By Luca Marzo on 2020-07-23 18:42 in Board of Directors

Open Source Matters, Inc.
Semi-Annual Members Meeting

Date: July 09, 2020
Time: 17:00 UTC
Total time of meeting: 85 minutes


Brian Mitchell (President), Jaz Parkyn (Director), Phil Walton, Luca Marzo (Secretary), Marco Dings (Director), Donata Kalnenaite, Nicola Galgano, Richard Fath, Alison Meeks, Anja de Crom, Claire Mandville, Davide Messia, Ed Hathaway, Toivo Talikka, Patrick Jackson, Djamel Kherbi (Director), Andrea Gentil, Elisa Foltyn (Vice President), Székely Dénes, Joe Sonne, Jenn Gress (Ombudsman), Benjamin Trenkle, Anibal Sanchez, Niels Braczek, Laura Gordon, Wilco Alsemgeest, Hugh Douglas-Smith (Director), Chris Keen, Sander Potjer, Christiane Viatte, Christiane Maier-Stadtherr, Marianela Queme, Stefan Wendhausen, Sigrid Gramlinger, Brian Ronnow, David Steadson, Sebastien Lapoux, David Aswani, Jean-Marie Simonet, Achilleas Papageorgiou.

Discussion outline


Speaker: Luca Marzo (Secretary)

  • Luca welcomed all the participants and shared the instructions to properly attend the meeting.

Semi-Annual Report from the President

Thank you’s

Welcome and thank you all for joining us.

We have a lot of exciting things to cover today.

I want to begin by acknowledging that I am privileged to be merely the messenger on nearly everything that I am going to share with you in the next hour. These are not my accomplishments, they are yours and you should be incredibly proud of them.

I want to thank my colleagues on the current Open Source Matters board of directors for their dedication and service to the community. I know that for me personally the experience has been incredibly challenging and rewarding. I am humbled by the time and effort each of you has committed to providing the cultural, legal, and financial environment where all of us can bring our best efforts together. I am truly honored to get to share this part of the OSM’s history with each of you.

I want to thank the Joomla team and working group leaders. Your willingness to dedicate your time, talent, and energy to coordinating meeting times, setting agendas, and facilitating conversations that grow the project are the glue that holds everything together and helps us move forward. In addition to the leadership you provide, I am very aware that many of you are also contributors-in-chief to the areas you are serving.

Most importantly, I want to pause silently for a moment. I want everyone to take a minute to reflect on all of the ways that you have contributed to the success of Joomla in the last six months. Whether you just joined a team and have invested an hour at your first team meeting or you have  been working tirelessly on identifying and resolving issues on the road from Joomla4 alpha1 to where we are today. Please just take a moment to reflect on all that you have shared with the project in the last six months....

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart… thank you.

You don’t do these things for me or for the board. We do these things for each other and for Joomla. We do them to make the internet a better place. We do them to show that the world is a better place when we work “all together”. We do this work all together with shared values and a shared sense of purpose.

The World has Changed


It is incredibly difficult to rewind our minds and awareness back to our last semi-annual meeting. It was February 18. Do you remember what the world was like back in February?

Awareness of a strange and deadly virus was just starting to make its way into the headlines. We were still several weeks before most of the world’s economy was shut down nearly overnight.

It is hard to reconcile that only a very small fraction of the world’s population has been infected with the virus, however the loss of life is very real and painful. How much risk of dramatically greater loss is still uncertain. This massive uncertainty still challenges our lives, our business, our politics, and of course Joomla.

Even though the United States is one of the hardest hit countries, It is striking to me that the very small number of people that I know who have been positively diagnosed with COVID are connections within the Joomla community. It is a reminder of the global impact of the virus and of the global impact of Joomla.

Black Lives Matter

While the world was still reeling from the impact of COVID and a massive economic shutdown, George Floyd death unleashed a whirlwind of even more global unrest. We were forced to confront issues of racial inequality, police brutality, rioting, and calls for justice.

Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, MN. It is 45 minutes away from where my oldest son attends college. We pass through Minneapolis every time we visit him. My own home city of Milwaukee has about 1 million people and is often described as the most segregated city in America.

Large organizations the world over rushed to put out statements addressing all of these issues. Among the many refrains was that when it comes to issues of injustice to say nothing implies that one is OK with what is happening.

Unfortunately as with many things in our world today, even the most basic statements of truth were politicized to add even more division. The world found itself debating the relationships of whether “Black Lives Matter” is a more valid statement than “All Lives Matter” or even “Blue Lives Matter” which is used prominently in the United States to support the overwhelming majority of our police officers who do their job with great integrity.

I will confess that there was a very energetic conversation between board members about how best to respond to the situation on behalf of our global community. I want to credit the board Vice President, Elisa Foltyn with having the courage to broaden the conversation to the entire leadership team of over three dozen contributors.

Hearing how the challenges of working through this statement on the board I personally feared that broadening the scope of the conversation would turn into endless arguments and design by committee.

I was wrong and I am sorry for not trusting all of you more. I believe the statement that was put out reflected well our values and who we are as a community. I am incredibly grateful for all of you that contributed to your thoughts and feedback to the process of developing that statement. If you missed it when posted, we will be sure to link it in the notes from today’s meeting.

Thank you Elisa for your courage and for teaching me about greater trust in the leadership within our community to make the right decisions under pressure.

The statement was very well done, but it is not enough. The situation has sparked a conversation about our responsibilities as a global community to respond effectively to the events in the world around us. We don’t want simply be another international organization or global corporation rushing to simply signal to the world our virtue through carefully crafted public relations statements. Rather, we are uniquely positioned to live from the reality of the mulit-cultural virtue that is at the very core of Joomla’s software and its community.

We for sure do not have all the answers, but are working to discern how we can address these situations as effectively as possible into the future.

Our current board of directors has members from three different continents and our election cycle provides a fantastic opportunity to increase the diversity of representation within our global community. We fight two biases in increasing our diversity. One is that for practical purposes the business of Joomla is conducted in English. The second is that Joomla seems to have the highest concentration of its developer and user base in Europe.

Acknowledging these biases is helpful, but we need to be very intentional in overcoming them if Joomla is to continue to grow and be acknowledged as a global organization. One of the most visible things we can do is encourage leaders from South and Central America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Thanks to Djamel. He is our current Department Coordinator for Events. He is from Algiers, but Africa is a big continent to represent all by yourself.


The best thing we can do to reflect the global nature of our community is to identify great leaders that represent the amazing diversity of cultures within Joomla.

Calls for manifestos are tomorrow

Today is an invitation for everyone that feels like they can lead positive change in our community to seriously consider stepping forward into a leadership role on the board of directors. My strong invitation to all of you is not a critique of the current board members who are up for re-election. It is an encouragement that our greatest strength as an organization is calling forward an abundance of great leaders from which to choose. I promise to be just as vocal in my call for people to step forward when my own current term is up in 6 months.

Part of my enthusiasm for encouraging as many people as possible to nominate themselves is that it gives us a chance to see all the ways that different leaders in our community envision living out our values more fully. It is a chance to reflect on who we are and where we need to grow. Even for those that run and are not elected, you are provided a platform to share your thoughts and dreams about how Joomla can be even better. Those contributions during the election process inspire us all.

It is for this reason that I am hoping our elections will be less about the victor and the vanquished and more about expressing gratitude for all of those that are willing to take the risk to put their name out there, to commit to a higher level of responsibility, and “win or lose” to gracious to everyone in working through the process.

In fact, when this election cycle is concluded, rather than congratulating the winners, can we thank everyone who is willing to step forward to serve?

I do have one additional request in regard to leadership and this one is a little more personal. It is sometimes tempting to view leadership positions as a reward for hard work or significant contributions. Part of this is true in that leadership positions can provide more influence over decisions and the direction of the project.

However, there can also be a huge downside. Leadership adds administrative and other demands to whatever other contributions someone is making. Offering leadership as a reward for someone that is already making massive contributions to the project can create a situation where a team dissolves because one person is doing all the work anyway. It can be very frustrating for everyone, especially the new leader with a ton of responsibility and very little help.

If you are a heavy contributor and considering a leadership role, please carefully consider who will take responsibility for your current commitments so that you can lead effectively. This is true for all positions of leadership within the organization.

For those of us that are voting and choosing between candidates:

Please participate. Learn about the candidates and cast your vote. These individuals are taking the time and risk to step forward. We can honor that by learning about them and what they stand for and then helping to make a difference.

Please work toward identifying those candidates that create the best possible environment for everyone else to succeed. This will be reflected in how well the candidate is living out Joomla’s values in the current areas of contribution. One person alone can do a lot. A leader that creates an environment where everyone can succeed makes our growth potential unlimited.

Positions that are open this cycle
  • Vice President

  • Treasurer

  • Programs Department Coordinator

  • Events Department Coordinator

  • Marketing Department Coordinator

Volunteer Engagement Team

  • Virtual JUG groups

  • Volunteer Recruitment via the rebooted Joomla Magazine

  • Coordinating with Marketing and Social Media Team to handle communications throughout the COVID situation

  • Reviewing how we onboard new volunteers

  • Leveraging the work of previous volunteers by reviewing the Community Engagement Survey data first gathered in 2017

Education Working Group

Established and delivered youth focused education programs in Europe and the United States. They leveraged resources from our current training partners as well as those independently developed and made available from SD Williams at DePaul in Chicago and Laura Gorden at Rutgers  in New Jersey.

Joomla 4 Beta 2

Semi-Annual Financial Report 

Speaker: Brian Mitchell (Treasurer ad Interim)

  • New Fiscal/Tax documents will be available soon. 

  • 2019/2020 Fiscal Year is complete.

  • The Board has now a higher awareness of bank accounts, statements and movements.

  • The new Bookkeeper is being onboarded, to introduce an additional level of control over the transactions.

  • The Budget blog post will be published in the coming days.

  • Brian shared the Budget for Fiscal Year 2020/21. 

  • The Board expects to revisit the budget in a 6 months period.

Questions & Comments

  • Nicola Galgano asked if the budget will be published. The budget blog post will be published within the week.

  • Anja de Crom requested the status of the plans for the constitution of the 501(c)(3) entity. Brian shared the status, currently on the appeal status following the IRS rejection.

  • Philip Walton requested why the Board of Directors section of the budget has the largest expenditure. Brian presented the Board section, with all the expenses breakdown.

Questions & Comments

  • Anja de Crom requested if these meeting notes will be published. The meeting minutes will be published both on the Volunteers Portal and the OSM website.

  • Sander Potjer reported that the Operations DC left the team/departmental channels suddenly. Brian assured that he will rejoin them shortly.

  • Nicola Galgano requested that all teams report regularly about their activities.

  • Donata Kalnenaite proposed to rename the Compliance Team in Privacy Compliance Team to ensure a clear understanding of the scope of the team.

  • Donata Kalnenaite requested the collaboration of the Legal Team to ensure the Compliance Team is aware of all the privacy regulations that are applicable to OSM.

  • Donata Kalnenaite said that it would be helpful for us to have guidance on what our privacy values are as an organization. For example, GDPR provides certain privacy rights to EU residents. Hugh to attend the next Compliance Team meeting.