[OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

Tina Cormier TinaACormier at gmail.com
Wed Nov 1 08:01:50 PDT 2017

Hello all,

I am a new Charter Member, so I've just been taking all of this in (and
been somewhat horrified by all that has transpired, if I'm being candid).
But I haven't felt strongly enough to chime in until I saw the note from
Frank about a method for ensuring women and non NA-EU folks are on the
board. I want to echo Vicky's sentiments and say that as a woman, I would
never want to be "elected" in that way. Even the thought of it feels
terrible and embarrassing. I hope the board does not go this route. The end
goal of increasing diversity on the board is a noble one, but hopefully we
can find other ways to do it that are based on the merit of the candidates
and not their gender or geography. Just my two cents on that specific topic.


On Tue, Oct 31, 2017 at 6:23 PM, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com>

> Extending on Maria's comments (and others),
> I think we are over-emphasising the relative importance of the OSGeo
> board. Reducing the importance of the board will increase the importance
> and influence of our OSGeo committees.
> If OSGeo is a Do-ocracy and Meritocracy, and the influencers in OSGeo
> comes from the Do-ers in our community, then questions like board diversity
> almost becomes a non-issue.
> Warm regards, Cameron
> On 31/10/17 6:14 pm, María Arias de Reyna wrote:
> Dear all,
> Sorry for the late response. I was busy going back from different
> timezones and that is a killer for me (travelling, being sleepy, etc...).
> I agree with Sanghee that we have gone one step backwards. We have lost
> Asia in the board. That's a step backwards we shouldn't have had. And I
> agree with 90% of opinions posted here that are sad about the
> European-NAmerica board. So I will just highlight what I don't agree with.
> And this is an optimistic email, I don't share the general pessimism. Wait
> for the end of it.
> I don't agree that Venka has been punished somehow despite his good work.
> Do you really think that if someone is doing a good work that should
> warrantee his position on the board? I don't think so. I think the reward
> of doing a good job comes somewhere else: recognition, ¿fame?, trust,
> acknowledgement, even free beers! But even if you think a position on the
> board is a reward, then, maybe other people have been also rewarded with
> that for work outside the presidency of OSGeo but inside the community. Or
> maybe people just wanted a fresh view, not necessarily that meaning that
> his work (or your work!) was bad. There is a lot of reasons for voting
> someone and I personally think that a "reward" vote shouldn't be one.
> Having other candidates with more votes doesn't mean you did a bad job at
> all.
> Do I think that you both should be on the board? Yes, of course! But this
> has also been (at least for me) a very difficult voting. It was very hard
> to choose between the candidates. All had good reasons to be there, all had
> good work done inside the community. So, how to choose? I know what you
> have been doing because I have done an explicit effort to know about that.
> I have gone to international events, I have followed the mailing lists, I
> have followed many threads on twitter. Most people only know what people
> around them do. So it is possible (and very likely, in my opinion) that a
> lot of people just see OSGeo as an organization, but don't see the work of
> individuals. So for them, Venka is that person who does the "history of
> OSGeo" talk, but nothing special around him that other active members don't
> have. If we ask members who has been behind the new website, how many of
> them would know? And that is something that has had a lot of publicity
> recently. What about all the rest of work that has less exposure?
> So when it comes to voting, they see candidates who are active in trying
> to show their views and other candidates that are not present. Not being
> present on the election process, that is what have drained votes, I would
> say. Not your fault, maybe, but how do we explain that to people who don't
> see individuals because they are already busy with local and regional stuff?
> And now the optimistic part:On the other hand, we have gone two steps
> forward. Wait, what? Let me explain:
> We are finally half male half female. Although this may not look like a
> step forward to some of you, to me it is a huge win. And we did that
> without the need for quotas. That't a double win. And it is a tendency that
> has been stable so I am optimistic here.
> And the other step, but still an important step forward, we have recovered
> the long lost Iberoamerican community in the board. Since Jorge Sanz, we
> haven't had a spanish-speaking board member. I know I count as European,
> but I am as European as I am part of the large (huge!) community that
> culturally spreads also on north, central and south America. So yes, Vicky
> may have been a better representative of this community because she is not
> european, but still, I plan to work hard on getting latin americans closer
> to OSGeo. Remember that this community is the ¿largest? community in OSGeo
> and they are very silent because many reasons (low English level, no
> international FOSS4G being done close, middle income economy that can't
> afford to travel far or even organizing codesprints properly!,... etc...).
> Most of them work hard towards OSGeo and don't even know there is such a
> thing as a membership! They just work aligned with our goals and inside the
> community, but they see so far away the OSGeo "official" community that
> they don't even bother to get closer. To get what? What would be their
> motivation to get closer to a community that largely ignores them?
> If you think OSGeo has less importance in South America, check the
> GeoInquietos. Different branding, same work. On the FOSS4G-BA, after María
> Brovelli's talk about OSGeo, many of them were surprised. They knew about
> FOSS4G just because the geoinquietos from Argentina placed it on their
> doorstep. But, OSGeo? What's that? Aaah, the same thing they have been
> doing but on an English-speaking community.
> We have lost Asia, but we have a window to South America. And that's very
> important.
> And, wait, have we lost Asia? Does it mean that if there is no board
> member from Asia, Asia is going to disappear or something?
> If you think it will help, we can have something like one representative
> for each chapter as advisor or watcher of the board. Why not? Let each
> chapter decide who to "send", like embassadors. I think that would be a
> good approach to get closer to different communities.
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> --
> Cameron Shorter
> Technology Demystifier, Learnosity
> Open Technologies Consultant
> M +61 (0) 419 142 254 <+61%20419%20142%20254>
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