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

Kari Salovaara kari.salovaara at pp1.inet.fi
Tue Jun 24 02:47:52 PDT 2014


I was following this thread with disbelief how most of the participants 
don't understand which is the situation of open idea, open source 
applications and open data in most countries round the world. And what 
kind of support those people get when trying to bring message to 
disbelievers. And how small is the group of actives really working. Yes, 
there is much more "members", those who are actually end users taking 
only benefits and nagging about missing features. And the fight against 
commercial sector, how much you get back kicking with out real facts?
If membership fees are needed, if yearly reporting is needed and if you 
have to organize real elections, we'll be in trouble. First of all we 
have to establish a society which is eligible to have bookkeeping, bank 
accounts, board and official meetings for its election etc. A lot of 
bureaucracy which will be above the work pain already done by the few 
volunteers (who are by themselves not satisfied currently to their own 
efforts due lack of time).
If we don't establish a society (without that is impossible to collect 
money) we should pay these fees to some other country! And then it would 
be even more difficult to attract people to join. And who will get the 
benefits of our money then? Of course in organization (OsGeo) those 
members who represent larger groups(countries can reach their goals 
easier and can direct the development and efforts to goals more powerful 
than smaller group representatives or those who lack totally their 
"man/woman". So none in this discussion has presented democratic way, 
how to ensure equality, in this sense.

The timing of this discussion is perfect as it's holiday season and very 
very few people in northern Europe is reading their emails.


On 06/24/2014 09:57 AM, Arnulf Christl wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> On 06/23/2014 09:33 PM, b.j.kobben at utwente.nl wrote:
>> I am very dissapointed in this whole membership/fees discussion.
>> In reading the emails one does not see the international volunteer
>> community I would like to think OSGEO is (should be), but it rather
>> seems we are dealing with a US-based professional organisation,
>> mostly keen on not paying US taxes, and that is not what I want
>> OSGEO to become...
> Hey Barend,
> if it makes you feel any better - I can still see the volunteer driven
> OSGeo and have no intention to drop out just because there are ideas
> to move to a more consistent way of mapping members. I have been CRO
> in two consecutive years and cannot see any advantage in sticking with
> the non-system we have had so far. Instead, my hopes are that a fee
> based membership can broaden the base we are one. It would make so
> many things so much easier.
> I also believe that we have grown to a size where we do not have to
> fear a hostile takeover so that a lot of the self-referencing and
> sustaining mechanisms we put in place to start with are not required
> any more.
> It would be a pity if others and especially existing OSGeo Charter
> Members would feel negatively about the proposed suggestions so I beg
> you all to voice your concerns now. And we should make sure that we
> pass any changes of this format by the existing Charter Members and
> make sure there is a fat majority of support for it. Otherwise we
> would betray our principles which is exactly what we tried to prevent
> with the existing system in place.
> Have fun,
> Arnulf
> On 23-06-14 21:00, "Alex Mandel" <tech_dev at wildintellect.com>
> wrote:
>>> On 06/19/2014 11:58 AM, Peter Baumann wrote:
>>>> Hi all,
>>>> good - and important! - discussion! Being Charter Member I am
>>>> somewhat concerned:
>>>> - I am surprised that the common democratic procedure of
>>>> election is perceived as creating "dissent".
>>> Well it's somewhat conjecture without public confirmation that
>>> someone walked away from OSGeo because they didn't get picked.
>>>> - yes, democracy is expensive, but generally it is considered
>>>> worth the effort. - is "lifelong membership" compatible with
>>>> community participation?
>>> Nope and we've actually have discussed in the past what the rules
>>> should be to weed out charter members who no longer particpate in
>>> the community.
>>>> - "Recognised OSGeo Community Leaders" seem to get determined
>>>> in a very special, selective way (as compared to standard
>>>> election procedures).
>>>> Altogether, the criteria seem to make OSGeo a self-sustaining
>>>> group: insiders will remain insiders for a lifetime, outsiders
>>>> will...well, face a hurdle.
>>>> So the contrary of "open".
>>>> Just an idea: what about applying the OSGeo incubation
>>>> checklist to OSGeo itself to determine feasible procedures?
>>>> cheers, Peter
>>> I think the discussion of membership fees is timely this year now
>>> that we officially have our IRS 501c4 status. Why, well when we
>>> were aiming for 501c3 that would have given us donations as tax
>>> write offs for US members. Without that incentive to donate,
>>> membership now seems like it might be the way to push individuals
>>> to donate.
>>> The amount should be researched quite a bit though, factoring in
>>> how to reach maximum membership, with lowest overhead (collecting
>>> and tracking membership will incur a cost).
>>> Since we don't maintain a huge office, an in print journal, a
>>> lobbyist or things like that we should be able to be much lower
>>> that other professional societies. I agree it should be relative
>>> to country of members, and there probably should be some sharing
>>> in places where local chapters exist - or the local chapters
>>> trust us to split the money back to them for things they need.
>>> I'd suggest something in the $20-$30 US, students $5-$10. Maybe
>>> with a sliding scale like PBS or Kickstarter, where if you
>>> voluntarily pay more in a given year you get swag of some sort.
>>> I'm trying to avoid the syndrome (I'm guilty of this) where one
>>> pays for membership only in a year when it will get you a
>>> discount worth more than the membership for the conference.
>>> I agree with Arnulf that these decisions should probably go to
>>> e-vote of all the current charter members, the boards
>>> responsibility is to put forward a coherent plan for the vote.
>>> Obviously if the board all hates the ideas it should stop there
>>> for now.
>>> Thanks, Alex

Kari Salovaara
Hanko, Finland

"Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart."
  ~ Elizabeth Andrew

More information about the Discuss mailing list