[OSGeo-Discuss] [OSGeo-Conf] Free Workshop Tickets @ FOSS4G

Serena Coetzee serenacoetzee at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 09:07:17 PDT 2018

Dear Mark and all,

as you know, there will be a GeoForAll meeting on Friday morning. We could
use the meeting to present the prizes to the students? What do you think?


Serena Coetzee (GPr GISc 1245)

University of Pretoria
Director: Centre for Geoinformation Science
Associate professor: Department Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology
Geography Building 3-5, Main Campus, Lynnwood Road, Hatfield, 0083, South
email: serena.coetzee at up.ac.za · Web: www.up.ac.za/cgis · Mobile: +27 82
464 4294 · Tel: +27 12 420 3823

On Mon, Jun 18, 2018 at 10:56 PM, Mark Iliffe <markiliffe at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi Suchith,
> Yes - this is awesome. We're happy to provide a platform for Geo4All
> obviously, please contact me off-list for me to intro the right people in
> the DLOC!
> Cheers,
> Mark
> On 18 June 2018 at 05:30, Suchith Anand <Suchith.Anand at nottingham.ac.uk>
> wrote:
>> Hi Mark and DLOC Team,
>> Great work you all are doing for FOSS4G 2018 . May I also bring to your
>> attention , that we have a small budget in GeoForAll  for acknowledging
>> student contributions through Student awards at key events  .
>> Distributed as follows
>> First prize -250 USD ;Second prize - 150 USD; Third prize -100 USD
>> The only requirement that we have is that  LOC will need to plan and
>> administer the student competition  and give them at the event with a short
>> blogpost to the community after the event.
>> We are hoping the Dar es Salaam Team will take up this opportunity. We
>> look forward to successful FOSS4G 2018.
>> Best wishes,
>> Suchith
>> ------------------------------
>> *From:* Conference_dev <conference_dev-bounces at lists.osgeo.org> on
>> behalf of Mark Iliffe <markiliffe at gmail.com>
>> *Sent:* 17 June 2018 20:31
>> *To:* ML osgeo discuss; Conference Dev
>> *Subject:* [OSGeo-Conf] Free Workshop Tickets @ FOSS4G
>> Hi All,
>> Firstly… we’re super excited to be welcoming you all to Dar es Salaam
>> this August… it’s going to be amazing!!
>> Secondly, at the end of last week, there was a very good discussion on
>> Twitter about free tickets at FOSS4G [1] - there are numerous threads that
>> span from here with good comments for offering free tickets to workshop
>> presenters and keynotes and against.
>> I’d like to explain why we made the choice not to offer free tickets to
>> workshop presenters.
>> When we were putting together the workshop program, we were overwhelmed
>> by the quality and quantity of submissions received by the call. We
>> received 73 submissions and accepted 27. This was incredibly difficult as
>> we wanted to widen the scope of content within the workshop program (aka…
>> not have the same as last year) and balance new presenters with established
>> ones. Everything was a compromise to establish this program, but on balance
>> I believe (and I hope you as the community will agree), that we got the
>> balance right.
>> We have the stated aim in our proposal and since that we want to use
>> FOSS4G in Dar es Salaam to widen participation of many under-represented
>> groups within our community - as a global community, we need to be as
>> diverse as the world. Part of the economic impetus within the DLOC is to
>> widen access and participation - this means working out how to achieve
>> that. Bluntly, if we want to have a conference with the same content and
>> people, we shouldn’t be holding this in Dar es Salaam.
>> As many, (but not all), workshop presenters are from companies sponsoring
>> their travel to FOSS4G (offering workshops that directly relate to services
>> offered by their employer), the drive to widen participation, with previous
>> conferences not offering free workshop tickets (Nottingham in 2013 for
>> example) and no stated promise to offer free tickets for presenters, I led
>> my committee and we resolved to not provide free tickets to presenters.
>> However, potentially this is wrong - and I’d like to stress as a
>> volunteer(and unpaid!) conference chair/organiser, we’re capable of getting
>> things wrong… but we/I want to ensure that it’s put right.
>> In effect, there is no profit from the workshop tickets, effectively,
>> this pays for the conference venue and the food and drink for the workshop
>> days. The cost of this is roughly $75. We’re charging $75 - this is cheaper
>> than previous workshops! To offer a free ticket to workshop presenters, we
>> would have charged $100 and reclaimed the cost of the workshop presenter
>> ticket from there. We charged as low as we could, because we recognised
>> that for some attending FOSS4G, $25 can be a very large difference… but for
>> others... not at all (hence the donation button for the Travel Grant
>> Programme!). But, to widen participation, we need to be as inclusive as
>> possible and that means making hard choices.
>> We’re being inclusive by raising the number of TGP attendees from 10 in
>> Boston to 51 for Dar. As the DLOC, we’ve booked the YMCA for our TGP
>> attendees - this means that the TGP this year can support micro-grants,
>> paying $250 to support the bus travel, food, and drink of a community
>> member in Uganda that ordinarily would not be able to get to the conference
>> in theory on their doorstep - because of this, every little helps, saving
>> $100 here, $300 there etc. This may sound like hyperbole, but it’s a direct
>> and concrete way that FOSS4G is widening access, in both economically
>> disadvantaged and gendered situations.
>> Ultimately: If you are a workshop presenter at FOSS4G this year and are
>> unable to get your ticket/want a free ticket, please get in touch with me - *we’ll
>> sort you out and make it right.* If this has given the impression that
>> we are taking advantage of our workshop presenters - *it is not the
>> intention, nor the case and we’re sorry*.
>> Going forward, I’d recommend there be a further discussion within the
>> conference selection process on whether workshop presenters, keynotes etc
>> are given free passes and clarify whether it should be one way or the other
>> - but that is not for me or my committee to decide! It’s 70 days to go to
>> the best FOSS4G yet… and we’ve got a conference to put on!
>> Thanks to all of you who make this community great :-)
>> Best,
>> Mark
>> [1] https://twitter.com/sarasomewhere/status/1006304174332661760
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