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Subject: Re: [chairs] Individual members representation?

Daniel Greenwood wrote:
> Eduardo, you mentioned "As to 'reports back from the board', below: are you implying
> that company members receive reports back from the board? If
> so, you're mistaken. If you want to receive reports from the
> Board, you can read, like anybody else, the Board minutes." 
 > I think the reality is that people who serve on boards like this are reps of
 > their companies on an important level. Time spent on boards of industry associations
 > that I have served on are always considered part of my scope of work - I didn't/don't
 > (and assume you and other do not) take vacation days to serve - true?  And I got/get
 > reimbursed for travel, etc from the company that is has lots of say re: my job
 > description, my deliverables, my professional priorities, etc, etc. And as such,
 > performance reviews, strategy sessions and general activity reports all reflect
 > and support the contention that on a "real politik" level, industry employee reps
 > are reps of their corporation

all of the above is basically true, and I wouldn't deny it for a second.

 > and serve the interests of (and report back to) the
 > principal for whom they are an employed agent of.

the above is not necessarily the case. Although I'm sorely tempted to
talk about myself and my predecessors in the Board, that would surely
sound and look like grandstanding, so I won't, but I can attest to
witnessing more than one case of employess from other companies acting
for the benefit of the OASIS membership in general and not that of their
employers in particular. The culture of this Board strongly encourages this

 > This does not mean copmanies in
 > general get reports, but it does suggest a model that may be useful for indie members.
 > There is nothing wrong with any of the above - in fact, it is helpful to have
 > balanced representation from the key big industry players (and as you said, people
 > vote with that in mind).  The legal technicalities (vote for individuals, etc) you
 > mentioned are interesting, but don't tell the full story of how the power and politics
 > work.
> Given that, why not have some representation for indie members specifically? 

I'm not opposed in principle. I just don't see how it would work. There are a
couple of problems. First is the issue of "guaranteeing" slots for an individual
member in the Board (BTW, I disagree with the use of "indie" for individual
members, since that generally means "independent", but there is no guarantee
of independence among our individual members, so I just don't like it), simply
because there is currently no process whereby this could be accomplished, and
because it's a really slippery slope from there to guaranteeing slots for
particular corporations or for particular world regions. Where do you stop?
What are the criteria? Why not leave this to the wisdom of the electorate?
(And do please remember that big corporations are just a small percentage of
the OASIS voting membership, which is increasingly composed of small user
companies.Oh, and the assumption that big corporations would not vote for
individual Board members is probably false, you know...)

Another problem is, of course, whether you would indeed represent the interests
of David RR Webber if you were elected to the Board. Would you? Why would you?
How do you know what his interests are? Or vice versa, if he were elected?

So if you were to ask me what my recommendation would be (and why would you?)
my answer is: get a few individual members together (and the chairs list
is certainly not the place to do this), establish an email list for such
(not necessarily an OASIS one), bring in as many individual members as you
can, elect a candidate and field him/her at the next BoD elections.

I will now go back to enjoying my weekend in the pursuit of other

>  - Dan
> ===============================
> | Daniel J. Greenwood, Esq.
> | Director and Lecturer
> |  The MIT E-Commerce 
> |    Architecture Program (ECAP)
> |       Massachusetts
> |          Institute of
> |             Technology 
> | 77 Mass. Avenue, Room 7-231  
> | Cambridge, MA 02139 
> |     http://ecitizen.mit.edu
> |     or http://www.civics.com  
> |     Mobile: 617-851-0412
> |     Desk: 617-868-1746
> |     dang@mit.edu
> ================================
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Eduardo Gutentag <Eduardo.Gutentag@Sun.COM>
> Date: Sat, 29 Nov 2003 10:27:44 
> To:David RR Webber <david@drrw.info>
> Cc:Chairs OASIS <chairs@lists.oasis-open.org>
> Subject: Re: [chairs] Individual members representation?
> Interesting ideas, but more in the assumptions they reveal than
> in their reflections of reality.
> Board members are elected as individuals, not as representatives
> of companies. At least that's how theoretically things should
> be. I'm not sure, of course, whether that's the reality or not,
> (how many voted for me as myself or as an employee of Sun?)
> but we Board members are supposed to think in terms of OASIS's
> interests *above everything else* when functioning as such.
> Because Board members are elected as individuals, there is in
> fact no constraints on whether a BoD member is a company
> employee or an individual member, so if any individual member
> wants to run for BoD membership, go ahead. In fact, BoD members
> don't even have to be OASIS members.
> As to "reports back from the board", below: are you implying
> that company members receive reports back from the board? If
> so, you're mistaken. If you want to receive reports from the
> Board, you can read, like anybody else, the Board minutes.
> Also, how any of your proposals would help towards working
> better with ISO et al. is a mystery to me.
> David RR Webber wrote:
>>As we are approaching year end some retrospective thoughts and
>>looks ahead occur.
>>Would it make sense to add a Board member who represents all
>>the individual members?
>>Clearly there are large numbers now contributing to every OASIS
>>team.  But only corporate members get to vote and nominate
>>board members.
>>Do we need balance, and would input from individual members help?
>>Would this help toward working with groups such as ISO in the
>>Some ground rules would be needed - and also OASIS would need
>>to cover expenses for the person - as obviously they do not have
>>a corporate sponsor.  If the person subsequently joined a corporation
>>would this automatically trigger a new appointment - or could it
>>be discretionary? 
>>We could certainly also have a meeting room and feedback area
>>for individual members via Kavi as another resource.
>>Personally as an individual member I would definately value reports
>>back from the board from an independent member there.
>>OK - so I've taken the lid off a large can of worms here, but this
>>was an itch so I thought I'd better scratch it! 
>>What are the pro's and con's?  Is this workable?

Eduardo Gutentag               |         e-mail: eduardo.gutentag@Sun.COM
Web Technologies and Standards |         Phone:  +1 510 550 4616 x31442
Sun Microsystems Inc.          |

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