Governance Office Hours Meeting Minutes

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – April 7, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Brian
    • Tim G.
    • Chris H.
    • Darian
    • Jason
  • We looked at the Distinguished Contributor draft:
    • The minimum contribution for a Distinguished Contributor should be three years.
    • A nomination should be accompanied with a CV/biography of the nominee written by the DC who nominates.
    • All DCs should have a bio that is publicly accessible and maintained by the DC (preferably, but not codified in the governance)
    • All requirements for being a member ought to be met at the time of nomination (as opposed to at the time of the election)
  • We looked at the Executive Body draft:
    • This body might better be described as a Technical Steering Council
  • The “vision and leadership” gap in the governance model needs more discussion

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – April 21, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Brian
    • Tim G.
    • Luciano
    • Darian
  • We read a draft of the “Board of Directors” (BoD, formerly Organizational Body) document.
    • A new concept of a hired Organizational Director that is managed by the Board
    • How are the members of the Board of Directors chosen?
    • How much time does a member of the Board of Directors need to put in?
      • Order of magnitude: 10 hours per week
    • There should be specific classes of directors drawn from different stakeholder constituencies (e.g., institutions, companies, subprojects, community)
    • BoD may send money to a project that has a JEP approved by the TSC.
    • How to bootstrap the initial set of BoD’s depends on how we elect the BoD
      • If we have open elections, we can just do that.
      • If we work off a mentorship model we’ll need to think about how to seed that group.
  • Conflict of interest and ethics rules need to be enshrined in the governance document
    • case study: analytics trackers on our web properties being debated by the BoD

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – April 28, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Brian
    • Tim G.
    • Luciano
    • Darian
    • Chris H.
    • Jason
  • Briefly discussed the JEP process to ‘sunset’ the notebook.
  • A new focus for the “Organizational Body” - acts more like a “board of directors” (BoD)
    • Q: what would be the relationship between the BOD and the sub-projects?
      • A: there would be a lot of autonomy for the sub-projects, any decisions that are made within the sub-project organizations follow their own governance models
      • For decisions that exist outside of any one particular github organization, that decision needs to be made with a JEP, and the final decision will be from the technical steering committee (TSC)
      • This is close to what we already do with Jupyter - a difference is that the new steering committee will be made up of people from each Jupyter sub-project
      • Subprojects can petition for funding and resources
    • Suppose “voila” wasn’t in the Jupyter org, but wanted to be
      • Board of Directors would need to do this along with TSC
    • Board of directors would run organizational parts of Jupyter
      • “They create and delegate”
      • Create groups for fundraising
      • Rally support from sub-projects for strategic goals
      • Can try to set an agenda and a vision, but cannot impose that agenda themselves
    • How do the board of directors execute on their agenda and interest?
      • Some members of the board of directors are coming from industry and they’ll be able to use the resolutions that come out of the board of directors to direct how members of their own institutions/companies act
      • They can: fundraise, hire, establish working groups (with both volunteers and employees). Write JEPS and participate as any other community member.
    • How can the board of directors and the TSC relate to one another?
      • Need to come up with a way to have a strong connection between the two organizations
      • Historically there have been challenges in maintaining trust between members and projects of the Jupyter community
      • Ensure that membership on the board of directors are (partially) trusted individuals that the TSC respect
        • Should be members of the open source community, representatives from the people that we explicitly want to help with Jupyter’s mission
      • What happens if the board of directors doesn’t get stuff done?
        • E.g. if a bunch of CoC violations happen and they aren’t dealt with
      • Shouldn’t be too prescriptive about process in the board of directors
        • Instead, this group should define the process for itself. It can come up with its own internal rules, but there shouldn’t be too many rules that the governance documents give to it.
      • Who will the “Organizational Director” be? What will they do?
        • It could depend on who they are, and what is the broader context of the Jupyter steering council
        • Could be “vision-setting”, could be more organizational and operational.
        • May change over time as new people are appointed.
    • What are some actionable steps forward
      • Write out voting procedures
      • Write out a JEP process
      • Have a high-level sketch of the pieces of the governance document so we know what’s needed to have a complete doc
      • Arrive at a consensus about who are the members of the board of directors
        • Allocation %s from different groups etc
        • How long to they stay on
    • The primary power of the TSC is to approve JEPS and the primary power of the BoD is to create working groups.
1 Like

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – May 5, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Darian
    • Tim G.
    • Sharan
    • Steve
    • Chris H.
    • Jason
  • Are there actionable, bite-sized, iterative improvements we can do to improve governance?
  • Open a PR in governance repo to reduce the quorum required, and decrease time allowed to vote on governance changes after which they will be closed or implemented.
  • We spent the call drafting this PR proposing a time limit on votes: https://github.com/jupyter/governance/pull/77

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – May 12, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Darian
    • Tim G.
    • Sharan
    • Steve
    • Chris H.
  • Follow up on pull request from last week: https://github.com/jupyter/governance/pull/77
    • We assigned individuals to reach out to SC members who have not voted.
  • We discussed what a future incremental update to governance could be:
    • Better defining the process of a vote:
      • A PR should be opened in “draft” mode to allow for conversation
      • All discussion of the language should only happen in the drafting phase
      • The PR should enter the review / voting phase
      • Once a proposal is up for voting, it should not be modified (as it was in #77 above)
      • The top line comment in a PR should always reflect the executive summary of the changes.
      • Issues this could help with:
        • When people vote, it should be clear what they’re voting on, and the content of the proposed change shouldn’t be changed after they vote
        • When people haven’t been closely following a topic, they should have quick access to information about the current state of conversation, and more importantly to the current thing they’re voting on
        • People who open up proposed changes should have guidelines to make their proposal as smooth and efficient as possible to help resolve the above issue
    • We could defined “abstain” votes as per this comment: https://github.com/jupyter/governance/pull/77#issuecomment-624683297

Thanks for the update :smiley:

  • All discussion of the language should only happen in the drafting phase

So if I am interpreting this correctly, a vote will pertain to only the wording presented. If changes are needed, the opened vote would be withdrawn and a new vote opened.

1 Like

Hi Carol! Yes, exactly what you said: if the wording needs to change, we can either close the PR entirely or put it back into “draft” mode and zero out all the votes and ask everyone to consider the new language.

This is a change from the way we might comment on a code pull request, and the idea is to make sure that what happened in the current open vote on time limits for votes where I merged in a language change into the pull request after voting had begun does not happen again. This seems like a modest change that we can propose in a separate PR. The goal of our meeting this week was to think of similar modest incremental change we can iterate on concurrent with the larger work that is going on.

1 Like

Super. That approach is lines up well with: propose a resolution, discuss resolution, vote/withdraw a resolution, if needed propose a new or amended resolution. That makes it clear what is being voted on and less likely for someone to misinterpret the thing that they are making a decision on.

Thanks!

1 Like

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – May 19, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Darian
    • Tim G.
    • Luciano
    • Brian
    • Matthias
    • Sylvain
    • Jason
    • Sharan
  • Re-cap of https://github.com/jupyter/governance/pull/77 and how we got there.
    • We should follow this effort up with a clear definition of abstaining. What does this mean specifically and how does it impact quorum?
  • “Low-Quorum Voting” and its impact on velocity in Jupyter.
    • Low-Quorum could allow people to form smaller ‘ad-hoc sub-committees’ that can still move without formally being generated.
  • Working through existing issues in SC.
    • When joining the SC, different people come in with different values.
    • There’s a lack of definition of specific rules and even culture within the SC.
    • One example is discussions of conflict of interest (COI).
      • There is no canonical definition of COI.
        • Eg. Some people believe there is space to prioritize things that they are personally and professionally aligned with, others think that should never happen.
    • Another example is public messaging.
      • Examples:
        • The blog could be the voice of Jupyter, expressing jupyter interest and direction.
        • The twitter, on the other hand could be used to talk about what’s going on in the greater Jupyter ecosystem, even congratulating competitors on releases and just generally communicating excitement around the community.
  • On terms and term limits in the new governance
    • What is the function of a term?
      • Rotate individuals in leadership?
      • To ‘mutation test’ Jupyter Governance?
      • Set expectation of taking the position?
      • To keep people from being in power indefinitely?
  • Discussion of Draft PR on defining draft/voting phase: Adding a "discussion phase" to governance votes
    • What is the failure mode of this change?
      • Going back and forth between draft and voting.
2 Likes

I’m not sure what this means. Is this a “catch-all” phrase for all aspects of Steering Council composition and behaviors.

  • To ‘mutation test’ Jupyter Governance?

Not sure the meaning of a mutation test.

As for term limits, I find it healthy to have turnover in leadership. It adds new energy and ideas. Here’s a reference with Pros and Cons for board governance and term limits: https://boardsource.org/resources/term-limits/

1 Like

Hi Carol! I think the “existing issues” topic was issues that had come up in the last handful of SC votes and not completely generic, i.e. the conversation in a couple recent voting threads.

The “mutation test” idea … I can’t recall with complete certainty but I think it meant something like swapping in a new member because of a term limit might create a stronger organization. If anyone from the call remembers the specific context more clearly, please update!

Thanks for the reference on term limits! I think this is valuable. We should talk about this in the next call.

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – May 26, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Darian
    • Brian
    • Matthias
    • Sylvain
    • Sharan
    • Tim G.
    • Chris H.
  • Had a quick recap of Sharan’s post on Discourse regarding governance FAQs that might help people in the wider community
  • Agenda
    • More review of Chris’s PR
      • He is still working on a revised version based on feedback and discussion
    • Jupyter history and principles
    • Discussion about board of directors
    • Other PRs
      • Defining what it means to abstain
    • Luciano’s document about voting and decision making

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – June 2, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Tim G.
    • Darian
    • Sharan
    • Chris H.
    • Brian
    • Jason
  • We opened the current draft of the Board of Director language
    • What are the commonalities between working groups that are formed by the BoD? The process is analogous to the JEP in the technical space, so it should probably be defined in governance.
    • Does the Organizational Director in the BoD have a vote? Is this person a “member” of the board?
      One central remaining question is: how do we select the members of the Board of Directors?
    • One approach is a nominating committee to find BoD member replacements.
    • The Technical Steering Committee (TSC) already has a “natural” process for who would populate it, but the BoD is a harder problem.
    • Merely bootstrapping by seeding an initial BoD is insufficient.
  • In comparison to the way Apache Foundation works: what is the soundness of members on the BoD who have contributed funding in order to have a seat?
    • How would we prevent the external market competition between corporate members entering the BoD affecting the internal decision making?
    • The central question of paying members of the BoD is: how do prevent both the reality and the appearance of quid pro quo? How do we ensure that the members have the community interests at heart?
    • What other incentives can we give entities that donate to Jupyter other than direct governance votes?

On June 9 2020 we didn’t have a formal meeting.

We spoke informally for half of the time about the https://www.shutdownstem.com/ campaign.

Next week’s meeting will proceed as normal.

On June 16 2020 we adjourned the meeting early because there were only three of us and we decided that the time might be spent better thinking and drafting. We will meet again next week at the usual time.

1 Like

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – June 23, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Fernando
    • Tim G.
    • Chris H.
    • Sharan
    • Darian
  • Reviewing work done up to date, including update on current priorities
    • Voting Procedures: Blocking on Board of Directors discussion
    • Board of Directors: Brian and Fernando need to chat.
    • Darian’s Recap:
      • Old understanding - Executive body was going to be distinct from organizational body and we had charted the primary leadership to exist in the executive body and the organizational body was a community facing body primarily events community considerations.
      • New understanding - The organizational body is now the Board of Directors, this is the primary leadership body, we don’t know how the structure is, but this is where the current idea for the main leadership body has landed.
    • Talking over the existing situation vs the envisioned system in mind for the board of directors.
      • Oversight vs operational management.
        • Where does the work and management happen?
          • In projects and working groups
      • BoD is in charge of creation and oversight of working groups and projects.
      • “The key to driving innovation in open source is to keep the people doing the work daily need to be the one’s driving the project’s direction.”
1 Like

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – June 30, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Fernando
    • Tim G.
    • Darian
    • Chris H.
    • Steve
    • Sharan
  • Recalibration conversation over the purviews of the Technical Steering Committee (TSC) and the Board of Directors (BoD)
    • When an organization is represented on the BoD, that individual’s involvement in the project may well be a pure function of employment
    • We discussed the presence of “delegates” to the TSC coming from working groups, which led to:
  • Maybe the TSC is misnamed: it is not a purely technical body.
    • Perhaps “working groups” are also misnamed. Any sub-project-level group that is entitled to send a delegate into the Council should maybe have the same designation: “sub-project”
  • We spent the bulk of the meeting white-boarding the two main bodies and re-assessing whether our drafts reflect the current state of thinking
1 Like

The weekly hourly office hours call is open to the community members who care about governance issues. The call is held 9-10AM PST on Tuesdays.

Meeting Minutes – July 7, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Fernando
    • Tim G.
    • Darian
    • Layne
    • Sylvain
    • Brian
    • Luciano
    • Sharan
    • Chris H.
  • Discussion of renaming working title of TSC to Software Steering Council.
    • Seems good to us.
  • Recap of Brian and Fernado conversation on BoD.
    • Three types of election methods
      • Existing team replaces themselves, community approves after a vetting process.
      • Open Elections.
      • Federated Elections
  • The “Berkshire Hathaway Annual Report”: a strategy and vision document that the Board of Directors could produce on an annual basis.
    • Concern - would such a strong voice potentially dissuade participation from new members of the community, scaring off new voices?
    • Concern - is personalizing this an anti-pattern the way it could be in a corporate setting?
    • We discussed the process of producing these documents
1 Like

Hi all - I have just gone through and cleaned up, added text, clarified, and otherwise tried to improve the proposed governance documents. I’ve tried to make each one follow the same pattern, and I’ve also highlighted where there is missing information that needs some discussion. I did not try to change the spirit of any content that was previously-discussed - only tried to improve and clarify the ideas that had already come out of these meetings.

You can find links to these here:

I’d love to start making some tangible progress on these documents in the coming governance meetings so that we can get feedback and iteration from others. Please do chime in with your own edits, comments, etc. I look forward to discussing.

2 Likes

Thanks Chris. Left some comments in the docs.

1 Like