Humanity+, Inc. (aka Humanity Plus, Inc.) Constitution
Adopted 1/24/2015 (12/17/2001, Amended 1/29/2002, Amended 3/20/2002, Amended 4/14/2009, Amended 1/26/2012, Amended 1/24/2015)
Article I. Name
The name of this organization shall be the Humanity+ (Humanity Plus when the “+” is not available on the platform in use), which may also be abbreviated H+.
Article II. Purpose
The goal of the Humanity+ is to support discussion and public awareness of emerging technologies, to defend the right of individuals in free and democratic societies to adopt technologies that expand human capacities, and to anticipate and propose solutions for the potential consequences of emerging technologies.
Article III. Members
Section 1. Membership shall be open to every person generally supportive of the outlook of the Humanity+ as represented by its Mission Statement and Declaration, and its ongoing activities.
Section 2. Every applicant for membership shall petition the Organizational Secretary for membership directly or through the Humanity+ website.
Section 3. There shall be two membership statuses, basic and full. Basic members are eligible to receive the quarterly Humanity+ news and to participate in the general Humanity+ discussion list. Full members however, who pay annual dues determined by the Board of Directors, may additionally participate in the Humanity+ decision-making list, and vote for and become a part of the Humanity+ Board of Directors. Applicants become full members upon receipt of their dues.
Section 4. Local chapters of Humanity+ are autonomous, and members of Humanity+ chapters do not have to join the Humanity+. However, to be recognized by Humanity+ as a Humanity+ chapter, groups must appoint a liaison or liaisons to Humanity+ and submit a charter defining the goals of the group and the geographic area to be served (if any). Members of Humanity+ are not automatically members of any local chapters of Humanity+, who may have additional membership dues and requirements.
Section 5. The amount of membership dues of individuals shall be set by the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall establish various levels of membership fees, including but not limited to: a) an amount for employed residents of developed nations, b) a sustainer and/or sponsor amount, which shall confer no extra rights or privileges, but the names of whom may be made public with the permission of each sustainer or sponsor; and c) amounts for students, the unemployed and the retired, and for people in developing countries.
Section 6. The right of members to post messages to Humanity+ email lists may be revoked by a majority vote of the Board of Directors or by an official invested by the Board with the authority to revoke posting privileges; in the latter case the official shall notify the Executive Director and the Board that posting privileges have been revoked.
Section 7. All members of Humanity+ attest by joining that they are generally supportive of the outlook of the Humanity+ as represented by its Mission Statement and Declaration, and its ongoing activities. Members, both basic and full, can be excluded from membership if they are found, by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors, to be substantially unsupportive of the outlook of the Humanity+ as represented by its Mission Statement and Declaration and ongoing activities, or if they consistently engage in disruptive behavior. Members facing expulsion must receive written notice of charges against them and must be given the opportunity to respond to the Board of Directors.
Article IV. Board of Directors
Section 1. The highest decision-making body of the Humanity+ shall be the Board of Directors. The Humanity+ Board of Directors is charged with establishing and periodically reviewing the overall direction and long-term goals of the Humanity+. The Board also oversees legal concerns, and has the authority to hire or fire the Executive Director. The Board is also charged with fundraising activities, with support and implementation from the Executive Director. The Board as a whole is not involved with hands-on management of the organization, but Board members may additionally take on active roles in managing the organization, including both leadership and direct participation, for instance organizing conferences, helping manage publications, performing outreach and member recruitment, or other such tasks. The Board meet no less than every three months electronically. The Board shall review the performance of the Executive Director on a regular basis (at least once every twelve months).
Section 2. From January 2015 onwards, the Humanity+ Board of Directors shall have nine members,consisting of five Appointed Board Members and four Elected Board Members. In the event that the Board has less than five Appointed Board Members, the remaining Board Members decide among themselves, in consultation with Advisors to Humanity+, who to appoint to complete the number. In the event that the Board has less than four Elected Board Members, Humanity+ members may nominate themselves or be nominated, and elections arranged on Humanity+ decision-making list by the Organizational Secretary, until all four Elected positions are filled. Only full Humanity+ members in good standing, as determined by the Organizational Secretary, are eligible to serve on the Humanity+ Board of Directors.
Section 3. Every third January, starting in 2015 (thereafter in 2018, 2021, etc), the Board, in consultation with Advisors to Humanity+, reviews the set of Appointed Board Members. Any Appointed Board Member who has served at least six years as an Appointed Board Member will resign their position as part of this triennial review, and becomes ineligible for any further service as an Appointed Board Member. The triennial review also ensures that no more than three of the ongoing Appointed Board Members have held their positions for more than one year.
Section 4. Every third February, starting in 2015 (thereafter in 2018, 2021, etc), all Elected Board Members who have served at least one year as an Elected Board Member will resign their position, and an election will be held, using the process described in Section 2 above, to determine replacements. Previous Elected and Appointed Board Members, including the outgoing Elected Board Members, are eligible to stand in these elections. Apart from how they are appointed or elected to the Board, there are no other distinctions in the responsibilities, roles, or expectations between Appointed and Elected Board Members.
Section 5. The Board of Directors will elect from among its own members each year the following officers: Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. The duties of the officers shall include the following: a) The Chair and Vice-Chair shall be the overall coordinators of Humanity+ activities, and will convene and coordinate the deliberations of the Humanity+ decision-making and Board of Directors lists. b) The Organizational Secretary shall collect membership dues, maintain membership records, and maintain contact with local chapters. The Organizational Secretary will report on Humanity+ membership to the Humanity+ Board of Directors twice a year. c) The Treasurer shall oversee the funds of the Humanity+, present the Humanity+ Board of Directors with an annual budget, and report to the Humanity+ Board of Directors on Humanity+ finances twice a year. It is possible for one person to function as more than one officer, but the Chair and the Treasurer must be different persons.
Section 6. The Board of Directors may appoint up to five co-opted Board members at any time, via majority vote. The Board may also remove co-opted Board members via majority vote. Co-opted Board members are not allowed to hold the Chair/Vice Chair/Treasurer/Secretary roles, nor to vote on formal Board matters, but are expected to participate actively in management of the organization.
Section 7. For the purpose of all votes held by the Humanity+, both by the full membership and by the Board of Directors, a majority shall constitute one vote more than 50% of all votes cast, and two-thirds shall be one vote more than 66.66% of all votes cast. The number of all votes cast shall include formal abstentions.
Article V. Executive Director
The Executive Director is the highest executive officer of the Humanity+. The Executive Director shall be selected, appointed, and supported by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director shall establish and manage the day-to-day operations and internal processes of Humanity+, including establishing Staff requirements and managing Staff. The term of service of the Executive Director is based on regular performance reviews (at least once every twelve months) by the Board. The Executive Director’s position is a voluntary position, unless the Board determines to pay the Executive Director, as funding permits.
Article VI. Staff
Section 1. Humanity+ Staff, including Staff Directors, Regional Directors, and other support personnel, manage specific Humanity+ projects determined by the Executive Director. They may also develop local Humanity+ projects, such as conferences, in their respective regional locations.
Section 2. All Staff positions are voluntary, unless the Board determines, on the recommendation of the Executive Director, to pay someone for his or her position. Any payment levels are reviewed by the Board on an annual basis. There is no requirement for someone on the Humanity+ Staff to be a full member of the Humanity+.
Section 3. Regional Directors are senior Staff with responsibility for liaising with local chapters, members, and potential members, in their particular region. Staff Directors are other senior Staff with specific responsibilities agreed with the Executive Director. The nomination of anyone to a Regional Director or Staff Director role is subject to review by the Board of Directors.
Section 4. The Executive Director holds review meetings with all Staff, individually or electronically, on a regular monthly basis, or may delegate some of these reviews to Staff Directors or Regional Directors.
Article VII. Advisors
The Board of Directors are assisted in their deliberations by advice from a set of Humanity+ Advisors. These Advisors are appointed to their roles by the Board, and are either past Board Directors or experts in fields of core concern to the Humanity+. Advisors have no voting rights over any Humanity+ matters, except when an Advisor also happens to be a full member. To improve their coordination, the Advisors may appoint their own Chair, who is expected to be an Emeritus Chair of the Humanity+.
Article VIII. Dissolution
In the event of the dissolution of the Humanity+, all remaining funds and assets are to be released,following consultation with full members, to such other organizations that are organized for purposes congruent with the Transhumanist Declaration.
Article IX. Parliamentary Authority
The rules contained in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall govern the organization in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are consistent with the conduct of electronic decision-making and this Constitution.
Article X. Amendments
This Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the full members of the Humanity+ provided that amendments have been posted on the Humanity+ decision-making email list for thirty days.