InfrastructureServices

RaviArapurakal:Emerging Futures Network exists to enable people and organizations (our partners) to fulfil their visions for uplifting humanity and healing nature.

Emerging Futures Network is committed to accomplishing this service specifically by establishing and providing a comprehensive and evolving infrastructure to support, facilitate and advance their fulfillment of these visions.

There are two broad kinds of barriers and obstructions that keep people and organizations from fulfilling their visions:

1. lack of resources: financial, functional (skill), people (support) operational (administrative) technological, communications, and physical facilities. 2. weaknesses that compromise their capability to fulfil their visions, such as preexisting beliefs, prejudices, attitudes, fears, doubts, habits, practices etc.

In order to fulfil our commitment to enable these people and organizations to fulfil their visions, EFN must provide the infrastructure to both provide such resources, and to help them overcome their weaknesses.

Hence, I propose that EFN consider developing the following infrastructure services initially comprising eight essential functions:

1. Administrative Infrastructure 2. IT/Networks/Communications Infrastructure (Brandon) 3. Money & Financing Infrastructure 4. People (Networking/Contacts) Infrastructure 5. Conceptual (Knowledge/Knowhow) Infrastructure 6. Physical Offices/Facilities Infrastructure 7. Advocacy/Persuasion (Marketing) Infrastructure. 8. Human Resources recruitment, development and assignment.

This is not a comprehensive list, and EFN should seek to improve on it sooner than later.

The experience, qualifications and expertise necessary to develop, lead and administer these infrastructures are not spread evenly across the EFN Board. Accordingly, Board Members that possess the knowledge and expertise to develop these infrastructures are encouraged to volunteer for the development, leadership or administration of these infrastructures.

As our resources are limited, it is critical that we divide these functions as closely in line with the experience, qualifications and expertise of the individuals that make up our Board. Any lack on our existing Board should be identified as early as possible, and the board should be expanded on this basis.

As EFN also needs these services, those responsible for providing these services to our partners are also responsible for providing them to our own organization as well.

Members of the council are urged herewith to take intitiative, make commitments, and contribute toward this - our existential function - that of both establishing a comprehensive infrastructure, and that of improving it on a sustained basis.

RaviArapurakal?: I see 1, 2, 3 and 7 as being essential from the getgo, if only for EFN itself.

To start with, we need:

3. Money & Financing Infrastructure rolling - in order to set up: 1. Administrative Infrastructure, so we can begin to run the organization, 2. IT/Networks/Communications Infrastructure, so we can communicate effectively with our partners, 7. Advocacy/Persuasion (Marketing) Infrastructure, so we can attract potential partners.

The development of these four infrastructures will contribute toward the remaing three:

4. People (Networking/Contacts) Infrastructure, 5. Conceptual (Knowledge/Knowhow) Infrastructure, 6. Physical Offices/Facilities Infrastructure, and 8. Human Resources (TEAM) Recruitment, Development and Assignment. JulieCaldwell?: Going slowly and seeing how the 7 steps fit into each other helps me to understand better.

Ravi Arapurakal said:

To start with, we need: 3. Money & Financing Infrastructure rolling - in order to set up: 1. Administrative Infrastructure, so we can begin to run the organization, 2. IT/Networks/Communications Infrastructure, so we can communicate effectively with our partners, 7. Advocacy/Persuasion (Marketing) Infrastructure, so we can attract potential partners.

Looking at Money & Financing Infrastructure first, we began identifying some of the points dealing with 1, 2, and 7 within our StrategiesAndTactics and InstitutionalStructures that you helped several of us identify in relation to our EFN mission.

Given the complexity of the infrastructure we would like, how do we identify the next simple steps that lead us there?

I ask this question sincerely as I find it much easier to vision the big picture. Why I see so many little parts as “it”, as the “oneself”.

I thought this is what we were doing when we identified our InstitutionalStructures You’ll notice that half of this plan focuses on organizational adminstration. RaviArapurakal?: Julie asks:

“I thought this is what we were doing when we identified our InstitutionalStructures You’ll notice that half of this plan focuses on organizational adminstration.”

We are a very small organization with very paltry resources. We must focus on our most important work. Or our most important work won’t get done. The best way to focus our attention on our most important work is to just stop being tempted by everthing that comes to mind.

Over the last few meetings, we have inadvertently been neglecting our core commitment to developing infrastructure. Instead we were discussing things that, while interesting for themselves, weren’t central to getting us forward with our most important work, building infrastructure that our partners and our own organization can use.

By using the word ‘infrastructure’ from our mission statement, and specifying the kinds of infrastructure that our partners are most likely to need, we are more likely to make sure that infrastructure stays very top-of-mind for us, from now on, in all meetings, instead of falling off the radar, as it has in recent meetings. RaviArapurakal?: Ted, you ask:

“Would it be useful to explore the sub-points for #3 and then put them in the workspace and move on to the sub-points of #1, etc? Or would it be better to have one person take the lead on each of the 1st four, or perhaps one person with a volunteer “buddy” to help keep on track?’

I think that we have to give LIFE to our most important work. As developing infrastructure is our most important work, we give life to each kind of infrastructure by making it somebody’s responsibility, and holding that ‘infrastructure champion’ accountable for advancing it every week. She or he can then suggest sub-points and get our suggestions/approval to move things forward.

A volunteer buddy is also a terrific idea, not so much for keeping the ‘infrastructure champion’ on track, but more for supporting and facilitating progress.

Omidyar