Hi Lauren and TT,

Great thoughts and questions!  I added them to the Master Blueprint, which can be viewed here...

If Ainsley would like to send her notes as bullet points, they can be added to the Blueprint as well.  

As for intake procedures, that's a great idea.  It would be awesome if someone would act out how that would go down and record it so it can added into this to be referenced later.

There are already sample application forms for both shops and exchangees put together.  I'll get them posted soon for everyone to comment on.

Lauren, what sort of troubleshooting of international exchange issues are you referring to?

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [TheThinkTank] Visual of What An Exchange Program Could
look Like
From: Lauren Warbeck <lauren.warbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, November 20, 2017 1:50 pm
To: The Think Tank <thethinktank@lists.bikecollectives.org>

Hey buds!  

As often, this is a project that we started exploring a few years ago that fell to the wayside, and that folks before us started working on too.  I'm so excited to see it revived!  Ainsley, I think you recently unearthed our notes?

I think this is a great overall framework.  I'm sure you've thought about these things, but just to put them out there on the TT...

In my experience, each shop will have their own culture and procedures around taking on volunteers, and resources to do so will be highly variable.  For that reason, I think this general rubric is great.  Once you really get into the details, could part of the application require each shop to outline what their intake procedure is?  Could an overall framework be developed that shops can draw on for their interviews/questions to consider...like suggested application details.  Are there thoughts yet on what a suggested application could look like in terms of content? 

For international exchanges, the most significant roadblock, I think, is coordinating visas, permits, and taxation for those shops that operate more formally in the registered non-profit paradigm.  Most shops, I suspect, can't afford the risk inherent to having noncitizen workers or afford the potential heat from the law on having noncitizens working in their shops.  Could a guideline to the opportunities and risks inherent to volunteering or working in another country be provided to the person seeking exchange?  And for those orgs that aren't incorporated in the formal nonprofit paradigm, could there be a way to ensure discretion while trying to organize an international exchange online?  Or a list of guidelines about how to stay off the radar so that no one gets deported?  Or is this being conceived of us as an exchange that takes place within the borders of a given country?  

One thing I've thought about was that if the exchange was considered training or professional development, home shops could pay their OWN employees to go on an exchange.  As in, pay them for the hours they work at another shop.  The receiving shop, if they have the funds, could even give a grant or donation or funding to the other shop to fund the exchange...like a grant for professional development.  The legal terrain here will be highly contextual, though.  

It would also be good to detail some expectations of the receiving shop in terms of what support/welcome/orientation to the shop and community can and would be offered, and to have a point person or two in the shop who will be the sort of ambassador of the org/community/town/city.  Again, general guidelines specific shops could draw on in developing their support offer would be helpful.   

In general, in my experience, exchanges and volunteers from other shops have worked out well, and part of that is because there is often a preexisting relationship between the incoming person and someone at the recieving shop.  The great thing about an exchange is that it could not require that preexisting relationship...but it also means there is a risk  of taking on people who aren't a good fit for a shop, or the exchange finding out the shop isn't right for them once they arrive.  Will there be a suggested procedure in place for vetting folks and for ending an exchange preemptively?  Like a suggested procedure for dealing with conflict, or a budget for escape haha. A simple way might be to have a question on the application that asks for references (preferably at other shops), and a question around whether they've been on exchange and where, with a point person potential exchange recipients can contact at that shop as a reference.  Is that too policey?  Or is it just due diligence?

Hmmmm I love this project.  I'm personally really interested in troubleshooting the international exchange issues. 


On Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 5:08 PM, <rob@robertgrossmandesign.com> wrote:
Dear Thinktank,

Here is a visual idea of how we can develop a (mostly) self-sustaining exchange program between Community Bicycle Workshops.

Please tear into it.




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