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FAQs about the Auroville Resource Group

August '02

1) What is the purpose of the Auroville Resource Group (ARG)? The Auroville Resource Group (ARG) is a voluntary body of Auroville residents, who wish to actively assist the Residents Assembly in achieving self-governance for Auroville. It will strive to promote agreement among the residents, and assist the community to formulate the next step towards the development of its ideals, as envisaged in Auroville's charter. Its responsibilities will be:

a. Facilitate the process of developing and ratifying both:

i. policies that affect the community as a whole; and
ii. mandates and terms of office of working groups.

b. Propose methods of selecting members of working groups (e.g., ARG Secretariat, Working Committee, Conflict Resolution Group, Other Support Groups).
c. Process appeals that groups or individuals may make when unsatisfied with a working group's decision.
d. Facilitate the process of conflict resolution.

2) Is the ARG the final authority? The ARG is not the final authority. The responsibility for how we conduct our internal affairs belongs to the Residents Assembly, while the Governing Board and International Advisory Council have a supervisory role as stipulated in the Foundation Act.

3) What is the difference between the Auroville Resource Group (ARG), the Residents Assembly (RA), and the Working Committee (WC)? The ARG will ensure that a participatory and transparent process is followed when policies, mandates and terms of office of Auroville's working groups are developed. The RA will decide if the policies, mandates and terms of office should be approved. The WC aims, in addition to its other responsibilities, to ensure that policies, mandates and terms of office, once approved by the RA, are implemented.

The Difference between the ARG, RA, and WC:

ARG Facilitates development of policies, mandates and terms of office and resolution of issues
RA Approves policies, mandates and terms of office
WC Ensures policies, mandates and terms of office are implemented

4) What are the requirements to be an ARG member? Any member of the RA may be a member of the ARG.

5) How can I become a member of the ARG? If you are a member of the RA and you sign a participation agreement, you become a member of the ARG. Copies of the participation agreement were sent out in the 17 August AV News. They are available on AuroNet, and will be sent out to each individual within the next few weeks. Copies will always be available upon request through the Working Committee. If you have not received a participation agreement, please contact the Working Committee.

6) What is my obligation in terms of time and energy if I become a member of the ARG? There is no obligation as such. However, members of the ARG are expected to be actively and regularly committed to the growth of the collective organization.

7) How long will people serve on the ARG? People will be asked to sign up initially for one year, after which an evaluation of the ARG and the Experiment will take place. The ARG, along with the Experiment as a whole, will be reviewed annually at least until the community feels comfortable with its functioning.

8) When can people join the ARG? People can join the ARG at any time.

9) Is the ARG meant to be the entire Auroville organization? No, the ARG is a facilitation body. It will help Auroville to define and refine its organizational structure and processes. It will not become the organization. It will neither replace the concept of working groups nor will it replace the RA.

10) How will the ARG function? One of the first tasks of the ARG will be to determine its own process. This is likely to include: deciding how it will make its own internal decisions, agreeing on meeting times and procedures, setting out its priorities, and working out a procedure to communicate with the community-at-large.

11) What else will the ARG do to begin with? Some of the ARG's other initial tasks will be to facilitate approval by the RA of a selection process for the next WC, (this is very important because the current term will expire on September 30th), facilitate the constitution of a Secretariat for the Working Committee, a conflict resolution group and other supporting groups, and facilitate the ratification of recently proposed policies.

12) The participation agreement asks me to nominate myself or four other members of the RA, or both myself and four other members of the RA? Why? The purpose of the ARG is to foster the widest participation and transparency in our decision-making process. Everyone is invited to join. This is the reason that all members of the RA may nominate themselves. The reason for nominating four others is to encourage people who may not nominate themselves.

13) When and how will the ARG be reviewed? The ARG, along with the Experiment as a whole, will be reviewed annually at least until the community feels comfortable with its functioning.

14) Why is this process taking so long? From the beginning the aim has been to seek the widest agreement and consensus on this new proposal by being inclusive in our approach. This takes time as we are about 1200 adults people from about 40 countries, we have three major spoken languages with many people who either do not speak English at all or speak it as a second language, and we come from diverse cultural, economic, and social backgrounds.

 

Working Committee & Support Group
August 24th, 2002

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