[Osmf-talk] Standing for board election

john whelan jwhelan0112 at gmail.com
Sat Nov 25 11:42:08 UTC 2017

This is boring and sensible and not what we have come to expect from
candidates this time.

There is so much money riding on OSM these days that I wonder if we should
have some sort of remuneration for board members or at least some paid
staff.  It might attract a wider variety and make us a little more
independent of commercial interests but this would be a very big change for
the board and membership to consider.  It would also need to be thought
about.  I understand in the US nonprofits may not pay their directors but
certainly in Canada Cooperatives at least can and do.

Cheerio John

On 25 November 2017 at 00:37, Paul Norman <penorman at mac.com> wrote:

> I've announced my standing for board previously, after feedback from a few
> people. I've now posted my manifesto, at http://www.openstreetmap.org/
> user/pnorman/diary/42816.
> I'm Paul Norman, OSM user pnorman. I've been mapping since 2010, and
> involved in other facets of OpenStreetMap since 2011. For the last three
> years, I’ve been on the OSMF board, and am running for re-election. During
> my time I’ve seen the board grow in productivity, the finances become more
> stable, and us make good strides in transparency.
> Outside the board, I’m also involved with the OSMF on the Data Working
> Group, License Working Group, and Membership Working Group. As a software
> developer, I’m a maintainer of OpenStreetMap Carto and osm2pgsql, as well
> as being involved in many parts of rendering toolchain.
> In my work life I’m an independent software developer, working on map
> rendering, cartography, and PostGIS for clients. My main contract right now
> is with Wikimedia Foundation, as the developer on their maps team. In the
> past I’ve worked for CartoDB, Mapquest, and other companies.
> Looking back at what I put in my 2014 manifesto, I’m moderately pleased
> with the progress we’ve made in both transparency and productive board
> meetings. Neither are perfect, but they’re a vast improvement over three
> years. Overall, I’m satisfied with my time on the board. I accomplished
> some of what I wanted to, and think my manifesto desires were realistic.
> My concerns are now
> *Conflicts of interest*
> 6/7 board members work with OSM somehow in their jobs. This includes four
> with employers who sell services based on OSM data and can easily run into
> conflicts of interest. We are not managing this, which might have worked in
> the past, but is not a good practice. There’s stuff we need to set up like
> having an email discussion out of sight of the people with conflicts. Right
> now it’s considered acceptable for a board member to take part in
> discussions where they have a conflict of interest. Clear rules would also
> protect board members from pressure from their employer.
> On a working group whenever there’s occasionally been an intersection
> between my work and the WG. In these cases I’ve removed myself from the
> discussion. This is what we should all be doing on the board.
> Unfortunately, as someone who is paid to work with OSM data, I run into
> conflicts of interest myself, but in practice, I have less than most with
> the nature of who I work for.
> *Support, but not control*
> The job of the OSMF board is to support the mappers building the map, but
> not control them. I worry we are losing sight of that, and people
> increasingly want to exert control and consider the mappers secondary. We
> need to protect the ability for people to independently do activities, even
> if it’s not something the board agrees with.
> *Volunteer capacity*
> A lack of volunteers was an issue when I ran three years ago. It’s a bit
> better, but still one of the biggest issues facing the OSMF. Working groups
> need more people. A growing number of members have been attending board
> meetings, but I’d like to see multiple ones at every meeting. We need good
> people on the board, but we also need an active membership who are
> interested in what we do, watch us, what we do, track that we deliver, and
> offer appreciation in return.
> Paul Norman
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