Minutes 3rd Dutch Ambassasors meetup

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3rd meetup of the CS_Organisation_Netherlands, Saturday 6th of September, Groningen

Attendees: Giuseppe (host and chair, Groningen), Liza (Utrecht), Chris (Aachen), Gerard (Rotterdam and surrounding), Maikel (Oss), Ramon (Amsterdam), Henri (country amb), Rose (country amb), Aldo (admin), Paul (Rotterdam), Tommy (Leiden), Menno (Amsterdam), Esly (minutes, Enschede)


· Please fill in the Dutch Ambassadors wiki with the tasks you are doing or would like to do. If you have problems with the wiki, please contact Jasper. He can help you! http://couchwiki.org/en/Dutch_Ambassadors

Already discussed and to be finalised

· At the last meeting, we decided that new ambassadors might need some support. Ramon sends some information to new ambassadors now. Henri and Rose will write some kind of tool kit to help the newbies to get to know our group and help them to get active as an ambassador. Also, it is decided that we will introduce some ‘buddies’ for new ambassadors. Giuseppe (for the northern part), Liza (for the middle) and Maikel (for the south) will be the first persons for new ambassadors to go to. What does of course not mean that others are not allowed to help or motivate them!

· We should try to activate inactive ambassadors. In Australia they send a very nice message to inactive ambassadors to find out what they are doing. Henri and Rose will send a reminder to our inactive colleagues. If you think an ambassador is inactive, please write to Henri or Rose so they can send that person a message.

Aldo has a lot to say about this topic. If an ambassador is not coming to the meeting, it does not mean he or she is an inactive ambassador. Country ambassadors should have an idea who of the not-active group members, are active in their local community though. If ambassadors are inactive in both the ambassador groups, and in their local community, we can write that the ambassador team in CouchSurfing to ask to have a look at this person and see whether he or she is the right person to be an ambassador. We can even set some rules of what we think an ambassador should do. If a person doesn’t meet those ‘rules’ we can ask the management team to take them out. In the next months, the ambassadors will become a focus point for the CouchSurfing organisation. So it might be that some standards or rules for ambassadors will change.

To keep people up to date about what’s going on in the Netherlands, we might think about making some kind of newsletter in which every ambassador can write a bit about the activities in his/her city.

· Regarding the emergency couchlist. Some of those lists offer people an emergency couch, others only advice people. Aldo knows the system in CouchSurfing will change on this topic, so people might still be able to find their host. Also, the site is almost always up, so you can doubt how necessary it is. We decided to wait for the improvements on the site and then have a further look at it.

· Paul and Aldo give us an update about CS Zones and City Surfing Pages. There will be two different things implemented, first CS Zones, which is really one specific location where CouchSurfers meet or get together regularly. The second is City Surfing Pages. Those are under construction, but will give information about a city. The first page will be a kind of magazine where you can post news about coming meetings, pictures of passed ones and so on. The other pages will become more static. At the next meeting, Paul hopes to be able to show us some examples.

Netherlands Group Coordination

· Considering the Dutch CS-groups, we decided to base the structure on provinces. Giuseppe will try to make a clickable map to put on the Netherlands main group page, so that people can immediately click to the region they are looking for.

Inactive groups will be deleted (after talking to the moderator about it), double ones can be put together. A moderator should mainly literally moderate. He or she can also welcome new group members, but this should depend on the group and the person joining. Just use your common sense to decide whether you think it is needed or not!

Ramon will continue this job. If you have suggestions or ideas, please contact him.

· Giuseppe will write some manual for our group communication.

§ For discussions, use the CS Group

§ For amb-meetings, CS Events, if people are added we can also use that to communicate with the group.

§ For documents, use the Google group

§ For things that are also open for outsiders, use the wiki pages

If new members are added, the other members of the group should be informed about that. To prevent a too big amount of members of the organisation group, it seems to make sense to take only foreigners in who are related to the Netherlands (like Dutch Nomadic Ambassadors abroad, or people like Chris who work a lot together with Dutch cities), in general, one representative of our neighbouring countries (next to the ones we have very direct connections with), should be enough.

· It is possible to get a third country ambassador. Giuseppe says that being active in CouchSurfing and getting an idea of the international situation can also be done in some workgroups.

Some different tasks for country ambassadors are mentioned.

§ They should have an overview of the city ambassadors and take care about them

§ They are the link between the Dutch organisation and the outside world.

§ They have a motivating role

§ It would be nice if the country ambassadors can develop some vision where we want to go to with this organisation group.

Rose says that since she applied, so many things changed in Amsterdam. Her help is needed in Amsterdam for now. Paul advices to ask active members to help, also without a flag.

Aldo differentiates three kind of jobs for country ambs. The first one is mainly online, in taking part in group discussions, promote and represent the Netherlands in international groups, greeting people and so on. These jobs seem to suite Rose. The second part is meeting people, show your face, promote CouchSurfing on meetings and so on. This is what Henri is good at. The thing that is missing is someone who has a broader overview, who can take care about the organisational part and brings up things among ambassadors.

Both Liza and Giuseppe thought about applying as a third country ambassador. Giuseppe has his doubts for being not Dutch and is very likely to leave the country in about two years. Everybody, including Giuseppe, will be very happy if Liza will apply for the third country ambassador position. The situation in Utrecht is very stable with Jasper as active city ambassador. Liza will think about it and inform us before the 9th of September, the next deadline for country ambassador applications. If she will apply, Giuseppe can always help if things need to be done.

Event organisation

· Due to a lack of time, we will discuss this further online. Please write some words about your experiences with events and organising them in the CS group. In this way, we can all learn from each other.

Next Dutch ambassadors meeting will be held in Rotterdam, in the last weekend of November. This weekend, the big international Sinterklaas Meeting will also take place in this city. Paul will organise our meeting, more details will follow by then!

Decisions taken:

1. Henri and Rose will develop a toolkit for new ambassadors

2. Giuseppe, Liza and Maikel can act as buddies for new ambassadors

3. Henri and Rose will send a reminder to inactive ambassadors

4. Everyone can/should write Henri or Rose if you think an ambassador is inactive

5. Regarding an emergency couch list, we will wait till the system on the main page is improved

6. The Dutch CS Groups will get based on provinces

7. Giuseppe will try to develop a clickable map for the Netherlands Group page

8. Giuseppe will write a manual about communication in our group

9. If new members are added to the group, we will get informed about that

10. Liza will think about applying as a third country ambassador

11. Next meeting will be in Rotterdam, in the weekend of the Sinterklaas meeting