Nix Constitutional Assembly Applications open

Hi all,

Starting now until Sunday, May 12th 23:59 CEST we will be taking applications for the NixOS Constitutional Assembly (NCA).

The applications should be sent by email at using the template below, and will be published in the Assembly-applications Zulip stream.

After discussing with the mod team and various community members, we’ve decided that stream will be read-only. Individuals can still reach out and share feedback about a candidate directly to the board, either by mail ( or by dm-ing one of the board members on your favourite chat platform.

A few notes (and reminders) about the selection process:

  • The applications are open until Sunday, May 12th 23:59 CEST.
  • The board will review the applications, and communicate on the selection of the assembly on Wednesday, May 15th.
  • If the pool of candidates is too small for a reasonable selection process, a second round of applications will be open.

The Zulip instance will be dedicated to the communication with the assembly once it is set up. The assembly will set the rules of communication in the instance as it sees fit to support its work.

The assembly will be responsible for setting its own schedule. However,

  • At a rought estimate (mostly for the benefit of the applicants), we expect the work to take in the order two weeks (80h) per person, spread over two months;
  • To set expectations as quickly as possible, we will suggest that the assembly sets and communicates a clear timeline within the first week of its function.

Mission and values

The assembly’s mission is to set up a new community-based governance structure that is capable of serving the community’s needs. While the assembly is free to choose any form or structure that they think is best for the project, they must ensure that the resulting governance structure’s decisions are representative of the entire community. This also requires defining what the community is. The resulting governance structure should be expected to provide stability to the community for the next 5 years.

The assembly’s work will include clarifying a set of fundamental values that our community can be based upon. However, we want these to be bootstrapped from some non-negotiable points that we require each applicant to uphold. In particular, starting from the temporary CoC set in place for these discussions, we require them to be:

  • Respectful: People in the assembly and the community will have different and sometimes conflicting viewpoints. It is crucially important that each member of the assembly should listen and pay attention to each other’s opinions.
  • Inclusive: This assembly needs to work for the whole community without exception, and its members should ensure that the decisions allow for everyone to have a place in the resulting structure.
  • Humble: The community is a big place, and no one can pretend to know every part of it, nor individually understand the full reach of each decision. As a consequence, each member should accept its own limitations and be ready to learn from the others, regardless of their opinions.


The NCA is expected to consist of 7 people with different roles:

Long-standing contributor (3)

Three members representing long-standing Nix community members, individuals who have been a core part of the ecosystem for at least 4 years. Individuals who have a deep understanding of our community, its history, are respected, have taken on projects for the good of the community in the past and have an explicit commitment for the future success of Nix.

Specialised contributors (2)

Two members representing additional areas of Nix not otherwise covered, such as marginal groups, experiences or values, preferably with explicit experience in designing and leading governance.

External expert (2)

These members will be directly part of the assembly, and therefore hold accountability and responsibility just like the rest in making this successful. These should be individuals who have substantial experience in building successful open source communities and governance structures, being involved at the highest levels in large and successful open source projects. They will be compensated for this work.

Application template

(freeform text here, tell us about yourself)

Public information:

  • Name
  • What position are you applying for?
  • Motivation for the position
    • Why are you applying?
  • Why do you think that you are a good fit for the assembly?
    • Why do you care about the Nix community?
    • For how long have you been involved in the community?
    • What are your past contributions to the community and ecosystem?
    • Have you been involved in previous efforts towards improving the governance of the community (RFC process, governance-related RFCs, team structure, etc.)?
    • Have you been involved in creating governance structures, building communities or general open source leadership (outside of Nix)?
    • Are there any people who can vouch for you?
  • Vision
    • What is your agenda if you’re part of the assembly?
      • What is your vision for the future of the community?
      • What structure do you have in mind to support that vision?
    • Do you represent a specific subgroup of the community?
      • This can also be shared privately if you don’t want to / can’t expose it publicly
    • Is there a specific subgroup that you don’t represent, but that you think should be represented in the assembly?
    • What do you think are the primary and secondary motivations of governance in an open source project?
    • What do you believe the core values are of this community?
  • Commitment and constraints
    • How will you make sure to stick around until the job is done?
    • Is there any specific availability constraint that we need to consider? (can be shared privately)
      • Mention your timezone (or your usual time of availability)?
    • Please mention any relevant conflicts of interests.
  • Freeform, anything you’d want to share

Privately disclosed information:

  • Email address
  • Marginalisation (optional)

Thanks to everyone who helped to shape this process, and let’s go!

– The board

EDIT(@thufschmitt): Added a paragraph about the timelines


@thufschmitt it could be good to add to the post the workload envisioned by the board for the participation. In yesterdays call a rough estimation of 2 weeks within 3 month was mentioned.


Thanks @olaf, yes that is accurate.

To add clarity, I spoke with a few external open-source community pros to get some feedback on this topic and in general that ended up being the conclusion. Though it will be up to the assembly to come up with the program plan when it is formed, and the exact timelines may change based on what they decide.

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Oh indeed, thanks. In addition to Ron’s confirmation above, I’ve edited the post to reflect this.

Is the template an actual “template”, as in, one should structure the text in markdown exactly in these bullet points and subbullet points? or should each bullet point represent a markdown header? if the latter is true, then it would be helpful to make a template that is an actual template with markdown headers, where one would just have to input text into the right ares.

i ask this because the description is a bit confusing or even contradictory, it says “freeform”, implicating that the bullet points are just points that should be included in the freeform text. if this is what is asked, then what is presented here does not fit the description of a “template”, but rather something like a checklist.

or is it just meant by “freeform” that for each bullet point, one should write in note-style (in more bullet ponts), but rather formulate actual sentences in paragraphs?

or, is there a freeform text to be included above the block, and the block itself is to be filled out in some way?

sorry for the pickiness.

asking for a friend.


ok i currently understand the application template as follows:

  • first write a paragraph about oneself
  • then copy the template, where each top level bullet point should be copied, and each subbullet point should be replaced by text.
  • i am not completely sure how to understand the subsubbullet points…

would it be possible to adjust the template in such a way that all of the things that should be copied are in bold text (or normal text) and all all things that should be replaced by ones own text be written in italic?


Has the board settled on a meeting time for Wednesday yet? I’m wondering what’s the latest reasonable time to send the board feedback on applicants and hope for it to actually be read before the board does its selection. (Seems like a short window!)

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Sorry for not answering earlier,

I don’t really mind whether people strictly follow the template or not, you can consider it as a big checklist, although it’s probably easier to just each of the the sub-points individually.

Feel free to take inspiration from the already sent applications if you want some examples, I think they are all good on the form.

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We have a meeting planned on 2024-05-14T16:00:00Z, and I hope we’ll be able to make a decision during it (yes, it’s a short window, and also for us, but I think everyone wants to see this moving forward quickly). So ideally we’d get the feedback before that.

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