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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Code of Ethics for Mensa Volunteers

Mensa International has just approved its Code of Ethics for Volunteers.  As you know, Mensa organizations the world over are run by volunteers (yours truly included). We need more of you. But we also need to make the grounds for volunteer work as clear as possible. So here is the Code of Ethics [ASIE 13-01 (Appendix 17)] for your reference.

With over 115,000 members Mensa still is an almost completely volunteer-based organization. Thousands of members work passionately on a regular basis or on certain occasions to make the worldwide network of highly gifted people a reality and to make membership worthwhile. Mensa is grateful to all volunteers who donate their time and bring in their expertise to help our society.

However, to clarify the rights, responsibilities and duties of Mensa volunteers, IBD sets the following Code of Ethics as a guideline.

1 – The invaluable work of volunteers is the basis for a living Mensa community. Volunteers work for Mensa because they want to do something meaningful, not because they want to earn money or receive any tangible benefit. The reward for volunteer work is the appreciation of Mensa and the smiles of happy members saying “Thank you”.

2 – Volunteers make a commitment to work for a certain task within Mensa. They are officially appointed according to the rules and regulations of their Mensa organization.  

3 – If a volunteer is no longer capable of performing the duties involved with the position, the volunteer should resign so that another member can take over. It is never considered a failure should a volunteer decide to discontinue his or her involvement for whatever reason.

4 – Volunteers communicate openly and honestly. They give feedback to the Mensa officers that are responsible for them. They accept feedback and guidance. They follow the rules and decisions concerning their volunteer work.

5 – Volunteers may be reimbursed for any cost in connection with their assigned tasks according to the rules and regulations that have been set by their Mensa organization. There is no additional financial or other compensation unless beforehand agreed between the volunteer and that national Mensa.

6 – Volunteers keep Mensa and their personal and professional interests apart. They do not use their volunteer position to gain any professional or commercial advantage unless granted and regulated by their Mensa organization, except for the very valuable experience and transferable skills they may gain in the course of their volunteer duties.  Each volunteer shall disclose to the Board any potential conflict of interest between their duties as a volunteer and their personal life. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Mensa Brown Bag Sessions unleashed, off to great start!

Speaker Art (right) with participants
Mensa had its first official activity for the year in the form of the first run of the Mensa Brown Bag Sessions. This was held last January 12 at the Baang Coffee shop at Tomas Morato, Quezon City. The kickoff topic was "(Most) Everything You Need to Know about Branding," which was delivered by Mensa president Art Ilano.

The Mensa Brown Bags are envisioned to be monthly (well, near-monthly) opportunities for members and guests to learn from volunteer Mensa speakers who will talk about topics of potential interest. Topics can range from the erudite to the speculative, from professional pursuits to esoteric hobbies, and from the serious to the downright silly. It doesn't matter. If you think someone will be interested in what you have to speak about, then this is the venue for you!

The branding talk was well received and saw an audience of eight Mensans (a nice cozy number) come together. The only catch was that the venue turned out to have bad acoustics, so the group acknowledged this and concluded that other venues should be considered for future sessions.

Interested in sharing something with fellow Mensans? Then sign up as a Brown Bag speaker at !