[Board] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Thoughts on standing down from the Board of OSGeo

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at lisasoft.com
Thu Sep 10 20:53:31 PDT 2009

Thanks Jo,
This is very useful information for prospective future board members. I 
wonder whether other board members would want to add to the list of 
issues future boards should consider.

I'm also interested to hear the level of commitment involved in being a 
board member.

Jo Walsh wrote:
> dear all,
> I have been meaning for ages to write a long reflective mail on
> standing down from the board of OSGeo, but realise if I don't write
> something short I'm in danger of writing nothing at all.
> The role I have filled on OSGeo's Board has been an amazing learning
> experience for me. I have felt honoured to be in a representative
> position for such a large and powerful community.
> FOSS4G is reaching a real maturity; I have seen a conservative ops
> manager decide that this year it's safe to migrate the big systems to
> PostGIS, and rebuild the interface with OpenLayers. OSGeo can work on
> turning the most recent wave of adopters into advocates and
> supporters. There is more work to be done for documentation and
> packaging than there is for code, now. There is a lot to be done in
> education, convincing people that free software is fine for
> coursework, that skills transfer.
> OSGeo has quite a unique structure now, with the flourishing of local
> user groups and the solid, ASF-like core of projects. Decision-making
> is delegated so comprehensively that a lot of the Board business is
> rubber-stamping. Correspondingly it's been quite an activist Board
> with at least a couple of members on each committee; rather than a
> hands-free advisory style Board attempting to set "strategic"
> direction.
> The question of how does OSGeo Foundation support itself financially
> has always recurred at Board meetings. This year due to the general
> cuts in sponsorship and marketing budgets we have had a significant
> financial shortfall, and next year may be little better. After that,
> though, the "market" potentially there for open source geographic
> applications will have grown, and OSGeo will be a great store of
> kudos.
> How can we change OSGeo to sustain its running costs - whether we try
> to generate more income from the conference (restricting where it can
> be held), or we partner to run workshops commercially, or do some
> consultancy work (and on what terms), or seek more or bigger sponsors
> (which has proved precarious) - this is my biggest question to the
> next Board.
> Recently I've not been as engaged with OSGeo as I would like and don't
> really feel that I am representative now; so I won't re-stand this
> year in the Board elections. I am grateful to have had this concern
> for three years, and will try to stay involved through OSGeo-Scotland,
> OSGeo-UK, and ongoing effort towards open geodata.
> be well!
> jo
> --
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Systems Architect
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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