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Authors and Contributors

Diego Isabel, Gus Hagelberg, Edith Claros, Christian Felber, Christian Kozina, Manfred Kofranek

1       Introduction

The Economy for the Common Good (ECG) is an international movement with activities in over 20 countries. There are multiple organizations, associations, hubs and working groups which work to coordinate activities across the globe.

The internal structure of the ECG works generally as follows: The Delegates Assembly (DA) is designed to guide decision-making in the movement. The International Coordination Team (ICT) is authorized by the DA to make operational decisions and coordinate activities. The ICT has six areas of responsibility: Coordination Local Chapters, External Communication, Core Elements, Legal Issues, Pioneers and Finances. Hubs (permanent, international working groups) have been given authority by the DA to organize specific fields.

This document focuses on the work of the International Expansion Team (IET), which reports to the ICT team “Coordination Local Chapters”.

Refer to this chart to better understand the workings of the ECG.

2       The ECG International Expansion Team (IET)

The International Expansion Team (IET) is associated with the International Coordination Team (ICT) and works to support ECG global expansion in countries which do not yet have an ECG legal body, ie. association. Because of limited resources, the IET works mostly reactive (supporting new people, organizations and regions) and partially proactive in creating a general strategy and supporting ongoing international activities. Once the ECG International Association has been founded, the role of the IET will be reevaluated. In the long run, it is necessary to build up resources and more professional processes to achieve the objectives of the ECG international expansion.

2.1   Objectives and Functions

The ECG International Expansion Team (IET) is responsible for developing a smooth and continuous expansion of ECG values, core elements, organizational structures and practices in countries, where ECG associations have not yet been established. Once an ECG association has been established in a specific country, the IET can withdraw its responsibilities.

The IET supports and guides new countries and regions through the process of getting involved and included in the ECG international movement. Initially the IET will support individuals, companies, organizations and governments who request information about the ECG. In a second stage, new local chapters and other local ECG hubs can also be supported.

Furthermore, the IET will work to connect the different actors of the new regions with the ECG international movement, including the various ECG Hubs like the Consultants Hub, the Auditors Hub or the Municipalities Hub.

2.2   Members

Coordinator of the International Expansion Team

The Coordinator of IET is responsible for the development of a strategy and processes of the ECG international expansion and offers direct support to the Regional Coordinators. He or she is also responsible for keeping track of names and address of all Regional Coordinators.

The Coordinator should commit to this task for at least one year.

Regional Coordinators

A Regional Coordinator coordinates the expansion in one specific area. A specific area can be a geographical region like Latin America or Africa or a "language region" like the “English-speaking countries”.

The Regional Coordinators bring a certain amount of knowledge with them about the culture, politics and business in their region. They rely on the Country Bridges, however, for more specific knowledge and experience in the individual countries. The Regional Coordinators should speak a language common to most of the countries in their jurisdiction. This is not possible in all areas like Asia or Africa. In such areas a common language like French, English, Spanish or Mandarin is required.

It is not mandatory that a region has a Regional Coordinator. In Europe, for example, there is no need for such a person because the individual countries are well organized.

The Regional Coordinators are responsible for keeping track of names and address of all Country Bridges.

The Regional Coordinators should commit to this task for at least one year.

Country Bridges

The Country Bridges are in charge of supporting a specific country in building up ECG structures and processes. The Country Bridge is the contact person for all procedural questions and is responsible for transferring existing resources (documents, manuals, communication channels, newsletters, protocols, etc.) to the “newcomers”.

The Country Bridges bring specific knowledge with them about culture, politics and business in the country of responsibility. They should, naturally, speak the national language or languages fluently.

The Country Bridges are responsible for keeping track of names and address of all individuals and business interested in the ECG but not yet formally involved.

The Country Bridges are the first point of contact for Local Chapters.

The Country Bridges should commit to this task for at least one year.

2.3   Communication and Internal Organization

The IET will meet at least twice per year to review and develop the international expansion strategy. The Coordinator will be in touch with the ICT to report and coordinate the expansion activities with the other activities of the ECG movement. Regional Coordinators and Country Bridges are welcome to directly contact ECG Hubs or representatives of the ICT in order, for example, to clarify processes on creating Local Chapters or Associations.

The Coordinator of IET and the Regional Coordinators will be in touch with the Local Chapter Coordinator in order to facilitate the smooth inclusion of the new Local Chapters into the movement.

The Regional Coordinators will communicate with the Country Bridges as often as necessary or often as possible. They will also arrange meetings with all the Country Bridges to analyze and exchange experiences and resolve emerging problems.

Names and contact information of the Regional Coordinators and Country Bridges will be maintained in this Wiki.

3       International Expansion Process

This section explains the three stages through which a new country or region will go through until it is fully integrated into the ECG international movement. Once an ECG legal entity such as an association has been established in a country, the IET will no longer need to be active in that country.

We want to work in a bottom-up fashion, meaning that Local Chapters, when they exist in a region or country, should be the first point of contact for newly interested individuals or organizations. If no Local Chapters exist, then the Country Bridges should be contacted. If they don’t exist or are not able to react in time, then the Regional Coordinators should be contacted. If there are no Regional Coordinators available, then interested people should contact the IET Coordinator.

3.1   Stage A: First interested individuals and organizations

During this initial stage there are no ECG local chapters or ECG associations in the country. Individuals or companies have expressed their interest in the ECG. Due to a lack of resources, the IET can only provide reactive support during this stage. Other resources such as ECG Hubs may be able to provide more direct assistance.

In cases where individuals, companies, institutions or municipalities contact the IET, the ECG Starter Kit and the Guidelines for Creating a Local Chapter will be sent to them. They will be encouraged to sign up as ECG members on the web site and to sign up for the ECG newsletter. Furthermore, they will be given links to relevant social media and encouraged to follow and share ECG social media sites.

Web page with information about setting up a new chapter

Scenario 1: There are no local chapters and no individual ECG contacts in the country.

IET receives requests (email, etc.) from individuals. The IET sends the “Starter Kit" and invites interested people to set up a local chapter or to organize an event in the region. This could involve inviting an international ECG speaker.

Scenario 2: Individuals or organizations affiliated with the ECG exist in the country

The IET helps these various individuals to network with each other and sends the “Starter Kit” and invites to set up a local chapter or to organize an event.

Scenario 3: Inquiry from company, university or municipality interested in the ECG

IET sends the “Starter Kit” and passes the contact to the Consultants Hub or Municipalities Hub.

3.2   Stage B: The First Local Chapters Exist

There is at least one local chapter established in the country. The local chapter can begin the procedure for local chapter legitimation. These Local Chapters should be the contact points for individuals, companies, universities and municpalities interested in the ECG. Local chapters are better able to address the needs of interested people in their country.

Specific requests and questions will be transferred to the various ECG Hubs (Consultants Hub, Municipalities Hub, etc.).

The Local Chapter will appoint one individual who will communicate with the IET.

The IET remains the contact point for these first Local Chapters.

Before an ECG association is established, the IET will support local chapters with the following activities:

  • Introducing the Local Chapters to the ECG Hub “Coordination of Local Chapters”
  • Organizing training sessions for consultants to become certified ECG consultants
  • Finding ECG consultants to help advise companies and organizations interested in conducting a Common Good Report. Assisting in contacting the Consultants Hub.
  • When requested, introduce local chapters and local education organizations (universities, schools, etc.) to the Science and Research Hub
  • When requested, introduce local chapters and interested municipalities to the Municipalities Hub

During this stage the communication with interested individuals and organizations should, if possible, first go through the local chapters. If not possible, then the country bridge or regional coordinator should step in. As a last resort the IET coordinator can get involved.

3.3   Stage C: Several Local Groups, at least one Legal Entity

During this stage, more than one local chapter and a legal ECG association will have been established within the “new” country. Guidelines and rules about creating an ECG association can be found here. The new local chapters and ECG supporters should try to build up a network among each other and should live the ECG values.

Step by step, the local ECG association will take over the responsibility of the IET and more channels of communication will be created with other local chapters, ECG Hubs and the movement in general.

4       Creating an ECG Local Chapter

Please refer to this page to find out about creating a local chapter: Web page with information about setting up a new chapter

5       Creating an ECG Legal Entity (ie. Association)

Each ECG Association should be financially autonomous. At the same time, associations should try to collaborate to the international finances. In this way, the ECG movement will be able to provide international services as well as to expand the ECG values and goals.

For more information, please contact manfred.kofranek@ecogood.org or manfred.jotter@ecogood.org

6       Joining an ECG Hub

There are numerous ECG Hubs which are like permanent working groups. They collaborate on specific topics and usually bring a certain expertise or experience with them. The Hubs vary from the Business Hub, the Speakers Hub, the Consultants Hub and the Municipalities Hub. The Hubs are, in general, open for new members. They are international in nature, meaning members come from different countries and the work is for the entire international movement.

You can find out more about the ECG Hubs here.

7       Working with Government Agencies, Politicians or Policy Makers

The IET is not responsible for developing a strategy regarding working with government agencies politicians or political parties. You can find more information and guidelines for dealing with these groups here.

Working with governments, politicians, policy-makers and political parties is important and must be done with caution. They speak their own language and only people with expertise should work with them.

In the case of local governments and local politicians, it is recommended that people of the local chapter work with them. However, as mentioned before, it is recommended to identify people with previous experience in dealing with these groups.

In any case, when someone in the ECG movement is contacted by government officials, political parties or politicians, the Municipalities Hub should be informed.

It is important to build a database with these groups and to be supported by a broad range of them with different ideologies to preserve the independence of the ECG movement.

In some cases, these contacts may also be transferred to other Hubs linked to the ECG and specialized in advising governments and policy-makers.

ECG is a politically-independent movement. It takes care not to be associated with one party. It aims at spreading its ideas and practices into many parties.

ECG is not and does not fund or in any way directly support political parties.

Speakers of political parties cannot be ECG speakers or coordinators. They can be activists. The Spanish ECG chapter has developed detailed code of conduct on this issue.

8       International ECG Federation

All ECG associations work jointly to provide financial and legal support to the movement. There are hubs and working groups for fundraising, financial reconciliation and legal issues. All regional associations should participate in those activities.

In the future, an international ECG Association is planned and every local/regional/national ECG association has to be a member of this international ECG association.

For more information please contact manfred.jotter@ecogood.org or manfred.kofranek@ecogood.org.

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