Foundation/AGM21/Election to Board/Answers and manifestos/Q2 What are your board member goals

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What are your board member goals?

  • What do you think you can achieve as a board member that you can't as a regular OSM(F) member?
  • What would you personally like to achieve when on the board? Do you have a focus?

Guillaume Rischard - Q2 What are your board member goals?

I have been the treasurer for the last two years, and have enjoyed bringing stability to the foundation’s finances. What Frederik left me with was in good shape, but we were rocked by our banks kicking us out in the middle of a pandemic, twice.

Despite this, we have scaled up our operations by working on hiring an iD developer (Quincy, then Martin who started a few days ago) and a Site Reliability Engineer (meeting with HR consultant to finalise contract on Monday).

As treasurer, I am rebuilding the financial model for the foundation, including creating a budget committee, detailed financial reporting and accounting. Increased spending and fundraising come with additional demands for rigour and structure. The budget that we used to have was never compared to actual expenses, and expenses were based on how much was in the till, not the strategic long-term goals.

Relocating the Foundation is something that I want to continue working on. Something so fundamental has to be done with great care and thoroughness, and will keep the board busy.

Takeover protection is another primordial and important task the board will have to deal with, in conjunction with MWG. I came onto the board in 2019 hoping I would have time to think and discuss what it means to be a member or a board member, and how the OSMF can guarantee its independence in the long term. The new active contributor membership, which I worked on with MWG, has helped double the number of OSMF members since I last ran for the board

Allan Mustard’s greatest achievement, in my opinion, is leading the open approach we’ve taken to outreach and communication. The participation we saw in the community survey was fantastic, and it flowed directly into our Strategic Plan Outline. We must keep communicating with the members and the wider community, and maybe have periodic large-scale surveys to keep the Strategic Plan up to date.

Allan also worked hard to build structure and discipline on the board’s functioning. Compared to previous boards that had paralysis and chaos, it was refreshing to see how much we were able to get done. It is important that the board keeps functioning in that way.

Working with the people who professionally help out the Foundation has been something I’ve really enjoyed, and would like to keep doing. Michelle, our accountant, and Dorothea, our board administrative assistant, understand so much about what makes OSM. I couldn’t be treasurer without them. I’ve been the board contact for Michelle, and helped out renegotiate Dorothea’s contract. I helped contract and manage Quincy and then Martin for their work on iD, and am meeting with our HR consultant on Monday to finalise the contract for the Site Reliability Engineer we’re hopefully hiring very soon.

Finally, working with local chapters and watching the foundation become more representative of the global community has been a great source of pleasure. When I joined the board, the local chapters were all European; we now have chapters on five continents.

Michal Migurski - Q2 What are your board member goals?

I’ve been an excited participant in OpenStreetMap for much of the project’s history because it’s a rare example of a globally-successful open data project. The resulting map has been the best choice for so many areas I’ve worked: cartography, mobility, urban data, humanitarian intervention, and large-scale analysis have all benefited from OSM as a platform.

OSM has progressed further from a gutsy challenger of copyright-restricted mapping agencies to a victorious critical utility for a wide variety of large and small users. I can help update OSM’s historic organizational methods for its new role, particularly by opening the doors more widely to occupational forms of mapping practiced outside wealthy social democracies.

I offer a unique perspective on OSM needed for this new purpose. The board has decided to actively participate in project direction. We’ll be hiring our first paid engineering staff soon, and my experience supporting engineering teams in commercial and non-profit organizations will be an important addition. I’m also excited to bring experience with map accessibility, humanitarian applications, data consumption, engineering process, and robot-assisted mapping to the board’s decision making process so that we can meet the future head-on.

Amanda McCann - Q2 What are your board member goals?

What do you think you can achieve as a board member that you can't as a regular OSM(F) member?

Legally, I can vote on motions, and sign contracts for the Foundation, and represent the Foundation externally. The way OSM is structured thankfully allows non-board memebers to do many other things.

In reality, people will also pay (more) attention to someone with a title of “Board of Directors”. I hope I could use that influence the right way.

What would you personally like to achieve when on the board? Do you have a focus?

  • OSMF Membership pre-requisists / take over protection
  • Continuing to support local chapters in OSMF, such as organising the advisory board meetings.
  • Continue to help transparency by writing my diaries.
  • Continuning to support free software & open source in OSM, such as my initiatives to create the OSMF's BigBlueButton service & mastodon service
  • Continue to promote OSM, e.g. the promotional material programme
  • continue to make OSM(F) more ✨queer✨.
  • continuing to do the boring work of helping to run the OSMF

Mikel Maron - Q2 What are your board member goals?

This would be my final term on the OSMF Board, and I intend to serve with focus on a couple key areas. The OSMF has made amazing progress in the past couple years in terms of how it structures support to the project, technology and community. It's time to consolidate these gains, and make sure we have a stable and sustainable organization for years to come.

One focus will be on fundraising, working closely with the Treasurer on the fundraising committee and aligned with the budgetting process. We are currently in good financial shape and will be for the foreseeable future. Yet we have taken on more necessary ongoing obligations, through the limited number of needed employees and contractors we have, as well as growing hardware requirements and community support. Given the value of OpenStreetMap to the world, the cost of supporting this work is minimal. OSMF needs to develop a diverse stream of funding sources, with a multiyear time line. After successfully fundraising over 250,000 EUR in 2020 to support our iD maintainer and SSRE roles, I have a good idea of how to achieve this.

Additionally, I think it is vital to make OSM a good place for its small number of employees and contractors. We have a Personnel Committee that I take part in, where we set policies and practice for making sure our people are taken care of properly in their work. We expect folks working within the OSMF to be highly self directed and in communication to the community. This leaves the Personnel Committee's role to make sure the logistics of employment and contracts are handled well, that they're meeting their goals, and that any issues that arise get the back up they need.

Roland Olbricht - Q2 What are your board member goals?

What do you think you can achieve as a board member that you can't as a regular OSM(F) member?

The board has worked hard to make as much information public as possible, and the current board has an excellent track record in incorporating feedback. Thus, there is little that one can achieve from inside the board only.

However, we need people both to truly represent the community. I'm pretty sure that I can represent some groups of mappers as well as data consumers. We also need to keep the board's action open and push the board matters forward. There is a need to keep the OSMF financially resilient, i.e. have the funding to ensure that the technical core can run for a long time and not to lose focus on side projects and turf wars.

What would you personally like to achieve when on the board? Do you have a focus?

It makes more sense to build on top of the Strategic Plan than to start something new from scratch.

Also, we must avoid to get financially or otherwise dependant on large corporations.

What is the most pressing issue the OSMF board should address?

While there are no signs that the OSMF were under financial distress, the OSMF does need a clearly communicates budget and budget planning, in particular on different timescales. It is a prerequisite for any strategy to grow without to proliferate, and also for all works to make OpenStreetMap more sustainably funded.

The board of this year has started the task and worked hard on it, but this shall be continued to next year to actually arrive at the goal.

Two other still open questions are what to make out of the newly started permanent positions, and whether the OSMF needs to move partly or completely due to the Brexit.

Bryan Housel - Q2 What are your board member goals?

Q: What are your board member goals?

Prominent community members in leadership positions establish the tone and culture of an organization. In private conversations with members of the OpenStreetMap community, I’ve heard that the culture of OpenStreetMap needs to improve.

This recent Gallup article lists 3 ways that leadership can improve the culture of an organization:
1. Be respectful
2. Communicate what is happening
3. Promote accountability and fairness

So put simply, my “board member goal” is to do these three things consistently, and push the others in leadership to be more respectful, open, honest, and fair.

Q: What do you think you can achieve as a board member that you can't as a regular OSM(F) member?

Regular members are desperate for the board to show leadership on improving the culture of OSM.

In December of 2020, the open letter “Call to take Action and Confront Systemic Offensive Behavior” was circulated among the OpenStreetMap community.

My initial reaction on reading this letter was to ask myself, “if OSMF made these reforms, would I still want to participate in the project?”, and the answer came immediately, “yes, probably even more than I do today.”

I was proud to add my name to this letter as a signatory, and I hope that as a board member I can be a voice for those who feel unwelcome or excluded from the current organization structure and decision making processes.

It’s notable that Eugene Alvin Villar is the only current board member who added their name as well.

Q: What would you personally like to achieve when on the board? Do you have a focus?

I’d like to see the OSMF organization refocus on both core software system stability and community health. I feel both priorities have been neglected by previous boards.

OpenStreetMap is both 1. an open source database and 2. a worldwide community, and I consider maintaining the health of both of those as critical to the future of the project.

OSM Foundation board election 2021: answers to official questions

All board candidates' manifestos

OSM Foundation board election 2021 - OSM Foundation's Annual General Meeting 2021: information and agenda