IDEAeconomics stewardship council met today and added two new members, one each to the organization's key governing bodies. Jim Newell, a long-time supporter and a person skilled in accounting and contract review, was added to the board. Jim is a likely candidate to head IDEA' financial oversight committee, designed to keep insurers, tax authorities and contributors confident in the integrity of the accounts. Ted Carron, whose name you will remember from the TSL querying language project, was added to the stewardship council. Ted has devoted an immense amount of talent already, and has demonstrated his concern is with the mission as we have articulated it. That makes him an ideal member.
The stewardship council is a relatively unique (if it is possible to be relatively unique) form of nonprofit governance, adopted here at IDEA to make sure the founding mission is carried through, no matter changes in board or staff. Essentially, the stewardship council is the entire voting membership. It's role is to elect the board. Most nonprofits operate with a broad membership or a board-only structure. Over time, both of these forms are susceptible to getting off course and operating in the special interests of sitting board members. The stewardship council, if its members are selected carefully (and it is the only elector of those), will maintain the founding mission through growth and change, and enforce it if needed by its power to select or remove the governing board members.
The founding mission of IDEA is to reform economics, not to create a great or small organization (though we prefer small with partners today), nor to further the career of any one or group of people. Both of the people named today will help us in that intention.