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AAI Task Force on Governance and Virtual Decision Making

Following discussion at the March 2013 AAI Meeting, the EB is creating a AAI Task Force on Governance and Virtual Decision Making and asking it to recommend appropriate procedure, policy, and statute provisions to achieve the following goals:

  1. To enable AAI to have committed, active, competent, and responsive governance and leadership along with a sensible approach to leadership succession;
  2. To give all AAI members and interested AIESEC alumni opportunities to participate in decisions about policy and plans through an effective and reliable virtual decision-making method;
  3. To enable AAI‘s EB and International Meetings to make decisions with as much input as feasible from alumni around the world; and
  4. To assure that all decisions the decisions process we want to put in place will be legal under the law applicable to AAI, being Belgian law.

Search for Task Force Members
AAI is seeking 4-6 alumni experienced in international NGO governance, organizational development, professional coaching, and/or virtual polling or decision-making methodology.

The group will be tasked to produce a set recommendations responding to the challenges listed above by August 20 for review by the EB and consideration at the AAIM in Vienna in October.

Ken Phillips, former AIESEC-US NCP and active AAI member, will lead the task force. If you are interested in moving these issues forward, please send a brief statement of interest and relevant experience to Ken at . If you know another alum with relevant skill, please suggest a friend for this task force.

Background
With as many as one million alumni, many national and regional alumni associations, and an enormous surge of interest and activity in global AAI activities, it seems feasible, timely and probably necessary for AAI to move its governance, leadership succession, and global decision-making to new levels. It is proposed that the AAIM in Vienna make the necessary decisions in the statutes and plans to implement needed changes.

A previous group also chaired by Ken looked at ways to approach virtual decision-making for AAI. It concluded that enabling a larger group of alumni to participate in decision-making is a good idea and recommended a tool such as Survey Monkey [www.surveymonkey.com] would make voting and polling both feasible and reliable. That report is found in the AAI Transformation Project blog under “Virtual group on virtual decision making.”

Some of the questions for consideration by the task force are:

  1. How will AAI develop its global leadership and leadership succession both in general and for the EB? Attract more interest in leadership positions?
  2. How are candidates for election to the EB nominated? Vetted? Qualified? Should elections be open to anyone interested? Should there be regional representation on the EB? Should there be a nominating committee? Planned succession of officers? What should be communicated by candidates and to whom? How to assure appropriate and good nominations?
  3. What are the appropriate issues for decision by an AAIM and what are the appropriate issues for decision by the EB? What are the responsibilities of governance? Of management?
  4. How can all interested alumni be enabled to participate in elections? Key policy decisions? Other plans? Opinion polls? Recommendations? Other possible steps for consensus building?  How can alumni participate in an AAIM without being there?
  5. What are the important issues to bring forward to an AAIM? How to make the AAIMs most interesting and attractive?

Drafted by Ken Phillips following discussions with EB members (July 2, 2013).

7 Responses to "AAI Task Force on Governance and Virtual Decision Making"

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 09:14

    Members of the AAI Task Force Governance and Virtual Decision Making
    Here is info on our members – an amazing collection of talent and expertise!

    1. Philippe Raxhon – knowledgeable about Belgian law and requirements for AAI. He is on AAI’s management team as Finance Director, as part of AAI’s ongoing actions to transform AIESEC Alumni into an active, global network. Philippe brings a wealth of experience to AAI, including as a CFO and tax/financial advisor, and he has practical knowledge of Belgian commercial law. Philippe’s expertise will be instrumental to refining our business model and financial plan as AAI works towards self-sustainability. He will also oversee AAI’s accounting functions, financial controls, financial reporting and legal compliance. Philippe’s AIESEC experience includes serving as MCP of AIESEC Belgium in 1986/87 and also for a number of years as Chairman of the Board of Advisors of AIESEC Belgium.
    2. Marvin Maiwald – exMCP of Germany, I think 2011-12 was his term. He introduced this type of decision making in AIESEC Germany and has to my understanding an excellent expertise, as well as technology as process wise. Marvin is a member of AAG and has an excellent understanding of Alumni matters. https://www.facebook.com/mmaiwald. AAG learned a lot from him about virtual meetings.
    3. Dávid Szöllősi – AIESEC alum from Hungary including MC position in Hungary and AIESEC International experience as Global Sales & marketing manager in 2010-11 (Hugo Pereira’s team). The reason for my interest is that I see the AAI initiative the first real attempt to make AIESEC Alumni a global thriving initiative and happy to contribute. I also see that the role and mandate of the taskforce is very much resonating to my current job…I am working at Nestle global headquarters in Switzerland in an initiative that aims to bring together companies in a global platform where companies work together on the mobility of dual career couples. The project is called the International Dual career Network (IDCN) of which, you can find more information on my LinkedIn profile. I am facilitating the transformation of the IDCN informal collaboration to a legally transparent, financially self sustaining organisation (association). My work included: organisational structure design, governance model creation, legal framework and financial modelling.
    4. Daisy Adele – I am an AIESEC Alumnae from Nigeria and served in the capacity of the VP-Marketing for Port Harcourt LC (1994-1996), after which I was the Director of Publicity for AIESEC ALUMNI-Port Harcourt for (1998-2000). Presently, I am resident in New Jersey working as a Certified Project Management Consultant and my company name is Alpha Zen Incorporated. I am interested in this task force because it hinges on an area of one of my specialties and I am currently engaged in implementation, training and seminars on organizational development and succession; working with profit and non-profit organizations, and government. This in our research finding has been a subtle killer of organizations with little or no attention given to the creation of road maps for continuity. I am a strong believer in the values of AIESEC because of the wealth of experience I have been privileged to acquire through the association that I want to give back to up and coming members for our growth, development and sustainability.
    5. Jose B. Jimenez, III – of AIESEC Philippines who “joined Aiesec Phes in 1988 and since then have been active in Civic and Non Governmental Organizations, both local and international. I have almost 20 years experience in organizing and leading such organizations and have represented the country as a delegate, an international parliamentarian and as its National President.”
    6. Nell Mei – Highbridge Principal Strategies, New York. AIESEC-China.
    7. David Epstein, ex-officio – President, EB member, AAI.
    8. Ken Phillips – Organization Futures, LLC, Boston. I was NCP in AIESEC-US many years ago, also LCP at Princeton and University of Michigan. My work is with NGOs for the past 20 years through Organization Futures, LLC – a consultancy in strategic planning, financial sustainability and leadership development

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 09:21

    Our mandate

    Following discussion at the March 2013 AAI Meeting, the EB is creating a AAI Task Force on Governance and Virtual Decision Making and asking it to recommend appropriate procedure, policy, and statute provisions to achieve the following goals:
    1. To enable AAI to have committed, active, competent, and responsive governance and leadership along with a sensible approach to leadership succession;
    2. To give all AAI members and interested AIESEC alumni opportunities to participate in decisions about policy and plans through an effective and reliable virtual decision-making method;
    3. To enable AAI‘s EB and International Meetings to make decisions with as much input as feasible from alumni around the world; and
    4. To assure that all decisions the decisions process we want to put in place will be legal under the law applicable to AAI, being Belgian law.

    Here is how I propose we work

    First step: Please share your thoughts on these five questions under the headings of 1. Leadership succession, 2. Election processes, 3. Decision making levels and responsibilities, 4. Engaging alumns, and 5. Making AAI and AAIM interesting to alumns. Please try to do this within the coming week – August 7 / 10 at the latest.

    Second step: Drafting positions on these five questions. Please volunteer of one of them if you will. I will help in each one. Target: Share positions and recommendations with the TF by Aug 14

    Third: Come to consensus where we can and forward conclusions to the EB. Process this between Aug 15 and 20.

    This is a tight schedule. I am sorry for that. But it may help by getting us to focus on short statements that can easily be turned into policy.

    1. How will AAI develop its global leadership and leadership succession both in general and for the EB? Attract more interest in leadership positions?
    2. How are candidates for election to the EB nominated? Vetted? Qualified? Should elections be open to anyone interested? Should there be regional representation on the EB? Should there be a nominating committee? Planned succession of officers? What should be communicated by candidates and to whom? How to assure appropriate and good nominations?
    3. What are the appropriate issues for decision by an AAIM and what are the appropriate issues for decision by the EB? What are the responsibilities of governance? Of management?
    4. How can all interested alumni be enabled to participate in elections? Key policy decisions? Other plans? Opinion polls? Recommendations? Other possible steps for consensus building? How can alumni participate in an AAIM without being there?
    5. What are the important issues to bring forward to an AAIM? How to make the AAIMs interesting and attractive?

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 14:58

    Would it be ok to send you the info after I’m back in New York (Aug 12)? I’m very excited about this moving along! Nell

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 15:00

    The GREAT news is that Philippe was able to confirm that the Belgian laws allow us to proceed with virtual voting so long as we have a very high degree of certainty of who is doing the actual voting. David

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 15:01

    We want to enable paid members of AAI to participate in elections whever they are held, in occasional votes on policy and in informal polls on other issues like where to have a meeting or what topic[s] to cover. We have the emails of the paid members, now not so many but eventually 100,000 [maybe]. Suggested vehicles are Survey Monkey and Wiggio. There may be better vehicles. We want it to be inexpensive and secure – one vote only per member and only members can vote [master list of members maintained by AAI]. We need a simple summary report of voting results. Also some privacy protection.

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 15:03

    In response to a request from Ken to explore the differences between Survey Monkey and Wiggio, Nell Mei formerly with AIESEC China and now working in New York wrote:
    Hi Ken,
    I created two surveys on Survey Monkey and Wiggio. I found Survey Monkey much more widely used and much easier to navigate, though both can achieve what we are looking for (one vote per member and members only). Only Survey Monkey allows report/excel downloading. In addition, Wiggio is more a online group management / sharing site vs. a survey site, so if you are looking for the survey feature only, I think survey monkey would be much more straightforward and easy to use for AIESEC members – you don’t have to register at Wiggio first, then join a group, then take the survey, etc. etc..

    Here’re features and pricing for each:

    Survey Monkey:
    Exclusively for survey only
    Easy to use
    One vote per member through email invite – vote by invitation only
    Can download report in excel – I couldn’t get a sample report w/o paying first
    Pricing: $17 per month (unlimited questions and responses), additional analysis features up to $50 per month. Free service allows 100 response per survey only.
    With survey monkey, only the host can view everyone’s answer.

    Wiggio:
    A larger group sharing site with multiple features including polls
    Thought website is a bit confusing to use
    One vote per member through email invite – vote by invitation only
    Can view results online – don’t see excel output
    Pricing: free
    When I tested Wiggio, it seems that everyone can view others’ answer, though I might be able to change setting to hide that.

  • ngofutures
    August 3, 2013 - 15:24

    Leadership Succession. The challenge for AAI has been to develop interest in serving on the EB. Often, when elections come, there is a rush to get people to be candidates. SUGGESTIONS:
    1) Put in place a process for more open and earlier recruitment of candidates. This is one reason for an electronic process of polling and voting. Notice 6 months before the election could be sent with a Request for Expression of Interest. Also, a Nominating Committee could be established to seek candidates.
    2) Have staggered terms of office with 1/3 of the EB being elected each year for a three year term, reelection possible for a total of 9 years served. This probably implies an EB of 9 members at least for now, 12 in the future.
    3) Set up a ‘normal’ standard progression of serving a couple of years as a member of the EB, a couple of years as an officer (Secretary and Treasurer), then progression to VP who would normally succeed the President. Possibly set 3 years as a normal time (shorter is possible) for being in a particular officer position. So Sec/Treas > VP > President. However, there needs to be flexibility as people’s interests, availabilities and situations change.
    4) Consider giving preference to or including automatically an elected representative from a regional AAI body [Latin America, Asia, Europe, etc] as a member of the EB and therefore eligible to serve as an officer.
    5) Continue the new practice of having the EB appoint Directors of various management functions. This is a training ground or preparation for possible election to the EB.
    6) As a practice and culture, celebrate and honor those who have served – think of how universities honor people with special titles, distinctive ribbons, unique hats, or gaudy shawls – items that only people who have served AAI can receive and wear at future meetings.
    7) What else would stimulate planned leadership succession?