Foundation Board Minutes for Monday 17th June 2019, 15:30 UTC



  • Travel approval - OSCON and West Coast Hackfest
  • Diversity & inclusion initiatives and Foundation events

  • Status of
  • Status of travel committee
  • GNOME's values (email from Sam Hewitt)
  • Guidelines for meeting minutes and confidentiality
  • Further define GNOME Foundation Staff's role


  • Travel approval - OSCON and West Coast Hackfest
    • Neil: GNOME have a booth at OSCON. It's more of a corporate conference rather than one of our traditional ones. The West Coast Hackfest ( is on after that, which comprises a couple of workshop days (engagement, documentation and GTK). The available accommodation is unfortunately out of policy, the cheapest sensible option is about USD 190 per night, so the board will have to approve an exception to the per-diem.

    • Why is the accommodation out of policy?
      • Neil: There are a few areas where the US Department of State per-diem guidelines, on which the Foundation travel policy is based, don't fit well with our needs, for example because they are based on being able to receive a government rate.
    • VOTE: Approve Neil's trip to OSCON and the West Coast Hackfest, with a waiver of the per-diem for the hotel cost.

      • +1 Nuritzi, Carlos, Allan, Kat, Philip
      • Vote passes unanimously. Note: Rob had not arrived yet.

[ Rob arrives ]

  • Diversity & inclusion initiatives and Foundation events


    • Nuritzi: The enagement team has started a group of people who are interested in the topic and have discussed potential initiatives. With GUADEC coming up, it would be good to foster initiatives that promote inclusion and diversity at the conference (for example, opportunity grants.)
    • GUADEC would be an ideal location for training on how to communicate in ways that promote inclusion and help us create a stronger community.
    • Creating an inclusive environment starts at the top, so the board should lead the initaitive.
    • Possible ideas include travel bursaries outside the usual scope.
      • Wording would need to be important as we are not a grantmaking organisation
    • If we had opportunity/inclusion funding or workshop funding, then we would be showing that we're doing what we say we want to.
    • Much more scope for discussion here, we need to put together some numbers to assess.
    • Would be good to have more research into what make a meaningful impact and guidelines for how to run the initiatives.
    • The interest group can come up with more specific proposals to bring to the board.
    • Two of the people in the interest group are staff members, the board should talk to Neil to figure out if this is a priority for staff.
    • Nuritzi: This initiative is important for goals relating to a diverse community, and that would be the object of investing more resources.
      • Carlos: This fits with the discussions that we need to have about the Foundation's goals, to figure out where this fits in our priority scale.
      • Rob: At the hackfest we talked about having a stronger community in terms of contributor base, so this fits with our high level goals.
  • Status of
    • Neil: I have talked to the advisory board, and there was a positive response to the discussion. We are looking at a couple of options for GUADEC to help us progress and improve on the situation.
    • Nuritzi: Last week the board wanted to have something public which shows that this is being looked at.
    • Neil: We need to have a clear goal for any public communication: who it is aimed at and what it wants to communicate.
      • Nuritzi: Our goal with a public communication would be to confirm that we do see the issue as an important topic, and facilitate further discussion.
    • We need to find a good approach to progress the issue (possibly a hackfest or something else).
    • Nuritzi: How should the Foundation be involved in facilitating discussions like these? Should the board be involved? Or staff?
      • Neil: This is within the ED's remit.
    • ACTION: Neil to contact the key individuals and facilitate a discussion.

  • Status of travel committee
    • Philip: We should be on the last round of feedback on the updated travel policy from new committee members. We need to know which speakers will be accepted, in order to be ready for incoming travel requests. The committee has contacted the GUADEC papers committee. The three new members are very engaged; things are on the right track. There are already a few sponsorship requests for GUADEC trickling in.
  • GNOME's values (email from Sam Hewitt)
    • Sam Hewitt sent an email to the board mailing list asking to formalize GNOME's values.
    • One of Sam's points is that he thinks that stating GNOME's values would be good for the project, but he (and presumably other community members) don't feel that it's their place to set them out.
    • Nuritzi: How should the board be involved? It seems to me that since the board is defining goals for the foundation, we should be doing that by operating within guiding principles/values. So the board should be involved in creating these.
    • Allan: Lots of organizations have a mission statement which combines goals and values.
    • Neil: There's a distinction to be made between a mission statement for the Foundation and one for the wider project. I suspect that what is being discussed here is the latter.
    • Philip: Is it the board of directors' job to define the project's values? Some community members might agree with us leading that effort, but others will likely disagree. It would be great if we could facilitate this, but the values need to come from the community.
    • Nuritzi: I think that it does have to include the community. It's not a dictatorship, where we come up with values.
    • Rob: We have to find something that works for everyone, and we need input from the community. You have to consult with people to make sure we include things that actually matter to the community. It's very worthwhile to facilitate. This is not something for the current board to take up, since it only has a week left.
    • Nuritzi: Could we have something about this at the annual meeting, or somehow use GUADEC as a place for further discussion and action on this?
    • Rob: Do we have a GitLab issue for this? If not, we should. We should open one to help facilitate.

    • Allan: Who the mission statement is for is an important question: is it for the GNOME community, as a way to set direction and priorities, or is it more intended as a marketing tool? This could determine who should take the lead: is it an engagement team thing, or board thing?
    • Nuritzi: It could be an Engagement thing, but the team may lack people power to push it forward, so the benefit of the board taking it on would just be more immediacy.
    • Allan: It would be important to set up an effective process, but there are established conventions for doing this, and it needn't be difficult.
    • ACTION: Nuritzi to reach out to Sam and invite him to the next Engagement team meeting in case he wants to pitch the idea.

    • ACTION: Allan to open a GitLab issue for the board so they can keep this in mind, and potentially help facilitate

Deferred until next meeting:


  • Neil - Contact the key individuals involved in in order to start facilitating a discussion.

  • Nuritzi - Invite Sam Hewitt to the next engagement team meeting to pitch the idea of creating a list of GNOME values.

  • Allan - Open a GitLab issue for the board to keep GNOME values in mind and help facilitate. -

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20190617 (last edited 2019-07-08 22:22:04 by PhilipChimento)