GA Reflections for 10.31.11

Categories: Announcements, Open Mic, Reflections

Hi all…I’m just posting some reflections to help my own thought process about GA, to help organize knowledge in any way, and to stimulate any dialogue for future GA’s.


  • Announcements- I thought it was wise to begin with committee announcements and to end with General/Action Announcements.  The only drawback to this is that toward the end of the GA, the crowd is often quite small.  That means that people who have important announcements to make will not be heard by a full crowd.  But, such is the GA flow right now…not much to do about people leaving by 9pm.
  • Forum Structure- I don’t think it was intentional to hold a forum talk and then skip share-outs…but I think it was good idea to eliminate share-outs.  In other GA’s in which we had forum, so many people wanted to share out that there was only time left for one proposal in the evening.  Also – since no actions are taken as a result of share-outs after forum discussion, it makes sense not to create a stack line.  Forum builds community and allows people to bounce political ideas around.
  • Proposals – We got through 3 proposals tonight.  Pretty impressive.  I don’t think that has ever happened.  I think we should keep on giving people one minute to share-out in the stack line.  We also need to limit presenters of proposals to no more than two minutes to present.  They should have one minute to respond to questions to keep things flowing.
  • Temperature Checks – Keep doing this…it really keeps people involved and thinking.  It also makes facilitators more responsible in being responsive to the assembly.
  • More about proposals – People are obviously interested in proposals and voting when they come to GA.  The bulk of the GA should be devoted to that, as it was last night.  Please continue to keep that focus.
  • Encourage proposal presenters to either repeat the actual proposal (not the persuasive essay sections, but the bottom line) several times.  Repeat it upon first presenting it, before discussions, and before voting.  The facilitator’s working group  should encourage proposers to circulate the proposal at the GA on paper, if at all possible.  People sometimes are not fully aware of what they are voting on.
  • If the stack is closed, please honor that by not allowing other facilitators or people who are friends of facilitators to jump on the mic and state opinions.  This happened last night and it happened in other GA’s as well.  We talk about equal voices and fairness so please walk the walk.
  • Forum topics should be generated by GA participants.  The topics seem to be chosen by facilitators most of the time – I think a balance can be struck.  If there is a way to gather suggestions or feedback from the assembly, it might engage people even more to get involved.
  • Start on time, and get to the meat of the matter as quickly as possible.  People leave by about 9pm as I stated earlier…I realize that time is fluid at the camp, but the people who come to GA (sorry to say) are not always campers.  They are on schedule at their homes and work places.  That’s the reality.  Set up for the GA a half hour early when possible.  Begin whether or not the sound equipment is on.  Use the human mic if needed.
I will be emailing this to the facilitator’s working group, and I might also bring these notes to the next FWG meeting I attend.  I welcome the feedback of anyone reading this reflection.  Thanks..
PS: I am working on posting notes I have and getting others who take notes in forming a collective so that things can be documented and shared for those who have access to the web.  I will also be working on setting up a structure in which notes can be kept in a central location at the encampment.

One Response to “GA Reflections for 10.31.11”

  1. Reisa J

    Thank you! This echos many of the comments I submitted to the FWG.