[OSGeo-Discuss] Costly FOSS4Gs

Jody Garnett jody.garnett at gmail.com
Sun Oct 15 22:49:12 PDT 2017

Okay I checked that the report is not published yet (sigh). I really
appreciated Jeff's answer, and agree that regional foss4g events are seeing
great success and are much more affordable.

To answer your question:

*'Do you agree that FOSS4G is turning out to be a hangout for those who can
afford it'*..

I have never agreed that FOSS4G is a hangout - I continue to view it as our
most effective outreach event.

*costs (of participation) are  so high that many might not afford.. *

I very much agree with this, indeed I was only able to attend the Lausanne
event by the kindness of people letting me sleep on their hotel floor. I
have tried to return the favour each time the event took place in my home

*If selected to the board HOW do you wish to correct this...*

This is a tricky one, in part because I do not have to imagine - here is my
own recommendation from the board at osgeo.org email list thread: f2f meeting
follow up <https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2017-August/010526.html>:

On 21 August 2017 at 11:23, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com> wrote:

*I saw this thread get into the details of the RFP - for that we have*
*volunteers on the conference committee. My goal as a board member is to*
*work on strategy, as the conference committee knows best about the RFP*
*wording and process.*

**Q: *Based on the affordability report, and resulting discussion, did we
as **the board have any direction to ask the conference committee to steer

*My own feedback:*

*1) I was pleasantly surprised that the ticket cost of foss4g has not **changed
significantly over the course of the events (indeed our most **expensive
event was Sydney and our cheapest Korea).*

*I do not see any guidance to provide here (this was surprising to me).*

*2) Attendance continues to increase limiting appropriate venues*

*I do not see any guidence to provide here, our community and event is
I think once we get around 3000 people we may be forced to settle **down to
consider a fixed location, but at 1000-2000 we can still move it **around.*

*3) regional events are killing it*

*I do not see any guidence to provide here, our community and events is *
*growing. **The hope is this takes some of the strain from the global
event, allowing **it to focus on outreach and advocacy more.*

*4) hard for students to attend (also journal, etc...)*

*There was a strong hope that travel grant program could help out a lot **here,
that would make me sad as this was intended to work towards **diversity.*

*While there may be guidance here I am not close enough to the academic **world
to provide useful direction.*

*5) diversity*

*The original intention of the travel grant was to bring diversity
awareness **to our osgeo events (to apply regional events are asked to set
a diversity **target which travel grant can help towards). During foss4g I
attended a **diversity presentation that advocated creating a safe space.*

**Guidance: *Trial the use of providing a safe space in the 2018 bid.*

*Similar recommendations online include:*
*- make female speakers a priority (not just in selection, but before hand*
*in promotion, one-on-one mentoring etc...).*
*- providing child care (this helps families attend)*

*Since these haver not been advocated by members of our community I am
only **comfortable providing guidance on providing a safe space. Perhaps
some of **these ideas can be tried out at regional conferences first.*

*6) time of year*

*The events have moved from September/October to August placing it in the **way
of European holidays. With the bulk of our contributors in Europe this **has
affected how many of our contributors can attend.*

**Guidance: *Request September / October event (to maximize contributors
who **can attend).*

*I understand next years event has plans to turn this into a holiday
for **families
which is a cunning plan.*

*7) travel / accommodation*

*I would like to avoid prime tourist season to avoid asking attendees
pay **high
airfair and accommodation costs. We did not have the number in the
report to back this up (but Michael Smith was going to look **things up).*

**Guidance: *Request September / October event (to avoid peak tourist *

Followed by:

*> 5) diversity*

*On reflection I am a bit uncomfortable offering guidance here - lacking
the **needed perspective. I would ask that the conference committee
consider **diversity as a selection criteria, but would hold off on
providing specific **advice listed above. I recognize that the board as a
whole is a diverse **body and may be in position to offer guidance.*

*I just don't think it is my place either as a board member (need to
trust **the
marketing committee) or as a white male (can offer only concern, not *

*Aside: This whole discussion has increased my respect for the
conference **committee,
this is tough stuff. I thank those who contribute positively as **part of
the conference committee.*

The thing to note is that as a board member we can offer guidance, or in
extreme cases provide a mandate to a group that wishes to act. I you asked
me "*HOW do you wish to correct this" * the answer would be to join the
conference committe and help out, an ability each of us has as a volunteer.

The conference committee has my trust, and as I understand they are deeply
aware and concerned about this issue.
Jody Garnett

On 15 October 2017 at 16:56, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com> wrote:

> We actually have solid numbers for this, a report was provided at the
> Boston meeting that kind of answers this to my satisfaction.
> I was waiting for it to be shared with the membership, since your question
> was one I have been asked repeatedly over the last six months, especially
> at foss4ge.
> I would really like you to be able to read the report and reach your own
> conclusion.
> On Sun, Oct 15, 2017 at 4:45 PM Ravi Kumar <manarajahmundry2015 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Question  (would be Board).  'Do you agree that FOSS4G is turning out to
>> be a hangout for those who can afford it'.. costs (of participation) are
>> so high that many might not afford.. If selected to the board HOW do you
>> wish to correct this..
>> Ravi Kumar
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> --
> --
> Jody Garnett
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