The Collective is the foundation of the Yellow Bike Project. Comprised of YBP’s volunteer Coordinators, the Collective is the decision-making body of our 501c(3) non-profit organization. As members of the Collective, volunteers govern and manage every aspect of YBP. We don’t have a boss, an owner, or a chairman of the board—every member of the Collective has equal power over the direction of YBP.
The Collective makes its decisions by consensus. This means that everyone must agree upon policies, programs, and initiatives before they go into effect. If there is any disagreement, the decision is discussed until a compromise is reached. Collective decisions are wide-ranging in scope, including everything from layout of the shop floor to budgetary concerns to the formation of community partnerships. Members of the Collective can also volunteer to perform critical roles, such as treasurer, secretary, email correspondent, IT technician, and newsletter editor, and placement in these positions is agreed upon by the Collective, as well.
The consensus process is not always as swift or efficient as other forms of governance such as top-down management or majority-rule voting. However, at YBP, we’ve found that consensus builds a strong, fully-engaged group. Since we’re all passionate about fixing up old bikes and getting more educated, empowered cyclists on the road, agreement is easily reached more often than not. When more difficult decisions do arise, making a choice we can all agree on, rather than “winning” or “losing” in a vote, makes for a happier, healthier Collective. YBP’s long, successful history is a testament to just how functional and effective the consensus process can be.
YBP holds its Collective Meeting on the first Tuesday of every month at 7pm at our Webberville Road shop. Collective Meetings are open to the public, and we offer time for public input at 8pm. If you wish to begin apprenticing, would like to request assistance from YBP, or just want to see our consensus process in action, please stop by!