The GBA Secretariat is made up of staff of the current host organization, the Responsible Business Alliance, and in-kind FTE contributions from member organizations.
The GBA is an independent multistakeholder initiative incorporated in Belgium since 2022 as a not-for-profit organisation. The principal governance mechanism of the GBA is the Board of Directors which has a total of 20 seats, 10 of which are reserved for non-corporate members and 10 of which are reserved for corporate members. All board members have equal votes. The members of the Global Battery Alliance elect the board of directors every two years during the Annual General Assembly. In November 2022, the members elected a new board for the 2023-2024 term. The chair and vice-chair of the board are elected by the board and serve a one-year term, as per the GBA Charter.
Board of Directors
Action Partnerships are given a mandate by the Board to achieve specific outcomes related to the GBA strategy. These are guided by a Steering Committee. Steering Committee seats are allocated to ensure equal representation between public/civil society and private sector member organizations and are initially appointed by the Board (for new Action Partnerships), and subsequently voted on by members. Non-GBA members may be granted Observer seats to Action Partnership Steering Committees. Additionally, Work Groups can be established to achieve specific deliverables – current examples include the Social & Goveranance Indicators, Environmental Indicators, and Track and Trace Work Groups within the Battery Passport. The establishment of new Action Partnerships is dependent on member interest and resourcing.
The Supervisory Council provides overall guidance and stewardship and has equal representation between public/civil society and private sector seats.
The way people decide is "decisive" for what they do together. All multi-stakeholder organisations should anticipate how they will make difficult decisions once the available time for less-structured consensus-building has expired. The GBA Consensus Way makes use of Systemic Consensing for this.
Systemic Consensing is a modern participatory decision-making method that is proven to find durable solutions. It uses resistance in a pragmatic way as a resource for innovation. As a result, responsibility for change and the necessary follow-up is felt by all, which means decisions actually get implemented.
Therefore, before any tension arises within a work stream, the GBA seeks to map the group’s needs & expectations for presentation back to the group. The GBA also encourages the group to identify common “wishes for success” in the form of acceptance criteria for specific projects and deliverables. This gives an early indication of where tensions may arise and what preventive actions may be taken up-front. For example, it is sometimes necessary to convene Tutorials during which participants can work to lessen information asymmetries before making decisions.
When contrary proposals nevertheless arise, the GBA can draw upon professional facilitation skills to help understand underlying interests, encourage independent fact-checking, scope where group polarisation is greatest, and raise awareness amongst members of potential synergies and trade-offs.
Customised workshop exercises (remote or in-person) are then designed to recall the group’s common goals, level-up understanding of proposals and wishes for success, explore (categorise, group, slice & dice), prioritise and refine proposals, as well as clearly identify what happens if no decision is taken (the default option; e.g., who outside the organisation could instead decide?).
During such discussions, participants’ objections and resistance to ideas and proposals are taken seriously – regularly measured - and used as a creative force. In such a space where fellow members’ resistance is valued and quantified, the value of the GBA’s multi-stakeholder nature really emerges. Resistance is not necessarily viewed negatively, but rather as a means of uncovering important issues that may have been glossed over, and as a way of incrementally improving the solutions on the table. In the given time, the group identifies the solution with the least resistance, that all members can live with to some extent, and agrees on the next steps. The GBA Consensus Way is a systematic way of making the consensus-building process time-efficient, without detracting from the quality of the discussion.