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Minutes General Assembly 2017

General Assembly 2017 in Lille (France)

present physically: fhina, duesseldorf, mountx, sammiekong, wind, claudiaab, polyglot, thorgal67

present online: amnesiac84, crumbking, girandoliere, leoalone, frauenschuh, libertedeparole, shevek

Here is a link to the preparation wiki of the General Assembly 2017


SATURDAY 18th November 2017
10:00 - 10:10 - Welcome
10:10 - 10:40 - Financial Report + Budget 2017-2018�
10:45 - 11:30 - Annual Report
11:40 - 13:00 - Conclusions of the BeWelcome survey https://downloads.bewelcome.org/surveys/2017_BW_Member_Survey.pdf
13:00 - 14:00 - Lunch break
14:00 - 14:40 - Should the BW minimum age be reduced from 18 to 16?
14:50 - 15:00 - Confirmation of Rules & Regulations change
SUNDAY 19th November 2017
11:40 - 12:20 - Data protection
12:20 - 12:30 - Rework the wiki pages
12:30 - 13:30 - Lunch break
13:30 - 14:00 - Rework wiki
14:00 - 14:45 - BW spokesperson
14:50 - 15:00 - Confirmation of ombudsperson
15:00 - 15:30 - Questions to BoD candidates
SATURDAY 18th November 2017
15.00-18.00 eGA: Change of statutes
SUNDAY 19th November 2017
10.00-11.30 eGA: Change of statutes

10:20- 11:10 Financial Report + Budget 2017-2018



- Uneventful year, no unexpected expenses, not all the money budgeted was spent. There was a small gain of 215.09 EUR.

  • Remark for next year's statement: have a comparison budget and statement.
  • donation campaign succesful: conclusion: when we ask for donations, we get them, but when we do not ask, we do not get donations - bitcoins: once 20 EUR are reached it is transferred to our bank account - paypal account: money should be transferred to our bank account - some administrative problems have been solved with the bank in the last year - renewal for domain names - biggest expense: servers approx. 1300,- EUR per year. - banking fees are quite high: internet banking, each card (12,- per year), but it's good in case some access is not available.
  • administrative costs: postage etc.

Remark about promotional material: partly listed in BeActive, partly in promotional material (the amount is correct, just the listing should be changed) -> it is being changed and the changed version will be uploaded and iste one to be confirmed

Budget: - We might need a new server for backups (driver data) for about 200 ,(needs to be added to budget) : 1700 EUR (instead of 1500 EUR) - Lawyer fees is changed to External services (provision for legal and other expenses - statutes review, Data protection, etc.) - discussion about travel expenses / remuneration: How and where to put it in the budget (it could be listed with 'support to events' and 'promotional costs')

  • discussion about whether to keep or drop the domain name bewelco.me (it was used by 3 users 4 times in 3 months) - costs: 110 EUR for 2 years. No real use, only to avoid cybersquatting. We can have a forum discussion about it, people present at the GA tend to drop it (let it expire); it expires in (May?) 2018. BoD should decide after forum discussion
  • donation campaign: suggestion for 2000 EUR.
  • planned loss of 1955,-- EUR (paid from our reserves, but NOT the emergency fund)

11:10 12:00 Annual Report


1.2. BeVolunteer organization: voting procedure has been changed with the new Rules (and Regulations). Majorities will be established based on the number of people participating in a vote (yes, no + abstain).

  • 1 new BV member since the last GA in Venice, 1 honorary member resigned in September 2017
  • several points are in progress related with BW redesign
  • Google adwords for non-profits is still active to keep the grant going, but not fully in use. This only makes sense after the relaunch.
  • new design is almost ready (2.3) we need to modify the wording a bit

2.5. NMBWT

  • New members greeted tend to respond less nowadays, the response rate lowered.

2.7 Safety Team

  • For the first time a crime happened through BW, one theft and a violent case of theft by the same criminal member. It was followed up very intensely by the Safety Team. Cooperation with police in several countries and with other hospex networks established.

2.8. Communications Team

  • no newsletters lately because of lack of volunteers

12:00 - 13:00 Conclusions of the BeWelcome survey


  • reply rate of youngest age group (18-24) was quite low, so hardly any valid conclusions can be drawn from their replies
  • open source software was not rated of high value (slide 9)
  • only 8% wanted to have forum discussions (slide 9)
  • no significant difference between male and female concerning reasons to join
  • most people live in a popular destination (slide 12)
  • 75 % said their home can easily be reached
  • state of profile: 75 % think they have filled in their profile (about section), but in reality it is less
  • reasons for not putting a photo: 22 % thought it was not necessary, 29 % haven't thought of it (maybe something to take into account: send a photo reminder)
  • main reasons for not logging in: 58 %: no hosting requests - vicious circle
  • 64 % have already met other members of BW in person (slide 18)
  • 87 % have travelled and stayed overnight in the last 12 months
  • only 15 % of those used BW for staying overnight
  • main reason for not using BW: not found a host (38 %), not thinking about using BW (28%), only 3 % were concerned about safety
  • 57% have already tried to find a host
  • almost half find it difficult or quite difficult to find a host
  • people are mostly satisfied with the quality of the request (slide 33) - 10 % didn't feel safe with the request - suggestion: next survey ask for reasons why people didn't feel safe
  • 57 % have rejected a hosting request
  • very few admit they have ignored a hosting request
  • main reasons for not replying: forgot to reply etc. - maybe a simple yes or no button would increase the reply rate
  • what use do people make of the website other than looking for hosts: 31 % reading forum or group discussions, 63 % nothing
  • main improvements that were asked for: slide 45
  • The idea is to have a survey every year to gain comparable results
  • The Survey Task Force was mainly 2-3 dedicated members who all had experience in marketing and doing surveys.

13:00 - 14.45 lunch break

14:45 - 15:15 Should the BW minimum age be reduced from 18 to 16?

  • Intense discussion with different points of view:
  • Philosphically it would be nice to allow 16 year olds to join BW. But legally the repercussions would be different if a 16 year old got molested through BW than if the same happened to an 18 year old.
  • Legally (French law) it makes sense to keep the minimum age at 18 years but the risk for 16 year olds is the same as for 18. The issue refers to general human rights. 16 year olds in the UK are able / allowed to change their sex, for example. But no French lawyer is amongst the BV members and BW shall opt for the legally safer option under French conditions.
  • The definition of a child in child protection guidance in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland each have their own guidance for organisations to keep children safe. They all agree that a child is anyone who is under the age of 18. Source: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-protection-system/legal-definition-child-rights-law/legal-definitions/
  • If you look at legal conditions you should also look at different countries. For example in Italy adult age is 18, but to travel alone is ok at the age of 14. That is the same for the age of consent. Age to buy alchool is 18, but 16 to drink in public and no low limit in private. Other jurisdictions could have even a limit over 18. So which one does BW has to have ?
question for voting:
Should the minimum age for joining BeWelcome be lowered to 16 years?
answer possibilities: yes / no / abstention

15:15 - 15:30 Confirmation of Rules & Regulations change

question for voting:

  • Should the changes to the Rules & Regulations be confirmed? Yes / no / abstention

Sunday 19.11.2017

present physically: fhina, duesseldorf, mountx, sammiekong, wind, claudiaab, polyglot, thorgal67 present online: amnesiac84, leoalone, frauenschuh, libertedeparole, shevek

12:05 - 12:30 Data Protection

Link to discussion :


Link to eur-lex http://eur-lex.europa.eu/collection/eu-law.html

  • give a mandate to the BoD to take care of it
  • build a task force / workgroup on this topic which shall also have a look at good practice
  • Task force shall make a suggestion whether a data protection officer is needed
  • At the same time the task force shall check whether an update to our Terms of Use is needed as the new legislation might influence them.

12:30 - 13:20 lunch break

13:20 - 14:00 Rework the Wiki structure

It is quite problematic to integrate the current wiki into the redesigned new website. We will start therefor without wiki pages. Maybe later after the launch there is the chance to get a wiki implemented in the new website. Some content will be moved to BeVolunteer and some content to static pages on BW. Copy pasting wiki pages into static pages or to BeVolunteer might be done during a hackaton in 2018.

14:00 Do we need a BeWelcome Spokesperson?

  • there seems to be not much interest in having local communities (but survey results show that 34 % are interested in more local communities, although only 20 % gave it as a main reason for joining
  • The BoD usually finds people for interviews conventions etc. depending on the location or on the occasion (people have been supported to give presentations etc.)

14:50 - 15:20 - Confirmation of Ombudsperson

  • there will be a vote /poll to confirm pietshah as ombudsman

15:20 - 15:30 - Questions to canditates for the Board of Directors

here you'll find the 3 candidates https://www.bewelcome.org/wiki/General_Assembly_2017#line122

thorgal67 frauenschuh duesseldorf

Do we need polls about some online only topics?

  • establish function of volunteer recruiter=> No vote

1. Do we give the BoD the possibility too keep the Bitcoins or possible other cryptocurrencies and convert them at any moment the BoD thinks it's suitable? In case the majority votes NO, Bitcoins and possible other Cryptocurrencies will be converted to Euro immediately. => VOTE 2. Do we want to accept other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoins as donations? => VOTE (https://coingate.com/accept-bitcoin , https://www.coinify.com/merchants in case we do want to)

  • donations via facebook => no vote

Polls for the oGA topics

  • minimum age => VOTE
  • confirm rules and regulations => VOTE
  • confirm ombudsperson� => VOTE
  • elect BoD => VOTE
  • annual report => VOTE
  • financial report => VOTE
  • budget => VOTE
  • spokesperson? => No vote
  • ambassador program? => No vote