[OSGeo-Discuss] FOSS4G2016 and diversity

Andrea Ross andrea.ross at eclipse.org
Sun May 29 18:49:19 PDT 2016


I started to write a whole bunch of thoughts related to this but instead 
decided against as I felt it was stating the obvious and I didn't want 
the thoughts to be perceived as negative.

The essence was that these things  you have listed are great, and they 
help keep things from being screwed up, but they're not the hard work 
that it takes to really make a difference. So good, but so much more is 

Kind regards,


On 28/05/16 11:26, Marc Vloemans wrote:
> 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 
> <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodites> and intersex 
> <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 
> <mailto: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 
>>> <mailto: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.
>>>     _______________________________________________
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>>>     http://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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