[OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed OSGeo Vision

Gert-Jan van der Weijden gert-jan at osgeo.nl
Tue Nov 17 01:47:17 PST 2015

Suchith, Cameron, Board Members and everybody else,

Jeff's -I assume personal- vision and Cameron's refinement are a good  
starting point indeed.
We already have more ingredients to refine our mission, goals en ways  
to achieve them:
- A discussion started by Darrell Fuhriman (under the intriguing title  
"OSGeo is becoming irrelevant. Here's why. Let's fix it)
- And a thread 2 month earlier (started by Michael Gerlek) "We won.  
It's time for OSGeo 2.0".
- And probably much more,

Our board has a face2face meeting in January 2016 (althought the wiki  
mentions "2015") [3] (in a cold, wet -but thanks to Jeroen Ticheler  
welcoming- Holland).
I hope we can glue these meetings, discussions and insights together.
Therefore I suggest that the board f2f meeting is not an event on it's  
own, but one step in a proces where we can redefine our values,  
rewrite our goals and re-order our priorities.

Some ideas & suggestions:
- Handle it topic by topic. Therefore: define the topics first (partly  
done, as in Jeff's vision for OSGeo, here below.
- For the board f2f: consider to invite an independant process facilitator
- FOSS4G-2016 might be the right time and (I think inspiring!) place  
to finish that proces (with a "strategy-codesprint", for instance).
- And finally: such an "OSGeo. 2.0 proces" fits nicely in our 10th  
anniversary (OSGeo is founded in 2006)!



[1] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2015-September/014912.html
[2] https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2015-July/014521.html
[3] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Face_to_Face_Meeting_2015

Suchith Anand <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk> schreef:

> Thank you Jeff for your dedication and efforts for OSGeo and taking  
> time to put together your ideas for the proposed OSGeo vision and  
> thanks to Cameron for excellent comments/suggestions to help refine  
> this.
> This proposed OSGeo vision ideas are a good start to discuss and  
> brainstorm ideas of how we can expand OSGeo for the future. I  
> suggest that this should be something the OSGeo Board should also  
> look into and input.
> Best wishes,
> Suchith
> ________________________________________
> From: Discuss [discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] on behalf of Cameron  
> Shorter [cameron.shorter at gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, November 16, 2015 11:20 AM
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Proposed OSGeo Vision
> Hi Jeff,
> I've renamed this email thread to "Proposed OSGeo Vision", and have
> selected out your text specifically related the Vision.
> I'm re-reading the text more slowly on my second pass.
> Firstly, I think you have done a great first pass. Please consider my
> comments as suggested refinements.
> In general:
> I question the emphasis on face-to-face meetings over email.
> I agree that face-to-face meetings can be very effective and empowering
> for the people within the room, however it comes at a cost.
> 1. Only the people in the room are empowered. This lends itself well to
> a hierarchical command-and-control power structure. Decisions are made
> by the powerful, while the masses are disenfranchised.
> 2. For a global organisation, it is expensive to fly everyone into one
> location.
> 3. For a low-capital organisation (like OSGeo), it is difficult to
> justify travel expenses over many other valuable low cost and effective
> options.
> 4. Decentralised communication is very effective at attracting large and
> active communities.
> Open Source communities thrive on leaderless organisation, email lists,
> IRC channels, and other cheap communication channels. (I blogged on this
> decades ago when the internet was just starting to become main stream [1]).
> [1]
> http://cameronshorter.blogspot.com.au/2000/10/understanding-and-motivating-activists.html
> On 16/11/2015 6:13 am, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>> Vision For OSGeo
>> ================
>> (I should first state that I have called a face to face meeting with
>> the OSGeo Board members to work together on topics such as vision and
>> the goals of OSGeo, and how to achieve those goals, and that meeting
>> will be in January, attended by all members of this new OSGeo board)
> <suggest trim above comment from final text>
>> "My vision is for OSGeo to be the Open Source geospatial community all
>> across the globe, everywhere and anywhere, and have fun doing it.  The
>> OSGeo community is special, we are unique, we do great things for the
>> world, we are open, and we have fun.  We accept anyone into our
>> community and will give them the spotlight, to help their local
>> community and the world share its spatial information.  We are OSGeo."
> <In the final version, I suggest removing all "personal" terms to
> "group" terms. Ie, it should not be "MY vision" any more, but rather
> "The OSGeo Vision">
> <Some word tweaking required here. I'm not sure we "accept anyone". We
> encourage ideas from everyone, we encourage supportive communities, ...
> We don't accept discrimination, or people who promote discrimination.>
>> Many have seen me speak about "community" all around the world since
>> about 2008, and it is OSGeo's community that is so valued. This vision
>> puts our community in that spotlight, and is something that I already
>> know that we all follow in our hearts.  It is the OSGeo spirit that
>> drives us all, that some may not understand, but we can teach them and
>> help them share their geospatial information openly, and, show them
>> how fun it is.
> <I'd suggest above sentence can be removed from an OSGeo vision. (There
> are 2 messages through this text: 1. OSGeo's Vision. 2. Jeff's
> commentary. The OSGeo Vision should be separate text without the
> commentary.>
>> How to get there
>> ================
>> Focus on Developing Regions
>> ---------------------------
>> Over the next 5 or 10 years, various developing regions ("developing"
>> in the sense of in-progress of becoming world leaders in open) across
>> the globe, not known globally for their OSGeo chapters yet, will be
>> given the OSGeo spotlight.  These are important regions of the world,
>> extremely active locally but not as well known globally for their
>> efforts in Open Source geospatial.  Some possible examples are South
>> America, South Asia, Russia, China, Middle East, North Africa, and
>> India.  OSGeo will help give them the world stage for Open Source
>> geospatial.
> I suggest avoiding time based terms (next 5 to 10 years) for a vision
> statement. A vision statement might be getting read in 5 years time, and
> unless you know when the statement was written, you don't have a
> framework for knowing if the timeframe is still valid.
> I suggest for a vision statement, stay generic and don't specifically
> name regions to focus on. State instead that OSGeo aims to give multiple
> regions, including developing regions the opportunity of an
> international spotlight.
> How do you plan to give regions a spotlight? This should be explained at
> least in general terms. Will OSGeo be encouraging FOSS4G to be held in
> developing regions? This should have some practical ideas which can be
> implemented and questioned to see if it is technically achievable.
>> Local Chapters
>> --------------
>> All of the fun happens locally, it is through local chapters that
>> OSGeo can grow Open Source geospatial software, learn, share, and have
>> fun. We currently have about 30 official chapters, and about 30 in
>> formation, but we have so much more work to do to help chapters grow
>> in other communities.  Let's help them! :)
> Suggest revisit "All of the fun happens locally". "Fun" can happen anywhere.
> Who is going to help the local chapters?
> With what resources?
> How do the local chapters need help?
> Note that OSGeo is volunteer driven, and is not in a position to direct
> workers.
> The board can allocate money from a limited budget toward activities,
> but that is not much, and it is limited.
>> Projects
>> --------
>> OSGeo projects and those in incubation are very stable and have
>> vibrant communities.  OSGeo must help these projects grow, and also
>> help incoming projects find a home in our community.  We must be
>> accepting to changing trends and styles in the global industry.
> Suggest change "must" to "aim to".
> "must" implies you have control over a workforce, when the best you have
> is the ability to inspire volunteers.
>> Charter Members
>> ---------------
>> OSGeo charter members will drive the formation of the Open Source
>> geospatial community.
> The OSGeo Community is already formed.
> Maybe mention "From time to time, charter members will be INVITED to
> take a more active role in OSGeo decision making, by being polled on key
> strategic decisions, as identified by the board.
>> Diversity
>> ---------
>> OSGeo must from now on have 50% women on its Board of Directors. This
>> year's board has the first women ever on its board, but for 2016/2017
>> and beyond, women will again be strongly represented at the board
>> level of the OSGeo foundation.  This will help provide strong
>> leadership from OSGeo throughout the world.
> Again, suggest avoid word "must". Suggest aim for "diversity in
> background and gender in board of directors". It is good to have equal
> representation from women, but I think it more important to have the
> best people for the job, regardless of gender. If there are more men
> than women involved in OSGeo, statistics would suggest that there should
> be more men on the board too.
>> Education and Training
>> ----------------------
>> OSGeo will continue to spread Open Source geospatial to students and
>> educators around the world, through the GeoForAll initiative. Focus
>> will also change from post-secondary institutions to
>> secondary/high-school, getting the young minds excited and interested
>> in sharing and being open.
> OSGeo can encourage Education initiatives, but again, we don't have
> resources to allocate.
>> Professional Service Providers
>> ------------------------------
>> OSGeo will begin to focus on its service providers, and give them the
>> spotlight they deserve, for choosing to operate their business around
>> OSGeo projects.  Focus will not only be placed on the larger
>> businesses, but for the first time ever, small businesses will be
>> given the spotlight from OSGeo.
> OSGeo has been promoting OSGeo Service providers (big and small) for
> years through this (dated) search:
> http://www.osgeo.org/search_profile
> How else do you propose that Service Providers are promoted?
> Do Service Providers need to pay for such promotion?
>> (in my travels, I estimate that 90% of OSGeo's service providers have
>> <10 employees, yet we are not giving these businesses any spotlight)
> <trim commentary from final version>
>> ------
>> OSGeo's hugely successful yearly event, the global FOSS4G, will
>> continue to travel around the world each year.  The goal of OSGeo's
>> global FOSS4G event over the next 5 to 10 years will be to expand to
>> new areas, plant the OSGeo seed locally, learn, share, and have fun.
>> The goal will be to share this passion as much as possible, by having
>> low-cost FOSS4G events.  Regional FOSS4G events will satisfy local
>> needs, in however the local chapters desire.
> I suggest invite the conference committee to contribute to this section.
> I'd like to see collective knowledge from conferences passed between
> events more effectively.
> I think building up the FOSS4G Handbook would help achieve that:
> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook
> I think this section should be revisited after conversations with
> LocationTech
>> Code Sprints
>> ------------
>> OSGeo will actively promote its ability to support all code sprints of
>> any size, no matter if there is only one project being enhanced.
> I suggest that this statement should not be quite as Open Ended. As it
> stands, this could be interpreted to mean that any code sprint will be
> funded by OSGeo. There are limits to OSGeo's budget, and this should be
> acknowledged in the words we select.
>> Working with other organizations
>> --------------------------------
>> Working closely with other organizations will continue to be important
>> for OSGeo.  MoUs with organizations encourage communication, and
>> usually have the 2 leaders of the parties sit down face to face once a
>> year and talk (which is really priceless in the long-term for the
>> commmunity) and review the agreement. Admittedly these agreements are
>> not liked by the business-types, for not offering any firm details up
>> front (like financial benefits), but in the long term these agreements
>> help change opinions, give momentum to both parties, and end up
>> creating jobs in the industry.
> I think we can find better words here.
> "OSGeo will continue to work with external organisations which share
> common goals with OSGeo.
> This will typically start with the collaborative development of a MoU
> which highlights areas where collaboration will be mutually beneficial,
> and the nature of such collaboration."
>> Standards
>> ---------
>> Standards in geospatial software and data will continue to be one of
>> the core parts of every OSGeo project.
>> Financial Focus
>> ---------------
>> OSGeo has never been about generating revenue.  OSGeo is and will be
>> about being the Open Source geospatial community, sharing, learning,
>> and having fun.  OSGeo will continue to be lean, earning enough
>> funding to help its annual FOSS4G and other events, maintain OSGeo's
>> infrastructure, and other critical needs.  The OSGeo foundation will
>> continue to be volunteer driven.
>> Discussion
>> ==========
>> In terms of what I would do to foster working with LocationTech, I
>> would work with Andrea directly to develop an MoU agreement draft, and
>> then take that draft to each of our Boards.  To formalize this
>> agreement, I would call for a "Summit" to be held around March of this
>> year between the LocationTech Steering Committee members, and the
>> OSGeo Board of Directors.  This would be a one day meeting, in person,
>> and not related to any other existing event (not added to an existing
>> program/event). This would allow the OSGeo Board to meet in January,
>> establish their goals, and then to sit down prepared with LocationTech
>> Steering Committee in March.
>> I do feel that the LocationTech/OSGeo relationship needs to be
>> examined slowly, and this is why I made a stand here this/last week.
>> I apologize to Andrea if I have offended her, or disrespected her in
>> any way.
> --
> Cameron Shorter,
> Software and Data Solutions Manager
> LISAsoft
> 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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Gert-Jan van der Weijden
Voorzitter Stichting OSGeo.nl

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