Ed Freyfogle edf at sloan.mit.edu
Wed Jul 29 12:14:47 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 13:04, Richard Weait<richard at weait.com> wrote:
> 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.

Even assuming I agreed with these policies, which I don't, how would
they be defined? ie what does it mean to be "from a company"? A full
time employee? A consultant for that company? Ever having had any
paying relationship with the company? A user of their services?

Likewise I see challenges with the other theoretical stipulations. I
have German citizenship, but also citizenship of other countries. Does
that mean I'm the "one German"? Even though I live in London? This
quickly descends into absurdity.

I strongly encourage more diversity on the Board, and I think it's a
shame more of the diversity that was evident at SOTM isn't evident in
the candidates so far. I think the way to achieve the best board is to
have the broadest possible base of candidates, ergo any Foundation
member should be eligible to be nominated.

If anyone wants me to nominate them please let me know and I'll gladly do it

my 2 cents,

> Best regards,
> Richard
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