claudiaab’s Blog


BeVolunteer rekindles after much controversy: Clearing the path for a fresh start

written by claudiaab - 2014/02/23 22:10

Saturday February 23rd saw the successful conclusion of the first 2014 extraordinary General Assembly (eGA) of BeVolunteer. Under the democratic principles which BeVolunteer was founded and governed by, the electing members felt that an assembly was required to address the recent series of volunteer resignations.

As such the Board of Directors (BoD) promptly set up the assembly that was called for. With a number of consensuses being reached, the work done clears the path for further progress to be made in the second eGA of 2014, which will take place in around one month time.


2014 did not start well for BeVolunteer and BeWelcome: Five out of seven BoD members resigned and several other volunteers either suspended or stopped their work. While two of the resignations were solely due to private obligations of the respective volunteers and just came at an unfortunate time for us, the other volunteers resigned following a series of disagreements, conflicts, and mutual accusations. In the BoD a mixture of strong personalities with very different ideas, expectations, approaches and communication styles came together, and some controversial decisions regarding the BoD positions were taken. A similar situation occurred in the Development Team, which is struggling with two enormous tasks at the same time: Developing a completely new software (Welen) and maintaining the complicated older software that our BeWelcome site currently runs on (Rox). The lack of regularly available system administrators was another factor that caused frustration in the Development Team.


An extraordinary General Assembly was convoked to address these problems. After one week of forum online discussions we had a chat session yesterday to clear the air. Several problems were identified and analyzed to avoid similar situations in the future or to handle them much better should they occur nevertheless. Among other results, we will define escalation paths for conflicts within BeVolunteer and the BoD, and appointed a consultative member to the BoD to help resolve the issues within the Development Team. The meeting minutes, which will be published as soon as possible, will give an overview of all decisions taken by the extraordinary General Assembly.


We do not claim to have found a solution for everything and more importantly, we do not want to put blame on anyone: Mistakes were made on all sides and everybody still just wanted the best for BeWelcome. Now we believe it is time to look ahead again. We have learned from the experience and now our focus is back on working to ensure a prosperous future for BeVolunteer and BeWelcome. A first step will be to organize elections for a new BoD (in about one month from now), since the remaining BoD offered their resignation taking effect with the new elections. For the time being the remaining BoD members form an interim BoD.


We thank you for your patience and will inform you as soon as the minutes of the eGA are published.





Good to hear

written by subaculture - 5 years ago (i)
Great to hear that the BV structural integrity was robust enough to enable a smooth restart. I hope that previous BoD candidates and position holders put themselves forward again. I am also unsure there are BV members interested in taking up greater responsibility.

written by Juliper - 5 years ago (i)
Thank you for this update! It is important to know something is discussed even if we are not in the discussion.

written by polyglot - 5 years ago (i)
I am very pleased to see that the organization in place and its volunteers managed to find ways out of the situation in a constructive and democratic way. The statutory time-frame proved to be useful as a fact finding and cooling off period. It has been wonderful to see people put the interest of BeWelcome above everything else. Thanks to everyone who contributed and special thanks to Claudia and Frank who organized and moderated the assembly.

Please log in to add a comment.