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

Christoph Hormann chris_hormann at gmx.de
Wed Nov 29 16:33:20 UTC 2017

On Wednesday 29 November 2017, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> I think you might have a misconception about the OSMF board, that
> might lead to a point where you don't even want to talk to them
> because you think they are "HOT dominated" anyway. Please understand
> that this is not the case; even those on our current board who have
> the closest ties to HOT, have never suggested anything that would
> give HOT an unfair advantage. If, say, Projet EOF contacted us about
> something, they would be treated exactly the same as HOT.

But i think the Board also needs to understand that this is about 
perception just as much as about anything else.  If the OSM community 
to a significant percentage has the impression the OSMF is dominated by 
certain special interest - be that HOT or corporate interests due to 
many of the board members being employed by corporations connected to 
OSM in some form - this will have a negative impact on the OSMFs 
ability to fulfill its mission.

You can influence perception through communication (like you did with 
your mail or candidates do with their campaigns) and through policy 
changes like rules about conflicts of interest but the most weighty 
influences on perception are always actions - either present or past 

Dismissing the perception of an unbalance in the representation of the 
OSM community by the board as misguided, offensive or irrelevant is not 
a very sensible thing to do.

Long story short: Proportional representation of the OSM community in 
the OSMF members and on the OSMF board is very important - no matter 
how capable the board members consider themselves to be to distance 
themselves from their own background and personal interests and 
selflessly represent the OSM community.

Christoph Hormann

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