Causes are micro groups within HSBNE that are empowered to direct funds towards their own interests without having to convince merit to the group as a whole. In exchange for autonomy, Causes take some responsibility for the upkeep and community building of the hackerspace.

This means that (for example) a group of blacksmithers can direct funds specifically towards their interests (ie a new anvil) without having to convince the wider group of its merit as an expenditure. It means they can maintain their area and buy appropriate consumables for it.

Minimum Requirements

At a minimum, to exist a cause must have:

  1. One leader
  2. Five members total
  3. Committed to the contribution rules
  4. Approval from an executive or membership majority vote
  5. Registered themselves with the Treasurer
  6. A wiki page (on the HSBNE domain) stating
    • The current leader.
    • The cause objectives.
    • The Causes’s Operating Document (if one has been approved by cause membership)
    • Cause contribution details (classes, area of upkeep etc).

Cause Contributions

Causes must contribute back to the hackerspace. Failure to meet all of these obligations in a calendar month will result in the suspension of access to all cause funds. This means reimbursements, new purchases, and the like, are not allowed to be processed until the obligations are met.

The current rules for contribution are:

  1. Causes must run one event or class per calendar month. Inductions do not count towards this. This means that a cause must have run a class or event in the previous or current month to access funding.
  2. Obligation to ‘own’ a physical area of the hackerspace and be responsible for its upkeep and appearance. Upkeep includes keeping the area clean and tidy, and making sure facilities are in good working order.
  3. Grants specifically for the cause must also have some contribution to the hackerspace as a whole.

Cause Rules

  1. Members may allocate up to 30% of their monthly membership fees, and be a member of, up to three (3) causes.
  2. Causes must have an operating policy document to form and run. This document should detail:
    • Induction and Maintenance processes for cause tools.
    • Lists of tool maintainers and process for becoming a maintainer of each tool.
    • Expectations for use of cause area, including Shared Working Spaces, Supervision and Storage.
    • Ongoing approved budgets for expenditure/reimbursement (ie, consumable restocking)
  3. A cause operating policy may not contain any other types of rules or policies not on the list in item (2) above, nor any rules that aren’t directly applicable to a cause’s area.
  4. Quorum is defined as a minimum of 3 people or 1 member for every 5 members in the Cause, whichever is greater.
  5. Each cause member is only allowed to hold two proxy votes at a cause meeting (so 3 including their own).
  6. A notice of a meeting, and any votable agenda items must be posted on the official communications forum with 5 days notice.
  7. Causes may (at the discretion of the treasurer) accept contributions from sources other than membership fee alotments.
  8. Causes may vote on items relating to:
    • Expenditure of a cause’s balance (at the discretion of the treasurer).
    • Induction processes for use of tools the cause is responsible for.
    • Supervision of tools the cause is responsible for and induction of supervisors thereof.
    • Maintenance lock-outs for tools.
    • Amendments to the cause’s Operating Policy.
  9. Causes must publish all voted policies/processes on their entrance (or as close as practicable) and on the HSBNE Wiki on their Cause page.
  10. Cause Leaders must resign their position at the Annual General Meeting and be nominated and voted in.
  11. Cause Leaders may be removed from their position by a majority vote of the Executive or the Membership.
  12. Cause Leaders must not hold a position on the executive committee (and vice versa) as this is a conflict of interest (e.g. an implicit bias may be in play when applying for grants) and often results in an unreasonable workload affecting their duties.
  13. Causes may not:
    • Deny general membership access to a cause maintained area
    • Deny non cause members to any meetings, minutes, equipment, tools, consumables or classes.

Starting a Cause

To start a cause, contact the executive with: