee, Article 8, Section h) was amended to read as follows:

      h) The members of the Steering Committee are chosen at the Annual General Meeting and serve for a two-year term. A Steering Committee member may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The Steering Committee representative of the ICC is elected for a one-year term; see Article 8, Section e).

      It was further agreed that at the 2005 AGM, half of the members would be elected for one-year terms and half for two-year terms. At the expiry of these terms, members would be elected to two-year terms. (This latter provision was not intended as a change to the statutes but simply a decision of the AGM to solve a one-time problem to achieve staggered terms. The actual election of new SC members was in accordance with this arrangement.)

      As a practical matter, the Steering Committee page on the Internet (http://www.worldcarfree.net/about_us/steering.php) should list when each member's term expires.

    2. Appointment of Steering Committee Member from the International Coordination Centre

      A change in the mechanism by which the Steering Committee member representing the ICC is chosen was adopted. Article 8, Section e) was amended to read as follows:

      e) One and not more than one Steering Committee member will be a member of the ICC staff. The ICC member is a full voting member of the Steering Committee. The ICC will nominate one of its members to serve on the Steering Committee, subject to approval of that nominee at the AGM. The term is one year. If the Steering Committee representative of the ICC leaves his/her job between AGMs, the Advisory Board will appoint an ICC member to fill the unexpired portion of the term. The remaining Steering Committee members will represent member organisations, with no more than one Steering Committee member per organisation.

    3. Steering Committee Oversight

      The existing Article 7, Section c) was reconsidered regarding oversight of WCN finances. No change in language of that Article was made, but the following clarification was adopted:

      "The Steering Committee will oversee the financial activity of grants and fees paid to WCN. This does not include oversight of ICC office finances, which are the subject of oversight by the ICCs own board of directors. The SC will report to the AGM regarding the financial condition of WCN."

    4. Official Press Spokesperson

      The Steering Committee will designate one of its members to be the official press contact person for WCN. A new Section i) was added to Article 8 to read as follows:

      "The Steering Committee will designate one of its members as the official WCN spokesperson. That individual will oversee official press activities of WCN."

    5. Minutes of Meetings

      Concern was expressed regarding the transparency of meetings held between AGMs. Article 12 was amended to read as follows:

      "The ICC will publish minutes of its meetings. The Steering Committee will publish quarterly status reports. Both of these items will be available to WCN members only."

    6. Selection of Towards Carfree Cities Conference Hosts

      Because the selection of a host for a Towards Carfree Cities conference is an important action that will usually occur at a time other than when an AGM is to be held, it was determined that the Steering Committee will make the selection, with input from any party the SC wishes to consult. Accordingly, a new Section j) was added to Article 8, to read as follows:

      "The Steering Committee will select, from among the proposals received, the organisation to host a Towards Carfree Cities conference. The proposals will be submitted to the network's Internet listserv for non-binding discussion. The SC may seek assistance with the evaluation of proposals but retains sole responsibility for the final selection."

Priorities and Long-Term Strategy:
The strategy portion of this working group did not include binding decisions, but there was a strong sentiment that we need more discussion on goals, methods and messages, and this was brought to the attention of the full AGM. Click here for details on the strategy discussion.

Priorities: The second half of the working group time period focused on ranking priorities for the next year (2005-2006). The group started with the understanding that this ranking would serve as a general guideline in allocating network resources over the next year. Central WCN resources (such as staff time, web design, press outreach, publication space, fundraising and so forth) should be allocated with respect for these network priorities and this list could also be a useful resference point for member group cooperation and international projects.

1. The group agreed that the following core WCN activities be considered "must do" or "absolute top priorities":

  • Greater focus on World Carfree Day (including a coordinated European Carfree Day project under development)
  • Continued publication of Car Busters magazine
  • Towards Carfree Cities VI conference in Bogota
  • Increased outreach to the media and press relations
  • On-line resources and internet communications, bulletins, listserves, websites (including further development of the contact directory, database of carfree development examples and the members-only section of the website with online fundraising assistance and press outreach resources. Translations into languages other than English was also pinpointed as a top priority for web resources.)

The following priorities list was approved by the general AGM and therefore is a binding set of guidelines for the allocation of International Coordination Centre, Steering Committee and Advisory Board resources. The list can also be a useful (but not necessarily binding) guide for member groups and network projects. The more points each campaign has, the higher the priority:

  • 11 - Lobbying Campaigns (similar to the successful Save the Cycle Rickshaws of Bangladesh campaign): Specifically, this year, there is a campaign to stop the arrests of cyclists at Critical Mass in New York City. Other campaigns should also be considered. (Note: After the AGM a working group on campaigns met and chose a name for their efforts, the Mobility Justice Project.)
  • 9 - Translations of existing WCN resource materials into languages other than English: Specific proposals are 1. "Carfree Cities" (in Visegrad languages, Russian, Balkan languages, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi), 2. "Cutting Your Car Use" (for Latin America), and 3. "CARtoons" (in Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese and Balkan languages).
  • 8 - More new public awareness campaigns on carfree issues
  • 7 - Further development of the WCN Resource Center and new Car Busters Press Publications (including those in English)
  • 6 - Development of the Carfree Institute project
  • 5 - Outreach to gain more WCN member groups, particularly academic institutions, research groups and think tanks
  • 5 - Development of the Carfree Area Pilot Project
  • 4 - Development of the On the Train Towards the Future project
  • 4 - More workshops and seminars other than TCFC
  • 2 - Ecotopia Biketour
  • 2 - Autoholics Anonymous

Participants broke into five working groups (as listed in programme above), and came back with the following reports and recommendations:

World Carfree Day:
No binding decisions. Click here for details on this working group.

No binding decisions. Click here for details on this working group.

Car Busters magazine and World Carfree News e-bulletin
The group came up with a number of proposals:
1. There is a need to do a reader survey, and this will be done to let us know about how to prioritise content.
Agreed by full plenary consensus 22 July 05
2. Member groups will be reminded to send reports of their projects so it can go in the magazine. This will help promote the work of member groups, and help give a more international reflection in the magazine.
3. Member groups will be asked to do more to help promote and distribute the magazine.
4. We need to re-evaluate the price on the magazine. The price list needs to be more comprehensive and the price should be included in the magazine.

It was agreed that Arie Farnam would meet with Steven Logan to discuss Car Busters magazine funding.

It was noted by Joel Crawford that since none of these decisions on existing network projects needed to be approved by the AGM, that maybe next year this discussion could happen during the project development day on the Thursday instead of taking up more valuable time at the AGM.

Various projects under development held working group meetings during the week of the AGM. These included the Carfree Institute, On the Train Towards the Future, the Visegrad Publications Project, the Carfree Area Pilot Project, and the Mobility Justice Project. The Media Working Group also met, as did the outgoing and incoming Steering Committees.

Towards Carfree Cities VI - Bogota:
The full plenary agreed in principle to having Towards Carfree Cities VI in Bogota, Colombia, hosted by Fundacion Ciudad Humana. It was confirmed that the conference is to be named the Spanish equivalent of "Towards Carfree Cities." There was agreement that the host organisation in Bogota needs to sign the agreement by August 12. It was agreed upon: "If the ICC has not received a signed version of the contract by August 12, 2005, the ICC will notify the WCN Steering Committee which will then seek an alternate Conference Host City/Organisation." [Note after AGM: The contract was indeed signed by August 12, 2005, therefore the conference will be held in Bogota.]

As for the next AGM, there will be a process to be as inclusive as possible for people who can not attend. It is also clear that there will likely not be money for Advisory Board to go, and also possibly there will also be no money for ICC staff and Steering Committee to go to Colombia. The plenary decided: "If by February 15, 2006, it does not look feasible to hold the 2006 AGM with maximum network participation at the Towards Carfree Cities VI conference in Bogota, the Steering Committee will be advised to choose an alternate location, which may be the network's planned and funded May 2006 meeting in the Czech Republic."

Steering Committee and Advisory Board
Note: This session was included among the project working groups rather than in the morning because the proposed changes to the Statutes (morning session) would affect how and who would be selected to serve on these bodies.

The Steering Committee workshop would like to make the following recommendations to take positions on the Steering Committee for two-year positions:

  • Markus Heller (Germany)
  • Sara Stout (USA)
  • Rajendra Ravi (India)
  • Giselle Xavier (Brasil) For one-year positions, as they applied for:
  • Ton Daggers (NL)
  • Randy Ghent (CZ) (from ICC, mandatory one-year position)
  • Gabrielle Herrmann (Germany/USA)
  • Carlos Felipe Pardo (Colombia/Thailand)
  • Wu Yi-Ting (Taiwan-Australia)

agreed by full plenary consensus

Recommendations for Advisory Board:
For re-election:

  • John Adams (UK)
  • Katie Alvord (USA)
  • J.H. Crawford (Portugal)
  • Annette Egetoft (Denmark)
  • Francois Schneider (France)
  • John Whitelegg (UK) re-confirmed by full plenary consensus
    Newly recommended:
  • Oscar Edmundo Diaz (Colombia)
  • Mari Jussi (Estonia)
  • Lake Sagaris (Chile)
  • Pascal Van Den Noort (NL)
  • Andrew Wheeldon (S. Africa)

confirmed by full plenary consensus

We also recommend that next year Maya Ruggles (Canada) applies to run for the Steering Committee next year. [Note after AGM: This is invalid; she does not represent a member organisation.]

The meeting ended on time at 18:30.

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 This page was last updated 28 August 2005