[Owasp-leaders] [OWASP-chapters] Proposal for OWASP Global Chapters Committee

Josh Sokol josh.sokol at owasp.org
Sat Sep 8 20:45:44 UTC 2018

This is exactly the kind of issues we are trying to address with this
committee.  If you have a question about how something should work or want
advice on how to do something, that shouldn't go into a support queue and
wait weeks for a response from a staff member.  Instead, my proposal would
leverage regional and global leaders with actual experience running
chapters to help answer these questions.  Even better, as a new chapter
leader, you should be partnered with a mentor from one one of our more
experienced chapters to help coach you.

Any of our Chapter Leaders, or anyone else for that matter, interested in
furthering this cause, we don't need the Board or ED's approval to do so.
I've started a new #chapters channel in Slack for that purpose.  Come and
join us:


It's probably worth noting, however, that despite being asked for a "civil
discussion and substantive proposal", and providing what I felt was a
genuinely substantive step in that direction, I received a follow-up e-mail
from Karen saying that they'd like to put this proposal on hold for two
months while they hold three town halls to discuss the "holistic
sustainability of the foundation".  To put it another way, what I warned of
in my response to Greg's e-mail is exactly what the Board and ED were
looking to do, they just haven't been straightforward in their discussions
about it.  These conversations have been going on in closed door meetings
and private e-mail threads, and not on the OWASP-Board mailing list in the
spirit of openness and transparency.


On Sat, Sep 8, 2018 at 12:39 AM John Patrick Lita <
john.patrick.lita at owasp.org> wrote:

> Hi all
> I know all that we have problems with each chapters, and i hope that the
> global committee will also have a program from ASEAN Region.
> My Chapter in Philippines was idle for a while. I just notice that
> everytime there is a Conference in STATE no one can answer my questions or
> query because everyone is busy for Conference.
> I hope the support is flexible for me as a chapter leader i have so many
> question and need more guidance to make my chapter more productive and
> active to the community.
> Thanks
> On Fri, Sep 7, 2018, 11:51 PM Travis McPeak <travis.mcpeak at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> After discussing this with Josh, I'd like to say I misunderstood the
>> intent of the committee. I was concerned that this would turn into a lot of
>> endless debate with little action items. What Josh is proposing is the
>> exact opposite of this.
>> When I started as a new chapter leader, I found a surprising lack of
>> resources or lots of outdated resources for me to draw on. With the volume
>> of experience we all have as chapter leaders there's no reason why common
>> problems like these shouldn't be addressed quickly with a
>> divide-and-conquer approach. Those interested can be empowered and
>> supported with the necessary resources to go make things better. I now
>> believe this is the intent of the committee and I look forward to the
>> awesome things that will come from a result of it.
>> -Travis (Bay Area)
>> On Tue, Sep 4, 2018 at 1:26 PM Milton Smith <milton.smith at owasp.org>
>> wrote:
>>> This seems like a great proposal to me Josh.  The committees operational
>>> model looks well written and considers OWASP committee
>>> organization/operations from the OWASP member perspective.  It’s great to
>>> have your knowledge and the knowledge of past leaders/staff.
>>> Clearly OWASP is experiencing some growing pains.  We are looking at
>>> committees for this area but perhaps committees should be considered more
>>> broadly for other areas where diverse opinion exists?  Properly
>>> representing everyone’s opinions is difficult in a global organization.
>>> Josh and Martin your both amazing, you’ve both been improving the security
>>> space for many years, and I appreciate your leadership and enthusiasm for
>>> building a better OWASP.
>>> —Milton
>>> On Sep 1, 2018, at 2:28 PM, Josh Sokol <josh.sokol at owasp.org> wrote:
>>> Dear OWASP Leaders,
>>> As per the OWASP Committees 2.0 Operational Model
>>> <https://www.owasp.org/index.php/Governance/OWASP_Committees>, approved
>>> by a vote of the OWASP Board of Directors on July 16, 2014, I would like to
>>> formally propose the creation of a new "OWASP Global Chapters Committee".
>>> My rationale for the creation of this new committee is that our
>>> community has made a number of observations about inadequacies in the ways
>>> our Chapters interact with the OWASP Foundation, it's Staff, and the
>>> Board.  This committee would serve as a new form of governance within the
>>> OWASP Foundation, cutting red tape and empowering our chapter leaders to
>>> better serve the mission of OWASP while still adhering to the OWASP Core
>>> Values of openness, innovation, being a global community, and integrity.
>>> We will focus on strengthening the OWASP Chapters through education,
>>> networking, and driving value to our members.
>>> Topics that are within scope for the OWASP Global Chapters Committee
>>> include, but are not limited to:
>>>    - *Leadership Requirements: *The committee will be responsible for
>>>    defining requirements for new chapter leaders and create a community
>>>    vetting process.
>>>    - *Activity Requirements: *The committee will be responsible for
>>>    defining the minimum activity requirements for chapters and will
>>>    periodically review chapters for meeting those minimum requirements.
>>>    - *Mentorship: *Programs will be created to pair new chapter leaders
>>>    together with more experienced ones.  Budgets will be established in order
>>>    to facilitate mentees attendance of mentor chapter meetings.
>>>    - *Projects Partnership Tours: *To emphasize the importance of
>>>    projects, a budget will be established for projects to hold regional tours
>>>    of chapters where they will speak and show off their projects.
>>>    - *Budgets: *The committee will be a resource for OWASP policies and
>>>    procedures when it comes to the budget process and ensuring that it is
>>>    being followed.  The committee will help identify opportunities for chapter
>>>    leaders to spend their money.
>>>    - *Policy: *The committee will review and revise the Chapter Leader
>>>    Handbook on a periodic basis.  They will assess gaps in existing policies
>>>    and help to create new policies or redefine existing policies to address
>>>    gaps.
>>>    - *Guidance: *The committee will serve to help guide other leaders
>>>    with any questions that they have.  They will assist with finding
>>>    speakers.  They will help to recommend topics for presentations.
>>>    - *Feedback: *The committee will survey chapter leadership on
>>>    pertinent topics and be a listening outlet for chapter needs.
>>>    - *Conflict Resolution: *The committee will serve as a tribunal for
>>>    conflicts among and between chapters.
>>>    - *Local and Regional Events: *The committee will help to guide
>>>    chapter leaders on how to start and run local and regional events.  A
>>>    "startup" budget will be formed from existing event revenues in order to
>>>    seed investment in more events, helping additional chapters to be able to
>>>    raise enough money to cover their expenses and innovate.
>>>    - *Board Guidance: *The committee will work with the Board on any
>>>    initiatives they have as they relate to chapter policies, governance,
>>>    budgets, or otherwise.
>>> This scoping was developed by myself and Tiffany Long in an effort to
>>> cover many of the issues our chapters face on a routine basis.  It is not a
>>> comprehensive list and I'd certainly welcome suggestions from others in our
>>> community.  Moreso, it is my hope that others will be interested in
>>> participating in and contributing to this committee.
>>> Per the Committee Creation section of the Committees 2.0 Operational
>>> Model, this is now up for a community discussion with a Board vote to
>>> follow.  I hereby formally request that this be added as a topic for vote
>>> at the September 19th OWASP Board meeting.  Thank you.
>>> Sincerely,
>>> Josh Sokol
>>> OWASP Board Member 2014-2017
>>> OWASP Austin Chapter Leader
>>> OWASP LASCON Conference Co-Founder
>>> _______________________________________________
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>> --
>> -Travis
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