In the interest of ongoing transparency, the Board of Directors of the Mormon Transhumanist Association is pleased to release the following leadership performance review. Each member of the Board independently evaluated the performance of the Board as a whole and the performance of CEO Lincoln Cannon, who is appointed by the Board to manage the Association. Secretary of the Board, Dorothy Deasy, gathered and compiled the evaluations into a single review, which follows.
Board of Director’s Performance Review
The Board of Directors of the Mormon Transhumanist Association is generally performing its function well. The requirements of the Board are flexible enough to be satisfied by the part-time involvement of each member, without financial compensation. The board has done a good job of crafting and supporting association initiatives on a voluntary basis.
Recently, the Board has begun emphasizing its strategic role and de-emphasizing its tactical role. The Board used to be in charge of both determining the direction of the organization, and implementing decisions such as the conference. We have been successful at this in the past. Today, a new organization is being put together to handle implementation, while the board functions in a more abstract, direction setting role. Some members of the board also serve in the implementation roles, but such roles are not limited to Board members, allowing for participation from the wider organization. This will spread the load, and will allow for efficiency in the future. Although presently too early to tell, hopefully this will prove beneficial to the organization.
The Board meets on a monthly basis. Most Board members attend board meetings regularly. (There are periods of time when scheduling conflicts arise, resulting in some occasional or partial attendance, but we always have at least the quorum required by the constitution. It does appear to be the case that all members of the board are making reasonable and conscientious efforts to participate and fulfill their responsibilities to the organization.) Meetings are always well organized and focused, and action items are always noted and followed up on until they are completed or reprioritized. The Board adheres closely to the rules and guidelines established by the constitution to ensure fairness, transparency, and fidelity to the stated goals of the association. Key strengths of the Board include flexibility and diverse perspectives (both of opinions and religious persuasions), mutual respect and desire to learn from each other.
Board members are exceptionally well-educated and thoughtful, and share their viewpoints openly, articulately, and in a spirit of mutual respect and appreciation. With proven leadership abilities in academia, industry, and ecclesiastical capacities, they offer a diversity of backgrounds, experience, and professionalism that serve the organization well. The directors generally provide valuable feedback on proposals from management. To date, the Board serves its advisory role exceptionally well.
Key accomplishments outlined in our annual report at http://transfigurism.org/pages/annual-report/2013#events include the following:
• The annual conference was quite a bit better than the 2012 conference both in numbers attending and in the quality of the talks.
• A successful annual conference keynoted by Aubrey de Grey and Richard Bushman, highly respected and admired leaders within the communities of transhumanism and Mormonism.
• Regular monthly meet-ups, both on-site and online, that provided opportunities for exploration and support, and introduced the association to several individuals who have since made significant contributions to the online community and promoted the organization to their friends and colleagues.
• Director and Secretary Brad Carmack represented the association at the 87th Annual Meeting of the American Philosophical Society in San Francisco.
• Director and CIO Carl Youngblood presented to the London Futurists at the Birkbeck College of the University of London.
• Director and CEO Lincoln Cannon and Director Karl Hale were interviewed for podcasts by Adam Ford, a director of Humanity+, the largest transhumanist organization in the world.
• The association formed an institutional partnership with the Teilhard de Chardin Project to promote familiarity with Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a twentieth century philosopher and Jesuit priest whose life and works continue to inspire modern Transhumanism.
• The association co-sponsored a lecture by Dr. Amit Goswami at the University of Utah, providing a video recording available through YouTube.
• Director and CIO Carl Youngblood presented at the European Mormon Studies Conference in London.
• The association continued its rapid growth, increasing its membership by 54% for a total of 380 members.
CEO’s Performance Review
Lincoln Cannon has proven exceptionally adept in his role as CEO. He has performed admirably as CEO and is the primary force behind the association's success. His management style is inspiring. He does an excellent job of sharing responsibility and helping people to develop into capable leaders in their own right. He articulates and communicates the vision of the association in a manner which is professional and inviting. He is a gifted and visionary organizer who sees great potential for the MTA, and works patiently, tirelessly, and skillfully to continue the association's exponentially increasing membership and influence. Lincoln is passionate about the health and direction of the association, in part evidenced by his seeking other voices to carry through along with his own. He is widely recognized and admired for his ability to navigate issues with clarity, impartiality, and charity.
Lincoln’s key strengths include:
• Compassion in thought, action and deed
• Embodiment of leadership
• Creating an atmosphere for, and encouraging, collaboration
• Very intense people skills, and networking skills which serve the organization well
• Having inspiringly articulated the purpose of the association in his address to the annual conference
• Increasing awareness of the organization among prominent individuals in the global Transhumanist community, through personal visitations and online interviews and discussions
• Engaging higher visibility members of the broader Transhumanist community in the MTA