What are Community Initiatives?
Want to do something big? Have an idea that won’t fit in a single release cycle? Perhaps an improvement broader than the technical scope covered by the Changes policy? Want to make sure the community is aligned behind your goal, and that you have the resources and access you need to make it happen? A Community Initiative may be the framework for you!
Fedora Community Initiatives (formerly "Objectives") are projects which do not fall neatly into the biannual Fedora Linux release cycle. Typically they require longer to complete (e.g. 8-18 months) and are not limited to engineering projects. Other key areas are administration; documentations; outreach; motivation; communications; budgets and best practice. Within the Project these are grouped under a heading of Mindshare. The Council looks to achieve a balance between engineering projects and those aligned with Mindshare.
The primary role of the Fedora Council is to identify the short-, medium-, and long-term goals of the Fedora community and to organize and enable the project to best achieve them. Anyone can propose a Community Initiative to the Council. To be accepted, it should align with Fedora’s mission statement and long-term goals.
Each Community Initiative has a designated Community Initiative Lead. This Lead sits on the Council for the duration of the Initiative and is responsible for coordinating efforts to reach the Community Initiative’s goals, as well as evaluating and reporting on progress. The Initiative Lead works regularly with all relevant groups in Fedora to ensure that progress is made.
To propose a Community Initiative to the Council, the Lead should first discuss on the #council tag on Fedora Discussion. Next, if well-received, file a ticket. Of course, people need to be ready to do the actual work required — a Community Initiative without passionate bottom-liners will not get far.
To succeed, Community Initiatives require a leadership team with division of responsibility. For example separating roles of project leadership, engineering, marketing and documentation, depending on the size and scope of the Initiative. The Council can assist a proposer in finding the right people to work on the project if required.
Every Community Initiative must have an Executive Sponsor. This can be any current member of the Council – even, possibly, the Lead of another Initiative. You should find a sponsor as part of community discussion before filing a ticket. Once someone has agreed to the responsibility, the proposal can move forward.
A Fedora Council member becomes an Executive Sponsor until completion of the Community Initiative or for the duration of their Council term (whichever comes first). The Executive Sponsor is responsible for partnering with the Lead as a connection point to the Fedora Project at a high-level. The Executive Sponsor represents a wider view of what the Fedora Project is focused on, whether that is in terms of the Fedora strategy or a specific area of interest (e.g. DEI, Engineering, Mindshare). The Executive Sponsor is not responsible for doing the work directly, but rather as an advocate for the initiative and can help by unlocking resources, help unblock work, act as a consultant on Council and Project perspectives and generally supporting the initiative to allow the work to succeed.
An Executive Sponsor may find that they are no longer able to fill this role for a Community Initiative, whether due to an expiring Council term or that they do not have the capacity to continue. In this event, the Executive Sponsor and the Lead must work together to identify another Fedora Council member who can be the Executive Sponsor.
How the Community Initiative Lead and the Executive Sponsor collaborate is largely up to them. However, it is suggested that the Lead and Sponsor have a regular meeting cadence (e.g. weekly or fortnightly) to check in on progress and identify challenges. The Lead should provide updates to the Executive Sponsor on the work, engagement with the community, and requests for help in order to succeed. The Lead should expect the Executive Sponsor to ask them questions, suggest other teams or people to collaborate with, and give suggestions on how to acquire the needed resources to succeed. Periodically, the Executive Sponsor will ask the Lead to share progress or milestones back to the wider Fedora Council.
At the end of the expected duration of the Initiative (as specified at the proposal / acceptance stage), the Council will assess the progress of the Initiative. If all of the aims or the most significant of them are achieved, the Initiative will be terminated. If the aims are nearly complete and further work substantially increases the impact, it may be allowed to continue for a further agreed period. After that, it will be terminated. Initiatives will not be allowed to run indefinitely.
This section documents the current Initiatives we, the Council, have accepted for implementation in alignment with the medium-term goals of the Project, (as explained in the Council Charter).
Historically, Community Initiatives were known as Objectives. This transition was made in February 2023 following in-person discussion by the Fedora Council in our 2023 Council hackfest in Frankfurt, Germany. We agreed to convert "Objectives" into "Community Initiatives", which the Council felt was easier to understand and communicate the roles of these efforts in Fedora. There is no functional change to Objectives; it is just a semantic change.
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