[OpenStack Foundation] Fwd: Re: [Foundation Board] propose 2015 board meeting dates

Tim Bell Tim.Bell at cern.ch
Tue Feb 24 19:41:23 UTC 2015

I would need a legal opinion on this but my understanding of the bylaws (Foundation's Bylaws<https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/Foundation/Bylaws>) text (on the request of an Individual Director, the Executive Director may advance the reasonable travel expenses associated with in-person attendance for at least one regular quarterly Board of Directors meeting each calendar year, including airfare, lodging, and meals) is that expenses for more than one meeting could be requested and approved by the executive director.

I think we should publicise this more as people should not feel that the costs of travel to the board meetings are a reason to not stand as an individual representative of the community on the board.

The face to face board meetings have been extremely productive in my opinion and I would wish to continue to attend them in person, as in New York and the future as budgets and other commitments allow.


From: Kavit Munshi [mailto:kavit at aptira.com]
Sent: 24 February 2015 20:22
To: Jesse Proudman
Cc: foundation at lists.openstack.org
Subject: Re: [OpenStack Foundation] Fwd: Re: [Foundation Board] propose 2015 board meeting dates

Hi Jesse,

 I agree that the board meetings are dull to watch. However, the point of a board visit is not having a bunch of foreigners say "aye" in a developing country. I'm pretty sure the British Navy did enough of that already.

Synchronising the meeting with the event allows the community to engage with the board in person. Here's the value prop:

`The Board walking the floor of the OpenStack India Day talking to people.`

The mere presence of the top echelon of the community that these people have chosen to join sends a message that the Foundation, the board and the OpenStack community is willing to buck the trend and reach out to those who are cutting a lot of the code and running a lot of the platforms.

Sure, the board doesn't pay travel costs for corporate board members, but hey, we can afford to send people around the world every now and then. The board SHOULD be paying all the travel and accommodation costs for individual members to attend board meetings(or perhaps those that aren't affiliated with a sponsor) because there's nothing less democratic excluding poor people from participating in government. Currently the board only pays for one such trip during the year.



Kavit Munshi

Aptira - Asia Pacific’s leading provider of OpenStack

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On 24 February 2015 at 08:32, Jesse Proudman <jproudman at blueboxcloud.com<mailto:jproudman at blueboxcloud.com>> wrote:
One factual correction: The Foundation's Bylaws<https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/Foundation/Bylaws> do actually have a provision to have the Foundation cover travel expenses for one of the in-person board meetings ( specific bylaw copy and pasted below).

4.18 Compensation of Directors. Directors shall not be entitled to compensation or reimbursement of expenses, except that on the request of an Individual Director, the Executive Director may advance the reasonable travel expenses associated with in-person attendance for at least one regular quarterly Board of Directors meeting each calendar year, including airfare, lodging, and meals. No such payment shall preclude any director from serving the Foundation in any other capacity and receiving compensation for such service except as limited by the Code of Conduct.

Jesse Proudman
Founder and CTO
Blue Box Group, Inc.
w. blueboxcloud.com<http://www.blueboxcloud.com/>
c. 206-778-8777

On Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 9:09 PM, Jesse Proudman <jproudman at bluebox.net<mailto:jproudman at bluebox.net>> wrote:

We went back and forth on this topic on Twitter today and I felt it worthwhile to follow up in more detail.

While I agree that Bangalore would have been a great venue and many folks on the board would have had a wonderful experience, it appears that the majority of the other 23 members didn't feel that experience outweighed the cost in time and monetary value it would take to achieve that. Unlike most corporate boards, the foundation does not pay travel expenses for its board members, which is something each member is aware of upon their petition for election. With that in mind, a majority decision here feels appropriate.

Having international exposure to the OpenStack foundation is important to the long term viability of of this project, the reality is that the board meetings themselves do not expose much value to the overall community. Coming from a community member and board observer who has witnessed almost every board meeting since Paris and plans to continue to do so through 2015, I can say that these meetings are predominantly procedural; mostly nuts and bolts. From what I've witnessed, the board meetings are void of debate. That doesn't make them irrelevant, but it does make me question your assertion that the Indian OpenStack Community would experience great benefit from having them on home soil.

Further, each board meeting is available for real time interaction digitally. Location ultimately doesn't matter for those whom truly have the desire to interact with the board.

I would turn your question back on its head and ask what strategic advantage does having the board meeting in India have over Austin?

Here are my suggestions for the foundation:

1. Treat the selection of venues in the same way you would treat any other board vote. Do it in the open and record the results.

2. Leave the board composition as it is. International companies can apply to be gold members and run in the Gold member election, or individual international members can run for the general election. I see nothing wrong with the affiliation bylaws relating to compensation and affiliation<https://wiki.openstack.org/wiki/Governance/Foundation/Bylaws#ARTICLE_IV._BOARD_OF_DIRECTORS>.

3. Continue to think about ways the board can foster international participation. The alternating summits has worked out well, and we're looking forward to Toyko, and the following summit after that.

- Jesse

Jesse Proudman
Founder and CTO
Blue Box Group, Inc.
w. blueboxcloud.com<http://www.blueboxcloud.com>
c. 206-778-8777<tel:206-778-8777>

On Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 12:01 PM, Tristan Goode <tristan at aptira.com<mailto:tristan at aptira.com>> wrote:
Hi Foundation list members,

Back in November last year on the secret board of directors mailing list, this discussion was had about where to hold the July face to face board meeting instead of just going back to OSCON for a fifth year. I suggested Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) for a few what I thought to be fairly compelling reasons listed below.

After precisely ZERO alternatives were offered on the list or anywhere at all, a secret ballot of the board was held in January and the alternatives of OSCON and Austin Texas appeared from nowhere against Bengaluru. Austin won.

Putting my personal disappointment with the rejection of what I, and others, thought a great idea, the method of how the decision came to be made has me deeply concerned at what the board has become. Our complete failure to adopt crucial transparency committee directives like ceasing to use the secret board mailing list, and now holding secret ballots with no community consultation, not even board discussion, and not even being able to declare decisions openly as grown ups, all just smells a bit off. I just hope this is a momentary lapse of reason, but I suspect not.

I also started to wonder about the leadership of the community that a decision like this shows. None. What possible strategic advantage does holding a board meeting in Austin have that holding it with hundreds if not thousands of excited Stackers in India has? It's has none, it's a plainly selfish decision by a group of people that felt it was better to take a maximum 3 hour plane flight to somewhere where they would probably still drink bottled water anyway. It's a lazy choice and if a board member made it because they're too busy to travel further, then get off the board because this board needs to travel more not less. Against this laziness, it really ok for the (4 I think) non US resident board members to take minimum 10 to 20 hour plane treks for every single meeting to date?

It also got me thinking about the international diversity of the board, or the lack of. The make up of our board does not come remotely close to reflecting the foundation membership. If it did we surely have a lot more persons from Asia in seats. Alongside some of the outrageously non inclusive components of our bylaws ($60Kpa paid to be affiliated with a company for example), this lack of diversity has to be fixed so our organisation is properly inclusive from the board up. Yes I said "board up", not "board down", because at this point in time I feel like the board is at the bottom of the organisation.

So yes it's hard to completely put my personal disappointment aside about this decision. It was hard to speak with the Indian event organisers who I kept forwarding the board emails to because they couldn't see the list "discussion", and nothing indicated an alternative strategy was emerging.

What to do? Ensure this never happens again. Get rid of the secret mailing list, no more secret ballots, own up to and be public with our decisions as members of this board.

Perhaps lets even run the process for selecting the July board meeting venue again, out in the open as it damn well should have been done to begin with.


Tristan @ Aptira from mobile.
Direct/mobile: +61 400 399 211<tel:+61%20400%20399%20211>

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