[Board] Open open source, reduce registration fees.

Ravi Kumar manarajahmundry2015 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 6 19:57:06 PST 2017

Checks and Balances must be the norm for FOSS4G. If it is felt this way
from ITC Netherlands, a well to do Country/Institute, think of the third

Ravi Kumar

On Mon, Feb 6, 2017 at 9:25 PM, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com> wrote:

> TLDR: *The conference committee has the trust of the board and is aware
> they have the flexibility and mandate from the board to steer the event in
> a new direction if they wish.*
> You are correct that the board can direct the conference committee - and
> has done so in a meeting this last August, the results of which were used
> in deciding on the 2018 location.There have been a number of excellent
> discussions on this topic going over how foss4g registration fees are set.
> To help set policy for foss4g please volunteer with the conference
> committee.
> We have a wide range of expectations in our community with respect to
> foss4g - as we can see with the global conference and the different
> regional events.
> There is of course plenty to discuss:
> - If I understand correctly you come from an academic institution, which
> has expectations on conference fees based on the ability to obtain a
> subsidized venue.
> - We also have a large number of professionals in our organization which
> expect a conference suitable for customer outreach
> - A lot of us got into open source to make the world a better place
> steering the conference towards out reach and advocacy
> - foss4g has felt the pressure to be a fund raiser for OSGeo (with events
> considering profit in addition to out reach potential)
> - what is required for a foss4g event differs in each region (north
> America for example does not have active local chapters to draw on for
> small regional events)
> - pressure to keep costs down sometimes places these events in
> universities or in awkward locations near an airport
> - Depending on the industry a presenter comes from they may expect to have
> the conference fees waived
> - Workshops often take 1 to 3 weeks to prepare to a suitable level for a
> bring-your-own laptop workshop, seeing attendees charged $300 to attend
> instructors expect to share profit, rather than have their conference fees
> halved.
> - The cost to attend moves developer focus to code sprints, cutting down
> on the "meeting of the tribes" aspect of the event
> - The cycle of europe  / north america / other always takes the conference
> out of reach of potential sponsors, attendees, users
> - Outreach may be more effective with an OSGeo presence at the local
> regional GIS industry events, rather than at foss4g where everyone already
> knows about open source
> - The bidding process is an expensive time commitment
> - It is difficult with a new local organizing committee for each event to
> carry over lessons from one event to the next making the process more
> stressful (often burning out volunteers and regional groups for a number of
> years).
> - There is an excellent cost breakdown of the event on the email lists if
> you need more information strictly on attendance fees
> - ... I need to stop I am only touching on the ideas in the mix not doing
> justice to any of them :)
> With the conflicting requirements above there is no one way to answer the
> question about foss4g - except for this: *What are you doing to help?*
> * For my part I am pursuing *sponsorship for the foundation, code sprints
> and the website rebrand/reboot* to help take some of the pressure off the
> foss4g conference.
> * I have been thankful for the volunteers on the conference committee who
> wrestle with the issues above (as outlined in the August meeting they have
> my thanks and support for taking on a difficult set of questions).
> --
> Jody Garnett
> On 6 February 2017 at 01:38, <l.g.j.boerboom at utwente.nl> wrote:
>> Dear board,
>> Where is the cap on registration fees for FOSS4G? You have closed open
>> source to me with these steep registration fees. You have to change this. A
>> few years ago I could hardly convince my departmental management to pay for
>> registration. Now it is impossible! Please open up the conference again.
>> Open open source! Those who cannot organize a conference below $500 should
>> not be allowed to organize. Scale down. No fancy stuff. Back to the basics!
>> Back to the core!
>> With kind regards,
>> Luc Boerboom
>> Dr. Ir. Luc Boerboom
>> Assist. Prof Spatial Planning and Decision Support Systems and
>> Infrastructures
>> Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-information Management
>> Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC),
>> http://www.itc.nl/
>> University of Twente, http://www.utwente.nl/
>> E: l.g.j.boerboom at utwente.nl
>> T: +31 (0)53 487 42 47 or +31 (0)53 487 44 44
>> Postal address
>> PO Box 217
>> 7500 AE  Enschede
>> The Netherlands
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