[IAEP] Seeking insights into Oversight_Board/Decisions

Adam Holt holt at laptop.org
Mon Apr 11 21:06:57 EDT 2016

On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 5:33 PM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:

> Hi Adam
> On 11 April 2016 at 15:21, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
>> On Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 2:46 PM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>>> On 11 April 2016 at 14:32, Adam Holt <holt at laptop.org> wrote:
>>>> You are thorough enough to consider the fiduciary/stewardship secretary
>>>> role outlined below, and/or coaching/mentoring someone younger to assist
>>>> you -- would you consider giving back in this way?
>>> Sort of: I don't want to take on any responsibility, but you can trust
>>> me to make unsolicited recommendations to everyone ;)
>> I'll take that as a [Yes!]
> Alright, then ;)

Wonderful if you can keep us all honest!  Remember secretary was the person
at the very top in many peoples' republics until 1989 ;)

>> Certainly if nobody but Walter and I are willing to maintain
>> self-consistency at
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/Decisions and
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/Minutes and
>> http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Finance etc, we will need to consider a
>> paid Financial Manager per Caryl's recommendation so we move beyond Magical
>> Transparency to Material Transparency, that you and others keep asking for.
> What is it, exactly, that you and Walter are doing, that you would like me
> to do?

Take your pick in keeping with your own motivations for give-back
(optionally I strongly encourage you to recruit a co-curator in due
course?) among tasks like the following, that could and certainly would be
immediately useful:

- Post/verify Oversight Board minutes/transcripts/votes at
https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/Minutes and
http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Oversight_Board/Decisions within a few days.
Official minutes and/or transcripts (sometimes both) have gone missing in
the past on many occasions.

- Include meetings w/o quorum, when Oversight Board does not reach quorum
during a pre-scheduled meeting time, but a healthy comunity conversation
ensues regardless.  Still, annotated as such ("meeting w/o quorum" or

- Remind everyone of upcoming Oversight Board meetings many days in
advance, and again ~24 hours in advance, keeping likely agenda fresh where
possible.  If Walter prefers to own some/all of the above 3 tasks, ask him
for others.

- Regularly reconcile bylaws
https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Sugar_Labs/Governance with
highlighting/removing contradictions, and building clarifying cross-links
between these 2 sites?  Are Sugar Labs 501(c)(3) legally-mandated bylaws in
fact the superset of these 2 pages in the end?  SFConservancy will clarify,
but presumably one and/or the other page needs to be partially locked (or
at least we need to institute a procedure for removal of errors and
vandalism, so this is all far more approachable to the next Dave Crossland
who steps out of the wilderness!  Eventually: move FAQ-style highlights to
the top, preserving unending "legalese" below...)  I was surprised that new
Oversight Board members had no ideas how to vote, and what constituted a
vote, even well after being elected to office.  We're getting there ;)

- Etc!  As nec we'll print up Fred Olmstead business cards for you saying
"Internet Landscape Architect" as Walter suggests ;)

>> Til we grow up into a healthy ecosystem where Volunteers & Paid
>> Professionals work alongside with complete respect, per Bastien's
>> reminder.  On that note I have very close friends in direct contact with
>> the worldwide experts in Participatory Budgeting if we need that
>> facilitation.  Note this does Not reduce costs nor accelerate
>> decision-making -- but it increases the Democratic Input of Everyone,
>> similar to http://loomio.org -- if for example Servant Leadership is our
>> goal?
>> In the end of course it's all a question of putting our money where our
>> mouth is :>
>> (I can and will bring in experts in Participatory Budgeting later if that
>> turns out to be appropriate.)
> Yeah, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_budgeting sounds
> reasonable.
> Given that SLOBs are volunteers who run Sugar Labs, then what more do you
> want to see SLOBs do to practice Servant Leadership?

The "confidential suggestion box" is ignored in many organizations around
the world, or sometimes worse as an escape valve to silence/smother
thoughtful dissent.  I don't believe we need our own implementation of
"Secure Drop" (the open-source whistleblower submission system managed by
Freedom of the Press Foundation, originally created by Aaron Swartz).
Still, consider reaching out to OLPC's Ombudsman Bert Freudenberg and
pseudonymous activist Dan Tenason, asking them and a Broad Diversity of
others sincerely how we can avoid becoming a faceless or disputatious
bureaucracy in our 2nd decade.  Enabling a conscientious listening culture
that scales is harder than granite, for all organizations and movements!
Yet the rewards are So Many.  That this endeavor could be worth it a
hundred times over if...

There are many ways to approach this.  One way is to write a shrewdly
gossipy (with means reflective, yet opinionated) weekly column in
http://planet.sugarlabs.org explaining what you learned from Sugar/OLPC
this week.  But I'm sure you can think of even better~

Unsung Heroes of OLPC, interviewed live @ http://unleashkids.org !
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