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What can membership organisations learn from Harry Tuttle?

April 8th, 2008

A copy of my email reponse to David and Lloyd..

I don't want to start this email by being a party-pooper, but it seems that David has suggested more than I can provide in terms of time and resources to 'godfather' the development of Tuttle.

My priority is to foster and learn from the networks and project ideas being initiated by the Fellowship on the online platform. And I am taking part in the Membership Project in that capacity, and from a specific personal interest relating to my job role at the RSA.

However, I don't want to be all doom and gloom. We are encouraging Fellows to move their discussions off the platform and into face to face meetings. And if you think that Tuttle has something to offer to this process, by all means do register on the RSA platform and let people know about it. Fellows might be able to help you develop your thinking around this. http://networks.thersa.org/

Ideally, the RSA itself will become the 'middle ground' between organisation and non-organisation. Our Networks platform will have the same freedoms that Tuttle does, with Fellows and others sharing ideas online, and moving offline to develop ideas further - independently of the RSA's input as an organisation bar the provision of an online platform and a bit of facilitation (the non-org bit). The added bonus the RSA would bring is there being a process whereby the RSA can then step in to offer different levels of support and development to some projects (depending on whatever criteria are eventually decided upon and resources allowing) that will both inform and create the Programme of issues we cover (the org bit).

Reciprocally - ideas that are started in other forums (fora?) could be taken up by Fellows and brought into the RSA platform...

I'll put a version of this email on the membership project page so that people can see where the conversation went.

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What can membership organisations learn from Harry Tuttle?

April 8th, 2008

David, sounds like a cool idea to me,

Laura, I'm glad for whatever help we can get - would you be able to come along to one of our meetups to see what we're doing and talk through this further?

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What can membership organisations learn from Harry Tuttle?

April 8th, 2008

Andy,  I'm not interested in the separation of ownership and membership either.  My choice of the Company Limited by Guarantee model (which hasn't been enacted yet btw - if there's a better way, we can still do it) is that it gives us a legal entity that can enter into contracts which we can all own.

but my knowledge is currently limited to what wikipedia has to say :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Company_limited_by_guarantee 

and the advice I've had from people who've come along to meetings and told me what they think. 

If you have other ideas or advice based on experience, please do share it.  There's a page on the wiki here:

http://londonsocialmediacafe.pbwiki.com/Setting+up+a+company and there's been some activity on it overnight already. 

 

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What can membership organisations learn from Harry Tuttle?

April 7th, 2008

Laura - I think you've hit it! We need some middle ground between existing organisations trying to change, and nonorgs finding they have to organise after all.

Tuttle is now having to think about how to organise - as Lloyd says here. OK - here's an experiment: how about RSA offers to be a "godfather/mother" to Tuttle ... as an alternative to grow it all yourself? Both groups would learn from the discussion of the pros and cons, even if nothing came of it.

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What can membership organisations learn from Harry Tuttle?

April 7th, 2008

Having just read through the comments above, it occurs to me that the newer collaborative communities - such as the aforementioned Tuttle - are able to provide more 'quick win' solutions such as immediate conversations, swift replies and changes in direction because they aren't bogged down with historical working practises and mindsets that accompany long-standing membership institutions.

But as is pointed out above by Dave, once the complexity of the ideas or the community grows, it can help to have the backing of such an organisation that can provide a track record in respected research and prototypes to help develop ideas, media clout and a public voice to disseminate findings, and financial and admin resources to back projects.

Pulling back to the RSA specifically - we are moving relatively slowly, as organisations are prone to do. But I believe that the experience and facilities we bring with us will benefit in the long run.

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