[OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed process for selecting OSGeo charter members

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Mon Jun 23 15:49:41 PDT 2014

Ah, I replied to this email (from my osgeo-board inbox) before reading 
the rest of my emails from my osgeo-discuss inbox.  I see there has been 
a lot of discussion about this proposal in the last 12 hrs.

I'm still of the opinion that charter membership is most valuable when 
provided to recognised volunteers.
This aligns with our current OSGeo Board Priorities:


*/OSGeo as a low capital, volunteer focused organisation/*/
//Should OSGeo act as a high capital or low capital organisation? I.e., 
should OSGeo dedicate energy to collecting sponsorship and then passing 
out these funds to worthy OSGeo causes.//
//While initially it seems attractive to have OSGeo woo sponsors, 
because we would all love to have more money to throw at worthy OSGeo 
goals, the reality is that chasing money is hard work. And someone who 
can chase OSGeo sponsorship is likely conflicted with chasing 
sponsorship for their particular workplace. So in practice, to be 
effective in chasing sponsorship, OSGeo will probably need to hire 
someone specifically for the role. OSGeo would then need to raise at 
least enough to cover wages, and then quite a bit more if the 
sponsorship path is to create extra value.//
//This high capital path is how the Apache foundation is set up, and how 
LocationTech propose to organise themselves. It is the path that OSGeo 
started following when founded under the umbrella of Autodesk.//
//However, as OSGeo has grown, OSGeo has slowly evolved toward a low 
capital volunteer focused organisation. Our overheads are very low, 
which means we waste very little of our volunteer labour and capital on 
the time consuming task of chasing and managing money. Consequently, any 
money we do receive (from conference windfalls or sponsorship) goes a 
long way - as it doesn't get eaten up by high overheads. This low 
capital path is something that is working very well for us, and the path 
we should continue to follow./

I'm open to revisiting this, but switching from a charter based on 
recognised volunteers to paid membership is a major change from OSGeo's 
constitution, and should not be made without substantial consultation 
with the community.

(I'd agree with Dimitris that this would be a vote which should be put 
to the whole of the OSGeo Charter membership).

On 24/06/2014 8:17 am, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> Thanks for your feedback Dimitris,
> You have made some valuable comments.
> I'm also surprised that there has only been a few comments on this 
> thread, although I'm hopeful that this equates to a general feeling 
> that the proposal as crafted is reasonably close to group opinion.
> The proposal as it stands aims to address some of the concerns raised 
> from previous years, and leaves the opportunity for others to improve 
> it still in future years. (In particular, after testing with this 
> upcoming vote, I see the potential to make greater use of charter 
> member voting using tools such as limesurvey).
> On 24/06/2014 4:01 am, Dimitris Kotzinos wrote:
>> Dear Cameron,
>> thanks for the reply and the comments to my previous e-mail. It also 
>> gave me a chance to revisit the rules around the charter members.
>> I was expecting this issue to be further discussed within the 
>> community and i am a bit disappointed with the evolution of the 
>> discussion, given the fact that the board will make a decision shortly.
>> I am happy that you agree with me in most of the cases; I should also 
>> point out that my comments aim at improving the voting process this 
>> year (why wait for the next) unless this year's decision does not 
>> accept any alterations.
>> A few more comments:
>> -- Voting of charter members: I agree that in the rules is stated 
>> that the Charter Members are voting for new Charter Members and the 
>> board. Then maybe we should consider the members to vote (I think 
>> that this can be considered based on the bylaws)?
>> If we agree with the need to validate this kind of decisions from a 
>> larger body, then a solution can be found.
>> -- For the proposed changes and in the request for data to validate 
>> them; I cannot understand the comment that anyone who disagrees 
>> should bring up data that validate the current status. Usually the 
>> one who proposes changes should bring along some data to prove that 
>> the changes are needed and are in the proper direction. But for me 
>> there is no need since the last two years, whoever applied for 
>> Charter Member status was accepted. So I cannot see who was rejected.
>> So I still do not see where the need for such changes comes from and 
>> what exactly we expect to improve with this.
>> I think that the proposed process creates a small bias and mainly 
>> gives the message that the Charter Members do not vote wisely enough 
>> to let the breadth and depth of the Foundation Membership to be 
>> represented. And I think that this is simply not true. I am also 
>> afraid when a future board might decide to have the 3/4 of members ex 
>> officio and so on ... But this can be just me.
>> So no need to recycle the discussion, thanks again for the response - 
>> I am sure that the board will consider the fact that whatever 
>> objections come in good faith and I do trust that the board will take 
>> a wise decision.
>> Best regards,
>> Dimitris
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

Cameron Shorter,
Software and Data Solutions Manager
Suite 112, Jones Bay Wharf,
26 - 32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

P +61 2 9009 5000,  W www.lisasoft.com,  F +61 2 9009 5099

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