A new F-Droid board for a new era of growth

THE INTERNET, 20 March 2023 — The global F-Droid community is pleased to announce that it has officially accepted the merge request to adopt an official governance plan, and an inaugural board of directors consisting of community-nominated members.

The community has been legally established through The Commons Conservancy, a Netherlands-based foundation (“Stichting”) that exists as a home for technology efforts in the public interest. While The Commons Conservancy is our official and new legal home, F-Droid has established its own independent volunteer board of directors, who are entrusted by the F-Droid community to develop strategy, identify areas of improvement, help to resolve conflicts, and oversee technical projects and decisions by the community to reduce risk and increase trust of F-Droid users around the world. With so many recent changes to existing app store policies and government regulations, it’s an interesting time for FOSS app stores like F-Droid. (Our new board member John Sullivan recently spoke about this during FOSDEM 2023.)

For the past several months, prospective board members drafted and refined internal organizational statutes and regulations which will become part of The Commons Conservancy’s organizing documents, and which will also live and grow in the existing F-Droid administrative repositories where community members can provide feedback over time to improve governance. The official statutes were voted and approved by the board on 19 January, and the first official meeting of the board took place on 16 February.

Inaugural board members were selected through F-Droid community discussion and will serve in staggered 2-year terms: Morgan Lemmer Webber (Chair), John Sullivan (Vice Chair), Michael Downey (Treasurer), Matthias Kirschner, Andrew Lewman (Clerk), and Max Mehl. The Board also includes a special role of Technical Lead which will ensure representation of the F-Droid developer community, initially filled by Hans-Christoph Steiner.

Screenshot of Jitsi meeting with several board members and observers,
following signing of statutes. Board members and community observers attend the virtual singing of the board statutes.

Although announcements of new governance bodies for free & open source software projects often include plans for the new organization to raise money, the F-Droid community plans to retain its existing donations model with individual donors contributing directly to community members via Liberapay and Open Collective. The newly-established Board of Directors has created a treasurer role, who will work with the existing stewards of those funds to help ensure funds are spent on the most impactful and important community priorities.

“The significant investments of creativity and energy by our community volunteers has made F-Droid the leading FOSS mobile app catalogue,” said Morgan Lemmer Webber, the newly-elected Chair of the Board of Directors. “We are very excited to be able to help guide the project through its next phases of growth and maturity by providing advice and resources to everyone who has been involved in making F-Droid a success, and those who are eager to join us with their individual talents and skills.”

The new Board would like to thank everyone from the community who participated in this process over the past few months, with extra thanks to those who helped in drafting our new foundational documents, including Rivka Karasik, Andrew Lewman, Michael Pöhn, Jochen Sprickerhof, and Licaon_Kter.

To download F-Droid and start using it today, head to https://f-droid.org/. For more information about the new F-Droid Board of Directors, review the newly-adopted Statutes or Roles & Regulations documents in the F-Droid administrative code repository. And if you’d like to contribute to our ongoing work, we look forward to you joining the community! We also look forward to hearing from you in our online forum, chat channels, and on the Fediverse.

For more information about The Commons Conservancy, visit: https://commonsconservancy.org/