[OSGeo-Discuss] OSGeo/LocationTech relationship

Jeff McKenna jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
Sun Nov 15 12:18:35 PST 2015

Hi Andrea,

I have no doubt that you mean well.  I hope that maybe seeing my vision 
for OSGeo, will help explain myself.  I feel that OSGeo and LocationTech 
are in fact different, especially in their visions (which would likely 
be why LocationTech was formed initially, I imagine there was a good 
reason not to help OSGeo grow, not to dedicate that time to instead help 
change OSGeo for the better).  I realize that it is too late to question 
why we now have 2 foundations.  I would like to work together, but for 
OSGeo to have its own event, FOSS4G.  I would like to discuss 
LocationTech being more involved in the global FOSS4G, such as through 
sponsorship or special sessions.  I would like to discuss OSGeo bring 
more involved in LocationTech, and am open to your ideas how.

I hope taking all of today (it took me most of today to compile those 
words, which I made many mistakes in ha) helps you see more into my 
vision, and explains who I am and where I want to go.  I am very ok with 
people disagreeing with it.  I took a leadership training course for a 
year (in 2011), and this made me pull out my old Harvard Business 
journal print-outs ha, it was actually a good reason to review all of 
this.  I also know that a vision does not always work, and could be 
rejected by the OSGeo community at large.  I am, absolutely putting all 
of me on the line.

I am prepared for that as well.  Wow, isn't this fun? :)

Talk soon,


On 2015-11-15 1:35 PM, Andrea Ross wrote:
> Jeff,
> Again, you make statements like you have below about me/LocationTech
> smoothly courting/calculated/etc going after OSGeo's only source of
> revenue. Perhaps you would like to present your evidence for making such
> negative statements?
> Bear in mind that the ample evidence to the contrary is public. Dave &
> Robert have told their stories about how & why they LocationTech as a
> conference organizer for their 2017 bids. Michael Terner shared his
> story too. There was nothing untoward involved, and everything has been
> talked about publicly.
> The budget details for those bids are public too and as generous as a
> conservative budget allows. The payment is very much in line with the
> best payments ever received from a FOSS4G, and OSGeo is not on the hook
> for a loss should one occur.
> Making such assertions with no evidence to back them up, against much
> evidence to the contrary is unfounded and very unprofessional.
> The FAQ we published
> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/15x1Q3J9OPM95jEkeZhYlU0xB5uO9V9NCOI28g5B_Yqc/edit>
> publicly makes the motives very clear. People like myself, Dave
> McIlhagga, Jody Garnett, and many others have been deeply involved in
> OSGeo & FOSS4G since the beginning in many capacities. (so were the
> Founders of LocationTech for what that's worth) All of what we have done
> is public record. We never left the community. We care about FOSS4G and
> care how it is run. We are valued members of the FOSS4G & OSGeo
> communities, have equal right to participate, and not the invading
> outsiders you are attempting to portray us as.
> Again, you imply something untoward regarding why LocationTech was
> founded and exists. It was created & exists to fill a gap. And 3 years
> on it is doing a pretty good job of that. As I have said, I am not aware
> of any harm to OSGeo that has come from LocationTech. There was much
> goodness specified clearly in the FAQ stating plainly how LocationTech
> has helped OSGeo. You are welcome to share your evidence to the contrary.
> As just one more example we didn't put in the FAQ, after a  very
> successful FOSS4G NA 2015, $6K USD was paid to OSGeo from LocationTech
> to help support it. The money was provided with no strings attached for
> OSGeo to spend how it see's fit.
> Collaboration happens between OSGeo & LocationTech every day without
> fuss. People shuffle back and forth across the imaginary border without
> even thinking about it. It is one ecosystem.
> I wish you'd see & acknowledge the goodness and positive things from
> LocationTech. At the very least, without any evidence of anything
> negative, you should really stop.
> Andrea
> On 13/11/15 14:24, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>> Hi Andrea,
>> You seem to value the OSGeo community so much, so much in fact that
>> you would smoothly court all 3 of our bidders for OSGeo's only source
>> of revenue and publicity all year, our beloved global FOSS4G event.
>> It is true that it is "ridiculous", from an organization that
>> (apparently formerly) focused on commerce, to ask OSGeo to pay you
>> (90,000 USD), to take control of OSGeo's only event (worth 1,000,000
>> USD), and then think that this is a fine since you offer (my answer: a
>> polite no thank you) of handling losses for OSGeo's FOSS4G event, in
>> maybe one of the strongest regions for attendees in the world?  If we
>> are speaking of commerce, this doesn't make sense.
>> I think Maxi said it well, that we all are trying to understand your
>> motives here.  How about an MoU together, exchange of official
>> letters, big press release, creating a working group of half
>> LocationTech and half OSGeo board members, an exchange of talks at
>> each others events, become the sustaining sponsor of OSGeo; instead,
>> here we are.
>> If you value the OSGeo community so much, why would you create a
>> separate foundation with the exact same goals, and then later come
>> back to the other foundation saying "no, we love you.  Give us the
>> right to run your event".  Ha, pardon?
>> -jeff
>> On 2015-11-12 7:35 PM, Andrea Ross wrote:
>>> Jeff,
>>> It is really hard to discuss this topic because you make stuff up. The
>>> concerns stem from the fantasy rather than reality.
>>> The FAQ produced recently
>>> <https://docs.google.com/document/d/15x1Q3J9OPM95jEkeZhYlU0xB5uO9V9NCOI28g5B_Yqc/edit?usp=drive_web>
>>> does a pretty good job covering the situation.
>>> In 3 years, so far as I know, absolutely no harm has come to OSGeo as a
>>> result of LocationTech, and certainly not from any official/intentional
>>> actions. On the contrary, there's a nice body of ever growing benefits.
>>> Regarding your new claims:
>>>   * The press releases & charter for LocationTech have not changed.
>>>     They're all still up where they always were and haven't been
>>>     modified. (seriously?!)
>>>   * LocationTech & OSGeo have had formal relations for some time as Jody
>>>     notes. There is all kinds of collaboration happening frequently and
>>>     people are fine with it.
>>>   * We gave many examples in the FAQ about LocationTech helping OSGeo.
>>>     I'm not even sure that (positive list) was calculated necessarily as
>>>     much as things that arise matter of course from the things the group
>>>     does.
>>>   * The evidence is for all to see in the bid proposals, LocationTech
>>>     has offered to cover losses and promising payments on par with the
>>>     best payments from past FOSS4G's. The numbers are based on a
>>>     conservative budget. When you also factor that LocationTech has
>>>     sponsored in which money has flowed to OSGeo, your claims
>>>     LocationTech is setting sights on OSGeo income are even more
>>> ridiculous.
>>>   * As Jody & others have noted, the Tour is something that was born out
>>>     of LocationTech. It is inclusive to any who want to participate. The
>>>     FAQ covers why LocationTech members & projects care about FOSS4G,
>>>     and it's very reasonable.
>>> It's worth saying that people involved with LocationTech have also been
>>> involved with OSGeo for some time. Your efforts to portray them as
>>> outsiders is bogus. They are as welcome as anyone else to participate.
>>> I'm not sure what else to say. It's such shame to have this be
>>> needlessly misrepresented.
>>> Andrea
>>> On 12/11/15 21:58, Jeff McKenna wrote:
>>>> Hi Cameron,
>>>> I am also glad to speak of this publicly, this is a very important
>>>> topic.
>>>> I have been thinking more and more about Rob's response (thank you so
>>>> much Rob for taking the time to speak with me on that).  I will speak
>>>> honestly here again, and I don't mean to offend:
>>>> I am now left with a realization that, what I always thought of
>>>> LocationTech as created to help commercially-friendly geospatial
>>>> software, is wrong.  I always just assumed that they filled a nice
>>>> hole in the equation, by focusing on business needs.  As was pointed
>>>> out to me today, their goals now are in fact the exact same as
>>>> OSGeo's.  In fact, I have to really dig now for the LocationTech's
>>>> former tagline of "commercially-friendly.." on their website, but I
>>>> found the initial press releases for LocationTech and there it is in
>>>> the second sentence, and then entire paragraphs on that goal. Did
>>>> something change there that I missed?
>>>> So now, yes, I am confused.
>>>> And no wonder that, from those initial 2012/2013 press releases from
>>>> LocationTech, fast forward to 2015 and they are contacting each of our
>>>> 3 bidding teams for FOSS4G 2017, I'm left with a sense of surprise and
>>>> shock.  The overlap exists, we are the same foundation, and, to make
>>>> matters more pressing, LocationTech has politely declined any interest
>>>> in creating their own global event for their community, and set their
>>>> sights on OSGeo's only real source of revenue and global publicity,
>>>> our yearly FOSS4G event. Now the pressure is on, as this 2017
>>>> discussion involves huge money, finances, brands, people's jobs, two
>>>> communities, and our beloved FOSS4G event that we have painfully built
>>>> to be a global brand.  And yes passions are flowing, strong words of
>>>> "fear", "bullying", "muck" are being dropped, and I have no doubt
>>>> someone soon will say "inclusive" or "exclusive", and then "code of
>>>> conduct", oh let's not forget "trademark" and even "lawyer" (to be
>>>> honest, in the past week I've heard each of these words about this
>>>> topic).  It's all an absolute mess, if you ask my opinion.
>>>> My vision is to work with foundations and organizations all around the
>>>> world, locally or globally.  OSGeo has done a great job on this,
>>>> through our (admittedly slow process for some people) of MoUs, and
>>>> building those relationships through designated committees or special
>>>> sessions at FOSS4G events.
>>>> This sudden thrust of LocationTech, by contacting each of our 3
>>>> bidders for 2017, is very calculated on their side, but on OSGeo's
>>>> side, this is a hard pill to swallow so fast.
>>>> I actually don't think it is OSGeo that should be the ones talking
>>>> now.  We haven't changed, we have always put on FOSS4G each year,
>>>> moving around the globe.  We put community first and foremost, our
>>>> community is very strong.  I think our community is what attracts
>>>> LocationTech to OSGeo, why they strategically contacted each 2017
>>>> bidders, but I'd love to hear it from their mouths.
>>>> So I don't believe it is OSGeo that should be the ones explaining
>>>> ourselves now.  I think this is the time for LocationTech to explain
>>>> their vision, how it has changed over the years, and how it sees
>>>> itself in the ecosystem, because OSGeo has been around now a long time
>>>> and their is no confusion about OSGeo.
>>>> In regards to the current situation, I wish we could start with an
>>>> MoU, work slowly on building a relationship, do not strategically
>>>> contact bidders or groups on either side, but work together on
>>>> building this ecosystem - maybe offering each other a "topic talk"
>>>> extended session at each of our events, maybe discussing becoming a
>>>> sustaining sponsor of each other's foundation, maybe having a shared
>>>> "working group" on this involving both LocationTech and OSGeo board
>>>> members.
>>>> I've done a lot of writing the last couple of days.  I hope this at
>>>> least helps explain what is on my mind.
>>>> Oh, as some privately enjoy writing to me and saying I am wrong, well
>>>> yes, I am often wrong, but at least I am speaking publicly, and trying
>>>> so hard always to make sure that OSGeo and FOSS4G are properly
>>>> represented.
>>>> -jeff
>>>> On 2015-11-12 4:04 PM, Cameron Shorter wrote:
>>>>> Hi Jeff, Venka, Jody, Rob,
>>>>> Thanks for initiating this discussion and starting to put ideas out
>>>>> for
>>>>> public discussion.
>>>>> Jeff, Venka, I get the impression from your emails that you are
>>>>> concerned that LocationTech might "steal" community mind-share, and in
>>>>> particular take control of key OSGeo tasks such as FOSS4G and in the
>>>>> process change focus of FOSS4G into a more commercial event, which
>>>>> increases prices, and looses core community driven focus. Am I
>>>>> right? Or
>>>>> could you please clarify.
>>>>> For the record, at the time I was disappointed at the time that
>>>>> Location
>>>>> Tech was created, and the functionality of Location Tech didn't get
>>>>> created under the umbrella of OSGeo. However both organisations exist
>>>>> now, and I can see that in moving forward that both organisations can
>>>>> exist successfully together and complement each other. (+1 to Rob's
>>>>> comments).
>>>>> A few years back, when both Jeff and I were on the board, we
>>>>> co-authored
>>>>> "Board Priorities" [1]. (Ok, I did a lot of writing, but the board did
>>>>> contribute and sign off on it).  Prior boards have similarly outlined
>>>>> OSGeo's priorities which have been embedded in our official documents.
>>>>> The "Board Priorities" include focus on OSGeo acting as a "low
>>>>> capital,
>>>>> volunteer focused organisation", and acknowledge that a the role of
>>>>> the
>>>>> "high capital" business model is better accomplished by LocationTech.
>>>>> Jeff, Venka, Jody and others on the board, what is your vision for
>>>>> OSGeo's future direction, and in particular, what is your vision for a
>>>>> future relationship with Location Tech? Should OSGeo revise our focus
>>>>> and goals? It might help to start by being specific. What should OSGeo
>>>>> take responsibility for? What should Location Tech take responsibility
>>>>> for? Are the organisations appropriately structured and resourced to
>>>>> take on that responsibility? If not, what should change to make that
>>>>> happen?
>>>>> With regards to private (and threatening emails), I suggest replying
>>>>> with something like:
>>>>> "Thanks for your comments, you have some valid concerns. I'd like to
>>>>> respond to your suggestions publicly so others can join in and we can
>>>>> deal with your suggestions appropriately. Is it ok if I do so?"
>>>>> If you don't get the ok, don't deal with the suggestion. But I suggest
>>>>> refrain from implication of bullying as it implies that
>>>>> LocationTech is
>>>>> playing dirty tactics, which reflects badly on LocationTech and
>>>>> OSGeo as
>>>>> it suggests that the two organisations are unable to resolve issues
>>>>> professionally. (I'm hoping that mentioned "bullying" is just a
>>>>> case of
>>>>> some people getting a bit more passionate that maybe they should).
>>>>> Warm regards, Cameron
>>>>> [1] http://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Board_of_Directors#Board_Priorities
>>>>> On 13/11/2015 3:53 am, Rob Emanuele wrote:
>>>>>> Hi Jeff,
>>>>>> You are right, commercial-friendliness certainly does play a part in
>>>>>> LocationTech. The way I've seen that enacted is by the use of the
>>>>>> Eclipse Foundation's legal department to ensure that the projects
>>>>>> which are supported by LocationTech are declared by a legal team
>>>>>> to be
>>>>>> free of proprietary or wrongly-licensed code. In this way, commercial
>>>>>> entities can use the projects with some assurance that they will not
>>>>>> be sued down the line for code that was not actually open in the way
>>>>>> they thought it was.
>>>>>> Also, there is a steering committee that makes decisions about how
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> budget will be used. The budget mainly consists of member company's
>>>>>> dues. The members of the steering committee are decided by membership
>>>>>> level (large membership gets representation on the steering
>>>>>> committee)
>>>>>> as well as a lower-membership level elected committee. There is also
>>>>>> representation by the developers, who vote independently of any
>>>>>> company and are there to represent the committers on the project. For
>>>>>> more information, you can read through some links here:
>>>>>> https://www.locationtech.org/charter
>>>>>> https://www.locationtech.org/election2015
>>>>>> In practice, as a maintainer of an open source project and developer,
>>>>>> what LocationTech has meant to me is support for my project in ways
>>>>>> that are not centered around business. To me it's been a place where
>>>>>> I've gotten to collaborate with similar open source projects and have
>>>>>> my project be promoted through events and other channels; for
>>>>>> instance
>>>>>> I participate in Google Summer of Code and Facebook Open Academy as a
>>>>>> mentor through the Eclipse Foundation. Perhaps these are needs that
>>>>>> can also be served by OSGeo, but they have in practice been met by
>>>>>> LocationTech. From my perspective as a project lead and open source
>>>>>> developer, that there are multiple channels that can potentially
>>>>>> support me and my project is a great thing and signs of a healthy
>>>>>> domain.
>>>>>> I did not start LocationTech. So for me it's not a question of, why
>>>>>> should LocationTech be created when there is already OSGeo;
>>>>>> LocationTech already exists, and I don't think it's up to me to
>>>>>> question it's existence. Nor do I think it's a useful exercise to
>>>>>> question the existence of something that clearly has support and is
>>>>>> supporting others. I can only decide which organizations I believe in
>>>>>> and support, and what I can get out of those organizations as far as
>>>>>> them supporting me. So on a personal level, my thoughts are that both
>>>>>> OSGeo and LocationTech are good organizations. I'd like to find ways
>>>>>> to support both organizations, and find ways both organizations can
>>>>>> support me and my project.
>>>>>> On a more general level, I'm against centralization. Having diversity
>>>>>> in governance structures, funding models and support channels is a
>>>>>> good thing, and I don't want there to be only one "true" organization
>>>>>> that I can look to for support. However, like I mentioned, the ideal
>>>>>> would be that those organizations could figure out how to use their
>>>>>> difference skill sets to work together on making the community as a
>>>>>> whole move forward. And that is what I am hoping OSGeo and
>>>>>> LocationTech can do (as well as any other related organizations).
>>>>>> Jody did a talk at FOSS4G NA 2015 on some of the differences between
>>>>>> LocationTech and OSGeo, I recommend it:
>>>>>> https://youtu.be/sdpEa6XdQEo
>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>> Rob
>>>>>> On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 10:54 AM, Jeff McKenna
>>>>>> <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
>>>>>> <mailto:jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>     Hi Rob,
>>>>>>     Thank you for your very thoughtful response.  You summarize the
>>>>>>     situation very well.  I think talking openly like this on this
>>>>>>     topic, is the only way to make this all work.
>>>>>>     It sounds like I am wrong about LocationTech's goals; at the same
>>>>>>     time then, if that is the case, that LocationTech is not about
>>>>>>     commerce (doesn't "commercially friendly" encourage business
>>>>>>     interest?), then what was the need to create a separate new
>>>>>>     foundation, also focused on growing Open Source geospatial
>>>>>> software?
>>>>>>     I hope we can speak openly here Rob, I do not mean any disrespect
>>>>>>     to you personally or to LocationTech (some take it personal).
>>>>>>     Please share here the reasons you see to have 2 foundations
>>>>>>     focused on the same goal.
>>>>>>     Thanks,
>>>>>>     -jeff
>>>>>>     On 2015-11-12 11:37 AM, Rob Emanuele wrote:
>>>>>>         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>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.
>>>>>>         Best,
>>>>>>         Rob
>>>>>>         On Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 8:40 AM, Jeff McKenna
>>>>>>         <jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
>>>>>> <mailto:jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com>
>>>>>>         <mailto:jmckenna at gatewaygeomatics.com
>>>>>> <mailto: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

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