community in the map and at the table: my first year and continuing plans as OSMF board member

Posted by arnalielsewhere on 2/14/2024

my prolonged OSM diary about my experienced as an OSMF board member. Apologies for the delay!

Some background and tips to prepare as a board member

I joined the OSMF Board in Dec 2022 and this is my first time to hold a board member position! You can check my manifesto and answers to board election questions. I’d like to go back to this to check my progress and what needs to improve.

Since it is a new role, it really is intimidating at first! Even though I have talked with other open community and geo board members, it is different once you are in!

Some of the best tips I got are:
  • Talk with leaders and people you know who have board member experience, learn from them and would be good if they can support / mentor you :)
  • There is a free board member essentials available online (e.g. this Nonprofit Board Essentials from so better try it and have an assessment of you board member potentials (don’t get too pressured, you will learn as you go!)
  • Be a board member while you still have the time and capacity :) I am a full time mother and working woman so it was a hard decision to make; but then I realize, if I want to be a board member, I’ll better do it now since I have the capacity and interest! :)
  • Two years seems like a long time but not really! You will have ideals and goals so better make that best out of it!
  • Also remember, change takes time. Don’t overfrustrate yourself ;)

What happened in 2023, then?

Last year came by so fast. I am not so proud of what I have accomplished as a board as I have had some health challenges. It was a learning experience (the success and failures) for me!

With support from fellow board members, working groups, and community members, in 2023, we have accomplished:

1.Local Chapters Application revisions

We have revised the Local Chapters page to clearly state eligibility and document that are required to submit. In addition; LCCWG is taking the lead role to review applications for potential local chapters as well as taking proactive steps to encourage communities to apply.

Learn more about OSMF Local Chapters:

2.Community discussion at regional/national SotM’s (online and in-person)

In 2023 and with my OSMF board member hat, I was able to discuss and meet different community members. I will write a separate diary about my key takeways from this conversations :)

3.Planning 2023 community presentation at OSMF Board meeting

I have volunteered to take charge of this (starting May 2023) and my main goals are: a) highlight / amplify works of current LCs via the community spotlight (can also a venue to present their annual reports)) b) invite LC applicants to present so board and community can ask questions or clarify issues / uncertainties in their applications - hopefully this can help align OSMF, LCCWG and the community with the applicant and would speed up the application c) ensuring that diverse communities / speakers are engaged and encouraged to take part in OSM / OSMF activities as well as amplified in OSM / OSMF spaces

historical stats from 2020-2022:

  • regional: 11 Europe, 3 Asia-Pacific, 3 Africa, 1 LatAm, 1 North America
  • gender: 3 women, 16 men, 1 unknown (Mapbox Workers Union presenter)
  • thematic: 13 community pres and 6 tech/tool presentation

some stats beginning 2023:

  • regional: 1 Europe, 2 Asia, 2 Caribbean, 1 LatAm, 2 Africa, 1 encompassing regions (i.e. Youthmappers)
  • gender: 4 women and 8 men presenters
  • thematic: 9 community pres and 2 tech/tool presentation (TeachOSM and Devseed)

All OSMF Monthly Presentations are here:

Do you have any presenters you would like to hear during OSMF monthly presentations? Comment in this thread in the community forum!

What’s up for 2024?

This year, I will continue efforts to engage, grow and diversify the OpenStreetMap community, this includes:

1.Building more local chapters

Early this year, we welcome (back)!

This year, we hope to establish 1-3 new local chapters especially in regions where there is no or less established local chapters. Our newest board member Dani will be my partner on this!

2.Growing and diversifying OSMF membership
  • Run a membership drive at first semester of the year with volunteer team and community leaders (planning is already ongoing; updates here and space for feedback ;)
  • Review OSMF WGs, their goals, processes, operations, etc to provide a baseline how to encourage more participation in OSMF WGs
  • Review Active Contributor Membership application - ensuring that criteria are fit for people who it wish to benefit
  • Exposure to local communities and community projects through community presentation during OSMF board meetings
  • Revitalise the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to ensure that it is still fit for purpose and membership makeup/activeness (would you like to join? or have ideas? message me!)
3.Ensuring OSMF’s support to regional and national SotMs (more on this)
4.Representing OSMF in various events/conferences to extend our reach (outside OSM, other open communities) and listen to local communities

Also improving my skills in building relationships in-person and fundraising skills :)

5.Online communications and safety (more on this)

I have received some queries about online communications and safety; unfortunately, not all communication channels is protected by the OSMF Etiquette Guidelines and Moderation and so I would encourage community members to make use of the Community Forum in discourse

Thanks for reading this far! :)

If you would like to talk and discuss about community, reach out to me arnalie[at]osmfoundation[dot]org or send me a message.