In 2007, the manager of Community Services Departments (CSD) became a full-time employee. We are starting to see some progress among staff gaining the understanding that this senior staff member is the primary ‘go-to’ person, with regard to the eleven CSD departments which run Black Rock City. A regular presence at both on-playa general DPW ‘morning meetings’, and especially DPW management meetings, helped more staff make the connection.
Key veteran volunteers continued to step up into management roles, notably strengthening the Airport’s Ministry of Customs sub-department, the Shuttle Bus Depot, and building a solid core at Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR).
As planned, staff training expanded beyond CSD’s purview. Our Technology Department held extranet and email list management workshops; Playa Safety Council departments contributed to staff training for first aid and CPR certification with Emergency Services Department (ESD.; and Black Rock Rangers joined our first-time staff primer hosted by our Conflict Resolution Advocate on mediating on-playa conflict, and what to expect when staff calls 911 on the playa. The Accounting department offered a spreadsheet tips workshop, the CSD director hosted an effective meetings forum, and members of the senior staff presented training on management in the unique working environment of the Burning Man Project. A new module of our ongoing communication training, “Masterful Conversations” imparted tools on how to approach and handle unpleasant confrontations and discussions.
In keeping the 2007 theme, our annual San Francisco volunteer recruitment Open House in April was expanded to include a “Green House”, a precursor to BRC’s 2007 Green Pavilion man base. Working with the grassroots Green Working Group volunteers and their myriad resources, CSD Earth Guardians managed the Green House event, an exhibition of mostly do-it-yourself Burner community displays for greener living both on and off the playa.
Individual reports will illuminate each department’s successes and challenges, serving to strengthen and refine both their teams and missions.