2013 "At Large" Director Candidates

kattekrab's picture

Here, in the order they submitted their nominations are the candidates for the 2013 election.

Voting is open September 24 - October 7.

Full name links to nomination statement, username links to profile on drupal.org


Wow, impressive list

tsvenson's picture

Will be tough to chose from that list, very impressive to say the least.

Looking forward to the campaigning and I am sure it will be much more positive and forward thinking than political elections.

T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Awesome lineup!

starl3n's picture

I only hope I pass the empathy test. There's nothing worse than being disqualified as a replicant ;-)

Steven De Costa
Executive Director, Link Digital
w: www.linkdigital.com.au

Very impressed too. Many well

chipway's picture

Very impressed too. Many well known names. How to choose?

There are 4 irc meetings on

Liaz's picture

There are 4 irc meetings on drupal-association chan with the candidates

Might help to choose :)

Google+ Hangouts On Air?

tsvenson's picture

While the IRC meetings will be interesting. It would be nice if it also could be complemented with using for example Google+ Hangouts On Air where an unlimited amount of viewers can watch. Another benefit is that Google automatically records the On Air Hangout to make it available on for example YouTube.

I think that would be a great opportunity to get to know the candidates.

T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

I suggested this too via Twitter

nigel.gale's picture

To clarify what you can/can't do.

Only 10 people can "participate". Once you start broadcasting anyone can participate as a viewer.

webchick also raised potential privacy policy issue with Google, not sure why.

Here is the Hangouts on Air FAQ which might help?? http://bit.ly/JcBBSD



Elijah Lynn's picture

It would have been nice to see a picture of everyone along with their application. It is easier for me to say, oh yes, I remember that person from [Drupal-Event] and remember their level of professionalism (or not).

Just a suggestion for next time!

Thanks Elijah! I'm working on

kattekrab's picture

Thanks Elijah!

I'm working on a post to announce when voting opens, and will include brief statements from all candidates - and their photo from groups.drupal.org - with a link to their original nomination, and D.O profile.

I hope that will help voters make their choices! :)

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association


Elijah Lynn's picture

Thanks Donna!

Where are they?

jcnventura's picture

Just the facts:


This is for reference only.. Please read each candidate's manifesto and decide based on their vision for the Drupal Association and Drupal.

It's a pity we only have candidates from North America, Europe and Australia. Makes me understand better why we only have DrupalCons in those regions.

João Ventura

PS: I pulled each candidates location data from their LinkedIn profile. Red is for current board members, Orange for Donna, who is not running for re-election and Green is for the candidates. Numbers indicate multiple persons in a single location.

PS2: Donna, you made a heck of a good job in encouraging other candidates from Australia! :)

PS3: Yes, I include Israel in Europe.. They sing in Eurovision, and play in the UEFA football competitions.

Nice observation

nickvidal's picture

Hi João,

Nice observation! I was going to run for elections again this year, but giving all the circumstances, I didn't have the motivation to do so. And besides, I believe that I'll be a able to make a better difference from the bottom-up.

Anyways, I really like the proposals from several candidates. Good luck!

Kind regards,

Makes me understand better

greggles's picture

Makes me understand better why we only have DrupalCons in those regions.

Does it? I see correlation, but not causation. This was an open process that anyone in the world could have applied to. My impression is that Drupal is used most in the regions where there are applicants. Do you think something about the process excluded people from outside of those regions? Do you think something differently should have been done (or could be done next year)?


jcnventura's picture

Greggles, of course there's no implication between candidates and DrupalCons..

A candidate will come from anywhere, but I'm pretty sure that candidates only put themselves up for election when they feel they can contribute in a positive way and are serious about the term they hope to serve. It's natural that belonging to strong Drupal communities will encourage people to want to be involved. Oh, and of course you've got to be able to volunteer the time.

A strong community and a willingness to volunteer to make a difference are also necessary for a DrupalCon to take place. So there's the correlation.

Maybe next year we'll have someone from South America, Africa or Asia running for the board. I'd like to see that. Even without DrupalCons in those places.


Joomlas model is interesting

tsvenson's picture

Well, its Open Source Matters (OSM) which is kinda their version of DA.

I went to Joomla session at DrupalCon Munich because I was interested to find out more about how they work. Besides turning out to be a brilliant and engaging speaker, Brian Teeman also gave a very good insight into how they work, which differs quite a bit from us.

One of the parts I found particularly interesting is how they have distributed the board members of OSM over the world by design. See the video from his session starting at just after 29 minutes: http://blip.tv/drupalcon/joomla-hippies-pirates-revolutionaries-or-a-dis....

I kinda like that model and do see a lot of advantages in it for a world wide organisation such as the DA wants to be.

Please note, I am not advocating it is a model we should bluntly apply just because it seems to work great for them. But I do say we need to look at how other world wide non-profit organizations work, and particularly what they see work well for them.

My personal opinion here is that their structure is interesting and I do believe it would be beneficial when it for example comes to spreading Drupal to parts of the world where it isn't as popular as in North America, Europe and Australia.

T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com

Joomla model

stevepurkiss's picture

I too saw the Joomla session and like the idea of circles. However, I also see the many benefits of the way Drupal is set up, I think it takes a certain amount of strong leadership to forge ahead, Joomla has a much wider base but seemingly no leadership, that's where their model lacks IMHO. It would be interesting to explore some kind of mid-way point between the two.

my 2p

Glad you liked it!

jcnventura's picture

Did you submit this feedback in the session survey in the DC Munich website?

It took some effort to get Brian to come to DrupalCon, and yes I do think that he was an amazing speaker. Getting some perspective into how other large open source projects work was part of the reason we invited him. I hope we can continue this thread in the community track of future DrupalCons.

As to your point of being diverse by design.. If that's one of your objectives, feel free to use the map as a reference. I wish I could elect all candidates to the board, and not only 2, but we need to be pragmatical here. We've got a chance to put 2 voices in the DA board. Let's use it wisely.

Well, I was actually a

tsvenson's picture

Well, I was actually a volunteer for that session and kinda forgot submitting feedback. That is rectified now though, thanks for the reminder.

As I wrote in my feedback, we don't just share open source, we have the people in our communities and often similar challenges. At least for me I learn a lot when finding out how others have overcome challenges I too have been faced with. Often it leads to that I am able to adjust things and thus also improve my own situation.

As Drupal has embraced Symfony at its core and also do things like invite speakers such as Brian to our events, makes me even more proud of belonging to such and amazing community. Not only do we learn from our own mistakes, but we also are bold enough to admit we have a lot to learn from others.

T: @tsvenson | S: tsvenson.com


nickvidal's picture


I see correlation, but not causation.

It's a classic chicken-and-egg problem. The more we concentrate our attention in promoting Drupal in North America and Europe, the bigger will the gap get between Drupal adoption/participation in North America and Europe when compared to the rest of the world.

There is a tendency for undervaluing the importance of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Latin America. The reality is that, despite the challenges, there are huge markets in these regions. For example, we have Brazil, Russia, India, and China.

Furthermore, and most importantly, it's a matter of social responsibility promoting Drupal participation in these regions, since these are the regions where Drupal has the biggest potential for truly changing people's lives and making the world a better place.

Do you think something about the process excluded people from outside of those regions?

Not the election process per se. As you said, it was an open process that anyone in the world could have applied to. The issue runs much deeper than that. The issue is about setting policies that can actually reach a world-wide audience.

This reasoning is very much on par with the low percentage of women we find in government/company top positions when compared to men. Even in democratic societies, where women may freely apply to be elected as a representative, the percentage of women who apply (and get elected) is very low, mostly because of cultural issues.

Do you think something differently should have been done (or could be done next year)?

Yes. Create more inclusive policies that 1) target a world-wide audience and 2) close the gap between those who are at the top of the pyramid and those who are in the bottom.

More international reps

starl3n's picture

Would it make sense to have elections in each region/country so that there is a clear focus point for the community to voice its local concerns? This would address the different needs and levels of maturity around the adoption of Drupal within a region.

It would also address differences in the composition of the actual 'community'. In my town, the Drupal community resides more within the public sector than the private sector, and more within the areas of authoring, content management and maintenance/support. However, the notion of community I've seen most represented within the DA is best aligned to developers and code contributors - after which are the small and large Drupal agencies who make money from their professional services.

The DA, although seeking Board seats filled from the community election process, can probably get the more in-tune representation from the diverse community interests from other inputs. A global group of community elected local champions is perhaps where the Board nominees should come from. It would mean that people like me, who are complete outliers from the current core of the Drupal community, can contribute to the DA from a local perspective yet still influence the global direction.

Steven De Costa
Executive Director, Link Digital
w: www.linkdigital.com.au

Distributed DA

nickvidal's picture

@starl3n: Agreed, the DA should be more distributed.


nickvidal's picture

This reasoning is very much on par with the low percentage of women we find in government/company top positions when compared to men. Even in democratic societies, where women may freely apply to be elected as a representative, the percentage of women who apply (and get elected) is very low, mostly because of cultural issues.

BTW, this is a perfect example for this election as well. Of the 18 candidates, only 1 is a woman.

Do you think something about the process excluded females?

Absolutely. As stated, it's a cultural issue. And the Drupal community should do something about this as well.

Hadn't even noticed

jcnventura's picture


Oddly enough, I didn't even notice that (shame on me). Although let's be honest about Drupal demographics: males are still a (large) majority. I think we're much better than other software projects in our f/m ratio. But clearly 1/18 is not a reflection of our diversity. Kudos to Aimee for applying.

About policy changes... I like to think of us as a egalitarian culture. In the next election round we should encourage a lot more people to apply, specifically mentioning the lack of 'voices' in the board from some regions and also the low number of female candidates (and the "it's complicated" also). I would hate to see a ratio set in policy, though.

Thankfully, there's already webchick, fariss and Danese Cooper in the non-elected-by-the-community segment of the board.


Yes to help, no to quotas

slef's picture

You can do something about it. Go offer to help her campaign.

Things like area-specific elections are definite discrimination attempting to correct a perceived discrimination that may or may not exist. So that's evil and should be avoided, but maybe there should be a more structured approach to help certain under-represented areas or groups within the community get involved.

I'm happy to do something, starting tomorrow :)

starl3n's picture

My company has picked up six significant Drupal projects in the last few months. Of these six jobs five of them are being primarily managed by women and the sixth is jointly managed by a male CIO and a female COO.

There is an overwhelming skew toward women in senior communications, marketing and web management roles within Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney - at least that is my experience.

Getting more women to participate in the community isn't about finding more female Drupal hackers, its about broadening the community engagement into areas where more women are already contributing significant value to the project.

What I will do from tomorrow is include the fee to join the DA as an organisational member in all of my project proposals. When clients ask about the fee I will tell them about the DA and encourage them to consider joining the community as an active participant in the project - even if all they are going to do is share their perspective in threads like this one.

In fact, as the membership fee is a trivial amount, I will discount our project associated fees accordingly and cover the first year expense for both the organisation and up to ten individuals to join the DA :) So, they effectively get the first year of membership for free.

I will also seek out contacts within all of the high profile deployments within Federal Govt and offer to sponsor their organisational memberships (I'll limit this to ten just to cover myself a little ;) ).

After that, I will lobby to try and establish the 'Whole of Govt' in Australia to become a supporting partner of the DA (ref: https://association.drupal.org/supporting-partners).

I can't guarantee this will bring greater gender diversity to the DA Board, but I suspect it will bring greater diversity into the public discussions which inform everyone within the community.

Steven De Costa
Executive Director, Link Digital
w: www.linkdigital.com.au

One small caveat

starl3n's picture

I will just need to make sure my business partner is happy with all this in the morning.
I'd be in her bad books if I starting discounting all our projects without her also thinking it was a good idea ;)


Steven De Costa
Executive Director, Link Digital
w: www.linkdigital.com.au

+1000 for this idea

horncologne's picture

It's the great, simple ones that are so obvious that you kick yourself for not seeing them all along!

Thanks for your thoughts,

greggles's picture

Thanks for your thoughts, Nick.

Create more inclusive policies that 1) target a world-wide audience and 2) close the gap between those who are at the top of the pyramid and those who are in the bottom.

Do you have suggested policies?

Suggested Policies

nickvidal's picture

I believe the role of DA should be to act as catalyst, identifying emerging initiatives and throwing all its weight in to make it spread faster.

For example, we have Drupal DownUnder, a successful Drupal event that has been organized by the Australian/New Zealand community in the last few years. Identifying this emerging initiative and supporting it by having a DrupalCon in Australia is exactly what the DA should do. By support I don't mean taking over. I mean letting the community still organize the event independently, but help them to achieve the next level by giving them guidance and visibility.

A similar emerging initiative has happened in Latin America, which is the DrupalSummit Latino. But for DrupalCon Latin America, the DA took over the planning/organizing process of the event and didn't let the community participate until the last few months, when it was already too late. This is the reason why DrupalCon Sydney will succeed and why DrupalCon Sao Paulo has failed.

I like these current DA projects: Drupal Community Cultivation Grants and Drupal Global Training Days. I believe they provide incentives to the communities, but without taking over the process.

So summarizing:
1) identify emerging initiatives.
2) support these initiatives.
3) let these initiatives to remain free and independent.

Wow! Great map :) Thanks

kattekrab's picture

Wow! Great map :) Thanks João

Last time round we had 10 candidates.
Sheng from China, and Nick from Brazil.
2 from Australia: Ryan and Me.
3 from the UK: Stephanie, SteveP and Kevin
3 from the US: rj, Todd and Matthew Connerton.

Todd and SteveP are running again!

Whilst it would be super interesting if we could map where the votes came from. But they're secret - so it would be inappropriate.

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association


nickvidal's picture

I think we will witness a great growth of Drupal adoption/participation in Australia/New Zealand during the followings months/years. I think this has much to do with the efforts from the local community to organize Drupal DownUnder and other DrupalCamps. DrupalCon will only give international attention to this effort, and sure enough it will help accelerate this snowball effect. Also, regarding the number of Australian candidates this year, I have no doubt that it was inspired by Donna's election. Congratulations to the Australian/New Zealand community for breaking the pattern and making Drupal more international!

Australia is going off.

starl3n's picture

Yes, Australia is going hard at Drupal within Federal Government at the moment, which begins to validate business cases for its use in NGOs, State Govt and the private sector. This has been in motion for a long time but one of the turning points was the deployment of the whitehouse.gov site and the celebrity CIO tour of Australia undertaken by Vivek Kundra a little while back.

This sort of momentum can be replicated internationally as Govt organisations spend a lot of time looking at how other countries/economies solve issues. I'd love to see the DA facilitating demand for Drupal at this level of Govt much more than at the code level with developers.

I love code and I love developers, but there is much more at stake if Drupal is going to overrun the multinationals and penetrate into every IT silo and every marketing budget.

Steven De Costa
Executive Director, Link Digital
w: www.linkdigital.com.au

Final Meet the Candidates session starting soon

kattekrab's picture

We've had three meet the candidates sessions this week, and the next one kicks off in about 45 minutes.

Make sure you check out the logs, recordings and questions from those sessions

Tagged 'em election2013

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association

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