Balancing the presence of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT US Inc) in the OpenStreetMap Foundation (OSMF) in 2015Posted by Nicolas Chavent on 24 November 2015 in English (English). Last updated on 29 November 2017.
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.