[Gfoss] [Board] OSGeo Board Priorities

Hash: SHA1

Vi allego un documento strategico di OSGeo.
Mi pare che questo sia un cambiamento epocale nelle strategie di OSGeo, e che
(finalmente, dal mio punto di vista) si riporti l'associazione su prospettive piu'
ragionevoli e funzionali.
Rimane ancora il paradosso dei meetings annuali, che hanno un costo tale da
scoraggiare un gran numero di sviluppatori. Ma forse prima o poi arriveremo ad un
assetto piu' ragionevole anche su questo.

- -------- Messaggio originale --------
Oggetto: [Board] OSGeo Board Priorities
Data: Mon, 04 Mar 2013 10:44:42 +1100
Mittente: Cameron Shorter <cameron.shorter@gmail.com>
A: OSGeo Discussions <discuss@lists.osgeo.org>, OSGeo-Board List <board@lists.osgeo.org>

A productive virtual meeting of the OSGeo Board
<http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_Meeting_2013-02-26&gt; resulted in general consensus
over OSGeo's priorities, which in turn should help the OSGeo Board and OSGeo
committees when guiding OSGeo into the future.

These principles are:

  * OSGeo should act as a low capital, volunteer focused organisation.
  * OSGeo should focus support on OSGeo communities and initiatives which support

Current priority areas include:

  * Global, regional and local FOSS4G related events, or events which include a
    FOSS4G stream.
  * Marketing OSGeo, which is currently focused around OSGeo-Live
  * Education, which is currently focused around the network of Open Source
    Geospatial Research and Education Laboratories
  * Local Chapters, as outreach initiatives are typically driven at the local level.

So lets expand on these:

      OSGeo as a low capital, volunteer focused organisation

Should OSGeo act as a high capital or low capital organisation? I.e., should OSGeo
dedicate energy to collecting sponsorship and then passing out these funds to worthy
OSGeo causes.

While initially it seems attractive to have OSGeo woe sponsors, because we would all
love to have more money to throw at worthy OSGeo goals, the reality is that chasing
money is hard work. And someone who can chase OSGeo sponsorship is likely conflicted
with chasing sponsorship for their particular workplace. So in practice, to be
effective in chasing sponsorship, OSGeo will probably need to hire someone
specifically for the role. OSGeo would then need to raise at least enough to cover
wages, and then quite a bit more if the sponsorship path is to create extra value.

This high capital path is how the Eclipse foundation is set up, and how LocationTech
propose to organise themselves. It is the path that OSGeo started following when
founded under the umbrella of Autodesk.

However, over the last seven years, OSGeo has slowly evolved toward a low capital
volunteer focused organisation. Our overheads are very low, which means we waste very
little of our volunteer labour and capital on the time consuming task of chasing and
managing money. Consequently, any money we do receive (from conference windfalls or
sponsorship) goes a long way - as it doesn't get eaten up by high overheads. As
discussed and agreed by the board, this low capital path is something that is working
very well for us, and is the path we should continue to follow.

      Support initiatives which support themselves

With the thousands of great initiatives and opportunities that OSGeo could get
involved in, and limited budget, how should OSGeo set funding priorities?
Acknowledging that our volunteer community is blessed with many talented individuals,
our most effective way to tap into community potential is to welcome individuals to
"help scratch their itch". Extending on this, funding priorities should follow
the *actions* of already successful communities. (Note the difference between "talk"
and "action"). If a task or project is important enough, it will attract volunteers
and/or sponsors to make it happen. In practice, this will usually equate to providing
co-contributions rather than outright funding.

OSGeo's focus should be on initiatives which are of value to all or most OSGeo
projects, and to get best value for our limited budget, OSGeo should target
initiatives which have high value with minimal investment.

With that in mind our priorities should be:

  * Cover the costs of running OSGeo: Bank fees, insurance, infrastructure, hosting etc.
  * Support marketing and out reach activities, with a primary focus on our FOSS4G
    global conference, followed by regional and then local FOSS4G or related events.
  * Educational type activities are a high priority, but likely will be a minimal
    cost activity from OSGeo's perspective.
  * Other initiatives which fit our priorities, as suggested by membership.

Initiatives which probably wouldn't quality:

  * Sponsoring core development of a particular project. (Too expensive, and only
    supports one project)
  * OSGeo speaker travel expenses, or booth registration costs at a conference. (If
    conferences/local community feel this is important, they will either: 1. pay for
    the keynote, 2. make use of local talent, 3. waive fees for our non-profit, 4.
    find a local sponsor)

      Conferences and related events

Conferences are financially risky events. They need to be planned well in advance,
and you are never sure how many people will turn up, or whether some global event
will have a substantial impact on registrations. Consequently, conferences such as
FOSS4G require financial guarantees up front in order to secure a venue. To support
and enable these conferences, OSGeo will endevour to retain sufficient capital to
offer such guarantees for any FOSS4G event requesting it. If OSGeo's support is
requested, then OSGeo would expect these events to budget for a modest profit under
conservative estimates, and for OSGeo to retain profits from such events. To date,
such profits, while relatively modest, have been OSGeo's primary income source.

Other spatial conferences regularly request an OSGeo involvement, such as
providing presenters <http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/OSGeo_Advocate&gt;,
workshops, OSGeo-Live DVDs for distribution
or providing a booth <http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Exhibition_Pack&gt;\. OSGeo facilitates
such requests to the level we can achieve with interested volunteers, but typically
expects the conference or sponsors to cover expenses.

OSGeo has limited budget set aside for code sprints, which are seen as a valuable
forum for given directly back to development teams. OSGeo will typically expect
co-contributions from interested sponsors, and would prefer to support code sprints
which are of benefit to multiple projects and communities.


OSGeo is very supportive of educational initiatives which is helping the spread of
OSGeo to students across the globe. This is currently focused around the growing
network of Open Source Geospatial Research and Education Laboratories
<http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Edu_current_initiatives&gt; within Universities around the

This educational initiative is currently progressing well without requiring OSGeo's
financial support.

      Packaging and Marketing

OSGeo's marketing effort has primarily been focused around the packaging and
documentation efforts of OSGeo-Live <http://live.osgeo.org/&gt;, and to a lesser
extend, osgeo4w <http://trac.osgeo.org/osgeo4w/&gt;\. In 2012, OSGeo-Live was used at 45
events <http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Live_GIS_History&gt; without OSGeo's financial
support. It has been entirely driven by volunteer labour, by 140 OSGeo-Live
volunteers, and printing costs have been covered by local events or sponsors.

In the last couple of years, OSGeo has covered local chapter expenses required to
purchase non-consumable items for conference booths
<http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Exhibition_Pack&gt; (such as a retractable banner).

In moving forward, OSGeo hope to extend marketing reach by providing co-contributions
toward printing costs of consumable items at conferences, such as toward OSGeo-Live DVDs.

      Local Chapters

Much of OSGeo's marketing initiates are applied at the local level. In many cases,
this is best supported through as little as an email list and wiki page. OSGeo also
supports local chapters by offering to pay for an Exhibition starter pack
<http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Exhibition_Pack&gt; for local chapters. Local chapters are
also usually the coordinators of conferences and related events, as mentioned above.


OSGeo will continue to welcome sponsorship. Due to OSGeo's low capital model, we are
able to make sponsor's contribution provide substantial benefit to the greater OSGeo
community. In return, we promote sponsors' logos on our website and through our
OSGeo-Live marketing pipeline (which was used at 45 geospatial events around the
world in 2012).

However, OSGeo is doesn't plan to either task volunteers with specifically chasing
sponsors, or hire someone to chase sponsorship on OSGeo's behalf.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.12 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org/


Parte allegato al messaggio (136 Bytes)