[OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G2016 and diversity

Marc Vloemans marcvloemans1 at gmail.com
Sat May 28 08:26:01 PDT 2016

Dear all,

To build upon the positive results as mentioned in the thread below, I invite anyone to supply any suggestion that may support the LOC FOSS4G 2016 in Bonn Germany, regarding diversity related policies during the actual Conference. Either directly to me or via this list.

As LOC we strive to be aware that public policies and personal experiences vary per continent, region, country and/or province. However, living in Western-Europe we sometimes are unaware how fortunate we are! That could hinder us in anticipating potential fears, uncertainties and doubts that visitors to Bonn may have.

For starters, please note the following from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_Germany :

"Germany has become the first country in Europe to enact a law that allows German citizens to choose to neither identify as male or female on their birth certificate, which has been said to specifically benefit hermaphrodites and intersex persons."

Unfortunately same sex marriage is still 'under construction', but that does not reflect negatively on a number of laws protecting the rights of the LGBTI community (including registered partnership).

Best regards and hopefully we meet in Bonn,
Marc Vloemans

Vriendelijke groet,
Marc Vloemans

> Op 28 mei 2016 om 03:04 heeft Andrea Ross <andrea.ross at eclipse.org> het volgende geschreven:
> Dear Kristin, Everyone
> The sex/gender split was similar for FOSS4G NA 2016 as FOSS4G NA 2015. In the range of 25 to 30 percent women for both speakers and attendees. We don't ask people their gender as part of submitting or registering, so this is obviously a best effort from having met a number of folks, and discretely Google-stalking them just a little.
> We probably had a record high number of trans people participate, despite North Carolina's HB2. Also because of HB2, many LGBT people reached out to me before the conference to understand what was being done, and to help decide whether to boycott or not. We are so grateful that so many did not boycott, and came anyway. It was a moving experience for me to learn how big the LGBT part of the community is and get a bit of the sense of how important the work they're doing is.
> Also, I want to call out the exemplary work of the Raleigh Convention Center. They really went above and beyond to ensure our       attendees were safe and comfortable. So far as I know, there were zero instances of harassment of LGBT people. Laurie Okun from the Convention Center in particular was a superstar and so impressive & professional from our first contact when trying to assess Raleigh, through the chaos that HB2 inflicted, and to the post-conference follow-up. We are grateful.
> So many good things to note. I also want to note that it is still a mostly white conference. So the job is not done, and there's still much more important work to be done.
> Kind regards,
> Andrea
>> On 27/05/16 17:28, Kristin Bott wrote:
>> Thanks for sharing the synopsis; I'm especially encouraged by (1) gender (identity) parity in the planning committee (2) strong presence of female-identifying folk at the conference and (3) continued financial support for attendees.
>> I'd be curious what the gender split was across attendees v. speakers -- possibly something worth tracking across years of conferences to get a sense of any shifts in attendee demographics.
>> cheers -
>> -k.bott
>>> On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 7:09 AM, Mark Lucas <mlucas17 at mac.com> wrote:
>>> I had the pleasure of serving as the OSGeo representative for the 2016 FOSS4G NA conference selection and planning.  I thought the team did an excellent job in selecting, planning and running the conference.  The team made the decision to not pursue a 2017 NA conference so as not to compete for resources with the OSGeo international conference.  Our efforts will focus on 2018 planning and selection for the next NA regional conference.
>>> On a personal note I was initially concerned about how the relationship with Location Tech and OSGeo would evolve.  Our teaming has resulted in yet another successful conference that I believe plays to the strengths of both organizations.  I was very pleased with the openness and collaboration that I witnessed.
>>> — Mark
>>> The synopsis from Andrea Ross is included below:  
>>>  FOSS4G
>>>                             NA 2016 Synopsis (please feel free to re-use
>>>                             this data)
>>> The
>>>                                 conference ran from May 2-5, at the
>>>                                 Raleigh Convention Center, in Raleigh
>>>                                 North Carolina. The code sprint &
>>>                                 unconference ran May 6 & 7 at Red
>>>                                 Hat’s headquarters, a few blocks from
>>>                                 the convention center. A Tour of the
>>>                                 NCSU OSGeo Research and Education lab
>>>                                 took place on May 6th.
>>> The
>>>                                 conference featured 1 day of workshops,
>>>                                 3 days of sessions, a code sprint, an
>>>                                 unconference, and social events every
>>>                                 night. There were 93 full length (35
>>>                                 minute) sessions, 36 short length (15
>>>                                 minute) sessions, 10 workshops, and 3
>>>                                 keynotes. This represented an increase
>>>                                 in full length. The rooms were generally
>>>                                 always near full or slightly overflowing
>>>                                 for particularly popular talks, despite
>>>                                 them being big rooms.
>>> The
>>>                                 conference grew by 33% . There were 558
>>>                                 attendees. This level of increase is
>>>                                 very positive, when so many other
>>>                                 conferences are in decline.
>>> Like
>>>                                 2015’s team, 50% of the 2016 committee
>>>                                 were women. Also like 2015, a
>>>                                 significant proportion of speakers and
>>>                                 attendees were women (in the 30% range),
>>>                                 which is great to see.
>>> 23
>>>                                 people were at the conference who
>>>                                 wouldn't have otherwise been without the
>>>                                 financial support we gave them.
>>> From
>>>                                 the attendee survey, people were clearly
>>>                                 thrilled about the conference... 99%
>>>                                 positive feedback. (n=102). The one
>>>                                 negative response said they were
>>>                                 disappointed there was no lunch served.
>>>                                 We’re not sure how they missed it! The
>>>                                 venue, the strong program, and the
>>>                                 positive & supportive atmosphere
>>>                                 were the things people commented
>>>                                 (positively) on most.
>>> People
>>>                                 loved the keynotes, and especially Tamar
>>>                                 Cohen's entitled Extreme Mapping.
>>> The
>>>                                 video recordings of sessions are being
>>>                                 uploaded to Youtube, with dozens up, and
>>>                                 more each day.
>>> 90%
>>>                                 of sponsors rated the value excellent.
>>>                                 10% rated it very good. The layout of
>>>                                 the conference was especially
>>>                                 appreciated as it meant plenty of
>>>                                 traffic for sponsors at all times.
>>> This
>>>                             year’s conference was produced by Andrea
>>>                             Ross and the team at the Eclipse Foundation,
>>>                             the same as 2015. Sarah Cordivano served as
>>>                             Community Chair. Rob Emanuele was Program
>>>                             Committee Chair, repeating the same role he
>>>                             performed in 2015.
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Discuss mailing list
>>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>>> http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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