Richard Weait richard at weait.com
Wed Jul 29 12:04:38 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 6:48 AM, 80n<80n80n at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 11:17 AM, Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org> wrote:
>> Edoardo,
>> > IMHO, we should'nt make a statement like this one. If every single
>> > commercial entity interested in using OSM datas should have a seat in
>> > the OSMF board, in the future, how many seats should be made off the
>> > board?
>> Richard had suggested that "no more than one" seat be occupied by people
>> from the same company; not that every company should have one seat.

[ ... ]

>> However, assuming that there was a majority of us thinking "Richard is
>> right, we should not have both Steve and Nick on the board", and then
>> half of them vote for Nick and half of them vote for Steve, we might end
>> up with a board that has neither Steve nor Nick in it; that's why it
>> makes sense to discuss these things beforehand, wouldn't it?
> The election has to be a free and open vote.  We cannot make arbitrary
> restrictions on who can or cannot stand for election.  If we implemented a
> one-company-one-delegate rule then what next? one-country-one-delegate?
> Only one German?  Only one woman?  ;)  It would be absurd.

"One-country-one-delegate" would improve diversity. There were 27(?)
countries represented at SotM.  Why not reach for that goal?
"Only one German" would improve diversity of the board this year, if
only a German would run and get elected this year.
"Only one woman" would improve diversity of the board this year, if
only a woman would run and get elected this year.

I suspect that you suggest "only one woman" and / or "only one German"
with tongue in cheek.  I think it would benefit the board and the OSM
community at large if a German and at least one woman were elected
this year.

[ ... ]

>> >> Personally I would prefer a board made up exclusively of people not
>> >> associated with OSM-related commercial organisations but I am realist
>> >> enough to see that it is unlikely to happen.

I disagree with Fredrick's preferred stance of "Ban teh Commercial
Organizations !!!1!" I think that diverse commercial perspectives are
a helpful focus for the board.  To be sure, the independent, "purist"
perspectives are important as well.  I think a combination is ideal
for the board, but at what air:fuel ratio?  2:5, 5:2, 4:3?

> We have recently begun discussing the possibility of implementing a conflict
> of interest policy [1] which is perhaps the best way of dealing with this
> and avoids the need to implement any arbitrary one-company-one-delegate type
> rules.  Any board member with an identified conflict can be excluded from
> discussion and decisions relating to the subject.

Good.  A conflict of interest policy is important as well for events
that arise after the election.  What if after the election, Ordinance
Survey were to hire five of the seven board members?  Or TeleAtlas,
Navteq or Potlatch, Inc.?  Is this a potential problem for the board
and for the community?  I say yes it would be a problem and that each
of the involved board members should be suspended immediately and
replaced as soon as possible.  Not due to any presumption of conflict
but to avoid even the appearance of potential conflict.  The community
already take this very conservative approach with data contributions.

"One-company-one-delegate" is no more arbitrary than
one-delegate-one-board-position.  It is preposterous to suggest that
any one delegate would hold all seven positions on the board.  It
would be bad for the board and the foundation and so we don't allow
it.  Just as we should not allow multiple entries from one company.

Best regards,

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