FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

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FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Eli Adam
Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Best regards, Eli


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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Paul Ramsey
This is an excellent email, and I just want to put a pin in here to say I'll be thinking about this all day and try to add to the general gist.

P.

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 9:16 AM Eli Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Best regards, Eli

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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

blammo
In reply to this post by Eli Adam
One immediate thought to stir things a bit (to this really good message BTW!!), with todays technology, why couldn’t two separate conferences be put on at the same time, with digital cross pollination of events where feasible?  Might be a future growth path actually, where region conference all happen at once or at a mimimum on an overlapping schedule of some sort.  Just thinking out loud.

bobb



On Dec 18, 2018, at 11:15 AM, Eli Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Best regards, Eli

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—Robert Wilensky


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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Paul Ramsey
Well, there's the immediate moment opportunity, which is to say "can we not slot FOSS4G-NA 2021 into Halifax right now?" and that obviously requires (a) Halifax team to want to do that and (b) the semi-opaque NA process to recognize and make that happen. 

And there's the wider, more general question of "is an RFP process actually how we want to do this anymore?" which I think requires some visioning around what a more collaborative process would be? 

I don't think "you all get a cookie" in the form of multi-siting is actually a great idea. Nor do I think that "virtual conferences" are super duper either. Maybe we can all just put our Youtubes up on the same day, but something is lost in the process :)

P


On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 9:27 AM Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) <[hidden email]> wrote:
One immediate thought to stir things a bit (to this really good message BTW!!), with todays technology, why couldn’t two separate conferences be put on at the same time, with digital cross pollination of events where feasible?  Might be a future growth path actually, where region conference all happen at once or at a mimimum on an overlapping schedule of some sort.  Just thinking out loud.

bobb



On Dec 18, 2018, at 11:15 AM, Eli Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Best regards, Eli

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—Robert Wilensky

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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Jonathan Moules-4
In reply to this post by Eli Adam

Hi Eli,

Excellent points you've made.

If I may add to your list of selection criteria - the obvious missing item to me is "conference sustainability". In my eyes the Halifax bid had stronger sustainability plans and ethos behind it, but the CC overwhelmingly voted for Calgary, which suggests this wasn't something that was was given much weight in the voting.

I'm hoping Calgary can take their already good start down that road and pick up some of the addition notions that the Halifax LoC had.

Cheers,

Jonathan


On 2018-12-18 17:15, Eli Adam wrote:
Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Best regards, Eli



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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Till Adams-3
Jonathan,

first of all, I think "overwhelming" is presumably exaggerated and also
not known. Calgary simply got more votes than Halifax.

As one of the people that voted, I can say, that sustanability was *one*
out of several criterias, that I considered, but not the only one!

So your term "conference sustainability [...] wasn't something that was
was given much weight in the voting." is simply wrong and in my eyes it
is inappropriate to subordinate it to the electing members.

I think everybody had his personal criteria and came to a personal
result based on these.


Regards, Till




Am 19.12.18 um 11:42 schrieb Jonathan Moules:

> Hi Eli,
>
> Excellent points you've made.
>
> If I may add to your list of selection criteria - the obvious missing
> item to me is "conference sustainability". In my eyes the Halifax bid
> had stronger sustainability plans and ethos behind it, but the CC
> overwhelmingly voted for Calgary, which suggests this wasn't something
> that was was given much weight in the voting.
>
> I'm hoping Calgary can take their already good start down that road and
> pick up some of the addition notions that the Halifax LoC had.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Jonathan
>
>
> On 2018-12-18 17:15, Eli Adam wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot
>> about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and
>> possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not
>> serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The
>> selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my
>> personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented
>> towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  
>>
>> What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I
>> personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of
>> income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high
>> probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how
>> reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable
>> contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC
>> members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past
>> conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I
>> have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that
>> I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this
>> list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
>> 1) High probability of success
>> 2) low risk
>> 3) reasonable budget
>> 4) absence of objectionable contracts
>> 5) LOC experience
>> 6) FOSS4G geography and history
>>
>> (I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place
>> to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't
>> consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)
>>
>> Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals
>> as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success
>> and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid
>> reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the
>> case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  
>>
>> While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not
>> honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC
>> proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of
>> ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both
>> proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of
>> success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts,
>> great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this
>> near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one
>> subsequent year.  
>>
>> With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and
>> selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great
>> OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not
>> the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps
>> contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the
>> FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint
>> one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and
>> wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that
>> more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach
>> other endeavors.   
>>
>> How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or
>> our community and possible harmful side effects:
>> 1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
>> 2. Creates divisions
>> 3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS
>> shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the
>> software).  
>> 4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development
>> and other collaborative activities. 
>> 5. Disappoints a group and region
>> 6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
>> 7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria
>>
>> I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo
>> does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board
>> will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on
>> the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make
>> the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method. 
>> Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that
>> look like?
>>
>> This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which
>> I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize
>> that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We
>> would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020
>> and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional"
>> conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and
>> building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)" 
>> I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these
>> efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really
>> knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk
>> about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also
>> comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were
>> strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at
>> least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel
>> approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the
>> above valid criteria.    
>>
>>
>> [1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these
>> thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html
>>
>>
>> Best regards, Eli
>>
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

delawen
In reply to this post by Eli Adam

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 6:16 PM Eli Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hi all,

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
1) High probability of success
2) low risk
3) reasonable budget
4) absence of objectionable contracts
5) LOC experience
6) FOSS4G geography and history

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
2. Creates divisions
3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  
4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 
5. Disappoints a group and region
6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    


[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html


Hi Eli,

I agree with you: the FOSS4G election is probably (one of the) most important thing OSGeo does.

Of course losing a bid is sad, but still, worth it.

As a past non-winning bidder, I see very difficult to convert the international conference into the regional one. The numbers for the international and the regional are very different, at least here in Europe, and that changes everything on the organization. Also the focus and the goals and how the conference evolves is different. And splitting into two venues, that will spoil part of the interest on "going" to a conference. If I have to see half the talks on screen and I can't meet people half the people, why move? Coming from a different continent, which venue should I choose to go to? Also that is thinking that both venues offer similar trades. At least last year, Bucharest and Sevilla proposals offered different things and focused on different goals. Which one to choose? We will end up having a conference for users, another for developers and another for businesses. Not good.

From my perspective, this election procedure has a downside: we could have already blocked things and made the bid cheaper if we were sure we could win. And still, I think it is better to have a set of options to choose from. You never know which team is going to propose something you were not aware of.

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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

Jonathan Moules-4
In reply to this post by Till Adams-3
Hi Till,

 >  first of all, I think "overwhelming" is presumably exaggerated and
also not known. Calgary simply got more votes than Halifax.

Ah, I see now re-reading the thread that I had misread; I got the notion
that the breakdown was 12 of the 13 were for Calgary. Sorry, my bad!

 > So your term "conference sustainability [...] wasn't something that
was was given much weight in the voting." is simply wrong and in my eyes
it is inappropriate to subordinate it to the electing members.

Possibly. But the entire premise behind this thread and Eli's point as I read it is that they were both strong bids and it's hard to differentiate between them. Sustainability was not one of Eli's listed criterion, and in my view there was a considerable difference between the two bids on that criterion. I appreciate there are other criteria too, although to someone who's not on the CC, the current selection process is very opaque, subjective and prone to all manner of cognitive biases on the part of the voters (nothing personal, everyone is subject to them, it's why society tries to build systems/processes that work around them).

Thinking further about it, this is the same problem that governments have in awarding contracts, or hiring staff. At least here in the UK they solve it by using a (relatively) objective points based system. Ahead of time everyone knows what sections are worth what points; the award goes to the application with the most points. That seems like it would be well suited to this process, and much more transparent and in-line with the spirit of FOSS.

Cheers,
Jonathan

On 2018-12-19 10:56, Till Adams wrote:

> Jonathan,
>
> first of all, I think "overwhelming" is presumably exaggerated and also
> not known. Calgary simply got more votes than Halifax.
>
> As one of the people that voted, I can say, that sustanability was *one*
> out of several criterias, that I considered, but not the only one!
>
> So your term "conference sustainability [...] wasn't something that was
> was given much weight in the voting." is simply wrong and in my eyes it
> is inappropriate to subordinate it to the electing members.
>
> I think everybody had his personal criteria and came to a personal
> result based on these.
>
>
> Regards, Till
>
>
>
>
> Am 19.12.18 um 11:42 schrieb Jonathan Moules:
>> Hi Eli,
>>
>> Excellent points you've made.
>>
>> If I may add to your list of selection criteria - the obvious missing
>> item to me is "conference sustainability". In my eyes the Halifax bid
>> had stronger sustainability plans and ethos behind it, but the CC
>> overwhelmingly voted for Calgary, which suggests this wasn't something
>> that was was given much weight in the voting.
>>
>> I'm hoping Calgary can take their already good start down that road and
>> pick up some of the addition notions that the Halifax LoC had.
>>
>> Cheers,
>>
>> Jonathan
>>
>>
>> On 2018-12-18 17:15, Eli Adam wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot
>>> about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and
>>> possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not
>>> serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The
>>> selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my
>>> personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented
>>> towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.
>>>
>>> What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I
>>> personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of
>>> income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high
>>> probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how
>>> reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable
>>> contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC
>>> members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past
>>> conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I
>>> have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that
>>> I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this
>>> list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
>>> 1) High probability of success
>>> 2) low risk
>>> 3) reasonable budget
>>> 4) absence of objectionable contracts
>>> 5) LOC experience
>>> 6) FOSS4G geography and history
>>>
>>> (I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place
>>> to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't
>>> consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)
>>>
>>> Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals
>>> as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success
>>> and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid
>>> reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the
>>> case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!
>>>
>>> While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not
>>> honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC
>>> proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of
>>> ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both
>>> proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of
>>> success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts,
>>> great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this
>>> near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one
>>> subsequent year.
>>>
>>> With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and
>>> selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great
>>> OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not
>>> the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps
>>> contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the
>>> FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint
>>> one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and
>>> wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that
>>> more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach
>>> other endeavors.
>>>
>>> How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or
>>> our community and possible harmful side effects:
>>> 1. Makes something trivial overly important.
>>> 2. Creates divisions
>>> 3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS
>>> shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the
>>> software).
>>> 4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development
>>> and other collaborative activities.
>>> 5. Disappoints a group and region
>>> 6. Fails to make use of great potential.
>>> 7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria
>>>
>>> I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo
>>> does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board
>>> will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on
>>> the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make
>>> the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.
>>> Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that
>>> look like?
>>>
>>> This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which
>>> I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize
>>> that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We
>>> would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020
>>> and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional"
>>> conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and
>>> building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"
>>> I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these
>>> efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really
>>> knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk
>>> about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also
>>> comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were
>>> strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at
>>> least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel
>>> approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the
>>> above valid criteria.
>>>
>>>
>>> [1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these
>>> thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html
>>>
>>>
>>> Best regards, Eli
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Conference_dev mailing list
>>> [hidden email]
>>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Conference_dev mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev



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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

JonathanNeufeld
In reply to this post by Paul Ramsey

Hi All,

 

I think that this conversation is an excellent one to have, and shows an appetite for continual improvement and engagement in the community.

 

I largely agree with Eli’s initial comments about the level of effort, duplication, and the similarity of the two applications - it creates an engaging conversation when a group focused on collaboration and consensus is forced to reconcile with a competitive process.

 

When looking at revising the selection process I would suggest first articulating a strong and clear understanding of why OSGeo holds the FOSS4G event each year. With that understanding in place you can create an informal scorecard for each person on the review committee to use in assessing the bids. Some locations and LOCs may perform poorly in the Financial Return category, but score much higher on the Spreading the Message to New Areas category. Each person on the review committee may have different personal beliefs about which criteria are more important and this sort of informal framework would help articulate the decision making process.

 

In potentially revising the process I am wary of unintended consequences, for example:

-          If the second place bidder “wins” the right to host FOSS4GNA (or another regional event) does this decrease the perceived value of regional events?

-          Hosting more than one global event at a time could cannibalize the attendance at both events and introduce a substantial amount of risk in attendance

 

While collaboration is usually best, I would suggest that competition forces everyone to improve. Speaking on the recent 2020 process, having strong competition from another capable and high-value team forced us to work harder, and look for new ways to improve a Calgary bid.

 

If the committee is receiving proposals of near-equivalence I would suggest that this indicates the community is mature and understands what it takes to put on a FOSS4G event. Perhaps future event selection could be based on criteria that takes FOSS4G over and above a “standard” event so that it continues to grow while reflecting the values of community members.

 

Regards,
Jon

 

 

 

From: Conference_dev <[hidden email]> On Behalf Of Paul Ramsey
Sent: Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:46 AM
To: Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) <[hidden email]>
Cc: OSGeo-Conf <[hidden email]>; Eli Adam <[hidden email]>
Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

 

Well, there's the immediate moment opportunity, which is to say "can we not slot FOSS4G-NA 2021 into Halifax right now?" and that obviously requires (a) Halifax team to want to do that and (b) the semi-opaque NA process to recognize and make that happen. 

 

And there's the wider, more general question of "is an RFP process actually how we want to do this anymore?" which I think requires some visioning around what a more collaborative process would be? 

 

I don't think "you all get a cookie" in the form of multi-siting is actually a great idea. Nor do I think that "virtual conferences" are super duper either. Maybe we can all just put our Youtubes up on the same day, but something is lost in the process :)

 

P

 

 

On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 9:27 AM Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) <[hidden email]> wrote:

One immediate thought to stir things a bit (to this really good message BTW!!), with todays technology, why couldn’t two separate conferences be put on at the same time, with digital cross pollination of events where feasible?  Might be a future growth path actually, where region conference all happen at once or at a mimimum on an overlapping schedule of some sort.  Just thinking out loud.

 

bobb

 

 



On Dec 18, 2018, at 11:15 AM, Eli Adam <[hidden email]> wrote:

 

Hi all,

 

Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about 2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection process does not serve our community or the conference as well as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been applicable to other years as well.  

 

What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's primary source of income and thus very important.  The conference should have a high probability of success and low risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:

1) High probability of success

2) low risk

3) reasonable budget

4) absence of objectionable contracts

5) LOC experience

6) FOSS4G geography and history

 

(I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't vote on those items.)

 

Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years, I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC of one of the proposals!  

 

While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be the case in more than one subsequent year.  

 

With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort.  I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other endeavors.   

 

How our current selection method fails to best serve the conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:

1. Makes something trivial overly important. 

2. Creates divisions

3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and users of the software).  

4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software development and other collaborative activities. 

5. Disappoints a group and region

6. Fails to make use of great potential. 

7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria

 

I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial) existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G selection method?  What would that look like?

 

This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages, select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on the above valid criteria.    

 

 

[1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html

 

 

Best regards, Eli

 

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We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.

—Robert Wilensky

 

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Re: FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for new method

tadams
Dear CC-list,

I've created a WIKI page [1] as our sink for our thoughts on new
selection methods. Feel free to place your ideas here, please have a
look, whether you may just second ideas from others.

Regards, Till


[1] https://wiki.osgeo.org/wiki/Consideration_for_new_selection_methods


Am 19.12.18 um 16:47 schrieb Jonathan Neufeld:

> Hi All,
>
>  
>
> I think that this conversation is an excellent one to have, and shows an
> appetite for continual improvement and engagement in the community.
>
>  
>
> I largely agree with Eli’s initial comments about the level of effort,
> duplication, and the similarity of the two applications - it creates an
> engaging conversation when a group focused on collaboration and
> consensus is forced to reconcile with a competitive process.
>
>  
>
> When looking at revising the selection process I would suggest first
> articulating a strong and clear understanding of why OSGeo holds the
> FOSS4G event each year. With that understanding in place you can create
> an informal scorecard for each person on the review committee to use in
> assessing the bids. Some locations and LOCs may perform poorly in the
> /Financial Return/ category, but score much higher on the /Spreading the
> Message to New Areas/ category. Each person on the review committee may
> have different personal beliefs about which criteria are more important
> and this sort of informal framework would help articulate the decision
> making process.
>
>  
>
> In potentially revising the process I am wary of unintended
> consequences, for example:
>
> -          If the second place bidder “wins” the right to host FOSS4GNA
> (or another regional event) does this decrease the perceived value of
> regional events?
>
> -          Hosting more than one global event at a time could
> cannibalize the attendance at both events and introduce a substantial
> amount of risk in attendance
>
>  
>
> While collaboration is usually best, I would suggest that competition
> forces everyone to improve. Speaking on the recent 2020 process, having
> strong competition from another capable and high-value team forced us to
> work harder, and look for new ways to improve a Calgary bid.
>
>  
>
> If the committee is receiving proposals of near-equivalence I would
> suggest that this indicates the community is mature and understands what
> it takes to put on a FOSS4G event. Perhaps future event selection could
> be based on criteria that takes FOSS4G over and above a “standard” event
> so that it continues to grow while reflecting the values of community
> members.
>
>  
>
> Regards,
> Jon
>
>  
>
>  
>
>  
>
> *From:*Conference_dev <[hidden email]> *On
> Behalf Of *Paul Ramsey
> *Sent:* Tuesday, December 18, 2018 10:46 AM
> *To:* Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul) <[hidden email]>
> *Cc:* OSGeo-Conf <[hidden email]>; Eli Adam
> <[hidden email]>
> *Subject:* Re: [OSGeo-Conf] FOSS4G selection 2014 - consideration for
> new method
>
>  
>
> Well, there's the immediate moment opportunity, which is to say "can we
> not slot FOSS4G-NA 2021 into Halifax right now?" and that obviously
> requires (a) Halifax team to want to do that and (b) the semi-opaque NA
> process to recognize and make that happen. 
>
>  
>
> And there's the wider, more general question of "is an RFP process
> actually how we want to do this anymore?" which I think requires some
> visioning around what a more collaborative process would be? 
>
>  
>
> I don't think "you all get a cookie" in the form of multi-siting is
> actually a great idea. Nor do I think that "virtual conferences" are
> super duper either. Maybe we can all just put our Youtubes up on the
> same day, but something is lost in the process :)
>
>  
>
> P
>
>  
>
>  
>
> On Tue, Dec 18, 2018 at 9:27 AM Basques, Bob (CI-StPaul)
> <[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>     One immediate thought to stir things a bit (to this really good
>     message BTW!!), with todays technology, why couldn’t two separate
>     conferences be put on at the same time, with digital cross
>     pollination of events where feasible?  Might be a future growth path
>     actually, where region conference all happen at once or at a mimimum
>     on an overlapping schedule of some sort.  Just thinking out loud.
>
>      
>
>     bobb
>
>      
>
>      
>
>
>
>         On Dec 18, 2018, at 11:15 AM, Eli Adam <[hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>> wrote:
>
>          
>
>         Hi all,
>
>          
>
>         Given the quality of both proposals for 2020, I've been thinking
>         a lot about the best criteria to make a decision.  Since about
>         2014 and possibly before, I think that the FOSS4G selection
>         process does not serve our community or the conference as well
>         as it could [1].  The selection process may also have harmful
>         side effects.  Due to my personal involvement with 2014, I'll
>         keep most of my comments oriented towards 2014 but it has been
>         applicable to other years as well.  
>
>          
>
>         What are valid criteria for selecting the FOSS4G LOC?  The
>         criteria I personally have used are that FOSS4G is OSGeo's
>         primary source of income and thus very important.  The
>         conference should have a high probability of success and low
>         risk.  I look at the budget, how reasonable I think the numbers
>         are, and if there are any objectionable contracts (usually hotel
>         block commitments).  I look at the LOC members and their
>         experience.  I also look at the geography of past conferences
>         and value bringing FOSS4G to a new region.  Beyond that, I have
>         not been able to come up with additional selection criteria that
>         I consider valid.  What do others think?  I'd like to add to
>         this list.  Recapping the criteria, that is:
>
>         1) High probability of success
>
>         2) low risk
>
>         3) reasonable budget
>
>         4) absence of objectionable contracts
>
>         5) LOC experience
>
>         6) FOSS4G geography and history
>
>          
>
>         (I also have personal preferences like where I might have a free
>         place to stay, what's a cheaper travel option, who I know, etc
>         but don't consider those valid criteria.  And purposely don't
>         vote on those items.)
>
>          
>
>         Given those valid criteria, I often evaluate all the FOSS4G
>         proposals as extremely good.  Each having extremely high
>         probability of success and relatively low risk.  In many years,
>         I've not really found valid reasons to select one proposal over
>         another.  I found that to be the case even when I was on the LOC
>         of one of the proposals!  
>
>          
>
>         While a member of the 2014 LOC during the bid process, I could
>         not honestly assert that the PDX proposal was any better than
>         the DC proposal.  Obviously as a member of the PDX LOC, I was in
>         favor of ours, but that self-serving interest is not a valid
>         basis.  Both proposals would have led to great conferences with
>         high probability of success, low risk, realistic budgets, no
>         objectionable contracts, great LOC experience, and FOSS4G
>         geography.  I've found this near-equivalence of proposals to be
>         the case in more than one subsequent year.  
>
>          
>
>         With proposals of near-equivalence, I see no point in voting and
>         selecting one.  This leads to putting two spatial centers of
>         great OSGeo and FOSS4G enthusiasm into opposition.  This
>         competing is not the typical collaborative OSGeo and FOSS4G
>         way.  It is in fact perhaps contrary to the manner in which we
>         build software together.  With the FOSS4G selection method we
>         use now, we invariably greatly disappoint one of the proposal
>         groups.  We also are creating a lot of waste and wasted effort. 
>         I'd like to see a conference selection method that more closely
>         matches the collaborative spirit in which we approach other
>         endeavors.   
>
>          
>
>         How our current selection method fails to best serve the
>         conference or our community and possible harmful side effects:
>
>         1. Makes something trivial overly important. 
>
>         2. Creates divisions
>
>         3. Zero-sum competition (as opposed to the competition of the
>         old WMS shootouts which were beneficial to all the softwares and
>         users of the software).  
>
>         4. Does not mirror our collaborative approach to software
>         development and other collaborative activities. 
>
>         5. Disappoints a group and region
>
>         6. Fails to make use of great potential. 
>
>         7. Does not make a better conference based on the above criteria
>
>          
>
>         I take FOSS4G selection more seriously than anything else that
>         OSGeo does.  FOSS4G selection is more important than anything
>         that the Board will do in the next year.  OSGeo's (financial)
>         existence depends on the FOSS4G selection. Therefore I'd like us
>         to re-examine how we make the selection.  I'd like to consider a
>         new FOSS4G selection method.  Would you like to see a new FOSS4G
>         selection method?  What would that look like?
>
>          
>
>         This is an off-handed critique I leveled in private conversation
>         which I'll quote: "If we were a competent organization, we would
>         recognize that there is demand for TWO successful conferences in
>         Canada.  We would on the basis of costs and other advantages,
>         select one for 2020 and the other for a 2021 regional conference
>         (the 2021 "regional" conference may actually be "better" by
>         following after the other and building on the enthusiasm and
>         having another year of planning.)"  I've not been involved with
>         the FOSS4GNA organizing but perhaps these efforts could be
>         harmonized in some manner?  I'm not really knowledgeable on this
>         topic, so someone knowledgeable should talk about this.  While
>         I'm straying from 2014 commentary, I'll also comment that these
>         two 2020 proposals for a North American year were strikingly
>         similar.  Both are in Canada (I would have expected at least one
>         US entry before two from Canada), both are taking the novel
>         approach of in-housing the PCO services, and both rate well on
>         the above valid criteria.    
>
>          
>
>          
>
>         [1] Previous thoughts about ties but similar to these
>         thoughts.  https://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/board/2014-February/006720.html
>
>          
>
>          
>
>         Best regards, Eli
>
>          
>
>         _______________________________________________
>         Conference_dev mailing list
>         [hidden email]
>         <mailto:[hidden email]>
>         https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/conference_dev
>
>      
>
>      
>
>     We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could
>     produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the
>     Internet, we know that is not true.
>
>     —Robert Wilensky
>
>      
>
>     _______________________________________________
>     Conference_dev mailing list
>     [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]>
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>
>
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