Re: GNOME Travel Committee & Travel Policy: A proposal for consideration and feedback


Diego Escalante Urrelo wrote:
> Summarising all the discussion a bit:
>   - a travel committee is suggested to take out the huge work of
> processing sponsorship applications from the GUADEC committee

Also (perhaps principally?) to provide consistency, transparency, and
fiscal responsibility (balancing the budget). And ensure that people
understand taht travel assistance is not GUADEC-only.

>   - conditions and obligations by both parties will be clearer (we
> won't cover your new shin pads for the FreeFA cup, you must present
> clear tickets) must turn up and participate, you should write some kind of
post-conference report/blog entry on your participation.

> Regarding the % or 200€ thing:
>   - we can agree that the people that *should* get a 100% coverage is
> people that deserve it or really need it
>   - we can't leave out people asking for 100% just because they are
> not crucial people in GNOME; it would kill the involvement of new
> people

I like KDE's formulation (


    * The KDE e.V. usually reimburses up to 80% of the travel expenses
for the cheapest reasonable way, subject to availability of funds. This
covers transport like air fares or train tickets.
    * If needed the KDE e.V. will additionally reimburse up to 80% of
accommodation costs for the cheapest reasonable accomodation, subject to
availability of funds.
    * In circumstances, where a contributor cannot even afford the
remaining 20% (this usually only applies to people from outside Western
Europe and North America), KDE e.V. can even pay 100% of your travel

I also like the idea, if there is a consensus on this issue, of
assigning 25% of the travel budget for an event to "outreach" - funding
students, GSoC participants, and generally newcomers to the community -
people who are, for the moment, peripheral contributors. That means
that, for GUADEC, with a €30,000 travel budget for the time being,
you're setting aside €7,500 for people who (for wont of a better way to
put it) not materially improving the conference by their presence.

I think, nevertheless, that it is essential that the board not push the
entire responsibility for reimbursement policy to a nominated travel
committee - it's the board's role to guide the travel committee on how
they should make choices, when choices are to be make, and to suggest
sensible defaults for when someone contacts the foundation for a travel
subsidy. Shirking that responsibility is setting the travel committee up
to fail, as they will have an very difficult job..

> I -personally- expect the real improvements and savings to be in the
> enhanced speed of the process (hence earlier bookings of tickets),
> having all the tickets bought with enough anticipation should save us
> a considerable amount already.

Personally, I expect the biggest improvement to be the community being
much more aware of how our money is being spent, and encouraging greater
use of our resources outside of just GUADEC.


Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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