20180523 Board Meeting

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Agenda of the Board Meeting

Date: Thursday, May 23th, 18.00-19.30pm
Place: UniverCité, 3rd floor meeting room (MC)


  • Rachel


  • Masoud
  • Gustavo
  • Olivier
  • Luc
  • Anne-Laure


  • Sam


  • Gianpaolo
  • Vanessa

Agenda Items

@Hello Board

(Rachel, 1 min)

Public minutes

(Rachel, 1 min)

Get ok from all board members to upload minutes on wiki (or else discuss alternative below).
No, all ok

Time Keeping

Who can keep the time?

  • Anne-Laure

Agenda Items


This board meeting will be followed by a presentation: Low-cost electronics, DIY, education and development - with Govinda Upadhyay, Founder & CEO of LEDsafari

Point 1: Mycelium/Mushroom Projects

(Rachel 10 min)

Eric Pinto would like to present his perspective about what happened with his mycelium project.
Discussion: Eric Pinto est venu au laboratoire pour développer un projet entrepreneurial en lien avec les mycéliums. Il a profité de l'aide de Gustavo durant un mois pour développer une machine à collecter les champignons et a voulu s'approprier ce travail.
Issue summary and resolution: Luc écrit un email pour expliquer à nouveau le rôle d'Hackuarium et lui suggère de venir au prochain board meeting pour s'expliquer. Il a payé ses cotisations jusqu'à la fin de juin 2018 et donc son renouvellement dépendra de sa volonté.

Point 2: Annual Report 2017

(Luc, 5 min)

It seems like a very good idea to write up an annual report for the year 2017.

Luc: As the secretary, I am ready to spend a chunk of time on this over the coming weeks, but I will need help from everyone. Except if you think you have absolutely no time to dedicate to this, please be ready to provide some support with texts, layout and selecting pictures to illustrate the report. I think it could really add value to what we do if we could document it in a short format for people to read and find out more about what we all do at Hackuarium.

Rachel can help, but also wonders - what about the newsletter?

-> Rachel will contact members with a request for content.

Point 3: Fiscal issues

(Anne-Laure, 5min)

Following on last meeting, we need to decide about tax declaration and accountant.
If anything about the Horizon2020 proposals works out (NBCity proposal with Spanish coordinator, and CCCP proposal with Belgian coordinator), we need to make sure that they are familiar with the rules for EU grants (and we might have some partial salaries to distribute.)

Notes from the last board meeting:

  • Toute association devrait s’inscrire auprès de l’office d’impôts des personnes morales, Rue du Nord 1, 1400 Yverdon-les Bains.
  • With an accountant, we can get into the system and have no trouble in the future!
  • To find out if we have a bank card for our account and see if Gustavo can take it for lab expense use. ?? We will ask Luc to give it to Gustavo soon.

Luc: We cannot get an bank card for an association account. In any case, and as a basic governance measure, I believe it is only fair that board members should ask the board before spending any of the association budget.
As a reminder:

  • The treasurer is the ONLY person having access to the bank account. (S)he is also the only person who can sign or order anything in the name of the association.
  • Board members (any member in fact) are NOT allowed to invoice anything in the name of the association (as Rachel recently did for her ticket for the ECSA conference).
  • Accordingly, board members (every members in fact) should ALWAYS pay themselves first and get reimbursed upon presentation of a receipt, NOT an invoice.
  • Accordingly, the treasurer should NEVER reimburse a cost that was not previously mentioned to the board, and approved if above CHF 100.- (typically the amount for small items or food and beverages). If the board members are not happy with this situation, we should discuss what should be the conditions to get any spending reimbursed.

Luc: Based on the minutes of the last board meeting, it seems to me like the plan for getting an accountant is purely an administrative issue. I therefore suggest we deal with it the two of us and report at the next board meeting. However, there is an important point to make here: I will not be the treasurer or secretary after August 1st, and if we decide to get all serious about this, we need to make sure the 'shadow secretary' and 'shadow treasurer' (Olivier and Masoud) are both ready to accept the responsibility ahead, and start doing some 'shadowing'... ;)


What needs to be done (according to decision):

  • Did Masoud agree on his role in the board as 'shadow treasurer' ? -> yes, so Luc will provide him with access to the bank account
  • Masoud request a quote for an accountant
  • Register to the tax office in February 2019 after the accounting is validated.
  • Write down explicit rules for reimbursement (also for minigrants)

Point 4: Events

(Rachel, 5min)
The next to last workshop for crowdfunding supporters was held 5 May, and was a great success.
The last workshop for a crowdfunding donor will be about Dan's microfluidics on 20 June. Anyone who would like to join in, should contact him.
The next upcoming workshop (un-related to the crowdfunding) is scheduled for Friday 1 June, the GMO detective workshop. Rachel cannot come, but Gianpaolo may like more help from members.
Other events: the visit by the Swiss engineers 16may was also really well received (and well attended - about 40!).

Leman Make
Who can take the lead on this big local event, and make sure we do something cool?
Luc: I believe Rachel should do the liaison as the president of the association. We also need to find out more details, so we understand what it means to participate.
Rachel: I think someone who is more of an actual 'maker' - Gustavo or Luc Patiny or Vanessa or? - should be taking the lead on this, as I have to date done soldering 3x only (and welding once...).
Luc Patiny already had some info he shared and the website tells more and has a form for stand registration etc.
To find out:
Is there an entry fee? -> NO
How much time and space do we need to invest? -> 2 days (29-30 September)
Is there an opportunity to have demos, workshops, is it just a stand with some information? It can be all of it, but stand is minimum.

Other events
Thomas Mboa, who we first met during the 'biofabbing' a year ago, will be in town for this event, co-chairing a session with Luc, as part of the 2018Tech4Dev conference 27-29 June, and asked if he can come to Hackuarium and do some hacking on 30 June. Who can come? Who has ideas for fun hacks? Should we do some water sampling or building or?
Luc would like to invite a speaker from RDC to present a DIY space program on Wednesday June 20th. Rachel points out that there is a microfluidics already planned for that date
Luc will coordinate with Dan about the date etc...

Point 5: Communication

(Luc, 5 min)

As a reminder, esp to make sure we have attendees for events, we have 4 channels (at least) to communicate with 3 different communities:

  • Social Media (everyone, but no guarantee it will be seen)
  • Newsletter (ca 450 people who signed up, including all members)
  • Slack (members + some random people)
  • Email (members only)

We also get input from new people via the membership form linked from the website.

All information that is worth spreading should use at least one of these channels, and advanced notice is essential to avoid overlap and confusion. Luc would like to build a guide for communication before next board meeting, and should coordinate with Olivier Emery, as our 'responsable communications.'

Dealing with partners and other stakeholders

Luc would like to remind the board that we have the responsibility to be as professional as possible when dealing with partners and other stakeholders.

In particular, the relationship we built with many people and organisations (and in particular with Inartis, even if getting access cards sorted has not been simple to date...) is based on trust and mutual respect.

In case of doubt, any issue should be discussed in the context of the board meeting, and no decision that could tarnish the image of the association should be taken by a single individual.
We also need to respond in a timely fashion to people who fill in the web form, or we might lose credibility.

It would be good to find out how things will work out with the Maker space after the big shake-up. Gustavo has been helping Jonathan, and we hope to have things work out ok for us all, in the

Discussion: Olivier will make a formulaire to make communication of events easier.
Decisions: We will all take care for the association and its image... event organisers need to organise - it is not Olivier who takes this on for all.

Point 6: Collaboration with EPFL

(Luc, 5 min)

Luc and Gianpaolo have been in discussion with EPFL to launch a follow-up project to BeerDecoded, where EPFL would take the lead, and Hackuarium would be the community partner.

Luc: I would be interested in getting inputs from everyone. This project has the potential to bring some visibility to the association, but also requires some improvements in the way we deal with the finances and organisation in general. I believe we should have an event with the EPFL stakeholders and discuss how to best plan the project, so that people at Hackuarium interested in taking part can get involved. If ok with everyone, I will schedule an event on a Wednesday night to discuss the vision, and the goals.

Point 7: Other

Conference ECSA

Rachel will attend the annual conference of the ECSA (European Citizen Science Association) coming up 3-5 June in Geneva.
She requested and obtained discounted registration fees (for 50.- instead of 350.-) for 2 more members to attend. At least Anna Dussuet could make it, and is now also registered.

? Is it ok to get Hackuarium to cover our train tickets for this (back and forth to Geneva 2x each - 2nd class demi-tarif, bien sûr)

Project Updates

Further documentation for all projects is encouraged, in the wiki and in the social media. With 'bio-beton' sculptures and 'bioluminescence' mosaics, and mushroom pickers and more in progress in the lab, we need remember our aims about open science and share the knowledge we acquire!
Presenting project updates during Weds open nights is also very welcome! (BeeMoS?? others?)