Board Meeting Agenda 10 January 2023 – Online Intergroup of Alcoholics Anonymous

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Board Meeting Agenda 10 January 2023

OIAA Board Meeting Agenda 10 January 2023

Board / Standing Committee Chair Meeting.

A. Develop of skeleton of an overarching plan to which the board can lead the work of the committees in becoming an organization.

As soon as OIAA’s Bylaws were adopted in September 2022, the board began meeting monthly and was joined in October 2022 with all the committees participating in the agreed-upon bimonthly schedule. The original idea for the committees to meet with the board was to correct the lack of communication that contributed to the long-term lapse in OIAA’s non-profit status.

The new Bylaws comply with the laws of the State of New Jersey and the IRS by naming officers who hold responsibility for the non-profit status. The entire OIAA organization benefits from the transparency created in the collective reporting of the work of the officers and its committees. The idea of the alternating schedule was to provide for a full transparent report of OIAA’s 12th-Step work. The communication of the work of the board and all OIAA committees  invites the participation of all A.A. members in the form of more volunteers and ideas.

Should we change the format of the combined board and committees meeting?

B. Dates for the 2023 assemblies:

What does the board recommend for the program content for the March 18, 2023 assembly?

Can we spin off the work on the script and program that was done with the Guidelines Ad Hoc Committee for the Election & Budget Assembly to a subcommittee that will focus on creating a program for that assembly?

March 18, 2023 – Quarterly Assembly
June 17, 2023 – Quarterly Assembly
September 9, 2023 – Quarterly Assembly
December 16, 2023 – Election Assembly (Budget, too?)

What are the dates for the 2023 Safety meetings?

Responsibility for A.A. is Held by Each Group

The carry over from in-person A.A. to online A.A. is that our entire Fellowship is not fully connected to its sense of “who is responsible.”

Connect the work of the Policy & Admissions Committee to all of OIAA

New Group Orientation – We need to fully understand and improve this process.

We need to keep in mind the new website has already marked the process for changes. What the ad hoc can look at are the documents and the communication processes to groups.

Continuous Safety Discussion – Informing groups and engaging them in the use of OIAA’s numerous safety resources is vital to the unity of online groups. We need to look a how we are informing groups of the ever-evolving experiences and mediating safety features that are available for their use.

The A.A. world of in-person meetings is not well coordinated in monitoring or communicating its safety threats because they most often occur outside of the full visibility of the group. The lack of visibility diffuses the group’s sense of responsibility for safety. The threats that occur in our in-person meetings are also possible online; however, the online group must take a more active responsibility in monitoring the functions of the platform.

Should we convene an Ad Hoc Committee that documents the process as it exits now?

C. I am seeking board approval to set up an information-gathering meeting of selected OIAA representatives, the International desk of the NY/Canada GSO, and representatives of AAWS, Inc. and the General Service Board.

Shall we schedule a meeting with U.S./Canada’s GSO International desk and all other key parties connected to the International Literature Fund?

OIAA has funds to contribute to the international literature efforts of GSOs around the world.

Who from OIAA should be included in the meeting? 

  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Finance Committee Chair
  • Unity Committee Chair
  • Translation (If we have volunteers to represent the function.)

Begin development of questions for the meeting between OIAA and the U.S./Canada GSO office:

What are the key pieces of information we want to get from the meeting?

What International organizations can we consult with:
Patreon (Viktor Larkhill – an international animal rescue)
AAWS, Inc.?
General Service Board?

Begin development of questions for a survey of GSO offices around the world:

  1. Does your office (list, register, enroll, recognize) online groups?
  2. How does your Conference include online groups?
  3. Online groups are represented in our Conference by a single Delegate.
  4. Online groups are represented in our Conference by participating in the existing structure.
  5. Online groups are not represented in our Conference at this time.
  1. If your office communicates with online groups, please describe the process.
  2. Does your GSO office include a Literature Committee?
  3. If your GSO office includes a Literature Committee, what connections does it have to groups, districts, regions or other parts of your Conference structure?
  4. Please list the names of any Remote Communities to which your GSO communicates.

D. Leadership Development Program
Gwen, Past OIAA Chair, has volunteered to coordinate the development of this program.

Calls for Volunteers: OIAA has a lot of work to do. There is a need to outline specific projects as well as the order in which they need to completed. We are in need of more people with a wide variety of knowledge, skills and abilities. We need to focus on identifying the projects, the skills needed to complete our project. The first thing we need is a key person to do the Project Management.

What is the best process for identifying a Project Manager and communicating the calls for volunteers?

E. Posting Events on OIAA’s Website and Use of OIAA Logo

Please see the attached flyers for a February 4, 2023 Town Hall that is a resource workshop for online groups. This event is being developed by the Get Into Action Committee. The origin of the committee is that it was initiated by the Three Legacies Study Group and was renamed because members of other OIAA listed and represented groups joined in their effort to inform online groups about their participation in the U.S./Canada general service structure. Now that the limited participation of online groups in the U.S./Canada structure has become evident, it is clear online groups will need to work together to develop resources for online groups. This event calls on online groups to present and share the resources, best practices, and service materials they have created.

When it was requested that OIAA post the event to their website, the Technology Chairperson noted the use of the OIAA logo and asked if this is an OIAA event. It has not been deemed an OIAA event. The logo was inserted by the committee in order to communicate this as an event for online groups — the largest repository of which is listed with OIAA.Does the board see its way to sponsoring the event? This would mean use of OIAA funds to pay interpreters as service works and display the OIAA logo on the flyers. Otherwise, the group would pay for the service workers and remove the OIAA logo from the flyer.

F. Start up the Convention Committee

We have begun planning for a weekend-long Conference of Spanish-speaking countries. We are also drawing close in time to the International AA Convention. With these two events in mind, we can begin recruiting for a Chair and committee members for this committee.

G. Communication Ad Hoc Committee

Now that OIAA’s board and standing committees have started regular communication, we have far more information about OIAA than we can effectively and efficiently communicate to IGRs. This same problem exists across AA’s general service level.

OIAA’s Secretary creates a good record of any officer meeting; but that information is not always in a form that is easily absorbed by the average IGR. If IGRs cannot easily understand the information, they cannot communicate it to their groups. That means we cannot attract members to service. In the end, poor communication is a poor service to the Right of Participation of all AA members. So, we need a committee that can transform all the information from OIAA board and committee meetings into what IGRs can quickly communicate to their groups. This conversion of information will go a long way to attract more members to serve. Service saves the lives of those who serve to carry the message as well as those who are in need of hearing it.

One example is with the wonderful Chair report that Gwen started. I have asked Susan, newly-elected OIAA Vice Chair, to help with converting the report into a format that is more useful to IGRs. For example, the board meets with all the committee chairs on even-numbered months. The result is a voluminous amount of information. The information needs to be sorted into that of a record for the meeting and into the information the IGR needs to communicate to the group. Groups need to readily understand how their contributions are used to carry the message. We especially want to communicate the 12th Step work that is available for their participation.

To focus our start, we can develop a couple functions under the Communication Ad Hoc Committee:

Clarifying OIAA is an International Organization

The question if OIAA is an international organization has been expressed by several people working with OIAA’s Bylaws and Guidelines Ad Hoc. The fact is there is a lot of learning of cultures and languages that needs to be

In recent months, there has been focus on OIAA as a non-profit registered in the U.S. through the State of New Jersey. The identification of following state and federal law is the primary hurdle in establishing and maintaining OIAA’s non-profit status.

OIAA remains in its development phase as it is currently working to translate its Bylaws into operational statements as its guidelines. Once that work is completed, the communication process will being to inform the IGRs of the content of the guidelines to prepare them for the assembly at which they will approve the guidelines. The guidelines will be translated into at least Spanish and Portuguese. Once the guidelines have been approved, we can begin the arduous task of working to connect them to the other languages and cultures we know are present in OIAA’s collective of international groups.

Then, we can discuss communication processes for connecting all OIAA members and groups to the work of A.A. as a whole and within OIAA.

The full communication process of the guidelines recommended to the IGRs needs to be outlined and scheduled. This task can be completed by the Guidelines Ad Hoc.

G.1. Translation Ad Hoc Committee

OIAA’s Unity Committee will be developing a group survey to better understand the needs of the groups it serves. We already know we need translation services both oral and written. I see a need for a committee to coordinate a listing of oral interpreters (ASL, Spanish and Portuguese to start) for the numerous real time meetings and workshops. In addition, there is a need for a roster of individuals who can translate our regularly occurring and written reports.

There are two key parts to Translation: Oral and written

Review OIAA’s written Translation practices. OIAA can make use of a lot of information and processes that have been exchanged through TIAA and NTAAW. A collective of those practices can be reviewed and discussed for implementation.

There is a need to create a roster of service workers who are available for simultaneous interpretation work at OIAA events. We currently have no such resource. Communicating that  this resource is available will be helpful to al who organize assemblies, workshops and other events.

What is the best way to begin these processes?

G.2. Volunteer Coordination

Probably the most important pieces of information that can be communicated are the numerous ways any group member can participate in OIAA’s work. This is a key communication function that requires focus in communication style to bridge the OIAA groups to the 12th Step work of the standing committees.

There are many communication tools we have to explore. For example, right now we need individuals who can create attractive and easy-to-use text book style documents. Communicating OIAA’s new guidelines with a well-formatted, easy-to-use document will go a long way toward informing members on how to participate in OIAA’s assemblies. AA members cannot participate in what they don’t understand.

Creating instructional videos that concisely convey what we are doing and why we are doing it in a specific manner will be helpful in communicating AA’s Traditions and Concepts. I am not referring to being sure we continue doing things in the way we have always done them. There is an abundance of online tools that we can use to build excellent educational and communication documents.

There are a variety of skills needed for creating instructional videos. Here are just a few:

  • Instructional designers
  • Videographers
  • Script writers
  • Graphic artists

I look forward to hearing from you about the agenda items you would like to discuss.

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