TZM Local Chapters
The “TZM Chapter” structure is our communication network to organize world-wide. Each new chapter gives people in that region a place to go to engage in these ideas. At the moment the Movement’s focus is on awareness activism, not only of the Movement’s presence, but of the root-causes to persistent social problems and a sustainable social direction which can be briefly named a Natural-Law Resource Based Economic Model. The chapters themselves are focused on on-the-ground awareness projects and social interaction in regard to this direction.
Our greatest challenge isn’t the technical application of the solutions that exist to create an access abundance for the world’s population. It is the value systems which are perpetuated by established institutions that comprise the largest part of our society. Namely the monetary, political and religious establishments. The hardened value systems created by such established orders are the most difficult to address. Someone I admire stated to me once that, “The truth isn’t something that is told to you, it is something you realize on your own through new information.” To this end, the design of the chapters are that of a holographic, volunteer network. Organized and focused as an on-the-ground and in-person TZM presence which takes on the task of engaging the public through awareness activism, inputting new information into the current value system – communicating with people as best we can so that the possibility of a sustainable world can exist beyond the ultimate decay of an over-consumption model such as we have now.
Chapter Meetings usually consist of planning for activism events and feedback from completed projects, as well as being a communications portal of movement-wide efforts (Z-Day events, etc.). We learn about the effectiveness of our activism by experience, and work with the resources available regardless of chapter size.
Chapter meetings are not discussions of whether people like the idea of an RBE or a round-table melting-pot of everyone’s opinion (that will generally happen at your activism event itself). TZM Chapters are for those that are past the point of “is this a good idea?” and see the merit in the need for wide-spread awareness in society of the system problem and wish to engage on this level. Social aspects are certainly part of chapter activities as this is a social movement and that sense of global community is vital.
TZM’s chapter structure is holographic in the sense that each chapter contains the information and purpose of the Movement itself and engages in awareness activism in their region as best fits local language and culture. Chapters are comprised of volunteers who desire to forward the Movement’s direction in public awareness and understanding.
Activism projects, actions or ideas that are accomplished by members, that show merit to the Movement and a measure of success in the communication of what we advocate, tend to get picked up and emulated by other chapters. Feedback is given to coordinators, usefulness becomes self-evident, and, ultimately, such projects, actions and ideas are brought to the attention of the global coordinators through our networked levels of local, state, and national chapters so communication flows throughout the network.
The term “Coordinator” is a descriptive title of what actions one is doing within the Movement’s chapters. Coordinators (as well as all TZM members) are volunteers. Our time and efforts are purposed by the necessity of transitioning out of the current monetary/market paradigm to a sustainable resource-based model.
Coordinators express, through their desire to take on the role, that they identify with the root-causes to persistent social problems, and advocate transitioning to a new social system as a necessity. Coordinators are generally involved in:
- Facilitating meetings on a regular basis
- The planning of local activist events
- Have an understanding of the book “The Zeitgeist Movement Defined” which explains the attributes of the Movement’s direction in detail
- Take responsibility for creating a place where people can come together to engage in the educational imperatives consistent with TZM’s direction
- Responsible for the focus and relevance of activism projects, member-offered resources, respect for people’s time and of the Movement’s purpose
- Maintaining a web presence of the chapter as a record of activities
- Staying in communication with the coordinators next closest in tier (regional, state, national, etc)
- Not abusing any chapter resources for outside causes or “patchwork” projects
Official vs. Unofficial groups:
Official Chapters consist of self-motivated individuals that advocate and support the Zeitgeist Movement and the social direction expressed as a NL/RBE. Chapters are focused on on-the-ground awareness projects and public interaction through various awareness actions.
For the record, it is not necessary to participate in an official capacity. Some people do not have enough time or resources to volunteer on a consistent basis. This website offers other ways to participate via our TZM Blog, The Media Project, Discussion Groups and more. Also, some people may choose to form groups for other causes (i.e. green movements, transition towns, building a city, etc.) These avenues are open to all but are outside the scope of TZM Chapter purpose.
The Movement’s direction is well-documented throughout our materials. When you state publicly your acknowledgment in support of the movement (usually by referring to one’s self as a “member”), this is your voluntary agreement with what we are doing as chapters. Therefore it is recommended that you become familiar with what the Movement is about before representing yourself as a supporter to the community. How you would like to participate is up to you. We are all volunteers.
TZM Guidelines to start a chapter
Official Chapters** are recognized as self-motivated groups of individuals that understand the Movement’s train-of-thought and wish to support and advocate the social direction expressed in the book TZM Defined, the documentary Zeitgeist: Moving Forward and many of our TZM Lectures and Presentations. Chapters are focused on on-the-ground public awareness, education, and communication-based actions.
Purpose: Facilitate TZM awareness activism in your area, which is currently focused on on-the-ground communication of TZM’s train-of-thought and our educational imperatives through public interaction.
Personal Understanding: An official coordinator is responsible for understanding our tenets and goals as can be found in TZM Defined or Zeitgeist Moving Forward so you can communicate and answer questions about this train of thought.
Web Presence: Official Chapters maintain a website for membership and chapter events.
Relevance: Chapter resources are for chapter activism. Official websites remain relevant to what TZM is about (i.e. no commercial advertising or use of chapter resources for 3rd-party businesses, projects, or outside fundraising, etc.).
Stay in communication: Participate in an online meeting at least once a month. It is beneficial to stay connected so we we can support what you’re up to!
Connect the Network: As an official chapter, please link back to the global site and/or your country’s official TZM site.
Each coordinator understands that this is a voluntary role and expresses, through the desire to take on the role, that they hold themselves responsible for the points above. The act of volunteering; where you say “Yes, I want to represent TZM in an official capacity as a coordinator”, is your a-priori vote that you will hold yourself accountable to these guidelines.
If you’d like to find out more, or wish to start a chapter in your area, please use this link: [Under Construction, check back soon!]
*Coordinator positions get posted as OPEN if any of the following apply:
- A coordinator becomes unresponsive (i.e. no response to email communication)
- One’s actions no longer fit the description of the role as per Chapter Guidelines
- a chapter becomes dormant with little or no activity
**It is not necessary to create an official chapter in order to advocate this information to others. Many people elect to do their own thing in their own way, and that’s great! Some don’t have time to coordinate due to life needs, and sometimes chapters are viewed as vehicles for “causes” or “patchwork projects” (i.e. growing food, co-ops, protest groups, veganism, political campaigns, transition towns, building cities, communes, etc.). These avenues are open to all but are not the focus of Movement chapters.
#1 Types of coordinator & associated responsibilities
Briefly, in the Zeitgeist Movement, the role of a coordinator can be summarized as the responsibility to maintain an active information flow in the movement, without provoking conflicts as well an active concern in the accurate representation of the movement.
Although coordinator is referred to in the singular in this protocol, it is important to note that there may be multiple coordinators for a given chapter or project team, among whom there is a specific representative/spokesperson.
1.1 – International coordinator responsibilities
- To organize and manage information between chapters (includes reports and meetings).
- To be informed and to inform other chapter tiers and members of Movement activity.
- To support and provide counseling to international project managers and chapter coordinators.
- To review and validate national chapters, coordinators, and international project proposals.
- To ensure the accuracy of Movement representation at a global level.
- To be responsible for the appropriate use and privacy of international mailing lists and other important administrative data.
- To pursue a conflict-free work-oriented environment and, in case of necessity, to act as a mediator in project or chapter conflicts.
- To manage the global chapter’s email address.
1.2 – Chapter coordinator responsibilities
- To organize and manage information within the chapter (includes reports and meetings).
- To be informed and to inform other chapter tiers and members of Movement activity.
- To support and provide counseling to project managers within the chapter.
- To review and validate sub-chapters, coordinators, and project proposals in the chapter.
- To ensure the accuracy of movement representation within the chapter’s website and activism.
- To be responsible for the appropriate utilization and privacy of the chapter mailing list and other important administrative data.
- To pursue a conflict-free work-oriented environment and, in case of necessity, act as a mediator within the Chapter
- To manage the chapter’s email address.
1.3 – General team coordinator responsibilities
- To organize and manage information within the team.
- To be informed and to inform activity within the chapter where it is exists, along with its international counterparts (if in existence).
- To support and provide counseling to project managers in the chapter.
- To provide guidance to, and facilitate integration of, team members.
- To organize team activities.
- To be responsible for the appropriate utilization and privacy of the team mailing list and other important administrative data.
- To pursue a conflict-free work-oriented environment and, in case of necessity, act as a mediator within the team.
- To manage the team’s email address.
- To keep a reference/resource document of the team’s efforts.
1.4 – Project manager
- To organize and manage information within the project.
- To inform of activity within the chapter in which the project is operating, and their international counterparts (if in existence).
- To provide guidance to, and integration of, project volunteers.
- To establish milestones and project tasks, as well as delegation of tasks, to volunteers.
- To be responsible for the appropriate utilization and privacy of the project mailing list and other important administrative data.
- To pursue a conflict-free work-oriented environment and, in case of necessity, act as a mediator within the Project Team.
- To manage the project email address (if available).
To keep a reference/resource document of the project’s current human resources.
#2. Coordination Requirements
These requirements and approval processes apply only to chapter and team coordinators overall, as a project manager only needs to create and manage a particular approved project.
The following is required for anyone who volunteers to assume the role of coordination :
- History of good conduct and respect for the protocols
- Have read the coordination protocol
- Be interviewed, reviewed, and approved by the coordination directly responsible for the chapter
- Explicit agreement by the volunteer to respect and abide by the rules of conduct and Movement protocols
Coupled with these requirements, a given coordinator could assume their role in the following ways:
(a) When no coordinator exists, they are selected via rational consensus of the active chapter members and approval of the upper-tier chapter coordinator responsible for the area.
(b) When a coordinator or a team of coordinators already exists, the approval of a volunteer for the role of coordinator is by consensus of that coordination team.
(c) Intervention of the global chapters administration or a upper-tier chapter coordinator (in cases that include the removal of a pre-existing coordinator).
In order to maintain the status of a coordinator, it is necessary to:
– Respect and comply with the coordination protocol in a consistent manner
– Respect the rules of conduct
– Provide reports when required
– Represent and/or facilitate representation in meetings where presence is required
Failure to adhere to any of the aforementioned points will lead to the coordinator being placed under “trial” and analyzed by the individual(s) directly responsible for the region in which the chapter is located. This analysis may come from the chapter members who contact the upper tier coordinator of the region (or global chapters administration), or a routine check carried out by the aforementioned.
#3. Absence of a coordinator
In the case of absence, or the inability to support the responsibilities of the position for a determined period of time in excess of seven days, the coordinator should:
- Notify all relevant coordinators, particularly those to whom reports must be provided.
- If applicable, leave instructions or special notes for issues that may arise.
- If possible, in case of prolonged absence, nominate a replacement.
Note that while required for periods of absence longer than seven days, it is generally considered good practice to inform all relevant members, even regarding shorter periods such as four days.
#4. Removal of a coordinator
A coordinator can be “removed” from their position by their own resignation, or by intervention of the global chapters administration or upper-tier coordinator.
Intervention from the global chapters administration or upper-tier chapter coordinator can originate via a well-founded complaint by a member, or a simple routine analysis performed by the chapters administration. Each situation will be handled on a per-case basis, as in all situations, there are a vast array of potential variables and influences.
Please note that, in the absence of immediate voluntary replacement following any official removal of a coordinator, the process applied to the chapter is the same as that described in point 2.a.
The global chapters administration consists of a Team Head and its team. The Team Head will take the final responsibility for any decision agreed upon and is expected to hear any party involved in any conflict before making a decision.
#5. Presence in meetings
The meetings in which a coordinator is expected to be present and participate are as follows:
- Meetings of their respective team, region, or project in which they are directly responsible.
- Meetings where the presence of coordinators is required (i.e. international chapters meetings or national chapter coordinators meetings).
Given the nature of these meetings, if a coordinator is simply unable to be present for one of these meetings, they should:
- Seek a representative to be present in their place
- Keep up to date with what is discussed in the meetings using its respective recordings and logs, if available
#6. Mailing list utilization
The security and appropriate use of the mailing list of a given region or team constitutes one of the core responsibilities of coordination.
a) The data present in the contact list should never be given to any entity outside of the movement, nor to any third party within the movement. Failure to comply could create serious issues for the credibility of the Movement, in addition to a negative perception of the Movement on the internet regarding spam policies and private data leaks.
b) The content present in all messages should pertain specifically to projects, help requests, important notifications, and Movement events. In other words, the function of the mailing list of the movement is strictly for Movement affairs, and may involve no exterior entity.
#7. Responsibility and Delegation
It must remain very clear at all times that while a coordinator specifically takes on responsibility for a chapter, for example, in no way does that imply that the coordinator must also carry out all task management duties for events and projects. Simply put, all tasks that are not covered by this protocol are not an obligatory part of the coordinator role, and hence are contingent upon the responsibility/duty of active members of the chapter.
To put it another way, tasks such as organizing an event can be carried out by the chapter’s coordinator, but are not exclusive to that role, or even part of the coordinator’s specified duties. Any and all members are encouraged to step forward and take up such tasks, hence creating a greater group dynamic and balancing of the chapter’s overall workload.