LGM Board

Dear all,
We have had a very good debriefing after LGM 5 and I would like now to share what we have discussed with Femke and a couple other people from OSP.
LGM going in its 6th year. Wow!
As the LGM grows, needs are getting bigger. We now think of a 2-year process to determine where LGM venue will be since we have bids from all over the world indluding Asia and South America. Also, there are more people getting involved than the first few teams. We have an increasing number of projects participating every year.
This puts pressure on the organisers (good pressure, let’s be clear!), pressure on the budget and in many aspects the needs are growing. We thought we need to address this in the most efficient manner. While I agree that at some point we might or we will need a formal organisation, before this is association will be up and running we might as well get organised nonetheless and here is a beginning. This proposal does not defeat the idea of a formal association.I think we can work “informally” in a quite organised manner. When time comes, we will only be more ready.
Louis Desjardins

There are 3 main things we think should be done in the short term.

Constitute a LGM Board

Constitute a LGM Board that would have a few well-defined responsibilities and tasks. Some of them are already put down below. Some more may come as this discussion go further. The people on the board are not expected to work alone but they have the responsibility to make sure the job gets done.

Make the choice of the next LGMs local team and venue a two-year process.

This is becoming urgent because of the growing complexity of the LGM. It should allow to better plan ahead with the growing needs, the budget, securing the sponsors, preparing documents, preparing the venue and help local organisers get things done in the best possible manner. Especially when people are organising LGM for a first time. And especially now that we have views on going as far as Asia, South America and on the mid or long term even Africa (yes, we already have some ideas for this on the back burner, especially now that we have the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie as a sponsor and even as a partner we could say).

Secure the budget 6 months prior to the event.

This goal may sound a bit difficult to reach for some of us who have been involved into the process of getting the money in. Here is why we think this should be done without further delay.

  • More people are travelling to LGM. Every year we have to struggle with the budget, not knowing in advance what height it will be.
  • Are we going to be able to reimburse 100% of the travel expenses of the developers and the speakers?
  • Will there be enough money to cover the basic costs?
  • Etc.
  • The LGM needs to be ready to commit itself up front and say to someone who plans to come, yes we can pay for your plane, plan ahead.
  • The money doesn’t need to be in the bank, it needs to be secured by the simple mean of a written agreement, an exchange of emails, and an invoice sent from the GNOME Foundation to the sponsor.
  • The process has to start as early as the days after LGM ends.


  • (On the long-term we can envision that the LGM organisation weill be able to pay a per-diem subsidy for food and accomodation, letting people adding more to it if they want to but at least giving the opportunity to people who can’t affort it otherwise to get to LGM. Historically we have not paid for food and accomodation. We have paid for the flight, the train, the bus, the fuel. We could envision to ease the financial pressure on the volunteers who work hard and on spare time when they attend and participate to LGM.)

Creation of an LGM board

  • The board works in close relationship with the LGM teams and with the community.
  • The board aims at decisions based on consensus
  • The board has to come up with recommendations and guidelines about the venue
  • Is responsible in the end for putting together the LGM each year.
  • Is responsible for the budget and reimbursement of participants’ trip expenses
  • There are 9 members of the board. They are:
  • Past organisers of LGM
  • People who are involved into LGM organisation, sponsorship campaign, communications. The people who have received this email are my first pick. This does not mean we cannot enlarge the circle, of course. If someone doesn’t want to be on the board, just mention it. Same if you think someone should be on the board. I hope nobody thinks someone shouldn’t be on the board! 🙂
1. Dave Neary
2. Louis Desjardins
3. Kamila Giedrojć
4. Femke Snelting
5. Gregory Pittman
6. Alessandro Rimoldi
7. Jon Phillips
8. Nathan Willis
9. Alexandre Prokoudine
  • Is responsible for securing the budget 6 months prior to the event.
  • In discussion with the community, the board develops and reformulates a view on what is LGM.
  • In discussion with local organisers, the board makes sure the principle goals of LGM are met.
  • In discussion with local organisers, the board has a final say in which talks get accepted, and subsequently: a final say in who gets reimbursed. (This is to prevent that a local organiser ends up with the burden of responsibility for accepting/refusing talks. We expect more talks to be proposed for LGM 2011, especially once the reimbursement process becomes more transparent.)
  • Take action to diversify participation, both in speakers and in participants. We obviously cannot force anything, but it definetely helps to pay attention. LGM 2006-2009 had *in total* 7 female speakers. LGM 2010 had 9. Something like this could be a start: http://python.org/community/diversity
  • Make sure that visa-processes are dealt with. Again not easy (although with reimbursement decided before the event, it has become a lot easier) and not clear how this could work. To be investigated.

Two-year process to establish next venue

Please read more in the Venue selection criteria

Once LGM is Over

  • Letter to the sponsors of thanks to every sponsors within 2 weeks after LGM is over
  • Start immediately the reimbursement process and finish it within 6-8 weeks.
  • People can put their info on the website and should be asked to be done with that during LGM.
  • The data is easily exportable to a spreadsheet we share with the GNOME administrative staff.
  • It’s a matter of a couple days of work to process all the reimbursements when all the data is in.
  • Update the Sponsors’ Document to refresh it and announce next year venue
  • Start the sponsorship campaign immediately with the specific goal of having the budget *secured* 6 month before the event
  • It does takes months to conclude a sponsorship agreement and secure the money with corporate and/or large institutional sponsors
  • We need to have the money secured by a written agreement 6 months prior to LGM
* Securing the budget 6 months in advance is becoming a necessity.
* LGM has grown up and now attracts more people than the circle of LGMers of the first years.
* We cannot afford anymore to live in uncertainty with regards to the budget.
* This puts too much pressure on the organisers and it’s not good for LGM.
* We have to be able to state whether we can sponsor a trip to LGM and to what height prior than transportation tickets are bought by the participants.
* Some participants wait until the last minute to buy their plane ticket which in turn puts evitable pressure on the budget.
  • Publish a Final Press Release
  • To say LGM is over
  • To thank participants, contributors, sponsors
  • To say what happened briefly and announce the coming LGM [YEAR] REPORT
  • To say where and when is the next one
  • Production of LGM [YEAR] REPORT within 3 months after LGM [ PDF version available on the LGM website ]

Keep the Structure of LGM

  • Yearly conference
  • One track conference
  • 4-day conference
  • 30-minute talks including Q&A
  • Three-hour lunch break
  • 5-10-minute short talks after lunch (within an hour period)
  • Scheduled (preferable but not compulsory) BoFs
  • Scheduled Team Meetings (same as for BoFs)
  • Scheduled Demos and Workshops (only make sure these don’t compete with the One-Track Conference)
  • LGM Supper
  • Audio/Video recordings of all talks
  • Volunteers to keep notes during BoFs
  • Audio recordings of BoFs
  • (Only as a reminder to help with notes. Audio recordings are not meant to be published as audio files nor used for retranscripton (this would be fastidious work). They are only a security net for the note taker)

Keep the Visual Image of LGM

  • As we need to rapidly start the next campaign, we cannot afford discussing about the “corporate” image of LGM and produce important documents at the same time
  • If we want a different logo each year, then we advise that this process will also be a 2-year process and will be announced officially on the last day of LGM

Did I Forget Something?

Note Femke 06/05/2013 In the “board meeting” that took place in Monreal 2011, I made clear that I did not want to be part of the LGM “board”

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