[Osmf-talk] A Better Map

Martijn van Exel mvexel at gmail.com
Wed Oct 22 21:56:16 UTC 2014

On Wed, Oct 22, 2014 at 2:51 PM, Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch> wrote:

> Am 22.10.2014 21:24, schrieb Kate Chapman:
> > ...
> > I'd say the size of the board to me is not necessarily the issue. I do
> > think however having a board elected completely just from the OSMF
> > membership isn't the best approach. Those elected from OSM
> > contributors (I frequently have seen in the past people post people's
> > OSM edits for board elections) are not necessarily the best to be on a
> > board. It does not allow the flexibility to seek out board members
> > with specialized skills. For example most of the board would not claim
> > to be experts in finance, or legal matters. I certainly think election
> > from part of the community is not a bad thing, but perhaps it isn't
> > the only way.
> >
> Hi Kate
> Your position on this seems to be similar to statements made during the
> just past OSM-US board elections.
> They seem to repeat a preconceived notion of a OSM contributor which is
> extremely one sided. OSM contributors big and small come from a wide
> range of professional backgrounds and without even venturing in to the
> realm of casual contributors, we have a pool of 50'000 to recruit  board
> and working group members from. Many which will trash non-editing so
> called experts in any field with their right hand bound behind their back.
50k is not many people at all, given that only very, very few among us are
true leaders and able to run an organization professionally. We would be
ill-advised to look only among our body of OSM contributors for good
governors of the project. (We had a discussion around the importance of
number of edits as a meaningful metric prior to the US Chapter board
elections last month,
I, as an old fart in this project, have personally experienced it as quite
refreshing top work with capable people on the US Chapter board that have a
much fresher perspective on OSM.

> We simply face the same challenge that every popular pastime faces that
> promises  power, money and influence. The people that actually enjoy the
> pastime would prefer allocating their time to what they enjoy, instead
> of to managing the organisation and will need a lot of convincing to
> "waste" their time on meta issues and power games, leaving control to
> people with different motives. It is not by chance that this topic is
> rising now when OSM is a clear success.

Speaking of preconceived notions, there are a lot of them in these few

> You just need to look at the governing bodies of any major sport to know
> what happens. It isn't even necessary to consider the extremes of FIFA
> and the like. Though  I'm sure the arguments 110 years ago were very
> similar to those raised now. Non affiliated community members are
> already a minority in the OSMF board, not to mention OSM US that has a
> single token such member left.

And would you care to expand on the detrimental effect that has had on the
governance of OSM in the US, because that is what you are clearly implying?

Martijn van Exel
skype: mvexel
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