Election 2017

In April 2017 we are running the ninth annual vote for a Fellowship representative to represent the community and the FSFE's Fellowship in the FSFE's general assembly. The General Assembly acts as a board of the FSFE and serves the Council with advisory.

FSFE elections In accordance with FSFE's constitution, two seats in the General Assembly are reserved for the Fellowship representatives. The winner of this election will be a Fellowship representative inside FSFE's General Assembly for a period of two years. The elected person shall represent FSFE's community and have an influence inside FSFE's highest decision level. A Fellowship representatives is a full member of the General Assembly, and have all the rights and obligations of other members. This election will replace Nicolas Dietrich's position as his two year period is ending.

The election is organised by Erik Albers in his role as the Fellowship coordinator.

Most important information in a nutshell:

FSFE plussy

More information on the voting procedure can be found in FSFE`s constitution

For any further questions contact

Candidates 2017

Candidates are ordered in aphabetical order of their first names:

Carsten Agger


My special interest with regard to free software is the use of free software to empower local communities through DIY networking, multimedia production, chat/video conferencing, and so on. I'm against hacker elitism and believe working with free software infrastructure, the GNU/Linux command line, etc., is a craft that everyone could and should learn. Professionally, and on a different note, I am also very interested in the viability of companies committed to only delivering software to their clients under a free license. If elected to the GA, I'd like to focus on these main issues:

About me

I am a software developer, writer and political activist. I'm an FSFE Fellow since 2011.

My free software adventure started in 2005 when I discovered the free software philosophy and started using GNU/Linux exclusively, at home and eventually at work. After that, I spent several years advocating free software and Ubuntu on my Danish-language blog. In 2009, I co-founded the local Ubuntu group in Aarhus, Denmark, which has now spread to the smaller towns of Hinnerup and Randers.

In 2012, I founded the FSFE Fellowship group in Aarhus, whose last effort was helping out with the 2015 LibreOffice conference.

I work for the Danish (free license-only) software company Magenta and volunteer for the Brasilian Baobáxia project, which is an important inspiration for my thoughts on local communities and free software.

You can read more about my free software activism on my FSFE blog.

Daniel Pocock

Daniel Pocock at DebConf13, Switzerland


FSFE plays a significant leadership role in the free software community and society in general. Effective leadership comes from action. As the fellowship representative, I would continue to do many of the things I have already been doing for some time: public speaking, writing and blogging, mentoring and contributing to free software projects. If you follow my blog you may already have seen examples of all these activities. In a community environment where many people are either volunteers or working towards different and unrelated goals for distinct employers, there is little opportunity to tell people how to do things and the only hope FSFE has of making an impact is to engage with those leaders in the community who best exemplify the organization's goals and principles.


Pocock graduated B.CompSc from The University of Melbourne in 2002, where he had also had a brief introduction to activism through MUSU and NUS. Pocock has had an interest in computing and technology since an early age, beginning assembly language programming in primary school and passing the full theory exam for an amateur radio license at 14. Pocock is most widely known as a Debian Developer but is also a contributor to F-droid, Fedora, Ubuntu and OpenCSW distributions and an active upstream developer in numerous projects, including several where he is project leader or release manager. He has a particular interest in real-time communications and financial software. Pocock's professional career spans a wide range of firms in financial services, software development, Internet services and telecommunications in the UK, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia. He is an Irish Australian with a basic knowledge of several European languages, including French, German and Spanish.

Florian Snow

Florian Snow


I think that as a Fellowship representative, I can contribute to and shape the future of the FSFE even better. I have been very active within the FSFE, but there are some parts that feel cut off from volunteers. There has been criticism about transparency of the General Assembly and I would like to work with the other members on improving transparency to a level that most people find satisfactory. I think that goal can be achieved by asking for feedback from volunteers and reporting back to them. That way, I hope to establish a two-way communication channel between the General Assembly and interested volunteers. I would also like to define the relationship between the core organs of the FSFE and the wider community more clearly and improve governance in general.

Generally, I am pretty good at communicating with others, I get along well with almost anyone, I am patient, and I can work constructively, so I think I have a realistic chance of achieving my goals if I get elected.

I am very excited to run together with so many other candidates, many of which I admire for their Free Software work. I am happy that this means voters will have an actual choice between different suitable candidates.

About me

I work as a software developer (no non-free software) and during my studies, I learned a lot about sociology, civics, and philosophy. That means I find myself at an interesting intersection of technology and philosophy, a skill set that can be immensely useful in the Free Software world.

I have been involved with Free Software since around 1999, even if I didn't know back then what Free Software was. Since then, I have continuously learned about Free Software and I am dedicated to software freedom for everyone. For a more detailed overview of my Free Software history, have a look at my wiki page.

Joe Awni

Joe Awni Fellows from last year probably remember my unsuccessful attempt to be included as candidate for fellowship representative. For those who do not, I invite you to review my message and the lengthy discussion which followed:

One year ago I wrote that "the FSFE risks it's relevance by using their technology as a door to exclude people."

This year, I think it's truer then ever: fellowship is about inclusion.

Your fellowship is NOT merely an annual offering. The hard work begins after donation with your dutiful involvement in consideration of:

Indeed, for most of you, monetary donation represents the least of your potential contribution to Free-Software-Fellowship. Computer-language instruction-sets (code), ideas, discussions, and votes are the individuals' meaningful contributions to the FOSS movement. For the purpose of this foundation i ask you to divert a little time from that productive FOSS project to understand how to use your vote to make the biggest possible positive impact on FOSS.

Who should be represented in Free and Open Source Software Governance?

Personally, I think it's imperative that all philosophies of software development be represented in the governance of FOSS. As Fellowship Representative, i will seek transparency, inclusivity, and software-quality by working and thinking to ensure that when the FOSS boom really kick-starts the software world, we will be in a good position to leverage that success to the benefit of contemporary coders with regard to our long-term shared interest in computing.

Further Reading

Maurice Verheesen

FSFE work

Hi, I'm Maurice. You might know me for the ECM meetings or gatherings as the FOSDEM and ORR. I've been active for 6 years now. The better part running the Dutch country team. When I started there were only a few active fellows, now we have a large team. We also doubled in contributors the last few years. Which results in two people from the Netherlands running for this post :)

Primary goal in the GA

I don't like internal FSFE discussions much. That's why you might not see me much in internal fora. I believe our work is out there in the world, convincing other people about software freedom. My goal in the GA would be to make sure the FSFE enables as many Fellows to actually do that work. Tell people, convince people, show people what software freedom is about.

About me

Almost 35 years old, married, living in the Netherlands. Bachelor in electrical engineering and master in Innovation Management. I run a company (Data Computing) where we teach people Free Software tooling in Data Science (like Python, R, numPy, SciPy etc). We also build custom solutions and do consulting for our clients.

Mia Eley

Mia Eley stepped back from candidating

Patrick Moelands


For several years I am Fellow and I would like to do more. That is why I would like to run for a seat as Fellowship representative. From the day that I discovered GNU/Linux, I became a firm believer of Free/Libre Open Source Software. Everybody should have a choice to which operating system or software they want to use instead of being forced to use only proprietary software.

I prefer direct communication with a positive approach and will always try to find a constructive solution for challenges I come across. I try to be positve and polite towards others. It is my believe we should work together to shape the future of free software because together we can make a difference. I believe there is a reason why there is no "I" in FSFE.

Having several candidates for this election is awesome. Because like the many colourful distro's we have, this means that people can really make a choice to their liking.

If I would be elected for the seat in the GA, I want to represent the users. The common man or woman who does not know what Free Software is. The ordinary person I speak who says "Open Source?", the person who thinks they have no choice. That the proprietary operating system on their computer is not all there is. That they do have a choice.

About me

I work as a QA/QC Manager and work with quality systems, standards and analyse processes. Because of my work, I am used to analyse and discuss with others (mind you, a constructive discussion should be something useful instead turning into a bickering). In 2003 moved from proprietary software to GNU/Linux and still use it with much pleasure. I have never regretted it. I have been involved in several Open Source project over the years.

More details about myself and how to contact me can be found on my wiki page.

Thomas Kandler

Thomas Kandler stepped back from candidating.


Hustings will be held on March 31, 5:30 PM UTC to 7:30 PM UTC, in #fsfe at <>. This is an opportunity for the candidates to present themselves and for the community to quiz the candidates on their views. The channel will be moderated during the hustings. Our Vice President Heiki Lõhmus will be accepting requests to question the candidates via private messages and voicing (and devoicing) the participants as necessary. The candidates will be asked for opening remarks at the beginning and concluding remarks at the end; the time between is reserved for questions from the community. The hustings will be logged and the logs will be made public for the benefit of Fellows unable to participate.


Please see the instructions for connecting to freenode if you are new to IRC. Once connected to the network, type '/join #fsfe' (omit the quotation marks) and press enter to join our channel. If you wish to ask a question during the hustings, type '/msg Repentinus I want to ask a question' and press enter. You can vary the message from the third word (I) onwards. If you tune in on time, the procedure will also be explained at the beginning of the hustings.


Moderator gives voice to Joe Awni
Moderator gives voice to Florian Snow
Moderator gives voice to Patrick Moeland
Moderator gives voice to Daniel Pocock
Moderator gives voice to Carsten Agger
Moderator sets mode +m #fsfe
So… From this point onward until the end of the hustings the channel will be moderated and logged.
17:33:21<+Patrick Moeland>
I will keep all candidates voiced, although I ask them to answer your questions when I prompt them to do so.
If you wish to ask the candidates a question, please type '/msg Moderator I'd like to ask a question' or whatever you want after '/msg Moderator'. (Omit the quotes.)
We will start with introductions and then continue with questions.
Moderator gives voice to Maurice Verheesen
First, for those new to our channel, I am Heiki Lõhmus, the Vice President of Free Software Foundation Europe. I will be moderating this session. Now let's turn to our candidates.
Would you like to go first?
17:37:18<+Carsten Agger>
17:37:53<+Carsten Agger>
My name is Carsten Agger, and I've been involved in various kinds of free software activism since 2005
17:38:28<+Carsten Agger>
... including doing information campaigns, organizing events and founding an FSFE Fellowship Group in Denmark.
17:39:29<+Carsten Agger>
I've always been fascinated by the community aspect of free software, and especially of the potential of free software and the freedom entailed in the principle of copyleft, the placing the power in the user's control
17:40:09<+Carsten Agger>
And that kind of community engagement is definitely something I would stress within the FSFE.
17:41:49<+Carsten Agger>
Presently, I'm working with the Mocambos network and the technoshamanism network in Brazil on developing and installing free software in traditional communities to enable them to fight for their rights and preserve their culture
17:44:04<+Carsten Agger>
In my day job, I work with implementing free software with public authorities in Denmark - importantly, working with some municpalities trying to break the monopoly of a few proprietary vendors. I'd also like to communicate about how best to achieve this kind of thing, replacing proprietary software in small steps, to spread the practise as much as possible.
17:44:04<+Carsten Agger>
That's it, thanks for your attention.
Thank you, Carsten.
Daniel, I believe you are still away for a moment?
Florian, would you like to go next?
17:44:56<+Florian Snow>
17:45:09<+Florian Snow>
My name is Florian Snow and I have been involved with Free Software in general since around 1999, but back then I was more curious about the technical aspects.
17:45:34<+Florian Snow>
Later, I learned more about the socio-politcal side of Free Software and that is when I became more active.
17:46:05<+Florian Snow>
I came to consider Free Software as a fundamental right and that is why I started fighting for it.
17:47:09<+Florian Snow>
I am currently involved in several different teams of the FSF and FSFE, for example the blog hackers, translators, PR team, Wiki Caretakers, and some others I probably can't think of right now.
17:47:30<+Florian Snow>
I also run a local group here in Franconia (Northern Bavaria, Germany).
17:47:43<+Florian Snow>
That's it from me.
Thank you, Florian.
17:48:20<+Joe Awni>
17:49:23<+Joe Awni>
Quick question: I am told that my post on the wiki is overstuffed, and my, along with any others have to be reduced to avoid "overloading" the wiki.
17:49:59<+Joe Awni>
I rather prefer the wiki page intact as the candidates intended, is it possible to make a link to a "legacy page" or so?
I don't know anything about the wiki, so could we please concentrate on the hustings for now? You can PM me the details while the next candidate introduces themself and I will see what we can do.
17:51:49<+Joe Awni>
It's kind-of a technical question because i don't know much about the wiki either, but im sure whatever hardware it's on is not going to be "overloaded"
Joe, I am as flummoxed as you are, but we cannot diagnose this at the moment: it would be disrespectful both to your fellow candidates and the audience.
17:53:23<+Joe Awni>
I'm Joe Awni, known away from the keyboard as just Joe. -- Okay, what does flummoxed mean?
Perplexed. Confused.
Is there anything you'd like to add about yourself?
17:54:13<+Joe Awni>
Basically, I'm focused on promoting FOSS from the perspective of the developer.
17:54:55<+Joe Awni>
I do this by making code not to make users lives easier, but developers.
17:55:53<+Joe Awni>
For example, I have published under the GPLv3 a ncurses repetitive strain injury timer that reminds programmers to rest their hands for ten min every hour.
17:56:24<+Joe Awni>

17:57:04<+Joe Awni>
That's basically my perspective, thanks.
Thank you, Joe.
Daniel, would you like to go next?
17:57:33<+Daniel Pocock>
17:58:06<+Daniel Pocock>

I've given a brief profile on the wiki

17:58:27<+Daniel Pocock>
people can see some of my activities through things like the Debian contributions
17:59:01<+Daniel Pocock> Pocock@debian/

17:59:09<+Daniel Pocock>
and many other sources such as Github
17:59:50<+Daniel Pocock>
I'm based in Switzerland currently but I frequently travel within Europe, UK and Ireland
17:59:52<+Daniel Pocock>
and beyond
18:00:20<+Daniel Pocock>
is there anything else that I should elaborate on at this point or would you like to move on to the next candidate?
I would like to move on if you are OK with that.
18:00:41<+Daniel Pocock>
great, thanks
Thank you, Daniel!
Maurice Verheesen, should I move to another candidate for now?
18:02:47<+Maurice Verheesen>
Hi sorry
18:03:02<+Maurice Verheesen>
Hi I'm Maurice. Dutch country team coordinator.
18:03:02<+Maurice Verheesen>
I've been active for 6 years now I think.
18:03:02<+Maurice Verheesen>
In that time the number of Dutch contributors doubled
18:03:04<+Maurice Verheesen>
and also our active team went from 1 tot 10.
18:03:28<+Maurice Verheesen>
In 2010 I published my master studies on how organisations struggle to "buy" something that is free. So basically it was about companies who have difficulty dealing with free software in their organisations.
18:03:51<+Maurice Verheesen>
Have been lobbying in NL at local and country level, did many many talks at lots of events and most importantly supported others to grow in their evangelizing of Software Freedom.
18:04:20<+Maurice Verheesen>
I don't like internal FSFE discussions much. That's why you might not see me much in internal fora. I believe our work is out there in the world, convincing other people about software freedom.
18:04:46<+Maurice Verheesen>
My goal in the GA would be the same as here in NL-Team to make sure the FSFE enables as many Fellows to actually do that work. Tell people, convince people, show people what software freedom is about.
18:05:04<+Maurice Verheesen>
that's it!
Thank you, Maurice.
18:05:25<+Patrick Moeland>
Yes, thank you.
18:06:57<+Patrick Moeland>
Well, just like Maurice, I am Dutch and fulltime Linux user since 2003. From the beginning, I was fascinated by the concept of FOSS. Over the years, I have been involved in all kinds of ways with several things, like BLAG, CentOS and also been an administrator of the Scientific Linux Forum.
18:07:45<+Patrick Moeland>
I firmly believe in freedom for the users. People need to have a choice in what they use for their purpose instead of being locked into something that will force them how to do something
18:08:31<+Patrick Moeland>
I have been a Fellow since 2010 and found it the right moment to become more active, more visible. That is why I run for a seat in the GA.
18:09:01<+Patrick Moeland>
Where I can, I show people that there is FOSS, regardless if that is on Linux or Windows.
18:09:28<+Patrick Moeland>
I agree with Maurice that people in the field are needed, showing others that is there is more to choose.
18:10:21<+Patrick Moeland>
That is what I want to bring along should I be elected for the GA, to stand up for the regular users, who are still blinded by proprietary software.
18:10:30<+Patrick Moeland>

That's it I guess :)

Thank you, Patrick.
Our audience, we will now proceed to questions. You can direct your questions to all candidates or just a few of them. Please /msg me with your questions. I will fill all gaps with questions of my own devising.
Any questions for the moment?
OK. I will go first.
This has little relevance to what the GA does, but perhaps it will break some ice: What is your favourite distribution and text editor?
18:14:45<+Patrick Moeland>
CentOS-7, Pluma/VI
Thank you. Maurice?
18:15:09<+Maurice Verheesen>
debian and vim
Thanks. Jow?
18:15:48<+Joe Awni>
Since i clobbered my partition table ive been running LiveCDs for months now.
18:15:57<+Joe Awni>
Debian and Emacs
Thank you. Florian?
18:16:15<+Florian Snow>
favorite: Debian and Emacs, but I am currently on a Parabola machine
Thanks. Daniel?
18:16:36<+Daniel Pocock>
Debian and vi
Thanks you. Carsten?
18:16:53<+Carsten Agger>
Ubuntu and vim
I see a strong tendency towards Debian and vi/m. I haven't done any proper statistics, but the Debian is indicative of most GA members. A lot of them prefer emacs, though.
A procedural note: if you are trying to /msg me and haven't got a response, please join ##fsfe and let me know.
18:20:00<+Joe Awni>

I have a question, Patrick Moeland wrote "I firmly believe in freedom for the users. People need to have a choice in what they use for their purpose instead of being locked into something that will force them how to do something" <--- This refers to vendor lock-in. What do you think about the potential for differences between FOSS Operating Systems to create a distro-lock-in effect?

Joe, please PM me with questions first. I have a question from tokage waiting. We will address yours after that.
tokage asks: "What's your favorite RMS quote?"
18:22:12<+Carsten Agger>
.... moment ...
Sure. I suggest other candidates look up theirs while Carsten is answering as well.
18:22:42<+Carsten Agger>

... there's so many RMS quotes :-)

18:23:12<+Carsten Agger>
For the moment I can think of nothing better than "Free as in Freedom".
18:23:21<+Carsten Agger>

So that's it :)

I would say it is an excellent answer. Thank you.
18:24:05<+Daniel Pocock>
I actually like the slides he uses, in particular, the one where big companies are pulling the strings
Excellent. Florian?
18:24:40<+Daniel Pocock>

the only thing I don't understand is that when big companies attach strings to politicians, they get money, but when they get their tenticles into my computer, no money :(

18:25:11<+Florian Snow>
Wow, there's so many good ones about freedom, so it's hard to choose. I like "Giving proprietary software to children is like giving them tobacco." Since I have to pick one on the spot, I would go with something he said to a friend of mine after he used "Open Source" in a question and realized it: "Don't worry, we all make mistakes."
18:26:07<+Joe Awni>

I dont have a favorite quote from RMS, i have a pic of him signing my laptop:

Thanks. Maurice?
18:26:54<+Joe Awni>
At the Hackers on Planet Earth conference in Manhattan from July 2016
18:27:00<+Maurice Verheesen>
well, for me personally "happy hacking" sums it all up. RMS has many bold statements we can relate to. Trick is giving the rest of the world that same believe and feeling without scaring them.
Thank you, Maurice.
18:27:56<+Patrick Moeland>
There are several I like, but right now, this one would be the most firm one: Facebook is not your friend, it is a surveillance engine.
18:28:11<+Patrick Moeland>
as it takes away your freedom
18:28:20<+Patrick Moeland>
and too many do not realise that
18:28:24<+Patrick Moeland>
Thank you.

Now Joe asked, «Patrick Moeland wrote "I firmly believe in freedom for the users. People need to have a choice in what they use for their purpose instead of being locked into something that will force them how to do something" <--- This refers to vendor lock-in. What do you think about the potential for differences between FOSS Operating Systems to create a distro-lock-in effect?»

18:29:47<+Patrick Moeland>
I meant it in a general way, not specificly to an OS or software,
Since Patrick was called out in that question, I will give Patrick the first opportunity to respond. Patrick?
18:30:17<+Patrick Moeland>
but I do believe both should allow the user to be free in how to use, adapt, modify, etc.
18:30:25<+Patrick Moeland>
as for distro-lock-in,
18:30:45<+Patrick Moeland>
it would be sad if FOSS would be limited to a specific distro
18:31:14<+Patrick Moeland>
Thank you, Patrick.
Let's go to the middle of the alphabet for a while. Florian?
18:32:10<+Florian Snow>
I think there is a certain lock-in effect in the sense that people might not want to switch distros, but it is not a real lock-in effect in the traditional sense because they can in fact switch. I am very happy there are different distros out there that serve different purposes.
Thank you.
18:33:15<+Daniel Pocock>
Joe Awni: could you define distro-lock in or give an example?
18:34:05<+Joe Awni>
one sec
18:35:07<+Joe Awni>

Part of the reason im on LiveCDs is because i was so familiar with Fedora's package manager, yum and dnf and file-system ( . Migrating to another system, for example, Gentoo required learning a whole new package management system as perquisite to installation.

18:35:37<+Joe Awni>
I've been unable to install GNU/Linux for more than a month because of distro-lock-in like effects!
Thank you, Joe. Daniel?
18:36:11<+Joe Awni>
I'm not finished.
OK, but please make it concise.
18:37:13<+Daniel Pocock>
OK, I would agree there are differences in packaging and this is frustrating for both users and developers. As a developer, I work hard to make sure that build systems and other things in my projects work in both the .deb and .rpm world but this effort also takes away time and energy that could be spent developing features.
18:37:23<+Joe Awni>
And the thing about the community, Debian voted to ditch the Linux File-system Hierarchy Standard which makes the problem of learning/re-learning a whole new system even worse.
18:38:23<+Daniel Pocock>
I think each of these things is a separate discussion though and there will always be some differences and we just have to help people start with something that will serve them well in the long term.
Thank you both!
18:40:24<+Carsten Agger>
There is a certain form of lock-in. As a technical lock-in, i.e. of programs rather than users, my company built a remote admin system for GNU/Linux systems, along the lines of Canonical's Landscape and various other products.
Carsten, do you wish to add anything?
18:42:20<+Carsten Agger>
... this is free software and I was asked: Will it work for Windows clients? And I had to answer that no, the client is based on Unix file locks and crontab and would be non-trivial to reimplement in Windows, even if the code is all Python. So our client is "locked in" and difficult to move to non-Unix-like systems.
18:42:28<+Carsten Agger>
18:42:42<+Carsten Agger>
So, that's lock-in in the practical perspective
18:43:20<+Carsten Agger>
However, as long as the source code is available and everybody is free to study and use, it's not a software freedom issue - everybody is free to reimplement and adapt
18:43:54<+Carsten Agger>
... whereas with proprietary software you're legally and practically barred from doing that.
18:44:22<+Carsten Agger>
Standards are important, but it's not exactly a software freedom issue. Rather a community issue.
18:44:22<+Carsten Agger>
Thank you, Carsten.
18:45:38<+Maurice Verheesen>
Well they are free software OS'es so technically there can't be a lockin. You don't like it? Change it, ask friends to change it, or go to another distro of better liking, that fits you better. You are free to do so. Having many choices is a good thing...
Thank you, Maurice.
18:47:22<+Joe Awni>
Would you like to answer your own question or add anything?
18:48:27<+Joe Awni>
I add: no amount of effort will release users from vendor-lock-in because as soon as someone actually uses one of the four freedoms they turn from a user into a developer or distributor. I think it's misguided to focus on freedom for the users directly because it will be a function of a healthy FOSS community (which includes users).
Thank you, Joe.
Florian asks: "What do you plan to achieve in the GA and how?"
18:49:37<+Joe Awni>
To illustrate the point that for the purpose of lock-in-effects, it does not matter if it's FOSS or proprietary. Users will have the same result
Joe, thanks.
Joe, would you like to answer Florian's question?
18:52:05<+Joe Awni>
Would like to shift focus to empowering users to be the developers and assisting contemporary coders.
Do you have a take on how you plan to achieve that?
18:54:26<+Joe Awni>
I don't have a day-to-day plan for that ATM. But i would hit the ground running to make waves for better software while learning on the job
Thank you, Joe.
Maurice Verheesen?
18:55:52<+Maurice Verheesen>
Making sure fellows have the tools and skills they might need to evangelize software freedom. I would love to work more closely with Erik to see what he needs and hears. Then discuss in the GA
18:55:56<+Maurice Verheesen>
18:56:06<+Maurice Verheesen>
what we can do
18:56:33<+Maurice Verheesen>
18:57:08<+Maurice Verheesen>
and try to shift focus from internal debates to actual actions to convince people outside are own community about software freedom
Thank you, Maurice.
18:58:25<+Patrick Moeland>
I want to make sure the regular user is represented, trying to avoid lenghty debates where the object of the debate is lost out of sight
18:58:39<+Patrick Moeland>
go for constructive debates
18:58:45<+Patrick Moeland>
not debating to debate
18:59:01<+Patrick Moeland>
the users need help
18:59:24<+Patrick Moeland>
and we, the Fellows and those in the GA, should be the tools to make it happen
18:59:27<+Patrick Moeland>
Thank you, Patrick.
19:00:18<+Daniel Pocock>
I would like to answer with the comment I already added on the wiki: I will simply do more of what I already do, public speaking, blogging, hacking and networking
Thank you, Daniel.
19:01:13<+Carsten Agger>
I have two perspectives, as is also clear from the wiki and what I said before.
19:02:32<+Carsten Agger>
As a developer, I'd like to communicate about and lobby for how we increase the percentage of software developed and installed in professional organizations, private homes, etc., that's free software
19:03:46<+Carsten Agger>
I believe I have *some* important things to share about that, as I've seen public organizations commission small free software projects and in the end see everything fit into place for a tenth or a hundredth of what they would normally pay
19:03:48<+Carsten Agger>
19:04:38<+Carsten Agger>
on the other hand, I believe in the potential of free software to empower communities bottom-up. Some early Italian projects were lovely examples of that community spirit, like dyne:bolic or Netsukuku.
Thanks, Carsten.
19:05:51<+Carsten Agger>
I'm against hacker elitism, as I wrote on the wiki - in many case, users from e.g. indigenous communities get started quickly with the command line and compiling drivers etc because they're not afraid, noone ever told them this was difficult, so it isn't
19:06:00<+Carsten Agger>
That's the spirit I'd like to promote.
19:06:01<+Carsten Agger>
19:06:28<+Florian Snow>
One task that I would like to tackle is transparency of the GA. Unfortunately, the GA is not as transparent as it could be.
19:06:43<+Florian Snow>
I don't want to assign blame here because I know people are already making a real effort, but this is still something that I think needs improvement. And I know a lot of the GA work is relatively boring administrative work as in any e.V., so people might be less curious once they hear what goes on there more clearly.
19:07:02<+Florian Snow>
Still, I think this is important to get out there. I also know that this has been on the agenda for Fellowship representatives for a while and I am sure everyone is doing their best, I know many people still don't know what goes on inside the GA.
19:07:12<+Florian Snow>
I want to improve that by offering people a window into the GA.
19:07:20<+Florian Snow>
This will mainly work by talking to people in person, via mailing lists, and in chatrooms.
19:07:31<+Florian Snow>
That way, I will be able to answer their questions and bring their suggestions to the GA (and the result back of course).
19:07:43<+Florian Snow>
We also have some potential for improvement in the area of governance and we need to figure out a way to make decisions with the community.
19:08:03<+Florian Snow>
Right now, we often try to involve the community in decisions, but we have no clear process how to structure such a decision. This sometimes leads to stalled decisions because debates go on for a long time and there is no clear way to reach a concensus or compromise.
19:08:16<+Florian Snow>
This is a tricky issue, but fortunately, there are some other projects out there that already figured out some of those problems.
19:08:35<+Florian Snow>
I want to look at how other projects make decisions, how they determine what needs to be decided by the community at all, which rules they apply to events and mailing lists, and so on. I already got some ideas at FOSDEM for that.
19:08:46<+Florian Snow>
Then, we can determine which of those solutions work for us or which ones can be adapted.
19:08:54<+Florian Snow>
We will probably also come up with new ideas in the process.
19:09:10<+Florian Snow>
In the end, the FSFE will be stronger overall because we will have a clear way of not just getting input from the community, but also have a way of directly involving the community in more decisions than we can involve them in right now.
Thank you, Florian.
We have another question from Daniel.
"have you ever been elected to a position in a non-profit before and can you comment briefly on things you learnt, mistakes you made and anything you could relate to the FSFE GA?"
19:11:24<+Patrick Moeland>
Unfortunately I have not been in such position before. But I have learned in the past through work or communities that there are always several sides to a story. There is not always ONE way to solve a problem. It means I will always try to look from different angles.
Cheers, Patrick.
19:12:24<+Maurice Verheesen>
I'm one of the board members of the "ICT Vereniging". An special interest group for IT companies in NL. I learned a lot...
19:12:46<+Maurice Verheesen>
however since this is a public forum and I'm still active board member,
19:13:33<+Maurice Verheesen>
I feel a bit reluctant to elaborate more on this. But yes, I've experience working in such a setting.
Thank you, Maurice.
19:14:25<+Joe Awni>
I was recently elected auditor of a small association that offers it's own web-hosting for members.
Would you like to mention any experiences that you could relate to working in our GA?
19:16:47<+Joe Awni>
Nothing comes to mind
Thank you, Joe.
19:17:16<+Florian Snow>
I am the president of a singing group that is organized as a non-profit (e.V.), just like the FSFE.
19:17:35<+Florian Snow>
I made quite a few mistakes in the beginning because it was kind of a running start for me, taking on so much responsibility all at once. But I learned from this experience that it is important to take a breath occassionally and not try to get everything perfect right away.
19:17:45<+Florian Snow>
I wouldn't want to claim the two positions are the same, but I think some issues translate such as organizing competing interests and communicating well. I also learned a lot about the legal requirements and issues that such an organizations has to deal with.
Thank you, Florian.
19:19:05<+Carsten Agger>
I was a board member of "Open Space Aarhus", the hacker space here in Aarhus, for two years
19:19:36<+Carsten Agger>
Our principle was to keep everything completely open, discuss as much as possible on the public mailing list, etc.
19:20:25<+Carsten Agger>
The idea was that things should *only* be discussed on the board mailing list if they involved critical things about individuals which should be kept close for privacy reasons
19:21:12<+Carsten Agger>
However, there was at the same time a tendency to "particularism", to keep some discussions on the board list "just because"
19:21:43<+Carsten Agger>
... so we could forget that our being on the board was a responsibility, not a privilege
Thank you, Carsten.
19:22:50<+Carsten Agger>
So there was some "waving" between this trend to "board-particularism" and the trend embodied by having all agendas in a public wiki which all members could edit and having all board meetings open to the public
19:22:52<+Carsten Agger>
Cheers. We are nearly out of time and we have one other question.
19:23:56<+Daniel Pocock>
I've had various positions over the years:
19:24:48<+Daniel Pocock>
including student organizations, roles in a political party, VP and bar manager in the Yarra Yarra Rowing Club
19:25:35<+Daniel Pocock>
one of the more interesting lessons I've learnt from all that is not to take it too seriously. The VP/bar manager role at the rowing club, which was voluntary, was actually quite a lot of fun
19:26:10<+Daniel Pocock>
and by running successful functions we were able to raise funds and improve communication between members
Cheers, Daniel.
Before I received our final question, Mauriced wanted to add, "I'm also board member of a local JCI foundation. JCI is a non-profit of young professionals trying to make social impact in the world."
Our final question comes from Jonas Öberg, our ED:
"Do you consider the FSFE to be purely repesentative: showing policymakers the opinion of our volunteers and supporters, or are there situations when the FSFEs opinion presented to policymakers might differ from those of our community?"
Please let's be brief.
19:28:05<+Daniel Pocock>
Moderator: to save time, should we all just answer together?
Just fire away on this.
19:28:58<+Carsten Agger>
I think the FSFE is comprised of many individual opinions and as long as all are committed to the four freedoms that's fine!
19:29:12<+Carsten Agger>
19:29:54<+Patrick Moeland>
I believe the FSFE should represent the community and the regular users and fight for them (to quote Tron: "I fight for the users!").
19:30:14<+Florian Snow>
That's a tricky one. I think the FSFE has a clear goal of advocating Free Software. In most cases, these goals will align with the community, but I can see instances where that might not be the case. In the end, I think the four freedoms need to be the guiding principle and the community will form around the FSFE with those freedoms in mind.
19:30:46<+Florian Snow>
Ideally, the two will align, but the question is "Who is the community?".
19:31:05<+Daniel Pocock>
I'd suggest that FSFE can operate to some extent like a representative democracy: our principles should be consistent with members expectations, but members may be happy for the FSFE to take positions on specific things without getting consensus first. That said, I don't think FSFE has a mandate to comment on arbitrary things like how to "solve" the Israel/Palestine conflict.
19:31:49<+Patrick Moeland>
Imho, the community are those between the users who do not know what FOSS is, and those who could make a difference, like busineses, governments, and any other "body"
19:32:29<+Joe Awni>
I would put "purely representative" and "differing...opinions" at either end of a spectrum and say that on a given issue FSFE is somewhere between. One thing we do to answer cohesively as a community is to vote for representatives. Another option for governance is direct referendums.
19:32:54<+Florian Snow>
I think part of the representative's job will be to define a clear relationship between the community and the core of the FSFE, so we can find good answers to questions like this one.
Maurice Verheesen, you have been silent on this.
19:34:06<+Maurice Verheesen>

I think we are united by the four freedoms. Yes I'm sure in our community everbody will have their own opnion on details. But that's what makes Free Software communities great. We debates these openly. Showing politicians how that works is is enlightning for them I think ;)

Anything to add?
19:34:29<+Joe Awni>
I think going forward a smart-card voting system could be developed to log members opinion on questions/referendums
19:35:14<+Patrick Moeland>
would logging not make people less comfortable voicing their opinion?
Thank you, all. Some conclusory remarks from you all please?
19:36:20<+Joe Awni>
perhaps, but i think it's an important step to transition to a more representative association.
19:36:53<+Carsten Agger>
I see many qualified candidates here and am confident that whoever is elected will have important contributions for software freedom in Europe.
19:37:11<+Patrick Moeland>
Aye, and I would like to thank all that were present here. Good luck and happy hacking :o)
19:37:23<+Joe Awni>
19:37:25<+Maurice Verheesen>
I would be honored to be a representative in the GA! And I agree with Carsten, glad to see so many excellent candidates!
19:37:30<+Florian Snow>
I am really happy to be part of such a nice group of candidates and I hope this chat contributes to making the decision easier for voters. I hope we will see high voter turnout and thank you to Moderator for organizing this.
19:38:10<+Daniel Pocock>
whether I am elected or not, I will continue to do the things I do with free software in the years ahead and I would welcome any questions or comments on any of that
19:38:27<+Patrick Moeland>
Same goes for me.
19:38:47<+Joe Awni>
I'm going to get nachos, but i can come back with them if need be
Thank you, everyone! It has been a pleasure seeing your visionary thinking and I hope that you all remain involved with FSFE after the election. Maybe one day you will have replaced me as VP and we can all see you organizing hustings for the next Representatives? Good luck!
19:40:30<+Patrick Moeland>
Thank you
Moderator removes voice from Joe Awni Maurice Verheesen Carsten Agger Patrick Moeland
Moderator removes voice from Daniel Pocock Florian Snow
Moderator sets mode -m #fsfe
Moderator has changed the topic to: Public discussion channel about FSFE and Free Software. Opinions voiced here are those of the posters, not FSFE's.

Activities/Election/FellowshipElection_2017 (last edited 2017-04-24 11:44:05 by eal)