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[board-discuss] Board of Directors Meeting 2020-07-17

The Document Foundation
Board of Directors Meeting 2020-07-17
Meeting Minutes

Date: 2020-07-17
Location: Jitsi

Session chair: Lothar Becker
Keeper of the minutes: Stephan Ficht

In the meeting: Lothar Becker (Chair), Paolo Vecchi (Deputy), Thorsten Behrens (BoD), William Gathoye, Michael Weghorn, Nicolas Christener (Deputy), Heiko Tietze, Italo Vignoli, Daniel Armando Rodriguez (BoD), Simon Phipps, Michael Meeks (BoD), Stephan Ficht (AA), Uwe Altmann, Emiliano Vavassori (BoD), Olivier Hallot, Xisco Fauli, Cor Nouws (BoD), Florian Effenberger (ED), Guilhem Moulin, Franklin Weng (Deputy Chair), one anonymous participant

Representation: None
(See subject "Representation statements")

Chairman of the Board is in the meeting. One of the Chairman or Deputy Chairman is required to be present or represented for having a quorate call.

The Board of Directors at time of the call consists of 7 seat holders without deputies. In order to be quorate, the call needs to have 1/2 of the Board of Directors members, which gives 4. A total of 7 Board of Directors members are attending the call.

The board waives all formal statutory requirements, or requirements in the foundations articles, or other requirements regarding form and invitation, time limits, and for the topics discussed in this meeting.

The meeting is quorate and invitation happened in time. From now on, motions can be passed with the agreement of a simple majority of those remaining present. The majority threshold is currently 4.

The meeting commences at 13:03 Berlin time.


Public Part

1. Q&A: Answering Questions from the community (All, max. 5 min)
Rationale: Provide an opportunity for the community to ask questions to the board and about TDF.
   Lothar: asking for questions
   * nobody speaks up

2. Inform & Discuss: marketing plan 2020-2025: Status quo, timetable, steps for decision taking (group of 6, All 10 min) (for document see:
   Rationale: Status quo, Discussion variants, defining further procedure
   + timetable - close window of feedback today (LLothar)
      + for a decision until Monday
   + several options (Thorsten)
      + hear the last round of feedback today & decide
      + Daniel had another idea: delay 7.0 verison by a little bit
        to have more time
         + would need deciding quickly
      + Florian proposed delaying / postponing until 7.1 (Michael)
   + impression & from the Adviory Board (AB) meeting (Lothar)
      + wise to postpone until 7.1
      + feedback from AB is to slow-down / think again / discuss
        meaning of words.
      + my opinion.
      + broadly towards branding & about-box changes (Thorsten)
         + agree think a bit longer about that.
         + advise against not doing anything at all.
+ there are bits & pieces that do have consensus, e.g. on the website & other messaging
    + proposal to delay to 7.1 - we need a clear timeline (Florian)
       + not against delay to 7.1 (Michael)
          + lots of time required to do this work & interact with proposals
          + would love to get an independent expert in to help moderate /
            mediate that - and map it to what is possible with TDF.
    + can do marketing improvmeents -
      but need a clear message for Monday (Lothar)
    + is the consensus not moving towards LibreOffice Community? (Paolo)
       + not sure that its necessary to bring an external person in
         while we havn't decided.
       + really to handle the volume of feedback (Michael)
          + lots of information to process & answer (Thorsten)
             + it's a huge time / staffing / energy problem.
             + great to get so much feedback.
+ would be a shame to miss nuggets - so needs someone to look after that
    + would like time to anlayse all of the feedback (Sophie)
    + other under-developed parts of the plan (Michael)
       + TM licensing, Enterprise entity, website updates etc.
       + running out of time to do this.
    + is it easy to mend the code ? (Lothar)
       + yes trivial (Michael, Thorsten)
    + would like an explicit approval for the code change (Michael)
       + we decide this until Monday (Lothar)
          + but it looks likely.
    + AB concerns - re-branding of LibreOffice binary (Simon)
       + rather than the website
       + previous board, considered many of these items before
       + suggest we make progress on ingredient brand & website now.
       + agree binary changes on-hold to 7.1, while continuing to
         work through & agreeing the marketing strategy
       + and agreeing the ingredient brand strategy soon
       + agreed (Paolo, Lothar)
          + not stopping the work.
          + seen many useful suggestions for the website (Cor)
    + no hard deadlines for website (Thorsten)
       + can change it at any time, great for that
       + good to get around to it (Michael)

3. Discuss: Business entity (All 5 min)
   Rationale: Discuss and identify the next steps
   + status quo? (Lothar)
      + another round of questions with Mike.
   + evaluating several options currently (Paolo)
      + need more - so we can decide what the questions are.
      + as an option for US based org. yesterday - the privacy
        shield has been invalidated.
   + currently stalled - board busy with marketing plan (Thorsten)
      + thanks to Nicolas for proposing things & kicking us.
   + need several questions answered (Michael)
      + we should have several options on the table first (Paolo)
      + want to get things answered first (Michael)
         + to see if this is even useful for the project.
      + which way is best (Paolo)
         + then see if we can do it.
   + come up with a plan & poke Mike for an appointment ? (Thorsten)
      + put together several proposals
      + proposal - an evaluation on that as a blueprint (Paolo)
         + so we know what we decide to do
+ need questions answered by Mike before it's even worth looking at (Michael)
      + is there any benefit to TDF to doing this
      + hammer it out in a sub-group (Thorsten)
         + Paolo, Thorsten, Michael
         + agree need questions answering before moving to which country.
   + grateful for the detailed Luxembourg proposal from Paolo (Michael)
      + would like similar proposals from Thorsten / Michael
AI: form a sub-group to work it out (Thorsten, Paolo, Michael) (not decided yet (Paolo))
   + obviously a written proposal on the item (Uwe)
      + would like it to be published
      + not been discussed with the wider board (Paolo)
         + lets see if the proposal makes sense
         + could have written something stupid.
      + rather discuss as decided 3 mins ago (Cor)
      + lets do this when it is proper (Lothar)

4. Inform & Discuss: Status of Action Items of last board meetings and redmine tickets (Lothar, Stephan/Florian, All 5 min) Rationale: Clarifying what is pending, questions to reports in redmine tickets, and what todo, who is caring, until when, it is not the intention to speak about all, but the important or urgent ones

As a reminder, there are following public Action Items from the last board meeting:

   AI Florian: sort out how to handle old/existing tickets
   Status: in progress

AI Paolo/Franklin/Michael/Thorsten/Mike/Italo: marketing plan 2020-2025 ->continue working on this
    Status: in progress

AI Lothar: reach out to Italo for details on what happened in the Telegram group
   Redmine ticket: do we need one?
   Status: done, no need for further actions so far

AI Florian: Announcement around mid-July, elections early September, new MC in charge September 19.
   + AI: Emiliano to talk to Gabriele
   Status: pending questions clarified, announcement sent

AI Lothar: in one of next BoD Call bring in as agenda item: How to get a "next next decade manifesto"
   Redmine ticket: do we need one?
Status: Done on last board meeting, consensus: writing manifesto postponed after marketing plan edition, if somebody starts in parallel it's welcomed

AI: to remove AIs done

5. Inform & Discuss: Digital tool for participation improvement (Daniel, All 7 min)
   Redmine ticket:
Rationale: Adoption of a platform that favours participation, debate, interaction and collaborative elaboration of lines of action between TDF and the community
   + improve discussions/feedbacks (Daniel)
       + propose a platform
       + voting as a feature
    + may give advantages to non-native speakers
    + love the idea (Thorsten)
+ doesn't solve problem of too many communication channels - Telegram, mailing lists, IRC -> one more platform to monitor then + needs strategy to move people from mailing lists etc. to this new tool
    + give a try to the platform (Daniel)
    + consolidate things, avoid things getting lost (Paolo)
    + differentiate (Uwe)
        + between binding & non-binding.
        + binding: mailing-list
        + non-binding: chat-channels, social media etc.
        + perhaps good to separate these.
  + further discussion on the board-discuss list (Lothar)

Public meeting ends at 13:36 Berlin time.

Agenda items of Private Part

6. Discuss: Internal and external communication and processes (board members 7 min) Reason why in private: public parts within item 5., private part internal rules of procedures Rational: How to improve our process in preparing, voting and timeboxing decisions; how to handle internal and external communication

7. Inform & Discuss: Information about Finance and Taxes (board members 7min)
   Reason why in private: confidential information about status quo
   Rational: status quo, further to dos

8. Discuss & vote (if text is ready): Update on Development mentor job advert (board members 7min)
   Reason why in private: confidential information about job posting
   Redmine ticket:
   Rational: status quo, further to dos

9. Inform & Discuss: Sort out pending Action Items, Status of private Action Items of last board meetings and private redmine tickets (board members 5 min)
   Reason why in private: in the nature of the private tickets
Rational: Clarifying what is pending, and what to do, who is caring, until when, it is not the intention to speak about all, but the important or urgent ones, do we need still a Redmine ticket for it?

Private meeting ends at 14:07 Berlin time.

Lothar Becker (Session chair)
Stephan Ficht (Keeper of the minutes)

Florian Effenberger, Executive Director (Geschäftsführer)
Tel: +49 30 5557992-50 | Mail:
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
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