[OSGeo-Conf] [FOSS4G 2016] / upcoming FOSS4G - do we want a travel grant budget / student award
cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri Feb 5 12:04:33 PST 2016
When I was FOSS4G chair I was surprised by the number of requests I
received for free passes to the conference, with each requester
surprised that I might even say "no". Requests came from developing
countries, students, presenters, chairs of spatial industry groups,
media, and more.
In thinking about grants, I suggest asking "What is the return on
investment?" It is worth considering OSGeo priorities .
For student grants, I think "return" equates to "how many people are
swayed to make use of OSGeo Software" because of the grant?
If 10 students hear about the competition, 4 put in a poster, 1 changes
their career path to include OSGeo Software, then I think the return on
investment is low.
If an influential member of a government department in a developing
country returns from FOSS4G and initiates changes to a government agency
to make use of OSGeo Software, then that would be a high return on
David's point is good, about asking students to contribute to the
conference. (This reduces the "investment". If someone wants a free
pass, I think the right thing to do is too offer something in return.
Media offer free coverage and a marketing pipeline in return for their
free pass. At our event, we offered a free pass to a student who
volunteered to film conference events, and another free pass to a
sys-admin who kept the wifi running.
One thing worth considering is cost of conference versus cost of travel.
As such, I'd give priority to local candidates over international ones
as you get a better return on investment.
On 5/02/2016 3:55 am, David William Bitner wrote:
> Thank you very much for sending this out, sorry that I am just
> responding now.
> I think that it is a great idea to separate out the budget for these
> scholarship programs from the conference budget to ensure that we can
> support them across the years and locations.
> I see two main ways that we can support this from the OSGeo side.
> 1) Set aside (and fundraise for) funds administered by OSGeo and made
> available to provide scholarships across ANY OSGeo supported event
> (FOSS4G, regional FOSS4G-type events, code sprints)
> 2) Set aside (primarily from FOSS4G revenue, potentially with
> additional fundraising) funds to be specifically budgeted for FOSS4G
> LOC's to administer scholarship programs.
> In both of these situations we should make clear expectations at bid
> time or for any other events that wish to take part in scholarship
> programs of what rate an LOC would be compensated for for any
> registration expenses are paid out of scholarship funds (ie always get
> a published student rate or are pinned to the nominal "additional
> head" cost that covers actual food/printouts/shirts but not
> necessarily the "share" of fixed costs). Additionally if an LOC can
> require scholarship recipients to take on volunteer tasks etc.
> Certainly a lot of details to work through about how to make all this
> work, but I would personally love to see a central OSGeo fund that
> could be used for registration and/or travel expenses that could be
> applied not only to FOSS4G but to other events and code sprints as well.
> On Thu, Feb 4, 2016 at 4:52 AM, <till.adams at fossgis.de
> <mailto:till.adams at fossgis.de>> wrote:
> Hi conference committee,
> just a reminder of my email, I sent you a week ago - see below.
> Unfortunately I received no response to my ideas.
> I talked to Steven about that yesterday, and he more or less
> agrees on my ideas.
> Are there any further opinions or should I contact the board directly?
> I've CC'd Christoph, who is new in our LOC and from now on the
> chair for the travel grant programm, so please include him in
> further discussions.
> Am 2016-01-26 16:01, schrieb till.adams at fossgis.de
> <mailto:till.adams at fossgis.de>:
> Hi Conference Committee,
> long time no real news from Bonn, but in short: Up to now
> of FOSs4G is running quiet well, we just released our Call for
> Submissions as you might (should) have noticed.
> Anyhow, there are some ideas we have that are quite
> interesting for
> all FOSs4G's in the future and therefore I take the opportunity to
> discuss with you.
> 1. Travel Grants
> Seouls team (Sanghee, correct me if I am wrong) set up a
> travel grant
> budget, AFAIK he took 10k $ from his budget and also enabled
> to make a donation for the travel grant budget.
> People from developing countries then were encouraged to apply for
> such a travel grant and Seoul LOC paid for a number of them
> for travel
> costs and also gave these people a free/reduced ticket. They used
> world banks country rating to forgive these grants, which is a
> because widely as independent accepted, way to decide on that.
> In general I really like the idea of enabling people from
> countries to attend a FOSS4G. I think especially in developing
> countries Open Source could be a key technology to really improve
> situations there and keep knowledge and with that also money
> the country.
> On the other side, we, Bonn's LOC, now have the same problem all
> former and upcoming LOC's had/will have: First you see all the
> that come up and although we are in a good hope, that FOSS4G
> 2016 in
> Bonn will become a great success, we don't know, what really
> Taking both things into account, I'd like to apply at OSGeo
> board for
> the following:
> I'd like OSGeo to set up a fixed budget for travel grants for a
> FOSS4G. If (our) FOSS4G becomes a success, OSGeo will get this
> back anyhow, because Bonn's LOC agreed to give at least 90% of our
> surplus to OSgeo. If we make a loss, the money from OSGeo is
> gone and
> doesn't enhance our financial desaster ;-). The other way
> around would
> be, that we decide on having that (like Sould team did) on our
> but the money for OSGeo is lost anyhow, because at the end of
> the day,
> the money comes out of OSGeo pocket anyhow. So why not taking the
> opportunity to make that a fixed part for all FOSS4G-conferences?
> Just FYI: I will also apply for some more money at FOSSGIS (local
> german speaking OSGeo chapter), which have the same goals as
> 2. Student Award
> In Seoul also there has been a student award, or to be honest,
> were 4, 2 from OSGeo and 2 from LOC Seoul, respectively one
> for the
> best student-poster and for the best student-presentation. The
> presence of twoxtwo student awards caused a little confusion in my
> eyes. I think it was around 500$ each award, directly given to the
> winners in the closing session.
> I know that it was a quiet spontaneous decision on how to
> decide on
> the winners which was just made right during Seouls FOSS4G
> ;-). This also could become a now established and fixed part of a
> FOSS4G - and hits also one of the main goals OSGeo has - to
> education with OSGeo software.
> So here are my questions:
> A) Would conference committee support us and upcoming teams by
> advising the board to setup a fixed travel grant budget?
> B) Same question for the student award?
> Many thanks for your time ;-)
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> David William Bitner
> dbSpatial LLC
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