Organisation of NICE
A functioning and sustainable network is a community of people and organisations who collaborate based on their free will, primarily for their own benefit, and with the option of leaving the community at just about any time. Therefore, a network always remains a “fluid” organisation with flexible roles and responsibilities, a strong focus on projects and very low hierarchies.
In order to become sustainable, a network needs plenty of leaders that work together, share responsibility and support each other when necessary. At the same time, a network needs a culture of re-generation: We need to raise new generations of leaders all the time through mentoring and their inclusion in challenging projects. In short, networks need to be inclusive in their management structure. The leadership needs to be responsive to the needs and perspectives of the network members for this reason. It needs to involve them in the decision-making – at least in the most important decisions.
The management structure that we have chosen for NICE reflects these needs through a combination of five institutions. They are a first try to establish structures of shared responsibility and a culture of shared leadership. From 2012-2015, we tested these four institutions, which we will install – in a slightly modified form – in the NICE Foundation, which shall be invoked in 2017.
1. Assembly (Legislative)
As a network, we develop our most important products, our common points of reference, through a process of collaborative consensus-building. In the past, each member of the projects NICE 1 (2009-2012) and NICE 2 (2012-2015) has had a voice in these processes. In the future, each founder of the NICE Foundation will have a voice as part of the Assembly of Founders. At Assembly meetings, founders will make the most important decisions for the network, elect the Board members, and agree on important projects for the future.
2. Network Coordination (Executive Board Members)
One lesson that we have clearly learned from NICE 1 (2009-2012) and NICE 2 (2012-2015) is that we need a centralised Network Coordination. We are just too large, too many people, to be cooperative without a group of people who take over moderating and coordinative functions. Somebody needs to align the different projects, make sure that conferences are prepared on time etc. The network coordinators perform the executive function of the foundation’s Board of Directors.
Currently, the role of the networ coordinators is carried out by:
- Johannes Katsarov, University of Zurich (CH), and
- Prof Peter Weber, University of Applied Labour Studies Mannheim (DE)
Former network coordinators:
- Prof Christiane Schiersmann, Heidelberg University (DE) (President from 2009-2015)
3. Steering Committee (Supervisory Board Members)
The network coordinators are supervised directly by the remaining members of the NICE Foundation’s Board of Directors. It is at the level of the Board of Directors, where the Steering Committee and Network Coordinators jointly make important strategic decisions, e.g. related to the locations of upcoming network conferences. The current members of Steering Committee (Preliminary Board of Directors) are:
- Peter Tielenius Kruythoff, Career Management Institute (NL)
- Prof Laura Nota, University of Padova (IT) (ESVDC Ambassador)
- Prof Czeslaw Noworol, Jagiellonian University Krákow (PL)
- Prof Monika Petermandl, Danube University Krems (AT)
- Prof Roberta Piazza, University of Catania (IT)
- Prof Hazel Reid, Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)
Former Steering Committee Members:
- Prof Jean-Pierre Dauwalder, University of Lausanne (CH) / ESVDC Ambassador (2009-2015)
- Prof Bernd-Joachim Ertelt, University of Applied Labour Studies Mannheim (DE) (2009-2015)
- Prof Andreas Frey, University of Applied Labour Studies Mannheim (DE) (2012-2015)
- Prof Jean Guichard, Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (FR) (2009-2012)
- Prof Rachel Mulvey, University of East London (UK) (2009-2012)
- Prof Salvatore Soresi, University of Padova (IT) (2012-2015)
- Dr Rie Thomsen, Aarhus University Copenhagen (DK) (2013-2015)
- Dr Raimo Vuorinen, University of Jyvaskyla (FI) / ELPGN Ambassador (2012-2015)
4. Self-Managed Teams (Operative)
Very importantly, we want leadership and networking capacities to grow in NICE by having all projects coordinated through self-managed teams. These teams manage their own work, autonomously organise workshops at the annual conferences and plan their activities in alignment with the network coordinators. To support their development and overall coordination, each team has an official speaker, who keeps things going and represents the teams towards the rest of the network.
Until the kick-off of the NICE Foundation, no self-managed teams are in place. Teams are currently being planned for topics like peer learning, mobility, and new projects for the future.
5. Ethics & Election Committee (Judicative)
From 2012-2015, the work of NICE was monitored by a Quality Management Group. Its members worked together closely with the different project teams of NICE to support them in managing the quality of their teamwork and producing high-quality results. Additionally, they watched the work of the Steering Committee and the Network Coordinators closely and provide them with regular feedback – also giving a united voice to the other members of the network. Finally, the Quality Management Group developed quality guidelines and tools for the work in the network, and conducted regular surveys on the network’s development from 2013-2015.
As of 2017, the Quality Management Group shall be replaced by an Ethics & Election Committee, which will bean important organ of the NICE Foundation. The Ethics & Election Committee will govern, moderate, and monitor processes such as the Board elections, complaints from founders, conflicts, complex ethical questions, etc.
Members of the former quality management group:
- Prof Monika Petermandl, Danube University Krems (AT) (President from 2012-2015)
- Prof Sif Einarsdóttir, University of Iceland, Reykjavik (IS) (2012-2015)
- Dr Seija Koskela, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyvaskyla (FI) (2014-2015)
- Nelica La Gro, University of East London (UK) (2012-2013)
- Dr Jukka Lerkkanen, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyvaskyla (FI) (2012-2014)
- Prof Czeslaw Noworol, Jagiellonian University Krákow (PL) (2013-2015)