[OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

Sanghee Shin shshin at gaia3d.com
Sun Oct 29 07:17:53 PDT 2017

Dear All, 

First of all I'd like to give my sincere congratulations to newly elected board members. Here I want to share some of my feelings around this board elections. 

1. Needless to say all new board members are deserved to win the election. However as a whole, now we have all WHITE board of directors only from Europe and North America. We've talked about the importance of diversity and inclusiveness many times so far, however the reality is like this. Please don't get me wrong. I'm not writing this because of my failure in an election. Being nominated and encouragement to run the election was just great honour to me. For me as Asian, one of most shocking and disappointing moment in this election was Venka's failure in an election. Venka has contributed so much to Asian community over the last 2 years. His contributions and activities reached out not only to Japan but also to Thailand, Vietnam, India and sometimes to Korea as well. He also put so much efforts organizing FOSS4G Asia this year. And I know as a former board member how he restlessly carried out his duty as president of OSGeo. And finally he failed! I know he didn't answer to some of quesitons to nominees during the election period. Ok, it’s excuse however he and I was being tied up with handling a urgent issue in community. Anyway I and other Asian friends are so shocked that he was not elected! I bet other Asian members share the same feeling. The result gave the clear meaning to Asian community, "If Venka can't be a board member of OSGeo, nobody can be forever from Asia." I already saw many complaints and discouragement in Asian community. I believe regions other than Europe and NA have the rights to be reprensented failry. So, I'd like to ask new board members to fix this kind of wrong representation of board configuration by adopting new election rules. 

2. I believe Jeff McKenna's ambiguous behaviours around election period made both him and OSGeo untrustworthy. I don't want to mention again here some of concerns over him in detail during the election. One thing I'd like to point out is his un-withdrwal from board election after disclosing the results. Nothing personal, Jeff. Actually I tried to accept and understand this situation so many times for a couple of days, but I failed to accept. We're not the children in the kindergarten! How can it be happened? The last thing I did as a former board member was approving the motion, "This board election is valid." I was able to block the motion however I approved the motion. Because I accepted his withdrawal as sincere one and trusted him. I'm feeling my good intention was being betrayed. I know I don't have any rights now to change my previous decision and I don't want to criticise someone here. New board, this case cleary has shown that there's big loophole in our election process. If OSGe can't fix it, OSGeo will lose trust and credibility. Board, you need to bear in mind that there's already bunch of sign of loosing trust from community.

Many mentioned that OSGeo is run by Do-ocracy. I believe the basis of Do-ocracy is recognizing of someone's work and trust. If someone's hardwork is not recognized and acknowledged fairy, who will want to jump into the matters to fix it? And if someone can't trust the organization, who wants to put their precious time and efforts to untrustworthy one?

If OSGeo lose the trust, it will lose everything. OSGeo is just shell. 

Best regards,
Shin, Sanghee
Gaia3D, Inc. - The GeoSpatial Company

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