[Osmf-talk] Chairperson's Report for the AGM

nicolas chavent nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Sun Dec 10 22:58:54 UTC 2017

Hi all,

I think it's important to mark a pause and have a second read through this
whole email thread to get things moving beyond the (unfair) alleged gender

Kate Chapman as the OSMF Chairperson provided the Membership *16.5 hours*
prior the General Meeting with the 2017 Chairperson's report [1] which is
two fold: it gives (rightfully) the Chairperson's perspective over the past
year and the past election but at the same time provides a very low level
of facts. With respect to facts reported to the Members, this 2017 piece is
way thinner than in 2016 [2] and 2015 [3], and we have been many to find
the level of information and facts describing the OSMF activities

It's likely that we are all under the (relative) heat of the election
discussions which ended yesterday and this may explain how Michael's
brevity and direct tone at describing without being offensive his
disappointment as per the balance between the Chairperson's perspective
part of the rapport and the fact/report part of it, lead to Kate's

I don't think that Michael's first email deserved the heat he receives:
"feelings" is not per se a women-only prerogative and there's nothing
offensive or gender-oriented in his email. Anyone having accepted a public
charge (a Chairperson's position at OSMF) accepts also the duties and
workload that goes with it and is accountable for a given set of actions.
Instead of recognizing the lack of contents of the Chairperson's report,
Kate uses an alleged gender issue to excuse herself from providing the
Membership with a report in the lines of those she wrote up in 2015 and
2016. This is not helpful to tackle the real gender issues and collectively
work towards more inclusivity and mutual understanding at OSMF and this is
not respectful of the membership.

I felt like Michael reading Kate's report but decided to refrain myself
from commenting upon it on the mailing list *16.5 hours* prior the GM. Yet
at the same time the more substantial Treasurer report was rightfully
questioned without that much *benevolence* on the list. This did not cause
from Frederik any reaction similar to Kate's email to Michael. I know
others did like me and refrain to email the list. That's some form of
auto-censorship and a non full use of our member's right and a partial
failure to our member's duty. This is ultimately detrimental to
transparency and accountability in OSMF. One shall not refrain oneself from
exerting his right to speech and question even when caught by time his
message comes timely in the discussion with brevity and a direct tone/style
deprived of offense (like Michael's email). This may or may not tie with
the topics discussed around CoC during the election, but this is surely an
important aspect we need to keep in mind in our talks about freedom of
speech in OSM lists and other discussions fora.

This being said, we have easy actionable next steps ahead of us about OSMF
GM reporting
Reading from the thread one notice that it seems that the Chairperson's
report outline, contents, features is not that well defined and that we are
dealing with various expectations there.
Let's use this opportunity to review the thematic-side (the financial part
being satisfactory) of the reporting for the General Meeting and co-define
its scope, features, annexes etc.
Let's also discuss the time lines for the delivery of the reports to the
Members since cultural differences are equally at play there and that in
general Yearly activity and financial reports for associations came in
France way before the GM so that the information can be well digested by
members and those materials also used in the elections when elections are
tied to GM. This can be one way to diminish part of the volume of election
discussions and have these grounded to facts.
Let's also explore the relevance of providing light strategical documents
or workplan focusing the OSMF priorities for the year to come.
Since all this represent work which can not be dealt with 100% only by the
Chairperson, Treasurer and the Board Officers and Dorothea, let's
collectively produce these materials, shall we agree on their relevance.
Given that the information in all OSMF minutes are at the root of some of
the above documents but that it's hard to easily retrieve, search info form
those narrative documents, we may explore ways to organize their contents
in online matrices according to categories yet to be defined collectively.
During HOT US Inc 2015 election, Severin Menard and myself had a quick pass
at building such an online matrix (4) out of one year (2015) of HOT US Inc
publicly-available minutes which content ended up more easily search-able.
This can be improved in may ways and is just meant as an example. Shall
this approach be deemed relevant, reporting categories defined, the data
entry ideally goes along with the producing of the minutes themselves.


[1]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/wonderchook/diary/42917
[2]: https://blog.openstreetmap.org/2016/12/09/chairpersons-report-for-the-
[3]: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/wonderchook/diary/37476

On Sun, Dec 10, 2017 at 7:32 PM, nebulon42 <nebulon42 at mailbox.org> wrote:

> I'll respond to the "last" message in this thread, it's easiest. As I
> sense form Mikel's and Kate's response I should have done the "jerk
> check" suggested by Blake before sending the mail. :) I also shouldn't
> have send it from my phone. I note that for the future.
> I guess I hurt your feelings, Kate, and I apologize for that!
> I was not criticizing that you are a woman or that the chairperson is a
> woman, Kate, please don't imply that. I also did not criticize the
> amount of feelings in your report. You are entitled to any amount of
> feelings as you wish and how many you want to share. I should have left
> out the feelings part altogether.
> But the core part of my criticism still stands and I will try to
> elaborate it without the straightforwardness or polemics in my other
> mail. What I maybe should have written from the start is:
> First off: It is great that you shared your experience of the election
> process and pointed out that there is a big "fight" to do and we should
> abstain from the small "fights". Well done! Exactly what is expected
> from a chairperson (please also note that I don't use chairman ;) in
> times like this. But I would have suggested to post that separately or
> not to cut down the summary part.
> I would have expected a summary of the activities of the board in the
> last year. I might be completely misguided about the content of the
> chairperson's report and there might not be any guidelines or whatsoever
> about it, but as Mikel talked about respect: I also think it shows
> a bit lack of respect towards the membership to only give us some few
> sentences about what has happened last year. You cannot expect us to
> read every other mail on this list, the blog, all the minutes and so on.
> I also have to disagree with Frederik on
> > On the other hand, facts are usually what's obvious anyway.
> No it is not. It is in the best interest of the board if you have done a
> good job and made progress to communicate that to the members in a easy
> to digest form. At least once a year. This is some work and I'm sure you
> are quite busy. But what about having the administrative assistance
> prepare the facts?
> If the treasurer's report would have been that vague I also would have
> criticised that and I'm sure that others would have.
> To end that mail on the constructive side I would like to _politely_ ask
> the chairperson and the whole board to be more extensive on the summary
> of the last board period and also to do a bit more easy-to-digest
> (nevertheless not meaningless) self-marketing towards the membership.
> You do a good job and you really can let us know about it. By sharing
> more of the work you do you might also attract more members to share the
> work with the board. Maybe also a (quite) short summary after every
> board meeting posted to this list would be good.
> Best,
> Michael
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Nicolas Chavent
Les Libres Géographes
Projet OpenStreetMap (OSM)
Projet Espace OSM Francophone (EOF)
Projet GeOrchestra
Mobile (FR): +33 (0)6 52 40 78 20
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Email: nicolas.chavent at gmail.com
Skype: c_nicolas
Twitter: nicolas_chavent
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