A guide for chat meetings

How to invite to a chat meeting through the ISM?

Write an invitation

  • Describe what will be discussed.
  • Emphasize where the chat will take place and how people can participate.
  • Consider the different time zones. Usually the time for the chat is communicated in world time on the global level.
  • To keep notes during the chat it helps to set up a pad for each chat meeting. The pad should be included in the invitation and state the agenda proposal for the chat meeting. You can set up a pad here: https://pad.riseup.net/p/ismYYMMDD (where YYMMDD is the date the chat’s gonna be held). A suggestion for a welcome message inside the pad can be found here:
    Welcome to the global chat meeting on the International Student Movement (ISM) platform.
    The ISM is an international network for students and student organisations to exchange information, network and make coordinations especially in connection with the struggle for free emancipatory education.
    This chat is one tool used on the platform to communicate and organize direclty on the global level. The focus of this week’s chat will be … (topics).
    During the meeting all participants are asked to help with taking notes (below), keep the conversation/discussion moving and to try to strive for consensus. The ISM does not have a formal secretary so your help is not only greatly appreciated, but needed.
    Before we start the chat, we have to appoint a facilitator. The facilitator will welcome participants who join the chat later on and inform thema about the topic discussed. The facilitator will maintain corrum while keeping the conversation moving and on topic.
    We typically use a * to indicate our support or agreement with something.

Spread the invitation

  • Send it to the global ISM mailing list at least a few days before the beginning of the chat. Optionally a reminder can also be sent one hour before the beginning of the chat.
  • In case you are admin of the ISM website, then you can also post a message inside the calendar on the ISM website emancipating-education-for-all.org/calendar-date. Due to problems with spam it is not open for everyone. If you are not admin of the website, then an entry inside the calendar will be set up by one of the admins within 1-2 days once the invitation was sent to the global mailing list. Once the entry inside the calendar is set up, there is a link available which can be used to spread the invitation within ISM groups and pages on facebook: we.riseup.net/ism_admin_collective+face...
  • Set up an event page on facebook. You can do so yourself (make sure it’s publicly accessible) or it will be done by people in charge for the global ISM fb page.

There are many invitations already published inside the calendar, which might serve as a draft

Facilitation of chat meeting

Sometimes it’s good to have one person facilitating the chat meeting, especially if there are more than ten participants. We seek to objectively maintain an inclusive atmosphere for open discussion. It is important to permit everyone the space to express their ideas but it is necessary to stay on topic in order to reach all agenda items in a reasonable amount of time.

In the unlikely event of thousands of attending people, it’s possible to (technically aided) voice/devoice participants. The /help command, the relevant documentation on freenode, and in general a list of common IRC-commands on WP may help you out.

Inform about results of the chat

Send notes, which summarize outcomes of the chat meeting, to the global ISM mailing list.


Questions? Suggestions? Drop a line at the ISM admin collective mailing list.


Wrote a similar guide for uk ism people a while back, which has some points that might be useful to copy in? All here: ismuk.wordpress.com/resources-2/organising/guide-to-ism-uk-online-meetings