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Cultural Evolution Society Election Manual

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We are now ready to begin the process of electing the first officers for the Cultural Evolution Society. The procedures outlined in this report were developed by the Elections Committee with input from an Election Advisory Group comprised of our members. This has been an intentional process of collaboration—keeping the founding membership updated throughout and inviting feedback along the way.

Creating the society in this way gives us the opportunity to apply key insights from our field to the work at hand. Throughout the early stages, it became clear that a diversity mandate1 would be needed to specify the structural features for us to achieve our mission and advance cultural evolutionary studies together. The procedures outlined here are meant to address this mandate in an equitable and transparent manner.

Our hope is that the outcome of this election will seed a “cultural genome” with the social norms and values that our members have requested of us.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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Cultural Evolution Society Election Manual

  1. 1. Manual for Inaugural Elections of the Cultural Evolution Society Prepared by: Joe Brewer Culture Designer
 The Evolution Institute March 21st, 2016

  2. 2. A Note About the Inaugural Election We are now ready to begin the process of electing the first officers for the Cultural Evolution Society. The procedures outlined in this report were developed by the Elections Committee with input from an Election Advisory Group comprised of our members. This has been an intentional process of collaboration—keeping the founding membership updated throughout and inviting feedback along the way. Creating the society in this way gives us the opportunity to apply key insights from our field to the work at hand. Throughout the early stages, it became clear that a diversity mandate would be1 needed to specify the structural features for us to achieve our mission and advance cultural evolutionary studies together. The procedures outlined here are meant to address this mandate in an equitable and transparent manner. Our hope is that the outcome of this election will seed a “cultural genome” with the social norms and values that our members have requested of us. CES Elections Committee CES Election Advisory Group
 Joe Brewer Francisco Benavente
 Marcus Feldman Michelangelo Conoscenti
 Cristine Legare David J. Cox
 Sarah Mathew Nasser Farhat
 Richard McElreath Pieter Francois
 Peter Turchin (Chair) Jose-Michael Gonzalez
 Dan Hoyer
 Chris Jensen
 Marcus Petz
 Kelly Pivik
 Ilfryn Price
 Ingunn Sandaker
 Peeter Tinits
 Ben Zhu www.slideshare.net/joebrewer31/a-mandate-for-deep-diversity-in-the-cultural-evolution-society1 Manual for Inaugural Elections of the Cultural Evolution Society Prepared on March 21st, 2016
  3. 3. Description of Officer Positions We do not yet have an official set of bylaws—as they will be formally adopted by the Executive Committee that takes office after this inaugural election. This creates an awkward situation where it is necessary to provide descriptions for officer positions on the Elections Committee before it has been fully designated and ratified by the membership. Last fall, we formed a volunteer Bylaws Committee from our membership that has laid the groundwork for a set of bylaws to be ready for consideration by the soon-to-be-formed Executive Committee. The officer positions presented here were developed from that conversation, informed later by the two election groups mentioned above. At this point we have a set of positions to fill with descriptions of roles and responsibilities that are intentionally tentative, as they are awaiting the official bylaws for their formal definitions. With this caveat in mind, here are the officer positions for the inaugural election. List of Officers There are a total of 13 positions to be filled—president, secretary, treasurer, two student representatives and eight members at large. There will be one male and one female student representative and four of the members at large will be representatives from major world regions outside of North America and Europe (one each from Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East). Care will also be taken to represent the intellectual diversity of our field by having a mix of disciplinary backgrounds represented by the members at large. A mandate for gender equality in leadership has been issued that will further require 50% of those elected (at least six of the thirteen positions) will be filled by women. The only acceptable reason for deviating from this goal would be if, despite all efforts by the nominations committee, a sufficient number of qualified candidates from a particular gender could not be recruited. Ensuring these diversity criteria are met will be the responsibility of the Elections Committee. President :: This person chairs meetings of the Executive Committee and gives a yearly report at the annual conference. They also have tie-breaking ability for votes made during meetings. Secretary :: This person records the minutes of meetings and registers votes when decisions are made during meetings. They are also responsible for two-way communication between the Executive Committee and the general membership. Treasurer :: This person is responsible for fiscal matters of the society, from the collection of dues and conference registration. They manage budgets and maintain transparent Manual for Inaugural Elections of the Cultural Evolution Society Prepared on March 21st, 2016
  4. 4. communication with the Executive Committee and general membership about the financial health of the society. Eight Members-at-Large :: These people represent the diverse intellectual interests of the society. Four shall come from non-Western world regions (one each from Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East) and at least four academic fields outside of biology shall be represented by this group of people. Two Student Representatives :: These people represent the early career perspective of students. There will be one male and one female student representative. Terms of Office All officers are elected for a two-year term, with the start date coinciding with the annual meeting. Every year only half of the positions are replaced by newly elected officers, ensuring better continuity of the governing board. The exception to this is the position of president. Each individual elected to the presidency will serve a three year term. During the first year (starting at the annual meeting) they serve as president-elect. During the second year they become president. And during the third year they continue to serve an advisory role as past president. These terms will be clarified by the Executive Committee as they adopt formal bylaws between now and the first conference of the society, which is scheduled for late 2017 with a date to be determined. Procedures for Running the First Elections All members in good standing (which currently means those who have completed the member profile questionnaire) should nominate individuals to run for office. These nominations should be sent by email to me, the project coordinator, and I will collate them for review by the Elections Committee. The time period for nominations will be March 21st through April 11th—giving three weeks for people to be nominated. Starting on April 11th, the Elections Committee will review the nominations and prepare a list of 3-4 candidates for each position. We will use weightings for (a) strength of intellectual or career background as contributors to the field of cultural evolution; (b) institutional affiliations as proxies for credibility as representatives for a scientific society; (c) past experience in society governance or other leadership roles; (d) combined with the diversity criteria mentioned above. Additionally, we will give weight to the number of times a person has been nominated as an indicator of being a good fit for whichever position they are nominated for. This process will help us reduce the number of potential candidates in a professional and equitable manner. Manual for Inaugural Elections of the Cultural Evolution Society Prepared on March 21st, 2016
  5. 5. The Elections Committee will then approach the candidates until two agree to run. The principles of structural inclusivity outlined in the diversity mandate (reflected in the requirements above for officer descriptions) will be used to ensure that candidates for office represent the desired level of diversity with respect to gender, ethnicity, and disciplinary background. Regional inclusivity is addressed by electing world region representatives to the Executive Committee as described above for the members at large. Elections will run from April 25th to May 9th. All members in good standing will cast one vote for each of the positions. The elections will be held online using survey software, such as Qualtrics or SurveyMonkey (details forthcoming). Special Circumstances for the First Election Half of the Executive Committee members (with the exception of president, secretary, and treasurer) will run for one-year terms to ensure a regular rotation afterwards. Of the two candidates running for the presidency, the one gaining the most votes will become president and the one gaining fewer votes will become president-elect. These special criteria only apply in this inaugural election—to ensure continuity of leadership in the first two years of society governance. Summary of Timeline for Inaugural Election In closing, the timeline and procedure will look roughly as follows. Nominations will be gathered for a three week period, with two weeks to confirm candidates, followed by a two week voting period. At the end of this process, we will have the first Executive Committee for the Cultural Evolution Society—with built-in diversity representation for gender, stage of career, disciplinary background, and geographic areas of the world. From there we can engage in the process of formally adopting bylaws and getting into the detailed planning for conferences, journals, collaborative research projects, curriculum design, and more. Manual for Inaugural Elections of the Cultural Evolution Society Prepared on March 21st, 2016

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