Re: Suggestions for format of AGM next year

On Fri, August 3, 2012 5:29 am, Allan Day wrote:
> Hi,
> Vincent Untz <vuntz gnome org> wrote:
> ...
>> I thought a bit about the AGM we had a few days ago, and I'd like to
>> suggest we find a different format for next year.

Thanks for putting this down, Vincent!

>> Here's a list of issues with the current format, from what I saw this
>> year:
>>  - it was a bit too long. A small break might have helped.
>>  - the discussion about changing the release team had to be cut, because
>>    it would have used too much time needed for the other reports.
>>    However, I think this is a discussion a lot of people cared about and
>>    that could have been used more time. Especially since we had everyone
>>    in a room, which helps communication. Hopefully, the GNOME OS BoF was
>>    useful for this (I missed it, so don't know).

I agree - The release team decided to do this last minute, so I was aware
they wanted a few minutes for Q&A but didn't realize they were opening up
the floor to a whole discussion. Once it was started, I also felt it was
an important discussion to have and didn't want to cut it off. Because
this took at least 20 minutes more than we'd budgeted for, timing got very
tight. Additionally, our outreach section took a lot longer than expected
with handing out the certificates, which was also not budgeted for
time-wise. Perhaps this should have been appended to the lightning talk
session for the outreach participants, which actually ended 15 minutes
early this time.

>>  - I didn't feel there was a lot said about the Foundation itself. Sure,
>>    there were a few slides at the end, but that was not that much
>>    detailed, and because of the short remaining time, it went really
>>    fast.

Sorry about that, I agree!

>>  - obviously, we should have had time for questions. Questions from the
>>    members, but also from the board to members (to bootstrap discussion
>>    on some topics).

Last year, with the identical agenda we had tons of time for the Q&A, and
some great conversation that came out of that so I wasn't as worried about
timing this time. In addition to the Outreach and Release team
presentations taking longer, this time we also had the last minute
proposal for the planet gnome discussion. The AGM should include agenda
items formally proposed by members, so we also had that unexpected
addition as well.

>>  - it might be a good idea to have some kind of document sent before the
>>    AGM to foundation-list or the members, so we have more details about
>>    what's going to be discussed. This could be just the slides, or
>>    something different. Having some time to ponder about the content is
>>    useful, and that could lead to more questions or some improved
>>    discussion.

Good point. Last year and this year, at least, the agenda consisted of the
reports, a few announcements and Q&A. While there were no identified
discussion areas in advance, next year we can definitely do that,
circulating topic ideas here a week or two in advance.

>> Another approach would be to split the team reports and the AGM in two
>> different slots. Easy to do and not that much impact. Probably something
>> we could try next year?

We may want to do something like this. What about extending the AGM to 3
hours, which we may not need all of, and scheduling the reports first but
taking a break after them? I think it's good to have the reports and
discussion back to back as I think the reports set the context of where
things are and what has happened over the last year.

> I agree that the AGM was a bit constrained this year, and these all
> seem like good suggestions. Perhaps it would be good to split the
> GUADEC closing out into a separate session too (so we have 1. team
> reports 2. AGM and 3. GUADEC closing)?

This time we did have a separate GUADEC closing on Sunday (the AGM was
Saturday). I started with a GUADEC feedback session - was that useful?

> An open call for questions or discussion topics can often be
> inhibiting; I'm sure that we would have a livelier debate if we had a
> set of potential discussion topics prepared in advance. The Board
> could organise this depending on current hot topics. We could also
> pull recent discussion subjects from the Foundation list.

Allan, I think you may be right. We can perhaps circulate an "Expected
Discussion Topics" list, which allows people to think about what else
they'd like to discuss.

I'm glad we're thinking about the format of the meeting, and hope we can
improve for next year!


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