[Osmf-talk] OSM and OSMF - How do we (want to) operate?

Wolfgang Zenker wolfgang at lyxys.ka.sub.org
Wed Aug 7 22:26:51 UTC 2019

One problem with learning from other organizations is that OSM is a
rather unique kind of thing. Most open source projects or NGOs that I
participate in are structured quite differently. However, there is one
project that has some similarity, namely the RIPE community and the RIPE
NCC. RIPE is part of the internet operations community and is part of
the "Internet Self Regulation". There are basically two parts:
- The RIPE community is not a formal organization; any individual who
  joins discussions/meetings/working groups is part of the community.
  The community is open to all interested individuals. The community
  defines policies in its working groups.
- The RIPE NCC is a membership organization under Dutch law; all LIRs
  (Local Internet Registries - basically any organization administering
  IP-addresses for themselfes or for their customers) are required to be
  members of RIPE NCC. Non-LIRs can also be members, but are a minority.
  RIPE NCC has paid full time staff that is tasked with implementing
  policy as set by the community, running the registry database, doing
  administrative work etc.

RIPE has recently performed a review of its accountability which has
been published at https://www.ripe.net/publications/docs/ripe-723/
Looking at that document might give some ideas about possible approaches
that OSM could use to keep OSM as a community project that is neither
dominated by private interests of corporations nor by those individuals
that simply manage to be the most vocal people in discussions.

* Oleksiy Muzalyev <oleksiy.muzalyev at bluewin.ch> [190517 09:54]:
> Dr. Moira Gunn [1] in one of her podcasts told a story as after the 
> university she came to work at the NASA, the National Aeronautics and 
> Space Administration. She and other young engineers and scientists were 
> told to avoid by all means inventing new things, but instead to search 
> for the existing blocks of knowledge. And to construct from these 
> blocks. In other words they were encouraged to learn what was already 
> done by others about the issue before trying to invent a homemade solution.
> Only if there was a tiny space between these blocks of knowledge and 
> only if they could not find any existing solution, they could start 
> inventing.
> I think it would be a good methodology before implementing new 
> structures, ideas, and decisions to study first what was already done in 
> other similar organizations. Not copying but at least get acquainted 
> with the existing positive and negative experience before constructing 
> something new.
> [1] http://www.technation.com/about-dr--gunn.html
> Best regards,
> Oleksiy
> ( Alex-7 @ osm )
> On 5/16/19 22:58, Wolfgang Zenker wrote:
> > Both in OSM (the community) and the OSMF (the membership association) we
> > often see discussions that do not lead to any useful results. While this
> > might be because the topic has strong arguments on multiple sides of the
> > debate, at other times it might be because we (the community and the
> > OSMF) have not really discussed how we want to operate, how we want to
> > make decisions or if we should make decisions at all, what goals we
> > share (if any), and who should be accountable to whom for what.
> > Our current structures are as far as I see born out of ad-hoc decisions
> > of what appeared appropriate or convenient at a time, or what was
> > necessary for legal or technical reasons. It might well be that we want
> > to continue with the structures we have now, or we might find that the
> > structures we have are no longer a good fit for the OSM ecosystem of
> > today. Whichever way we go should be an conscious decision, I think.
> >
> > Not everyone will be interested in this of course, many will be content
> > with just mapping their part of the world or developing software. But
> > for those interested in going forward with ideas of how OSM and the OSMF
> > are or should be organized, I suggest to start discussions in local user
> > groups, on this or other mailing list and if sufficient interest exists,
> > to meet at the next SOTM and start an "organization working group". The
> > decision we would need to make for that is, what mandate to give to that
> > working group and to whom it should be accountable and deliver its
> > results.
> >
> > Greetings,
> > Wolfgang
> > ( lyx @ osm )
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > osmf-talk mailing list
> > osmf-talk at openstreetmap.org
> > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/osmf-talk

More information about the osmf-talk mailing list