[Osmf-talk] Upcoming Special General Meeting Opinions?

Ilya Zverev ilya at zverev.info
Sun Nov 30 19:29:48 UTC 2014

Firstly, OSMF Board members have little power in OSM, since most work is 
done by working groups or by individual volunteers (or by HOT). What's 
required from the Board is vision. Basically it's what the strategic WG 
was meant to be, but with the ability to immediately put plans to 
action. The Board, in my opinion, should constantly try improving 
OpenStreetMap in various ways, with help of working groups; it should 
demonstrate the potential of OSM, make mappers proud to be a part of the 
community, make programmers believe their work is valued, make data 
consumers feel like OSM is not the geodata dump it is, but there is 
someone who at least looks like they have control.

Utopian, isn't it? That's because the Board position mostly has been no 
more than a position, a right to participate in meetings and forward 
tasks to working groups. No power, no responsibility. That's why we 
don't really know who did what on the Board. Well, except Simon, who was 
awesome the whole time he was serving. Others could've been cats all 
that time, we wouldn't have known. They did a lot of work, of course, 
but not related to Board duties: they could've done that just being on 
working groups.

That's why I hope for the rebooting of the Board — or, at least, for 
replacing long-serving members. What I expect of fresh members is ideas, 
and a will to try and test them. Not restricted by old members who know 
the "right" ways. Well, certainly there are officer duties, and I expect 
that knowledge to be passed in coming months before elections. And we 
would still have Dermot and Frederik. But other stuff, there have been 
none. I expect a lot more new faces, and a lot more interesting news 
produced by the Board's actions. It's time somebody went and did some 
mistakes, for the project to advance.

Members who served four years, they would have demonstrated their ideas 
by that time, had plenty of time to implement them and make others 
believe in them, and can continue their work in relevant working groups 
or as individual OSMF members. It's not like the Board or WGs won't 
listen to regular OSMF — no, OSM — members, or would hinder their work 
on improving OpenStreetMap.

First SR is for fresh ideas in the Board. Second SR is for a hope that 
some people get new ideas with time. And the resolution for immediate 
elections is there because we want to kickstart the process of renewing 
the Board, not waiting until recently elected members become as 
disillusioned as Frederik was when writing his manifesto.


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