The Buddy System
It is important to recognise that Ambassadors come and go, there are far too many wonderful causes and reasons in the world to assume that you will only dedicate your volunteer hours to one organisation forever. Naturally, we want you all to stay as long as you like, but for the most part we would hope that you will commit to participating over an 18 month period (naturally we are glad to shorten or lengthen this based on your personal endeavors – we are nothing if not flexible).
Of course, it is very difficult when a valuable volunteer Ambassador leaves because it is the brains of humans where knowledge is stored (not the machines – though they do a great job with the information).
Accordingly, we’ve implemented a “buddy system” recommendation to all volunteers.
The most important part of the Open Knowledge Foundation in Australia is community. A networked community begins with a simple relationship between two people, everyone needs a person whom you can bounce ideas off of and have a friendly and honest conversation. Accordingly, one of the first things we look to do as the Board is to help our volunteers find a like-minded buddy. The buddy system will not only help you work together but also help encourage the sharing of knowledge from one person to the next as the Open Knowledge Foundation grows and matures into a nation-wide community network.
Most of our Ambassadors already have a buddy (if not two or three) who share their Ambassadorship, but we’ll also be looking to buddy-up anyone else who volunteers for the Open Knowledge Foundation including the Board, Advisory Committee and the GovHack Committee.
Naturally, the above is only a recommendation, if you don’t want a buddy and are happy to do things on your own, we think that is great as we’ll do everything we can to support individuals as well. Otherwise, if you are looking for a volunteer buddy to do good things with, put on local events, start projects or participate in global working groups then please let the co-secretaries to the board know (yes the secretary to the board has a buddy now as well: David F. Flanders would like to welcome his buddy Anne Cregan as co-secretary to the board).
Further announcements on the co-chair of the board and it having ‘a buddy’ soon as well.
= If you don’t like the term ‘buddy’ (yes it is a bit American), then please do replace it with whatever word you would prefer: mate, friend, foobar, etc. – the important part is not the word, but rather the idea of watching out for someone else 🙂 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_system