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 – 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 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.

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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.”
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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
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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
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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.


Thanks Chris. Left some comments in the docs.

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Update from today’s meeting - I’ve also created a “Jupyter Core Projects” document and populated it with some of the information discussed in the meeting (minutes are forthcoming). I updated the list above.


Note - I keep on getting requests to give access to people on a document-by-document basis. I don’t seem to have permission to give access for the whole folder. Can somebody with permission either:

  1. Give access to the whole folder for anybody that wishes
  2. Give me the ability to give access to the whole folder
  3. Give access to the general public for the Drafts folder

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
    • Brian
    • Sharan
    • Chris H.
  • What is left to discuss before we ‘write’ the governance documents?
    • Reporting
    • Meeting cadence
    • Communication
      • Example of Guido escalating pep to Python’s SC
        • In academia escalation is not welcome, in Amazon it’s a powerful tool to keep projects moving forward.
        • We need to have well defined protocols around escalation, so we can use it as a useful tool instead of a taboo thing to do once you’ve lost patience.
    • Definition of Core Projects
      • Repo organization (Projects/Subprojects)
        • Jupyter has:
          • Organizations
            • Repos
          • Software Projects
            • What is the mapping relationship between projects and orgs/repos?
          • Incubator
            • A place you can have a project, but no seat on the council.
      • What do you get / what is required / etc?
      • Minimal guaranteed level of support from the BoD?
        • How can the BoD guarantee something like this? Does it have its own funds and if so, how can it use them?
        • Fundraising for the Jupyter Project writ-large would be controlled by the BoD.
        • Some organization needs to be in-charge of ensuring that “core projects” are empowered to meet the minimal needs of being a core project
          • Might be a matter of $$$, or encouraging other individuals to support the project etc
          • Alternatively some core projects may need to lose core project status if they aren’t able to sustain themselves.
          • The specifics aren’t as important as the fact that this needs to be the problem of some specific group. Otherwise we have no guarantee that a Core Project will actually have the resources it needs.
      • Notebook project case study
        • No core notebook maintainer was working on it any more
        • over 100 open pull requests
        • team members from adjacent areas of Jupyter (server / lab) got together to work on the notebook repository
        • Spend bits of time in meetings for lab/server
        • But, basically only happening because their employers are letting them do this
        • How would situations like this be handled by the proposed model?
          • BoD’s job would be to notice the lack of resources
          • Find ways to mobilize resources (either $$$ or encouraging others to help out)
          • May also decide when to deprecate Core Projects
      • In the new structure, who owns the creation of new core technical projects, and who owns the removal of projects from “core” status?
        • It is a joint-decision from both bodies (both creation and removal) and requires a vote on both sides
      • There are a lot of small projects but that are really important. How should these projects get representation? e.g. jupyter_server or maybe nbgrader
        • Can we draw some conceptual boundaries around some repositories to naturally group them together and give them a representative?
        • examples: nbdime, kernel gateway, nbformat, nbclient
      • Three levels
        • Core Projects
          • Requires a vote between both BoD and SSC
          • Get a delegate on the SSC
          • Not strictly required to have a 1-1 mapping to a GitHub org. But in general we should try to have a GitHub org per project.
        • Satellite Projects
          • Have no official representation on the SSC
          • Added by the BoD
          • Projects that don’t have an obvious place within a core project
        • Incubation Projects
          • Experimental and early-stage projects
          • A neutral playing ground for people that can’t easily create their own repositories, or want/need a “neutral” repository to contribute to
          • e.g., people at companies that need approval to contribute to repositories
        • Attic Projects
    • BoD Size
  • TODO
    • Create a “Major Jupyter Projects” document (link now here)
      • Everybody list what you think of as “Core Projects” - can do it on your own if you wish
      • Then we’ll aggregate and refine in another meeting
      • Flesh out the details around creation/responsibilities/etc
      • Include sections for satellites and incubators
    • Review the other organizational body documents and make sure we are on the same page
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Hey all - in the last meeting we agreed to brainstorm our own lists of “core projects” in the Jupyter ecosystem. Each “core” project would get a seat in the SSC and would also get a certain degree of priority when it comes to support and attention from the BoD.

We added a document to describe core projects (and a few similar pieces of info) here:

I added my own core projects brainstorm here

looking forward to seeing what lists others come up with

Hey all - I missed the last bit of the meeting today. I assume that notes/minutes will be posted, but in the meantime I wonder if somebody could summarize the main action items that need to be taken care of before the next meeting?

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 21, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Fernando
    • Luciano
    • Chris
    • Tim G.
    • Layne
    • Steve
    • Darian
  • Do the conflict of interest guidelines need to be more specific when it comes to participation in forks and other open-source projects? (This came out of a conversation about nteract.)
  • We spent time considering the list of projects who send a delegate to the SSC.
    • Conceptual organization
    • Project organization
      • If we assign delegates by projects, smaller projects get proportionally higher representation.
  • We discussed the distinction between live services (nbviewer,, etc.) and software projects, the BoD is in charge of services and the SSC is in charge of software projects.
  • We spent most of the call working on compiling delegate-sending projects in the SSC

@choldgraf because it turned out to be a working meeting where we tried to solidify the list of delegate-sending projects, we didn’t have action items to prepare before the next meeting!

@afshin gotcha - thanks for the update. Do you have any suggestions on ways that I can be most-helpful to move this forward before my babypocalypse in early August? :slight_smile:

I am not sure. I have been reviewing your list of core projects document and trying to figure out how the delegation should work, because that part is unclear to me. I think maybe figuring that out is probably our next task here.

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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 28, 2020

  • Attendees
    • Fernando
    • Brian
    • Darian
    • Tim
    • Chris
    • Sharan
  • Options for BoD candidate selection:
    • Open elections model
    • The existing board puts together a working group to find candidates similar to a corporate board: the working group puts up a candidate for approval by an approving body
    • Federated elections (unclear what we fully meant on this)
  • The working group version of BoD candidate selection is the one being proposed for the new governance
    • In this model, we can recruit people from outside the project who have the skills needed for being on BoD (grant writing, organization skills)
    • Our community comes from primarily the software side, which does not always overlap with the skills BoD selection requires
    • If we’re reaching outside of the project to bring in high potential candidates for the BoD I would assume we need to pay them.
    • How to increase the buy-in from the community:
      • Maybe nominations for the working group to consider should be open.
      • We need to have a pipeline that shows if you put work into the project you can rise through the ranks.
      • An official mentorship channel could help increase community buy-in
    • An honorarium, particularly based on necessity or time put in, that is opt-in and can be turned down could be baked into the model.
  • Ideal target: a single SC vote that inaugurates a new governance model.
    • Things required for that to happen:
      • BoD is defined
      • SSC is defined
      • Projects that have an SSC delegate are defined
      • Distinguished contributors group must be defined
      • Voting procedures must be defined
  • Let’s start the Distinguished Contributors group right away (as in, today).
    • Bootstrap group will be the SC.
    • Should immediately grow beyond the SC, even as we are finalizing the new governance model.
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Hi folks, Thanks for the update. Just to clarify, is this the recap of the process?

  1. Steering Council puts together the working group.
  2. The Working group on behalf of the Steering Council will nominate people for the inaugural Board of Directors for Steering Council approval.
  3. The existing Steering Council approves the initial SSC projects and members.
  4. The Steering Council votes to adopt the bylaws of a new governance model.

Independent of this, the Distinguished Contributors group is formed by the existing Steering Council. We’re long overdue on recognizing a number of individuals beyond the Steering Council.

Thanks folks!

Carol, thanks for reading our meeting minutes :slight_smile: The bootstrapping and election of the Board of Directors part of the governance work is at the “mostly lumpy piece of clay” stage rather than “highly refined pottery” phase. The bullet point in the meeting minutes you are commenting on is referring to the proposed process for board elections once the new board is already established (rather than during the bootstrapping phases). We considered a number of options for board elections and we believe this model has the best tradeoffs (we will document these things in the materials we submit). We are currently focused on getting the Distinguished Contributor PR finalized and ready and will then shift back to the other aspects of the governance model.