sub-committees [was Re: Board Minutes 29 September 2004]


On Fri, 2004-10-01 at 21:00, Owen Taylor wrote:

>         Leslie raised the idea of mixed board/non-board sub-committees
>         for Marketing, Fundraising, Developer development, and so forth.

	Something about this kind of talk has been worrying me lately. Maybe
its not a big deal and I'm rambling, though.

	Thinking about how our community might evolve over the next number of
years, you might imagine two very different scenarios:

  1) Global GNOME forward thinking is handled by small groups, 
     sub-committees, teams or think-tanks. These are usually board 
     initiated, consist largely of GNOME "luminaries" and have minuted 

  2) Any new initiatives or looking towards the future are started by 
     individuals in public, open to all to discuss. Loose, informal 
     groups sometimes form around ideas to get them going.

	What worries me about (1) is that perhaps its makes it more
difficult/daunting for new blood to get involved in these important
matters. Maybe it gives the illusion that things are being handled when
in fact the people involved are already overstretched and would love to
see new people involved.

	i.e. instead Marketing, Fundraising and Developer Development
committees, surely we want to leave the void in which a new leader can
"explode, fully-formed out of freak lightning strikes and nuclear
waste"[1]. How can we expect someone to scratch an itch if we keep
putting slapping on band-aids?

	Does (2) more closely reflect what how we'd like this community to
operate? Or is it inevitable, given the size of the community, that any
attempt by someone[2] to take on any difficult issue in public will find
themselves bogged down by indecision, flames and huge discussions about
irrelevant side matters?


[1] - As Jeff so eloquently put it :)

[2] - I think Rob Adam's copyright assignment work is a good example.

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