Radical openness in OSMUK discussions with external organisations
One of the purposes of OSMUK is to act as a first contact point for external organisations. Sometimes they do this as they want to talk to a single 'voice', other times because they want to keep commercial interests private (for now, or forever), other times because they want to know how best to approach the community.
We generally have preliminary discussions with them then either: point them in the right direction to get started; get them to pitch a task to the Talent Directory as a paid-for job; get them to post to Talk-GB; try to get them involved in a Quarterly Project; or let it go at that.
The aim is for all OSMUK business to be carried out publicly, i.e. practising 'radical openness'. Which is hard, we don't want to bore you with trivialities, but who decides what is trivial and what is not.
To that end, we propose to tell all organisations contacting us:
"OpenStreetMap is better when the community works together. As such we would like to share progress of these conversations (excluding contact details) with our community. Please let us know if you disagree. Of course we also encourage you to reach out to the wider community yourself to allow others a voice in the discussion."
...and will get them to go public asap in the introduction process.
Jez Nicholson (Director) started a proposal June 7th, 2019 08:03
We will tell all external organisations that we intend to be open by default Closed 5:01pm - Wednesday 12 Jun 2019
Thanks for the input. The general principal is strongly agreed. We will reword some of the general statement, but probably won't bore you with voting on it.
We will tell them verbally, but also have the standard wording which can be shared and included in email footers, etc.: "OpenStreetMap is better when the community works together. As such we would like to share progress of these conversations (excluding contact details) with our community. Please let us know if you disagree. Of course we also encourage you to reach out to the wider community yourself to allow others a voice in the discussion."
|Agree - 12|
|Abstain - 1|
|Disagree - 0|
|Block - 0|
June 7th, 2019 08:43
"Please let us know if you disagree" seems weak if externals are genuinely concerned about commercial confidentiality. I think it should be a little stronger. E.g. "However, if you have genuine concerns about, for example, commercial confidentiality, then the degree of sharing can be negotiated."
June 11th, 2019 07:44
This needs firming up. Openness is good, but a balance needs to be struck. Yes, always publish there is a conversation happening with a party- but with the option of vague or no details of the specific query (if requested) until appropriate. Or risk being avoided.
Or the reverse of this. No names of the party but details of the query?
June 11th, 2019 15:41
In addition to the general principle, I think it is important that organisations be made aware early on that working with OSM might not be quite what they are familiar with. We've all seen organisations with good intentions coming a bit unstuck through moving a little too fast for the community. Also "C-in-C" is fine, but there will always be a phase of negotiation/introduction to the broader community, which may be impaired if things are perceived to have been done behind closed doors.