[Osmf-talk] Special Resolution for General Meeting

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Nov 18 16:35:14 UTC 2015


   replying to Simon here but really addressing Christoph and Ilya too:

On 11/18/2015 02:02 PM, Simon Poole wrote:
> A a consequence I would have expected the board to provide at least a
> token concession on the controls front, but that seems to be completely
> missing from the current proposal.

I'm astonished at the criticism; I think it was me who said in a board
meeting that I assume this resolution is just going to be a formality
and I'm sure nobody would say anything against it ;)

So the corporate membership scheme has seen a much slower start, about
two years ago, than I would have liked it to; initially I was in
relatively high spirits about it and thought: Let's try and get as many
organisations on board as we can, £1000 is something every commercial
player can afford, etc.etc.

But there were quite a few people on OSMF and also on the board who
didn't share my enthusiasm: Corporate members can't even vote, they
don't get anything in return for their membership, why should they even
sign up, etc. etc. etc. - not exactly the "can do" attitude that would
have allowed us all to try and sign up many more corporate members.

Then in the Berlin F2F meeting it was decided that we revamp the
corporate membership scheme, come up with a couple of membership
"classes" that you can either select yourself, or that are tied to the
size of the organisation, and that would bring at least a few token
benefits, like perhaps free admission to conferences or if you pay a
whole lot board would send you an email every now and then. This hasn't
been fully worked out yet; we had hoped to get it polished for the AGM
but it's not at a presentable stage yet.

Hence our idea to ask the AGM to allow us to set the membership fee
schedule for corporate members without getting an AGM agreement first,
hoping that we'll finalize our new corporate membership schedule in
early 2016 and then be able to run with that.

The fears that board could suddenly stand OSMF finances on its head by
totally changing the corporate membership scheme are unfounded. Of
course we want to be independent from third parties and therefore get a
little money from many, rather than a low of money from a few. That's
the very reason we have a corporate membership program in the first place!

If board wanted to cut special deals with individual large donors, that
would already be possible now. Board would not need the approval from
the membership to, say, strike a deal where HP pays for all our hardware
and we put their logo on the front page. (Totally fictional example of
course.) Or to sign agreements with other large donors to take money
from them in return for one kind of favour or another. Or even to stop
processing corporate membership signups if we so desired.

My take on this is that we (board) should have had a presentable
corporate membership schedule available for this AGM but failed to
produce one. Now we're asking the membership to at least give us the
leeway to implement the new schedule once we've created one and frankly
I don't see that we could do any harm with that.

Of course it is the members' right to say "nah, I'm not prepared to let
board off the hook with that, they failed to deliver in time and now
it's their fault if they have to wait until the next AGM to get the
agreement for their new schedule". But you'd be making life harder for
the board, and it would be completely unnecessary because I can
guarantee that the new corporate member schedule isn't going to be any
kind of revolution, it is going to be rubber-stamped by the members
because there will be nothing to raise a fuss about.

But then again, that's what I said to my board colleagues about this
resolution ;)

It's mostly a thing in the heads: I want to get ASAP to a place where we
can all work on growing our corporate membership base. Where we all
routinely ask companies we see using OSM "hey, have you signed up
already?" - This requires a corporate membership scheme of which
everyone says: Yep, that's what we want to use. And we're not there yet,
the current scheme doesn't have that kind of support. By agreeing on the
special resolution, you will make it easier for the board to find and
implement a corporate membership scheme that works and that board itself
will also be pushing forward. You'll give board just a little more
flexibility without actually opening the floodgates to something that
isn't possible already.


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

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