[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] FOSS4G North America 2013

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Tue Aug 21 18:32:45 PDT 2012

Summarising conversation on IRC ...

It has been explained to my satisfaction the intent of "Earmark a 
minimum of 50% of net conference profits for future FOSS4G North America 
events (excluding the main FOSS4G international event)."
In particular:
* It has been pointed out that the comment above refers to a specific 
conference event, rather than a chapter (and as such is not applying to 
running other related events such as codesprints, or workshops or similar).
* I note that the key costs in holding a conference is the "seeding 
costs". Ie, money you need to put down as a deposit. Also the possible 
loss incurred if the conference is to be cancelled.
* This "50% of profits" is being earmarked to help ensure that the same 
conference has sufficient capital to be kicked off and run in following 

With regards to OSGeo liability, I'll wait till FOSS4G UK have had a 
chance to vote, up to midday in UK, 22 Aug 2012. (in ~ 11 hrs).

David Bitner has filled in a running liability spreadsheet here to 
facilitate discussion:

Stephen, it would be great if you could do your best to do the same, 
with what figures you have available to you at the moment. I acknowledge 
they will only be best guess at this point.

On 22/08/2012 8:27 AM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
> I intend to wait till Nottingham have time to comment before making my 
> final vote. (I'll give them until midday in the UK in ~ 12 hours).
> It would really help if someone could pull together a quick 
> spreadsheet which shows the exposure of each conference by month, 
> summing up to the total exposure to OSGeo by month.
> Things I'm hoping we can address within the next 12 hours is:
> * A reduced statement regarding the 50% of sponsorship to North 
> America. I'm concerned that:
> 1. The statement as it stands is too vague, which will lead to 
> misinterpretation causing bad blood in future.
> 2. It may be perceived as US interests receiving special favours at 
> the expense of the rest of the world, (getting a motion pushed through 
> without allowing time for the rest of the world to comment).
> 3. Can we please get this statement reworded to be less committing ... 
> discussion continuing on IRC. ...
> I should point out that I see OSGeo board's loyalties being to the 
> global foss4g in the first instance, very closely followed by FOSS4G-NA.
> On 22/08/2012 7:48 AM, David William Bitner wrote:
>>     Looking from another perspective, the FOSS4G North America
>>     conference has already been widely publicized (see
>>     http://foss4g-na.org/save-the-date-foss4g-north-america-2013/,
>>     widely reposted elsewhere). If we choose not to provide this
>>     support then the team will have to cancel the event, which I
>>     think will be seen to reflect very negatively on OSGeo. Canceling
>>     one major planned event (Beijing) is bad enough, canceling two
>>     within the space of a few months would really damage our credibility.
>>     You can argue various points about whether it should have been
>>     "announced" before getting everything agreed, but we are where we
>>     are and I think no matter how you spin it, many people would see
>>     it as another significant setback for OSGeo if we didn't go ahead.
>> I just want to take a minute to make clear (from my perspective) how 
>> we got to where we are. From the attempted formation of the North 
>> American Chapter last year to support the NA event in DC, it was made 
>> clear that the Conference Committee did not have the bandwidth to 
>> deal with other conferences. The DC event was fortunate in that it 
>> was able to secure the event through the initial sponsors of the 
>> event OpenGeo and Radiant Blue. It is with the assumption that the 
>> Conference Committee did not want a hand in vetting these regional 
>> events that, as the only people who expressed an interest in hosting 
>> this conference on the North America mailing list that we took on the 
>> mantle from the DC crew where a preliminary announcement was made 
>> that MSP would host the next event. The event in the Twin Cities is 
>> being hosted by the Twin Cities Local Chapter of OSGeo which is not a 
>> legal entity and as such does not have any ability to underwrite this 
>> conference. This is why I first approached the Board rather than the 
>> Conference Committee to seek assistance for the financial backstop 
>> role. The Board then directed me to put the issue to the Conference 
>> Committee first.
>> I do not think that losing this commitment from OSGeo will scuttle 
>> our event completely. I do think it will cause OSGeo to miss out on 
>> an opportunity to take on an activity that 1) strongly supports the 
>> mission and 2) has a strong likelihood of creating a profit for our 
>> chapter's "parent organization". If OSGeo cannot fulfill this role, 
>> it will be a *major *setback for us and we will likely need to create 
>> a relationship with someone else where we would lose all that revenue 
>> from our community.
>> David
> -- 
> 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

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

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