Re: Questions for the candidates

My answers to the original 24 questions are available on Wiki:

And the answers to the abbreviated list are the following:

> Questions
> -------------
>  1. For outgoing board members: what have been the upsides/good things
> from your previous stint at the Board which you would  like to see
> carried forward into this term ?

Not applicable. 

>  2. If you are a new candidate: what specific SMART
> ( goals would
> you like to put for yourself? Or, in other words, how would you like
> to measure yourself and, let others know how you are doing ?

To increase the transparency of processes and information coming from
the board.  Whenever it were not possible to make them public, at least
mention the number of activities being kept private (in order to compare
or obtain a ratio of public versus private information).

Keep track of activities related to Gnome funded or not by the
Foundation and help people to make them public as soon as they happen.
Specially, get and publish reports of activities funded when they take

Report the activities done as a board member in a similar fashion that
our Executive Director.  Probably not as frequent as her, but once every
two weeks or at least once a month.

>  3. What part of being a board member do you think will be most
> difficult for you? How do you plan to compensate for that?

It will sound naive, but at this moment, I can see as the most difficult
part the synchronization for meetings, in particular, phone meetings. I
use only cell-phone at home, but I hope I will compensate through VoIP.

>  4. Do you have any experience on management teams or boards at
> non-profits? If so, can you give an example of a change you affected
> in that role? If not, what makes you think that you will be a good
> board member? What single change do you want to affect during your
> term?

I have been one of the directors of a six-year long project involving 13
Chilean universities, and it requires consensus through communication
and trade-offs and a lot of patience.

I want to improve the transparency about the work as board director.  I
feel that people who have not been involved in board has not a very
clear idea about the duties and the common tasks.   Probably are too
obvious that nobody talks about it, but if people ask what a Executive
Director does, why not trying to do the same as a board member? If there
is a gap, I want to fill it.

>  5. What are the specific areas of the Foundation's focus and strategy
> where you think you can contribute as a change agent ?

Communication and transparency. As I said in my statement, I think the
communication from board to community has improved over the years.  But
there is room for improvements.  Lastly, our Executive Director have
been writing weekly about her work, the board members could do the same
(by turns or another method).  It is good to see the things are moving
forward, not matter if slowly or quickly.  Without feedback, it is hard
to evaluate it. 

As an outsider point of view, I would like to have available for free
scrutiny as much information as possible from our Foundation.  I have
never been a director before, hence I lack of details in this matter (if
this is feasible or reasonable).  I can contribute filling this gap.

I do think there is privacy involved when some member of the advisory
board or external entity ask for it in the middle of a negotiation. But,
once it happened, I can work to give a detailed explanation of the
process taken and not only the results.

>  6. Do you think we need to make the being a member of the Foundation
> feel more valuable, and how do you think we should do that? What would
> you change about the Foundation to make it more useful to members.

It think something is going on in that direction: giving higher priority
to Foundation member's when somebody ask for sponsorship.  It is not set
in stone, but it helps people to realize that if they deserve to be
sponsored, then they contribute enough to be a member.

Also, I am aware there are contributors who do not feel contributing
enough or still they does not feel as involved in the community as they
expect, specially when they compares themselves against the most vocals
or our rock stars.  This is specially true in local communities that
spread Gnome around their countries but still they feel in the limbo.

>  7. Do you have any plans on how can the board help bring the GNOME
> platform and desktop in the top of opensource desktop and mobile
> application development?

I think it is important to empower the marketing team in order to have a
consistent way of communication at different levels (user, management,
and development).

>  8. Do you think the GNOME Foundation and the GNOME projects get
> enough representation at events? If not, how would you fix that?

I am biased, but in those events I have knowledge in SouthAmerica, Gnome
has a good representation.  Could it be better? for sure.  Sometimes we
are not enough to attend to several simultaneous events that we are
required.  But in big places/countries like United States, Europe and
even Brazil, there are so many people involved in so many projects, that
requires an extra effort to get the attention.

I think we need to approach both kind of places: the ones to
'conquer' (and help to settle down a strong local community, such as
Asia, SouthAmerica, Africa) and make a strong representation where there
is more competition (NorthAmerica & Europe).

It must be talked with Marketing's people.  They are getting very active
lastly and I am sure they have something to say.

>  9. What, in your view, are the top 5 requirements (from a strategic
> perspective) for the GNOME communities world-wide ?

* Empowering local GNOME communities.
* Having a good and consistent marketing plan, encouraging an
  unified message of the project and its role as Free Software.
* Strengthening the working teams
* Good communication.
* Transparency.

Germán Póo-Caamaño
Concepción - Chile

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