How Will Friends of Finland be Structured in the Future?
The Community Potluck for February was hosted by a number of local kids (all of whom participate in the Finland Community Youth Program), along with some key adults to help the kids stay on task. It was pretty fun to watch the kids setting out items like clean glasses, salt and pepper etc. on the tables to get ready for dinner. There’s a crew of older adults who often come early and pitch in with setup, and it was great to watch the interaction between those folks and the kids. There was also a great turnout for the potluck this time around – over 60 people!
Afterwards we had a short presentation followed by questions and answers from the community folks present about the new organizational structure that Friends of Finland has been working on putting into place.
Back in November of 2019, Friends of Finland hosted a gathering of over 30 people – folks who participate in many of the activities here at the Clair Nelson Center as either volunteers, staff, or board members, and sometimes in more than one of these roles! The group worked with facilitators from Co-Nexio of Duluth to talk about how Friends of Finland could restructure the organization to better hold all of the work we are trying to do that is absolutely necessary to our vital and well-functioning community. At the gathering we talked about what people value most about Friends of Finland and went together through a group “teach” about the living systems view of change. We talked about what will be coming into the new structure that won’t change, what works well in other organizations, and what are some characteristics of an ideal work culture. We went through the pros and cons of different organizing structures, listed resources and needs, and then broke into groups to design/brainstorm different possible structures for Friends of Finland. It was a long but inspiring day. Anyone interested in the nuts and bolts can look at the Outcome Report for the day here.
Since then, the Board and Staff have been hard at work on internal structure stuff, like policies, principles, and practices that will help to solidify the organization and our work. We have come up with a preliminary structure that honestly looks a lot like many of the structures that were brainstormed by the community on November 1st!
Here’s the Powerpoint presentation we showed at the February 2020 potluck: