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

Steven Feldman shfeldman at gmail.com
Thu May 12 09:56:22 PDT 2016

Brilliantly expressed Jeroen, thank you

Building businesses around OSGeo is a sign of our success and our future sustainability. We should welcome business involvement not feel threatened by it.

> On 12 May 2016, at 08:17, Jeroen Ticheler <jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net> wrote:
> 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> 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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