Vice-President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation

Hi! Long time no see. My blog has been pretty quiet in recent months, in the big part due to my extended commitment on the GNOME Foundation‘s Board of Directors (for a second year without an executive director present to take some of the load) and the various business engagements I’ve had.

Generally speaking, this year was a bit less intense than the one before it (we didn’t have to worry about a legal battle with a giant corporation this time around!) although we did end up touching a fair amount of legal matters, such as trademark agreements. One big item we got cleared was the Ubuntu GNOME trademark agreement. We also welcomed businesses that wanted to sell GNOME-related merchandise, you can find them listed here—supporting them by purchasing GNOME-related items also supports the Foundation with a small percentage shared as royalties.

gnome 2016 merchandize - 1 gnome 2016 merchandize - 3 gnome 2016 merchandize - 4 gnome 2016 merchandize - 2

In the summer of 2015, I thought I’d take a break from my presidency from the year before, so I was pretty happy to have a new president and vice-president starting at GUADEC 2015 and me just being a regular board member. Some months later, Christian Hergert had to step down from his role as vice-president because he joined Red Hat, and the GNOME Foundation has a rule where the board of the directors cannot have more than two members (out of seven) from the same company/employer. I took over his role as vice-president then.

And so it went:

tails flying and supporting sonic
Pictured: me, helping Shaun tackle the big things. Sonic boom!

The board has done a lot of work in recent months. In addition to the legal agreements mentioned above, since my last report we’ve held 50 meetings (double the amount from last year; it seems bi-weekly meetings were not enough to cover all that we had to discuss!), over 2400 emails were exchanged on the board mailing list, and we wrote over 24,800 lines of discussion on our IRC channel.

When the 2016 elections came up I thought it was time to let new blood come in and participate. I needed to move on and focus on growing my own business that I have been neglecting for two years, anyway. As the new board came in, I have been gradually winding down (my role after the election and until GUADEC is mostly advisory, as I do not hold voting powers).

I am excited about the team that composes the new Board of Directors and I trust that they will do a great job. The GNOME Foundation always needs a team of experimented, positive and energetic people to come together to think, discuss and make decisions regarding the various challenges its faces. As I wrote during last year’s elections period:

For this to work, we need people that are what I call “powerhouses”, because the GNOME Foundation Board is an “active” board. This means great thinkers and proactive doers ready to deal with anything while being very capable in the board room.

The best metaphor I have for a healthy GNOME board is taken from role-playing games: a well-coordinated “level 45-70” party that will not be afraid to crawl dungeons together for a year. You need polyvalent classes just like you need specialists (analytic mages, “massive damage” knights, resourceful healers, quick & agile rangers, etc.).

So if this makes sense to anyone, I’m a hybrid mage-knight with a ton of HP/MP potions and phoenix feathers ;)

Party line-up, by Laikkuseia
Party line-up, by Laikkuseia

During the 2016 winter and spring, I have also been heavily involved in the engagement team to redesign the Annual Report and get it ready in time for GUADEC. I’ll bring it along with me in my luggage. Do you want a copy? Let me know by tomorrow (Sunday):

(note that I can also bring copies of last year’s report if you’d like to have them for your vintage collection)

I am looking forward to seeing all of you at GUADEC next week; don’t forget to register! And look forward to some very interesting news coming up from my side in the near future.

Jeff

Branding strategist and business developer, free & open-source software UX designer and experienced community manager. Has unlimited hi-HP potions to keep teammates alive.

You can check out my main website or find me on G+ or Twitter.

One Reply to “Vice-President’s Report — The State of the GNOME Foundation”

Comments are closed.