Humanitarian OSM Team/Working groups/Bylaws/Brainstorm 20130211

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mkl ok people, let's start up
mkl who's here for bylaws brainstorm?
wonderchook here!
Robert_Banick moi
mkl while y'all wake up, here's what i'm hoping for over the next hour
wonderchook literally wake up? 6am here for me
mkl * sketch out the issues with membership and boards, and a range of possible solutions
mkl * what particularly needs doing - modify bylaws, create other supporting docs, etc
heatherleson hand
mkl * figure out who can do what
mkl anything else?
mkl btw, this google doc is now open for editing https://docs.google.com/document/d/1z54XlB1Yszk1HrtrDJD724l6-ZIZtfso_8v5lRiEdDA/edit#
wonderchook have people read the bylaws?
wonderchook would be my first question
wonderchook maybe it makes sense to discuss membership first and ideally what it means
wonderchook because the bylaws just need to show the intent of the organization
mkl agreed, what membership means, the rights and responsibilities, how it works to be/become a member
heatherleson the bylaw link from the website dies
heatherleson http://hot.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/U.S._Articles_of_Incorporation
heatherleson http://hot.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Humanitarian_OSM_Team/Board_Elections
mkl http://hot.openstreetmap.org/our_board/incorporation
heatherleson where is the attachment?
wonderchook heather you can get to the bylaws here: http://hot.openstreetmap.org/our_board/incorporation
mkl http://hot.openstreetmap.org/sites/default/files/HOT%20Bylaws%202012-01-11.doc
heatherleson hmm, the link does not sow for attachments there. either it is firefox of jetlag
wonderchook hmmm, I'm signed in so maybe that is the issue
mkl does the direct link to the .doc work?
mkl it's a pretty thick document anyhow, if you haven't read it already
heatherleson soy
wonderchook I think maybe since we can start without the legal bylaws discussion it is okay if people haven't read it
mkl yea, that can be a later step
mkl so the kinds of issues that have come up so far for membership
wonderchook so currently membership means people vote for the board/run for the board and get emails at the membership list
mkl * frequency of intake
wonderchook is there anything else they currently do?
jaakkoh_ Hi all. I'm here. Catching up at 17:01.
mkl * qualifications
mkl * benefits and responsibilities
wonderchook I'd like to see a cap on how many people an individual can nominate per round
mkl yea, there's nothing else officially that members do
wonderchook but I guess if there was qualifications it wouldn't matter
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mkl not sure if that should be in a supplemental doc to the bylaws
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mkl can we document these options in the gdoc?
heatherleson i'd like to see the board and community ask members to do tasks. eg. wiki housekeeping, office hours, outreach. I joined and am hoping that as a member that there are community things that I owe
jaakkoh_ heatherleson : the hot.osm.org page to bylaws doesn't show the attachment on my (Win env) Google Chrome either.
mkl it's a permissions issue* jaakkoh_ has read the bylaws some time ago (FYI).
mkl direct link http://hot.openstreetmap.org/sites/default/files/HOT%20Bylaws%202012-01-11.doc may still work
wonderchook yeah, we have members that just vote once a year. I'd like it to be a little more than that
Robert_Banick I think Heather's idea isn't a bad one, depending on the tasks involved.
heatherleson this way we are all building : )
skorasaurus I'm here, but mostly just observing. =)
Robert_Banick Perhaps organized via a wiki of some sort, where every member has to take a certain number of tasks/hours per month?
wonderchook the one question then is if that is a responsibility what does that mean?
wonderchook meaning if you are supposed to do X tasks per month what if people don't do them?
heatherleson suggested member tasks. Wonderchook - not sure.
mkl there are a lot of tasks to do. task in itself to define them. i suppose the working groups - activation, technical, comms, etc - are a good place to organize that
heatherleson what is the accountability of the member thus far. (yes, I will read the bylaws later, )
Schuyler good afternoon
jaakkoh_ on order-of-things : Before discussing options/choices/possiblities related to membership I'd like to hear thoughts on the "Idea of HOT" -- perhaps it wouldn't be a bad thing if that was articulated --, which I'm hoping would make the membership & other structure/strategy discussions easier. ... And having said that I realize that there's surely a number of things about this in the strategy doc.. Just a thought anyways..
wonderchook mkl: yeah could be something like everyone is a member of a working group
Schuyler +1
jaakkoh_ .. on why the choice of restricting membership has been chosen -- would just sort of bring us to the same level (.. hopefully).
mkl jaakkoh_: for one thing, membership restriction is required legally
wonderchook jaakkoh_: technically we could have no membership, but I'm not sure exactly how we would get a board
jaakkoh_ Right, but there's many many ways to do it.
mkl HOT is an organization with an elected board of directors
wonderchook the way chosen was picked by me based on other non-profits that I had been involved in forming out of nothing. Though those had work requirements and dues requirements
jaakkoh_ It would also be very possible to allow the board to accept new members -- and it wouldn't be difficult to set eligibility criteria e.g. based on edits.
wonderchook and it seemed too heavy to have work requirements and dues
mkl there's more to HOT than editing
wonderchook I don't think edits would make any sense though, because there are lots of ways to help
wonderchook also, I don't like the idea of the board accepting new members becuase the board is already too busy
wonderchook secondarily if the board goes rogue there is no balance
jaakkoh_ I know. I just blurbed it to make the point that it _could_ be as little as we wanted -- if we thought it made sense.
heatherleson i am really in the category of adjunct/support members. I think you can get more of these
mkl +1
mkl i think we can set expectations of the kinds of things anyone can do for HOT
mkl formal membership should have some notion of responsibility to contribute
mkl perhaps something self reporting / self evaluating every year is sufficient?
wonderchook yeah, I was picturing a "report"
wonderchook but nothing particularly formal
jaakkoh_ So, I'm hearing Kate raise the point of _voting_-members as "guardiands" -- in a "stronger" way than members like those of WWF/etc members who essentially just sign up.
wonderchook where we could publish 'check out what our members have been up to this year"
jaakkoh_ That's an argument that makes sense. ... for voting-members.
Robert_Banick like a paragraph from each member?
heatherleson blog post, wiki summary, member logs, member contribution awards : )
wonderchook jaakkoh_: so if we let everyone sign up I think membership wouldn't mean anything. E.g. certainly not voting for the board
mkl yes yes
heatherleson members could acknowledge folks for great mentorship for new folks, outreach etc., leading an activation etc.
mkl members not only have the power to vote in board members, but also quite a lot of power to remove them! just need a majority vote of members
wonderchook exactly
mkl would this kind of thing need to be defined in the bylaws? or some other membership document?
jaakkoh_ Well. I didn't say "everyone" -- I just said that there are many possibilities in between needing to be active or be remembered by current memebrs at one time of the year.
wonderchook mkl: I think it could be supplemental
heatherleson i think a membership doc is sufficient
Robert_Banick so it seems like we're looking at two ideas of members here: one annual checkup, and the other continuous responsibilities/involvement
mkl jaakkoh_: it could deifnitely be more often than once per year
mkl Robert_Banick: does that make sense to you?
jaakkoh_ Right. And I think from various discussions over time there seems to be a pretty smooth general agreement on that.
mkl and I guess, what do you get in return? warm fuzzy feeling? swag?
wonderchook I'd like to avoid us mailing things all over the world
Robert_Banick mkl: yeah, it does
heatherleson mailing is a bi*tch. I just sent 4 tshirts to community folks and it cost dinner
jaakkoh_ I think -- talking of voting members here still -- the right to vote is a thing "back" to all that have gotten engaged with HOT to begin with.
wonderchook mkl: one other benefit we forgot is technically in a tiebreaker the HOT member would get a position over a similarly qualified person
heatherleson they are awesome, but with a limited budget, best to give gift cards or even a simple thanks blog
jaakkoh_ "warm fuzzy feeling" of a kind.
mkl is the possibility to represent HOT at events a benefit? a responsibility?
wonderchook a responsibility would be to follow the code of conduct while representing HOT
heatherleson I give people linked in references, letters, badges and blog post thanks as a way to build things
wonderchook the benefit would be maybe if we paid for someone to attend?
mkl it should count some small something towards applying to hot positions
wonderchook or gave them the connections to attend
jaakkoh_ I think that the idea that voting members need to be more than humanitarian OSM n00bs interested in the topic is a good one.
mkl yea, what qualifies someone for membership?
mkl besides being nominated and voted in?
mkl and btw, code of conduct is something else nicolas and i have been working on...
heatherleson i think I am underqualified to be a member based on your current member setup
heatherleson maybe there should be tiers - members and supporters or something.
wonderchook heatherleson: if that is the case then so is at least 25% of the current membership perhas
heatherleson ok. it was something that was brought up on the list, so I wanted to call it out
wonderchook so I think people should have been involved for a specific period of time
jaakkoh_ But I'd like to raise the thought I think I wrote to some questionnaire - that figuring out a way to articulate (a bit better than currently) that also humanitarian OSM n00bs and others who are not voting members for what ever reason are as much "community members" as anyone.
mkl i think another designation for anyone who contributes to HOT is good. you can still contribute as you would a member. i suppose sustained contributions of some kind leads to qualifications
heatherleson so let's define contribution and that gets us closer to membership redefined
mkl * mapping during activation
mkl * coordinating / coding in activation
rsoden * assisting with developing documentation or software tools
rsoden * assisting with outreach or fundraising
mkl ** very important -- and somewhat neglected
wonderchook communications
wonderchook but maybe that is outreach
rsoden * participation in working groups
mkl * getting imagery. processing imagery
jaakkoh_ rsoden : Did you mean outreach as reaching out to potential partners / future project entities / etc?
heatherleson *outreach and storytelling
heatherleson *mentorship of new members
jaakkoh_ * Community building in potentilly / actively acute areas?
rsoden jaakoh_ yes
wonderchook IT support, admin'ing servers
wonderchook other admin tasks. for example keeping the mailing list spam free
mkl nice. let me try to summarize so far
mkl so we have a non-exhaustive list of ways to contribute. notion of "supporter" and "member". some notion of benefits. changes to frequency of intake
jaakkoh_ * in-reaching? .. to the OSM community..
mkl did i miss anything on membership?
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heatherleson *online meetups and training eg. google hangouts, videos
mkl there is a procedural issue to address, on what 2/3 of voting members means during a member intake vote
rsoden im not sure its valuable to create tiers of membership
Schuyler what's the question?
mkl rsoden: but how to be inclusive of people contributing to HOT, but not yet members
rsoden eh
wonderchook I think mkl we can be thankful to people for volunteering, I don't see why that should be an issue
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jaakkoh_ * boring data maintenance/mapping in actively / potentially acute areas (.. extending from counting as activity "only" mapping during activation).
wonderchook I'd like to see there sort of tiers of that. meaning staff should be extremely thankful to members and volunteers
rsoden agreed
mkl Schuyler: bylaws indicates 2/3 of voting members need to accept new members. is that 2/3 of those active in the vote, or 2/3 over all
wonderchook members should be really thankful to volunteers (meaning some of them should do outreach)
rsoden but unless there is some extra privilege or something that comes with being a contributor it seems like an artificial designation
mkl yea, "volunteer" doesn't need to be a formal designation tier, but a recognition
wonderchook rsoden: beyond running/voting for the board you mean?
mkl rsoden: definitely voting
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rsoden ok, so if contributors can vote. then what is a member?
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jaakkoh_ mkl / rsoden / being inclusive : My though / suggestion would be to consider some way of saying that : "Aha, you're interested and actively participating -- you're a full member of the community" .. "We also need people to be guardians of the organization, for that we have voting members".
Schuyler it's 2/3 of the members who are entitled to vote
Schuyler not those who cast a voting
Schuyler "voting members" is a technical term in the bylaws
wonderchook jaakkoh_:I think it is a matter of having clear language. that "separates" in allowing 2 definitions but doesn't separate in feelings
mkl Schuyler: we can modify the bylaws
Schuyler I don't think we should, personally
Schuyler not in that instance
Schuyler I do think we should limit the number of nominees per round
wonderchook I think we should only modify the bylaws if required. If there is something we can't do because of them right now
wonderchook I am not sure we actually will need to though fully
jaakkoh_ Right now there are active people out there that don't feel fully included -- because we have a high bar on _voting_ members (... which in itself is totally ok; being a bit picky about voting members / guardians).
wonderchook things like how often we nominate I don't believe is in the bylaws
Schuyler or rather the number of people that a single member can nominate
mkl i think all of these are options on the table. we'll need to figure out a way to decide what to do later :)
wonderchook jaakkoh_: actually the bar isn't that high, I think people expect someone to magically think about them and nominate them
wonderchook which is impossible to keep everyone in mind
Schuyler I don't think it's necessary to impose a requirement on who can become a member, besides nomination and election
wonderchook Schuyler: yes but perhaps we should have guidelines, people dont' seem to know what to vote on these days
Schuyler the simple fact of requiring a supermajority of votes means that enough of us have to think an individual is up to snuff
Schuyler I do recommend having requirements on membership itself
Schuyler such as regular attendance to at least one working group meeting, or active participation in at least one activation
mkl Schuyler: what do you think of having this self reported and evaluated?
Schuyler again, those can be guidelines. but then we have grounds for removing delinquent members.
Schuyler as opposed to what we currently have, which is a grudging bare minimum requirement
Schuyler mkl: I don't think we need to be assholes about it
jaakkoh_ wonderchook : I know you're right -- if an aspiring member knows people within the community well enough. ... But we could make it much easier / encourage people to become members better. .. There could e.g. be a "Want to become a member? - Send an email to..." or something like that.
mkl lol
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wonderchook jaakkoh_: well, I think it should be more "send an email to someone who is a member you know"
wonderchook people email me asking for nominations and I have no idea who they are or what they do
wonderchook but I think there are other people in HOT that do
wonderchook or maybe they just don't know that to volunteer they don't have to be a member
jaakkoh_ Schuyler : +1 (on super majority).
mkl hey folks, 45 minutes gone
mkl should we switch gears and talk about board?
wonderchook Schuyler: I think requirement no/but guidelines yes. the entire argument this round was nobody seemed to have agreement on what a member is
jaakkoh_ There should be something in any case if we want to make the bar lower. (... and again, I think there's a general agreement that this would be good; so it's "just" a question of doing it?).
mkl and then finish with setting some actions? i'd like to ask someone to post this log, and someone to read through and pull out an outline of the discussion...
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mkl or just keep going with membership, if there's more to talk about
mkl thx heatherleson
wonderchook jaakkoh_: general agreement about making the bar lower in what way?
wonderchook I don't think it needs to be lower, I think just needs to be more clear. unless making nominations more frequent is lower then I agree in that way
jaakkoh_ Umph, sorry, not lowering the "requirements" -- but making the mental barrier lower. ... Encouraging people to essentially nominate themselves.
wonderchook yeah maybe the process should be nominate yourself to the HOT list
rsoden makes sense* jaakkoh_ speaks from experience, having only just become a member -- to a good extent because there was no spelled out procedure to become one.
wonderchook I know some people were asked directly for membership and they didn't feel comfortable saying "well you don't really meet my requirements" so they nominated people
wonderchook so there is a two sided issue actually
jaakkoh_ FWIW: I'll nominate Sam Larsen for HOT voting-member in the next round.
mkl so one thing we need to do is define membership and the process more publicly
wonderchook so mkl: I think it would be good to move onto board brain storming, so the document could be updated and worked on before the next meeting
pierzen|2 Hi all, We should recognize in some manner people contributing to Activations other then via Task Manager jobs. We have some Activation informal groups coordinating through IRC. Maybe we should be more formal and recognize these efforts. We should at least list them on the Activation wiki page.
jaakkoh_ And that's why I suggested that people could somehow state their interest of becoming members -- and then members could vouch for that .. or something like that.
mkl ok, with 7 minutes left ...
mkl board
mkl what qualifies someone to be on the board? how often are elections held?
wonderchook I think no more often than 1 a year
mkl on the second question, I want to recommend yearly elections, but multi-year terms
mkl not in order to hoard power, but to ensure continuity
wonderchook what do we do if board members get busy and stop being available?
wonderchook and I feel like continuity has been fine for the past 3 years
mkl there's potential for complete turnover. though at the moment it looks unlikely
rsoden hot is a bit young and dynamic still for multi-year board positions i think
mkl there is a provision for mid-term resignation and appointments
heatherleson +1 rsoden
wonderchook until the staff/board issue is resolves I'd like there not to be multiyear terms
wonderchook because I think as there are more positions in HOT it is more likely for board members to become staff
wonderchook and I just think it is a huge issue
mkl fair point. even if we are now ok with regards to % of board on staff, there is no guarantee of it with our election process
rsoden is there consensus on that? i think paid staff should not be on the board but know there's been a lot of discussion i havent been privvy to
wonderchook yeah, there is not consensus on that
heatherleson some organizations fix that with User Councils
jaakkoh_ All universities in Finland have boards that are 1/3 professors, 1/3 other staff, 1/3 students.
mkl heatherleson: explain User Councils?
jaakkoh_ (public, obviously ; and not ideal :)
heatherleson eg. ubuntu, mozilla
heatherleson sec
heatherleson https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CommunityCouncil
mkl the board has consensus on maintaining BBB standards here. or am I remembering incorrectly Schuyler?
heatherleson http://blog.mozilla.org/community/2012/07/23/spotlight-on-the-remo-council/
wonderchook I think that should go to a membership vote and not be a board vote
Schuyler I don't know if we had explicit consensus
mkl wonderchook: we're discussing changing several things in this conversation this past hour. how do we decide what goes to membership vs board vote?
jaakkoh_ I for one second the thought that I think Severing articulated well in email some time ago: That ideally there would be no staff on board -- or just 1 (with current numbers). .. But I think that given the maturity of the organization/community it could be worse to bar people having a contract to be on board.
Schuyler I dare say everything should be a membership vote
heatherleson resource - http://www.jonobacon.org/2012/12/06/the-art-of-community-update/#chapter10
Schuyler well, Nico made a plausible argument for having 1 staff member on the Board
mkl if members show up to vote!
wonderchook Schuyler: I don't agree with nico's argument
wonderchook especially as his boss and he is somewhat mine
wonderchook what a mes
wonderchook s
Schuyler wonderchook: you don't think we need field workers on the Board at all?
wonderchook I think we need humanitarian workers, but not our staff necessarily
jaakkoh_ the BBB standard for employees on Board was 20%, eih?
Schuyler no -- that I agree with. the tangled chain of accountability is a mess.
wonderchook for example Robert and Robert would be good from GFDRR and ARC
Schuyler jaakkoh_: yes. with a Board of seven, tjhat means 1 staff member max
wonderchook or there are others with experience on our membership as well
Schuyler wonderchook: ok, I agree with you
wonderchook also it isn't like the staff woudln't inform the board
Schuyler true
wonderchook frankly if there needs to be field staff on the board I've failed
wonderchook I think some of the concerns is there seems to be a disconnect between staff responsibilities and board duties
Schuyler the mangled chain of accountability is a problem
Schuyler go on, please?
wonderchook well, I think at least those that want staff on the board miss sometimes the idea that board should make long term decisions informed by staff
jaakkoh_ wonderchook : I'm not sure I fully follow your thought on the if this then your failure..
wonderchook so when deciding if we take a contract for example as long as it follows the previously agreed on requirements then the board doesn't need to vote on it
wonderchook jaakkoh_: I'm the boss, I'm responsible for the day to day running of the organization
mkl point of order. 5 after the hour. we should formally wrap up in 5 minutes or so. set some next actions. conversation can/should continue of course
KMRTZ isn't the board communications point on the brainstorm a good thing to bring into the board/staff conversation?
wonderchook so basically I feel like policy is set by the board, informed by the staff and then turned into specific policies by the staff.
mkl wonderchook: as per bylaws now, all contracts need board approval. we can define approval in a different way of course than voting
wonderchook mkl: oops=D
Schuyler wonderchook: I agree with you there
wonderchook but I do think board approving contracts is going to be an issue, since if it is supposed to be formal approval then that doesn't happen
Robert_Banick hi all
mkl that doesn't mean we need to vote. but there should be some manner of oversight, perhaps opportunties for discussion, depending on the size of the contract
Robert_Banick I need to head out. It's been a good conversation, sorry I couldn't contribute more. Looking forward to the continued discussion.
heatherleson that is a curious board stipulation
wonderchook mkl: yeah I would say amounts of contract and maybe someone from the board reads it over
heatherleson what is the xx amount?
mkl yes, let's allow a moment to close* heatherleson gets homework to read bylaws. noted
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mkl can a couple folks step forward to pull out the essential points of discussion into the gdoc
mkl thanks heatherleson for getting that started* heatherleson bows
mkl and yes, we should all read the bylaws :)
KMRTZ and had trouble connecting to the first part of the discussion)
mkl and figure out how to continue ... if this time works, we can set another one in a few weeks
KMRTZ **if I can help at all I would be willing but I m a volunteer
wonderchook KMRTZ: I'm not sure what you mean
wonderchook anyone can participate in the discussion
wonderchook it doesn't matter if they are staff/board/volunteer/member
KMRTZ I apologise I meant I can help with assisting with the gdoc if it is needed