So Long, and Thanks for All the Maps*

by: Beth Schechter, Maptime Founder

After three or so years with the same leadership of this organization, it’s time for a change of the guard. I’m pleased to announce that Emily Ashley (New Orleans), Rachel Stevenson (Boulder), and Omar Ureta (Los Angeles) will be taking over as the new Maptime HQ!

You might be wondering…wait, what’s up with this? Where are Beth, Alan, Lyzi and Camille going? And what’s next for Maptime?!

And whether you’re wondering or not, here are answers to all these questions.

Wait, what’s up with this? Where are Beth, Alan, Lyzi and Camille going?

To make a long story short, all of us started to get pretty burnt out after the 2015 Maptime Summit. I could write more about it here, but my talk from this year’s State of the Map sums it up the best.

If you’re feeling burnt out running your chapter, then take a look at Handing Off a Maptime Chapter for some tips on what to do.

If you’ve still got plenty of gas in the tank, great! But we’re all volunteers, and no one should feel like they have to volunteer indefinitely. If you need to take some time off, do it! If it stops being fun, pass the torch - it’s totally ok when that happens. Keep an eye on your metaphorical fuel guage and let the new HQ know before it hits ‘E’.

My unsolicited advice to the new HQ is to instill rotating leadership on a yearly basis, so that a handoff happens before burnout does. It might be a good idea for chapters to try the same approach as well - but that’s for you to decide :)

Is Maptime still going after 501(c)3 status?

Alan, Lyzi, Camille and I decided to stop putting efforts into this for a few reasons:

  • It takes money that Maptime doesn’t have to do this, specifically to pay fees for things like business registration and bank accounts. It’s possible to come up with this money, but ultimately we were too burnt out to consider doing that work.

  • The legal and bank-related paperwork we had in motion were in the state of California. Moving to Oregon, unbeknownst to me, threw a major wrench into the plans, making it nearly impossible to do without starting all over.

  • Did I mention that we were all burnt out? Because for really real we were all burnt out.

Based on everything I now know about applying for 501(c)3 status, my recommendation to new leadership is to set up a fiscal sponsorship with an organization they trust. I will leave this decision to them.

I’ve updated the Bylaws to reflect these changes, and noted them in the changelog at the end. The new HQ can further update them as needed.

What’s next for Maptime?

That’s a great question – and one that’s for Rachel, Emily, Omar and you to answer. I look really forward to seeing what you come up with!

I couldn’t be more grateful to have been a part of this organization and to see it sprout from a tiny seedling to a global movement.

Let’s see what this next chapter has in store!

*Yes, WIRED Map Lab used this same title to announce the end of their column, but it’s just too good and I couldn’t help myself.