Cooperation agreement for members of FabLabNet: Central European network of innovative and creative labs
This document is a formal agreement between the nine partners of the FabLabNet project. Its aim is to create a Central European network of Fablabs and to stipulate:
- The management model and membership concept
- The activities performed by the network
- The roles and contact names of the persons running the network
Part 1: Management and membership
Article 1.1: Network name
“Central European network of innovative and creative labs”
Article 1.2: Legal existence
The network is an informal entity set up by its members, who share the values (cf. article 1.5) and agree to contribute to the mission and vision statement on a voluntary basis. It does not have a formal legal existence.
Article 1.3: Mission statement
“Connecting Central European creative labs to boost local capacity for innovation”.
Article 1.4: Vision statement
“To become the most important network facilitating mobility and the exchange of knowledge between fablabs/makerspaces staff in Central Europe”.
Article 1.5: Membership criteria and shared values
There is no membership fee. Any organization that agrees with the mission and vision statement of the network and meets the following criteria is welcome to join:
Each member of the network meets all of the following criteria:
- Has a space open to the public, or a specific category of people like students, elderly people, the unemployed, immigrants, members of business incubators, members of a co-working space, etc.
- Offers independent working time with techniques/machines for manufacturing
- Offers activities (workshops, training) related to manufacturing technologies (new tech and low tech),
- Promotes DIY and DIT cultures,
- Fosters interaction between creators, makers, engineers, artists, hobbyists, students, children and/or supports educational programs at a university or school.
- Is from Central Europe, which includes Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, parts of Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Trentino Alto- Adige, Veneto, Lombardy, Piedmont, Aosta Valley and Liguria) and parts of Germany (Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Berlin).
- Agrees to take responsibility (having a coordinator) within the network or to become actively involved in one of the network activities (see part 2).
Article 1.5: Benefits for members
- Each member is mentioned on the web platform www.fablabnet.net;
- Each member has access to the network’s internal communication tools;
- Attendance of the annual meetings where best practices are shared and participation in other activities performed by the network.
Article 1.6: Decision-making process
The following decisions are taken by means of a vote by a show of hands during the annual meeting, requiring a majority of two-thirds of the voters. For more urgent cases, a vote can be organized online (Skype or similar) on the same principle.
Process 1: Amendments to the cooperation agreement
Requests for amendments to the cooperation agreement may be sent by any member:
- During the annual meeting: A time-slot is dedicated to this matter. Any member can submit a request for an amendment at that time. The request is voted on by a show of hands, a two-thirds majority is required for the request to be approved. The vote is coordinated by the host organization of the event. Online participation (Skype) is possible.
- At any time by online meetings. The request for an amendment is sent by e-mail to all the members, including a doodle to propose several dates for an online (Skype) meeting. The request is voted on by a show of hands, a two-thirds majority is required for the request to be approved. There must be an 80% attendance rate for the vote be valid. Notification of the decision is provided by e-mail. The vote is coordinated by the member who sends the request.
Process 2: Joining the network:
- The request is sent by means of an online form (from fablabnet.net). It must include the following information:
- Name of the lab/space o Name of the parent organization/legal entity o Address
- One main contact name, including the person’s mobile number (for WhatsAppgroup) and e-mail address o Website of the lab/space o Short presentation of the lab/space (500 words max) + 1 photo (or video) or link to fablabs.io o What the lab/space expects from the network (why does it want to join?) o What the lab/space can bring to the network o A declaration that the contact person has read the cooperation agreement and agrees with it
- The request is automatically sent to all members by e-mail.
- After 3 weeks, if no current member has expressed any doubt about the pertinence of the application, the application is regarded as approved. If a current member is against this application, that member organizes a vote according to process 1. In the event of an online vote, if participation is below the threshold, the member is accepted.
- The following actions are performed:
- The Web coordinator adds the new member to the member list of fablabnet.net and welcomes the member o The internal communication coordinator adds the new member to the internal communication tools (mailing group, WhatsApp, Slack, etc.) and welcomes the new member.
- Each social media coordinator adds the new member as a potential contributor and welcomes the new member.
Process 3: Excluding a member
These requests (which should remain exceptional!) may be sent by any member and should include the reasons for the proposed exclusion of another member. The decision-making process is the same as in Process 1.
Process 4: Changing a member’s contact person
At any time, a member organization may decide to change the contact person who holds network membership. The contact person in question sends an e-mail to the network mailing list to provide notification of the change. The internal communication coordinator manages the updates of the internal channel. The external communication coordinator manages the changes for access to the social media.
Part 2: Activities
Article 2.1: Annual event
Each year, one member of the network organizes an annual event, as an opportunity for the network to meet, exchange best practices and take shared decisions concerning the management, mission and activities of the network. The host organization covers the costs of the organization of the event. The host can ask each guest organization for a financial contribution for organizational costs (for instance, catering). The host draws on the contribution of its local partnerships to reduce the financial contribution of the network members. Each guest organization covers its own travel and accommodation costs. Each year, one organization volunteers to host this event. The annual meeting is also the opportunity to decide who will organize the annual meeting and determine the date.
The date and location of the first annual event of the network will be decided during the last Thematic Meeting in Trento in May 2019.
The format is an internal get-together, fostering social interaction (including, for instance, hands-on workshops) mainly targeting network members. External speakers are also welcome to open up the scope of the discussions. After 2020, the format may change to a public event.
Article 2.2:European School of Makers (ESoM)
The members agree to work together in the field of training and education on a voluntary basis. The goal is to propose a joint curriculum containing courses, workshops and training provided by members of the network
Article 2.3: Sharing best practices
Each member is expected to share its best practices with the network. Sharing best practices may be done either by uploading a document to the open library on fablabnet.net or by presenting it during the internal annual event.
Article 2.4: Staff exchanges
Staff exchanges between members are encouraged by the network. As a first step, this activity will be carried in an “organic manner”: each exchange will be freely organized on a case-by-case basis by interested parties. On a network level, the contact established with the Vulca program will continue to exchange best practices on this topic.
Article 2.5: Project of the year
Any member of the network can apply for project of the year by describing a best practice or project. All members vote for their favourite (except their own). The winner is promoted through all of the network’s channels as “project of the year”. This will be a good way to motivate members to publish their best practices.
Part 3: Internal and external communication
Article 3.1: Web presence
The official website of the network is www.fablabnet.net
Article 3.2: Media and external events
All members are encouraged to promote the network through web, traditional media or external events. For this purpose, members may use the background image of the joint mission statement and the FabLabNet label.
Article 3.3: Social media
Facebook is the main social media for the network. (100% of PPs agree). All members have the option to post as FabLabNet.
Article 3.4: Internal communication
The main communication tools for internal purposes are: e-mail, WhatsApp channel FabLabNet and Slack.
Part 4: Roles and responsibilities
Several coordinators are required. The coordinator should not be regarded as the one who should necessarily do the all the jobs within the domain he or she covers. The role of the coordinators is to:
- Forward the issues concerning the domain they manage to the members;
- Set up and coordinate a team of volunteers to work on solutions for the issues addressed;
- Inform other members of the status of the issues.
The network coordinator is the main point of contact within the network. S/he coordinates the different actions undertaken by each of the coordinators and addresses issues that might relate to different areas covered by the coordinators. S/he is also the first point of contact for requests coming from outside the network and channels the issues to the appropriate coordinators.
The web coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to the website fablabnet.net. His/her role is to:
- Forward issues concerning the website (architecture, domain and design) and the processes linked to it (changes to the list of members, document uploads, etc.) to all members;
- Activate and coordinate teams of volunteers to solve these issues
The media coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to communication with media. The role of the media coordinator is to:
- Forward issues concerning communication with the media to all members;
- Ensure that all communication materials are up to date and available to all members;
- Motivate all members to take all opportunities to actively communicate with their national and local media about the network, its mission, members and activities.
Social networks coordinator
The social networks coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to social networks. His/her role is to:
- Forward issues concerning the social networks to all members;
- Ensure access for all members to all of the network’s social network accounts (Facebook, etc.);
- Encourage all members to post and share.
Internal communication coordinator
The internal communication coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to internal communication. His/her role is to:
- Forward issues concerning the internal communication tools to all members;
- Ensure that all the internal channel members are up to date (e-mail, WhatsApp, Slack, etc.)
Annual event coordinator The annual event coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to the annual event. This coordinator is from the space/lab organizing the next event. His/her role is to organize the next annual event.
ESoM (European School of Makers) coordinator
The ESoM coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to the ESoM activity. His/her role is to:
- Forward issues concerning the EsoM to all members;
- Coordinate a work group to investigate a potential management and financial model for this activity.
Each activity (annual event, best practices exchange, staff exchange, European School of Makers and project of the year) has its own coordinator. Each activity coordinator is the main point of contact within the network for topics related to the activity in question. His/her role is to forward issues concerning the network activity in question to all members and coordinate the activity with members and third parties.
Version 1.0 / November 2018
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