Regional Coordinator rotation – Update

Sebastian Pękala
Regional Coordinator Leader

Sebastian Pękala
Regional Coordinator Leader

Sebastian Pękala is introducing some updates to the Regional Coordinator and Regional Coordinator Leader selection processes.

During the RC conference in July, the Regional Coordinators, in coordination with Program Coordinators, discussed the Regional Coordinator rotation process. As a result of those discussions, we have decided to introduce some changes in the Regional Coordinator renewal schedule.

What are we changing?

From now on, Regional Coordinator tenure will last 2 years (24 months), instead of 18 months. There will be one renewal every year, which means that half of the regions will have their Regional Coordinator renewal each year. The Regional Coordinator selection process will now occur in late summer/early fall, with new Regional Coordinator tenure starting October 1st.

Due to changing from two Regional Coordinator renewal seasons each year to one, we had to deal with the April renewal wave – by assigning a few regions to the October 2017 class, and delaying the rest until October 2018. Regional Coordinators assigned to the earlier class volunteered for that, and are all long-time Regional Coordinators, so we made sure that no Regional Coordinator has served for less than the 18 months that were announced with the NNWO.

Full schedule and details on when Regional Coordinator tenures expire are available on the newly designed Regional Coordinators page on the Official Resources website – check this article’s bonus section for more on this.

What about the Regional Coordinator Leader?

Another change is about the Regional Coordinator Leader role. It will stay on 1-year length, but the starting date will be moved to April 1st. The current Regional Coordinator Leader tenure gets extended for 3 months, to maintain continuity before the next selection. The reason for shifting the Regional Coordinator Leader term is that we thought that the Regional Coordinator Leader term shouldn’t be too close to the Regional Coordinator renewal wave. This way, each new Regional Coordinator gets a chance to know the role better before participating in selection of the leader of the group. Pushing it to 6 months past the Regional Coordinator renewal wave makes this possible.

We also have one item that’s more of a clarification: if the Regional Coordinator Leader is also the Regional Coordinator of their own region, that person is exempt from re-applying to become the Regional Coordinator of their region for the duration of their Regional Coordinator Leader appointment. In other words, that person is automatically renewed as Regional Coordinator. They can of course choose to step down from either role independently.

Why are we making these changes?

The NNWO has brought us the regular renewals, which we’ve found to not fit ideally into what Regional Coordinators are doing and how, so we’ve discussed possible fixes and came up with this new system.

Firstly, we’ve found the 18 month period to be too short for new Regional Coordinators to get properly into the role and have their ideas fully implemented during that time. It was also difficult for planning region-wide projects, when the person leading them could change mid-year. Now, with the potential change happening towards the end of the year, there’s still time to plan for the new year. Most of the plan for the current year should be already executed, allowing the new Regional Coordinator an easier start.

Secondly, planning of regional conferences is heavily based on available support, which is decided yearly. Similarly to projects, having this allotment planned for the current year by one person and allowing the new Regional Coordinator to plan for the next year occurred to us as the best possible scenario.

Lastly, the amount of bureaucracy introduced by the selection committees for various positions was significant.While we still believe it’s important to run the committees, limiting the number of them per year was one of our goals – that’s why we moved to one Regional Coordinator renewal per year.

Bonus section – cool new features!

On top of these changes, with help from David de la Iglesia and Steffen Baumgart, we’ve got the Regional Coordinators page updated with very nice visualization of regions. There’s a map, and dedicated sub-sections for all regions – go check it out!