[Osmf-talk] Conflict of Interest

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Jul 29 21:43:48 UTC 2009


Gervase Markham wrote:
> Listening and serving is the essence of good leadership, in business or 
> otherwise. (Mark 10:45; John 13:12-17.) There is no dichotomy between 
> "good leadership skills" and "listening and serving". 

Hm. Let me put it another way then: If someone asks the OSMF where they 
are going with OSM and the answer is "we'll see where the community 
takes us", I'd find that perfectly acceptable (even desirable). However 
if the OSMF were a business giving me that answer, then I would 
certainly not invest money in them!

It is a good discussion to have among us OSMF members but I do not view 
the OSMF as having any "leadership" component. The OSMF is not expected 
or required to have a vision, nor to provide any sort of guidance for 
the project - just to assist the project where such assistance is asked for.

If, for example, there were a country where people are simply not 
interested in OSM and no OSM community establishes itself, then that's 
just fine, we'll wait until it eventually happens - I wouldn't expect 
OSMF to compile a list of "problem regions" together with an action plan 
on how to improve the map there. I wouldn't even expect OSMF to analyse 
why OSM doesn't work in that country - if it doesn't then it doesn't, no 
reason to get upset about it.

Of course if a community starts to form and people ask for help from the 
OSMF then that should, and would, be granted - but I'd never expect OSMF 
to be "proactive" about this. OSMF shouldn't be "driving" anything in 
the project that doesn't drive itself.

Which is, in my eyes, completely different from what I'd expect from a 

But maybe I am mixing up the role of OSMF vis-a-vis the community and 
the role of individuals inside the OSMF - perhaps it needs people with 
strong leadership skills at the helm of OSMF to make sure that OSMF 
doesn't start trying to lead OSM?


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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