Meeting minutes/Lobau 18th dec 06

From Ecotopia Biketour Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Meeting Lobau 18th dec 06 Janneke, Jan, Joao, Ivan



issues in 2006:

- nothing on org mailing list

- nothing happened before february 2006

Joao says: no support from the office, bad communication with the office and with Roeland, he didn't say alternatives to grant money.

- lousy communication on the road; not enough time for org. circles. Problems with Dzemian, Csaba

Jan thinks: Studene we bad meeting (big costs from it, was it worth?), communication issue started from that meeting

Ivan on communication:

- communication wasn't biggest problem this year

- I wasn't at Studene, but Tabor was OK, except for incident with Olga

- experienced BT organizers had no problems with informations missing

Joao on communication:

- Studene - Sapi didn't manage communication -› messy meeting -› bad seeds - on the tour:

Lithuania - Joao vs. Vita

Poland - Dzemian vs. old bt people

Slovakia - Rado didn't participated in the group, Michal just translated

Hungary - Csaba often out of reach

Slovenia - very good, had only one meeting Ivan with Lidija. Open dynamic organizer.

Croatia - good: ivan joined earlier, bad - when he was out due to bike problems

Other communication remarks:

- big rule: MEET PERSONALLY!!!

- how to make people read the booklet????

- good this year was working mobile phone system

- maybe to invest in mobile internet

- wcn offered online contact ... ?? (can't read :)

- fight NO REPLY culture from 2006

The Future:

- have the roles on IC and NOs CLEARLY DEFINED!!!

- explain NOs what their role implies: in a session (presentation) on meetings and skype

- more talking sticks during biketour

- presentation on consensus at beginning of the tour

- installing of a board: regular skype meetings!!


Ivan's concerns: group was smaller after E. and not clear if there was proper goal: Ecotopia is nice goal, in case of Split we tried to make artificial goal.

Joao: BT is not about goal (Split was formality in fact) but about the way, pleasure of it, the change..

Jan: still, lots of BT people participate because of goal... - some 10-12 people joined from E. - so there is sense in that (some 3 people joined at E unplanned).

Conclusion: can we have several smaller goals along a route? (it worked in 2004: conference in Berlin, camp in germany, ecotopia..)


- very few people stayed for 3 months.

- maybe very long BT was reason for very few people at all times?

So generally we like idea of after BT but tour should be shorter.

Conclusions for future:

1 - aprox. 2 months,

2 - longer part before E and shorter after,

3 - several smaller goals along the route.


Several issues:

A) why so few ppl are interested in BT in general? (outreach issue?)

Croatian example:

there was outreach txt in english at several web sites even before Ivan wrote croatian one. Croatian was at some 10 web sites and alternative / activist / cyclist portals. During the route there was incredible media coverage (some 20 appearances). Number of NEW people who participated in Croatia was 1, some 3 of previous BT participants joined.

B) DIY doesn't work over years!!! (in fact, does it work on biketour at all?)

- after BT "core people" leave, group hardly makes even basic circles (example at Croatian part)

C) question of ACTIONS on the tour: how much, do we need and like them?

- actions are crucial for identity of Ecotopia BT (reminded by Daka and Ivan)

- actions are crucial for BT media appearance (example of Croatia - 20 times in the media, because of actions)

- but often participants are bored with actions (again example of Croatia)

D) Daka's and Ivan's notes from ex-NO's meeting in October 06:

1) PERSONAL FREEDOMS vs group commitment:

There is issue of personal freedoms (people who don't want to get up early, who want to have totally free rest days, who have private needs.. etc) repeated every year. In our opinion (as organizers from 05 & 06) there should be some sort of discussion with people when we gather on the road: people should give advantage to participating the group benefit over their needs - that is the essence of bloody biketour!!! (small illustration: an old biketour person had task of cooking dinner one evening, but decided to have decent shower first - so dinner happened later - bad bad biketour person!!!) So participants should be asked for personal compromises, for example: not to do morning yoga on every morning but on some, not to sleep long on every morning, etc.

2) All people will be strongly invited to tell their SPECIAL NEED AND FEATURES. (for example Ivan: "I have extremely crappy bike and could stay behind the group because of malfunctions")

3) some more STRICT RULES about times of morning departure, safety etc. Yes, rules are unpopular, but without *certain* rules project falls apart and leaves trail of grumpy organizers behind...

4) school for National Organizers! It's a hard and very specific job - we should work more with them. Please notice: every year is repeated that organizers are people new to BT, every year they are disappointed eventually - another reason for proper school.

5) SAFETY ISSUE: considering where we have been last 4 years and what happened on a way (accidents, attacks to participants, etc) we were lucky in fact. What if we won't be that lucky in future? Better worry that sorry: lets introduce soft set of rules, starting with HELMETS. Jan commented - safety is personal responsibility...

6) Daka's question: Can we ask ourselves what is REAL AIM of Biketour? He says - if it's daily distances and food - it isn't Ecotopia Biketour.


As we know from previous meeting with WCN, Biketour DOESN'T HAVE FUNDS FOR 2007!!! This means there won't be person in WCN office, no Roeland and no EVS person from February (when Joao will leave). Leftover of money from 06 is aprox. 850 euros. We have 3 bob trailers, + baby trailer which will hopefully return to Prague.

Several measures to deal with this situation:

Joao will travel in February (on voluntary basis) to Spain and Portugal to MEET personally people interested to do local organizing.

For organizing of the tour we will ask some organizations (environmental ones I guess) in the countries where BT will pass (considering project can't pay NO's). Contacting them probably starting with Joao at WCN in January. Such a organizations could even do some fundraising, or put BT inside existing projects in some small shape.

Another thing is we decided to make board (started at meeting at Ecotopia in August).

Why - people don't reply to emails -› frustration

What - experienced people who commit to MEET VIA SKYPE TWICE A MONTH and answer mails on the list + to care for organizers this year, answer their questions & ask them how they do. Furthermore, another function should be to have ADVISORY ROLE and decision making function (at least when BT is not on the road), but strictly voluntary. To avoid formal feeling, we'd like to use name THE WHEEL (or just wheel)

Interested people join 1st meeting of the Wheel, time to be announced. The Wheel members have obligation not to be authoritarian and grumpy on the road!

Info on 2007 route:

Starting possibly in Barcelona

- straight west to Santiago de Compostela

- southward to Lisboa.

So far the most possible venue for Ecotopia is south of Lisboa (not in very south of Portugal as was thought earlier).

Joao calculated this takes 60 days already, with 50km average per day. Question is where to put staying at eco-projects we want to do this year?

Spanish contacts:

- Marcos (Amici dela bici) - Joao phoned him. Lets talk to him that his organization could support BT after advice of The Wheel; Joao will do it after 1st skype meeting

- Jan has 2 contacts but now cannot remmember names

- Diana and Eva from BT

- Sara from Ecotopia - no mail reply

- Xavier - does anyone know where he is???


hear u in THE WHEEL !!!