[Osmf-talk] Standing for board election

Rob Nickerson rob.j.nickerson at gmail.com
Sat Nov 25 13:54:48 UTC 2017

Unless it's written in the articles of association (and even if it is they
can be changed) then there is nothing stopping renumeration of directors
under the current formation.

There osm uk local chapter set itself up as a community interest company.
Longer term I'd like to see OSMF convert to this (it's dead easy) as it
brings extra protections to prevent asset stripping and to ensure the
company acts in the interest of the community it represents (i.e. the world
of OSM).


On 25 Nov 2017 11:46 a.m., "john whelan" <jwhelan0112 at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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