[Marketing] RE: [OSGeo-Discuss] Defining an OSGeo Ambassador role

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at flaxen.com
Sat May 5 11:07:28 EDT 2012

As far as I’m aware, the original “Ambassador” concept came up during a board meeting, where it was intended to just address the question that the board very occasionally needs to send a board member, or someone equally prominent, to certain events we’d been invited to participate in. For purposes of discussion and assigning a budget to it, we just called it “being an ambassador”.


This discussion seems to envision a wider, more general role, however.


I’m very much in favor of having members act as ambassadors for the ideas of open source in the geo marketplace, but I’m not sure I understand yet the value of making this a formal function. It is already the case that members can – and do! – give talks and such all the time about open source and GIS; indeed, it is expected that active members, especially Charter Members, of the community would do so.


I don’t see that OSGeo, as a formal body, should be in the position of limiting this function to certain people. Philosophically I’m against that, and practically I don’t see how we could anyway.


We once brought up the idea of having a “speakers bureau”: a list of people who can speak to certain topics, much like the Service Providers Directory. Something like that I’d be in favor of…




From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Margherita Di Leo
Sent: Saturday, May 05, 2012 5:02 AM
To: Cameron Shorter
Cc: discuss at lists.osgeo.org; OSGeo-Board; marketing
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Defining an OSGeo Ambassador role


Hi all,


I support the ideas exposed by Cameron and Stefano. Particularly for what concerns charter members, as a charter member, I am aware that voting the boarding members is a strong responsibility, but I think we should have more responsibilities linked to our role. Personally, since I have been voted as a charter member, I have considered myself somehow an OSGeo "ambassador", for example including the Foundation in my presentations, spreading out FOSS4G among the academy (students and colleagues) and professionals, organizing events and conferences, etc.. 

Also, I think it would be nice to have a dedicated wiki page and email address (or alias).





On Sat, May 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM, Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter at gmail.com> wrote:

Following on from ideas from this previous email thread, and in particular picking up on Stefano's ideas, I'd like to make the following proposal:

I suggest that we define an OSGeo Ambassador role very widely, but also have different levels of Ambassador - so that conference organisors can still feel like they are getting someone distinguished and pick someone exclusive.

The OSGeo Ambassador categories would be:

1. OSGeo Board Member
2. Ex OSGeo Board Member
These are the elite of the OSGeo community. We only have 8 active board members in the world, which have been peer selected based upon their outstanding leadership in the greater OSGeo community.

3. Charter member
Charter membership is obtained through a strongly contested selective process. Members tend to be developers and leaders in one or more OSGeo projects, and/or OSGeo business leaders, and have a deep understanding in many of the OSGeo projects and principles of Open Source.

4. Voted position in an OSGeo community
These people hold a position of responsibility within one of the OSGeo sub-communities. This may be a chair of an OSGeo Regional Chapter, or as a member of a project's Project Steering Committee.

5. OSGeo community member
These people are actively involved in one or more OSGeo communities, acting as a developer, user or supporter of OSGeo software.

Anyone fitting one of the above categories, may put themselves forward as an OSGeo Ambassador. Each ambassador would be expected to create a profile for themselves on an OSGeo Ambassador wiki page, which includes:

* Name
* City and Country of residence
* Phone, Email
* Photo
* OSGeo relevant experience. (~150 words)

I also propose that the OSGeo Marketing committee would be responsible for overseeing the Ambassador wiki page, once the guidelines have been put into place.

I welcome feedback from all, and call upon the board to make a final vote on whether this proposal (or a variant) should be put into action.

On 21/04/12 20:47, Stefano Costa wrote:

Il 21/04/2012 12:28, Jody Garnett ha scritto:

I would hope that our charter members (who have been through a public
nomination process in part for their involvement) are already acting in
the capacity of "Ambassador" for OSGeo.

I totally agree on this point. The fact that charter members only official role is to nominate new charter members and the Board is IMHO a weakness. Their role as OSGeo champions (and "Ambassadors" if there's consensus on that) should be emphasised. Quick ideas:

- personal pages on osgeo.org (osgeo.org/members/johndoe)
- @osgeo.org e-mail address (even an alias is fine) to be used as their primary address
- interviews on the main blog
- a track record of their public activity wrt OSGeo promotion, software development, management, documentation and what else

In this way the charter members could gain a higher visibility in the wider geospatial community and be recognised as official representatives.


BTW is there any process in place to "remove" charter members if they become inactive, move to another planet or are deemed unfit for the purpose by the community?
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On 20/04/12 07:24, Cameron Shorter wrote:

On 20/04/2012 4:06 AM, Michael P. Gerlek wrote:

Do we have any policies and cost structures for the Ambassador function yet?

I've seen a few people talking about creating an OSGeo Ambassador role. Arnulf I think might have been the first to mention it, and I think it is an excellent idea. I'm also aware that the OGC are considering developing OGC ambassadors too.

So I'd like to open the floor and see what people think an ambassador's role could involve, which leads into the qualities we would wish our ambassador's to have, which leads into the ways we may select an ambassador.

Let me start by noting some of the driving factors:
1. Arnulf has noted that as OSGeo president, he has spent a significant amount of time on areoplanes travelling around the world to talk on behalf of OSGeo. He has suggested that this role should be shared.
Conference organisors, who have a primary goal of attracting attendees, look for authoritative figureheads to talk at conferences. They are expected to have a deep insight into a specific domain, such as OSGeo. They should also speak well, even better if they are entertaining.

2. OSGeo is a sexy topic has many conferences, and there are hundreds, if not thousands of conferences around the world which would like to see an OSGeo presence.

3. OSGeo is fortunate to draw membership from around the world, including boasting a number of very healthy local chapters. As such, we are likely to have potential ambassadors in most counties. (We might be a bit short in Antarctica)

4. There are times when negotiating MOUs or similar with other countries, it would be useful to have someone local speak with authority on behalf of OSGeo.

5. Note that there are conflicting interests here of wanting to open up the role for anyone who volunteers, verses maintaining a selectiveness and prestige for the role which is the key selection criteria for conferences asking for an ambassador.

As such, I think it important that ambassadors can only be voted into the position, and not handed out to anyone. We already vote for a board, and charter members.
I think board members should be considered ambassadors by default.
Should charter members be considered ambassadors? Charter members only get this role after demonstrating a commitment to OSGeo, so will likely have a reasonable depth of OSGeo knowledge. Maybe we should ask for a history of speaking well (as demonstrated at conferences), to the ambassador criteria.

Then lastly, do we wish to invite ambassadors from a greater circle? At this point, I'd probably err on saying no, as if the entry bar to becoming an ambassador is too easy, then the mystic of the role will be lost.

Cameron Shorter
Geospatial Solutions Manager
Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050 <tel:%2B61%20%280%292%208570%205050> 
Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254 <tel:%2B61%20%280%29419%20142%20254> 

Think Globally, Fix Locally
Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source

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Ing. Margherita Di Leo, Ph.D. 

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