[okfn-discuss] Governance and structure of the Open Knowledge Foundation and its activities
luis.villa at gmail.com
Tue Nov 24 18:20:02 GMT 2009
On Wed, Nov 18, 2009 at 8:13 AM, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> I know many people find goverance/structure stuff a bit dull but
> please don't be put off -- this is important stuff if you're
> interested in the OKF and its activities!
> The OKF has had a governance document from the inception:
> However, due to our small size much of what has been in there has been
> implemented informally rather than formally. It is now time be a bit
> more formal in how we organize the community. Not only is this
> important in itself but it should also provide greater clarity as to
> what is going on, who is involved etc.
> The proposed setup is as follows:
> 1. There are "Network Members" of the OKF. Anyone may become a network
> member but membership must be approved by the Projects Committee (see
> next item). In general, Network Members are expected to be actively
> involved in one or more projects or working groups.
> 2. There is a Projects Committee which is elected by Network Members
> from among the Network Members on an annual basis. It deals with all
> project and working group related matters including incubating,
> approving, retiring project and working groups, monitoring their
> progress, etc.
> 3. The Project Committee has regular monthly meetings via irc, e.g. on
> the second Tuesday of every month.
> 4. To bootstrap this process the Board will appoint an initial set of
> Network Members and a Projects Committee. All current working group
> and project members will be automatically be invited to become network
> What do people think? What is good/bad, in need of amendment or clarification?
I guess I'd question the underlying assumption:
> ## Background to this
> Discussion over the summer indicated that clearer structure and
> governance is needed, see:
My recollection of the discussion was that clearer structure was
definitely needed, but not necessarily governance. Governance of this
sort can be helpful if there is a lack of decision-making capability,
but as far as I can see the problem here is lack of bodies/resources,
not lack of decision-making capability. In fact, heavyweight
governance structures can be a significant drain on time/resources-
GNOME has long had a problem where the best and brightest get sucked
into doing board work and find they have much less time for the
important work of actually building software.
This is not to absolutely rail against more governance, but just to
make sure that you're separating the need for more clear structure
(definitely necessary) from the need for more governance (not clearly
necessary to me.)
P.S. Sorry our ships passed when I was in the UK; I will have to find
another excuse to make it out there some time. :)
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