[OSGeo-Conf] 2011 Process

Arnulf Christl arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Mon Nov 2 02:51:58 EST 2009

having spoken with many who came and also those who could not come to AU I
very much support keeping FOSS4G an annual event. On rotation my
suggestion is to go for the US in 2011 (Denver region anyone?) and for
Asia in 2012 (Korea, Japan?). I see no need for a more complex rotation
system, lets see how it works out and where we are next year.

More thoughts below.

On Fri, October 30, 2009 22:11, Paul Ramsey wrote:
> Venka,
> While I agree that I need a far less dismissive signifier than
> "Other",
Yes, you should work on that.
> I feel that a five-step rotation
> Africa/Asia-Pacific/Europe/North America/South Americas puts far too
> much space between the NA/Europe gatherings. The plain fact is that the
> participation in the development communities is overwhelmingly Europe/NA.

...and will stay that way if we continue to ignore them. Interestingly,
Barcelona will be the first FOSS4G with potentially overwhelming
non-English speaking attendance (western CA, ZA, AU are all very English
spoken). We will also be in a country that already has two localized
* http://www.sigte.udg.edu/jornadassiglibre/
* http://jornadas.gvsig.org/
Cool, huh?

It is high time that NA take care of it's own localized events. Then a
"continental rotation" for FOSS4G as suggested by Venka is a much more
viable option.

> In addition, our attendance has been far better in EUR/NA. If
> Barcelona makes 1000 attendees, which seems highly likely, the
> combined Europe/NA attendance (1700) will almost double the combined
> Asia/Africa attendance (1000) over this cycle.

I am not sure whether growing size for the global FOSS4G event really is
an argument. It could well be in our interest to keep the global rotating
FOSS4G at a manageable level because the strain on the LOC grows
considerably when bumping up attendee numbers. Lets wait and hear the
Barcelonians' story.

Instead we should start to consider helping the local events grow,
especially in developing areas like NA. One option is to tie them more
closely to existing, large events. Colocation will relieve us form
organizational burden and prevent event cannibalizing and fragmenting the
spatial community. Most normal people can unfortunately only go to one
three-day event in a year. Mingle with what's there and change from
within, we are big and established enough for that now.

> Finally, in financial terms, the situation is even more unbalanced --
> the combined $50K net of Asia/Africa is far less than the $120K net from
> Victoria alone.

Hopefully OSGeo will not have to rely on generating revenue from FOSS4G in
future but instead lower the price and  make the event more affordable for
the tribe. We should make a profit in Barcelona - we need it - and again
in the US. 2012 is scheduled for apocalypse anyway so lets wait and see
whether someone comes up with the FOSS ark.


> Anyhow, that is my personal opinion, but at the risk of having my ox
> gored let me put another option on the table regards rotation and take the
> temperature of the room:
> Option 1: Europe/NA/Elsewhere
> Option 2: Europe/Elsewhere/NA/Elsewhere
> Yours,
> Paul
> On Fri, Oct 30, 2009 at 5:53 AM, Venka <venka.osgeo at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Claude Philipona wrote:
>>> On Wed, Oct 28, 2009 at 23:26, Paul Ramsey
>>> <pramsey at cleverelephant.ca>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I would like to add one more decision before we start 2011
>>>> planning, and that is "regional rotation". Namely that, before we
>>>> solicit letters of interest, we clearly state that acceptable
>>>> proposals from a particular region will receive preference. Further,
>>>> I would like to
>>>> propose that the rotation be set as Europe/North America/Other, with
>>>>  2010 being Europe, 2011 being North America and 2012 being the
>>>> next other.
>> Agree to the regional rotation but not the idea that half the
>> people planet on this planet are clumped as "others".
>> Perhaps we can consider Africa/Asia-Pacific/Europe/North America/South
>> Americas. I keep Balkan states, Central Asia, Middle East,
>> Russia in reserve as we have not seen participation
>> form that part of the world in past of the world at the past FOSS4G
>> conferences. Hope to see some of them folks in Barcelona.
>> FOSS4G will complete its "rotation" in Europe, North America,
>> Africa and Asia-Pacific, Europe by 2010.
>> The next in line would be North America/South Americas
>> considering the fact that we have done 2 stops in Europe before reaching
>> somewhere it 2011, we might as well stop again at North America (if our
>> friends in South Americas do not strongly disagree).
>> That would leave us a choice of stopping again in Asia for 2012
>> or walking along to the South Americas. Personally, I hope we could bring
>> FOSS4G-2012 to a place that I would not
>> feel jet lagged nor require a travel visa.
>> And talking about travel visa, if we do decide to stop again
>> in North America in 2011, the organizing folks should take care of this
>> issue because half the people living on this planet whom we now classify
>> as "other" may find it annoyingly cumbersome to get their travel
>> documents.
>> Venka
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Arnulf Christl

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