About the Decision Making Plenary
The Decision Making Plenary (DMP) is the session where BiCon makes decisions about things like who’s going to run BiCon in future years, any bi projects that BiCon might help to fund and whether any changes need to be made to the BiCon guidelines and how BiCon works. It’s also the place where BiCon Continuity Limited reports back on the work that it’s done throughout the year.
The DMP is important because BiCon makes its decisions as a whole community and everyone present at BiCon should be able to contribute to those. Because it’s so important, it’s never scheduled against other sessions, which allows everyone at BiCon to attend. This year it’s on Sunday morning.
The agenda for the DMP will be published by Friday evening at BiCon after the pre-DMP meeting. Please do read it if you’re intending to come to the DMP as things run more smoothly if everyone knows in advance what’s going to be discussed.
The DMP will have live subtitles.
(YouTube explanation video here!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IcKZxw1kFs
The pre-DMP session
The agenda for the DMP is set at an earlier session, the Pre-DMP session on the Friday. This allows the issues to be discussed in a smaller, more manageable group, where suggestions can be made and the ideas may be refined. It also allows the issues to be publicised on on the web site and elsewhere so that BiCon attendees know what’s coming up at the DMP.
It’s intended to be friendly and helpful to anyone who wants to raise an issue at the DMP, rather than discussing the merits of the idea itself.
Anyone wanting to raise an issue at the DMP, or to put in a bid to run a future BiCon, should attend the pre-DMP or send a representative. If you can’t make the pre-DMP session for any reason, and can’t find someone to go in your place, please email the BiCon organisers in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can put the item on the agenda.
If the issue you want to take to the DMP is more than a short question or a yes / no vote, you may want to write a submission and share this at the pre-DMP. If you want people to read this ahead of the pre-DMP or you want community input, writing a short submission and emailing it to the BiCon organisers will mean they can share this for you so people can read it and be familiar with what you are proposing ahead of any votes.
With BiCon being online this year, and discussions already happening in various online spaces, we’re expecting a lot of the likely agenda for the DMP to be known well in advance. Therefore, we encourage BiCon attendees to submit ideas they want to vote on well in advance of BiCon to email@example.com , and to watch out for announcements and discussions about the agenda throughout August.
- Any time before Friday 20 August: Anyone can submit ideas for discussion on the agenda to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday 2 August 19:30 – 21:30: DMP Intro / Overview and Q&A plus an overview of of the agenda items that are already submitted by then
- Sunday 8 August 16:00 – 18:00: Discussion of the agenda items that are already submitted by then
- Monday 9 August or soon afterwards: Publication of preliminary agenda for the DMP#
- Friday 20 August, 14:00: pre-DMP
- Friday 20 August, evening: final DMP agenda published
- Sunday 22 August, 10:00: DMP – double session with a fifteen-minute break in the middle
The BiCon Guidelines
The BiCon guidelines, originally written and agreed at the 1998 BiCon, are guidelines describing what BiCon is and how it should be run. They’re intended to make things easier for teams running BiCon rather than being restrictive and to make sure that any BiCon covers the basic requirements for content and accessibility. Occasionally they get added to and amended at the DMP.
The full text of the BiCon guidelines is available on-line at https://bicon.org.uk/for-organisers/guidelines/.
Notes by David Matthewman, who will chair the DMP.
DMP 2021 Agenda
Notes on timings – for this year’s DMP, I am putting provisional timings next to items on the agenda. This is to allow people to drop in and out of the DMP as they wish, since this is easier to do online and not everyone has the stamina for 2 hours of online discussion. I will try to keep to the timings. In particular, if one session under-runs, I will leave a gap and start the next session on time rather than starting it early.
10:00 to 10:10 – Welcome
Welcome to the BiCon DMP, and explanation of the sli.do voting platform. It will be useful if you start the meeting with a phone, tablet or browser window open at https://www.sli.do/ ready to join the specific session.
10:10 to 10:15 – Minutes of last meetings
Approval of minutes of 2019 BiCon DMP, which are here: https://bicon.org.uk/for-attendees/dmp-minutes/minutes-from-the-bicon-2019-decision-making-plenary/
Approval of minutes of 2020 BiCon sort-of-DMP, which are here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1g6eSVFiXJORguzuWj8vMjv2prZz8Kj0V/view
Voting: we will vote on whether to approve each document as a correct record of each meeting.
10:15 to 10:30 – Anti-racism training for next year’s BiCon
For the next in-person BiCon, all attendees must attend anti-racism training or take part in an anti-racist discussion group. As with this year’s training, accessible options for the training must be maintained and if possible added to.
Separately, the BiCon team for the next in-person BiCon should complete anti-racism training aimed at event organisers.
There will be a separate vote on alternative wording for the first sentence. As it stands, it makes training compulsory for all attendees, including those who turn up on the day. An alternative proposed wording would make this apply only to attendees who book in advance.:
For the next in-person BiCon, all attendees who book in advance must attend anti-racism training or take part in an anti-racist discussion group.
Voting: there will be two votes. We will first vote on which wording is preferable. Once that wording has been voted on, we will vote on the motion as a whole.
10:30 to 10:40 – Report from BiCon Continuity Ltd
BiCon Continuity Ltd will present a report on their work.
10:40 to 10:45 – Introduction to the Guidelines changes
The main discussion on these will happen after the break in the second half of the session, but before the break we will outline any changes that have been made to the proposals in the past couple of days, to ensure that everyone is up-to-date.
10:45 to 11:00 – Break
11:00 to 11:35 – Changes to the Guidelines
- Review of wording from an anti-racism perspective and for modern terminology
- Expanded statement of intent
- Standard review of Guidelines every two years to be passed by a simple majority
- Statement of intent to create and maintain a BiCon Organising Support Space (BOSS)
- Explicit reference to the Code of Conduct, including how it should be changed
- Mention of rules for virtual BiCons
- New section specifically listing the responsibilities of organisers and what they should make sure they have in place before presenting as a team
- New section on access for Carers and Personal Assistants, and for people who need them
- Sections on social class, on chill-out space and general statement of intent on inclusivity of spaces and sessions placed throughout the document, so no longer have individual sections.
- Point on national or local groups not being denied space to run sessions no longer included but the statement of intent explicitly welcomes all Bi+ people as organisers.
Note: revised wording for the Carers’ and Personal Assistants’ section may be presented at the DMP.
Voting: there will be three votes.
- The wording for the Carers and Personal Assistants section will be voted on. If that vote passes, that section will be added to whichever version of the Guidelines is in force at the end of the DMP
- There will be a vote in principle on the new Guidelines. If that passes, it will be minuted that BiCon approves of the work done on the new Guidelines
- There will be a formal vote to approve the new Guidelines and make them the current Guidelines.
The separate votes on points 2 and 3 are needed because it was clear at the pre-DMP session that there were a number of people who felt that the Guidelines work was excellent but unfinished, and so we need a way for them to be able to express that without rejecting the Guidelines altogether.
10:35 to 11:40 – Proposals for future BiCons
If any. At the moment, no teams have come forward.
11:40 to 11:45 – Any Other Business and thanks
Timing for this is heavily dependent on whether there are future BiCon teams in the session before.