[OSGeo-Discuss] Defining an OSGeo Ambassador role

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Thu Apr 19 14:24:25 PDT 2012

On 20/04/2012 4:06 AM, Michael P. Gerlek wrote:
> Do we have any policies and cost structures for the Ambassador function yet?

I've seen a few people talking about creating an OSGeo Ambassador role. 
Arnulf I think might have been the first to mention it, and I think it 
is an excellent idea. I'm also aware that the OGC are considering 
developing OGC ambassadors too.

So I'd like to open the floor and see what people think an ambassador's 
role could involve, which leads into the qualities we would wish our 
ambassador's to have, which leads into the ways we may select an ambassador.

Let me start by noting some of the driving factors:
1. Arnulf has noted that as OSGeo president, he has spent a significant 
amount of time on areoplanes travelling around the world to talk on 
behalf of OSGeo. He has suggested that this role should be shared.
Conference organisors, who have a primary goal of attracting attendees, 
look for authoritative figureheads to talk at conferences. They are 
expected to have a deep insight into a specific domain, such as OSGeo. 
They should also speak well, even better if they are entertaining.

2. OSGeo is a sexy topic has many conferences, and there are hundreds, 
if not thousands of conferences around the world which would like to see 
an OSGeo presence.

3. OSGeo is fortunate to draw membership from around the world, 
including boasting a number of very healthy local chapters. As such, we 
are likely to have potential ambassadors in most counties. (We might be 
a bit short in Antarctica)

4. There are times when negotiating MOUs or similar with other 
countries, it would be useful to have someone local speak with authority 
on behalf of OSGeo.

5. Note that there are conflicting interests here of wanting to open up 
the role for anyone who volunteers, verses maintaining a selectiveness 
and prestige for the role which is the key selection criteria for 
conferences asking for an ambassador.

As such, I think it important that ambassadors can only be voted into 
the position, and not handed out to anyone. We already vote for a board, 
and charter members.
I think board members should be considered ambassadors by default.
Should charter members be considered ambassadors? Charter members only 
get this role after demonstrating a commitment to OSGeo, so will likely 
have a reasonable depth of OSGeo knowledge. Maybe we should ask for a 
history of speaking well (as demonstrated at conferences), to the 
ambassador criteria.

Then lastly, do we wish to invite ambassadors from a greater circle? At 
this point, I'd probably err on saying no, as if the entry bar to 
becoming an ambassador is too easy, then the mystic of the role will be 

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254

Think Globally, Fix Locally
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