The Fedora Council met for an in-person FAD for three days from 26-28 March in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Almost the entire Council was able to attend. Josh Boyer, Brian Exelbierd, Robert Mayr, Matthew Miller, and Langdon White, were present, and unfortunately, Jan Kuřik and María Leandro could not make it. We chose Grand Rapids to accommodate one of the two members with travel challenges and to reduce overall travel costs for the rest of us.
We set a full agenda and managed to discuss the topics over the three full days.
Day 1 / 2: Developing a new mission statement
We spent the majority of the first and second days considering the current state of the project. We focused on “What we actually do; What we do well; What we say we do but don’t; and What we aspire to.” Using a variety of tools including SWOT analysis (that’s Strengths/Weaknesses/Opportunities/Threads) and Kellogg Logic Models, we carefully considered how the Fedora Project fits into the competitive landscape and how we can move forward achieving success while living our values. We considered scope, as well: what we should address directly and what we should enable by empowering others.
A key result of this is a proposed new mission statement for the Fedora Project, which will be shared, along with some detail on the thought behind it, in a follow-on post. These thoughts include alignment of our objectives and our budget to achieve this mission. This should also bring some clarity to our overall target audience.
The third day was focused on core decisions and processes for our community:
- We extended our focus on diversity and inclusion in order to increase our ability to attract a variety of thoughts to power our project. To that end we are going to empower the Diversity Advisor with some direct budget allocation to achieve this vision. In Fiscal Year 2017 we allocated $6,500 for Diversity and Inclusion, however 100% of that money was really to support an Outreachy intern. While this is a noble cause which the Council fully supports, we want to allow the Diversity and Inclusion group to use the budget to further their objective directly. Therefore, in Fiscal Year 2018 we are allocating $9,000 for Diversity and Inclusion. The Diversity Working Group under the guidance of the Diversity Advisor will need to decide how to best use these resources and whether we should continue to support Outreachy. Additional funds may be allocated as there is a need and good ideas.
- We gave some initial thoughts to the Code of Conduct. The Diversity Working Group has done a great job surfacing some needs related to this area and we are thankful for the work they have done. We have realized that after the Community Working Group shut down a few issues and challenges had gone unanswered. We, as the Council, will be taking this issue forward with an emphasis on an open and transparent process related to the Code of Conduct. We have some paths forward to explore and look forward to having an open conversation with the community .
- We had some great conversations about the signature events held by the project. We realized that some of the events haven’t necessarily been accomplishing their goals because they have been overly broad or no longer aligned with the realities of today. Therefore we are taking the following actions:
- We want to make sure that Flock is attended by as many contributors as possible from all around the world. We also recognize that we have to live within our budget and cannot afford to fully fund every person who would possibly attend. Therefore we are initially going to increase the Flock budget from the $75,000 it had in Fiscal Year 2017 to $85,000 in Fiscal Year 2018. This will allow for a few more funded attendees from regions that have traditionally not been well represented. However, we are also going to work on both the goals of the event and how it is funded overall. There will be a follow up post and discussion about these changes as we seek community input. We discussed the possibility of Flock rotating to APAC and LATAM as well as NA and EMEA, although that may be realistically limited by travel budget constraints.
- Additionally, we are not going to create a line-item budget for regional FUDCons. Instead, we are going to allocate budget for great ideas. We want to make sure the community has the freedom to create the outreach events we need, not just do the outreach events dictated by the budget. This doesn’t mean we won’t do regional events; instead we want to fund regional events that are clearly going to accomplish great things and be good uses of funds as well. This may even mean that we continue to support a FUDCon in some regions, if that turns out to be the great idea. Or, it may be another idea, like doing smaller but more frequent Fedora Meetups.
- Mindshare is the currency of our project. We aren’t in the sales business; we are in the ideas business. Last year FAmSCo started working on an outreach committee concept called FOSCo. For various reasons this didn’t happen. We recognize that FOSCo is only one way to achieve the larger goal of growing our mindshare. This year we have asked Robert Mayr to focus on this challenge and created the Mindshare Representative on the Council by changing the title of the seat set aside for FOSCo. Robert will be leading an open and transparent effort to help our project align around mindshare goals. To help him succeed we have allocated a budget of $9,000 so that he can drive forward with implementation. Additional funds can be allocated as there are needs and good ideas.
- Ambassadors are a key component of our project and our “feet on the ground.” We realize that the Mindshare position above will involve a lot of work with the existing Ambassadors group. However, we can’t make our Ambassadors wait for this to be solved. Therefore we allocated a full Quarter 1 budget for the ambassador regions. We based this allocation on one-fourth of the total annual spending from last year. The goal is to allow our Ambassador groups to be funded through the end of the conversation about our new mission. The new allocations replace the stop gap budget that was provided earlier. These are hard allocations that should not be exceeded. The Fiscal Year 2018 Quarter 1 budgets for the regions are: APAC $1,600; LATAM $1,300; EMEA $4,100; NA $4,250.
These are not budget cuts; they are a way of preserving flexibility. We want to preserve funding for any changes the ambassadors will want to make as they align around the new mission. We hope the ambassadors will give very careful thought before committing to any events after June 1 to ensure they will help us with our mission.
This post is being sent to both the Fedora CommBlog and the council-discuss mailing list. Please follow up with your comments in the mailing list thread here, as we don’t want to split the discussion.