[OSM-talk] [Osmf-talk] Modus operandi of the board

Kate Chapman kate at maploser.com
Wed Oct 22 04:04:54 UTC 2014

Hi All,

I felt I should speak up as the newest board member. I certainly think
there are things that OSMF could do to function better as well as the OSMF
Board. I think it can be difficult to move forward when everyone has very
strong feelings about the project, but they sometimes seem at odds with
each other. Often it can feel like the person with the most time at their
email box can simply wear everyone else down. I don't think OSM and the
OSMF are an exception to this though.

One issue is we really have no idea what the OSMF membership wants. We know
what some vocal people who write English well want. What a lot of
communities do to determine this is have a yearly community survey. Simply
voting for board members itself doesn't give any idea what people generally
want. For example last year I received the most votes in the board
election. Does that mean I have "brand recognition", people liked my
manifesto or simply there were people that thought only men shouldn't be on
the OSMF board? We have no idea. A community survey is one way we could
start to get a better grip on the desires for the OSMF. Of course we still
would be bound to the opinions of only those that like to answer surveys.

Another difficulty is there is no board primer. When you join the OSMF
board you mostly just jump in. One of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
(HOT) board members began a board primer for HOT after they joined HOT's
board. This was to help with this very issue. Part of it is just helping
people to understand what it means to be on a board. How many people that
join the OSMF board have never served on any board at all?

Frederik's manifesto isn't really anything I can specifically disagree with
though I suspect if Frederik and I were to debate the items we will have
very different approaches to them. To me that is the major sticking point
generally within the OSMF. We don't have a great way to find common ground.
I hope this year we will have an in person meeting, not everyone is even in
agreement that meeting in person helps with cohesion. So you can see that
much work is to be done. It is difficult for me to read some statements
about problems in the board without feeling that they are jabs at other
board members without naming names. This is a sign of what we really need
is trust, not necessarily agreement, but trust.

While I haven't really done much in the past year, I hope that we can find
ways to be more effective. I think simply publicly saying "there is a
problem" is a good start.



On Tue, Oct 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM, Stefan Keller <sfkeller at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> I wonder why we're discussing here everything else but what Frederik
> mentioned in his manifesto and in this reply above.
> Richard voted that the board should stand down.
> I can't oversea the situation but I tend to give our colleages a
> second chance to fix things.
> I do that also knowing that OSMF is young with few members, many of
> them being also members in WGs.
> On 2014-10-21 15:47 GMT+02:00, Frederik Ramm wrote:
> > ...
> > In short, what I'd like to see is (a) more people joining OSMF, and (b)
> > at least some these people actually following and commenting on what the
> > board does, or doesn't do, in their name.
> To me, actions speak louder than words.
> So, I decided to join OSMF these days.
> And I propose to add the following to the board meeting agenda:
> * Setting up a clearer modus operandi of the board and working groups
> * Making the board meeting agenda publicly available
> * Advancing trademark policy
> * Setting up a plan to get more corporate members
> (actually, these points are just taken from Frederik's plea).
> Yours, S.
> 2014-10-22 0:05 GMT+02:00 Simon Poole <simon at poole.ch>:
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
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> >
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