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[board-discuss] Candidacy for a BoD seat: Thorsten Behrens


Dear Community, Members of the TDF, and Membership Committee,

I'd hereby like to state that I'll be running again for a Board of
Directors seat with The Document Foundation.

My full name is Thorsten Behrens, as of today I'm 41 years old, and a
father of three boys. Together with my wonderful wife & fellow
LibreOffice hacker Bubli, we live in Hamburg, Germany. Since earlier
this year, I'm working for CIB software, leading a growing team of
LibreOffice developers & building a business around it.

My work with the project and codebase started in 2001 (with the former
OpenOffice.org community), which we then jointly took and founded TDF
& LibreOffice with in 2010. Since then, I was serving in various
roles, including my current one in the Board of Directors. Since 2008
(with a brief hiatus in 2014), I'm also a member of the OASIS ODF
technical committee.

Why am I running?

While TDF and LibreOffice have grown beyond at least my wildest dreams
in the past five years, having positioned itself firmly as *the* Free
Software office suite, and proven its portability into the mobile and
cloud space - the challenge now is to keep momentum and focus, not
become too complacent about things achieved, and above all keep this a
friendly, fun, and welcoming place for the diverse set of people our
community is comprised of.

I'd like to offer my continued help, going after the above.

More specifically, I have an interest in (and am perhaps not too bad
at) the following topics:

* striving for consensus. Not at all cost, but I've tried very hard to
  have virtually every board decision of this period be unanimous.
* long-term over short-term. That includes financial soundness. TDF is
  here to stay, but it has grown to a size where a certain base
  operations funding is needed even without one-off projects. I'm
  advocating to secure that for several years.
* openness. While necessities of labour & data protection laws, as
  well as occasional contractual obligations, make it hard to have
  every minute detail of TDF operations publicized, I'm still pushing
  to have as much as possible in the open. An example of that are the
  monthly ledgers [1].
* integrity. Another topic I'm rather passionate about is preventing
  unfair advantages: the board has a conflict of interest policy that
  excludes directors from decision-making on items they might benefit
  from; TDF now also has an established process to award contracts via
  an open tendering, allowing everyone to apply.
* diversity & meritocracy. Community and membership are amazingly
  diverse, still certain areas of the project (and their
  decision-making bodies) could benefit from a bit of extra plurality.
  I'd like to push that a bit further along - not by mandate, but by
  encouragement.

Beyond that, I'm full of ideas (from playing with an Emscripten port
of LibreOffice, to fostering an ecosystem of extension & application
providers around the core office suite) - but I'd prefer pursuing
those things as an individual rather than top-down from the board.

I'll follow-up to Charles' questions separately; and of course happy
to answer any additional questions anyone of you might have!

75 words candidacy statement:

I'm leading a team of LibreOffice developers at CIB, and am a
long-time TDF contributor to both code and organisation. Serving in
the current board as chairman, I'd love to offer my continued help to
push things even further for the next two years. Things I promise to
do: having eyes and ears open for the community, grow the contributor
base, keep things fun, fair & sustainable, and help with the
largely-German administrative grunt work.

[1] https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/TDF/Ledgers

Kind regards,

-- Thorsten

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