As discussed during our meeting on 16 August, we need to decide on our strategy for affiliating with external organisations and groups.
These fall into the category of incorporated societies (InternetNZ, NZCS, NZRise, NZSA) or less formal groups (user groups, LUGs, SFD, Bar/FooCamps etc.).
Minimum affiliation would involve cross linking between websites, with our link annotated to highlight the common ground between us. Beyond that we want to identify entities requiring a formal relationship, perhaps negotiating membership reductions or cross-crediting "free-to-member" type events, e.g. with NZCS.
The goal of this is to market the NZOSS to these groups in a non-threatening way, and to help draw attention to groups we want to encourage. It also lays a groundwork for future resource pooling (e.g. to fight patents, lobby gov't, pressure businesses), and generally positive achieve social change.
As a Society, we're fundamentally committed to collaboration over competition, so using affiliations is a great way for us to avoid reinventing the wheel and otherwise strengthen our influence.
These are more about achieving economies of scale, sharing advocacy approaches (identifying "levers" to influence policy, compelling arguments, case studies etc.), and gaining credibility by association. We've already shown ourselves to be at the forefront of the software patents issue, and several others. We should be striving to join forces with our counterparts in Australia, South Africa, the US, the UK, the EU, etc. We have a lot to share and learn. Perhaps we can start a "FOSS advocacy forge"...
These affiliations can simply be a statement on our website and informal communication between officers resulting in an MOU or similar - there may not be any mechanism for more formal affiliation (as most are national groups).