[foundation-board] Request for board approval to start working towards OKF Austria

Jonathan Gray jonathan.gray at okfn.org
Fri Nov 12 10:07:30 UTC 2010

Just to wrap this up, I have now spoken to the Austrian folks, and
we've agreed that they will get the ball rolling towards an OKF
chapter. I've set them up an OKF list and they'll get started on
community building stuff (liaising with me wherever I can help).

They were in fact interested in setting up a legal entity, and are
interested in having one within the next few months so that the
'community' interested in open government data in Austria is able to
be represented on some new government working group.

This is definitely something that should be discussed in more detail
at the next board meeting! ;-)

On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:58 AM, Jo Walsh <metazool at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 11/11/2010 18:27, Jordan S Hatcher wrote:
>> -- need to ensure that there is a community *before granting a legal
>> entity / formal chapter
> "Chapter" doesn't necessarily imply legal entity, or am I missing something?
> OSGeo has a lot of chapters, a few have legal entities, most don't. All have
> quite different flavours, according to local culture.
> Some are language chapters, others are more spatial.
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Category:Local_Chapters
> The UK one was very quiet for years, but was a hand in the air, a place for
> people to turn up as they became interested.
> If we applied the reservations below to Working Groups, then most of them
> would never have started. The de facto policy that Rufus and Jonny have been
> following is it's okay to spawn a WG as soon as there's a sense of potential
> future interest - so people have a place to go - and if the WG lies dormant
> for a year while energy/interest builds up around the topic, that's
> acceptable.
> I would be *very* wary of putting people off by telling them "No, hold on,
> you can't have a local chapter until [...]". One bit of feedback I had from
> the Germans was how much they were inspired by the "Just Do It" ethos coming
> from the Open Knowledge Foundation, that too much upfront formalism in their
> approach to building Open Data Network meant they felt impeded from working
> openly and collaboratively - ironic, huh?
>> we need to separate the wheat from the chaff here
>> the people involved are the "right" people
> I don't really know what to say.
>> I also think we need to digest
>> the budding german chapter and learn some lessons on how to improve
>> the process before jumping on a whole bunch more (italians included)
> Cultural differences mean we'd be unwise to make general conclusions based
> on one set of experiences.
>> there are more reasons that need to be distilled and paula and i to
>> discuss.
> OSGeo has some guidelines that have been worked out over the course of a
> fair amount of experience. Not addressing legal issues of liability, it's
> all been a bit laissez-faire with an emphasis on trusting people to
> self-organise (Which seems to have worked out well)
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Local_Chapter_Guidelines
> There's still a formal board approval stage at the end.
> Note, that this is done in public, and the discussion about approval is also
> done in public.
>> bottom line -- i suggest telling them to chill for a bit and
>> establish a mailing list and regular meetups first.
> Presumably this is already going on. It would be kind if we could offer
> lists.okfn.org hosting for a mailing list, as we do for working groups.
> "chill for a bit" isn't very encouraging unless we're prepared to articulate
> what the criteria to stop chilling are...
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Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation


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