[OSGeo-Discuss] The New Board to be and Global representation

Jeroen Ticheler Jeroen.Ticheler at fao.org
Fri Jun 13 00:33:31 PDT 2008

Hi all,
I have recently seen several discussions where the geographical  
representation sentiment, perceptions toward OSGeo being US or North  
America centric and so on and so forth get in (the way). So I could  
pick one randomly to react on. I'll pick this because of its title :-)

We should not be blind for perspectives and try to deal with them with  
care. However, there is _no one_ I know that is trying to purposely  
make the foundation centric to any specific country. As Cameron  
rightly mentioned in a previous email, there are countries that are  
native English speaking and that makes communication easy at the  
global community level for them. This same issue can be a problem for  
others though and can help the bias towards the largest English  
speaking communities on this planet even if it should not. I know that  
our members from North America actually do care a lot about what's  
going on across their borders. It is frustrating to see they are put  
into a defensive position too many times. They should not be and we,  
as a community have to avoid that from happening.

Again referring to Cameron's excellent email, we are a Meritocracy and  
not a political body that has to deal with country politics, disputed  
areas and global trade. This is actually the point that is most  
important to me when it comes to representation. I don't want to see  
geographical representation come into the discussion at all! :-) Every  
charter member of the community can make his/her choice based on  
personal considerations. I do consider that myself when voting, and I  
do consider giving a (higher) vote when it comes to balanced  
representation, be it geographical, gender or other factors. But in  
the end what counts for me is how much merit that person has and what  
we see that person brings to the community.

So my call upon the community: forget about geographical  
representation as a driving factor or political means in discussions  
or voting! My email gets to you if I would send it from Khartoum in  
the same way it does now that I'm sending it from Rome. Do you care?  
Or instead do you care about the content? Focus on the last when  
voting; what is the added value of that person as a board member to you.


On Jun 13, 2008, at 8:21 AM, RAVI KUMAR wrote:

> Hi All,
> some new blood is added to the OSGeo charter members, and now we are  
> poised to get new board members too. If one can remember, there was  
> a discussion on the geographical representation of the board members  
> after the last election.
> It is pertinent to have a global representation of OSGeo board  
> members.
> I hope the election to Board members will yield results that will  
> represent a global interest of OSGeo.
> In spite of the fact that internet is nearly erasing the political  
> boundaries, still in countries like India, Geospatial technologies  
> are yet to make a mark in semi-urban and rural societies.
> OSGeo Coding verses OSGeo software usage(ratio):
> Unlike the developed world where the ratio is evenly matched or  
> slightly tilted towards users, in India it is very highly tilted  
> towards OSGeo software usage.
> So the priorities are different in promoting OSGeo.
> Cheers
> Ravi Kumar
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