[OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011

Steven Feldman shfeldman at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 06:54:32 PDT 2012

In any organisation the board or top management team needs to maintain an overview of major financial commitments and risks. 

Perhaps the solution to this discussion would be for the Conference team to continue to review the submissions for the international event (and possibly any regional events that seek financial support or that potentially clash with other events) and make a recommendation to the OSGeo Board for ratification. The board could provide guidance on any criteria (financial, location, experience) that they would like to see incorporated into the Conference group's recommendation.

There is (should be) a board member assigned to the LOC for any conference backed by OSGeo and that member can report into the board to provide regular updates on budget etc.

The UK LOC are committed to capturing as much as possible of their experience of organising FOSS4G 2013 to incorporate into the Cookbook

Steven Feldman

On 18 Aug 2012, at 06:56, Cameron Shorter wrote:

> Matthew, I think that you are on the right track here.
> We should ensure there is an expectation that if volunteers step up and help you get your conference going, then at some point you will give back in a similar way, maybe afterwards to another conference.
> This should be matched by ensuring the process to contribute is not seen as daunting, and there is a clear path for people to get involved. Very often the most effective contributors are people who start an email by saying something like:
> "I am a simple community member at large who enjoyed the Denver conference. ..."
> On 18/08/2012 6:54 AM, Matthew Syphus wrote:
>> The point would be to generate an open (even written) expectation that the help afforded will go both ways.  The local/regional entity knows it going in and OSGeo has a specific group (not person) to call on to help with FOSS4G tasks, (as well as public community requests).  Yes, it rests mostly on personal feeling of obligation.  No, there is no OSGeo retribution (except perhaps for future event sponsoring). Some individuals will not participate, for reasons good or bad, but I think the net effect is that more people would end up helping FOSS4G.  (Y was expected, X never happened, Y-X >= 0.)
>> By volunteer I mean:
>> Unpaid
>> Individual decides precisely what they can/will do
>> No single individual is assigned a specific job
>> No individual has a specific time requirement
>> No legal enforcement
>> From: david.bitner at gmail.com [mailto:david.bitner at gmail.com] On Behalf Of David William Bitner
>> Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 2:27 PM
>> To: Matthew Syphus
>> Cc: Cameron Shorter; Frank Warmerdam; conference_dev at lists.osgeo.org
>> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] Analysing the downfall of FOSS4G 2011
>> On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 3:12 PM, Matthew Syphus <MSyphus at lhtac.org> wrote:
>> Cameron,
>> I am a simple community member at large who enjoyed the Denver
>> conference.  I like your perspective regarding more volunteers as a
>> result of helping smaller events.  My thought is: can you add some sort
>> of volunteer requirement as a condition of having OSGeo help with an
>> event?
>> You can never categorically count on volunteer effort in the future. "volunteer requirement" is an oxymoron. I don't say this to be flippant, but as someone who has worked for many years with volunteer communities. Volunteers in any group come and go, I have often seen some of the most dedicated volunteers in a group simply drop off the face of the planet because they got burnt out, had personal issues, or even just that they got bored or found something else they thought was more worth their time. We should certainly do everything we can to encourage those with experience to hang around and to share their experience forward, but it is simply not practical to establish this as a hard expectation.
> -- 
> Cameron Shorter
> Geospatial Solutions Manager
> Tel: +61 (0)2 8570 5050
> Mob: +61 (0)419 142 254
> Think Globally, Fix Locally
> Geospatial Solutions enhanced with Open Standards and Open Source
> http://www.lisasoft.com
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