[OSGeo-Discuss] [OSGeo-Conf] Fwd: Incubation, osgeo-EU and FOSS4G

Dirk Frigne dirk.frigne at geosparc.com
Thu May 12 06:46:57 PDT 2016

First of all,
I want to thank Jeroen for his testimonial and sharing his experiences.

I 've taken some initiative for the formation of a OSGeo Europe Local
chapter, so I follow this thread very close.

It is not so simple to find the time to formulate my thoughts on this
discussion, but here is my 0,001€c:

- I think Maxi, I am almost completely on the same wavelength as what
you describe in your mail. But I think that, as an organisation of
individuals, it is important to maintain partnerships with other
organisations and to promote and support open source initiatives where
we can.
First of all, the European Local Chapter, will not be focussed on
businesses, but on EU specific regulations and opportunities.

As Jeroen (and others), and you admit it too, business is one of the
stakeholders of our society, so it is important for OSGeo, as an
organisation to promote initiatives that want to organise themselves
around open source business.
It is not the task or the role of OSGeo to do so however, but we should
(and we do) encourage these initiatives.

I think there is a lack of contactpoint in Europe from OSGeo as a legal
entity to talk and partner with other EU-based initiatives.

I hope and do encourage that the different OSGeo SME's in Europe will
take initiatives to organise themselves in stronger entities, and I want
to support these initiatives from a OSGeo perspective, just in the same
sense OSGeo encourage initiatives such as LocationTech, which is an
initiative from a group of companies working together around open source
initiatives, but not necessary the right organisation for the many small
(Geo)-SME's in Europe.

I hope this makes it more clear to you, and I hope you see this is in
line with the vision and mission of our organisation.


On 12-05-16 13:44, Massimiliano Cannata wrote:
> Jeroen
> From your answer I understand that I probably didn't express correctly
> my view.
> I never underestimate companies, nor government, nor acdemia, nor ngo.
> My idea is that OSGeo should be neutral to sectors, providing room for
> members to develop and push bussiness how they want. But it should not
> be the foundatuon mandate make bussiness and making lobby. It should
> provide a neutral space to promote foss in all its declinations. That's
> why when i hear of an osgeo europe focused on business i don't like it,
> European companies whose members belong to the community should do it
> not osgeo, maybe forming a business committee not forking the foundation.
> Member are people, some use their unpaid time, some use their paid time
> because it overlap their work interests, some are from private sector,
> some from gov and some prom academia. All are important and none is more
> important with respect to others.
> I do not underestimate companeies, but you don't have to undervalue
> orher ecosystems.
> Il 12/Mag/2016 09:17, "Jeroen Ticheler" <jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net
> <mailto:jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net>> ha scritto:
>     Hi Max,
>     Good to have a summarized discussion about what OSGeo is. Let me
>     only react on the business side you discussed. I absolutely disagree
>     with what you are saying ;-) I'll explain:
>     People can only contribute voluntary (or professional) time if at
>     some point they earn a salary that pays their bills. And if
>     businesses didn't flourish, there wouldn't be governments,
>     universities etcetera because there wouldn't be money for
>     governments to fund itself nor academia. I've been a government
>     employee for many years and I'm convinced governments and academia
>     are indispensable in a well developed society. Some things are
>     better done there than in business. BUT, many other things are
>     better done in business. I often see a lot of distrust from the
>     public sector towards the business sector, including in your
>     expressed view. This is harmful to OSGeo! If I can send my whole
>     company to FOSS4G to present our work, provide free workshops,
>     sponsor AND learn this is a highly valuable thing in my opinion. It
>     is ALL about individuals contributing and learning and sharing
>     knowledge equally.
>     I have spend many years in Africa, both as a child and as an adult.
>     As a kid I've even travelled on food trucks delivering aid in
>     refugee camps. I don't need many words to describe the impression
>     that made on me: people (Tuaregs in my case) that lost their cattle
>     and thus their work, suffered deeply, but still had their pride and
>     served us tea on the edge of the desert. They had nowhere to go and
>     were forced to abandon their nomad lifestyle to settle as farmers on
>     land that was unsuitable for agriculture. You can't sink much
>     further in life.
>     This led me to work at the UN and then change to business because I
>     thinks that's where the real difference can be made if done right.
>     One of my main objectives is to develop knowledge that is
>     non-exclusive and also helps those living in less favorable economic
>     conditions. Technology won't be of much help to those Tuaregs, but
>     I'm always looking at opportunities to get some company kickstarted
>     there (hopefully under the GeoCat umbrella) so solid commercial
>     activity can be developed locally. And for that, I won't ignore the
>     commercial interests I have because I'm convinced in doing so that
>     the development of a local company has the largest chance of
>     success. And thus this company can contribute to the lives of its
>     employees and pay (the least possible, but proper amount of) taxes
>     to its government. When successful, also those employees could
>     attend a local or global OSGeo event. Every successful company can
>     contribute significantly to improving the lives of individuals. And
>     open source is a great vehicle for this. FOSS4G and OSGeo are great
>     vehicles for this too. Companies must be able to benefit from them,
>     because it is the people in those companies and their families that
>     benefit. And it is government and academia that can then pay
>     salaries to you.
>     Warm hearted greetings,
>     Jeroen
>     > Op 11 mei 2016 om 11:01 heeft massimiliano cannata
>     <massimiliano.cannata at gmail.com
>     <mailto:massimiliano.cannata at gmail.com>> het volgende geschreven:
>     >
>     > OSGeo is an organisation of people. Not of sectors or groups or
>     parties. Of course people belong to categories and this tend to
>     influence the way they see the world. For this reason people tend to
>     contribute to the community for their competence and interest within
>     committees or working groups. It is not the mandate of OSGeo making
>     lobbies or acquire mandates. To me OSGeo should get together great
>     projects and people to offer the world the possibility of advance
>     and improve the life of people. I know It is a bit exaggerated but
>     when i think of open source i see it as a mean of equity: like
>     making  accessible food and sanitation and drinking water and
>     medicine to everyone in the world. Making tools for a better
>     governance available to all.
>     > OSGeo is about mutually sharing experiences, ideas, solutions not
>     building business. For this LocationTech which is a community of
>     companies / entities I understood is more suited.
>     > So my vision is OSGeo focused on people not on companies or
>     groups. Splitting the community is not an advancement but a loss of
>     value.
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Yours sincerely,

ir. Dirk Frigne
CEO @geosparc

Geosparc n.v.
Brugsesteenweg 587
B-9030 Ghent
Tel: +32 9 236 60 18
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