The Spring Academy learning community is literally a community.
All members give and take.
There are neither hierarchies nor consumers.
All members from 8 years and over participate in the Cοοrdination Circle (and others of their choice) and from 4 years and over participate with requests and offers.
These ages are indicative, younger people who want to participate equally of course can.
The Association’s official structure expands with the Guidance Document & the Circle Structure.
The Council has no top down organisation.
The chair has no more decision making power or legal responsibility than the rest of Council.
The names Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Member are used only where legally necessary.
All members of Council are called Councillors.
The skills of the members correspond to the roles.
The members and the council staff the circles according to the priorities set by the Coordination Circle so that they are complete and functional and according to the skills members have / want to acquire.
The Treasurer of the Council participates at least in the Finance Circle.
The Secretary of the Council participates at least in the Secretariat circle.
The Association does not have a pyramidal organisation.
The Council does not have a decision-making and implementation role but a coordinating role.
The Council is integrated into the Coordination Circle.
The Coordination Circle consists of all members of all ages. This circle holds Coordinating Meetings every two months and emergency ones whenever necessary.
Two of these Assemblies per year (one every six months) are General Assemblies.
The Coordinating Circle operates by consensus, not by a majority.
It ratifies the decisions of the Council and the Circles.
Decision making power is spread equally across the community, tο all ages, even though officially there is a pyramidical, adults only, structure.
Strategic decisions are taken in General Meetings.
Non-strategic decisions are taken in the Circles.
Decisions are taken by consensus following a decision of the members on which method will ensure the result in each issue raised for decision and in accordance with the sociοcracy method and any method arising from it and in accordance with the principles of Spring Academy.
Any Spring Academy member can be part of a circle and be part of the non-strategic decisions process. To do so, they only have to join the “Basecamp Team” of the project.
5 members who represent Spring Academy legally to state administration.
The Annual General Meeting elects 5 Council members: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and 1 member. They are elected for a term of one year. A council Member cannot be an Auditor.
Only an individual who is 18 years old or older, and who is currently a full member of Spring Academy may be elected as a member of Council.
A member of Council doesn’t have any more decision power than other members.
A Council Member can resign at any moment, but they stay in legal responsibility until a new official officer has been elected.
A circle is a group of members who work together on a part of the association. Any member can join a circle by joining the circle’s Basecamp team.
The permanent or temporary cooperation with people outside the union is at the discretion of the Circle.
There are 13 circles :
- Coordination Circle which includes the Council
- Secretariat Circle
- External communication and lobbying Circle
- Community Network Circle
- Online Spring Academy Circle
- Finance Circle
- Legal Matters Circle
- Events Circle
- Childhood Circle
- Adolescence Circle
- Mentors’ Circle
- Learning Philosophy Circle
- Human Resources Circle
- New Member Admission Circle
- Oversight Circle
These circles arise from breaking the aim of Spring Academy down. Each circle has Aims and Offerings. Only the General Meeting can create, modify or remove a circle.
A decision, if it’s not strategic, can be directly taken in a circle through digital asynchronous voting. Any member can evaluate if the decision is strategic or not. If any member says it’s strategic, then the vote process stops and the decision has to be taken in the General Meeting.
A strategic decision is defined as one which has an impact on the whole organisation.
There is a Basecamp team called “Announcement of decisions of all circles”. Every circle decision has to be announced on this team. Any member can join this Basecamp team.
Any member can initiate an asynchronous vote in a circle :
- They post a message on the message board of the circle Basecamp team
- the title should begin with “Vote:”
- the proposal should be clear and should be formulated so that it’s possible to take a position on it (for or against).
- they must add the “closing date and time”
- Any member can ask questions, contribute to the debate and/or vote using comments or boosts. There are 3 possible vote options : “Unready”, “For” and “Against”. “Unready” means that the member would like to make a decision, but they cannot because they would like more debate and the delay is too short. If the vote is not closed, any member can change their vote at any moment.
- Any member can stop the whole process and postpone the proposal to the next Annual General Meeting. They just have to write: postpone to GM. If they want to, they can explain why they find this decision is strategic and should be postponed to GM.
- The author of the proposal can change the proposal at any time, providing that:
- they write a comment with all the details of the change and the current state of the vote (who voted, and what)
- they invite the members who already voted to write if they agree with the change
- the change can only be valid if more than 50% of these members say they agree with the change.
- The author of the proposal closes the vote after the “closing date and time”. They count how many members voted, and how many votes each option got, and publish the final result:
- if no option scored more than 50% of the total number of members who voted, then the proposal is rejected
- otherwise, the option with the most votes wins. If it’s “Unready”, the author of the proposal can choose to extend the vote until a new “closing date and time” or close the vote (the proposal is then rejected). If it’s “For”, the proposal is accepted. If it’s “Against”, the proposal is rejected.
- in case of equality between “Unready” and another option, “Unready” wins.
- in case of equality between “For” and “Against”, “Against” wins.
The Council coordinates the actions of all the members in Spring Academy.
The Annual General Meeting elects 5 council members. They are elected for a term of one year.
A member can candidate for several council seats
After the elections vote, the chairperson selects the council seat with the least candidates (if there is a tie, a choice is made between the tie-breakers), and proposes the seat to the candidate who had the most votes (for this council seat) and is not yet elected to another council seat (if there is a tie, they choose the candidate who has been nominated for the fewest board seats, and if there is still a tie, they choose from among the tie-breakers). If they accept, the candidate is officially elected. If not, the next candidate is asked, etc. If no candidate accepts (or if there are no candidates at all), the council seat remains empty until the next elections. Then the same process repeats for the next council seat (within the remaining council seats, they select the one with the least candidates, excluding the candidates who are yet already elected to a council seat).
The accountabilities of each council member are:
- to know everything that is happening in the circles they are in
- to take part in all meetings of the Coordination Circle and of the circles they are in
A council member doesn’t have any more decision power than other members. On the other hand, if a circle has dysfunctions (mistakes, inactions, unresolved conflicts, etc.), they are not more responsible for it than any other member.
Aims and Offers of circles
Coordination Circle (all members) which includes the Council
- Aim: Clear, efficient, democratic and inclusive collaborations within the Spring Academy and in the decision-making process.
To administer and manage the interests and property of Spring Academy, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code, the Articles of Association and the Guidance Document, to implement the decisions of the General Assembly, to plan and carry out the actions aimed at the implementation of the objectives of the Spring Academy. (art.87 par.1 to 8 of the Articles of Association)
- To ensure that all necessary books and records of the Community required by the Guidance Document, by the Articles of Association or by any applicable statute or law are regularly and properly kept.
- Responsibility for maintaining the accuracy and the safe-keeping of the Guidance Document and the Articles of Association and advises the Community on these matters.
- To see that all the responsibilities of the Board of Directors (articles 8 next 7, 8, 9, 10 of the Articles of Association) are integrated into the Coordination Circle.
- To ensure that the legitimate Council integrates its meetings in the Coordinating Circle, always taking care of the formal requirements for the legality of the decisions.
- To represent the Spring Academy publicly, legally and politically, and to implement the decisions of the General Assembly.
- To act as an advisory body that reviews and implements the strategy of the Spring Academy as defined by the General Assembly.
- To coordinate the activities of circles and working groups and to provide information to the members and bodies of the Spring Academy. To ensure the holding of the annual General Assembly.
- Its members to share an email address email@example.com that can be used to contact them and decide internally to participate in this account
- To be obliged by all the decisions of the General Assembly and accept that any action that opposes these decisions or hinders their implementation is a cause of reproach against the body.
- To appoint any person or persons, set up permanent or temporary working groups or circles to perform any function deemed necessary for the efficient conduct of the work of Spring Academy.
- To ensure all members of Council after the Spring Academy elections, even if they are leaving members, remain at the disposal of the newly elected members for at least two meetings to help the new Council assume its role and contribute to the smooth transition.
- To ensure the minutes of the decisions of the meetings of the Coordination Circle are published immediately on the official Internet platform (Basecamp). The detailed / audio minutes of the meetings are limited to the competence of the Council only (including future cycles)
- To confirm that decisions taken in confidential discussions are not valid and must be recorded in the minutes together with the necessary explanations.
- To ensure that information on the absence of a Coordination Circle member must be given in a timely manner to the person in charge of the circle, together with an estimate of how long it will last.
- To uphold that absence of members of the Coordination Circle and the Council is not allowed for more than 10 weeks per year
- To ensure that in case of a planned absence, the member of the circle must cooperate with another member of the circle who will undertake his work for the duration of his absence.
- To ensure that in the event that an elected member is absent for more than the prescribed period, s/he shall be removed from office and replaced by the next alternate member in accordance with the results of the last appointments and with the consent of the Audit Committee.
- To ensure that in case of removal or resignation of elected members of Council and if the alternate members do not exist or do not accept the assignment of the role, the Council continues its term of office if 5 of the elected members continue to be active.
- To ensure that if the remaining members are less than 5, the body proceeds to recruit.
- To arrange that in case of resignation or removal of representatives in the SC, the individual circles replace these members of the General Assembly with internal elections.
- To give the audit committee full access to the books and records of the Spring Academy and all the information necessary to prepare the audit report on financial and administrative activities.
- Aim: Internal Communication. Secretarial management of the common and digital structures of the Spring Academy. Secretarial support of the individual circles and the undertaking of the communication that has to do with the management of the Spring Academy.
- Communication: communication (updates / announcements) with members via mail, basecamp, facebook, newsletter, etc, communication with friends, associates and potential members via email, facebook, newsletter, etc, member / associate file management etc
- Basecamp Management: Updates “todos” in basecamp, updates Calendar, updates Log Book etc
- Agenda and Minutes of Coordination Circles and General Assemblies
External communication and lobbying Circle
(website, external newsletter, social media, relations with other structures, etc.)
- Aim: To connect with individuals, groups, organisations. To attract interest, Support, Members. Form Collaborations. To increase the reputation and credibility of Spring Academy outside the community. To publicise Spring Academy to groups of citizens (parents, teachers, relevant bodies) through printed and digital material and the circulation of information.
- To represent Spring Academy publicly and politically
- To receive enquiries from interested parties within and without the Community and reply to them or forward them as appropriate
- To search for and invite other bodies to participate in seminars, conferences and related events to promote the aims of Spring Academy
- To keep Spring Academy social media alive and productive
- To provide, record and monitor information about potential partners, sponsors
- To promote actions / events
- To promote local and international collaboration with various agencies and research centres
Community Network Circle
- Aim: creating quality links amongst its members
Collaboration and networking of qualified individuals (e.g. teachers, psychologists) and institutions (national or international) to create and support training and research programs in order to create a network beyond dividing lines in public, private, formal and non-formal education as well as in the self-managed / collaborative sector.
Preparation of the field for the legalisation of alternative methods in the public, private and self-managed / cooperative sector.
- To maintain contact with and coordinate the activities of the members
- To ensure education initiatives can grow and be sustainable
- To provide Spring Academy’s members and bodies with information
- At every GM to give a report, as appropriate, of the state of the Chapters and any news they may have
- To manage memberships
- To manage internal communication (with Secretariat Circle)
- To boost involvement and participation of members, especially students
- To strengthen the development and networking of autonomous research, educational, social and artistic structures inside and outside Greece.
- To maintain communication of, and to promote and improve existing projects.
- To sustain networking of Greek educational structures (formal and non-formal), teachers / assistants, pupils / students.
- To create relationships with the international educational community.
Online Spring Academy Circle
- Aim: creation, management and development of Online Spring Academy
- Aim: Financial administration, funding applications and fundraising in general.
- Collaboration with Spring Academy’s Accountant
- Funding proposals
- Decisions on repayment of reasonable expenses
- Legal responsibility for administration of bookkeeping Spring Academy’s employment contracts
- To maintain the financial records of the Community and keep charge of managing the Community’s finances on a day-to-day basis
- To present the records to the Auditors in full for auditing
- To ensure that Spring Academy’s financial records are audited and a financial report is made available to Council. This, including an annual financial statement of the year’s transactions is presented at the Annual General Meeting
- To ensure that an annual budget is prepared for GM approval in advance of the beginning of each financial year
- Optimal management of the financial resources of Spring Academy so that it is sustainable for both those who serve it and those who are served by it.
- To ensure a continuous inflow of grants (undertaking the whole process of research / search and applications), the systematic creation and management of crowdfunding, sponsorships, fundraising programs and other forms of co-financing and social solidarity economy
- Management of the capital with business viability research etc in the interest of Spring Academy
Legal Matters Circle
- Aim:In charge of all legal matters including developing and materialising Spring Academy’s legal strategy.
- Collaboration with Spring Academy’s lawyer on the agreed tasks.
- Optimal management of the legal form of Spring Academy and its collaboration with Greek and international bodies in order to fulfil its objectives by any legal means
- Aim: Operation of regular and temporary Spring Academy events and meetings.
- To ensure that the Spring Academy KanBan operates
- To prepare and organise General Assemblies and is responsible for the implementation of any other task necessary to legally govern the organisation.
- To approve the content of any event held by or in the name of Spring Academy
To plan the gradual establishment of model educational structures throughout the country.
- Aim: deals with offerings and issues relating to childhood (2-12)
- Offers: pending
- Aim: deals with offerings and issues relating to adolescence (13-19)
- Offers: pending
- Aim: Creates and maintains a mentors’ community
- To coordinate with the Event Circe
- To ensure coherence, cooperation and coordination between mentors ensuring substantial interdisciplinarity
Human Resources circle
- Aim: recruiting/ staffing, compensation/wages and procedural issues
- Communication and management of all procedural issues of employee members (paid and volunteers).
- To monitor and remind members of the Working Hours schedule and consistency in the work they undertake.
New Member Admission Circle
- Aim: Smooth Admission of New Members
- New Member Applications and meetings
- Requests for Scholarships
- Support for New Members and Trial Members during admission and where needed for the first 2 months of participation.
Emotional Support Circle
- Aim: Creation of a free and safe place for all the members of the community to get to know each other and exchange thoughts and ideas, assembling the core of Spring Academy. Cultivation of a climate of trust and emotional support. A part of this is the “digital cafe” which is “dressed” with music and is open to new ideas and projects!
- To be present for any person who feels the need to talk about any issue that bothers them.
- In case of disagreement/conflict between two or more people, to create an environment where all opinions and experiences will be heard with respect and with the aim to find a solution.
- Encouraging the people that are working for the community
Learning Philosophy Circle
- Aim: Documenting, researching, evolving the Spring Academy Learning Philosophy
Includes the audit committee
- Aim: Ensures smooth operation in all areas to avoid errors, irregularities and conflicts.
- To receive and investigate complaints. To oversee all procedures involving external partners, the Guidance Document and the Articles of Association