Following the Towards Carfree Cities VII conference, World Carfree Network's fourth Annual General Meeting was held on August 31, 2007, from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm at the Ortaköy Afife Jale Cultural Centre, Istanbul, Turkey. It was attended by approximately 40 people. Members of 15 Member Organisations were present. Three staff members of the ICC (International Coordination Centre) were present. The minutes were taken by Pippa Gallop of Green Action, Croatia.
9:30 - Welcome. Introduction to AGM, facilitator (Jason Kirkpatrick) and decision-making process. Overview of network's development in 2006-2007.
9:45 - Overview of proposals and assigning them to working groups
10:00 - Working groups
a. Room 1: Member organisations (approval of new members, removal of inactive members, review of benefits and responsibilities, and membership fee proposal)
b. Room 2: Projects and decentralisation (how to ensure projects effectively meet their goals; how to spread responsibility outside of the International Coordination Centre)
c. Room 3: Charter and Statutes (proposed changes)
d. Room 4: Strategic plan (goals and strategies for next 3-4 years)
11:30 - Reports from working groups
12:00 - Discussion and decisions based on conclusions of working groups
13:15 - Lunch
14:00 - Working groups
a. Room 1: Network and project priorities for 2007-2008 (based on strategic plan)
b. Room 2: Communications (discussion lists, on-line forum and problem solving)
c. Room 3: Charter and Statutes (proposed changes - continued)
d. Room 4: Steering Committee and Advisory Board (choosing new members)
15:30 - Reports from working groups
16:00 - Discussion and decisions based on conclusions of working groups
17:00 - Ratification of final decisions
18:00 - End
Working group leaders:
Markus – strategic planning and SC/AB
Justin – member orgs
Ben – communications
Christi – decentralisation and priorities
Notes from working groups:
Requests to groups in Turkey: Kevser’s group; New Era transport movement; Traffic Victims association and traffic safety; Barisapedal; hikers’ group; Ozone (6 groups to be approached during next months, not sure which of the above are two names for the same groups!)
New individual members – Karl Baer, German Young Greens; Meltem Parlak;
Proposal: Annual membership fee is expected to be paid by the organisation with the exception of cases where organisations request a fee waiver to the co-ordinator. Only in very occasional cases would the fee waiver be denied.
Businesses and governmental to be decided on a case-to-case basis. EUR 100? Just a suggestion.
Must be done in a way that benefits the member organisations taking on the extra tasks.
Agree that decentralisation will free up ICC time to help member groups.
Member orgs should contribute to Carbusters more often and update on what they are doing, plus helping with distribution (mostly in Eng lang. Countries).
Change wording re. Membership fees to:
The yearly membership fees are expected to be paid by member organisations with the possibility to request a fee waiver... coordinator ...
Only in rare circumstances would a request for a fee waiver be denied.
Second issue raised: eco rates or some other grading. Milan to work with Justin on this to propose for next AGM.
Half-baked proposal: For business or govt., case-by-case basis, raised fees, starting from EUR 100.
Steering Committee to make decision. Kevser, Pippa, Justin, Meltem.
Approval of provisional member organisations as full member organisations:
1. International Bicycle Consultancy (IBC - Utrecht, The Netherlands)
2. The Research Institute for Development, Communication and School Partnership (RIDCSP - Kumba, Cameroon)
3. Thursday Night Fever Skating Club (Vilnius, Lithuania)
4. Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia (Windhoek, Namibia)
5. Pedal People Cooperative (Florence, Massachusetts, USA)
6. Priroda Drustvo (Nature & Society - Zagreb, Croatia)
7. IG 22 September (Zurich, Switzerland)
8. European Greenways Association (Brussels, Belgium)
9. Coordinadora Catalana d'Usuaris de la Bicicleta (Barcelona, Spain)
10. Grupo de Investigación en Transporte - UNI (Lima, Peru)
11. Carfree UK (South Brent, Devon, UK)
12. Laboratorio Mobilita Sostenibile - Legambiente Campania (Naples, Italy)
13. Road Block (Totnes, Devon, UK)
14. Taiwan Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association (Taipei, Taiwan)
15. Vector Designs (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
16. Korean NGOs' Association for Carfreeday (Seoul, South Korea)
17. Grune Jugend (Berlin, Germany)
Do we have a policy on party political orgs being members? In Hungary there is a law against this, but not in the Czech Republic. Membership co-ordinator should do some research to see if potential members are active/ethically acceptable, etc.
We don't have enough information about some of the groups.
There have been some concerns concerning European Greenways Association taking money from the car industry, which claims it does not do so at the moment. It was decided that for now they can be approved and only if it is a problem later the Steering Committee has the authority to cancel the membership.
The groups were all approved.
Strategic Plan & Decentralisation
Working group members: Markus, Kristi, Justin, Ben, Pippa, Tihomir, Arzu, Meltem, Eda, Milan, Andras,
Kostas, Eduardo, Steph
Started with talking about what a strategic plan is.
Main question: how to make the network stronger without creating more work for central office.
Possibility of partnering with member organisations on projects; mentoring system; show the results of the network more clearly ie. Every year, what has the network concretely achieved?; Can WCN help local orgs. To access international level bodies?
Discussion to be continued on September 1, where and when to be decided at lunch.
The Charter and Statutes working group had only one proposal for changes to the Charter. It was to add the following sentence:
"We will promote clean and efficient public transport to supplement human-powered mobility."
The reason was that it was felt that the Charter did not give enough emphasis to public transport. The sentence is to be added in front of the sentence: "We will point out..."
Mostly factual changes: Now registered as WCN Europe, so refs. to CZ need to be removed.
The following changes were approved:
Article 2 - Legal Status
Due to the legal impossibility of registering as an international nonprofit organisation in the Czech Republic, World Carfree Network as a whole does not currently have legal status. Methods of gaining such status are to be explored.
World Carfree Network as a whole does not currently have legal status. However, it does exist as a living, functioning global network.
World Carfree Network - Czech Republic (formerly Car Busters) is a registered Czech nonprofit organisation which currently serves as the network's International Coordination Centre.
World Carfree Network Europe o.s. is a European organisation registered in the Czech Republic, and currently serves as the network's International Coordination Centre.
Article 7 - International Coordination Centre and Network Projects
a) The network is coordinated by an International Coordination Centre (hereinafter, ICC). This role is currently filled by
World Carfree Network - Czech Republic World Carfree Network Europe o.s., located at Kratka 26, 100 00 Prague 10, Czech Republic. The network as a whole maintains the power to transfer the ICC to another organisation or group of people in any geographic location.
Article 8 - Steering Committee
b) The Steering Committee must approve official WCN endorsement of any event or initiative, and cases where WCN as a whole would be joining another organisation or network. In cases of urgency, the Steering Committee quorum may be lowered to three members.
Similarly, the boards of WCN Europe and WCN USA respectively may endorse under those names. Similarly, the board of WCN Europe may endorse under that name.
g) The Steering Committee will strive to maintain geographic and gender balance. Each Steering Committee member must be either a WCN individual member or active in a WCN member organisation.
The Steering Committee will designate one of its members as the official WCN spokesperson. That individual will oversee official press activities of WCN. The Steering Committee will be responsible for choosing press contacts. The press contacts are not official spokespeople of the network.
The following changes were not approved:
e) A specific consensus-based decision-making process to be used at the AGM must be chosen by the Steering Committee at least 60 days prior to the meeting.
f) If feasible financially and otherwise, trained, experienced and impartial facilitators will be utilised to run the meeting.
Proposed replacement text:
e) If feasible financially and otherwise, trained, experienced and impartial facilitators will be utilised to run the meeting and to choose appropriate decision-making processes, using consensus where possible.
e) If feasible financially and otherwise, trained, experienced and impartial facilitators will be utilised to run the meeting. Consensus-based decision-making processes are to be used. Where the group?????? agrees that consensus cannot be reached, voting may be used.
The AGM participants seemed to reach general agreement on their ideas on AGM decision-making processes, but could not find appropriate wording within the 45 minutes spent on the topic. Pippa, Ben and Sara will work on the part about decision-making and consensus well in advance of next year’s AGM.
World Carfree Network Europe Statutes
The AGM approves that changes to the global statutes need to be reflected in the European statutes.
The following additional changes were also approved:
Article 5 – Member groups (legal entities)
5. The AGM has the power to impose membership fees for organisations
in the future, if necessary. ...
Article 6 – Individual Members (physical persons)
3. The AGM has the power to impose membership fees for
organisations in the future, if necessary individual members. ...
An Individual Members Organisation of the Association is are obliged to: ...
The following are not changes to the European statutes, but actions taken based on the requirements of the European statutes:
1. Management Committee:
The members were Kamila Blazkova, Radka Tichavska and Randall Ghent.
The new members are Kamila Blazkova, Radka Tichavska and Christi Brooks.
2. Oversight Board:
Background: Under Czech law WCN Europe must have an Oversight Board, and this is detailed in the WCN Europe statutes. The Oversight Board is to verify the activities and finances of the association. The Oversight Board is to have three members, two of which may not be representatives of WCN Europe member organisations. The three Oversight Board members have not yet been chosen.
Decision: The European members of the Steering Committee will choose the three people within three months of the 2007 AGM.
Not much experience of communication within the network, some lack even within member groups.
Linking groups within language regions.
Drew communications map, emphasising the need to develop direct comms between members.
Next year’s conference – will have a blog/wiki so that people can be more involved before the conference.
The conference should not be a sole event but part of a continuum of communication.
Discussed appropriate technologies for communication.
It should be included in the Charter that member organisations need to designate one contact person for their organisation. It is already a procedure but it does not seem to work that well and needs to be taken more seriously.
Steering Committee and Advisory Board
SC: Ton Daggers (NL), Justin Hyatt (CZ/ICC), Susanna Iraci (I), Milan Boric (SRB) will stay. (Regarding Susanna it wasn't clear whether she is leaving the SC, so we assumed she's staying until she gives formal notice.)
Proposed new members: Eduardo Green (BR), Steph Routh (USA), Meltem Parlak (TR), Simon Field (GB), Ivanka Zasheva (BG).
Proposal for affiliate members: Pippa Gallop (GB/HR) and Anvita Arora (India). (The idea is that these people participate in Steering Committee communications without being formal members with decision-making power. They might be future Steering Committee members in case someone resigns.)
(For the future: Ideally we wouldn't have a replacement person from the same organisation replacing someone who leaves, in order to promote circulation.)
Advisory board: Kevser Ustundag (TR) and Markus Heller (DE) nominated.
Priorities & Projects
Christi to send proposals and questions around e-mail lists with clear deadlines for feedback from members and member groups. The ICC needs to be more proactive in speaking to people over Skype, etc.
More detailed notes from working groups:
Strategic Plan & Decentralisation
What is a Strategic Plan?
Projects and actions plans tend to be shorter term, ranging about 1-2 years and are usually not included in a strategic plan.
Strategic plans focus on infrastructure and longer-term goals, including funding structures (grant and donation sources).
WCN's current Strategic Plan is for 2006-2011.
Strategic Plan Chapter Titles
Current SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
State of the Organization
Future 3-4 years *Vision, Mission, Values, Standards
Concrete Measurable Goals
Decentralization is an important priority in meeting strategic goals, since the
current staff has many responsibilities and little time, which constricts the
Strength => WCN's name provides huge capital, and we should strive to become
a central source of information for all members' acrfree activities worldwide.
Opportunity => by creating relationship with stakeholders (such as companies,
municipalities, etc.), the WCN could connect member organizations with project
and funding partners within network as well as organizational partners.
Could also invite companies with more capacity to participate in some projects
(such as Autoholics Anonymous) which would offload work from staff.
WCN should function as umbrella-like centralized organization for communication
between members and with media.
What are successes, network vs. office activities?
Part communication. Flow of information is small.
Organization partnerships grants
Staff need more time to devote to member organizations
Experience from one organization can be shared with other organizations.
Also projects can be shared.
Important that we show how important it is to be a member.
Centralization is a problem
What is the need of the network?
Many organizations are inactive within WCN. How do we encourage their activity? What profit is there for them to remain a member?
Possible solution=> Lobby to international organizations and governments, something that smaller, more localised organizations cannot do on their own.
Possible solution-> Provide more weapons with which to fight locally.
Network communication problem
Proposed solution -> Send questionnaire about how to strengthen WCN to partner organizations. Also what projects to do.
Coordination with member organizations: What kind of projects do they want to
try? Can memnbers connect for partnerships?
Must spend more time on helping NGOs get funding
Use Green Pages as a model for member organization profile and information
Organizational capacity and guidelines are WCN'S greatest value add for
Older members could be mentors for younger organizations to
help them develop more effectively
Externally present results of concrete differences to the world is a vital
aspect of WCN's opportunities and would help demonstrate the movement's
Good model for member/network -> use WCN as internationally recognized
organization, local organizations with regional building
Main issue seems that all structure and coordination starts from the central
Possible solution -> Regional responsibility for CarBusters
Mentorship for organizational capacity building
Problem with regional responsibility is that resources are unequal in different
Marketing is biggest need
Possible solution for communication -> use TCC to create basis for network
communication hub for year after its completion
ICC's biggest need is decentralization of some responsibilities which will
increase its effectiveness
Network is in need of improvement and greater activity, interaction with ICC
Connections with translating is of greatest importance, and interest will
By talking to others about problems that others have with working with
municiplaities, for example, all members can become more effective.
How to grow projects AND capacity.
Charter & Statutes
Other proposals addressed by the working group:
1. Proposal from Sara Stout, re: Financial Oversight
Proposal: Clarify who does (or should) oversee WCN finances and amend statutes accordingly.
Backround info: WCN finances are currently overseen by the Management Committee of WCN Europe. Currently, the Management Committee is made up of 3 ICC staff-people, Kamila, Randy & Radka. Do members think this is adequate for financial oversight?
From the WCN Statutes:
c) It is the role of the network's Steering Committee - not the ICC's own board - to ensure that the ICC fulfills its ethical and project-related responsibilities to the network, and operates according to the network's charter and statutes. However, the Steering Committee is not a financial oversight body.
Working group response:
WCN Europe, which manages WCN finances, is supposed to have an Oversight Board in addition to the three-person Management Committee. Justin or Christi should replace Randy on the Management Committee. Three people must be appointed to the Oversight Board, with at least two of them NOT representing member orgs.
2. Proposal from Sara Stout, re: Press Spokesperson
Proposal: The 2007 AGM should clarify if the WCN supports having just one official spokesperson. If that's what members want, then the AGM or the SC should elect an official spokesperson.
Backround information from Sara: The 2005 AGM minutes say that the AGM passed a proposal asking the SC to designate one of its members as the official press spokesperson for the WCN. The SC has never shown strong support for this decision. In 2005, all SC members were reluctant to fill this role and we chose to elect region/continental spokespeople instead of one central spokesperson. This system seems to have functioned well. In any case, we have been without an official press spokesperson for over a year.
Working group response:
This was clarified through a change in the Statutes made earlier at this AGM.
3. Proposal from Todd Edelman, re: Steering Committee transparency
Proposal: How individual Steering Committee members vote should be indicated along with results of any vote. In addition, there should also be a record of SC discussions (involving more than two SC members) outside of the official SC meetings similar to the one done in ICC meetings.
Background info from Todd: Results of any votes by SC are only known by final result. There is no indication how individual members voted. As SC members are elected as individuals, this makes it difficult or impossible to know a SC member's voting record, which is a typical criteria in democratic institutions. In regards to group discussions, there are no records, which would be commonly refined to in other democratic instiutions as "secret meetings".
Working group response:
Unclear on the need for this. The SC normally operates by consensus, so there is no voting and therefore no voting record. We leave it to the discretion of the SC.
4. Proposal from Todd Edelman, re: Steering Committee performance
Proposal: 1 - From one AGM to the next, performance of Steering Committee should be evaluated by the Advisory Board, based upon a report by a member of the ICC. The evaluation will be based on minimum requirements but also things like engaging the WCN members. The evaluation will be sent to WCN no later than one month before the following AGM.
2 - An SC which does not fulfil its minimum requirements six months after an AGM will be dissolved by the SC. In this case, a new SC will be formed within two months.
Background info from Todd: The current SC has not fulfilled minimum requirements such as issuing quarterly reports. In addition, it is clear than many SC members never engage the WCN members individually or via various WCN fora. Throughout the year, the SC has been unaccountable in regards to these issues.
In addition, when at least one WCN member has attempted to engage the SC, it has been told it was interfering.
Working group response:
We agree that a more active SC would be great, and the SC themselves also recognise this. However, we would like to see a more constructive approach. And we recognise that arguing about procedural details often takes away the energy of SC members, who would like to be focused on practical and effective work.
5. Proposal from Todd Edelman, re: Steering Committee communication
Proposal: Steering Committee members must respond to all official email from members or which are put into SC Wiki within a timely manner. For e-mail, the SC-ICC liaison should acknowledge the communication within two weeks, with a response from SC within four weeks, which will at least state how SC will act on the issue, if not actually solving it. (This might include adding the issue to the SC Wiki agenda). For items added to SC Wiki agenda, all should be dealt with at time of SC quarterly meeting, but need to be added at least one month before meeting.
Background info from Todd: There is no clear process for how SC must respond to and deal with emails from WCN members or to added items to SC Wiki. This results in emails which are never responded to and added items in SC Wiki which are are apparently never addressed or discussed.
Working group response:
We feel that this isn’t something that should be in the Statutes. (We are the Charter & Statutes working group.) The SC is encouraged make its own procedures regarding communication. Also, the SC-ICC liaison, Justin Hyatt, is now the point person for communication with the SC. He would therefore need to follow the ICC's protocol for responding to e-mail and other communications.
6. Proposal from Todd Edelman, re: Steering Committee meeting times
Proposal: Steering Committee needs to make clear when it will meet (e.g. in relation to subsequent quarterly report), so that members can communicate with them via email or by adding to SC Wiki in sufficient time that SC can respond.
Background info from Todd: The times when SC meets via email, Skype or other means is not always known.
Working group response:
The SC does not normally have meetings in person, but agenda items can be added to and responded to at any time. The SC needs to determine its own priorities, and shouldn't be required to address an agenda item that it sees as a low priority.
Projects & Priorities Meeting
1 Sept. 2007
Location: on a ferry and an island, Istanbul
Present: Markus, Justin, Milan, Meghan, Corey, Randy, Karl, steph
Note: The level of priority given to each project is more an indication of which projects need more attention. If a project gets low priority, it only means that it is receiving more or less the level of attention that it needs.
Resource Center -> t-shirts, stickers, books
Would like to diversify it: content, variety, language choice
Start page of website should have flag from the introduction page, linked to resource page in that language
Charter and statues should be in different languages just for a start
Spanish, French, German, Russian to start
Autoholics Anonymous - needs promotion
No one to monitor, coordinate with Christi
Should be decentralized; this is a priority
Needs coordination and staff resources
Currently 10 pounds fee to start - get guidebook and keychain
Expanding it would necessarily be in an English-speaking country because currently all resources are in English. Must coordinate translation with other organizations if we want to expand the program. Also should include adaptation for cultural differences
Milan wants to translate into Serbian but also needs to work on other resources
Randy is producing a condensed three-month .pdf version of the program
Cities willing to develop carfree development projects. 7 cities.
Application currenrtlly in for EU funding, deadline end of September
Carfree UK, Germany, Australia, WCN
Level of experts to invite
Depends on how this develops, there is nothing concrete on this project yet and is entirely dependent at this time on funding
Further developments to be continued
Should be high priority
Press & articles in other magazines and more info. would be useful than prioritizing Carbusters specifically
Justin would like to continue developing Carbusters for the time being
Street Conversion Design Contest
Cash prizes for design contest
Not necessarily implement the project, though there's a higher score for those that do.
Last year, the judging took place at the Towards Carfree Cities Conference, but this year we didn't have enough entries before the conference, and we received funding at the last minute to enable us to promote it better, so we extended the submission deadline to November 15
Carfree Green Pages (dicussed as possible tool to build for communications, but this discussion got unwieldy)
World Carfree News - doesn't require a lot of work from Prague office
FUTURE POSSIBLE PRIORITY
Carfree Indy Media
World Carfree Day Media Coordinator to be chosen for Prague Office
The Coordinator should be available 3 months before WCFD and one month after
Why can't we know where all carfree days are happening? This should be priority
Coordinator could, among other things, encourage member orgs to register their carfree day with the network
Justin suggested creating a Carfree Almanac that would show changes around the world on an annual basis, such as the amount and attendance of carfree days around the world. It could be an attractive coffee table book that could be collected and used with municipalities, et al.
As a lower energy alternative, we could have articles about carfree spaces, Carfree Places link, for which we already have some collaborators.
If we could find the funding, we could create the publication
Markus can contribute with his website, which includes spaces and relevant information
What about Carfree Housing guide to tourists - partnering with other magazines (touring, lifestyle, Via, etc.) (umm, just noticed this was Steph's own internal dialogue comment, but thought i'd throw it in)
Strategic Plan Meeting for Steering Committee
We should have a more global strategy regarding planning with actors or users, players (governmental agencies, NGOs, businesses, etc.) and trying to create more concrete goals.
This meeting could take a long weekend somewhere in Europe, ie Prague?
It could be in conjunction with the Conference to reduce travel needs
Possible meeting times: 1) after the conference, 2) AGM separated into two parts, 3) 2-day meeting with Staff, SC, Advisory Board with invitations to others who request or are invited
There was statement that AGM should be one day and not mixed with Strategic Planning Meeting
Should have meeting before 2008 Conference, say Jan. or Feb. For those unable to physically get to meeting, could Skype at given meeting times throughout weekend.
(then everyone went swimming. adjourned)