[Board] Thoughts on FOSS4G

Peter Batty peter at ebatty.com
Thu Jul 12 09:30:47 PDT 2012

Hi Daniel, thanks for the feedback. Like I said I'm certainly open on the
Sol Katz award, just wanted to throw out some other options for people to
think about.


On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM, Daniel Morissette <
dmorissette at mapgears.com> wrote:

> Hi Peter,
> Thank you for sending this. I agree with everything you wrote, and I
> really like where you are going with your draft announcement ... except for
> one thing:
> I am of the opinion that we should still have the Sol Katz, AGM, and a
> Board F2F meeting somewhere... they must happen IMHO. If attaching them to
> an existing event in Asia is not practical then let's find an event in
> Europe or America where the board can more easily get to.
> I don't think doing this would reduce the value of the Sol Katz in any
> way. In 2008, Paul Ramsey could not make it to Cape Town, so he recorded
> and sent an acceptance speech that was presented in front of the people
> present in Cape Town [1]. It's all virtual these days... a recorded video
> could give even more exposure to the recipient and the award than a
> physical presence at FOSS4G. (Except that you don't get the face to face
> congratulations from your peers I guess)
> My 0.02$
> See you all on IRC in a few minutes.
> Daniel
> [1] http://blog.cleverelephant.ca/**2008/10/sol-katz-award.html<http://blog.cleverelephant.ca/2008/10/sol-katz-award.html>
> On 12-07-12 10:35 AM, Peter Batty wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I am aiming to attend the board meeting today but have various other
>> commitments that I'm trying to juggle. In case I don't make it, and just
>> to get the ball rolling, here are a few thoughts on follow ups from the
>> FOSS4G cancellation.
>> I think we should put out some sort of communication from the board
>> about this - we can decide the exact forums, at least something to OSGeo
>> lists and on the OSGeo web site, probably get it to some media outlets
>> too. Unless someone else wants to volunteer, I'd be happy to draft
>> something based on discussion at today's meeting and any input anyone
>> else sends, and send that round for review.
>> A few points I would probably include something along the following lines:
>> We are disappointed but not surprised that FOSS4G Beijing has been
>> cancelled. We have known for some time, as has anyone who follows the
>> OSGeo conference or board public mailing lists, that the local committee
>> was facing various challenges. But we wanted to give them the maximum
>> chance to try to pull together an event.
>> FOSS4G has been successful being a truly global conference, taking a
>> major event around the world with most of the work done by local
>> volunteers. We've had great success with this approach, with great
>> events in Sydney, Cape Town, etc. But this approach has its risks too,
>> and we'll review our strategy in the light of what happened this year to
>> see what we can do to mitigate those risks. (I can see various ways of
>> approaching this section, definitely open to suggestions).
>> But FOSS4G remains strong. The 2011 event in Denver was the largest yet,
>> with 900 people from 42 countries and great reviews. And plans for 2013
>> in Nottingham are already very advanced, we have a very strong team
>> organizing that and are looking forward to a great event there.
>> FOSS4G has also evolved into multiple regional events in addition to the
>> global one. We have had multiple successful FOSS4G events already this
>> year with NA and CEE, and Japan to come (include some info on number of
>> attendees etc).
>> A few thoughts that are probably outside this external communication:
>> I think we should review our future strategy for FOSS4G in terms of
>> location rotation, global versus local, how it is organized, etc. But I
>> don't think there's a huge rush on this. We have a solid plan for the
>> 2013 event, we need to get something worked out by first part of next
>> year before we start the selection process for 2014 (if we decide that
>> we need any changes - we may decide not). I think we should focus first
>> on short term communication and other immediate issues.
>> Second, there have been questions on what to do about the Sol Katz
>> award, and suggestions of presenting it at some other event. I'd like to
>> suggest that we consider NOT doing this as it risks diluting the award
>> to me. It's a great tradition to recognize leaders in our community.
>> However I think an important part of that is being recognized at a major
>> meeting of the community. If we present it at some other event where
>> there isn't a large attendance from the global open source community we
>> risk losing that. And we put pressure on the winner to make a trip
>> potentially to the other side of the world for an event that they may
>> not have gone to otherwise.
>> So I'd suggestion we consider deferring the award to Nottingham in 2013.
>> There could be a few variants on this. We could give the committee the
>> option of making two awards at that event if they wanted to (or just
>> one). We could also announce an award winner this year, but make the
>> presentation next year. Or we could just skip an award altogether this
>> year and resume next year. I don't have super strong opinions on this,
>> but just wanted to throw out this option for discussion.
>> Hope to talk with you all later, otherwise catch up via email afterwards.
>> Cheers,
>>      Peter.
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> --
> Daniel Morissette
> http://www.mapgears.com/
> Provider of Professional MapServer Support since 2000
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