Dear Toastmasters: Any update on rule changes to allow non-district multi-club events?

Here is an update on the issues that have made EVV CON’s organizers hesitate to put on another event, as communicated to the board’s email alias as well as to President Kinsey.

From: David F. Carr
Date: Mon, Apr 17, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Subject: Any update on rule changes to allow non-district multi-club events?
To: Board Contact, Matt Kinsey

A year ago this month, I was scrambling to reorganize an unofficial Toastmasters event as a non-Toastmasters event after getting a cease and desist letter from your lawyers. The EVV CON event was a success despite all that, but it was a shame that an educational event organized by Toastmasters from Toastmasters had to distance itself from the Toastmasters brand. The organization shouldn’t be going out of its way to discourage initiative.

President Kinsey told me months ago that the issues I’d raised were still under consideration by the board, but I haven’t heard any update. I maintain Toastmasters ought to have some process for allowing collaboration between clubs based on common interests, rather than the traditional geographical organization of districts. The corporate world is going through a somewhat similar process of figuring out how to manage the possibilities created by remote work and distributed workers, versus the virtue of bringing people back together in person. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that Toastmasters is finding it as challenging as those companies are, but these issues are important.

The two solutions that make the most sense to me would be to either:

* Establish some official organizational unit that would operate like a corporate Center of Excellence that could host events and promote other activities outside of the boundaries of traditional geographical districts.

* Provide a clearly-defined process Toastmasters leaders can follow to get approval for a multi-club event or activity and pool their resources, including the ability to establish a budget and account for it according to Toastmasters standards.

If you have a better solution, great, but I’d hate to see these issues ignored indefinitely.

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