The Executive Council Annual Retreat for 2022

In this blog post, the Executive Council Communications Committee highlights events and learnings from the annual Executive Council Retreat

During the week of July 17, the members of the Executive Council held their annual retreat. With a full and very well-organized agenda, the EC had time to connect and discuss our strategic plan and governance.

With a hybrid modality, the EC also had the opportunity to learn about governance models and reflect on the model we have and the model we aspire to have. We also reviewed, discussed and made decisions about the work of the standing committees.

Members of the EC in person and virtual making The Carpentries logo with their arms.
Members of the EC in person and virtual making The Carpentries logo with their arms.

Goals, achievements, and highlights

Among the objectives of the meeting were to make progress in reviewing and modifying our by-laws. We worked on several open issues and closed some of them. The highlight of this work is we passed an important motion that will allow us to revise the by-laws more frequently.

Now the bylaws can be modified by the EC when needed, and we will review them at least every two years.

The EC is always working to improve its structure and processes to be an efficient governance body that supports our community. With this objective in mind, we also discussed parliamentary procedures for EC meetings, election procedures, committee procedures in the handbook, and enabling community members to reach out to the EC with proposals.

EC members and Executive Director during a group working session.
EC members and Executive Director during a group working session.

The Carpentries keep growing

The fact that our community continues to grow is evident when we review the current strategic plan and discuss the process for the next strategic plan.

In this regard, we received training from Marigold Strategy about key concepts toward higher-level board leadership, effectiveness, and efficiency “driven by purpose.” As we analyzed our community and reflected on the tasks and processes of the EC, we realized that we are an organization that has the community as our focus; our EC is on track and aligned with this mode.

The highlight of this work was the chance to discuss whether to transition The Carpentries from a fiscally sponsored project to a 501(c)(3) independent non-profit. We discussed pros and cons and what actions would be needed pre- and post-transition, to consider this huge milestone.

Strengthening the team

This retreat allowed us to have dedicated time to make progress on tasks we wanted to discuss with the whole EC. Thanks to the technology (OWL!) and the great work of our Chair Sarah, we successfully tested the feasibility and effectiveness of remote participation in a highly interactive environment.

The in-person component gave us the time for side conversations, networking, and learning more about each other. It was a great way to see all the ways we already do and potentially can collaborate. It also helped us understand the different realities that a global organization needs to address and the positive impact The Carpentries can bring to each region.

EC members during the final group dinner.
EC members during the final group dinner.

Dialogue & Discussion

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