Busy with Board Business

Posted by apm-wa on 4 August 2020 in English (English). Last updated on 5 August 2020.

(Guillaume and Allan wrote this together, and will therefore share the verbal abuse it will generate)

In its first seven months, the ‘new’ (well, no longer all that new) OSM Foundation Board of Directors has made progress on issues facing OSM and the OSM community:

  • Conducted a SWOT analysis of OSM;
  • Adopted a diversity statement and created the Diversity and Inclusion Special Committee;
  • Adopted a conflict of interest policy;
  • Initiated a review of our software landscape according to the FOSS Policy;
  • Launched the microgrant program, and approved the first 12 microgrants;
  • Adopted the Membership Working Group’s proposal for new membership criteria, consisting of a set number of mapping days or equivalent voluntary contribution;
  • Moved to a new bank (our previous bank, Barclays, decided to terminate its business relationship with us, and after a long search for a new bank, we moved our savings to Triodos Bank and our everyday movements to TransferWise);
  • Started using and stopped using Mollie for membership credit card payments;
  • Initiated monthly consultations with the Advisory Board;
  • Started inviting local chapters to give presentations at OSMF Board meetings in order to improve communication. OpenStreetMap á Íslandi is historically the first local chapter, and gave the first presentation;
  • Adopted the new local chapter agreement template after community consultation;
  • Laid a foundation for responsible employment by adopting a hiring framework;
  • Restarted regular online meetings of the Operations Working Group;
  • Subscribed to the DeepL translation API to address the English-language dominance in OSM, and made it available to the Communications Working Group and the weeklyOSM;
  • Shifted our official open board meetings from Mumble to video conferencing via FOSS solution Big Blue Button, and supported the OSM community by making BBB available to others. We still chat on the board IRC channel every day, but also have informal midmonth chats on BBB;
  • Adopted LWG’s recommendation for the standard style tile licence;
  • Updated the Board’s Rules of Order to cover Working Groups and Special Committees;
  • Reaffirmed our support for the existing core values;
  • Voted on 17 membership fee waiver applications under the ‘old’ fee waiver policy and approved 13 of them;
  • Welcomed OpenStreetMap Česká republika as the OSMF Local Chapter for Czechia;
  • Granted Cesium permission to use our trademark in their product “Cesium OSM Buildings”. Please note that a community project called “OSM buildings” exists since 2012.

Further tasks are currently in progress; the most significant ones are:

The common threads running through these Board actions have been

  1. consultation with the OSM community on issues of policy or expenditure of significant sums of money,
  2. focus on broadening the Foundation’s membership base and the active participation of members, and
  3. stabilising and enhancing our infrastructure.

With regard to that last point, since what is and isn’t ‘infrastructure’ has yet to be defined clearly, community consultation is very important. At present, opinions about what is included vary, and thus informed points of view from knowledgeable community members are of enormous value and are taken quite seriously.

At the same time, all of us on the Board are also mappers. Just before the end of July, Allan hit 15,500 changesets, up from 15,000 as of June 7. Guillaume is mapping less often, but is slowly approaching a million map changes. So the Board work is keeping us busy, but not so busy we cannot do some of the fun stuff, too.

Comment from RobJN on 5 August 2020 at 06:46

Wow lots and lots of amazing work. Well done and thank you.

Comment from philippec on 6 August 2020 at 10:34

I have no problem with the diversity statement, but it is colonial.

Comment from Marc on 6 August 2020 at 21:51

Well done. Thanks for all the hard work and infinite patience.

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