[OSGeo-Conf] [Board] travel grant discussion

Cameron Shorter cameron.shorter at gmail.com
Fri May 12 12:39:54 PDT 2017

+1 to Steven's comments.

When chairing FOSS4G 2009 I was surprised by how many people had very 
compelling reasons for why they in particular deserved a free pass to 
the conference. And at the same time, there are people equally 
passionate about keeping fees to a minimum.

The hardest part of the travel grant program is that there will be 
insufficient budget for everyone's request. There is likely to be 
endless debate over what is fair, with most people thinking that what is 
selected is unfair for them. Lots of people will need to be told "No, 
sorry you didn't get a spot".

So yes, the most important thing is to create a set of selection 
principles, which are transposed into selection criteria, which is 
allocated to a selection panel to apply as fairly as they see fit. Then 
to defend the selection committee when people complain.

I suggest that every attendee should "have some skin in the game". Ie 
this travel grant shouldn't be seen as a way to get a free holiday. It 
should be seen as supporting a hugely dedicated community member to 
connect with other people such that they can amplify their effectiveness.
So I'd suggest criteria include:
* Volunteer effort by recipient > Cost of grant
* The recipient co-contributes in some way, maybe by partly funding 
their activity, maybe by working at the event, such as helping out on 
the OSGeo booth

On 13/5/17 1:57 am, Steven Feldman wrote:
> My 2c
> Several key questions
>  1. How much money do we have to distribute?
>  2. Where is it coming from? If OSGeo we will need Michael Smith to
>     manage the payments.
>  3. We need simple criteria from OSGeo to determine our selection of
>     recipients
>      1. Do we give priority to people from lower income countries? 100%?
>      2. Is OSGeo content to allow the selection group to prioritise
>         ethnicity and gender as they see fit?
>      3. Do we give full funding to a small number of people or partial
>         funding to a larger number
>      4. Do we ask/expect travel grant recipients to volunteer some
>         time at the event?
> This needn’t be too complicated but we will need to move quickly to 
> agree and publish criteria and kick off the application process. 
> Hopefully the Boston LOC will be willing to extend early bird prices 
> to travel grant recipients even though the cut off date will have passed?
> mftbwy
> ______
> Steven
>> On 12 May 2017, at 16:11, Eli Adam <eadam at co.lincoln.or.us 
>> <mailto:eadam at co.lincoln.or.us>> wrote:
>> On Fri, May 12, 2017 at 4:04 AM, Till Adams <till.adams at fossgis.de 
>> <mailto:till.adams at fossgis.de>> wrote:
>>> Hi CC-members,
>>> I read the paper delivered by Jody, added some comments and 
>>> corrected the details for the Bonn conference.
>>> This paper is more the OSGeo-manual on the topic.
>> If we're really using google docs to work on a document, please allow
>> wide editing or at a minimum comments.  I've opened this document
>> several times and read it but lack access to edit or comment.
>> Selectively giving access isn't really sufficient in my opinion.
>> Otherwise, we can use the wiki.
>>> I think we as Conference Committee have another important task in 
>>> this tropic:
>>> How to we select applicants, if applicants > money?
>> Right, I expect this will be a common situation.
>>> Second we should agree on what do applicants get paid? We had a long 
>>> discussion on this for bonn and in the end we agreed, that it is 
>>> very difficult to actually give a travel grant. In the end we did 
>>> two things:
>>> 1. we paid early bird fee and accommodation in a regular hotel for 
>>> "regular" applicants
>> This is of course "easy" when it is the LOC since it is the LOC both
>> "paying" and "receiving" the funds.  We'll have to figure something
>> out for this when it is the Conference Committee "paying" and the LOC
>> "receiving" the funds.  Maybe we'll want to include TG funds in the
>> advance to the LOC?  This is partly all semantics since it is all
>> OSGeo funds but the LOC does have real bills to be paid (venue,
>> catering, etc).
>>> 2. we paid accommodation in a hostel and 500€ cash (as grant for 
>>> travel costs) to applicants, that also took part in the 
>>> student-helper programme.
>>> With that, there was no real cash flow before the event, as it would 
>>> have been necessary, f we really would have paid for travel costs.
>> We've got several details to work out.  This might take a little 
>> discussion.
>> Best regards, Eli
>>> So far,
>>> Till
>>> Am 10.05.2017 um 08:38 schrieb Jody Garnett:
>>> Happy to share the document (see attached).
>>> Travel Grant Guidelines
>>> I have put the travel grant thing on the agenda for Thursday board 
>>> meeting; while i am sure we can handle it a rep from the conference 
>>> committee may wish to attend.
>>> Aside: I am focused on this as part of our OSGeo inclusive goal (so 
>>> diversity and having it be broader in scope then just the annual 
>>> foss4g event. I know that will be hard to focus on since foss4g 
>>> boston has a short term need.
>>> --
>>> Jody Garnett
>>> On 9 May 2017 at 23:30, Till Adams <till.adams at fossgis.de 
>>> <mailto:till.adams at fossgis.de>> wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> thanks Eli for the sum up. I think the count of 9 votes (8 x +1, 1 
>>>> x +0) shows, that we have enough capacity to run this topic.
>>>> In general I think the voting result is clear - if the board passes 
>>>> over this topic to us, we are ready to go.
>>>> Then we can proceed to the next step, as Jody suggested in his mail 
>>>> from 4th of May and dive into his draft document. @Jody, could you 
>>>> please share this doc with us?
>>>> We have to keep Camerons thoughts in mind:
>>>> - my intention was a restriction to global FOSS4G, but may be 
>>>> extended on a case by case basis to other events too - any other 
>>>> opinions here?
>>>> Also I think the handbook (that needs a re-work anyway) is a good 
>>>> place:
>>>> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/FOSS4G_Handbook
>>>> Also we should care about Michaels last email and request to care 
>>>> about Narcisse Mbunzama (email from 09.05.2017)
>>>> Regards, Till
>>>> Am 10.05.2017 um 02:30 schrieb Eli Adam:
>>>> On Tue, May 9, 2017 at 1:45 PM, Steven Feldman 
>>>> <shfeldman at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Have we got enough votes to declare a decision? So far no one has 
>>>> voted -1
>>>> I count eight +1s and one +0 so that is enough.  [0]
>>>> https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee#Decisions
>>>> What was the expiry time for voting?
>>>> Rereading, Till's email, I now see that he set an entirely reasonable
>>>> timeline of May 10th, [1]
>>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/conference_dev/2017-May/004344.html
>>>> I mistakenly complained about an short timespan in my response
>>>> apparently based on a terrible misreading of the date.
>>>> I expect that Till will "6. The result will be clearly declared
>>>> afterwards." [0] once the timeline expires.
>>>> Best regards, Eli
>>>> [0] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Conference_Committee#Decisions
>>>> [1] 
>>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/conference_dev/2017-May/004344.html
>>>> Steven
>>>> 07958 924 101
>>>> On 9 May 2017, at 21:05, Michael Terner <mgt at appgeo.com> wrote:
>>>> Off list, as not sure of process and this emanates from Jody (i.e., 
>>>> I assume
>>>> he knows process; and may have avoided cross post to ConfDev
>>>> intentionally?)...
>>>> But, heads-up that from Board's perspective they're waiting for 
>>>> ConfDev to
>>>> report back, and are hoping for something by Thursday (see below)...
>>>> MT
>>>> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>> From: Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com>
>>>> Date: Tue, May 9, 2017 at 2:27 PM
>>>> Subject: Re: [Board] travel grant discussion
>>>> To: "board at lists.osgeo.org" <board at lists.osgeo.org>
>>>> I closed the loomio vote while we wait for a response from the 
>>>> conference
>>>> committee. I note that discussion is getting into details
>>>> (finance,scope,value,history) rather than focused on the question: 
>>>> Is the
>>>> conference committee willing to accept the responsibility for a 
>>>> travel grant
>>>> program.
>>>> I hope we can hear back in time for our meeting Thursday, it would 
>>>> be good
>>>> to have this well underway by the end of the month (as potential 
>>>> foss4g,
>>>> foss4g-europe attendees will need to apply shortly).
>>>> --
>>>> Jody Garnett
>>>> On 23 April 2017 at 22:25, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> As noted in last weeks meeting, we have an action to move travel grant
>>>> discussion to email. The motivation is to build on the work done at 
>>>> FOSS4G
>>>> 2015, FOSS4G 2016 and a few local events.
>>>> I would like to propose:
>>>> - A format, similar to code sprints, where any OSGeo event can 
>>>> apply for
>>>> funds to run a travel grants
>>>> - To repeat this is not a FOSS4G specific idea
>>>> - I am interested in using travel grants to promote diversity 
>>>> within our
>>>> community
>>>> A final comment is that travel grants are not a viable solution to high
>>>> event costs. If we wish to offer discounts for students we should do so
>>>> (rather than lean on a travel grant program).
>>>> --
>>>> Jody Garnett
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Board mailing list
>>>> Board at lists.osgeo.org
>>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/board
>>>> --
>>>> Michael Terner
>>>> Executive Vice President
>>>> 617-447-2468 Direct | 617-447-2400 Main
>>>> Applied Geographics, Inc.
>>>> 24 School Street, Suite 500
>>>> Boston, MA 02108
>>>> www.AppGeo.com
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Cameron Shorter
M +61 419 142 254

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