If you’re interested in helping to guide the launch of the Moodle Association, the “Rules” have been published as a draft for public comment by Martin Dougiamas. The 21 page document details all aspects of the association and how it will be governed, managed, and officially permitted to co-exist within the Moodle communities parts (Moodle.org, Moodle.com, the Moodle Partners).
The draft is available here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q-HfB-ngSms5SPhlNFOFcp67FgxsgkzQiNIuMTpPogE/edit#
Here are a few thoughts after one read through the entire doc:
Within the document the objectives of the organization are clearly stated:
1. support the core Mission of Moodle to provide the world’s best open source learning platform, free GPL software used by millions worldwide to conduct education in schools, universities, colleges and workplaces;
2. collect the desires of Moodle users who are members in the Association (as well as the wider community where possible) to design popular new standard features for the Moodle learning platform;
3. collect and invest money to fund the development of these features as projects resulting in GPL code in Moodle’s standard distribution on moodle.org;
4. promote itself, the current projects being worked on and any other interesting information about Association activities
General meetings are the opportunity for all members to hear the business of the Association and have the right to cast their votes online. General Meetings are in addition to Committee and Special meetings which may be by rule and definition more limited in participation. General meetings are annual within 4 months of the end of the Association’s Financial Year, however additional meetings can be called by the Committee as needed and 5 members can band together to call a special meeting for a specific purpose.
Meetings will generally all occur virtually (using a web conferencing tool such as BigBlueButton or Google Hangouts) with some members convening face to face and text-only discussions also being available. It’ll be key for the success of the Association to establish easy to use protocols for online meetings which might garner 100s of individuals at a time (if the membership drive is successful).
The Association once kicked off is given the power of fiduciary responsibility for the operation of the Association, this includes fundraising, borrowing, investing, and disbursing as deemed fit. It’s implied that the funds will all go toward the development of Moodle as decided by the Association but there is room for operational expenses (meeting costs, travel, etc. required to conduct the business of the Association). This makes me think a bit of a College/University Development Department which has the responsibility of raising monies for an endowment and then managing that endowment through sound and smart investment.
Membership amounts are not yet defined (though there’s guidance that dues will be $100 to $10,000 AUD annually), however the Rules do establish the Moodle trademark holder as a top level member without voting rights but with veto capabilities over any decision made by the Association, a key check and balance.
If you were worried about a corporation buying membership and steering the Association’s funds toward their own ends, clear conflict of interest precautions for committee members are stated within the Rules (and can be enforced by the Committee).
If you’re interested in signing up check out Moodleassociation.org.