Andreas Mantke: Candidacy to the elections of the TDF Board of Directors

Hi everyone,

Thanks to Sophie for nominating me in this thread: Nominations for the elections of the TDF Board of directors.
I accept this nomination.

Full name: Andreas Mantke
Affiliation: unaffiliated

My 75 words candidacy statement:

I’m Andreas Mantke, 64 years old, living in Duisburg, Germany, no corporate affiliation, worked with the community since 2002 in different areas, served on TDF’s for six years since its incorporation. Because the foundation is in a servere situation I joined a group which will be able to do the necessary work to make TDF again an open and inspiring environment. Together with others I advocate the pledge for LibreOffice: The Document Foundation Nextcloud .

I will provide information on all future changes on the above as soon as possible.

Hi Andreas,

Interesting to see your candidacy. When we worked together on the board previously – it was my impression that you excelled at finding problems but struggled to constructively propose solutions; so:

Question 1: are you committed, if elected, to working closely with others to propose and iterate towards creative solutions to the problems that TDF faces ?

The pledge also lists a bullet “we will listen to the ESC”, so:

Question 2: Are there good examples you are aware of from the past in which directors failed to listen to the ESC ?

And moving on from that, in terms of ESC voting:

Question 3: Do you believe (as I do) that TDF staff on the ESC should vote with their conscience and be protected from consequences, in particular being protected from having their vote dictated by their management chain up to & including the board ?



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Hello Andreas,

First let me say I would like to read your answer to @mmeeks 's questions… (1) is a fair concern; (3) is a philosophical question. And (2) I can’t say anything about since I’ve not followed BoD-ESC relations.

I want to pose some of my own questions (some are repeated from the town hall); will number in continuation to Michael’s:

Question 4: How much time, in term of hours in a typical week, do you believe a BoD member should invest in BoD work? And do the other obligations in your life personally allow you to devote this time and effort? Specifically, your pledge claims that “Meetings every two weeks hardly work for volunteers.” - do you believe that?

Question 5: Suppose we’ve cleared our current immediate crisis, that tenders are going out according to schedule, and that “trust has been restored”, i.e. think of the TDF after all that. What kind of activity do you hope to focus on as a member of the board, at that point? (i.e. what else will you do other than help get out of this crisis.)

Question 6: With the outgoing board, ecosystem companies seem to have held much of the power. In the incoming board, it may be the case that foundation employees, and candidates organized around them, may be a powerful faction. Do you see this as a potential concern? And if so, what do you believe the BoD (and members of it) should do to mitigate or address this concern?

While I very much appreciate this discussion and welcome all of your questions, this particular one affects me personally - and sounds totally wrong to me. It insinuates staff members being puppets of some directors. I never experienced such dictation and cannot imagine a single person in the current management chain neither the future board to dictate individual decisions.

I am sure your intention was not to make such accusations. It’s probably more about the planned procedures for the tendering.

@htietze : Not to reflect on Andreas’ position, but I will just note that some voices have suggested a view of the employees as “working for the board” rather than “working for the foundation”, so that the decisions and views of the board bind them (in particular in voting ex officio) even disregarding their views on how to further the foundation’s goals.

Hi Michael, hi all,

if you prefer a short answer: yes

But let me elaborate a bit on this. As you may have already got from the pledge for LibreOffice that this document was created by a group with shared goals and ideas. And: It was signed by eleven people, who candidate for the board.

We, the eleven people, see us as equal as a board to others (TDF members and TDF community in total). We are open to be challenged. We will be transparent and accountable.
To archieve this we will provide board meeting minutes within a week. And because we want to involve our international community we will provide translation of the minutes in different languages. All talents and voices of our international community are important to solve problems. We want to work together as a world wide community where there are no more equal members than others.

Because it’s necessary to explain that the especially technological suggestions of the developers / ESC will be taken as a basis for the board discussions and decisions. We, once elected, are happy to work together with all LibreOffice (and Document Liberation project) developers and the ESC to improve the office software on different platforms (from desktop, online, mobile and maybe new environments).

Because the staff members are also part of the board of trustees they are working for the goals of the foundation and its best, in the same way as it’s expected by the BoD and all trustees. Thus I think all trustees should be treated equal in relation to their management in case they work inside the ESC or on foundation or LibreOffice tasks.


Hi Heiko,

While I very much appreciate this discussion and welcome all of your questions, this particular one affects me personally - and sounds totally wrong to me.

Ah - so, the thread in question was quite an interesting one. A board member seemed to be actively resisting this obvious protection for the staff (from not just directors, but executive staff directing them to vote in a given way) - you can read some of that in this thread

I agree it would be an amazingly unacceptable thing to happen, but the abnormal seems to become the norm currently. Writing down the ‘obvious’ can be quite helpful, and to resist having that protection for staff to do the right thing as they see it is extraordinary.

It insinuates staff members being puppets of some directors … I am sure your intention was not to make such accusations. It’s probably more about the planned procedures for the tendering.

I don’t think it insinuates that. Still if you want to get offended by something - see the text that was added to the tendering thing - which ended up imagining staff being bribed by those applying to win (marginal) tenders. Of course - since this is simple not the case - it’s nuts to have it there - but beyond the offence given the text can do no harm: such things don’t happen, which is why its not particularly worth pushing back on.

Hope that helps,


Hi Eyal, hi all,

Our (the candidates that signed the pledge) goal is to be more effective by working together in a transparent and open way. We want to involve the wider community as we see us as equals.
How much time you have to invest as a BoD member is difficult to calculate. This depends on how the BoD see its role in the project and if the agenda of BoD meetings, discussions and decisions are prepared properly in due time, thus all directors (and the community) could work through it before the meeting (and not in a rush). If the BoD sees its role in micromanagement and not only in strategic decisions than the workload would be very high, cumbersome and time consuming. Thus you find in our pledge for LibreOffice our plan to reduce the frequency of BoD meetings, create an agenda with proper prepared documents, abstain from micromanagement and concentrate on strategic decisions. Thus all BoD members (and also the interested community) didn’t need a big chunk of hours to follow BoD work/discussions/decisions every week.
But in general it’s not possible to seriously calculate the necessary time to invest as BoD member. We are all humans with different skills and personality, and we want to support everyone in the area where they are skilled and talented, to work together effectively.

And your question about my personal life: I’m able to invest the necessary time and effort, otherwise I wouldn’t have applied for the next BoD.

I will then work on tasks of the project as I did it in the past. I worked already in different areas of the project from documentation, qa to infrastructure (since 2002). I’m e.g. interested in working on LibreOffice Online and the Android port. And I want promote LibreOffice in different environments further.

Conflicts of Interest (CoI) has been an issue in the BoD for some time. Thus we added a complete chapter to our pledge about this topic. We stated that every BoD member with a CoI in a topic has to keep away from not only the decision on this topic but also from discussion or influencing the process. This applies not only on members of staff but in general on every BoD member.