The Material Collective first came together in 2010 as an informal group of colleagues who were interested in collaborating both as scholars and as friends. Our decision-making body, the Core Committee, consists of many of the Collective’s founders, and we use a simple majority voting system to approve any project we move forward with. Maggie M. Williams is presently serving as Executive Director and Lead Organizer. You can read more about her journey here.
A few years back, we developed this Model of the MC Organizational Structure:
The design prioritizes projects, which seems to us a quite organic way to create structure: to identify the events and publications we want to initiate or participate in, and then organize groups around them as needed. In this way, we hope to avoid the old academic “standing committee” that never gets anything accomplished!
The Core Committee will, once or twice annually, identify agendas and projects for the coming year, and based on specific needs, create the appropriate Ad-Hoc Assemblages. Every project will have a Core member/liaison who will help to identify additional people to work with and will reach out through social media for volunteers. We like this structure because it also allows mentorship, and after some time it is likely that most of the project ideas will not be generated by the core group—which has in fact already happened several times—so there is growth and development built in.
Please reach out if you have ideas about future directions or projects, or if you’d like to volunteer.
In the meantime, we’re continuing to develop a plan for ensuring a democratic process to help the Core Committee—and the Material Collective—promote positive change.