[OSGeo-Discuss] End the vote!

Jorge Gaspar Sanz Salinas jsanz at osgeo.org
Tue Jul 16 00:14:01 PDT 2013

On 15 July 2013 17:24, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com> wrote:
> Hi Adrian,
> At last week's Board meeting, Board members chose 30 as the number of
> Charter Members that will be added in this election process (minutes at
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Meeting_2013-07-11).
> Importantly though, I agree with you, this crop of nominations for
> Charter Members is just outstanding, so spread out geographically, and
> so full of passionate people.
> The CROs are working hard this year managing the election process,
> working within the guidelines set by the Board; however I agree, nothing
> says that we cannot/should not/ improve this Charter Member process for
> the 2014 election.
> Arnulf has setup a page to collect everyone's ideas for changes in the
> process: please do add your ideas at
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Category_talk:Elections
> I would also like to see Charter members be given more of a role in the
> organization.  For example, one could imagine the Charter members voting
> on future FOSS4G bids.  I'm very open to hearing your thoughts and
> working with you closely to improve the process.
> As always, great email from you Adrian, I really appreciate it.
> -jeff
> On 2013-07-15 11:58 AM, Adrian Custer wrote:
>> Hey all 'charter' members,
>> You have nominated a large number of great, passionate creators,
>> educators, community builders, and users of free geospatial software to
>> become new 'charter' members of OSGeo.
>> Now, unfortunately, your existing system of voting means that you will
>> either
>>     (1) vote to accept some nominees but not others, or
>>     (2) bypass the voting process and accept everyone as was
>>         done last year.
>> The former sucks since its only effect will now be to 'exclude' or
>> 'reject' people who are passionate and respected enough to have been
>> nominated. In other words, up to now all has been positive, building
>> respect and support but, now, the only outcome of *voting* is rejection
>> and possibly discouragement of those same people. That seems silly.
>> So, after this process, you might consider changing things. You might
>> examine the consequences of voting by examining how you feel yourselves
>> after voting especially about those you did not vote for or by looking
>> at who did not get 'voted' in to see if that was because they were not
>> great candidates or due to some regional effect. You might then consider
>> changing the 'vote' to some other system, such as a system where anyone
>> getting x number of 'nominations' gets in. (Of course, that still has
>> all the problems that passionate folk on the periphery who are not known
>> to enough people in the core might not become 'charter' members but
>> that's a design flaw inherent in this club like, two tier member system.)
>> Voting is not the only way of organizing communities. This vote does not
>> seem to help the OSGeo in its mission. You can do better.
>> cheers,
>>   ~adrian

I agree also with Adrian, we've just passed this process for the
Spanish Language Local Chapter and all the Charter Members passed
without a vote. We set up our process 5 years ago following the .org
structure but every year seems to make less sense. Being a Charter
Member at OSGeo-es is pretty similar to .org, just the right to vote
on the elections.

I really would like a more involved profile but for us is hard to get
people more engaged. At least 75% of ou charter members voted on the
board election process, not bad.

So, I'd be happy to read any ideas on what to offer to charter members
that could make them more motivated to participate on the community.
The Advocates page is a good beginning but I think we can do more.
Maybe asking the CM to do some tasks on behalf of the foundation,
participating more on decisions (delegating or at least asking
opinions from board or committees issues) and at the end giving a
sense of an organizational body that is _important_, and that there is
a real need from it to be proactive on the foundation issues.

Just thinking aloud, that's all.

Jorge Sanz

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