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





  • LAS bid


  • LAS bid
    • Nuritzi: Aleix Pol is a member of the board of directors of KDE. He met up with Nuritzi and other GNOME members at LAS last year which is where they started discussing a jointly organized LAS. We will go over the bid ( Aleix is here to help answer any questions, and has been the one working most directly with the local team.

      • Philip: Note that due to vacation I haven't had a chance to read the bid yet.
    • Nuritzi: Relative to the dates mentioned in the bid, the conference has now been moved one week earlier, to November 12–14, with the BOF day on November 15, because of a QT contributors conference in Berlin on the original dates, that the organizers weren't aware of.
    • Aleix: The venue is a community hub available until 6 PM. We are considering having one track for the conferences. Admission costs are still up for discussion, we are considering charging for admission. Video recording is available via the local free software organization although it could be scaled up or down.
    • Nuritzi: The fee for the venue varies depending on whether we charge for admission. We have been considering charging because in previous editions of LAS where we didn't charge, people signed up and didn't show, and when we did charge, about the same number of people showed. Options for video recording are to rent a camera for EUR 200 or on the other end to have someone come in and record all the talks professionally which would be EUR 3000. The amount we could spend on refreshments also varies, since the conference has a corporate tone we are considering spending more. We have a budget for attendance (speakers, etc.) and above that a travel sponsorship budget. The travel sponsorship budget should be a bit higher due to the new GNOME travel policy and because we want a media presence and are considering sponsoring media members to attend.
    • Philip: What's the relation between the budget in the bid PDF and the one in the spreadsheet?
      • Nuritzi: The one in the PDF is submitted by the local team making the bid, and the one in the spreadsheet is an expanded version of it from the LAS team including things like travel sponsorship.
    • Allan: What is the commitment you are looking for at this point?
      • Aleix: We would like to know whether to move forward, so this is the chance to ask questions and clear up any doubts. We think that approving a budget will help move things forward.
      • Allan: Are you looking for us to approve a certain figure?
      • Nuritzi: Yes, the budget includes a figure that each organization commits to sponsoring.
      • Allan: From a Foundation point of view I would like to have clarity about the amounts of money we are committing to.
      • Nuritzi: Expenditure is linked to the fundraising in bands. Initially, both GNOME and KDE are committing to meet 50% of the "expected" sponsorship income, unless there is a common sponsor (e.g. OpenSUSE) who normally sponsors both organisations, whose sponsorship would reduce the overall amount (i.e. the commitment from both halves equally). As each fundraising level is exceeded (low, expected, high) the expenditure limit is raised to the next level, so the maximum approved / possible overspend is limited.
    • Tristan: As I understand, there is no precedent for a co-organized conference with a concept of shared sponsorship?
      • Aleix: The desktop summit was a precedent for this, although I wasn't around at the time.
      • Nuritzi: On this topic, we had reached an agreement with the previous board on how the shared sponsorship would work.
    • Tristan: How does the shared fundraising work logistically?
      • Nuritzi: Once both organizations commit, Neil will be able to start fundraising. Foundation staff will be involved with keeping track of the funds.
      • Allan: We need a formula for when funds will be released.
    • Nuritzi: The next step after approving would be to announce the dates and the location. Last time we did a blog post from both GNOME and KDE. We are hoping to do this as soon as possible, because last time we received the feedback that there were a number of app-related organizations wanting to attend but didn't have enough time to plan their attendance.
    • Carlos: How do we separate out GNOME travel sponsorees from KDE travel sponsorees? Membership of which foundation?
      • Aleix: GNOME should be able to sponsor who they want without asking permission from KDE and vice versa.
      • Carlos: I'm also considering those who aren't members of the GNOME Foundation but might be sponsored anyway, I assume KDE has similar contributors. Would they go into the shared budget?
        • Aleix: I suggest that the LAS organizers decide who goes into the shared travel budget.
      • Rob: Who has authority over the shared travel budget? If the LAS organizers, do you have a policy for who would be sponsored with that money?
        • Aleix: GNOME and KDE should decide who they want to sponsor from their parts of the travel budget. For the shared funds, we will have to have a conference-specific metric.
      • Philip: The EUR 6000–8000 figure is the shared travel budget? Is the sponsorship commitment including the EUR 5000 each from GNOME and KDE?
        • Nuritzi: Correct.
    • [ Aleix leaves ]
    • Nuritzi: Is this something you would feel comfortable voting on now?
      • Tristan: I don't have experience reviewing conference bids, but I feel it's an event worth supporting.
      • Allan: I would also like to support the event but if we were to vote now, I feel that I wouldn't understand what I would be voting on financially. I would like to see a clearer formula of what we are committing to.
    • Allan: What happens if we are unable to meet the sponsorship commitment? Do we have to pay that money to LAS anyway? Normally our events spend up to the amount of raised funds and cannot make a loss unless we approve it.
    • Allan: Are we transferring the raised sponsorship to another organization? Are we authorizing someone within the Foundation to spend that money?
      • Nuritzi: If the conference is in Europe, it makes the most sense for KDE to be the entity paying the invoices and such.
      • Rosanna: Does KDE (a German organization) have nonprofit status in Spain? We will have to look into this. We need a local organization that is a nonprofit to send the funds to.
    • Allan: Are we basically voting to transfer EUR 13350 to KDE? That would be a valid question but it needs to be clear.
      • Nuritzi: In any case it would be EUR 8350 because the EUR 5000 of travel sponsorship wouldn't be spent if the conference couldn't be organized.
    • Rob: I agree, the relationship between income and expenses should be clearer. One idea would be to approve the lowest level and when more funds are raised, approve expenditure up to the amount of the raised funds. Effectively that would be approving a float of a few thousand euros and the float always sits on top of the raised funds.
      • Allan: We would need a reciprocal agreement from KDE to do that.
      • Carlos: This seems like a blocker to voting on the budget.
      • Rob: We could include these conditions in the vote.
    • Allan: I would like the bid we vote on to include other things such as an accounting at the end of the conference, code of conduct, etc.
      • Rob: A version of the Contributor Covenant is included in the joint document and on the conference website.
    • Nuritzi: If it were to be a conditional vote as Rob describes, would you be able to vote today? We are trying to make the announcement of the location and dates as soon as possible, and that is blocked on this.
      • Carlos: A vote today means going ahead with the conference.
      • Allan: The situation we don't want, would be to announce LAS and then find out we don't have a suitable local organization.
      • Nuritzi: On the other hand, the risk is announcing it too late for some companies to join.
      • Tristan: Are we able to commit human resources into the necessary investigations regarding these blockers to our vote, and, Are we sure this is going to be possible by next week?
      • We decide to leave the vote until next time, pending certain requirements that we will work with the LAS team to list out.

Deferred until next time:

  • Officer elections
  • Approve minutes of July 8

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20190715 (last edited 2019-07-24 04:02:40 by PhilipChimento)