[OpenStack Foundation] Board discussing how to improve the Individual Director election process, community input wanted

Dave Neary dneary at redhat.com
Mon Nov 19 10:40:06 UTC 2012


On 11/18/2012 05:42 PM, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> In retrospect what I really find odd is the way we have a bunch of
> engaged, constructive and interested people actively discussing ideas on
> the mailing list. Then a completely different group goes off and
> discusses ideas privately and, a month later, comes back with a
> conclusion giving the original group mere days to give feedback.
> I guess from the perspective of members of the board, you've seen the
> issue taken seriously and actively worked to a conclusion. From the
> perspective of not being on the board, I see little engagement from the
> board in the original discussion, silence and then a big reveal. It's
> not the kind of open, collaborative process I'd hope for.
> Then again, no-one else seems to be taking issue with the process so
> it'd be fair to count me as one of the "No matter what we do, there will
> be people who object" crowd :)

Add me as one of the people thinking that this could have been 
approached differently.

I believe everyone is acting in good faith, and I believe that the 
outcome is the best that could be achieved for the upcoming election.

However, the process is probably just as important as the outcome, and 
as Mark has pointed out, a number of people seemed ready to put time and 
effort into improving the situation.

A suggestion for the future: I have seen non-profits like the OpenStack 
Foundation fall into the trap of having all the Foundation "stuff" be 
done by foundation staff and board members. It's happened in the GNOME 
Foundation for a few years, and we regretted it. One of the things which 
allowed us to improve was to have board members tasked with ensuring 
something happened, and inviting people from the broader community who 
cared about that thing to do the heavy lifting: whether that was hiring 
an executive director (we invited people with hiring experience to be on 
the hiring committee), running hackfests (where we decided a budget at 
board level, and delegated totally the organisation of hackfests to 
foundation members), the successful Outreach Program for Women, whatever...

The MO has been: provide resources and support to help the members 
achieve what is in the best interests of the foundation. I would hope 
that the OpenStack Foundation ends up having a similar MO - we can 
achieve more if we push the power to the edges, and have the central 
organisation be a good place to keep everyone informed about what's 
going on, provide leadership and direction, and providing resources.


Dave Neary - Community Action and Impact
Open Source and Standards, Red Hat - http://community.redhat.com
Ph: +33 9 50 71 55 62 / Cell: +33 6 77 01 92 13

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