ECOLISE Council issues statement regarding the Appeals Board review of the ‘Report on Allegations of Gross Misconduct’

The ECOLISE Council issued the following statement to members on 31st May 2021.

ECOLISE Council decision regarding the Appeals Board review of the “Report on Allegations of Gross Misconduct”

Part 1 – Appeals Board Systemic Analysis
The Council wishes to acknowledge the multilayered conflict among ECOLISE contributors, not limited to the formal accusations but embracing the whole ECOLISE. The Council sees it as a possibility of deep transformation in the organisation. The Council recognises results of the Appeals Board as having concluded that there is a:
1. General recognition of ECOLISE inheriting unconscious biases of the societal oppressive system and systems of privilege on the basis of race, gender, special needs, LGBTQ+ identity, and other.
2. Recognition of existing power dynamics which potentially might include the above mentioned biases.
3. Clear need for ECOLISE to take action to create agreements, processes and structures to reconcile with the situation (1, 2), regenerate relationships and address the unconscious biases affecting the organisation’s work.

Therefore:
1. The Council acknowledges that ECOLISE cannot be transformative without taking active steps against oppression, marginalization and structural violence. Specifically in a context of women and non-binary genders, BIPOC, people with special needs, LGBTIQ+ and other marginalised communities being systematically oppressed in today’s society, the Council acknowledges that ECOLISE is embedded within the society and inherits its structural issues. Therefore,
ECOLISE risks reproducing oppression and power over dynamics. For ECOLISE to live up to its transformative objectives and reputation, it needs to create agreements, processes and structures that support deep cultural transformation.
2. The Council supports the request from ECOLISE members who have expressed the need to have open and honest conversation about these systems of oppression and how our ways of working, internal structures and processes can bring about positive change.
3. The Council encourages everyone in ECOLISE to embark on the unlearning and learning process to recognize their privileges, cultural and social dynamics, and take active steps to contribute to systemic change.
4. The Council accepts the Appeals Board recommendation to adopt “a reconciliation process that ensures accountability and that is facilitated in a safe space framed regeneratively.”
5. The Council has been mandated by the GA and in line with the Appeals Board recommendations to conduct a participatory evaluation aimed at identifying and addressing underlying systemic issues and policy gaps that the recent conflict highlighted. The Council commits to embark on creating policy and structural recommendations to best address these gaps.

6. The participatory evaluation will take into account 100+ considerations collected during ECOLISE organizational review process and recommendations from the ECOLISE Transforming 2021: Caterpillar to Butterfly report, recommendations from the Internal Auditor’s Report to ECOLISE 2021 General Assembly, proposals from the Equity and Diversity Statement and Proposal, formal complaints and counter-complaint of the ECOLISE team members, and the recommendations presented in the Misconduct Procedure Report, including those relating to awareness raising and education around Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), team building and cohesion, budgeting and fees review, and measures to avoid conflict of interest.

Part 2 – Council statement regarding the Appeals Board review of the “Report on Allegations of Gross Misconduct”

Factual Points
1. The Appeals Board did not return 1 of 3 possible outcomes as required under the only Misconduct Procedure in place at the time of the Appeal.
2. The Appeals Board stated that they did not think this was possible due to constraints in the process that resulted in a block to reaching a conclusive outcome.
3. The Appeals Board stated that they observed from evidence presented that the complaints might be upheld, and that they had evidence that harm had occurred, however, they also stated that they had no process to maintain confidentiality and at the same time gather informed responses by the person in question.

COUNCIL DECISION
The Council acknowledges that the Appeals Board review of the “Report on Allegations of Gross Misconduct” is an unsatisfactory outcome for everyone involved, which highlights the complexity of the situation and absence of easy solutions. The Council recognises the inconclusive nature of the review and limitations of the Appeals Board process.
The Council acknowledges with gratitude the work of the Appeals Board supporting us this far on the journey of sensemaking. The Council also acknowledges the Appeals Board conclusion that the current ECOLISE’s Misconduct Procedure is not in line with ECOLISE’s values and commits to co-develop a more appropriate process through a participatory evaluation.

The Council will continue this work using the result of the inconclusive report by the Appeals Board and other formally submitted reports and proposals.

• Council Communication to Membership (Agreed 18h, Monday May 31st 2021)