2024 Board Candidate: Jonas Dreßler

Hi everyone! I’d also throw my hat in the ring for the upcoming board elections.

Name: Jonas Dreßler
Email: jonasd@gnome.org
Corporate affiliation: 101LAB, GNOME Foundation (STF contractor)

I’m a long-time contributor to GNOME Shell and mutter, with a focus on input and hardware enablement. I’ve also started GNOME Shell Mobile as an experiment to make Shell work on phones, initially as part of a Prototype Fund grant and since then as a volunteer. As part of my work on the mobile shell I’m working closely with people from other communities, e.g. postmarketOS and the wider Linux kernel community. In addition to development, I’m also part of the local Berlin community, helping to organize events and collaborations with partner communities.

My main goal running for the board would be to improve the frayed relationship between the community of GNOME contributors and the GNOME Foundation. I think it’s crucial for the board to include actual community members, and I believe that as a community we have a responsibility to also take care of the legal structures that are needed to support our project.

Over the last years there has been a lack of interest from most community members to take part in the board or even to interact with the Foundation, and I want to do my part to change this! With more community people on the board I believe that communications would be much-improved, and the Foundation’s priorities could be realigned to support the project’s needs.

Stabilize finances and refocus funding on community

As has been recently written about by Pablo, the Foundation apparently has not done a good job managing its resources in recent years, spending huge amounts in an attempt to grow into what could be called a “professional” NGO. I believe that to become sustainable we need to change course and refocus on the project, the community, and actual improvements to the product that we have.

I do think that we desperately need new sources of funding, but these should be centered around work to improve GNOME. In particular I’d advocate for a heavier focus on grants and crowdfunding, with a clear guarantee that the majority of the money will be spent on things that will make GNOME better for our users.

Decentralize GUADEC

Bringing all our contributors to the same place once a year is not sustainable (both financially and environmentally), and it’s becoming increasingly cynical in the context of the climate crisis if we want to do things differently from the software industry (which is now leaving behind all their climate goals for some short-term profits from the AI hype).

At the same time I think we’ve seen that just having conferences in different parts of the world every once in a while does not magically attract lots of contributors from those regions. If we want our community to truly be global and inclusive we need to build up local communities, and empower them to organize their own local events, instead of organizing events in a “top-down” fashion.

Our local community in Berlin has been a good example for this in recent years, and I’m convinced that something similar is possible elsewhere. Long-term we should have lots of local GUADECs, ideally in places that are easily (and affordably) accessible for all our contributors, without the need for long-distance travel.

Foster local communities

I’ve been part of building up the local community in Berlin, which has grown a lot over the past years. We now have over 20 people regularly joining (and co-organizing) local events, active collaborations with other local communities (e.g. postmarketOS, KDE or p2panda), and our release parties and hackfests attract people from all over Germany.

I think the Foundation could do more to support efforts like this, e.g. by helping new local communities to organize first events or creating connections to other projects with a local presence. I’d love to help make this happen as a wider initiative.


I’d like to second this nomination.

P.S. re “attract people from all over Germany.” - definitely not just Germany :wink:

The areas of interest of Jonas resonate strongly with mine. With extensive experience on various areas of the project, involvement with organisations outside of the project, and experience as part of the Development Team hired by the Foundation, Jonas would be instrumental in supporting the grant manager and writer. With his guidance, the Foundation can come up with solid grant applications to support the project.

I’m more than happy to endorse him publicly as well and second his nomination :clap:

1 Like

Very happy to see younger candidates for the board. +1

I read about the local community in Berlin; Safe to say, there are many GNOME contributors located in Germany. Would love to have a local community in Arizona in the future. :smile: I stand with the goal of fostering local communities.

Candidacy has received enough endorsements and is approved.

Agree with @jimmac . Let’s bring in some fresh perspectives! :+1: