Small scale things

Mark: One of the things that I am almost certain will be, if not the first special interest group will be people who are interested in competition in parkour. And I think that there will equally as quickly be a group of people who are interested in not having competition in parkour. And I think that both of those voices and perspectives are very important. And so I’m actually hoping that those will be two of our first special interest groups because I feel that to make a balanced outcome, we need to have both sides or not that they’re just two sides, but we need to have many perspectives and we need to have many voices to form a whole opinion. We can’t form a whole opinion with only one side of an issue that people feel strongly about both sides. So I would see that as a specific example of a special interest group.

Amos: So special interest groups, which we call SIGs, are one of my favorite parts of our structure and by-laws and that’s something, Craig, you brought to the table back when you were helping us design this. I really appreciate that.

Craig: You’re welcome.

Amos: I love the idea because what it allows for is anyone … Because often in big organizations like this, you can kind of get lost in the mix and if you’re two representatives away from being able to affect the direction you can feel helpless in that. And I like the idea that SIGs, anyone who wants, can start a SIG and it can be about something ridiculous. You have the freedom to do so and if a ton of other people are onboard with you and you get that momentum together and you create this group, you can actually speak so directly to the board and have a really strong impact on the direction of the organization. So, that’s the role SIGs play and that’s probably my favorite. And then committees are, you know, probably on average for most organizations help support in various ways, places we see need for example, a build standards committee. Of course, that’s going to be very important to our mission as USPK. So we have a standing committee right off the bat.

Amos: But SIGs are so adaptable that someone who disagrees with one of our committees could create a counter-SIG to combat the information that they’re coming up with and the opinions they are pushing to the board. So, for me, I’m a huge fan of good governance, transparency, and an organization that you just see everyone’s voices taking an effect and yes, that’s very complicated to do. It was easy when I was younger just to like shout about this as a revolutionary of sorts but the fact is now I’ve seen the inside of something like this. There’s so many things you have to balance. It is definitely tricky but I feel like SIGs is a great step in that direction and I’m really excited to see how that unfolds. 

Caitlin: SIGs are essentially small collectives of individuals with shared interests. Say you love building things, you’ve done a lot of work there, and you really wanna see building standards created. A group of these people form together, to pool their collective expertise, and to perhaps generate a report, or recommendations, or best practices, that can be available to the community. That can be an adopted [inaudible 00:16:21] standards, even if they want the board to vote and adapt it as a national initiative. Basically SIGs are community driven projects or initiatives. Some are standing, which are established by the board. You know, we have a couple of those that we need to make sure we are hitting on, in terms of larger national goals. There are so many small scale things that are happening on all of our communities and needs to be fulfilled.

Three words to describe your practice

This is the signature ending question for the podcast. There is an article describing the question’s origin (and Episode 55). Each guest’s answer is available as an image tagged Guests’ three words and the section of each episode’s transcript is tagged Three words to describe your practice.