SSF 2012 Annual Meeting

The Sahana Software Foundation held its Annual Meeting over Memorial Day Weekend from May 26-28, 2012, at multiple venues in New York City.  The main theme of the weekend long event was “A Shared Vision” and was well attended by the Sahana Software Foundation’s Directors, Members, and contributors, including two 2012 Google Summer of Code™ students: Ramindu Deshapriya from Sri Lanka and Bhaavan Merchant from India.

We also had the opportunity to spend some social time together during the evening, including a welcoming barbecue at SSF President Mark Prutsalis’s Brooklyn home on Friday evening.

Highlights from the Annual Meeting

Directors Appointed to the SSF Board

The SSF Directors appointed Michael Howden and Martin Thomsen to serve 3-year terms (expiring at the 2015 Annual Meeting) on the Sahana Software Foundation Board.

Michael Howden

Michael Howden is Managing Director of AidIQ, a social enterprise that provides intelligent business solutions to the humanitarian and development community with the Sahana Eden platform.  AidIQ, a major financial and in-kind donor to the Sahana Software Foundation, has delivered or is working on projects based in Sahana Eden to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Asia Pacific Region (the Resource Management System), the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (DRR Projects Portal), the City of Los Angeles (Give2LA), the Helios Foundation (HelioShare) and other organizations.  He is originally a software developer from New Zealand who worked for many years with humanitarian organizations in Indonesia, Pakistan, Uganda, India and the UK.  He has served as a member of the Sahana Eden Project Management Committee and the Sahana Community Development Committee for several years, and leads our facilitation team for our SahanaCamp program.  In the past, Michael has also served as the Sahana Eden coordinator for the Sahana Google Summer of Code Progam (2010-11) and as SSF Coordinator of the Sahana Google Code-In Program (2010/11 & 2011/12).  He also volunteers as our Community Call Coordinator.  Michael was also appointed to serve as the Sahana Software Foundation Secretary for the next year.

Martin Thomsen with Mark Prutsalis

Martin Thomsen has been serving on the Sahana Software Foundation Board since its inception and prior to that had served on the Sahana leadership team since 2005.  Martin is a Lieutenant Colonel within the Danish Emergency Management Agency, part of the Danish Ministry of Defense.  He has also served as the a consultant to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) as a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination team (UNDAC) since 2003.  He is a trained EU High Level Coordinator within the European Commission Community Mechanism for Reinforced Cooperation in Civil Protection Assistance Interventions (EU/MIC) since March 2004, as well as a Civilian Response Team (CRT) member since March 2006.  Martin also has been serving as Secretary of the Sahana Software Foundation for the past two years.  He was appointed to serve in the newly created position of Sahana Software Foundation Vice-Chair.

Other Appointments

Officers appointed for the next year include: Brent Woodworth (Chair), Martin Thomsen (Vice-Chair), Mark Prutsalis (President & CEO), Louiqa Raschid (Treasurer), Michael Howden (Secretary), Fran Boon (Chair, Sahana Eden), Chad Heuschober (Chair, Sahana Agasti), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Chair, Sahana Standards and Interoperability).

Executive Committee appointments made for the next year include:

  • Board Development: Brent Woodworth (Chair), Mark Prutsalis, Maria D’Albert
  • Development: Mark Prutsalis (Chair), Brent Woodworth, Martin Thomsen, Louiqa Raschid, Chamindra de Silva, Maria D’Albert
  • Community Development: David Bitner (Chair), Trishan De Lanerolle (Member), Michael Howden (Eden)
  • Financial Oversight: Louiqa Raschid (Chair), Martin Thomsen, David Bitner, Dale Zuehls, Paul Phillips

In addition, Dominic König was appointed a member of the Standards and Interoperability Committee by a quorum of that Committee’s members present at the Annual Meeting.

Technical Projects to Merge Governance

The most significant outcome of the SSF 2012 Annual Meeting was the decision of Sahana’s two technical projects – Eden and Agasti – to merge their governance structures into a single Project Management Committee.   This is an exciting and positive step for the Foundation.  It promises to greatly reduce the overhead for managing parallel processes while freeing resources to provide more cross-product support and expertise (especially relating to support, testing, packaging, etc.) for all Sahana products (Eden, Mayon, Vesuvius and Kilauea).  Many thanks go to Dominic König, who proposed the merger, Chad Heuschober, Fran Boon, Glenn Pearson, and David Bitner, who all worked on the outlines of a proposal for much of the May 27th session.  Both existing PMCs have since approved a plan for the merger and the Board will be formally passing the required resolutions within the next week.

Joining OASIS

The Members and Directors of the Sahana Software Foundation approved joining OASIS as a member.  OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit consortium that drives the development, convergence and adoption of open data standards, in particular, the Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) suite of standards that includes the CAP, EDXL-HAVE and EDXL-SITREP – which have been or are in the process of being implemented by Sahana products.  Being an OASIS Member will allow designated representatives of our Standards and Interoperability Committee to participate in working groups and the Committees that write and maintain these data standards.

Other Announcements

At the Annual Meeting, SSF President Mark Prutsalis announced that the Sahana Software Foundation has joined the Open Source Initiative (OSI) as an Affiliate Member and shared a pre-release version of the Sahana Software Foundation’s 2011 Annual Report.

Thanks to our Sponsors

This year’s Sahana Annual Meeting would not have been possible without the generous financial and in-kind support from several major contributors.  In particular, Google, AidIQ, IBM, and the National Science Foundation provided financial sponsorship of SahanaCamp NYC and our Annual Meeting – which helped cover the cost of travel of many of the participants as well as other operating costs associated with these events.  Google’s Open Source Programs Office also made possible the attendance of our Google Summer of Code students through a special additional stipend for Ramindu’s and Bhaavan’s travel.  We are also indebted to our site hosts Seer Capital Management and OpenGeo that provided complementary meeting space.  Many thanks to these most incredible supporters of our work and mission.

Thanks for Participating

The Sahana Software Foundation 2011 Annual Meeting would also not have been possible without the active and enthusiastic participation of many of our community members – including all those who were able to attend in person, virtually, or if only for our social event on Friday evening.  The participants included SSF Directors David Bitner, Chamindra de Silva, Michael Howden, Mark Prutsalis, Louiqa Raschid, Martin Thomsen and Brent Woodworth; SSF Members Fran Boon, Maria D’Albert, Trishan De Lanerolle, Chad Heuschober, Dominic König, Darlene McCullough, Glenn Pearson, Pat Tressel and Nuwan Waidyanatha; and Community members Usman Akeju, Jeremy Barron, Marin Byrne, Ramindu Deshapriya, Ilya Gulko, Bhaavan Merchant, and Robby O’Connor. Thank you all.  Finally, the SSF President wishes to thank his two children for their patience during a long week of house guests and weekend events that intruded upon their time and family space.

For More Information

For more information about the outcomes of the 2012 Sahana Software Foundation Annual Meeting please see the Official Record of Decision for the SSF Annual Meeting held from May 26-28, and the Official Record of Decision for the SSF Director’s Meeting held on May 28.

The Sahana Software Foundation’s wiki contains a permanent record of all documentation and links related to the 2012 Annual Meeting.

Coming soon: Blog posts by Google Summer of Code students Ramindu Deshapriya and Bhaavan Merchant on their experience attending the SSF 2012 Annual Meeting in New York!  Also, notes from the community bonding (Saturday afternoon) and informal breakout sessions (Sunday) will be posted next week. 


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