Drupal Association members fund grants that make connections all over the world.
While I still have experimenting to do, my understanding is that http://dgo.to/profiler">Profiler module can be used as a library to create base installation profiles that subprofiles can depend on (much as themes work). This might be particularly useful for those interested in pursuing and perfecting the process of building sites as install profiles, as now the idea of a subprofile isn't just useful to those building other distros, but also to those looking for a baseline for their own development workflow.
Since a UX-themed profile cannot possibly satisfy a whole use-case (which distros normally seem to do), this might be a place to push for the "base profile" functionality, which would be something that would allow this profile to be more than just a demonstrative, look-what-you-can-do sort of installation profile. Also, ideally this would allow folks to use it without bending the profile to their own needs, and thus cutting themselves off from future improvements :)
Woooo! Love this initiative, bee-tee-dubs