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

Venkatesh Raghavan venka.osgeo at gmail.com
Mon Sep 12 20:33:34 PDT 2016

Hi All,

On 9/13/2016 12:57 AM, David Fawcett wrote:
> Steven,
> Thank you for developing this.  Over all, it looks great.  Jachym makes a
> great point that we need a very clear criteria for determining conflict of
> interest.

I also think that this is an important point made by Jachym and need
to be addressed prudently.

Also, I agree with Jachym statement below too.

> So far, it was Conference committee who gave "clue" to the Board and board
> did the final decision (after all, they are "sitting" on the money). I
> think, this works well. Board's voice was important only if Board would
> strongly disagree with Conference committee (never happen afaik), or when
> there was a tie (happend twice, AFAIK).

I trust that the OSGeo board to take a informed decision based on the
recommendations of the conference committee and do not see the need
to change the current decision model for deciding on conference



> David.
> On Mon, Sep 12, 2016 at 4:42 AM, Jachym Cepicky <jachym.cepicky at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi Steve,
>> thank you for taking this action (we need this on every level of OSGeo, we
>> lack on people with little bit free time).
>> Some issues inline:
>> pá 9. 9. 2016 v 16:41 odesílatel Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
>> napsal:
>>> 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. 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:
>>> Goals
>>> =====
>>> 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.
>> So far, it was Conference committee who gave "clue" to the Board and board
>> did the final decision (after all, they are "sitting" on the money). I
>> think, this works well. Board's voice was important only if Board would
>> strongly disagree with Conference committee (never happen afaik), or when
>> there was a tie (happend twice, AFAIK).
>>> 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.
>> Please define conflict of interest! It was FOSS4G 2014 vote (DC vs.
>> Portland), where several members of LOC in DC were told, they might be in
>> conflict of interest. Their relationship to LOC was only "supportive", they
>> had no real relationship to any decision and in the matter of fact, they
>> hoped to help the LOC and being connection betweeen LOC and OSGeo, if they
>> are both - in Conference Committee and in LOC. This was (IMHO) one of
>> biggest crises of OSGeo and it should be clearly stated for the future,
>> that membership in LOC and Conference Committee is either to be seen as OK
>> or conflicting.
>> Today I think: there is no reason for having one person in both - LOC and
>> Conf. comm.
>>> 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
>> ... or any other member of LOC, suggested by the chair of most recent
>>> 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.
>>> ______
>>> Steven
>>> Jachym
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