membership - elections - AGM

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Alister Hood-2
Hi everyone, I've been following this from a distance, but I now can't
remember if there was any real discussion of what it might look like
to be hijacked by "bad actors".  Has it happened to similar
organisations?  If the requirement to be a charter member is simply to
participate on an email list, does the two-tier membership really
provide any protection?  Are there other mechanisms that might help
protect against the bad actors?  I'm guessing a mechanism involving
the parent Osgeo is unlikely when we are talking about a local legal
entity...
I confess I'm still not sure I understand what Osgeo Oceania is likely
to actually do, which would affect these questions.

Regards,
Alister

On Sun, 22 Sep 2019 at 21:55, John Bryant <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> Thanks a lot Cameron, Adam, Ed, & Greg (and Anonymous :) ) for extensive review & input.
>
> There are a couple of big questions we need to address (and they're inextricably linked, so let's discuss them in tandem):
>
> 1. Will we have 2 tiers of membership, ie. general and charter?
> The 2 tier idea was proposed as a way to ensure there is a low barrier to entry for all, but that we also have a means of ensuring that voting members meet some basic eligibility guidelines, partly to protect the organisation from bad actors. However, there are legitimate concerns about adding complexity and confusion. The alternative is to have a single type of membership, in which we'd need to balance low barrier and eligibility.
>
> ... which leads to ...
>
> 2. What is our eligibility criteria?
> The threshold was initially proposed as active volunteering, with reference to the OSGeo charter member "positive attributes". After a bit of discussion at last week's board meeting, we agreed to try and re-articulate these for our particular situation. But there are some legitimate concerns that they may be too high a bar. The resolution of the two-tiers question will play into this.
>
> I need some help in resolving these questions, can I get some feedback? What are your thoughts? Board, you'll be asked to pass this once it's complete, what are your thoughts on these questions?
>
> There are also a number of practical considerations being discussed in the draft document [1], these are worth looking at as well.
>
> Thanks
> John
>
> [1] https://docs.google.com/document/d/14_6Ru8Xy5jGIuWXysuIJQwQonmjhtlpmHbqVwtOsUNA
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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
Hey Alister, great comments and thanks for chiming in.

Re: what OSGeo Oceania is likely to do... in the immediate term, continue running the FOSS4G SotM Oceania regional conference series. Beyond that, up for discussion, but there has been a lot of talk about things like running smaller events across the region, supporting local user groups, supporting & ecouraging open geospatial contributions, and helping people in Oceania get engaged with OSGeo & OSM activities at an international level. I'm sure more will come up, once we've graduated from this year of establishing the entity :)

Re: bad actors, Andrew Harvey mentioned a situation that unfolded in OSMF last year:
Recently there was a coordinated effort by one company to mass sign up members to the OSMF which raised some eyebrows: https://openstreetmap.lu/MWGGlobalLogicReport20181226.pdf
Hopefully very unlikely to happen to us, but if we can protect ourselves from something like it, we should.

If the requirement to be a charter member is simply to participate on an email list, does the two-tier membership really provide any protection?
I think this is a good point, and one I agree with. I feel we should have some clear criteria for eligibility for voting rights for this reason. They don't need to be especially onerous or exclusive, but they should be articulated such that they can be practically implemented.

Other mechanisms? I don't know... but this would be a great time to identify them :)

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FW: membership - elections - AGM

Kerry Smyth-2
In reply to this post by John Bryant

Hi John

I think my earlier emails may have been blocked. So tried again.

Regards

Kerry Smyth

 

From: Kerry Smyth <[hidden email]>
Sent: Sunday, 22 September 2019 2:24 PM
To: 'John Bryant' <[hidden email]>; '[hidden email]' <[hidden email]>
Subject: RE: [OSGeo Oceania] membership - elections - AGM

 

Hi John

See my comments below in red.

Kerry Smyth

 

From: Oceania <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of John Bryant
Sent: Saturday, 21 September 2019 9:32 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [OSGeo Oceania] membership - elections - AGM

 

OK, we have a near-complete draft of a Membership Policy ready for review [1]. Board & community, please have a look and consider whether it works for you.

 

There may still be some question marks around things like:

  • are we happy with the term "charter member"? No , maybe voting member.
  • are we happy with the eligibility criteria? Does an applicant need to meed ALL 5 criteria or only some?

TO TEST CRITERIA HERE IS MY APPLICATION:

  1. believe in the general goals of OSGeo Oceania, ie. to foster the growth of the open geospatial community in the Oceania region
    Yes I do
  2. have some history of participation in, or support of, OSGeo Oceania activities
    Yes I was on the committee for FOSS4G & SotM Oceania 2018 and went to the event in Melbounre.
  3. have made contributions to open geospatial community, software, education, OpenStreetMap, or data
    Yes I have attended Mapathon events
  4. be willing to put in time and effort on OSGeo Oceania activities, perhaps joining committee(s), or volunteering in some other way
    Yes I am willing to ….
  5. be prepared to work constructively and positively, with the board and other members, in line with the OSGeo Code of Conduct.towards the goals of OSGeo Oceania
    Yes I am prepared to ….

Do I also need to be a current General Member to elevate to a Charter Member?

  • are we happy with the two types of membership? Will there be an entitlement to post-nominal (eg MOSGeo Oceania)
  • is the 2019 process for an initial membership reasonable and fair? Yes
  • does it read well, it is clear, and is it practically implementable?
  • does it cover what it needs to? Need to cover the Removal of a Member (eg the Board as the power to remove or disqualify a member at its discretion, permanently or for a specific period of time.  Also grounds for removal such as unlawful behaviour or breaching the code of conduct.)

Please raise any last issues you think need resolving. Meanwhile, I'll send it over to our professional advisors for review. If there are no outstanding items by Tuesday I'll aim to move it for adoption then.

 

Cheers

John

 

 


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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Alister Hood-2
In reply to this post by John Bryant
Thanks John,

On Mon, 23 Sep 2019, 1:27 AM John Bryant, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hey Alister, great comments and thanks for chiming in.

Re: what OSGeo Oceania is likely to do... in the immediate term, continue running the FOSS4G SotM Oceania regional conference series. Beyond that, up for discussion, but there has been a lot of talk about things like running smaller events across the region, supporting local user groups, supporting & ecouraging open geospatial contributions, and helping people in Oceania get engaged with OSGeo & OSM activities at an international level. I'm sure more will come up, once we've graduated from this year of establishing the entity :)

Re: bad actors, Andrew Harvey mentioned a situation that unfolded in OSMF last year:
Recently there was a coordinated effort by one company to mass sign up members to the OSMF which raised some eyebrows: https://openstreetmap.lu/MWGGlobalLogicReport20181226.pdf
Hopefully very unlikely to happen to us, but if we can protect ourselves from something like it, we should.

I was hoping someone might know of organisations where this kind of attack was actually successful, what happened, and how it was responded to.  In that case the "attackers" failed not because of anything OSMF did, but because they got the date wrong. 

If the requirement to be a charter member is simply to participate on an email list, does the two-tier membership really provide any protection?
I think this is a good point, and one I agree with. I feel we should have some clear criteria for eligibility for voting rights for this reason. They don't need to be especially onerous or exclusive, but they should be articulated such that they can be practically implemented.
 
Other mechanisms? I don't know... but this would be a great time to identify them :)
 
I'm inclined to think that for Osgeo Oceania a single-tier membership is suitable, but implement some of the suggestions put forward in the OSMF document, and outline a process for dealing with suspect signups.  Perhaps one or more membership coordinators could be empowered to deal with them, with a right of appeal to the board, or a vote of existing members.  

Also, the possibility of a corrupt board has been raised in the comments on the document.  If this is a real concern, it may be worth discussing the assumption that this should be run like a Westminster style democracy (i.e. the board is elected and then does whatever it likes during its term).  Perhaps there could be procedure for a "recall" or vote of no confidence in the board, or for members to challenge a particular action of the board.

Regards,
Alister

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
Good points. As always, we need to find a balance between capturing every detail & what's achievable given limited volunteer time. To some degree I hope we are all working on mutual trust, and the working in the open helps establish a foundation for this trust.

Also, the possibility of a corrupt board has been raised in the comments on the document.  If this is a real concern, it may be worth discussing the assumption that this should be run like a Westminster style democracy (i.e. the board is elected and then does whatever it likes during its term).  Perhaps there could be procedure for a "recall" or vote of no confidence in the board, or for members to challenge a particular action of the board.

I believe (though I'm not a lawyer, nor have I consulted one on this) that our constitution [1] and the Australian Corporations Act cover member resolutions and removing directors (see [2]). We could potentially add a reference to this in our Membership policy, but should avoid adding an extra layer of process, unless it's necessary.


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Re: FW: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
In reply to this post by Kerry Smyth-2
Thanks Kerry. Can you clarify what you mean by this?
Will there be an entitlement to post-nominal (eg MOSGeo Oceania)

 

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Bruce Bannerman-3
In reply to this post by John Bryant
Hi John,

I’ll try and have a look and provide comments tomorrow.

Sorry, other priorities at the moment.

Can the latest version of the doc still be found at the URL at [1] below?

Bruce

Bruce


On 17 Sep 2019, at 21:55, John Bryant <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi all, time to steer this membership discussion to completion. At last Thursday's board meeting, and in subsequent discussion, it was suggested to frame this as a policy the board can adopt, with an aim to having it finished by next week.

The draft membership policy doc [1] is getting pretty close, but needs some wordsmithing, a review (re-write?) of the "positive attributes" section, and there are likely a few points yet to discuss.

I've highlighted a couple:
  • are we happy with a 2-tier membership - one that consists of a self-identified cohort of people, with a low barrier to entry, and no particular rights & responsibilities; and one that has a slightly higher threshold (ie nomination & positive attributes), and includes a few rights & responsibilities?
  • how do we establish our initial charter membership (or whatever we call it)? board plus 2018 & 2019 conference committees? add people who we know are contributors? canvass for nominations from the community?
I'll find some time over the next couple of days to do some wordsmithing, if anyone else wishes to help with this, feel free. Comments and discussion encouraged in this thread and in the doc.

I propose this approximate timeline:
  • Sunday 22nd: finish draft
  • Monday 23rd: review by our professional advisers to ensure we're not doing anything that is difficult to implement, and to help us understand whether it will require changes to our constitution
  • Tuesday 24th: motion to adopt
Cheers
John

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
Thanks Bruce, yes it's still there.

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?


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Re: membership - elections - AGM

adam steer-2
Hi  John, all

Would this mean we nominate general members and then have another decision round to decide on voting rights?

I'm not yet convinced that it's simpler than 'anyone can join themselves' and 'voting members are nominated'..

Thanks, 

Adam




On Mon, 23 Sep 2019, 18:30 John Bryant, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

adam steer-2
In reply to this post by John Bryant
Maybe we need to figure out what membership means.

Does it mean ' I as a member identify with this community'

' I as a member feel entitled to something from this organisation'

... something else?

On Mon, 23 Sep 2019, 18:30 John Bryant, <[hidden email]> wrote:
Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
In reply to this post by adam steer-2
I would vote for no extra decision round - just as simple as, if you're a member, you vote.

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Re: FW: membership - elections - AGM

Kerry Smyth-2
In reply to this post by John Bryant

Hi John

I meant “letters after your name” valued in CVs etc.

eg Jane Brown CA (Chartered Accountant)  John Brown MIA (Member Institute Architects).

I am not sure who determines these learned institute or such like.

 

Regards

Kerry Smyth FSSSI

 

From: Oceania <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of John Bryant
Sent: Monday, 23 September 2019 3:59 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [OSGeo Oceania] FW: membership - elections - AGM

 

Thanks Kerry. Can you clarify what you mean by this?

Will there be an entitlement to post-nominal (eg MOSGeo Oceania)

 

 


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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Kerry Smyth-2
In reply to this post by John Bryant

No objects

Kerry Smyth

 

From: Oceania <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of John Bryant
Sent: Monday, 23 September 2019 4:30 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [OSGeo Oceania] membership - elections - AGM

 

Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:

  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)

This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

 

Any objections?

 


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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Greg Lauer
In reply to this post by John Bryant
The problem with this proposal is that we have barrier for general membership. I still support the 2 tier model and comfortable that we can manage the logistics with out too much issue

Greg

On 23 Sep 2019, at 18:30, John Bryant <[hidden email]> wrote:


Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Cameron Shorter

Greg, I'm proposing that in a 1 level membership the only barrier be email list participation or some other OSGeo/OSM activity, and voting for board. I don't think people will be wanting to self identify with anything lower.

On 24/9/19 6:13 am, Greg Lauer wrote:
The problem with this proposal is that we have barrier for general membership. I still support the 2 tier model and comfortable that we can manage the logistics with out too much issue

Greg

On 23 Sep 2019, at 18:30, John Bryant [hidden email] wrote:


Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

_______________________________________________
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-- 
Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier
Open Technologies and Geospatial Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Alex Leith
I'm not sure how we'd measure participation as a gate to membership.

One alternative is to have an opt-in requirement each year, which will wean out the disengaged. That could just be a 'click this link in an email' type form. I would have thought a nominal annual fee, again, without auto-renewal, would work, but from what I hear it doesn't make much difference with OSM, and adds the requirement for us to set up a charging mechanism.

On Tue, 24 Sep 2019 at 06:18, Cameron Shorter <[hidden email]> wrote:

Greg, I'm proposing that in a 1 level membership the only barrier be email list participation or some other OSGeo/OSM activity, and voting for board. I don't think people will be wanting to self identify with anything lower.

On 24/9/19 6:13 am, Greg Lauer wrote:
The problem with this proposal is that we have barrier for general membership. I still support the 2 tier model and comfortable that we can manage the logistics with out too much issue

Greg

On 23 Sep 2019, at 18:30, John Bryant [hidden email] wrote:


Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

_______________________________________________
Oceania mailing list
[hidden email]
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-- 
Cameron Shorter
Technology Demystifier
Open Technologies and Geospatial Consultant

M +61 (0) 419 142 254
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--
Alex Leith
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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Bruce Bannerman-3
In reply to this post by John Bryant
Hi John and fellow OO Community Members,

I’ve now gone through the proposed document and comments either in the document or on this list.

Some observations:

  • We need to remember that we are part of the global OSGeo Community and operate within that community and framework. In my opinion the International OSGeo is where much of the community’s work occurs. OSGeo Oceania provides the regional focus and allows us to coordinate regionally and to communicate global developments and efforts.

  • Therefore it is not appropriate that we set up a separate framework to replace OSGeo (not that I see that anyone has suggested this).

  • I see that the main reason for the perceived need for two tiers of membership within OSGeo Oceania (OO) is to ensure that: 
    • We have people as directors of the legal entity who hold positive attributes that we admire. These attributes include:
      • acting for the greater good of OSGeo Oceania and OSGeo;
      • active and positive contributions to community activities; and 
      • are of good and ethical repute.

    • There is also a secondary requirement as highlighted by Alister: to remove Directors who won’t resign voluntarily from the OO legal entity at the end of their term, or who are not acting in the best interests of either OSGeo Oceania or OSGeo.

  • As noted by several people, the overheads of managing an additional membership process for OSGeo Oceania (in addition to that required for OSGeo) is likely to be onerous. However, we still need a two tier membership process to protect the best interests of the OSGeo and OSGeo communities and the OO Legal entity.

  • Therefore in the interest of keeping things simple, I propose the following variant to what has been discussed:
    • Keep a two tier membership process as outlined in the document.
    • The main membership categary comprises those who self nominate to be members of the OO Community, by signing up to one of the OSGeo Oceania mailing lists and participate in discussion and activities.
    • The second Charter Member category automatically comprises OSGeo Charter Members [1] who are also members of the OO Community.

  • This approach:
    • negates the need for having OO to manage a separate membership process
    • makes clear the relationship between OSGeo and OSGeo Oceania.
    • Uses existing and proven OSGeo contributers of good repute by way of OSGeo Charter Members. 
    • Allows for new OSGeo Charter Members to be proposed from the OSGeo Oceania community within the tried and tested OSGeo Charter Member process.

  • There will still be the need to:
    • Define our membership levels and processes
    • Define and hold an election process (every two years?) to refresh our pool of board members / legal entity directors.
    • (probably) revise the OO Legal Enity’s Articles of Association to allow for a process for OSGeo Charter Members (within the to be defined Oceania region) to remove non-performing directors etc of the legal entity etc.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Bruce





On 23 Sep 2019, at 18:29, John Bryant <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

_______________________________________________
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Re: membership - elections - AGM

Edoardo Neerhut
Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree we need to remember our role in the international community and be wary of reinventing the wheel.

I wanted to address your point on the structure of membership and operating within the international framework. I can think of two reasons why we should devise a framework that works best for Oceania which is not necessarily the same thing as the current OSGeo membership structure.
  1. OSGeo Oceania was setup as a body to represent and foster the OSGeo community, but also OpenStreetMap efforts. On the latter, we are currently pending confirmation to become the recognised Local Chapter by the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF). OSMF has its own membership structure and procedures. We need to consider both if we are to represent both communities. I would argue that Melbourne last year proved that the FOSS4G + SotM coupling worked well and could be improved upon further. If this is to remain the case, our membership structure needs to be appealing to both communities.
  2. We should choose the membership structure that makes sense for our community at this point in time. There is a lot to learn and replicate from OSGeo, but I don't think we should be a carbon copy of the international structure. We have unique characteristics such as diverse economic conditions and a relatively small community when compared to Europe/North America. I think innovation in the structure of our community can go both ways. Both international -> down and local -> up.
There is a lot to consider here in this membership discussion and many ways to approach this, so I am appreciating the discussion.

Cheers,

Ed

On Tue, 24 Sep 2019 at 03:03, Bruce Bannerman <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi John and fellow OO Community Members,

I’ve now gone through the proposed document and comments either in the document or on this list.

Some observations:

  • We need to remember that we are part of the global OSGeo Community and operate within that community and framework. In my opinion the International OSGeo is where much of the community’s work occurs. OSGeo Oceania provides the regional focus and allows us to coordinate regionally and to communicate global developments and efforts.

  • Therefore it is not appropriate that we set up a separate framework to replace OSGeo (not that I see that anyone has suggested this).

  • I see that the main reason for the perceived need for two tiers of membership within OSGeo Oceania (OO) is to ensure that: 
    • We have people as directors of the legal entity who hold positive attributes that we admire. These attributes include:
      • acting for the greater good of OSGeo Oceania and OSGeo;
      • active and positive contributions to community activities; and 
      • are of good and ethical repute.

    • There is also a secondary requirement as highlighted by Alister: to remove Directors who won’t resign voluntarily from the OO legal entity at the end of their term, or who are not acting in the best interests of either OSGeo Oceania or OSGeo.

  • As noted by several people, the overheads of managing an additional membership process for OSGeo Oceania (in addition to that required for OSGeo) is likely to be onerous. However, we still need a two tier membership process to protect the best interests of the OSGeo and OSGeo communities and the OO Legal entity.

  • Therefore in the interest of keeping things simple, I propose the following variant to what has been discussed:
    • Keep a two tier membership process as outlined in the document.
    • The main membership categary comprises those who self nominate to be members of the OO Community, by signing up to one of the OSGeo Oceania mailing lists and participate in discussion and activities.
    • The second Charter Member category automatically comprises OSGeo Charter Members [1] who are also members of the OO Community.

  • This approach:
    • negates the need for having OO to manage a separate membership process
    • makes clear the relationship between OSGeo and OSGeo Oceania.
    • Uses existing and proven OSGeo contributers of good repute by way of OSGeo Charter Members. 
    • Allows for new OSGeo Charter Members to be proposed from the OSGeo Oceania community within the tried and tested OSGeo Charter Member process.

  • There will still be the need to:
    • Define our membership levels and processes
    • Define and hold an election process (every two years?) to refresh our pool of board members / legal entity directors.
    • (probably) revise the OO Legal Enity’s Articles of Association to allow for a process for OSGeo Charter Members (within the to be defined Oceania region) to remove non-performing directors etc of the legal entity etc.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Bruce





On 23 Sep 2019, at 18:29, John Bryant <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks all for a quite robust discussion on this important topic, it's really great to see this much engagement. There seems to be a fair bit of discomfort with the two tier model proposed, and I agree that it may introduce more complexity than we really want. To move forward, I'd like to propose a simplified alternative:
  • We have a single type of membership that confers voting rights.
  • To ensure a reasonable level of engagement, while protecting the org against bad actors/hostile takeover/etc, we roughly follow this process:
    • take nominations for new members
    • use an eligibility threshold that balances accessibility with genuine engagement
    • include a ratification step that could be done by the board, or a membership working group (TBD)
This doesn't capture all the detail of how this would work, but if it's acceptable in broad strokes, I can update our draft policy and we can work through the details over next couple of days.

Any objections?

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Re: membership - elections - AGM

John Bryant
Hi all, really pleased to see all this input, thanks for your time & energy.

This is obviously a topic that people feel strongly about, which is great. I feel that we're all aligned on the key principles: that we want to make the organisation accessible to new members, and we want it to be run responsibly, ie. members should be able to influence how it's run. There's a bit of distance between the various proposals on the table so far, but they're all aiming at these principles. To make progress, it looks like we're going to need to make some compromises.

I fully agree with Edoardo's reasoning for preferring a home-grown approach to membership. We're an OSGeo local chapter, but we're also more than that, notably (as Ed mentioned) we're in the process of applying to be a local chapter of OSMF as well. We need to ensure we wholeheartedly embrace the parts of our community that don't fall under the OSGeo umbrella.

I think we're roughly all on the same page re: voting membership, ie. we need members who vote, and they should pass some sort of eligibility threshold.

The key point of disagreement seems to be whether we have a 2nd tier of membership with a lower eligibility threshold, one where anyone can join, but there are no rights/responsibilities associated with it. There have been some questions asked about what real value this provides to such a member and to the organisation, which I struggle to answer. I'm also concerned about the extra messaging that would be required to communicate this to the community to overcome any potential confusion... this translates to work, and as a volunteer-run organisation, our time & energy have limits. Finally, I don't see that the eligibility threshold we're considering for membership is so high that it functionally excludes anyone who truly wants to be a part of this.

I strongly identify with the value proposition of making the organisation accessible to everyone though, so this is difficult for me...

But in the interest of moving forward, and focusing on the most urgent outcome (determine a process for a voting membership), let me ask this question: Can we live with a single membership type for now, which includes voting privileges?

I believe this single membership type will sufficiently address our key priorities (voting membership, protect the org).

Once we establish this membership type, I feel we could very easily extend it with some process whereby people in the community can self-identify as a "community member", or "citizen", or something like that. But there is much to do in the next 2-3 months, and I feel we really need to stay focused on that which must be done.

Something needs to give, so I'm hoping for some compromise.

Thanks
John

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