[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 Jan 26 07:01:11 PST 2016

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 
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 ;-)


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