[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] 50% FOSS4G-NA profits to NA

David William Bitner bitner at dbspatial.com
Tue Aug 21 14:32:57 PDT 2012

Cameron --

I really don't see how this is any different from what the Board already
does for Project Sponsorships (
http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Project_Sponsorship). Rather than the 25% that
sponsors pay into the OSGeo general fund, we are offering 50%. What is your
picture of what happens with GDAL earmarked funds if OSGeo has financial

To be clear, I don't see this 50% as being part of what we are asking for
to secure the conference. This 50% is to act as an initial pot of money
that the conference organizers can do to pay for things like venue deposits
or designer fees or professional conference management fees to get things
off the ground that are often needed before a conference organizing
committee can even get any sponsors. Please note these are all costs that
we are not asking for upfront from OSGeo exactly because we have received
the profits from the previous event.

It is the 50% that goes to the OSGeo general fund that should be used by
OSGeo to fulfill its
It is my belief that supporting conferences like this has been and should
continue to be an important part of that mission.

I'm not really sure I've helped or hurt my case with you with this.


On Tue, Aug 21, 2012 at 3:56 PM, Cameron Shorter
<cameron.shorter at gmail.com>wrote:

>  On 21/08/2012 10:08 PM, David William Bitner wrote:
>   3. Earmark a minimum of 50% of net conference profits for future FOSS4G
>>    North America events (excluding the main FOSS4G international event).
>>  *  I think this is a valid request, but there are many grey areas
>> associated with the wide comment and I believe it requires more discussion
>> (at least weeks). FOSS4G-NA, in the interests of getting this motion
>> approved, can we please remove this point from the motion.
>  No. We are willing to refine this statement, but as we received 100% of
> net conference profits from our preceding event, we feel it is only fair if
> we pass a significant amount forward to make sure this event continues.
> Would limiting it to an earmark of 50% to a 2015 NA Event (2014 if the 2014
> International event is not in NA) with that amount rolling back to OSGeo
> general funds were it not to happen limit this better for you?
> I'm breaking discussion out as a separate thread.
> My concerns with this statement is that while OSGeo may wish to provide
> this support, there are a number of valid scenarios where it will be
> difficult to deliver, and how OSGeo delivers is open to mis-interpretation.
> As we are seeing right now, Conferences need funds to secure a conference.
> Assuming everything goes to plan, these funds will never be used, they just
> sit in the bank acting as a guarantee. Is this what the 50% funds are to be
> used for? (I think this is a valid request).
> Can FOSS4G-NA spend all of the 50% funds on extra activities (such as
> sponsoring a code sprint), at the expense of retaining security funds for
> next year? I think that security funds need to be kept in the bank, and if
> there is some money left over, then there could be extra funds spend on
> extra activities.
> If these funds are sitting in the bank, then can OSGeo use these 50% funds
> to secure another conference in an off year? I think OSGeo should be able
> to.
> If the other conference fails, and OSGeo looses much of its capital, does
> OSGeo need to honour its commitment to FOSS4G-NA at the expense of OSGeo's
> core business? I don't think so.
> And if FOSS4G-NA put such clauses into agreements with OSGeo, then expect
> them from the rest of the world as well. Who do you propose will manage,
> monitor and arbitrate on all these agreements? Note that OSGeo doesn't have
> any paid staff.
> As you can see from above, there are lots of questions, which I think will
> take weeks and probably longer to consider.
> As such I would like to move forward without this statement included in
> the agreement, but with an understanding that FOSS4G-NA wish to have "a
> minimum of 50% of net conference profits for future FOSS4G North America
> events (excluding the main FOSS4G international event)", and the OSGeo
> Board acknowledging that this is a reasonable request which the board would
> like to honour in principle, but which the board is not ready to commit to
> until the details have been considered.
> --
> 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 Sourcehttp://www.lisasoft.com
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David William Bitner
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