[OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

SERGIO ACOSTAYLARA sergio.acostaylara at mtop.gub.uy
Mon Oct 30 09:29:03 PDT 2017

+ 1 for Sanghee (mostly):

I will try to make my contribution because it is an issue that concerns me even before being elected as a charter member.

Personally I do not like that there are no representatives outside of Europe and the USA in the Board, but... it is a fact. And this happens for many reasons (not only inside OSGeo but in most international organizations). It is worth asking, for example, why I am the first (after 10 responses) that responds from outside these regions. And this proportion will probably be maintained, if the discussion advances. I think that this predominance of a "WHITE Directory only from Europe and North America" ​​will remain unless the members from "outside" begin to make their voice heard. And not by participation fees that are not supported by firm foundations. That is why we created the GeoForAll Iberoamerica group, as a space to start raising the voice of this part of the world (I feel more "GeoForAll" than "OSGeo" maybe for these reasons; hopefully we can get the idea to be copied by others). I even think that OSGeo has more reason to exist outside the regions most represented in this new Board (I mean Asia, Africa, Latin America) but to achieve a more equitable representation, much work must be done in several ways. And it is those of these regions who have to start raising their voices. Organize and claim for more spaces. It's not worth only complaining but acting. We need to understand why things are the way they are. For instance the great act of commitment to the community of being a member of the Board probably won't mean the same to an European or American (from USA ;-)) than to an African (from Malawi, for instance) because he or she will surely has other -bigger, more urgent- worries. How do we change this? It's not easy. But not impossible.

My 0.002 cents

Sergio Acosta y Lara
Departamento de Geomática
Dirección Nacional de Topografía
Ministerio de Transporte y Obras Públicas
(598)29157933 ints. 20329/20330

De: Discuss <discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> en nombre de Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>
Enviado: lunes, 30 de octubre de 2017 12:01
Para: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
Asunto: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] My feelings about board elections

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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