Advisory Board/Minutes/2021-08-10

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

The OSMF Board of Directors had a meeting with members of the Advisory Board on Tuesday 10 August, 14:00 UTC on the Advisory Board BigBlueButton video-room.

Draft minutes.

  • No topics were suggested for the agenda prior to the meeting.
  • The meeting was open to observers.


Board members

  • Allan Mustard (Chairing)
  • Amanda McCann
  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Guillaume Rischard (joined ~ 16' after start)
  • Jean-Marc Liotier
  • Mikel Maron
  • Tobias Knerr

Officers and board

Minutes by Dorothea Kazazi

Local Chapter representatives

Corporate Member representatives

  • Facebook - Marc Prioleau
  • Mapbox - Tom Lee


  • 6 guests

Open to all OSMF members.

You are welcome to ask questions or to comment (via voice or on the chat) at the end of the meeting.

  • Please mute your microphone when you join, and to preserve bandwidth, refrain from turning on your webcam.
  • If you are in a low-bandwidth environment, you may benefit from using BigBlueButton's low-bandwidth settings. To access them, click on the 3 dots, on the top-right of the videoroom's black window.
  • The videoroom opens ~ 20' before the meeting.

Not Present

Gold Corporate Member representatives

  • Bing
  • Esri
  • Grab
  • GraphHopper

Local Chapters representatives

Takeover protection update

Suggested by Thomas Skowron/FOSSGIS (OSMF Local Chapter for Germany)

A Special committee (Andy Allan and Michael Collinson) was appointed by the board on July 28 2021, with a remit of recruiting additional members and investigating, then recommending to the Board, possible remedies to any potential threat of a hostile takeover of the OpenStreetMap Foundation. The remit includes but is not limited to specific attention to paid voting as mandated by the Foundation membership at the last annual general meeting.

Microgrants update

The board has asked the Microgrants committee to provide a final report on the pilot run of the Microgrants program in 2020. All the proposals (funded or not) are visible on the OSM wiki.

Attribution Guidelines

The v0.9 draft of the attribution guidelines was adopted by the OSMF board on 2021-06-25.

Board session during State of the Map 2021 conference

Recording might be released.

Update on hiring of Senior Site Reliability Engineer

The board is still standing by with the candidancy they have.

Update on hiring an ID developer

Several candidates - one attracted strong attention and surpassing expectations:

  • knows iD well.
  • already involved with iD development.

If it doesn't work out, the board has other candidates, outside of OSM development.

Engineering Working Group restart update

Strategic plan outline

The draft strategic plan outline was adopted by the OSMF board on 2021-07-30. A fully-fleshed out strategic plan is needed to be created with community participation, as this was just an outline.

Publication of the Advisory Board mailing list archive

Suggested by Eugene Alvin Villar.

The board has asked the Advisory Board (AB) members via email (prior to this meeting) if they are ok with publishing future emails of the Advisory Board mailing list. The question was repeated during the meeting.

Thomas Skowron/FOSSGIS (OSMF Local Chapter for Germany)

  • There is a trade-off, as not all discussions can be public.
  • Considering there is so little traffic on the Advisory Board mailing list, it might not worth debating this.
  • Transparency: We already work in the open, this meeting is open to observers and minuted.
  • Impression to people: Absence of archives might make people suspicious, while there is little activity.

Comment by board member: The Advisory Board mailing list is not very active. If we publish archives, there won't be a lot for people to see.

Are the recordings of the Advisory Board meetings transcribed? Question by Daniela Waltersdorfer/OSM US (OSMF Local Chapter for US).

  • No.
  • Video recordings are also not published, they are used for creating the minutes.
  • The only recordings available are of the Annual General Meetings, which take place in writting.

Guillaume Rischard (OSMF board) joined 16' after start.

2021 Annual General Meeting: date set

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 11th of December 2021, at 16:00 UTC - Time in different timezones, Countdown.

Board election

  • There will be 4 board seats available.
  • Board candidates wanted.

Promoting gender diversity - Local Chapter question

How's the strategy to promote Gender Diversity going? Question by Daniela Waltersdorfer/OSM US (OSMF Local Chapter for US).

Comments by Amanda McCann and Jean-Marc Liotier that they decided to be candidates in the board election, after this was suggested to them by other people.

Joining the board

Selling points for joining the board - Local Chapter question

What would be your selling points for having someone join the Board? If I were to pass the word around to my female peers, what would you recommend me to say? Question by Daniela Waltersdorfer/OSM US (OSMF Local Chapter for US).

Why run

  • Joined because it was a little out of my lane and it involved volunteerism. (Allan Mustard)
  • It is interesting. (Allan Mustard)
  • We need more women on the board and perspectives of as many parts of society as we can get. (Allan Mustard)
  • You get to see a bit of everything about OSM. (Amanda McCann)
  • It's a fun way to waste productively a couple of hours per week. (Guillaume Rischard)
    • Board election: Suggested to friends to run during the board election, including a woman who afterwards said that if she known it was that fun, she would have run as well. (Guillaume Rischard)
  • Caring about OSM and making sure OSM continues/becomes a certain way. (Jean-Marc Liotier)
  • Being a representative of a particular way of looking at the project is important. (Jean-Marc Liotier)
  • Run for the board if you care about OSM. (Tobias Knerr)
  • OSMF is in an important role of making sure the project runs well. (Tobias Knerr)

Potential characteristics of board candidates

  • Board work requires soft power skills, a lot of time talking. Allan in the initial 4 months spent 20 hours per week speaking to community members to find out about how corporate governance is supposed to look like and people's opinions. (Allan Mustard)
  • Should work well as part of a team - not "lone wolf". (Allan Mustard)
  • Good listening skills. (Allan Mustard)
  • Willing to reach out to the community, collect community sentiment. (Allan Mustard)
  • Good to have some diplomacy skills. (Jean-Marc Liotier)

On board work

  • Board work is like gardening and self-directed. (Amanda McCann)
  • There is a lot of day-to-day management. (Jean-Marc Liotier)
  • Board is supportive and frequently provides indirect action. If you are into big projects, have big ideas and would like direct action, maybe consider joining a Working Group. (Jean-Marc Liotier)
  • Tasks get done - it's not just talking. (Guillaume Rischard)
  • If the board work sounds scary, join one of the working groups, which have focused work. (Amanda McCann)
    • Publishes everything she does every month on her OSM diary.

On current board

  • Fun group of people to work with. Regret: no physical meetings yet. (Allan Mustard)
  • Currently not much arguing within the board. (Guillaume Rischard)

On Working Groups (WGs)

  • The real action is in the Working Groups and among the volunteers, not in the board. (Allan Mustard)
  • There's far more to do than the people who volunteer their time for the Working Groups. (Guillaume Rischard)
  • The actual action and workforce is in the Working Groups and the OSM project. (Jean-Marc Liotier)

On the board being very software/engineer driven - Local Chapter question

The Board seems very software/engineer driven, no? Question by Daniela Waltersdorfer/OSM US (OSMF Local Chapter for US).

True, which has led to some blind spots in the past.

  • Allan Mustard: Social sciences background: political science/foreign languages/agriculture/economics.
  • Jean-Marc Liotier: In the past involved with finances/marketing and business development.
  • Guillaume Rischard: Studied a bit of economics before going into tech.

Meeting adjourned 46' after start.

Next Advisory Board meeting

To be scheduled probably in around 3 months.