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What is the difference between "Recognized Communities" and "Communities in Formation?"
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Recognized SoL Communities and Extended SoL Communities

While there are a number of learning groups around the world who identify themselves as SoL communities, there is great variety in their configuration, their level of development, and their capacity for implementing the kind of integrated action learning approach envisioned in SoL's purpose and principles. There has long been a recognized need to move the SoL we have now — a network of SoL communities linked mainly by informal, personal relationships, toward the SoL we want for the future — a global community, linked by a common idea of what it means to be a citizen of global SoL, operating democratically and non-hierarchically, with a robust capacity for collective learning and coordinated action.

Following the first SoL Global Forum in June 2003 a convening group volunteered to take responsibility for moving the global design process forward toward the implementation of a minimum global infrastructure that will help SoL members around the world:

  • Accomplish meaningful initiatives together
  • Share learning across a broad network
  • Have connections and conversations around the world
  • Invite in newcomers
  • Organize and fund research projects, meetings, and other activities.

This global design team, composed of five volunteers from the global community, two staff members of Founding SoL, and one Founding SoL Council member, held their first meeting in Boston in January 2004. In their initial work, the team drafted a proposal for building a policy container to complement the set of human relationships that currently form the global SoL network [View Proposal Summary]. This proposal included:

  • A "roadmap" for moving from our current informal structure to a self–governing global entity
  • A set of initial guidelines for the use of the SoL name by local communities, fractals, projects, and events

Acting as an interim membership committee, the team has been in touch with the coordinators of all communities identifying themselves as being affiliated with SoL in an effort to determine which communities meet the proposed guidelines and therefore should be recognized as established SoL communities entitled to the use of the SoL name. On the registration page, the communities included in the "Registered SoL Communities" , whose members are entitled to the full member discount, are the communities who have been determined to meet the guidelines.

The global design team is further charged with proposing a process that will enable the formation of a representative governing body, which can take up responsibility for global SoL policy and membership. They hope to be able to take the first steps in convening that governing body at the second SoL Global Forum in Vienna, in September 2005.

If you are concerned that the SoL community to which you belong is improperly categorized, and that you should be entitled to the full member rate, please contact Jean MacDonald.

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