PPI Board Report

*PPI General Assembly 2019-Board Report

****** Introduction

:The board of Pirate Parties International has worked hard to advance the organisation towards its goals in the last year. We have had some success with certain aspects of our organization, such as supporting conferences and UN activities. However, we have fallen short in other aspects. Overall we are not entirely satisfied with our progress, but we are confident that the international Pirate community will recognize our deficiencies and work with us towards improving our efficiency and impact.

**Description of activities since the 2018 GA in Munich

: We have had a few UN related activities in Geneva and New York

:: We have taken part in ops and campaigns, through social media and otherwise.

:: We have been cited in a few news outlets.

:: We have coordinated and assisted with protest movements around the world.

:: We published several reports with the UN and

:: We have taken part in EU election campaigns.

:: The board has met regularly every 2 weeks, we began using Discord and Congressus for our activities, as well engaged in numerous working groups.

** Economy

:Our bank account in Switzerland has for a couple of months been inaccessible to the board. This happened in conjunction with our former chair quitting. Gaining access to our account has been high on our to-do-list for the next executives.

:This board has established that each board meeting should have a finacial report from the treasurer, as it is one of the main jobs of any board. This should have been established months ago as transparency is impossible without it. Said another way, the minutes should reflect the economic status of the organisation after each board meeting. This solves the challenge of not only financial control but also transparency.

:Our income has been a challenge. Our systems for invoicing have not been very good and several of our members have not even received the invoice. For that reason our income is lower than budgeted by the 2018 GA in Munich.

:On the cost side we have had trouble identifying costs, particularly when it comes to IT. This is not our IT department’s, fault. The board has not done its job in this regard.

****** Activities

***** UN activities

:In our official capacity as an ECOSOC member, this year we had three policy papers accepted for publication in UN reports:

::“Right to Work” for Older People: https://social.un.org/ageing-working-group/documents/tenth/Inputs%20NGOs/PPIHQ_Substantive_Input.pdf

::Statement on addressing inequalities: https://undocs.org/E/CN.5/2019/NGO/34

::Statement on fighting oppression https://undocs.org/en/E/2019/NGO/50 https://undocs.org/fr/E/2019/NGO/50

:We also recently submitted another statement on Oct. 31, 2019 on affordable housing and social protection that is awaiting publication acceptance. We are also applying to submit an oral statement based on this report during an ECOSOC conference in February 2020.

:: In addition to the 2019 PPI HQ UN statements, we have also submitted approximately two pollicy papers publications in 2018 and one publication in 2017.

:We also presented twice on the floor of the ECOSOC chamber at the UN in NY.

::Statement by Ohad Bar Simar Tov for the Commission for Social Development (Feb. 2019)

::Statement by Ohad Shem Tov at the 2019 ECOSOC High-Level Segment (July 2019)

:We wrote blogs on the PPI website outlining our UN activities:




:While our NY group has been visiting strong since 2017, this past year we also established a strong contingent of delegates in Geneva. These included visits to events of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and other organizations that we have a vested interest in attending.

:Across a large variety of UN meetings, our representatives sat on panels, participated in side events, networked with other NGOs, and promoted Pirate policies.

::We attended events and engaged in discussions about Health Impact Funds (HIF),

:A big thanks to the following Pirate representatives who represented PPI at approximately 10 UN events over the past year:

::Bailey Lamon, Ray Johanson, Dr. Ohad Shem Tov, Dr. Ohad Bar Siman-Tov, Ladislav Koubek, Pat Maechler, Carlos Polo, Alexander Kohler

In addition to our routine UN participation, we have also engaged in other activities:

::We began a UN Working Group headed by Gregory Engels and Pat Maechler with a Trello organization and held several meetings with this group.

::We set up an internship program and started sending representatives with temporary passes. We plan to make official annual interns starting in 2020.

::We enlisted new representatives for 2020 groundspasses. PPI can grant six annual and six temporary groundpasses for each of the three UN centers (NY, Geneva, and Vienna).

::We created a new position, Vice-Secretary for UN Relations, headed by Pat Maechler.

****** Activism

:A few of the members of the board has taken part in too many to mention ops and campaigns and have been higly visible. This is particularly true in regards to whisleblowing and Catalonia. In a dozen or so cases PPI has been mentioned in news outlets. Far less than we could hope for, but still significant. As for social media an average week we have reached from 100k to 150k people. The grassroots of the Pirate movement has not been easy to inspire into action but that is not special for our movement only. This is something this board advises should be on the top 5 list of priorities.

**Politics and EU election

:Pirates all over Europe ran excellent campaigns and we now have 4 MEPs. Bailey and Ray teamed up with Rico Brouwer at Potkaars and conducted interviews with some of the top candidates which went well, but it still would have been better if the global Pirate community did that work together and actually coordinated a larger, unified campaign

**Challenges and Things to Improve

:Attempts at engaging people have failed, sometimes even spectacularly. This is not an excuse but rather an explanation of the rather low activity level in general. Part of our job is of course to inspire our members, so we take all the responsibility for not being able to do so.

:A further explanation as to us not achieving our own goals can partly be found in the fact that we have lost several board members along the way, including our chairman. Those of us left sometimes feel that this last year can be described as an “annus horribilis”.

:The board also recognizes that when selecting the boards composition one should focus more on the actual skill sets the nominated actually have and less on likability or politics. The board tried to expand its size last year but the members did not vote for it in Munchen. This year we hope that will happen. The planned and increased activity level deserves a bigger board and a wider range of skills.

:General areas that need attention in 2020


::Registration of the organisation in Switzerland has still not happened.

::Our communication with our members, including coordination, has been poor to awful. It must be a focus for the next executives

::Mobilisation of grassroots activities has been poor, mostly as a result of us not being able to talk to our members.

::Time free to prepare board meetings has been hard to come by for most of the members. So in general we have been poorly prepared for meetings.

****** The next year

:Activitiies planned

  • we have planed to conduct four meetings of the Standig Committee on UN Relations, the next one will be in March.

  • we are actively preparing the ThinkTwice Conference in Prague - a conference aimed to bridge the words of Pirates, Academia and Activism.

:UN activities

::We are enlisting new annual representatives, temporary representatives, and interns.

::Our goal for 2020 (besides submitting several oral and written statements as usual) is to set up a “side event”. Side events are smaller meetings hosted by an NGO that take place during or after a major UN conference. We receive about 3 invitations a year to host a side event. It will be a challenge to organize the people and funds for such an event. Only small funds will be required for refreshments and materials. However, we need to apply months in advance. To be effective we should collaborate with other NGOs. In general, both for making statements, organizing events, not to mention activism, we should collaborate with other NGOs. This is something that we have only done passively by signing statements and communicating. In the next year, we hope to forge meaningful collaborations.

:Fundraising team

::Our prior crowfunding accounts (except for the Paypal) have all expired. This was due to difficulties registering in Switzerland. We plan to set up a team that will apply for grants and other resources to fund UN activities, Pirate conferences, and other activities.

:Geneva and NY teams

::In addition to the routine UN activities, we plan to make more permanent bases in these cities, where we will have a constant flow of supporters who come to meet and organize.

- The future of PPI, a vision

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