It used to be that General Convention conducted all of its legislative business on paper – approximately 1.2 million pieces of paper in 2012. No more. For the second convention running, when each deputy, alternate deputy and bishop arrives in Austin, Texas, for the 79th General Convention, they will get a loaner iPad to use as their “Virtual Binder.”
Replacing each actual binder with the digital system will save the cost of those estimated 2,400 reams of paper, which amounted to about six tons, plus the copying costs. Tracking the progress of resolutions was impossible for people who did not attend convention.
The Virtual Binder is an app that runs on the bishops’ and deputies’ iPads, and can be accessed online. Those without a General Convention iPad can access the online version here. That latter version mirrors the app running on the iPads and changes along with it in real time.
No matter how it is accessed, the Virtual Binder enables users to track the progress of convention resolutions. It also includes each house’s daily agendas, calendars, and reports. It contains tabs for checking on current action and floor amendments in each house.
A free General Convention app is available for anyone using a smartphone or tablet running Android 4.4 or IOS 8.0 or later. The app contains General Convention schedules, maps, vendor information, daily orders of worship services and other useful materials.