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

Maria Antonia Brovelli maria.brovelli at polimi.it
Thu Sep 15 07:40:18 PDT 2016

Steven, first of all I want to thank you for your great work!

Was really fantastic how you were able to synthesize the previous document.

I have some relevant suggestions about some points of the discussion.

The first is about the composition of the CC.

It is ok of having 11 members. At that point I  propose:

3 rest of the world, 3 NA, 3 Europe

and then 2 ladies, as we need to have more ladies in the decision rooms.

The CC decisions need to be visible to the community and  charter members should be allowed to have a say on how our conference will be conducted.

Then my last consideration is that we need at least 6 votes in accordance. 3 are definitely not enough. It is  not the majority.

In my opinion these are relevant points  and we have to discuss them.

Best regards!

Prof. Maria Antonia Brovelli
Vice Rector for Como Campus and GIS Professor
Politecnico di Milano

ISPRS WG IV/4"Collaborative crowdsourced cloud mapping (C3M)"; OSGeo; ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS Advisory Board; NASA WorldWind Europa Challenge; SIFET
Sol Katz Award 2015

Via Natta, 12/14 - 22100 COMO (ITALY)
Tel. +39-031-3327336 - Mob. +39-328-0023867 - fax. +39-031-3327321
e-mail1: <mailto:maria.brovelli at polimi.it> maria.brovelli at polimi.it
e-mail2: prorettrice at como.polimi.it

Da: Conference_dev <conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> per conto di Steven Feldman <shfeldman at gmail.com>
Inviato: giovedì 15 settembre 2016 15.48
A: Massimiliano Cannata
Cc: OSGeo-Conf
Oggetto: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] MOTION : Conference Committee - Updating Membership Policies and Process


Thanks for your comments. We are now in the voting stage so I cannot change the motion. However I will try to respond briefly to your comments inline below

On 15 Sep 2016, at 11:25, Massimiliano Cannata <massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch<mailto:massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch>> wrote:

Dear Steven,
I know i'm late but I hope my comments could be still considered to improve the "Membership Policies and Process" of the conference committee.

In general I don't like the idea that only who has chaired a conference is entitled to take decision on the conference, is like saying that if you are not a developer you cannot be part of a project PSC even if you are a "rock expert in user interaction design" for example or "super power user"... often the minister of education is not a professor ;-)
** The role of the conference committee requires the expertise of past chairs. Only 5 of 11 places are allocated to past chairs, the other places are open to regional chairs or others with equivalent relevant experience

here below some detailed comments inline..


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).

3 votes out of 11 members and 2 days seems to me too restricted: in principle after a motion having 3 positive votes after two bussiness day can be enough to declare passed the motion
** we have to set a quorum and a time limit on votes - sometimes decisions are needed relatively quickly. Often only a subset of conference committee members or list participants actually respond. If the current motion is passed you could suggest an amendment to increase the quorum and time limit

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.

I would like to see the votes open to all participants (all the charter member that are part of the conference mailing list or are registered as interested), not only the remaining committee (otherwise you basically decide with who you want to work).
** The electorate for new committee members is the combination of the remaining committee members AND the Board.

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.

What do mean by "In the event of a disagreement the committee chair will decide"? In case of tie the chair decide the winning (that anyway is decided by the board as the conference committee provides its indication and the board eventually ratify it).
*** you have misunderstood - this is nothing to do with a tied vote. the chair decides whether there is a conflict of interest if agreement can’t be reached. See the revised version of the motion that was posted today following various people’s comments

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

So the "aim" is that the last 5 chairs of global FOSS4G should be members of the committee, but if you change 3 member a year, in about 3 years you have changed all the members: so this is not possible, mathematically speaking, unless you recruit both chair and vice-chair in the committee. so you'll have 6 new members in 3 years.
At this point no more seats are left for regional conference chairs….
** I think this will work - The longest standing chair stands down, the latest is co-opted onto committee. 2 other longest standing members from the remaining 6 non-chair positions retire and 2 new people are elected

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

Should or Shall, is it a rule or a guideline. What is the longest standing past FOSS4G chair does not stand down? Is he/she forced to resign or banned?
** My view would be that in our community a ‘should’ is sufficient, if you think a more formal approach is required you can propose an amendment to change to ‘shall’ after the vote

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.

Again, i don't like this self-election of a governing body ;-)
*** see above

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

Yes, but basically no seats will be available according to the rule of having half of the committee from latest events: oldest out, recent in so oldest no way to get in again ;-) unless others resign (apart from the three)
*** see above

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.

Why the mechanism is not voted by all the committee members?
*** we will probably continue to use an independent teller as we have in the past. If the board adopts loomio or some other system for votes we may decide to change to that. We need to get things done rather than spending a lot of time considering every list member’s idea of what voting software we should use.

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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Massimiliano Cannata
Professore SUPSI in ingegneria Geomatica
Responsabile settore Geomatica

Istituto scienze della Terra

Dipartimento ambiente costruzione e design
Scuola universitaria professionale della Svizzera italiana
Campus Trevano, CH - 6952 Canobbio

Tel. +41 (0)58 666 62 14
Fax +41 (0)58 666 62 09
massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch<mailto:massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch>

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