Official expression of interest forming a Belgian Chapter
Dear OSGeo Board,
Reason for my mail is to officially express our interest to form a
Belgium local chapter of OSGeo.
During the last FOSDem Geospatial devroom OSGeo was represented. It
was a great opportunity for Belgium OSGeo members to meet each other and
start talking about organizing ourselves a bit more, so actions in
Belgium can be better supported. Belgium is, as a country divided in at
least 3 speaking languages and 3 official languages. The active OSGeo
community members today are either active in the OSGeo.nl, the OSGeo.fr
or in several OSGeo communities.
However, OSGeo-nl and OSGeo-fr are language-oriented communities with
their geographical weight centred in respectively Netherlands and
France, and the separation by language has impeded on any specific
Belgian activities, notably networking and lobbying with administrations
that are bilingual on some levels of governance. Thus the need arose to
provide a specific Belgian forum.
In the past there where already some OSGeo local activities:
OSGeoGhent - 13 June 2013 
FOSDEM2014 - booth 1 & 2 Februari 2014 
Be-OpenGIS-Fr - 6 November 2014 
FOSDEM2015 - devroom - 31 Jan; 1 Februari 2015 
This year we (OSGeoBE) have the ambition to organise a first FOSS4G-BE
on 29 October 2015 in Brussels. This event will also be used to announce
the birth of our Chapter (if the Board supports this).
In preparation for this official expression of interest, a couple of
meetings have already taken place, one physical, most of them trough
digital communication (skype/IRC). The meeting minutes can be found on
the OSGeo wiki 
2. mission objectives
After discussion amongst the active local chapter members we come to the
following list of mission objectives:
* Community-building and networking around specific Belgian themes and
within Belgian fora.
* Organisation of events
These two mission statements are working together. We believe it is
important to meet people face2face.
To help them to start open source initiatives, to start using open
source solutions, to establish an eco-system that benefits from the
cooperation, the sharing and the co-creation open source delivers.
We think it is important to speak as one voice, and to get involved with
other organisations: administrations, industries, user groups, ...
OSGeo. Be will actively speak as an organisation to defend the OSGeo
open source spirit in the broader Belgium community (government,
academic, industry, other open initiatives).
* Networking with other OSGeos (notably OSGeo-fr and OSGeo.nl)
OSGeo Belgium will focus on local activities (Belgium based). OSGeo
Belgium will advertise and promote other OSGeo initiatives and invite
members of the other OSGeo chapters on the Belgium events or meetings.
We think that OSGeo Belgium can act as a bridge between several language
communities and cultures, because of it's unique composition.
* Support to higher levels of OSGeo
We believe that OSGeo only can grow if supported from the base. So OSGeo
Belgium is willing to help OSGeo where necessary, to leverage idea's or
act as an advisor if appreciated.
* Support to OSGeo in lobbying European Union Institutions (Commission,
Parliament, etc) related to specific EU-Themes (INSPIRE, H2020,
Procurement policy, ...)
3. The Belgium OSGeo Chapter proposes Dirk Frigne , Member of OSGeo
since 2007, Charter member of OSGeo since 2013 to liaise with the OSGeo
4. List of initial members:
The Belgium OSGeo Chapter has the support of the following initial
founding members (alphabetic - first name):
Ben Abelhausen - liason with OSM - Belgium community
Dirk Frigne  - founding member of the Geomajas community
Gaël Kruwialis - active memmber of the local FOSS momement in the
Brussels area - contact with the Brussels administration
Johan Van de Wauw  - OSGeo Advocate,
Maëlle VERCAUTEREN - Coordinatrice du stage SIG Libres ARES
Marc Ducobu - liason with OSGeo.fr
Moritz Lennert  - GRASS GIS PSC Member, contact with academic world
Pieter Colpaert - link with the open knowledge foundation
Ruben Capelle - please add
Tommy Ozeer - OSGeo member
5. May I kindly ask the OSGeo Board to consider passing a motion forming
the Belgium chapter, and designating Dirk Frigne as the liason officer.