Organizational contact persons


One of the main issues of moving the topics of the temporary working group forward is the question if there should be

  • an assembly of scientific representatives (as before) now electing a smaller scientific board

  • a smaller scientific board directly elected by the member representatives (removing the assembly of scientific representatives in general)

Unfortunatly both options are mutually exclusive and no agreement between both positions was reached. This proposol is an attempt to mediate between those positions.

If no agreement between those two positions can be reached by compromise the temporary working group will have two options

  • voting within the temporary working group which of the two options is favoured, discarding the less favourite option

  • putting both options into the proposal to the executive committee to be forwarded to the members offering both positions to be voted on


The proposal is to open up the current system of representation by a naming contact persons for different tasks within the DDI Alliance. The member representative role would serve as the main contact for the executive committee, the scientific representative role as the main contact for the new and smaller scientific board and newly introduced would be a technical contact role for the technical committee. Voting would shift rather from the member representative level to an organizational level where the member representative would be contacted first as the responsible person from an executive committee perspective but votes could also be shifted to the other delegates depending on topic.

The annual meeting could be opened up to all delegates an organization would like send with the executive committee reporting in the morning and scientific board in the afternoon followed by the technical committee (so more or less the procedure as it exists at the moment but without separation of the delegates' roles). Members of all roles would also be invited to virtual meetings during the years which means there is no necessity for smaller organizations to send multiple persons to the annual meeting (the other contact persons could just join the virtual ones for their respective roles) while managers of bigger organizations have the necessary internal leverage to actually send more.

Opening up the roles might have the following advantages

  • The previous structure of having a larger scientific assembly could be not only kept but also activated by participation in virtual meetings or social media where they could be e.g. asked to join some of the working groups

  • Smaller organizations when they are informed they can nominate scientific representatives without having to send them to the annual meeting might be motivated to nominate more than just one person for all things DDI (as a reminder - in 80% of all organization member representative and scientific representative is the same person though it is not the same role)

  • The technical committee as permanent standing committee of the scientific board could profit a lot from a direct technical contact person as software developers are normally not the persons involved in the annual meetings or DDI conferences as they are ofter considered to be non-scientific by their organizations and thus can often only be reached by proxy despite their importance for implementing the standard into code.

  • In general there is a chance to get more people involved within the member organizations as there might be more internal marketing

Questions and Remarks

Opening up the structure also raises some questions and remarks

  • As the Technical Committee is not on the same organizational level as Executive Board and Scientific Board we might be able to keep the names for the current roles (member representative, scientific representative) for the sake of continuation but offer the TC contact another name like technical contact person. Nevertheless, we should avoid to give the persons involved (e.g. software developers) the feeling of being something like second class citizens within DDI (unfortunately this attitude is quite common in science - just remember “Applied?” in Dagstuhl). Question → should we have different names showing different levels?

  • We have in the meantime a definition of guidelines what we expect from scientific assembly / scientific board members thanks to Dan. Specification of what to expect from a technical contact person should be specified by the Technical Committee. This might further clarify the roles between technical requirements and technical implementation (while - of course - organizations can name the same person scientific representative and technical contact). Question → should we forward this task to the Technical Committee?