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

Doug Hellmann doug.hellmann at dreamhost.com
Mon Nov 19 13:16:56 UTC 2012

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 5:40 AM, Dave Neary <dneary at redhat.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> On 11/18/2012 05:42 PM, Mark McLoughlin wrote:
> <snip>
>  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.


The Python Software Foundation is organized similarly around focused
committees with one member (not necessarily a board member) appointed by
the board to lead. For example, I served for 2 years as Communications
Director, building up a small group of people to help disseminate
foundation news through the blog, wiki, and mailing lists.


> Cheers,
> Dave.
> --
> 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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