[Osmf-talk] Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team at the OSM Foundation in 2017

Martijn van Exel m at rtijn.org
Wed Nov 29 16:23:50 UTC 2017

On 11/29/2017 9:00 AM, nicolas chavent wrote:
> Dear all,
> Dear Heather, thanks for your email.
> You are correct, as an OSMF member you have the right to run for the 
> Board, that's obviously not the point of my email.
> I am cognizant of your willingness to support the OSM project in your 
> own way but for a principled position of maximizing the diversity of OSM 
> perspectives represented at the OSMF Board and considering that the HOT 
> US Inc "OSM way" is already represented in this insitutional body by 
> Kate Chapman and Mikel Maron, I am questioning the relevance of your 
> candidacy and stress the risks it entails for OSMF.
> Since there are other pathways for you to support the OSM project at the 
> OSMF than just the Board like the Working Groups where your skills can 
> be very useful and help you getting better acquainted with OSMF as an 
> organization, I spoke in favor of the other candidates who are 
> representing other OSM perspectives that would make the OSMF Board more 
> diverse.

Hi Nicolas, all,

Frederik already explained very eloquently why affiliations with other 
organizations are not in and of themselves a problem. Merely having an 
affiliation DOES NOT represent a conflict of interest. A conflict of 
interest only arises when a topic is being addressed where a board 
member has an interest in the topic stemming from their outside 
affiliation that may not align with the interest of OSMF. As Frederik 
also pointed out, the board has managed very well to self-regulate this, 
even if we don't yet have a written policy to deal with conflicts of 

I do take offense with your suggesting that board members 'represent' 
organizations or companies they are affiliated with. We are elected with 
full disclosure of our affiliations, and with that, the membership has 
indicated that it entrusts each elected member to execute their duties 
in the best interests of OSM and OSM alone. That is what I am here for, 
and having served on the board for two years, I am 100% convinced that I 
share my commitment to OSM with all my fellow board members.

I see that Mikel has also weighed in while I was writing this, but I 
think this point cannot be stressed enough. A diversity of backgrounds 
(and yes, that includes affiliations among many other things) only 
strengthens our organization.

If you don't trust our integrity and out process, I invite you to join 
the board meetings, read our minutes, and point out actual decisions you 
believe are guided by anything but the best interests of OSM.

Martijn van Exel

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