[OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Mon Oct 30 08:01:26 PDT 2017

Hi Sanghee,

Thanks for your well written and honest message.

To your first point, I fully agree with you.  We have worked so hard 
early on to make sure that OSGeo is a representation of all members from 
all around the world, and we now have a NA-Europe Board.  Venka's and 
your efforts to represent OSGeo is hard to put into words, as it is so 
important.  Venka is the glue that keeps us all together and motivated 
to share.

I think we can use this election to learn from it, to make something 
positive for the foundation.  We saw a lot of things happen, and a lot 
of people volunteered to help make the elections happen - quite a 
shocking amount of volunteer time was required this year.

Could this election be the driver we need to move to a Board that is 
represented by Charter members from specific geographic regions? 
Absolutely. I think we need a champion to drive that, put a formal 
process proposal on the wiki, and bring that to the Charter members for 

In the short term our goal could be to get the Charter members more 
involved at the Board level, to put the difficult decisions to the 
shoulders of the Charter members, and the OSGeo Board members just 
manage this.  The election process is a good place to start, while it is 
so fresh in everyone's minds.

To your second point: it is difficult to be put through such an 
aggressive campaign against you, in public.  It is something that I 
wouldn't wish on anyone, and I hope we can avoid putting another OSGeo 
volunteer through that again.

I think we can use this whole election and all agree on a proper 
process, to make sure that all of OSGeo is represented.  Now is a great 
time to start working on this all together.  Let's learn from this.


On 2017-10-29 11:17 AM, Sanghee Shin wrote:
> 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,
> 신상희
> ---
> Shin, Sanghee
> Gaia3D, Inc. - The GeoSpatial Company
> www.gaia3d.com

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