[OSGeo-Conf] [FOSS4G 2016] / upcoming FOSS4G - do we want a travel grant budget / student award

till.adams at fossgis.de till.adams at fossgis.de
Tue Feb 9 05:11:34 PST 2016

Hi all,

many thanks for all your contributions and the discussion and the 
support, of putting that in front.  In general I agree and a well-formed 
and established funding for participating on all OSGeo events would be 
great and I totally support that (and wouldn't mind to support on that 
*after* August 2016).

But... ;-)

There are some things I'd like to add:

1. Following the discussions, it looks like, that we (Bonn's LOC) are 
too late with our idea, although one of my core ideas was more to get 
some funding from OSGeo** that would lower our risk and in the end comes 
back to OSGeo - as we are quite sure making a surplus at the end. And 
that'll be a way to establish such a program already in Bonn - and 
allows nevertheless to pursue all the other ideas.

**Beside that, we of course look for other official opportunities to 
get some funding for that and also ask sponsors and attendees for a 
donation on that (like former teams did)

2. In my eyes, the funding programm is not only addressed to students, 
but also to people from developing countries, taking the world bank 
ranking looks like a good approach.

3. We also plan to have a programm we name "studentship programm" which 
adresses explicitly to students as volunteers supporting us in session 
rooms, at the info-point or welcome-desk. At any rate, we'd have to pay 
somebody for doing this, so I think that's a fair deal. The deal is 
"50/50" - 50% work for us (which also might mean being inside a session 
room) and 50% free access to all conference sessions, including the 
social event. And also included full food and drinks, just like for all 
attendees ;-). I don't see a two-tier society of attendees here.
But as said, my email aims on my points 1. and 2.

So, my question is, how to proceed to put things already in motion for 
this years conference?

I could sum up our discussion including also Camerons's concerns and 
bring this to the board for as fast(er) decision.

Regards, Till

Am 2016-02-08 16:43, schrieb Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul):
> All,
> Might this morphed into something for handling all funding requests?
> bobb
>> On Feb 6, 2016, at 3:06 PM, Eli Adam <eadam at co.lincoln.or.us> wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> I have a few thoughts on grant programs.
>> To Till, David, and Kristin, I think that an established, funded,
>> ongoing grant program at the OSGeo level is a great idea.  That 
>> could
>> provided consistency and continuity from year to year.  Maybe we can
>> get the Board to authorize and delegate that to a committee if there
>> are people willing to do the work.
>> To Till and the Bonn LOC, it could be some time before an 
>> established,
>> funded, ongoing grant program at the OSGeo level comes into 
>> existence.
>> Portland, Seoul, and others have decided to run grant programs at 
>> the
>> LOC level.  Ideally, this would not be needed since it would be done
>> at the OSGeo level, but until such time that that happens, it is up 
>> to
>> the LOCs.  I would suggest that the Bonn LOC decide if and how they
>> want to run a grant program and go from there.  I think that an 
>> OSGeo
>> level grant program getting established is more likely after several
>> years of success at the LOC level.  This also lets the LOCs try
>> different ideas.  Once the best ideas get figured out, then it is
>> easier to formalize it at the OSGeo level.
>> To Cameron, I think of the grants differently, more like Jeff's 
>> quote
>> about signing to the fan in the last row.  It is an opportunity to
>> welcome a young student in and fully include them as a first-class
>> full peer participate.  This makes an incredible impression on 
>> people
>> beginning their careers.  While a student may not provide that much
>> immediate "return", we don't know where they are going to work.  
>> They
>> could go to work at the State Department, the UN, a major city, an 
>> NGO
>> that works with influential members of government departments in
>> developing countries, or found a startup, etc.
>> Most LOCs also run a volunteer program which is different than 
>> grants.
>> Volunteering is just a different way to pay registration.  You can 
>> pay
>> with money or you can pay with time and work (volunteering).  These
>> programs have different purposes.
>> I have a short story.  Once while involved with running a one day
>> symposium, we had a professor (who was also presenting) request free
>> registration for their entire class.  Our registration was already
>> very low (~$20).  We explained that the $20 just covered snacks,
>> beverages, and lunch.  The professor suggested that the students 
>> would
>> pack their own lunches and not cost us anything.  Sounded fine (and 
>> we
>> didn't have much of a negotiating position) so we agreed.  It seems
>> that the professor never told their students that their registration
>> had been waived on the premise of them packing lunches.  This 
>> resulted
>> in us treating all these students as second-class participants.  We
>> didn't really want to explain that their professor (and one of our
>> presenters) had thrown them under the bus so we apologized for the
>> misunderstanding and made it work the best we could.
>> This is one of the things that makes me want grants to not include
>> work requirements or anything else.  It is to fully included someone
>> early in their career as a peer and let them learn and remember that
>> positive experience that they carry through their career.
>> Merry Mapping, Eli
>> On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 6:21 PM, Kristin Bott <bottk at reed.edu> wrote:
>>> Till,
>>> I'll echo David Bitner -- thank you for the note (and the 
>>> reminder).
>>> Thoughts from here:
>>> I am a huge fan of setting aside _dedicated funds_ for scholarship 
>>> programs
>>> for conferences. I think that supporting a Travel Grant/Scholarship 
>>> program
>>> consistently would serve two key functions:
>>> (1) make FOSS4G accessible to people who might not be able to 
>>> attend for
>>> economic reasons and who would greatly contribute to, and benefit 
>>> from, the
>>> conference
>>> (2) encourage attendance and participation by people from groups
>>> traditionally under-represented at FOSS4G
>>> -- and I think that it is a wonderful idea to separate funding 
>>> (from main
>>> conference funding) in order to keep the grant/scholarship program
>>> sustainable.
>>> (Here are some details [1] about what we did for the 2014 FOSS4G 
>>> Travel
>>> Grant program)
>>> I would be curious to hear what the OSGeo Board would propose to 
>>> both of the
>>> options that Bitner put forth:
>>> "
>>> 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.
>>> "
>>> As Bitner said, there are a lot of details to work out, but I think 
>>> this is
>>> an important issue and I'm glad you brought it up.
>>> Note that supporting programs that help create a more welcoming and 
>>> diverse
>>> OSGeo community is one of the functions of the Code of Conduct 
>>> Committee
>>> [which I currently chair]; if funds are approved, I would be happy 
>>> to work
>>> with you or other organizers in order to ensure that OSGeo events 
>>> are more
>>> open to all.
>>> Cameron, I think that thinking about return on investment can be 
>>> tricky,
>>> because I think defining what the OSGeo community values as a 
>>> "return" worth
>>> that investment will be complicated. (When we designed our travel 
>>> grant
>>> program for FOSS4G 2014, we considered a number of different models 
>>> for
>>> awarding funds.)
>>> I'm excited to see where this conversation goes.
>>> cheers -
>>> -kristin
>>> [1] http://2014.foss4g.org/travel-grant-epilogue/index.html
>>> [2] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/CodeOfConduct_Committee
>>> On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 7:01 AM, <till.adams at fossgis.de> wrote:
>>>> Hi Conference Committee,
>>>> long time no real news from Bonn, but in short: Up to now 
>>>> preparation 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 
>>>> attendees 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 good, because widely as
>>>> independent accepted, way to decide on that.
>>>> In general I really like the idea of enabling people from 
>>>> developing
>>>> 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 inside 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 costs, 
>>>> 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 happens. 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 money 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 risk, 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 OSGeo.
>>>> 2. Student Award
>>>> In Seoul also there has been a student award, or to be honest, 
>>>> they 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 lunch-time 
>>>> ;-). This
>>>> also could become a now established and fixed part of a FOSS4G - 
>>>> and hits
>>>> also one of the main goals OSGeo has - to prosper 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 ;-)
>>>> Till
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