[Board] Open open source, reduce registration fees.

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Tue Feb 7 00:12:49 PST 2017

I understand Ravi, this is a case where we are a volunteer driven
organization - and volunteer time is required if we wish to affect change.

Jody Garnett

On 6 February 2017 at 19:57, Ravi Kumar <manarajahmundry2015 at gmail.com>

> 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
> world.
> Cheers
> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Board mailing list
>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
>> _______________________________________________
>> Board mailing list
>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
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