[OSGeo-Discuss] Board Candidate Manifestos: 3 questions

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Thu Oct 12 10:35:50 PDT 2017

Thanks for facilitating this discussion Get-Jan, comments inline.

Some of you talk about being an inclusive organization.
> For the geographical and probably cultural aspect of inclusiveness, do you
> think the Board should have it's roots in as much continents / languages as
> possible, so preferably 1 Board member from every continent (not counting
> for Antarctica, ha!)

This is a tricky one,

For inclusiveness the IT industry has a deservedly poor reputation for
diversity[1], one that apparently becomes worse with open source [2][3].
Our geospatial field is a bit of an oasis in IT, both with exploring new
ideas and technologies, but also with respect to having a more diverse
workforce and community. It would be wonderful if we can offer an a
positive example.

OSGeo is a global organization and showcases how we can work together
across cultures, continents and language. I trust us to see this energy
harnessed at all levels of our foundation, not limited to the board.

With respect to the board, we depend on local chapters to focus on regional
advocacy, it would be unusual for OSGeo to be asked to take a position on a
national policy. On pragmatic front we have instigated the idea of
maintaining vice-presidents across regions to reduce travel cost and
prevent burn out which has plagued the position of president.

I found it great that our nomination process strove to promote diversity
across technology stacks, and fields of endeavour. The fact that these
technological barriers now seems "quaint" speaks to the success this
organization has had. Considering the formally hard splits between "C" and
"Java", it is wonderful to see those bridges made, and the tribes working
together. When OSGeo was founded it was not yet apparent how close we would
all become, and how much work is ahead of us to bring open source to the
wider geospatial field. We still have a number of bridges to build in our
organization, each time we do our reach grows higher.

[1] any link I found made me sad and discouraged
[3] https://opensource.com/tags/diversity
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