Steps to creating a foundation

G goob Public Seen by 117

Everyone's agreed that Diaspora needs a foundation in order to move forward, and Maxwell and Dan have stated that they're very keen for this to happen and to hand over 'ownership' of the project to the foundation once it's set up.

I thought it would be worth starting a discussion on:

  1. What practical steps need to be taken in order to set up a foundation?

  2. What are the barriers to setting up a foundation?

It could be that the answer to 2 is currently 'No one knows how to set up a foundation' and to 1 'Find out what steps need to be taken'. It would certainly be worth finding out exactly what we know, and what we need to do to get things moving.

It may well be that it would be useful to put out a call for experts in this field using the Diaspora HQ account, to get community experts involved.

One thing to think about: a couple of years ago the discussions seemed to be centred around complex legal matters involved in setting up a foundation and mentioned 'a lot of time and money needed in order to set up a foundation'. Now that the founders are no longer at the heart of the project, does the foundation actually need to be based or registered in USA? It might be that setting it up in another country would make things a lot simpler and cheaper.


Taylor McLeod Wed 12 Jun 2013 6:00PM

Hey, I 100% agree that a foundation is central to bringing D* from a failed attempt (from the public's perspective) to THE social network for healthy social networking online.

The thing about setting up a foundation is that once it is set up with its mission and values and goals, it's much harder to change those things after the fact. So we want to be certain that our governing principles are well thought out and supported by current and future D* users/supporters.

I live near Vancouver but will be travelling down the coast to Portland and San Francisco over the coming weeks in a self-made fieldschool with the intention of meeting, touring, and learning from a variety of progressive organizations from workers cooperatives to makerspaces to open source foundations (like wikimedia). If you want, we could come up with a list of top questions I could ask of someone during an informational interview at Wikimedia or Mozilla when I'm there in person in early July. We could ask about best practices, challenges to watch out for, etc. Thoughts?


Sean Tilley Wed 12 Jun 2013 7:11PM

This is actually closer to a reality than most community members realize. Max and I have something big in the works to address this, expect an announcement about it soon.


goob Wed 12 Jun 2013 7:51PM

Oh OK, I didn't think anything was happening on this at the moment, which is why I wanted to start discussion on it. Will await news with anticipation.


Jonne Haß Thu 13 Jun 2013 7:13AM

@seantilleycommunit while I appreciate your efforts please make sure to not confront the community with a taken decision yet another time, especially on such an important topic. Let us have a say before any serious decision was taken.


Jason Robinson Thu 13 Jun 2013 7:33AM

@seantilleycommunit absolute what Jonne said. Please make sure to announce plans to the community first.


goob Thu 13 Jun 2013 10:35AM

Good points. I was imagining an announcement of 'here's a plan we've formulated, what do you think?' rather than a fait accompli. Please don't do all the decision-making in secret again.


Nick Thu 27 Jun 2013 2:26PM

Any more news on a foundation?


Jason Robinson Thu 8 Aug 2013 7:40PM

@seantilleycommunit - news on this would be awesome for the community 1 year anniversary :)


Sean Tilley Tue 20 Aug 2013 10:11PM

Just an update to this discussion. See here for details