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NEWS & NOTES

2024 Extraordinary General Assembly

by | Jul 2024 | SDA blog

Agenda for the August 5 2024 Extraordinary General Assembly: Updates to the Statutes

On August 5, 2024, the Systemic Design Association (SDA) will host the first of two Extraordinary General Assemblies for this summer. At this meeting, the SDA’s members will discuss and vote on a set of changes to the Association’s statutes proposed by the SDA’s Board.

Remember that only supporting members have voting rights at general assemblies. Join or renew before August 5 to vote.

View the changes to SDA statutes.

Proposed agenda

  1. Election of General Assembly chair from among members attending. (No board member may serve as General Assembly chair.)
  2. Election of two members to write the protocol (the record/minutes of the meeting)
  3. Election of two members to sign the General Assembly protocol. (Board members may not sign the protocol.)
  4. Discussion and decisions on proposed changes to the statutes.
  5. Reminder about the SDA board election and the September EGA
  6. Adjournment

What are the proposed changes to the Statutes?

At the June 19, 2024 meeting of the SDA Board, a number of simple changes to the SDA’s statutes were put forward for approval by the members at the August 5 2024 Extraordinary General Assembly (EGA). These changes were unanimously supported by the Board.

Each change is itemized and explained below. Where possible, the items below are directly linked to the change in the Statutes themselves. At the EGA, members will have the opportunity to discuss the changes before voting on them. Note that changes to the statutes need 2/3rds majority approval.

Description of proposed changes

1. Numbering of clauses in the Statutes.

The Statutes are not currently numbered except by section, making referencing specific clauses difficult.

Motion: Individually number the clauses of the statutes.

2. Change of the term of board members from one year to two years.

Board members are currently elected for one-year terms. The first few months of board terms typically involve orientation and strategic planning, and the final few months are focused on planning and decision-making around RSD and the annual general assembly. Thus, it is difficult for board members to plan for and enact policies and programs that require more than several months. Extending board members’ terms to two years will give members more time to develop and implement larger-scale longer-term plans.

Motion: Change the term length of board members from one year to two years.

3. Mandate the nomination of the “General Assembly Committee” (the General Assembly (GA) Chair, the GA protocol writers, and the GA signatories) at least one week before the GA.

In previous GAs, significant time at the beginning of the GA has been wasted seeking volunteers to take on the roles of the GA Committee. As per the statutes, members who take on these roles must not be current board members. Nominees for these roles could instead be identified and nominated one week in advance of the GA (aligning with the distribution of the agenda to members). Then, instead of requiring spontaneous volunteers at the outset of the GA, members can instead nominate alternative candidates and the GA committee can be confirmed faster.

Motion: Mandate the advance identification of nominees for the GA committee. (Note that additional language in the Statutes was changed to refer to this group of roles as the “General Assembly Committee” to aid in referencing and discussing these roles.)

4. Explain the role of the GA committee in the statutes.

The duties of the GA committee are not currently explained in the statutes. It would be best to clearly explain the responsibilities of these roles rather than leave them open to interpretation to make it easier for nominees to understand what is expected of them.

Motion: Add an explanation of the roles of the GA committee.

5. Strike the clause mandating manual approval of members applying to join the SDA.

The Statutes stipulate that the Board must manually approve the applications of all members of the SDA. It may be worth exploring this requirement for institutional members of the SDA, but this is untenable for individual members and has not been done in practice. The clause should be struck from the statutes.

Motion: Remove the requirement that the board approve of all members applying to join the SDA from the statutes in Section 4.

6. Add qualifications for experience to board candidacy.

There are currently no requirements, qualifications, or expectations set for candidates for the SDA’s board. To ensure that new board members understand the systemic design field and the operations, programs, and policies of the SDA, it would be best if candidates for the board had a reasonable amount of experience being SDA members before they become board members.

Motion: Add the statement “Board members should have a prior experience of a minimum of two years as members of the SDA.” to the Statutes under section 12.

7. Add qualifications for experience to board chair candidacy.

Similar to (6), there are currently no requirements, qualifications, or expectations set for candidates for Chair of the SDA board. To ensure that the chair understands the SDA and the board, it would be best if candidates for chair had experience with the board before they became chair.

Motion: Add the statement “The Chair of the Board should have a prior experience of a minimum of one year as a member of the current or previous Board of the SDA.” to the Statutes under section 12.

8. Switch the term “Voting” to “Election” committee in section 8.

SDA board elections are governed by an elections committee of two members elected separately from the Board at each election. Section 8 refers to this committee as a “voting” committee, however. This language is confusing. It would be best to refer to the committee as the “Elections” committee, as this is the term we have used for the past few years.

Motion: Change the term “voting committee” to “Elections Committee” in section 8.

Become a supporting member or renew your membership

Only supporting members can vote at Systemic Design Association General Assemblies.

RSD13 TIMELINE

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April 30

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April 1–30

Feedback to authors
June 30

RSD13-ONLINE
sessions OCTOBER 16–18

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Lidar-derived image of the Danube River and floodplain near Tulln, Austria. Daniel Coe. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED