Regular meeting of the GNOME Foundation Board of Directors, 9th March 2022, 17:00 UTC



  • Acknowledge receipt of
    • Executive Committee Minutes
    • Finance Committee Minutes
    • Governance Committee Minutes
  • Approve the minutes of the January and February meetings
  • Approve the ED Job Description
  • Approve the role, salary range of the new Executive Director

Discussion Agenda

  • Executive Director's report
  • Thib's suggested new direction for programmes
  • The Governance committee suggests moving the board discussions to Matrix


  • Approve consent agenda
  • Thib's suggested new direction for programmes - discussion of questions asked on the board Discourse
    • [Note: Thib published the post after this input from board members at ]

    • How do we engage the community in coming up with work here that people would stand behind, and avoid the Foundation “bolting on” something that wouldn’t have the true backing / resonance of the community?
      • Privacy internships are a good example of something that didn't gain wider traction
      • It's a better start to say that we're building for GNOME. It's better to be able to go beyond and say what the wider benefits are
      • It wasn't clear how the Community Engagement Challenge benefited GNOME
      • We need a clear direction and engage with the design team to ensure that the solution integrates well with GNOME
    • Our quickest win is likely to be in finding state of the art tools for such async/decentralised work, and then integrating them into a GNOME image (GNOME OS? a module set / spec that partners like Silverblue, etc can also step up to?) with seamless UI integration
      • Hard to agree/disagree here, but an abstract point unless we know the use cases and users we're serving - the sentiment is that we need to integrate and re-use existing technologies
      • It could be interesting to think about this issue from the point of view of interoperating with eg phones and tablets rather than just desktops/laptops as they are more portable
    • Do we have an idea of who would build this if we received donations for it? Is this more GNOME Internships, or employing an established contributor?
      • Needs dedicated staff so we'd have a staff budget broken down into e.g. design, user experience, development, partnerships, deployments, etc.
      • We could research and sketch out projects before we do the fundraising
    • Same question for who would do the user research and design the UI. Would we need to have a PM-ish person on staff to oversee the project?
      • We did some work with Brooks Bell last year who did some user research work for us
      • We need to make sure design team are engaged in the process, including selecting contractors, so the work can be reviewed as appropriate
    • How might we ensure safety for users?
      • It's too early for us to answer this question as we don't know what we will be building and that will guide us
    • How might we avoid the perception of being the go-to software for abusive entities?
      • As above
    • How could we become that heavyweight adopter that gives momentum to initiatives like ban lists that make platforms safer?
      • As above
    • How might we avoid attracting, or being perceived as associated with, the more extreme sort of decentralization, like NFTs and DAOs?
      • We should be clear that we're not building for this use case
    • What are the next steps?
      • We could have a programme coordinator to pull this together once we have an audience or a hypothesis to start us off
      • Executive Committee can steer the effort
      • The feedback is that this should be fundable by existing and new donors
      • Exec committee to brainstorm what we need to move this forward
  • The Governance committee suggests moving the board discussions to Matrix
    • We are at an impasse after chat fragmentation discussions
    • Governance Committee has been using Matrix for a while with success
    • Some of us have had issues with notifications from Rocket not arriving
    • Concern was raised that the Matrix homeserver is not managed by GNOME - Thib is almost done with a proposal to address these issues
    • Where the board meets can be decoupled from the Foundation's chat infrastructure
    • Other projects use Matrix already
    • Thib to set up channel on Matrix and invite the board + support staff
  • Executive Director's report
    • Conference season is starting
      • Next is LAS on 29-30th April in Italy
      • We are accepting remote and in-person submissions
      • Looking for another keynote speaker
    • GUADEC -> change in venue/city

    • Annual report is being worked on and will be done before GUADEC
    • Release video is in progress as well
    • We have some hardware updates for our infrastructure, now arrived at the data centre
    • ED job description is going live
    • Flathub donation work is proceeding well on a technical front; the Stripe setup has raised questions around the legal entity, tax handling of donations, payments etc and moving those payments internationally, liability, etc. Consulting shortly with specialist US nonprofit accountants to work out the best set-up.

Exec Committee Minutes 2022-02-25

  • ED updates
    • FOSDEM occurred. Lacklustre stand turn-out, as expected. Virtual booths aren’t very engaging any more.
    • Evaluating 2021 fundraising drive.
    • Upcoming events:
      • LAS - April 29th-30th
      • GUADEC - dates & location announced

    • Sponsorship brochure
    • 25th Anniversary coming up
    • Annual report
    • Release video - storyboard review nowish
  • Flathub
    • Software side of processing donations etc progressing well - user/dev accounts, verifying apps, moving to Stripe integration
    • Many questions about legal structure, lliability, tax filings & compliance for potential transactions

  • Pam Chestek nominated as OSI board candidate
  • Bylaw changes
    • Neil following up with lawyer; original contact has moved on from the firm
  • This Month in the Foundation?
  • If time allows: discussion on a direction for some programmes
    • Decentralised software
    • Guardian project - achieves sustainability through grants for specific projects (eg data security
    • Focus on local collaboration without a server/service? For privacy / resilience.
    • (Possibly also - SOLID?)
    • ?

  • Finding grants to grow internships/newcomers programs
    • Paid mentors
    • Promote diversity

Finance committee minutes 2022-02-24

Attendees: Shaun, Rob, Rosanna, Neil

  • New reserves policy approved, updated on foundation wiki
  • Get a number of how much we have to spend with new reserves policy
  • Do we want to change the initiatives (classes) in the accounts to make it easier to estimate the available reserves?
  • Books are now fully on Quickbooks starting Oct 2021.
  • Still need to prep taxes for last fiscal year, have to get it from Odoo for FY21.
  • Reviewed 990 process and mission statement purposes

Governance committee meeting, 23 February 2022

Attending: Felipe, Kat, Philip, Thib

Regrets: Regina

  • Evaluation of previous board meeting. Not everything went smoothly. For the future, we'll compose a meeting preparation checklist to make it easier for the vice-chair to prepare when the chair is not available.
  • Discussion about the Board migrating its communications to Matrix. Kat and Thib abstain from the discussion.

FoundationBoard/Minutes/20220309 (last edited 2022-05-02 01:35:44 by PhilipChimento)