[Marketing] [Board] Re: [OSGeo-Discuss] Defining an OSGeo Ambassador role

Jeroen Ticheler jeroen.ticheler at geocat.net
Fri May 11 03:56:32 EDT 2012

Hi All,
I tend to agree with Daniel here. I think Ambassadors should be selected by the board and preferably be drawn from the "select" group of Charter members. Ambassador should be similar to being an honorary member if you ask me (unless we also start creating honorary members that are our Super Ambassadors ;-) )

Furthermore, the selection process does IMO _not_ have to be transparent! I consider the in-crowd, that the board is, able to make such decisions perfectly well without public discussions that may only hurt potential candidates. Those candidates are likely people that did a lot of good for OSGeo, so they should not be exposed to public discussions on how suitable they are or not.

Appointing Ambassadors can be something that is privately discussed with the potential candidate privately, and if s/he agrees that should be a role for life. Or at least until an Ambassador decides to withdraw. I see no problem in having an Ambassador that has been less active for a couple of years, but come back as senior person in 10 years from now when s/he suddenly has more time to spare on supporting OSGeo's mission. They bring a history that will be to the benefit of OSGeo. 

So in summary Ambassadors:
- Are our honorary members
- Are recognized by the community
- Willing to promote OSGeo's mission
- Become Ambassador for life
- Be privately selected and proposed by the board

I realize that this is about 180 degrees different from Arnulf's idea of an ambassador :-) So maybe we actually need both Honorary members for life and (many more) Ambassadors that only act in that role for a short, active period of time.

My 2 cents, cheers,

On 11 mei 2012, at 04:16, Daniel Morissette wrote:

> I think it's a good idea to try to better define the role but I have no clue how to do it right. FWIW here is what I wrote about this question during the board meeting:
> "i think for the ambassador label to have some value then it needs to not be too inclusive otherwise if anyone can name themselves an ambassador then we'll need to create a new label for the real higher profile "ambassadors" that event organizers will want to go after"
> "for the time being [i.e. until a better mechanism can be defined], I'm happy with ambassador being someone appointed by the board to represent OSGeo at an official function or event, with or without funding. The first examples that come to mind are Arnulf's various ambassadorship duties, and MPG's upcoming meeting with Eclipse"
> Daniel
> On 12-05-10 7:05 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>> As per Board logs discussing Ambassador role:
>> http://irclogs.geoapt.com/osgeo/%23osgeo.2012-05-10.log
>> 17:51:48 archaeogeek: We need to go back to Cameron too- but not be too
>> discouraging...
>> 17:52:08 darkblue_b: it seems Cameron is following the Board list
>> Yes, I did catch up on the board IRC logs as have been monitoring the
>> board email list. (Meeting at is 3am, which doesn't work well for me).
>> Re discussion around definition of the Ambassador role, I'm more than
>> happy to see the role being completely redefined from my original proposal.
>> From logs, I'm hearing what people don't want from the Ambassador role,
>> but I don't think someone has clearly defined what is wanted.
>> Regarding funding, I think that by default, we should assume that no
>> travel funds are allocated to Ambassadors. This will result in either:
>> 1. Conferences paying for highly experienced ambassadors as keynotes
>> 2. Conference attendees, who are already ambassadors (and usually local)
>> acting as presenters
>> 3. In special cases, such as sending someone to set up an Eclipse MOU,
>> the board may approve one of the highly qualified ambassadors (a board
>> member, or maybe a charter member)
>> With regards to setting up a process for selecting quality ambassadors,
>> the tricky part is in setting a criteria for which we exclude people.
>> There will always be volunteers wishing to be an ambassador, who is
>> going to say someone is not qualified?
>> Do we introduce the overhead of another annual vote, getting the
>> community to vote for the 10 best ambassadors?
>> Do we ask the board to approve or not approve applications from
>> individuals to become ambassadors? It could be politically very
>> alienating for individuals to be rejected by the board for such requests.
>> We then need to work out how Ambassadors are refreshed or retired. I
>> propose that every year Ambassadors are removed, from our list. If
>> Ambassadors still consider themselves active, they may update their
>> profile, and re-introduce themselves into our Ambassador wiki.
>> Working around these limitations was what drove the proposal of:
>> * Allow any volunteer to become an Ambassador
>> * However, support categorisation by voted OSGeo categories (Board,
>> Charter, OSGeo PSC, etc). We could introduce another category of
>> "Entertaining Speaker" or similar, with some associated criteria.
>> * Force a refresh of Ambassador roles every year, and get Ambassadors to
>> update their profile if they are still interested.
>> If someone can suggest a better, more practical idea, then I'd be keen
>> to hear it.
>> On 9/05/2012 6:10 PM, Seven (aka Arnulf) wrote:
>>> Hash: SHA1
>>> Board,
>>> in preparation for tomorrow's meeting please read through the mail
>>> that Cameron sent wrt defining the Ambassador role:
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/discuss/2012-May/010296.html
>>> At first my impression was that this is complicating things a bit (my
>>> thoughts were more like: anyone can become an ambassador). But the
>>> discussion on the lists confirmed that this looks like a good way
>>> forward and addresses most issues brought up. I also like the idea
>>> that Marketing runs with it once the board has decided that the
>>> general direction is in line with our mission and policies.
>>> So far we should be 6 out of 8 directors at the meeting tomorrow
>>> meaning that we have quorum. But even if more drop out we can still
>>> vote via mail which worked quite well over the past few meetings.
>>> Talk to you tomorrow.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Arnulf
>>> On 05.05.2012 07:33, Cameron Shorter 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.
>>>>> Ciao steko
>>>>> 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?
>>>>> _______________________________________________ Discuss mailing
>>>>> list Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>>>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>>>> 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.
>>> - -- Exploring Space, Time and Mind
>>> http://arnulf.us
>>> Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)
>>> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/
>>> EzIAn1+l48yyhlfN6BgAmwTvjCzBO4NV
>>> =IGVC
>>> -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
> -- 
> Daniel Morissette
> http://www.mapgears.com/
> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
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