[OSGeo-Discuss] Costly FOSS4Gs

Ravi Kumar manarajahmundry2015 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 16 19:42:22 PDT 2017

Hi Jody and list,

"Ravi can I ask if you would like to have a "hangout" or "party" event?"

I remember vividly.. The Year: 2007. The Event 'OSGeo India Launch'.. The
Venue: Glittering International Convention Centre, Hyderabad(Novotel).
Being a Geologist, more used to the outdoors and field work, hobnobbing in
a 5- star place, made me wear a Facade, 'A Tie, A Coat' (as Arnulf so
anecdotally expressed in this thread). Venka, then, for me a Professor from
Osaka City University, was there without a 'Tie'.. He went one step ahead,
whispering to me.. In minutes I undid my tie.. and breathed easy..

About OSGeo's FOSS4G being a 'Stiff Upper Lip..  a Tie and Coat Event'.. OR
'a Hangout/Party event', where Developers and users in T-Shirts, develop
networks in an atmosphere of bonhomie.. I am sure the list will vote a land
slide victory for the Later than the former.

HOWEVER, I concede.

Like the Elephant (of PostGIS too), a pair of teeth to Show (off)
---------- Glittering Events
A pair to actually chew and eat..
--------------------------------------------------- Bonhomie Events

A Cocktail might do the trick for us.. Let us bet on the Wisdom of the
OSGeo Board with the new incumbents ..

Cheers and thanks to each one Jeff, Arnulf Venka and all for reacting

Ravi Kumar

On Mon, Oct 16, 2017 at 10:25 PM, Jody Garnett <jody.garnett at gmail.com>

> I would like a chance to listen to everyone and avoid creating spits in
> our community, some of the most critical feedback received about foss4g
> affordability has been by companies. Our strength in part comes from
> bridging divides, a foss4g for business would not be a foss4g.
> Ravi can I ask if you would like to have a "hangout" or "party" event?
> I was surprised to encounter the viewpoint that foss4g it is considered an
> OSGeo party. While we have lots to celebrate, I view foss4g as a time when
> we can best meet our outreach goals. I tend to view this as a
> responsibility - the local organizing committee has specific brought us in
> to knock-the-socks off the local geospatial community and show them how
> amazing open source can be!
> As a personal goal I am trying to be more relaxed about viewing OSGeo as a
> party, our community members are amazing should be celebrated and
> celebrating. It is one thing I really appreciated about the slower pace of
> this years foss4g-europe event, think it was the first time I got to see
> Andrea Amine slow down enough to talk to.
> Thanks again for bringing interesting questions to this years elections.
> --
> Jody Garnett
> On 15 October 2017 at 23:59, Ravi Kumar <manarajahmundry2015 at gmail.com>
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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