Policy Council Motions and General Discussion

Bob, I wasn’t talking about additional marketing spending by the Society, but rather how the Stewardship funds themselves are going to be spent. I like Eliot’s idea that members of the Stewardship Committee and the Investment Committee should be asked to identify their potential conflicts. But, is this part and parcel of signing the Conflict of Interest form? I would like to see us take a clear position on the need for Stewardship and Investment committee members to recuse themselves from any votes to spend money that bear on personal financial interests. This would go beyond what I’m guessing are the disclosures or promises made in the Conflict of Interest form.

Jack - your suggestion on this is a good one, and I think it goes beyond the two committees mentioned. The conflict of interest form is intended to cover all employees, officers, volunteers, and others involved in Society business - and it really is intended to make sure people don’t engage in decisions that they shouldn’t. The weakness in it is that it is not tied directly to any of the Policies we have adopted. Adding one explicitly dealing with the issues you raise, and outlining what the conflict of interest form (which is currently conformant to New York State law - largely irrelevant now) must contain would be helpful (@Brad).


I agree with @Bob @Jack that we should consider a broad application of the C of I model. This is especially true when decision-making about money is involved - investments, funding, purchasing, etc.
I will take this up with the newly formed investment committee at its first meeting while awaiting formal policy changes.@Brad

@Birgit, can you do the same for Stewardship?

After discussions with Birgit and David Andersen, my concerns about the budget request by the Stewardship committee are resolved. I recommend that the PC approve the request for releasing funds to the Stewardship Committee. We expect to see more about next year’s goals after their initial meetings.

Just a comment to follow up on Eliot’s note. The Stewardship Committee members have stepped up to take on something that could keep the Society active and relevant for years to come. I am grateful people are willing to do this, and certainly hopeful they will succeed. I think the Policy proposal is sound, though it could be made better by building out our other Policies as Jack has pointed out - something to do in the (hopefully not too distant) future. I also think the plan for activities is highly sensible. So I also recommend that both motions be passed.

I appreciate the comments made earlier, I was struck by Paulo’s comment

Some important thoughts on the topic

At the PC mtg two days ago, Thomas Wittig talked about a market survey of Practitioners, with the thought that they may be a great untapped source of future SDS members…asking how can we best appeal to them, etc. He mentioned me (as VP Prof Practice) as somebody who might get involved in this, which is why I’m responding here. The idea of Practitioners as the great “dark matter” of the SD universe goes back quite a few years, e.g. to Kim Warren and the Strategy Cmtee. But I have never seen convincing evidence for this idea; only anecdotes. The best source I can think of is software licenses, esp. Vensim, STELLA, Powersim. I would like to see numbers of maintained licenses (ideally broken out non-academic vs. academic); no need for proprietary info beyond that. This would help us get a better handle on the real size of the dark matter…before we charge off and declare this an important initiative to which we should devote our time. A marketing study needs to start with the best possible estimates of segment size.