[OSGeo-Conf] MOTION : Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process

Steven Feldman shfeldman at gmail.com
Fri Sep 9 07:41:37 PDT 2016

This mail is aimed at the current members of the Conference Committee (we do not have a private list). 

Only committee members can vote on these proposals, others on this list are welcome to comment and committee members will hopefully take note of those opinions when voting on the matters proposed.

The current membership of the conference committee is listed at https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee#Current_Members <https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee#Current_Members>. We have 19 members after Dave McIlhagga resigned and after we co-opted Till Adams as the chair of FOSS4G2016. There is currently no policy or rule for eligibility nor for requiring a member to retire after a period of time. 

I have suggested in the past that we needed to have an open and fair process for selecting members and limiting the maximum number of committee members. At the face to face it was agreed that I should propose a policy.

I propose the following:


The conference committee have the responsibility to run the selection process and voting for the global FOSS4G, to vote on other proposals submitted to the committee and to advise the board on other matters relating to FOSS4G events.

Role of the Committee and the broader community on the Conference_Dev list

1) Everyday topics will be decided upon by an open vote of all list participants in a clearly designated separate mail thread (+1/-1) over a minimum of two business days with a minimum participation of 3 votes. Ideally we aim for consensus falling back on simple majority vote where necessary. The result will be clearly declared afterwards (or whatever is decided).

2) Election of conference committee is by secret vote and restricted to the remaining conference committee members and board members who are not members of the conference committee.

3) FOSS4G Selection - All Letters of Intent and subsequent proposals will be posted to the list for open comment by all participants. The selection of the winning proposal is by secret vote of conference committee members only. Any committee member who has a potential conflict of interest is expected to withdraw from vote. In the event of a disagreement the committee chair will decide.

Votes in 2 and 3 are to an online voting service or by email to an independent teller appointed by CC Chair

Conference Committee membership policy and process

1) The conference committee aims to retain up to 11 active members, preferably an odd number

2) The committee aims for half of these members to be chairs (or vice chairs) of the most recent FOSS4G global events. The chair of the most recent FOSS4G event will automatically be invited to become a member

3) The remaining membership is open, ideally attracting people from earlier past chairs or active LOC members from past Global, Regional FOSS4G or related conferences

4) Each year (after FOSS4G) the 3 committee members should stand down:
a) The longest standing past FOSS4G chair
b) The longest standing 2 committee members remaining

5) Each year, prior to putting out the Global FOSS4G RfP, the old committee should vote for their replacement committee, using the above criteria as voting guidelines.  OSGeo Board members who are not on the conference committee will also be invited to vote.

6) Past committee members including those who have stood down due to length of service may stand for re-election

7) Votes will be secret either using an online voting system or by email to a designated teller who is not a voter. The mechanism will be selected by the committee chair.

I would ask committee members (and list participants) to comment on this proposal by 18.00 GMT Wednesday 14th September. I will then call for a vote amongst committee members only, the vote will close at 18.00 GMT on Sunday 18th September. 

Once the membership policy has been agreed we will then need to apply the policy to the existing membership. I suggest that we ask all current members to confirm whether they wish to remain committee members and then hold an election (if needed). To this end it would be helpful if each committee member could update their record on the wiki page to show when they joined the conference committee (see my example). 

The intention is that a 2016-7 committee of 11 will have been selected before we vote on the LoI’s for 2018, which is likely to be before the end of October.

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