[OSGeo-Discuss] [Board] Incubation, osgeo-EU and FOSS4G

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Wed May 11 16:07:02 PDT 2016

Thank you for your thoughts.

> Sorry for cross-posting but these recent topics (which took place on
> different lists) took myself to reflect about our foundation.
It is awkward to reply to cross posed emails, simply because I am not on
all the lists.

> DISCUSSION: only a small number of people take part to the discussions,
> why?
Either because we are doing the things, or our opinion is already
represented. Email discussions are not the most value that can be offered
to the community, participating in many of the initiatives (from incubation
to geoforall) often provides a higher work/discussion ratio.

> INCUBATION: we care about high quality, long term sustainable and reliable
> solutions, who cares of governance models?
I very much do - anyone who has experienced vendor lock-in, or witnessed a
customer frustrated after being left with a fork does. The safe guards we
have in place around incubation are difficult to meet, but are their to
protect our user community. I expect you will gradually find that open
collaboration (the governance model) is the important freedom that we
celebrate in our open source community. Open source without open
collaboration is one of those free vs freedom distinctions which are
central to our identity as an organization.

The freedom offered by open collaboration is the common theme that is found
in our larger "take back the GIS" movement of open source / open data /
open standards.

We try not to emphasis it too much because governance is boring - but it is
what we are on about.

> BUSINESS AND OSGEO(EU): we are a foundation of people not of companies, we
> don't have to do business!
We wish to include everyone in our community, from businesses and education
through to government and humanitarian relief and municipalities and ...
Specifically OSGeo is setup as a not-for-profit organization in part so it
can take on some roles we are unable to do as individuals or as members of
our respective organization. OSGeo (or any foundation) is setup to provide
this key point: a vender/organization neutral playing field to allow
collaboration - indeed this is the governance requirement that comes up in

> FOSS4G CONFERENCES: fees are a barrier, we are building exclusive events
> rather then being inclusive, who care about revenue!
Very much agreed. FOSS4G is a tool for outreach - conference fees are a
barrier to entry. We should also recognize that conference fees are not the
main cost associated with the event - travel, accommodation and lost
productively to attend all out strip conference fees.

- Sponsors have been very generous to both foss4g global and the regional
foss4g events and this has helps reduce conference fees.
- The profit from these events often returns to OSGeo for use by members of
our community committees and projects.

While the board has outlined how much cash to keep in reserve, and provided
an operational budget for the year - sensible decisions on marketing and
outreach could take place between the marketing (and conference committee)
about how best to meet our outreach goals. But if you want to make changes
here join the marketing or conference committee; rather than hope someone
agrees with you on this email discussion (I know I am joining the marketing

Do you have any stats on how much conference fees have grown?

And also with you!
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