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February 23, 2022

Modo Board: Insight From A Director To An Aspiring Candidate

Guest Post written by Karen Quinn Fung, Modo Board Director

Perspective

As members of Modo, we have likely all become acquainted with, aware of and experienced the many benefits of carsharing – for ourselves, as well as for our neighbours and our region as a whole. But Modo’s structure as a co-operative likely makes it unique among the organizations and services most of us probably interact with on a daily basis, but may not give a lot of thought to.

We probably notice it most in the little things – but the biggest way by far Modo is different is  Modo’s activities are shaped by its board of directors, which is made up of share-holding members who use the service. The members of the board are elected by – and are accountable to – you and other members. Whatever your aspirations or concerns for Modo are, the rules of Modo allow for members’ views to shape its actions.
As with everything, there is a catch to this. We as individuals, and Modo as a whole, can only reap the benefits of our members’ skills and experiences if they are willing to participate effectively as members of the board.

This starts with having a vision and standing for the election.

In my own case, I brought the experience of having become a Modo user after using one-way carsharing for several years; from serving as a volunteer in organizations doing public space and active transportation advocacy; and from my nascent dabbling in service design, universal accessibility and environmental and disability justice. But it took my partner, a long-time Modo user, to nudge me once, then twice. At that point, it occurred to me: if no one else was saying what I wanted to hear (or wanted others to hear), that might mean that I’ll have to be the one to say it, where it has a chance of really being heard.

During my first year as Modo director, I have had the chance to witness the extent to which Modo’s social purpose and member interests underpin its every decision and action. Each and every member of staff and board member I have encountered in the course of those processes have continually brought skill, transparency and care in ensuring Modo’s actions are in alignment with its values.

I have come to appreciate how much openness is built into the review of procedures and decisions. These consistently allow for inclusion of new approaches, new information, new insights and new methods for Modo to better realize the values at the core of Modo’s purpose.

This is where Modo members come in.

Every member has the potential to contribute so many things – a different vantage point, body of knowledge, or connection. In advance of our annual general meeting in April, we’re now accepting nominations to elect four board members (of varying term lengths). We hope you’ll join us to help us continue to make Modo a convenient, inclusive, sustainable and affordable option.

Interested in speaking to a current director about this opportunity? Please email nominations@modo.coop