Focus on the USPX – Proxy Exchange Organisation

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Meeting attendees Vincent Cirulli and Chris Sturr during

a breakout session.

On Sat­ur­day, eight mem­bers of the USPX came to­gether for a day-long focus group to share thoughts on our move­ment and plan for the fu­ture. Kevin and Mag­gie Weber kindly hosted the gath­er­ing at their home near Boston. At­ten­dees came from across the coun­try. Jim McRitchie flew in from Cal­i­for­nia; Vin­cent Cir­ulli came from Al­abama; Adam Foulke is from South Car­olina, and Dick Treumann drove from New York. The rest of the at­ten­dees, Ed Pontes, Chris Sturr and Glyn Holton all drove from Boston.

Tim­ing for the meet­ing was ex­cel­lent, as we are get­ting ready to launch our new web­site. This will look sim­i­lar to the old site, but it will have pow­er­ful so­cial net­work­ing func­tion­al­ity mem­bers have been ask­ing for. You will be able to host your own blog di­rectly on the site—au­to­mated set-up will take less than a minute. The site will offer net­work­ing func­tion­al­ity, so mem­bers can meet vir­tu­ally, dis­cuss is­sues, and form groups to or­ga­nize around is­sues. At­ten­dees at Sat­ur­day’s meet­ing watched a demo of the site and were ex­cited about the new func­tion­al­ity. They will start beta test­ing the site next week. It should go live for every­one else by early July.

A focus for Sat­ur­day’s meet­ing was ways to de­cen­tral­ize our or­ga­ni­za­tion. Prior to the meet­ing, at­ten­dees read the ex­cel­lent book The Starfish and the Spi­der by Braf­man and Beck­strom. It is about the power of de­cen­tral­ized move­ments, such as the nine­teenth cen­tury abo­li­tion­ist move­ment, Al­co­holics Anony­mous and Wikipedia. Our vi­sion is for the USPX to be sim­i­larly de­cen­tral­ized, al­low­ing share­owner-mem­bers to self-or­ga­nize around is­sues and take ac­tion. The new web­site’s func­tion­al­ity will fa­cil­i­tate this, but de­cen­tral­iza­tion re­quires more than a web­site. We have to change how mem­bers think about and in­ter­act within the move­ment. To that end, a lot of ex­cel­lent ideas came out of the meet­ing. We will be work­ing on these in the weeks ahead.

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