If IGEES is going to succeed in our mission governance needs to be at the forefront of how the IGEES is organized and led. We want to draw on the talents of a diverse global community of guppy people, and to do that, we need to establish high standards for collaboration, debate, delegation of responsibility and ethics. These standards are far more important than any breeding or show standards we could establish.
One of the key innovations that IGEES is pioneering in the aquarium hobby is the IGEES Code of Conduct. It lays out the expectations that we have of those who participate, represent, or engage with the community. Essentially, it calls on people to treat one another with respect regardless of their differences of opinion, and it is the foundation for all of our governance practices.
Our goals in setting up the governance structures of the IGEES are to ensure that:
There is a defined process that helps people contribute to decisions regarding the IGEES community and projects. It should be clear who is responsible for any given decision, and how others might contribute to the making of it.
Decisions regarding the community are taken in a fair and transparent fashion.
Necessary decisions are actually taken, even when there is no clear consensus among the community. There is a clear path for the appeal or escalation of a decision when necessary.
IGEES Leadershp Council
The social structures and community processes of IGEES are supervised by the IGEES Leadership Council. It is the Leadership Council that approves the creation of a new team or project, along with team leader appointments. The council is also responsible for the Code of Conduct and tasked with ensuring that community members follow its guidelines.
The council is ultimately responsible for dispute resolution, should it be required. For example, resloving disputes between local clubs or diputes on the forum – both very important parts of the community that have their own leadership structures carrying authority delegated by the Leadership Council.
The Leadership Council meets as needed via email communication, conference calls, and the council forum. You can propose an item for discussion at a council meeting on the IGEES Community Discussion Forum.e allows the leaders of IGEES in various parts of the world to consult with one another on issues they are dealing with in their respective regions. The board works as a team to try to establish a consensus on the right direction to take.
The IGEES Education Board is responsible for advising the IGEES on scientific issues as related to guppies as well as functioning as a liason between IGEES and the academic and scientific communities.
The IGEES Executive Director
IGEES Is not a democracy. It is a meritocracy . We try to operate more on consensus than on votes, seeking agreement from the people who will have to do the work. Bill Gill, as Executive Director, plays a happily undemocratic role as leader if the IGEES.
In addition to casting votes as the director of the North American & Independent regions he also has a casting vote as chair of the Regional Directors Board and IGEES Leadership Council, should it come to a vote. This capacity is not used lightly. The community functions best when it can reach broad consensus about a way forward However, it is not uncommon in the hobby for there to be multiple good arguments, no clear consensus, and for arguments to divide communities rather than enrich them. The argument absorbs the energy that might otherwise have gone towards the creation of a solution. In many cases, there is no one ‘right’ answer, and what is needed is a decision more than a debate. The Executive Director acts to provide clear leadership on difficult issues, and set the pace for the project.
Bill, as Executive Director, is responsible for nominating candidates for both the Leadership Council & Education Board as well as nominating regional directors. In each case, a poll of relevant members of the project is conducted to select, or veto, the final membership of the Community Council, Regional Directors Board, and Educational Board.
Delegation, councils, boards and teams
The Leadership Council and Regional Directors Board, in turn, delegate their responsibilities through a large, growing and complex web of teams that span both the globe and a vast diversity of experience. In general, these groups try to conduct polls of relevant portions of the community to test the quality of their appointments, but they can also act unilaterally to ensure that the best people are recognised as leaders, decision makers and experts to get the job done.
There are a number of key teams that are responsible for different areas of IGEES — marketing, documentation, recruiting, on-line administration, and event planning to a name a few.
If you have a particular interest in a specific aspect of the IGEES, please join that team’s discussions and contribute to their decisions. Examples include teams focused on promoting forum content into articles, translation of IGEES materials in different languages, managing member ads in the classifieds, planning and organizing clubs and events. If you would like to set up a new team, please gather some like-minded people and propose ideas for consideration by the IGEES Leadership Council.
Local IGEES Clubs
A major part of the fabric of the IGEES is the local affiliated club structure. IGEES offers membership to any Guppy Club, Aquarium Society, Livebearer Association, or any other like minded organization.
Local clubs are a great way to gather guppy enthusiasts together for socializing, open discussion, talks, exhibitions, auctions, to trade fish, and to recognize the achievements of local breeders. We provide web resources to any local club who may need them. Club members visit conferences to speak, hand out information, teach, debate and represent both IGEES and the guppy hobby.
The local club action mostly happens on the IGEES Facebook group and the Community Forums.