[OSGeo-Conf] No single, global FOSS4G conference in 2012

Peter Batty peter at ebatty.com
Tue Oct 11 12:49:39 EDT 2011

Hi Arnulf,

No contentious propositions in this email, eh :) ?!

I would just point out that there is no specific plan for a FOSS4G North
America yet, in 2012 or any other year. There is strong interest in having
one I think, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. It's a lot of
work to put on as I know too well :), so that's a big commitment for someone
to sign up to.

And you are the first one to propose, as far as I've seen, that Beijing
should not be the primary worldwide event for 2012. I think it still should
be, regardless of whether there is a North American event or not.

As we've seen, there are differing views on the impact a North American
event would have on the Beijing event. I still don't think it would be that
great as I said in my earlier email, but others differ, and obviously none
of us can really know for sure. But based both on history and our survey, I
wouldn't expect more than 50 or so North Americans to make it to Beijing
regardless, and I think most of those people would still go even if there
was a North American event (I aim to go in either scenario, as do several
others I've talked to).

However, from our survey, there are probably 500 or so North Americans who
would attend a North American event if there was one, but who would
definitely not make it to China, which is the primary argument for having a
North American event, to serve the clear demand for a FOSS4G event for those
who aren't able to easily justify traveling abroad for it (which is the case
for most people).


On Tue, Oct 11, 2011 at 10:10 AM, Seven (aka Arnulf) <seven at arnulf.us>wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> All,
> long post, sorry about this.
> - From all that I can tell now FOSS4G Beijing will become a local
> conference with support from "OSGeo international". This and no more. It
> will not be the Global or World conference that FOSS4G was before
> becasue we will have a FOSS4G CEE and FOSS4G North America event (plus
> the regular local ones) in the same year. There is no chance at all that
> Beijing can attract the same vibrant global participation that we had at
> the last global FOSS4G conferences.
> The question is not whether we will have a FOSS4G in Beijing or CEE or
> North America. From all that I can tell we will have them all. There is
> no reason (and probably no way) to stop the North American or CEE
> initiative or both. Instead it is great to see so much interest and
> momentum - and we would be stupid to stifle it.
> This means that we will not have a single meeting of the tribes in 2012.
> So we need to identify which bits of the global conference cannot be
> substituted in several editions around the globe. These include:
> 1. The OSGeo AGM
> 2. Board F2F meeting
> 3. Committee F2F meetings
> 4. and the all important Inter Project communication and collaboration.
> When looking at it this way we do not loose a lot. Just off the top of
> my head some of these issues can be readily addressed, here goes:
> 1. Have more interaction between the Local Chapters and OSGeo
> Committees. This does not necessairly need to be done face to face and
> will remove the visa and travel cost issue. I will miss the physical
> AGM, but that is just me.
> 2. The Board F2F meetings IMO are very important and we need to have
> more of them anyway. So now we can choose between several events a year
> and have the meetings in locations where a number of directors goes
> anyway - plus more contact to local chaps.
> 3. Not sure how important these are. There was an EduCom BoF at the last
> FOSS4G in Denver and a few SAC folks talked things through at the code
> sprint. Nothing much that couldn't be done at a regiponal event or
> online. Or did I miss anything?
> 4. This can and will happen during code sprints. Supporting these is one
> of OSGeo's new or reinforced goals for the next year so spending some
> more thought and funding on these will probably be better for the
> projects than the single code sprint day after an exhausting conference.
> Next step is to inform Beijing of this change in strategy and then start
> a great competition bewteen at least three major FOSS4G events (plus
> 2*1/2 in Japan). My travel plans for 2012 will surely include all of
> them. As a result the next FOSS4G will be spread around the globe
> instead of focusing on one location and excluding all who cannot go
> there. So numbers will rise again and our venture capitalists will be
> happy. Diversity wins - yet again. Sounds great to me.
> Cheers,
> Arnulf
> - --
> Exploring Space, Time and Mind
> http://arnulf.us
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> =77th
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