Draft: Priorities to 2015

Hey Web Of Changers,

Six months ago we elected our first board of directors. This marked a not-small-at-all leadership transition for us after 12 years from our founders to the community.

Thankfully "community-driven" is already deep in our DNA, with volunteers leading everything from the agenda to recruitment. We now face a big opportunity (and responsibility) to shape our future together:

  • What are our big priorities for the next chapter?
  • How will we measure success?
  • What progress can we make along the way?

For accountability -- and to encourage collaboration -- below you'll find our Priorities to January 2015 (when this Board's tenure wraps for the next election.)

We're proud to serve on your board and we've listened lots to get this far. Now, as always, it's up to the entire Web of Change alumni community to make it happen. Here we go!

Priority 1: Improve Diversity & Inclusion

Towards a membership reflecting the rich diversity of our movements

Key measurement:

  • Both overall and alumni representation not exceeding 55% for any race/ethnicity, gender or issue area at our WOC13 and WOC14 events.
  • All funding requests met with no applicant turned away for financial reasons to our WOC13 and WOC14 events.
  • No substantive complaints or issues arise from participants feeling unsafe, unable to contribute or unable to address content as a result of lack of diversity at WOC13 and WOC14 events. ("Substantive" defined as participant unwilling to return to or recommend Web Of Change in the future.)

Progress to date:

  • Jan 01 - New location (TX Hill Country) chosen for WOC2013 to make event more accessible to those who can not or would not travel to Cortes Island.
  • May 03 - Posted new diversity and inclusion statement, including outline of characteristics for ideal participant fit.
  • May 09 - Rolled out new participant application to help identify diversity of candidates and surface potential agenda topics.
  • May 13 - Launched recruiting push for WOC13 event with 17-person conference call to encourage outreach to diverse candidates. Resulted in personal invites to a diverse pool of at least 65 alumni and 76 new prospects, helping double our applicant pool from WOC12.
  • Jun 07 - Launched new participant selection process involving day-long meeting for discussion and voting by board.
  • Aug 11 - Zero funding requests turned away for WOC13 event!
  • Sep 23 - Efforts above resulted in a more diverse group of participants for WOC13, including 25% people of color (increase from 14% in WOC12) and 50% women this year (increase from 46% in WOC12).

Priority 2: Professionalize Operations

Towards high functioning and sustainable leadership for the institution

Key measurement:

  • Current board members (including event chair) able to cycle out next election with confidence in Web Of Change's future by January 2015.
  • Year-round staff and vendors in place handling day-to-day operations, finances and event management to support incoming board by January 2015.
  • 10 community members run for board in January 2015 with 25% increase in voting from previous election.

Progress to date:

  • Feb 01 - Professional event producer, Sara Strope, hired to execute WOC2013.
  • May 02 - Application submitted to establish an independent legal entity for Web Of Change (registered non-profit in the District of Columbia)
  • May 31 - Bank account opened, marking complete transfer of all operational, legal and financial ties from Communicopia (That's our founder Jason Mogus' company).

Priority 3: Improve Quality of Flagship Event

Towards a high-impact, world-class experience for participants

Key measurement:

Progress to date:

  • Apr 5 - Convened 20 alumni advisors in DC for in-person planning meeting for WOC13 event.
  • Aug 10 - Launched first-ever peer pre-coaching program required for all session presenters scheduled for WOC13 event.
  • Sep 17 - Agenda upgrades for WOC13 include: new approach to leadership and personal ecology tracks; added open sessions in every block and evening toasts.
  • Sep 23 - Convened most successful WOC event to date, according to participants
    • 80% of participants said that WOC13 “exceeded” or “far exceeded” their expectations. (Up 10% from WOC12. Zero negative responses).
    • 98% of participants “likely” or “very likely” to recommend WOC to a colleague. (Up 20% from WOC12. Zero negative responses).
    • Full survey results 

Priority 4: Expand Program Scope and Reach

Towards year-round impacts beyond our flagship event touching more people in more meaningful ways.

Key measurement:

  • 350 people experience in-person, WOC-organized events by January 2015.
  • 75% of participants connect with each other directly for further support and learning the year following their WOC13 and WOC14 event experience.

Progress to date:

  • Sep 20 - Peer-To-Peer Mentoring program launched at WOC13 event, with 86 participants paired up for year-round monthly coaching calls.
  • Sep 20 - WOC Local program introduced at WOC13 "to take the magic of WOC, boil it down to its essence, and recreate it at smaller gatherings in multiple locations at multiple times throughout the year." View presentation.
  • Oct 10 - Peer-to-Peer Mentoring program guidelines and discussion guide circulated to 86 participants for month 1 calls!
  • Oct 22 - WOC local call volunteers circulated to host initial pilot event in 2013.

Priority 5: Improve External Brand

Towards an image that accurately represents the caliber of our work and community to future participants and donors.

Key measurement:

  • 10 real-world impact stories with high funder-appeal by January 2015.
  • 5 marquee press/blog hits from respected leaders in the progressive community by January 2015.
  • 5 personal endorsements for Web Of Change from leaders in the progressive community by January 2015.

Progress to date: forthcoming