[OSGeo-Discuss] Costly FOSS4Gs

Venkatesh Raghavan raghavan at media.osaka-cu.ac.jp
Mon Oct 16 00:33:54 PDT 2017

Hi Ravi,

Thanks for the question and your suggestion below;

I have expressed my opinion in the conference and
board mailing list where this matter as been discussed
on several occasion.

I think there is still some scope for considering ways
and means to enhance affordability. Maybe by,

a) Alternating between business focused (big convention
center plus all the frills of a Tech Expo) and an R&D
focused (low cost venue, no-frills, low-cost-carrier model)

b) Have dual pricing for high-medium and low income
countries as was practiced in FOSS4G-2015

We have had some valuable inputs from chairs of our
previous event. The new board  should try to have a broader
feedback (Lime survey maybe?) from our charter members to
look for some innovative ways of handling the issue of affordability
of our global event.



On 10/16/2017 3:59 PM, Ravi Kumar wrote:
> Hi List,
> happy to note that 'FOSS4G being Costly/Unaffordable', is discussed.
> To make it fun, spice is added on the TERM HANGOUT..
> May be the next board will have FOSS4G for Business, where in 5* comforts
> that might make business easy for OSGeo.
> Will also have, 'FOSS4G Developers', where in young students/Reserchers can
> have a great conference.
>   Some fine tuning may make, Say , 1st 2 days 5 Star.. Next two affordable.
> But in a world where, 'COST some times means Efficiency', may not, 'play
> ball', with this Idea.
> Cheers.. and All the best to the Hopefuls
> Ravi Kumar
> On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 11:19 AM, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> 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
>> city.
>> *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 in?*
>> *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 **growing.
>> 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 **affordability
>> report to back this up (but Michael Smith was going to look **things up).*
>> **Guidance: *Request September / October event (to avoid peak tourist *
>> *season).*
>> 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 **perspective).*
>> *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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> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss

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