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

Seven (aka Arnulf) seven at arnulf.us
Tue Oct 11 12:10:09 EDT 2011

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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.


- -- 
Exploring Space, Time and Mind
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