TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE OPEN COMMUNITY FOR ETHICS IN AUTONOMOUS AND INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS (OCEANIS)

1.  Name and Purpose

The Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (OCEANIS) is an unincorporated, voluntary, globally open, cooperative network of standards bodies and other organizations interested and involved in ICT standardization. OCEANIS provides a high-level global forum for discussion, debate, and collaboration for organizations interested in the development and use of standards to explicitly consider contextual aspects (such as ethics and other societal values) in autonomous and intelligent systems.

2.  Aims

OCEANIS addresses the need for coordination and collaboration related to the challenges and opportunities faced by those working in ICT standards and related spaces. OCEANIS provides a trusted environment where participants:

  • Share information and coordinate on respective initiatives and programs, starting with the areas of autonomous and intelligent systems
  • Enhance understanding on the role of standards in facilitating innovation while addressing problems that go beyond technical solutions to address ethics and values
  • Jointly organize events at local/regional/global levels
  • Identify opportunities for collaborative activities that bolster the development and use of standards in supporting technical, business, and policy communities in addressing technical, societal, and ethical implications of technology expansion

3.  Membership

Membership in OCEANIS shall be by organization and is open to interested organizations from around the world. The members at the inception of OCEANIS shall be referred to as founding members. (How other organizations could become members is described in section 5.)

Actions of OCEANIS shall be determined by its Steering Committee. Sections 4-6 detail the activities of the Steering Committee.

Members are expected to maintain their membership through active participation at Steering Committee meetings by taking action on OCEANIS proposals and participating in OCEANIS.

4.  Steering Committee Representation and Leadership

All members shall appoint a primary and an alternate representative to the OCEANIS Steering Committee. Only one vote from the organization can be made by any member. The vote of the alternate representative shall only be considered if the primary representative does not cast a vote.

The primary representative from the organization with Secretariat responsibility for OCEANIS in any calendar year shall serve as the chair of the OCEANIS Steering Committee for that year. If the primary representative cannot attend an OCEANIS meeting, the alternate representative will serve as chair for that meeting.

4.1.  Steering Committee Size

If the number of members grows above 25, then the founding members will have the right to define other modes of representation (regional, nature of organizations, etc.).

4.2.  Steering Committee Meetings

The Steering Committee shall meet at least once annually, either in person or virtually at the discretion of the Secretariat. If needed, the Steering Committee may meet at additional occasions. The Secretariat shall determine the need for additional meetings.

5.  Application for Membership

A proposing notification will be sent to all members of the Steering Committee by the Secretariat, including all pertinent information, with a request for endorsement. Any applicant organization shall be endorsed by at least one member of the Steering Committee. If there is no endorsement from at least one member of the Steering Committee within 10 business days, the application shall be withdrawn. If within 15 business days there is no sustained objection from the other members of the Steering Committee, the applicant will become a new member with all rights, including participation in the Steering Committee (noting the conditions of Section 4.1).

In case of objection, the Secretariat will organize a vote among the members of the Steering Committee within 15 business days from the date of objection (by e-mail is also permissible). For approval of the new membership at least half of the members have to vote and at least ¾ of the casted votes must be positive.

6.  Topics and Actions of the Steering Committee

Any member can propose a topic for discussion among the members of OCEANIS. Steering Committee members shall move to accept proposed topics for further discussion through a majority vote.

Topics may be discussed either through digital correspondence among all members, at Steering Committee meetings, or other events or fora where OCEANIS members are convened. Topics may lead to actions, such as preparing events or publishing documents. All actions shall be confirmed through a majority vote of the Steering Committee members.

OCEANIS supports standards bodies but does not engage in standards development. Topics for standards development may be presented for information but will not be considered by OCEANIS.

7.  Secretariat

OCEANIS shall be facilitated by a Secretariat that preferably rotates among OCEANIS members on an annual basis.  OCEANIS members who are interested in serving as the Secretariat shall express their interest by 15 October of the prior year starting in 2019. At least one other OCEANIS member shall endorse the request. If there are requests from multiple members, the Secretariat will be selected by a majority vote of the Steering Committee members.

The Secretariat responsibilities include but are not limited to

  • OCEANIS website content and submitting material to the website owner for updating
  • OCEANIS email alias management
  • OCEANIS online collaboration work space management
  • Preparing and running Steering Committee meetings, including logistics and agenda preparation
  • Ensuring effective support for any OCEANIS actions, such as an event or a white paper
  • Recording actions taken by OCEANIS, either through meeting minutes or capturing online discussions
  • Facilitating online discussions of topics and actions

IEEE SA has accepted to assume the Secretariat responsibility during the inception phase and for the year 2019.

8.  Amendments to These Procedures

Amendments to these procedures shall be approved by a majority vote among the Steering Committee members. The proposal must be endorsed by at least three-quarters of the Steering Committee members.