[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT US Inc) in the OpenStreetMap Foundation

Severin Menard severin.menard at gmail.com
Tue Dec 1 04:44:47 UTC 2015

Dear all,

Some OSMF members have expressed their interest about the topic in the list
and also some others provided a kind but (unfortunately) off support. So
far, I did not read any email from OSMF-non Hottie members asking the
concerns raised initially by Nicolas being off topic and to be stopped.
Because we are basically discussing about OSM governance here. There have
been really interesting comments, like those establishing HOT bylaws do not
integrate OSM and the OSMF, what I guess or hope will lead to their
improvements. I will certainly answer to Frederik Ramm's email "What can we

Actually, it you read the thread (that anyone can access from the list
Blake, you may figure out you brought eager in it. And I would like you not
to distort the facts: these concerns are not only shared by "3 or 4"
people. I have been elected by 31 out of 55 voters in 2014
and 45 our of 81 voters in 2015
on a very clear line expressed through a Manifesto, asking for getting back
to the flat, transparent and friendly organization HOT was before. Because
a hierarchical, nontransparent organization based on OSM is both less
effective and does not fit with OSM. And this helped make move some lines,
like launching the Working Groups, but unfortunately not regarding the

I have been trying my best to make HOT more transparent but I am in
minority and have to struggle to make at least the HOT voting members aware
of what is going on in HOT US Inc., what unfortunately is less and less the
case. We got to the weird point that the OSMF members are aware now of one
topic the HOT voting members do not even know, thanks to Frederik Ramm, in
this thread
that HOT US tries to trademark "Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team". Of course
I tried to discourage the HOT US board to do so since the beginning, but
from what you have been able to read on this thread, you can imagine the
consideration any of my concerns can get. What the (majority of) the board
decides = what is good for HOT as a US Inc organization. Disagreeing and
advocating for another way = wanting to harm the organization, what is
legally not allowed from a board member. Period. I do not have different
views and express them because I want to harm HOT, but because I think the
US Inc NGO is not well led and that is my duty as a board member to make
this change.

The credo "love it or leave it" is exactly what political organizations
from extreme sides state (at least in my country). As if in a country, a
political party that would have won an election would ask people having
different views and wanting to express them just to resign from their
citizenship and leave the country. I am really amazed it does not pop up in
the minds of those who dare proposing such solution. The recent comparison
with HOT and football teams is also amazingly irrelevant, but reflect the
same idea: fans basically support only one team and hate the other ones;
nobody wishes this for OSM.

I will also not let people, especially newcomers, to say that we just do
not love HOT. I guess among the Hotties I am the closest one to have passed
away on duty after an assault in Nairobi, will remain with a large scar on
my head the rest of my life, but I was two weeks later in Bangui because I
do think we can bring something on these fields. So I want to continue to
stand up for a project I believe in and helped to make it a success, but in
respect of OSM and the OSMF. Despite bashing in and off, or intimidation
during elections. Joseph, you did not make me step back last year when
telling me it was my interest as a HOT consultant to withdraw my
participation to the Manifesto, your formal complaint to the HOT board
against me this year will not neither. You miss the point the most critical
point is not your free will to run for election, but that any organization,
HOT or any other, have voting members, sharing your views or mine,
representing the majority of the OSMF board.

Regarding the "unknown reasons", Blake, to continue to stay members, seems
you missed Rod's email, because it reads crystal clear for me:

*On me resigning from HOT US inc.: 1. I still believe in HOT as a project.
2. I am very negative on HOT (US inc.) as an organisation. 3. The sole
organisational expression of HOT made possible by circumstances (and
hotties' will) is HOT US inc. So here I am: a hottie disobedient to an
organisation called HOT US inc. Alternatives: a. keep a Hottie: project HOT
is inclusive and an emanation of the OSM ethos. b. remove a hottie:
faithfulness to an organisation and hierarchy is tantamount. Take (you and
board) your responsibility and act accordingly to what you strongly


On Mon, Nov 30, 2015 at 3:35 PM, Blake Girardot <bgirardot at gmail.com> wrote:

> I sincerely apologize to the OSMF and OSM talk list subscribers for the
> flood of what I consider off topic traffic - I will continue to only reply
> to the 3 or 4 people who have disliked HOT US Inc. for years now on the HOT
> US Inc. voting members list where I feel these discussions are best had and
> are welcome.
> Those 3 or 4 people have lost their arguments on that list for a long time
> now and HOT has moved on. Unfortunately they have seized on the idea of
> dragging their years old grievances on to other lists to embarrass and
> smear HOT US Inc.
> Sadly the first part has worked. I am terribly embarrassed by them and
> their actions.
> We have respectfully asked them several times to resign from HOT US Inc.
> membership given how they feel about HOT US Inc., yet for some unknown
> reason they continue to stay members.
> I of course leave it up to other list moderators to decide what threads
> are appropriate and productive for the lists they moderate. All of our
> voting members remain unmoderated on our voting members discussion list
> where I encourage them again to continue these discussions if they feel it
> necessary.
> Rod - please see my forth coming reply on the HOT US Inc. voting members
> list.
> Regards,
> Blake
> HOT US Inc.
> Board Vice President
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
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