[OpenStack Foundation] Board Meeting - October 15th

Tristan Goode tristan at aptira.com
Sun Oct 14 00:11:08 UTC 2012

There's been many interesting ideas raised on this list about the individual member elections, and I've proposed to Alan and Jonathan that there be some discussion at the Board meeting.

Lloyd's suggestion that the 2 affiliate rule become 1 affiliate is worth considering because there are so many other individuals and companies involved with OpenStack. This might also mature the Foundation by moving the concentration of representation from the founding community towards a wider community. Like a child growing up and spreading its wings, seeking to make its own way in the world,  OpenStack is ready for new associations.
Soren's suggestions are innovative, for example, not being able to vote for your own company. With his other suggestion in mind, perhaps in addition to platinum, even gold member companies with a seat could be excluded.

Discussion of the voting of the companies with many members is always going to be a delicate issue. De facto, this can become an unintentional 'crowding out' such that the result is not truly representative of the wider constituency. Is this what we all want to see? I think not.

Further ideas are the imposition of qualification for membership; or a membership fee (scaled to not exclude developing nations). 

Mark's suggestions that we learn from others like GNOME, the membership committee, and several people have raised members making a public statement, more worthwhile considerations?

There are likely other suggestions that I've missed in these busy past few weeks.

As the reach of OpenStack extends across the globe, (I see how many more international user groups there are now since the Australian user group started a year ago), it's going to become important to have a good international representation on the Board. Also, and perhaps more imperative, is that we take the summits and meetings on the road.

Presently, by my calculation, of the 24 (Members??) there's 5 of us from countries outside the US, 4 individuals and 1 gold. This is not really representative of the emerging community.

National elections in Germany, New Zealand and other countries have moved away from the "first past the post" system that exists now in the Foundation due to identified inadequacies in proper representation. Adoption of a more democratic scheme of election there has not caused the sky to fall on their heads.

The ideal goal of an election is that it is truly representative.


Not on this topic but while we're discussing the internationalisation of Openstack, @mikal suggested a great idea to me yesterday. A sponsored travel program could be introduced for people whose location is more remote and who are significantly contributing to code. They may be independent or perhaps work for companies that cannot, or will not, send them to summits.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Soren Hansen [mailto:soren at linux2go.dk]
> Sent: Friday, 12 October 2012 12:10 AM
> To: Christopher B Ferris
> Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org; Vincent Untz
> Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] Board Meeting - October 15th
> 2012/10/11 Christopher B Ferris <chrisfer at us.ibm.com>:
> > I'd like to see OpenStack Foundation adopt a policy it should have
> > adopted at the outset. Limit Board representation to a single
> > individual from an affiliated entity, period.
> I think this would be a grave mistake.
> If every single member of the community wanted the same two specific individuals
> to be on the board, but they just happened to work for the same company, why
> should that exclude one of them? This is a theoretical situation, of course, but it
> demonstrates the point:
> The goal shouldn't be to limit who gets elected. The goal is to prevent a company
> from unduly affecting the results of the election. These are orthogonal concerns.
> They only align somewhat under the assumption that employees of a particular
> company only vote for candidates from their own company and that noone outside
> said company votes for them.
> If the community in general (i.e. not just those affiliated with a particular company)
> find that some people are the best fits for the board, those are the ones we should
> have on the board. So what if they part of the same organisation?
> It's not hard to imagine discussions where the two opposing positions were
> favourable to corporate contributors and favourable to individual contributors,
> respectively. The one-individual-per-company policy does absolutely nothing to
> prevent large companies to fill the board with individuals favourable to their goals.
> Condorcet or STV would both be vast improvements over the current election
> system, but if we're really concerned that large companies excert too influence, why
> don't we limit the number of voters?
> What if employees of platinum members couldn't vote at all? They already have a
> representative on the board.
> What if we weren't allowed to vote for people from our own company?
> What if we flipped the vote upside down and instead of electing the people who gets
> the most votes *for* them, we elect the people with the least votes *against* them?
> There are plenty of options that haven't been explored at all here.
> --
> Soren Hansen             | http://linux2go.dk/
> Senior Software Engineer | http://www.cisco.com/
> Ubuntu Developer         | http://www.ubuntu.com/
> OpenStack Developer      | http://www.openstack.org/
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