General meeting minutes: 07/02/2019

The following are minutes from the general project meeting on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

All documents for The WordPress Governance Project can be accessed on the project’s Google Drive.

Props: Pat Lockley, Morten Rand-Hendriksen, Rachel Cherry

Agenda

  1. Summarize events and discussions at WCEU (Morten Rand-Hendriksen)
  2. Overview of next steps for the project

Minutes

  • Morten summarized WCEU (WordCamp Europe)
    • Two notable things took place:
      • The Governance Project had a surprise table at Contributor Day
      • Had two WP Cafe Sessions:
        • One on internal governance
        • One on representing WordPress in the political arena
    • Governance project table at Contributor Day:
      • Roughly 10 people sat down to talk about governance and do some work on communication team structure
      • About 20-30 people stopped by the table to voice their support for the project. Attendance less as people had committed to join other tables announced beforehand. There was also a common sentiment that sitting down at the table would somehow be harmful
      • Discussed the need for the project to work on marketing to make sure people understand that the project is not a coup or some sort of rebellion
      • Will there be a Governance Project table at WCUS Contributor Day?
        • Right now, no, not unless something major changes.
      • The Governance Project lives outside the official WordPress project and therefore doesn’t “belong” at CD.
    • WP Cafe Sessions:
      • WC Cafe sessions were announced well in advance, and were quite successful.
      • 1st one, titled “Who are the deciders? A Governance Conversation” happened the morning of day 1. About 40 people showed up including core contributors and key project leads. It was a 45 minute workshop on exploring leadership.
        • Take aways:
          • More transparency and clearer communications
          • Clear leadership paths and clear declaration of decision making powers
          • Need for more community input
      • 2nd session, titled “Representing WordPress in the Political Arena” took place on day 2. 20 people attended this one. Session focused on how to turn the WordPress mission statement into policy.
        • Take aways:
          • WordPress needs to speak for its users
          • This means it needs policy positions
          • These need internal governance to ratify and representatives
          • We don’t have the time for 3, so need a solution
  • Work is needed on explain what the project is about
  • Discussion on reluctance of people to contribute depending on how project is seen
  • Rachel will be discussing the project on the Post Status Publish conference
  • Next steps:
    • Marketing for the project (blog post, Publish)
    • Journey maps blog post
    • Governance model hypothesis
  • Pat updated re governance models progress – asked about whether more questions could be added to the form
  • Heather raised a belief in governance via software systems seemed a common view at WCEU – and that software systems will provide governance
  • Heather raised that 501c3 (USA Non-profit / no federal tax) companies cannot do various things politically
  • Noikolai asked for clarification on the project’s purpose, Rachel said it was about implementing governance to stay healthy
  • Heather raised issues over how we proceed and whether it is worth it re open web policies (re 501c3)

Action items

  • Publish blog post about “what is governance”
  • Publish journey maps blog post
  • Publish governance model hypothesis

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