[OSGeo-Discuss] Fun Event in Victoria with mix of OSGeo/LocationTech projects

Rob Emanuele rdemanuele at gmail.com
Thu Nov 12 07:37:44 PST 2015

Hi Jeff,

I'm sorry to hear you are being bullied in private messages. It is perhaps
best to bring in the Code of Conduct committee to help handle this; direct
threats and private bulling tactics seem in violation with the CoC, and
there should be steps taken to ensure that our community doesn't have
bulling in our midst that goes unaddressed.

I'm disappointed that you take LocationTech's core goal as "to promote
business and give those businesses a stage". Your point of view and
behavior on the lists makes more sense knowing that, though; if you believe
that LocationTech is really about promoting the businesses, and not the
greater community, then having LocationTech involved in the FOSS4G
conferences would diminish the non-business community members' role in the
conference, which would be a Bad thing. However, as a member of the
LocationTech PMC and someone who was/is involved in the FOSS4G NA 2015 and
FOSS4G NA 2016 process, as well as someone involved in the FOSS4G 2017
Philadelphia bid, I want to assure you that is not the case.

There is real focus and real work being done at LocationTech to help the
community of developers and users of FOSS4G. In this instance I'm using
FOSS4G for what the acronym actually means, Free and Open Source Software
for Geospatial, not referring to the conference that has captured that
name. Both LocationTech and OSGeo exist to support FOSS4G, and the greater
community (greater then both of those organizations) that use and develop
FOSS4G. There are differences in the organizations for sure, and I think
highlighting those differences and really understanding how they serve the
community in different ways is important. The ideal scenario that I see is
that both organizations would use those differences to collaborate and have
a sum-greater-than-it's-parts type of support system for FOSS4G. Instead,
we have a situation where there's distrust, finger pointing, and political
"power plays" against each other. We have the president of one of the
organizations characterizing the core goal of the other organization in a
dangerously wrong way. We have decisions and discussions about a million
dollar revenue generating conference focused on that million dollars,
rather then how to ensure that conference does the best job possible at
supporting and pushing forward the community. We have the precious resource
that is the energy of volunteers being spent on political infighting rather
than on collaboration towards serving the community. I'm not sure the best
path forward for this, but I want to declare that the situation as I see it
is bad for the community, collaboration between OSGeo and LocationTech
would be good for the community, and I hope as a whole we can move towards
that better future.

I hear your concerns for the price of the FOSS4G NA tickets, though I'll
point out to people who are following along that it's not as simple as a
flat $1000 dollar rate. I encourage you to look at the registration pricing
breakdown when it's published for FOSS4G NA 2016, be sure to apply for a
non-corporate pass if you will not be reimbursed by a company, and to apply
for a scholarship if the cost is still too high. Also, if you are giving a
talk, registration is free, so please submit! The Call For Proposals is now
open (https://2016.foss4g-na.org/cfp). Jeff, your presence was missed at
FOSS4G NA 2015 and I hope that you can come to Raleigh for FOSS4G NA 2016.


On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 8:40 AM, Jeff McKenna <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
> wrote:

> On 2015-11-12 7:01 AM, Jody Garnett wrote:
>> I have gotten a number of private emails expressing concerns about
>> LocationTech being involved in several of the foss4g bids. I guess I had
>> the opposite concern last year when there was the joint OSGeo /
>> LocationTech foss4gna conference. I was kind of embarrassed our behavior
>> as a community - would prefer to see us as welcoming and supportive
>> (especially as we had a first time organizer that could use our support).
>> Hi Jody,
> I am very glad that you brought this up publicly.  Lately I too have
> received very disturbing direct emails, containing threats of "if this
> happens you watch" "karma you watch yourself" "if we lose you watch out"
> and direct bullying tactics, for speaking my mind on this issue.  The same
> people sending these threats will not speak publicly on this, so I have
> asked them to stop sending me these messages, but the messages continue, so
> I have stopped answering them.  These are "power-play" emails sent directly
> to me, but I will tell them here publicly, bullying me will not stop me
> from speaking openly about OSGeo's one event all year, the global FOSS4G.
> (for those not following the 2017 conference discussions, you would have to
> read a long thread to get caught up
> http://osgeo-org.1560.x6.nabble.com/Call-to-discuss-FOSS4G-2017-proposals-prior-to-voting-td5234235.html
> ).
> As someone just wrote last night on another list, likely there would be no
> one else that has attended more FOSS4G events, regional, global, anything,
> than myself. I make a point of going to a FOSS4G event, to help grow the
> local community, no matter what size of the event or where it is.  Lately
> in my FOSS4G travels I have noticed a return to our FOSS4G roots, where the
> popular events are very low cost, aimed at developers, users, students,
> researchers, and the smaller companies trying to make a living (a great
> recent example is the FOSS4G-Como event this past July).  Getting back to
> the topic of your message: I too have been embarrassed by recent
> FOSS4G-NorthAmerica events; I was shocked to see the 1,000 USD registration
> fee there.
> But I was not too upset, because no one is traveling the small FOSS4Gs
> like me to see the difference, and I didn't see complaints voiced from the
> local NorthAmerican community.  LocationTech involved in FOSS4G-NA is a
> good thing, to promote business and give those businesses a stage; the core
> goal of LocationTech.
> However now we are in the process for deciding the global FOSS4G event for
> 2017, OSGeo's flagship event, attended by the international community, and
> we must be very careful.  Working with foundations is good (hence all of
> OSGeo's great MoUs), and I'll use the upcoming example that the 2016 team
> is considering, giving LocationTech a 90 minute slot in the program for
> their projects (and the same for OSGeo, UN, likely OGC, and other
> organizations).  This is a wonderful way for OSGeo's FOSS4G event to
> involve other organizations.  I hope that LocationTech will also give OSGeo
> a 90 minute slot in their big conference someday as well; this would be
> exactly what I see as best-case scenario.
> On the other hand, not signing an MoU, and then just contacting all of our
> 2017 bidders, is quite a different method to get to the table. Instead of a
> long-standing MoU agreement that would foster the relationship throughout
> the years, as we have with so many organizations, we are faced with a
> decision now that involves both foundations and 1,000,000 USD (the annual
> FOSS4G event generates a lot of revenue, making this very attractive to
> professional conference companies all over the world, I was phoned
> yesterday by one from Europe, for example).  The money is there, huge
> money, and huge exposure for these companies.  And their jobs are on the
> line, in their minds.  Hence this situation we are forced to deal with now,
> and these nasty private messages being sent to me.
> Let's try to remain positive though, as we have 3 great bids for FOSS4G
> 2017, and a solid team working hard already to make FOSS4G-2016 in Bonn
> another amazing event.  OSGeo has never been so active and vibrant as so
> many initiatives and location chapters grow all around the world.
> Thanks for listening, and thank you Jody for bringing this topic to the
> public lists.
> -jeff
> --
> Jeff McKenna
> President, OSGeo
> http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Jeff_McKenna
> _______________________________________________
> Discuss mailing list
> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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