[Osmf-talk] 2018 a third episode of entryism by HOT US Inc at OSMF Board after 2015 and 2017: call 4 action (candidates/members) for a balanced OSMF Board

Joseph Reeves iknowjoseph at gmail.com
Wed Dec 12 12:03:17 UTC 2018

Hi all,

As with every election period there is a lot to go through here, and I'm
typing this out far too quickly, but if I deal with one specific point:

"I am pretty sure that if all the French and German hobby mappers would
for HOT membership almost none of them would be accepted, largely
because - as we say in German - they lack the "Stallgeruch" of HOT."

The issue here is nothing to do with stables. Every current HOT Member can
nominate 1 person for membership during each membership intake. This
currently takes place once a year. So, you are correct that if the entire
French and German communities intended to become HOT Members only a very
small percentage would be able to join; this is because HOT has a small
membership. HOT will begin the process of admitting Members in the new
year; anyone interested becoming a Member should look out for the
announcement and should consider contacting a current member about a
nomination. Details here: https://www.hotosm.org/voting-members

Speaking more widely about the topic, I am not surprised to see HOT Members
wanting to engage more widely with the OSM community and see this as a
positive, not a negative. I see smaller OSM groups, such as HOT or local
communities (country groups or smaller) as generating an initial interest
in OSM for people that may be unfamiliar with it. From this initial seed,
these smaller groups give people an opportunity to gain familiarity with
the technical project and of the working methods, governance roles,
leadership opportunities, etc. It only makes sense that after working
within a local chapter, or HOT, that people will may want to move on and
serve the OSM project on a wider scale. I believe that in the future we
will see many more candidates "graduating" from Local Chapters or HOT (or
other specialist groups) into OSMF leadership. HOT's role here is even more
exciting because HOT currently generates much of the geographic diversity
that is desired within OSMF.

In our current candidates I see fantastic examples of people that have
successfully served local communities and now want to progress to serve the
wider OSM community. I am proud that HOT is successful in cultivating
project leaders and look forward to Local Chapters and other groups
providing a similar mechanism for people to become leaders within the wider

Cheers, Joseph

On Wed, 12 Dec 2018 at 11:26, Christoph Hormann <chris_hormann at gmx.de>

> By the way we discussed more or less the same matter in the German
> RadioOSM podcast.
> Since the reaction of some to this discussion inevitably will be that a
> HOT membership does not constitute a bias per se i would like to
> explain a bit more context here.
> To become a HOT member people need to apply and be elected - you cannot
> simply sign up (like when you become an OSM mapper) or pay a fee (like
> for OSMF membership).  This means there is a selection process and this
> selection process is based on certain criteria - not necessarily formal
> criteria but de facto there are criteria imposed - either deliberately
> or subconsciously - by those who make the selection.
> This means while there might not be a causal relationship between HOT
> membership and certain opinions on OSM and OSMF politics there
> definitely is a correlation between them.  Or in other words:  I am
> pretty sure that if all the French and German hobby mappers would apply
> for HOT membership almost none of them would be accepted, largely
> because - as we say in German - they lack the "Stallgeruch" of HOT.
> This means that in the absence of specific statements from candidates
> taking into account their HOT membership as an indicator for what view
> of OSM they have is a valid and perfectly reasonable approach.  Nothing
> prevents candidates from distancing themselves from general HOT
> positions as well as from the positions of HOT members currently on the
> OSMF board if they want to emphasize their independence.
> I would also like to add a bit of a warning to those who think HOT
> members dominating the OSMF board is not undesirable - for example
> because they think the OSMF could use more of the HOT Stallgeruch.  I
> already indicated this in my blog post about the elections:
> http://blog.imagico.de/elections-for-the-board-of-the-openstreetmap-foundation-2018/
> There is a clearly widening gap between the OSMF board and the local
> hobby mapper communities that form the backbone of OSM.  To those of
> you who only sporadically engage with the local hobby mapper
> communities like many hotties and employees of corporations in the OSM
> context this is probably not readily apparent.  If you'd make a poll
> among mappers if they feel represented by the OSMF board the results
> would probably be pretty bad and significantly worse than 2-3 years
> back.  Ignoring this problem when electing new board members is not a
> good idea - because it would sooner or later fall back onto your feet.
> Regarding the idea of Tobias for a one board member per organization
> quota - this certainly would not hurt but i have my doubts about how
> much effect this would have because as indicated above people just
> resigning their HOT membership would not really change anything in
> substance.  As i have said several times before i would take a more
> radical approach and say anyone with a professional relationship to OSM
> (as employee or entrepreneur) and anyone with a formal position in an
> organizational OSM stakeholder should be disqualified from serving on
> the board.  I would combine such measure with limiting the role of the
> board to supervision and policy decisions and assign most executive
> roles to a separate body which may include people with professional
> connections to OSM but which would be supervised by the board.
> --
> Christoph Hormann
> http://www.imagico.de/
> _______________________________________________
> osmf-talk mailing list
> osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk
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