[OpenStack Foundation] [Openstack] Foundation Structure: An Alternative
wdamarillo at morphlabs.com
Mon Mar 12 20:10:56 UTC 2012
I think its important to take a 10-20 year view of the OpenStack Foundation.
FWIW -- I was a part of the Eclipse membership planning committee ~5 years ago when we decided to improve the membership model. Below is the structural output of the process. I thought it went well and in hindsight, a few more improvements can be added
- Strategic Board - This stayed "Pay to Play" but was socialized so that small companies like myself can join. It ranged from 250K (Oracle) top tier .. 25K (newco) lowest tier. 8 FTE commitment was a hard rule
- Sustaining Member companies (Paid something minimal) run for board seats among the peer group.
- Committers - ran for board seats and elected from Individual participants of the project.
We ended up with too many board members (due to legacy issues) IMHO but I think that the model generally worked. As a small company board member, I thought my voice and vote was equal that of big guys (IBM / Intel). And the membership believed that we have a decent balance of voice between commercial interest (sustaining members voted by peers) and active community members (voted via meritocracy)
With the benefit of that experience - this is my suggestion for OpenStack Foundation structure. Similar layering of board composition with some tweaks :
Foundation Board Members - For any pure non profit perspective sometimes "pay to play" is NECESSARY (and not always EVIL). The foundation is more viable if its long term financial security is assured. This can come from a few LARGE donors as long as the bar is set high and the influence is properly calibrated (i.e - don't drive project level decisions) .. Lets get the money but not sell the charter.
Strategic Board Members - Should be the core of OpenStack board- similar to the sustaining members. This must be very inclusive (meaning cheap join) to as many members as possible and MAJORITY (or at least more than the foundation members) of the board members come from this group on an annual mandate. I would suggest that the initial founders (i.e Chris, Jonathan, Joshua …etc. ) seed this group and grow it slowly annually.
Community Leaders - Individuals coming from the (code+doc+test) contributors - voted by peers and maybe as many as Strategics … depending on our view of commercial to coder balance.
My company is benefiting greatly from the work that everyone has put into OpenStack. I am looking forward to its long term prospects. Hope this helps.
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