Foundation Board Minutes for Tue, November 15th 2016, 17:00 UTC

Next meeting date November 22th 2016, 17:00 UTC



  • Cosimo Cecchi
  • Allan Day
  • Alexandre Franke
  • Rosanna Yuen
  • Nuritzi Sanchez
  • Meg Ford
  • Shaun McCance

  • Jim Hall



Agenda for 2016-11-15

  • GUADEC venue and accommodation contract
    • Venue hire is set to be £7,272/$9,090 (see latest spreadsheet mailed by Allan for details). This is within the scope of the anticipated budget that accompanied the conference bid.
    • University provided accommodation requires advance payment. Current plan is to provide some places through this option. Advance cost comes to £24,883.20/$31,104.00.
    • 25% of venue cost must be paid by end of November. 40% of accommodation cost. Further installments required next year.
  • GUADEC bank account
    • Who should hold the money in the UK?
      • Local organisers haven't found an organisation that can handle funds on their behalf and are planning on creating an "unincorporation association"
      • Can be invoiced but can't enter into legal agreements or contracts. Trustees would be liable
    • We need a name and address to go on the contract - whose should it be?
  • Pitivi contract
    • What are our next steps? Contract the lawyer to draw up the contract?
  • Flathub/Flatpak Store outreach


  • GUADEC venue and accommodation contract, and bank account
    • GUADEC team need to sign contract for venue and accommodation by the end of the month
    • We're nearly in a position to sign, only a couple of issues left to resolve -- but time is short
    • Financially, venue is about 7300 GBP (includes staffing and rooms). Does not include refreshments.
      • We're not sure if it includes WiFi -- initially it was a separate line item of about 200 GBP/day

      • ACTION: Allan to forward this question to Sam
      • RESOLVED: WiFi codes are no longer needed

    • The other side of this is accommodation, which is a lot more money
      • The venue comes with the possibility of hiring accommodation in "town houses", booked by the house
      • It's a great location, very convenient and with a great rate
      • We need to decide on the number quite quickly, and there's no flexibility. In other words, we need to book them in advance and we have to book them for a specific time period
      • Plan is to meet some of the accommodation requirements through this solution, and then have hotels for the rest of participants
        • This way we only commit and book the houses we feel confident filling up
        • The houses will be available on a first-come-first-served basis
      • Cost to be paid in advance for the accommodation is about 25k GBP (about $31k)
        • We're unsure whether this has been done before
      • Hotel accommodation is in very high demand in Manchester during the summer season
        • We should prepare in advance accommodation for attendees so that we're not caught off-guard at the last minute
    • To handle money, organizers are planning to create a bank account owned by their "unincorporated organization"
      • They would not be able to sign contracts, for which they would need help and support from the Foundation
      • People that are responsible for the organization may be liable
        • Does our insurance policy cover such liability?
          • ACTION: Rosanna is finding out
    • Sam Thursfield from the organizing team joins the meeting
      • WiFi codes are included as part of the venue sum -- no need to pay separately for that

      • Codethink are happy to advance their sponsorship money to help with the accommodation/venue booking
        • The bank account must be opened before this can happen
      • Confident we could get ~100 people in the townhouses
        • Incovenience is that we need to pay in advance and confirm exact numbers by March
        • What happens if we pay for the rooms and they don't get occupied?
          • We would lose money
          • We should only move forward if we're confident we would fill them up
          • One way forward would be to just discard this option and book hotels
            • There's no single hotel nearby that could host all the participants
          • Another way forward would be to book a lower number of townhouses and be more conservative
            • For instance 72 beds for core days / 36 beds for other days
        • Does make sense to book low-cost accommodation now since those will fill up quickly, and there are always more expensive options available later for those who want it
        • Logistically, do we have everything we need to put the townhouse as an option in the registration form?
          • Maybe being optimistic, but this sounds doable together with the rest of the website, and Sam has this on his TODO list to look into
      • Rosanna: we have a certificate of liability for GUADEC as part of our insurance policy
        • ACTION: Rosanna to send an email to the insurance company to find out the limits of the insurance, and whether it applies to an event in the UK
      • With regards to establishing a bank account, what about overdraft and accounting
        • Accounting should not be an issue, we can disable overdraft from the bank account
      • Sam leaves the meeting
    • We should let the organizers know if they can go ahead and finalize the contracts
      • Venue amount generally sounds uncontroversial
      • For accommodation, do we feel comfortable booking the townhouses, and if so, how many beds?
        • There is not a lot of flexibility in terms of how the bookings can be arranged, because the houses are booked for fixed periods of time that may not coincide with the time each attendee stays there
          • It could be difficult logistically to organize this
        • We could also book a number of houses for the whole duration of the conference, and ask people to pay by the day
        • General sentiment that we should trust the local organizer's recommendation
          • We'd have until March to change the booking either way
      • About the bank account, the other option would be look for another local organization to handle the money
        • We should get a recommendation from our treasurer about this topic
      • ACTION: Allan to get back to Sam about what we discussed here, and to Ekaterina about the bank account
  • Flathub/Flatpak Store outreach
    • Allan sent an email to the AdBoard about the work we're planning to do for Flathub and Flatpak Store but we haven't heard any feedback

    • Next step would be to reach out to other organizations
      • KDE foundation
      • Document foundation
    • Allan can draft an email and run it past the board, should we go ahead with this?
    • We can ping the AdBoard again, not needed to block on them if we don't hear within a week or two

      • It may help to highlight specific asks for the AdBoard if we expect feedback

    • ACTION: Allan to send a reminder highlighting the sections in most need of feedback


This section includes items which have seen an update in the last 30 days. Format is "YYYY-MM-DD, action|discussion|abstract" for this and subsequent minutes sections

  • GUADEC venue and accommodation contract, and bank account
    • 2016-11-16
      • ACTION: Rosanna to find out if our insurance covers any liability for the organizers, find out the limits of our policy and whether it applies for an UK event
      • ACTION: Allan to get back to Sam about the GUADEC contract, and to Ekaterina about the UK bank account
  • Flatpak store
    • 2016-08-30
      • There's an idea of a central store where people can upload Flatpak apps, and users would get it from the store, rather than getting it from the distribution
      • The Board voted to get behind this project officially, and give Allan permission to reach out to other organizations on our behalf
    • 2016-09-06 - Allan has had some initial conversations with the Flatpak team. Next step is to check in with the sysadmin team (still not done).
    • 2016-09-13 - Allan has checked in with the sysadmins and they think there's capacity to get started. Next step is to reach out to partners.
    • 2016-11-16
      • Allan sent an email to the AdBoard about the outreach work we're planning to do for Flathub and Flatpak Store and is looking for feedback

  • ED search update
    • 2016-08-10, The search is still ongoing
    • 2016-11-08
      • The ED search committee identified qualified candidates and presented them to the Board.
      • The Board is in advanced stages of the process.
  • Google Play account
    • 2016-09-27
    • 2016-10-04
      • Payment is authorized
      • ACTION: Rosanna to make the payment and follow up with Ankit
    • 2016-10-18
      • Rosanna is waiting for Ankit to reply about the gmail account
    • 2016-11-01
      • Board is discussing who should have access to the credit card associated to the account
  • Privacy campaign funds
    • 2016-09-27
      • Draft is out for the Board to review and give feedback
      • ACTION: Cosimo to try and form a committee to review internship proposals
    • 2016-10-26
      • We are aiming for an internship round in spring 2017
  • Bitcoins donations data
    • 2016-08-10
      • Board voted to shut down the account, since we can't report those as donations. Bitcoin does not allow to trace the sender, which is required to report the donations to the IRS
      • ACTION: Rosanna to shut down the account
      • ACTION: Allan to remove the option from our website

Ongoing but stalled

This section includes items which haven't seen an update in the last 30 days.

  • Owncloud shared calendar for the board
  • Conference sponsorships
    • 2016-08-10
      • ACTION: Kat to make sure that a sponsorship brochure with all conference, levels, combinations and perks is available for the Board to review
    • 2016-09-06
      • ACTION: Nuritzi to get in touch with Kat about this
  • Money raised for defense against Groupon
    • Kat to draft a call for Free Desktop-style hackfests which would be sponsored with money raised for defence against Groupon
    • 2016-09-06
      • We probably don't want to track exactly this money flow, but the initiatives that the Board has been pursuing (Flatpak, LAS GNOME) are good fits for the original intent this money was kept for
      • We can consider making a PR or some other form of announcement about how we're currently making use of this money
  • Paypal Giving Fund
    • Alexandre suggested in december 2015 to get us enrolled in the program
      • That would give us exposure. For example Humble bundle allows to direct the charity part of purchases towards any of their participants
    • Zana tried to get us in sometime before may 2016, we never heard back.
    • 2016-09-06
      • ACTION: Zana to look into it.
  • From the mailing list - "support my volunteer program" (Allan)
    • 2016-08-30
      • There's very little information in the message, unclear how they're related to GNOME
      • ACTION: Shaun to reply asking for more information
  • Google ad grant
    • 2016-08-10
      • ACTION: Shaun will pick this up again and try to register us into the program when he's back in the US
      • The actual ad campaigns would probably need to be managed by the Engagement/Marketing team
      • ACTION: Nuritzi to discuss with the Engagement Team and let the board know if they want to start using Google ad
  • Sysadmin fundraising levels and perks
    • 2016-08-10, ACTION: Nuritzi to take on this project and figure out what it entails
  • Web page for prior pants winners
    • 2016-08-10, ACTION: Shaun and Allan to add the web page
  • Status of logo copyright
    • 2015-12-01, ACTION: Shaun to send out email to d-d-l with proposal
    • 2015-12-08 to 2016-01-19, No updates.
    • 2016-02-02, Shaun will try to pick it up this week
    • 2016-08-10, ACTION: Shaun will send a proposal to licence the asset with dual LGPLv3/CC-BY-SA-4.0 (similar to adwaita-icon-theme)
  • Friends of GNOME
    • 2016-04-11, ACTION: Alexandre to request more information about the donation data from the European donations system (Wau Holland Stiftung Foundation)
    • 2016-08-10
      • ACTION: Allan to get in touch with Tobi and the sysadmin team to migrate the FoG infrastructure over to GNOME

Ongoing but no director assigned

This section includes items which haven't seen an update in the last 30 days and have no Director assigned

Nice to have

This section includes items which we would love to see happen at some point but lack the time to effectively become reality

  • Contract template for future use organizations for which we handle money
    • Kat to draft this
  • Privacy policy for GNOME services
    • Current draft is at

    • Sysadmin Team's NDA should also be covered when dealing with this item
    • Kat or Allan to write up the policy
    • Kat or Allan to write up recommended wording for distribution privacy policies, regarding the behaviour of GNOME software
  • Photography policy for GNOME conferences
    • Proposal needs to be drafted and sent to foundation list for discussion
    • Should probably be addressed at the same time as a standardised code of conduct

Discussed on the mailing list

Completed actions

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20161115 (last edited 2016-11-23 22:44:53 by CosimoCecchi)