Building a Sustainable Community around OSM - Thoughts on Indian Perpective

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My thoughts on building a sustainable community around OpenStreetMap from the perspective of Indian FOSS communities

In the ever-evolving landscape of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) communities, the task of not only building but also sustaining these communities is a challenge that demands innovative approaches and steadfast dedication. This is particularly true in the realm of geospatial data and mapping, where OpenStreetMap (OSM) has emerged as a shining example of collaborative map-making. The talk delves into the speaker's profound insights and reflections on cultivating a resilient and sustainable community around OpenStreetMap. Drawing from over 15 years of diverse roles encompassing volunteering, coordination, organizing, evangelism, entrepreneurship, and community building within the FOSS and open data spheres, the speaker elucidates their experiential learning in fostering thriving ecosystems.

Rooted in their extensive involvement in Indian scenarios and the Indian subcontinent, the speaker articulates how their experiences have been distilled into universally relevant strategies that can be applied across global contexts. Through a tapestry of anecdotes and lessons learned, the speaker underscores the essence of collaboration, inclusivity, and empowerment. They emphasize the significance of building upon shared values and common goals to create a sense of belonging within the OSM community. This approach not only amplifies engagement but also lays the groundwork for long-term sustainability. The talk unpacks strategies for maintaining momentum, navigating through challenges, and weaving a robust support network that reinforces community resilience.

The speaker's exploration transcends geographical boundaries, illustrating how the principles and strategies that underpin their journey can be seamlessly adapted to diverse contexts. The universality of their insights becomes evident as they discuss the parallels between experiences in India and those in other parts of the world. The talk encapsulates the evolution of their perceptions, highlighting how they've grown from an individual contributor into a catalyst for collective progress.

In conclusion, the talk resonates as a testament to the power of community. It echoes the sentiment that while creating communities is an art, sustaining them is a science. The speaker's remarkable journey, spanning roles and landscapes, serves as a beacon for anyone invested in the dynamics of open collaboration, geospatial data, and the transformative potential of platforms like OpenStreetMap. As attendees immerse themselves in this narrative, they're invited to embrace their own roles within their communities and contribute to the ever-evolving saga of collaborative cartography and impactful change.

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