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Old January 12th 18, 11:49 PM posted to,,
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Default [FOAR] Building a better community?

Foundations of Amateur Radio

Building a better community?

Posted: 13 Jan 2018 09:00 AM PST

Foundations of Amateur Radio

A week or so ago I watched a movie that was simultaneously the funniest and
saddest movie I'd seen in a while. "Pecking Order". It follows members of
the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club in the lead up to the New
Zealand National Championships, as they battle history and each other in a
quest for glory and for the love of their birds. Think "Best in Show" with

While watching, all I could see was squabbling radio amateurs. We're having
a similar situation in the Wireless Institute of Australia. There is
evidence of gross financial mismanagement, claims and counter claims,
Directors with an axe to grind, lawsuits and feathers in the mail. I
understand that the Radio Society of Great Britain went through similar
disruption several years ago.

The ARRL is also going through upheaval right now. Rules, conduct
unbecoming, expulsions and gag-orders abound.

All these experiences deal with how a board conducts itself, how individual
members react and how the main membership just wants to get on with things.

Today I read an article in CQ Magazine, titled "We Have Met the Enemy ...
and He Is Us".

It leads me to wonder, what is it about being on a board that causes you to
become entitled? What is it about being a radio amateur that makes you feel
entitled to belittle and ignore those around you? What is it about our
community that is toxic and detrimental to its survival?

No doubt as I become older and perhaps wiser I'll get personal insight into
these attributes when some young turk comes along and puts me firmly in my
place, but for now, I'm the young turk, and you can keep your
quinquagenarian jokes to yourself.

I've heard it said that if an organisation is eating itself, let it die.
There is something to be said for that sentiment. It causes new structures
to be formed, new processes to be created, new ideas to propagate and new
people to participate.

The thing is, doing this also kills off history, it kills off a knowledge
base, it destroys lives, it makes for loss of productivity, loss of
investment and it is just plain bad for business.

When I was growing up I was told of an organisation that would split its
territory in half and form two new organisations once it hit 20 or so
employees. Each new organisation would carry on, splitting in half as it
grew. The idea was that if you had more people than that inside a company
it became unwieldy. I don't know what's become of that organisation, what
it's called, or even if it even still exists. I'm using it as an example of
new thinking, a new way of trying to build an organisation, a new approach.

What kinds of new approaches could we come up with for our representative
bodies in amateur radio? For that matter, what new approaches could we
imagine for ourselves and our community?

There is a very powerful quote by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small
group of thoughtful, committed, organised citizens can change the world;
indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

I'm Onno VK6FLAB
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