How was the initial board was designated? I didn’t see it.
That's in the 3rd message I sent out :-) -- the fun one where you see the result of
how it played out.
[...] I’m not comfortable with the reference to “meritocracy” nor
with the insistence on corporate involvement.
I agree with you: meritocracy is too hard to define fairly, so it should just be an
informal way that some people choose to think about things. I'm an old experienced
person and I still find times in which I had totally missed how valuable someone's
I also agree on corporate involvement, and I had mentioned in passing that we should now
have that bit.
I would prefer that corporations donate money (and programmer time) to us without
attaching strings to it and without putting people in our administrative structure :-) On
the other hand I have no problem with people who work for interested companies being on
our board, as long as it's transparent. In early GNOME years we had candidates list
In any case, I'd suggest keeping formal corporate advisory positions out of an initial
charter, and maybe even out of our life forever.
There are also two open questions for the Assembly: do we want to be
“hosted” by an existing US fiscal sponsor? If not, in which
jurisdiction should the Assembly be incorporated?
I think we should have a governing structure before we pick a fiscal sponsor, just to
avoid the thought that the "initial hard working chaps" pushed that decision
The fiscal sponsor might then place some additional requirements on our charter.
Conservancy, for example, requires that there be a leadership committee of at least 3
people (which we would already have). I think we could adapt to most reasonable
suggestions, and might even sometimes find them useful.
When the time comes for fiscal sponsorship I would suggest that our board delegate some
board members (a "subcommittee" -- ouch! we are getting bereaucratic) who take
an interest in governance to "interview" a few of the possible fiscal sponsors.
Our community would prime that subcommittee with two lists of things to watch out for: (a)
general things we worry about in the fiscal sponsorship and legal rep. realm, and (b)
specific issues that worry us about that particular sponsor (i.e. insist that they clarify
misperceptions or real past problems).
I mention (b) in particular because I know that just about every org (including
Conservancy) has alienated someone in the past, and I think that it must be addressed and
PS: I will at various times disclose that I have been on Software Freedom
Conservancy's board since its founding, and have been chair of the board since that
position existed. This means that I have a conflict of interest every time I bring it up.
You might have noticed that when I mention Conservancy I try to do so as "one of a
few options". I think their staff and principles are great, but also quite human,
and they certainly evolve, but in a good way. Note that they replaced their founder and
long time executive director, putting him in more appropriate roles than management --
that's a nice proof of what we are trying to do here. Still, I think they should be
subjected to hardball questions before we consider entering into a relationship with them,
same as any other sponsor.