This short note is to draw your attention on the danger for OSMF (and the OSM project) in the case the United States NGO “Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team US Inc” (aka HOT US Inc) got a majority at the OSMF Board after this 2015 election.

Mikel Maron, Joseph Reeves and Yantisa Akhadi, all members of the NGO HOT US Inc, are running for the OSMF Board 1; Kate Chapman, the former ED of HOT US Inc serves already as Board Officer in OSMF.

Shall Mikel Maron, Joseph Reeves and Yantisa Akhadi be elected, HOT US Inc will get a majority at the Board of the Foundation. This will provide a single organization of the OSM ecosystem (HOT US Inc) with an unprecedented and excessive power of influence over the Foundation.

This running of three candidates from the same organization is puzzling and troublesome when one considers that HOT US Inc (and therefore its perspective around OpenStreetMap) is already represented at the OSMF Board since Sept 2013. Why extending its presence and influence and consequently diminishing the OSM diversity represented at the OSMF Board?

A greater HOT US Inc presence at the OSMF Board would be a matter of concern in terms of : - balance of powers - diversity of visions, thoughts and practices around OSM - board dynamics: a collective of HOT US Inc Boardees would interact with single individuals. This is a bad practice which is not followed by any Organizations; this is specifically true for representative bodies (organization representing organizations) such as OSMF

OSMF voting members shall pay attention to check and balances in terms of organizational powers prior casting their ballot 28-Nov onwards and bear in minds that HOT US Inc and this perspective about OSM is already represented at the OSMF Board through Kate Chapman.

The HOT US Inc perspective informs, like other perspectives, the work of the Foundation and has its effect on the OSM project, there is no need to take risks in providing this group with more room in the Foundation which is hot enough in these times of winter.

Comment from RobJN on 24 November 2015 at 23:37

Just to be clear they are not all current board members of HOT? That would be “odd”.

Comment from LivingWithDragons on 30 November 2015 at 14:29

HOT US Inc has a different membership structure in which one has to be nominated by an existing member and then voted in by 2/3rds of the current membership. They currently have about 80 members, and there have been people that did not pass the membership vote.

This set-up is new to me, and I only learnt about it from “The Book of OSM”. It makes HOT seem like more of an elite members club, which may or may-not be relevant with the topic regarding the OSMF Board elections.

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