Re: Agenda for board meeting on January 9th


On 12 January 2015 at 16:55, Magdalen Berns <m berns thismagpie com> wrote:

these roles already exist, and are generally assigned to the elected
directors during the first board meeting.

Seems a bit unorthodox, but as long as they're willing and able to manage
the additional workload I can't see anything wrong with that. :-)

it's not really "unorthodox", as it's part of the Foundation's bylaws
— see Article X here:

The officers of the Corporation shall be a Chairman of the Board (if
appointed by the
Board), a President, one or more Vice Presidents (the number thereof
to be determined
by the Board), a Secretary, a Treasurer and such other officers as may
be elected in
accordance with the provisions of this Article X.

in particular, by 10.2:

The officers of the Corporation, except such officers as may b e app
ointed in accordance
with the provisions of Section 10.3 or Section 10.5 of this Article X,
shall be chosen
annually by the Board.

the officers do not strictly need to be directors, i.e. the Board may
appoint anybody to hold those offices after a vote, but it's the Board
that votes, not the general membership of the Foundation; the members
of the Foundation elect the Board, though.

currently, Andrea Veri is the secretary (hence why he sends the
minutes of the board meetings), and the treasurer is Ekaterina

you can see the various roles and who holds them on the wiki:

Thanks for the information. I notice that there is no contact information
for any of the teams or links to indicate who they are and what their
currently working on. It seems unlikely that someone would easily be able to
figure out how to help them out.

that's indeed a missing bit of information, but in general any
communication with the Board should go through board gnome org 

we could create aliases for all the officers that go through
board gnome org, so that stuff is tracked.

I'm not sure what "Research & Development" means.

if it's a technological role, then everything we do is, broadly
speaking, "research and development".

As far as I am aware, nobody does any statistical research at GNOME. What
informs strategic decisions?

we don't do statistical research to decide what to work on. we're a
volunteer-driver project, and volunteer work is not fungible — i.e.
even if we did do statistical research and determined strategic
decisions, we'd still need somebody to volunteer to implement them,
and we could not rely on those decisions in a timely manner, thus
defeating the whole point.

what we usually do is rely, for technical direction, on the
maintainers that comprise the larger GNOME ecosystem; what they want
to work on, what kind of directions they want to impel to the project.
we have special interest groups that drive various aspects of the
project — accessibility, documentation, internationalization, etc. —
as well as other entities that work on the infrastructure and
outreach. finally, we have the board, which is concerned with the
overall ability of the project to sustain itself financially, as well
as protect itself legally.

I'd very much like to see a team devoted to event planning and sponsoring,
working with
local teams where necessary, but mostly driving the organization of
conferences like GUADEC, GNOME.Asia, and the GNOME Summit.

Would the events team not be in charge of that stuff?

yes, that would be the role of a more formally defined "events team",
but right now the "events" team is usually any local team organizing
an event, plus the travel committee, plus the board of directors, plus
the engagement team.

I'm not entirely sure why these should be "democratically elected". I
personally prefer very much a culture of do-ocracy, where those who
show up and do the work get to decide what and how to do it, as
opposed to various instances of backseat driving that we've all
experienced on various mailing lists.

I can't really comment on the examples you're thinking of, since it is not
clear what you're referring to . However, I would have thought that in
general people would be inclined to vote for those who they felt were most
qualified to fill a role or they wouldn't vote at all. Like a democracy, a
"do-acracy" only really works for the benefit of everyone if there is equal
access to the same information and opportunities from the outset.

then we really need to get better at sharing information. :-)

still, I'm not sure holding official elections for points of contacts
for various teams, adding election terms and bylaws for each "team
lead", as well as the administrative overhead that it entails is going
to do us any good. at a certain point, election fatigue creeps in.

we could use the mechanism provided us by the bylaws, and have the
board elect various officers, like it is empowered to do. that would
keep the overhead low, while improving the accountability.


[ ] ebassi [ gmail com]

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