[OSGeo-Discuss] Report from the OSGeo Board meeting

Seven (aka Arnulf) seven at arnulf.us
Wed Sep 21 06:40:47 PDT 2011

pleas accept my apologies if my reply was out of bounds. I appreciate
you voicing your concerns and please continue to do just that. We need
to communicate on this to get forward.

If we had a few million funding sure it would be cool to have staff in
every major country of the world. Right now this is just not the case.

Best regards,

On 09/21/2011 01:34 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
> On 09/20/2011 11:11 PM, karsten vennemann wrote:
>> Yes indeed I can only echo what Gary wrote in his email.
> Then please read Frank's and my answer and come back here to say whether
> this addressed your concerns or at least some of them.
>> I might get ahead of myself with too many assumptions here - before the
>> board even outlined the full reasoning for this decision of eliminating the
>> executive directors position. 
>> But in fact the reasons have not been clearly communicated in Arnulf's
>> summary thus I am just continuing the discussion here. I am very curious how
>> eliminating the only paid staff position that OSGeo had will really benefit
>> the well being of the organization. Obviously there are as many opinions
>> about how OSGEO should be run as OSGeo as we have members ;) 
> In OGC they have "unanimous consent". Such thing would not work in OSGeo
> for exactly your specified reasons, therefore we have a do-ocracy which
> is enhanced by a slim overhead of structure including a board of
> directors. On top of this we had one paid position. This role could not
> satisfy all the opinions of how to run the organization. As a result the
> board took this decision.
>> For me as a GIS professional and business owner it is a
>> "no-brainer"(american slang) that a global professional organization simply
>> cannot be run professionally with out any paid staff, or at the very least
>> not very well. 
> I cannot see that your professional business is a sponsor of OSGeo - it
> is a no-brainer that this is the simplest way of funding an ED position
> - if you really believe that we need it. Sorry to be blunt (German style).
>> Volunteers are great but can do only that much. I am thinking
>> especially of the areas of professional
>> Marketing,  Education,  and User support + outreach. 
> ...which in my opinion are exactly the areas where we did not do too
> well in the past years - even with an ED position. By redirecting funds
> to realize specific objectives I believe that we can achieve more in
> these areas.
>> >From my perspective it is imperative to have a well coordinated,
>> professional (yes therefore paid!!!!!) position to support these and other
>> tasks OSGeo performs day to day as a global entity.
> I do not think that a single person can live up to the expectations
> OSGeo has of such a role. Not Tyler and not anyone else. Instead we
> should gear the funds towards professionals who can achieve more in
> their very capacity. I believe that the critical part of your
> perspective is summarized by "well coordinated". How are you going to do
> this when there are as many opinions as there are members of OSGeo? Who
> gives the coordination? So far it has been the board - and if this
> coordination was bad then we should have replaced the board, not the ED.
> I do not believe that one paid staff or even a team of paid staff can do
> any better - why should they? The only way to find ideal coordination is
> by excelling in communication - something that I believe we are quite
> good at.
> Ah - well, except me - I might appear somewhat agitated right now and
> beg your forgiveness.
> But I bluntly refuse to accept that a paid professional (professional
> what?) will solve the issue of multiple opinions. Do you remember
> OSGeo's very first staff member? He was the community manager of
> CollabNet - the closest thing I can imagine to resemble a professional
> in this field - and we wasted him within a few months.
> Instead we are on to something new - I firmly believe that a community
> of volunteers can achieve what we set out to do. I laughed at Wikipedia
> when they started and did not quite believe OpenStreetMap would get
> anywhere, both proved me wrong. It is only fair if you doubt that OSGeo
> will get anywhere, I don't.
>> If there are new directions the OSGeo board is planning to follow, that do
>> really support OSGeo as an professional organization, I would encourage that
>> the planning behind this and the details will communicated to the members.
> Please don't take this personally - but experience shows that whenever
> someone starts preach professionalism without being able to exactly
> specify what this includes, only shows that the problem has not been
> understood.
> Having said that I challenge you to help plan OSGeo's future. This is
> your chance.
> Have fun,
> Arnulf
>> Cheers
>> Karsten
>> Karsten Vennemann
>> Principal
>> Terra GIS LTD
>> 2119 Boyer Ave E 
>> Seattle, WA  98112
>> USA 
>> www.terragis.net
>> _______________________________________________
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>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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