[Board] Re: Motion: Support visit to meet with the emerging Vietnam Chapter with funding

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Tue Mar 23 10:39:04 PDT 2010

Hello Tyler, Arnulf, Board,

Thanks for bringing this up again.  I'll comment inline below:

Arnulf Christl wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Tyler Mitchell (OSGeo) wrote:
>> Arnulf,
>> I think it would be good to have some resolution on this motion.  Thanks
>> Howard for clarifying your concerns.
> Tyler,
> thanks for picking this up again.
>> Perhaps I've missed something, has there been some offline discussion or
>> decision?  
> Not that I know of. Last status was that Howard raised some concerns and
> then me confirming Jeff to go ahead. Howard asked back whether I would
> pay that from my personal account if it did not pass a motion by the
> board which I confirmed. To clarify: I did this because I felt like
> having committed to Jeff's request and did not want to bail out in the
> last moment. This should not stress anyone. If the board comes to the
> conclusion that this is not something that OSGeo wants to spend money on
> that is perfectly fine by me.

Yes that's right, no official vote occurred, I did ask for an email vote 
but apparently we must do this through a voice vote.  I've added this 
motion to the agenda of the next meeting (I hope the "April Fools" 
meeting date doesn't affect my chances).
>> Did the trip happen?  Is there still an expectation OSGeo
>> will fund this?  Last Jeff wrote was that he was going to buy tickets.
>> I gave some warnings, Frank clarified, Howard shared his concerns, but
>> I've seen nothing more in way of response.
> Afaik this is correct.

Yes the trip happened, and was a big success.  The meeting took place 
and was well attended 
(http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Vietnam_Chapter_Meeting_2010-03-11).  We 
spent some time establishing their goals, structure, and objectives (all 
visible at http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Vietnam).  I was quite impressed 
with their FOSS4G activities, with a lot of action in the government 

I'm going to act as an advisor to their chapter formation, and the next 
step will be to submit an official expression of interest for the 
chapter formation.

>> Arnulf, I think we owe it to both Jeff and Howard to make sure their
>> concerns are at least discussed and not left in silence.  I've been in
>> too many (non-OSGeo) meetings where people were left in frustration and
>> hope we can avoid this here.  We can discuss it in the meeting of
>> course, but I thought wrapping up this thread might be helpful.
> I am not sure we can wrap this up yet, and there is a bill waiting to be
> paid. So let me explain my position: On my agenda as president of OSGeo
> it says: "Support OSGeo Local Chapters". My experience shows that OSGeo
> "World" can really make a difference to Local Chapters. They frequently
> suffer from a legitimacy problem up front, especially during their
> emergence. Once an OSGeo official representative has shown up at a
> conference, given a talk oder attended a meeting with local
> representatives (*and* leaves a good impression :-) it is much easier
> for Local Chapters to take off.
> In my opinion OSGeo will grow with it's Local Chapter in the long run.
> Currently -that is, the evolution of Open Source in general- now is the
> time when local initiatives seem to start to emerge all over the place;
> Be it with or without OSGeo. In light of building a strong brand it is
> way easier to lend the OSGeo umbrella to emerging organizations early on
> than it is to try to integrate and interact with them after they have
> formed and settled. It is very similar with how new FOSS projects come
> into being. If they start off with a code repository and general
> consensus on the license, copyright and decisions processes, it makes
> things so much easier...
> Theses are the reasons why I would like to see more support for this
> kind of activity.

Yes I now have the final numbers for this trip:

  hotel:                             197.53 USD
  vietnam visa:                       55.42 USD
  flight (osaka-hanoi):              919.14 USD
  local travel for one participant:  300.00 USD
                                    1472.09 USD

I have the receipts for all of the above expenditures.

(if some of you are wondering, I did pick up several other expenses, 
such as the pre and post meeting meal tabs, and several taxi fares for 
attendees...but the cost was minimal so I do not report them)

>> Building off this experience, I suggest we aim for a few goals:
> I'll leave it at that for the time being and hope to see some more
> opinions on this before looking into how we can accommodate any
> expenditures in OSGeo's budget.

I'd like to see a policy/process created for a travel budget for the 
Board of Directors and the Executive Director; some requirements and 
steps needed to get approval, for the next time one of us wants to make 
a trip on behalf of OSGeo.

I think Tyler also mentioned that out of this should come a more formal 
definition of the role of Directors - I'm all for this.  In this case 
having a director of OSGeo attend a chapter formation meeting was a big 
deal to the local community members - chapters in SE Asia are much more 
formal than in North America. (yes I even wore a "suit" jacket!!! ha)

I'm looking forward to helping develop this policy.

Finally, I wish to publicly thank Arnulf for his moral support.  I would 
never accept his personal money, but it meant a lot to me that the 
president of the organisation that I devote so much time to, supported 
my actions.  Thank you so much Arnulf.


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