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A new cooperative model for RealKM Magazine

With a New Year already under way, I have some exciting news to share with you all.

As many of you would know, RealKM Magazine was founded in 2015 as a subsidiary endeavour of my consulting firm KnowQuestion. Despite being legally part of a traditional company structure, RealKM has always been primarily a passion project. I felt the need (and continue to feel the need) for sites like RealKM to share high quality KM-related research, encourage learning and development of KM professionals, and advocate for the continued evolution of our discipline.

Every day I am grateful that so many others feel the same way. With our valued patrons now providing the bulk of ongoing funding for RealKM, the time feels right to formally transition RealKM to a community-owned model.

After looking into various incorporation options, and taking into consideration the cooperative community spirit that permeates so much of what RealKM does, I have settled on the adoption of a cooperative structure as the legal entity controlling RealKM Magazine. Pending finalisation of rules and registration of the name, the new body will be the RealKM Cooperative.

One of the primary principles of a cooperative model is a democratic structure based around “active membership” where each member gets one vote. To minimise barriers to membership, we are proposing two alternative pathways to membership:

  • Financial contributions. Any member who contributes AUD$50 or more in a calendar year towards the running of RealKM will meet the requirements for active membership. (Mostly we expect to continue to be met through ongoing Patreon donations.)
  • Written contributions. Any member who contributes 4 accepted articles or more in a calendar year for publication in RealKM will meet the requirements for active membership.

Whether or not you meet either of these requirements, membership of the RealKM Cooperative will be entirely voluntary. Those who sign up will have the right to:

  • attend and vote at meetings and postal ballots (which will run virtually, although exact mechanics are still being worked out)
  • run for and be elected as a director or other organisational positions
  • inspect membership lists, rules, minutes, and annual reports

For 99% of you who visit this site, very little will change. However, the switch to a cooperative model provides a way for supporters who wish to be more actively engaged in shaping the future endeavours and focus of RealKM in a a transparent, accountable, and sustainable way. We will be writing soon to invite everyone who is eligible to become a member to join us at the formation meeting (planned for late Jan / Feb) to formalise this change.

Anyone who would like to take up the option of membership or to take on a more active role in the governance of RealKM Cooperative going forward is strongly encouraged to contact us to discuss further. I am really looking forward to getting this next evolution of RealKM under way.

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Stephen Bounds

Stephen Bounds is an Information and Knowledge Management Specialist with a wide range of experience across the government and private sectors. As founding editor of RealKM and Executive, Information Management at Cordelta, Stephen provides clear strategic thinking along with a hands-on approach to help organisations successfully develop and implement modern information systems.

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