[Ecn-sane] [tsvwg] travel funds for ietf for the next SCE talk?

Rodney W. Grimes 4bone at gndrsh.dnsmgr.net
Sat May 11 13:24:32 EDT 2019

> On 11-May-19 02:12, Joe Touch wrote:
> > 
> > 
> >> On May 10, 2019, at 7:00 AM, Ted Lemon <mellon at fugue.com <mailto:mellon at fugue.com>> wrote:
> >>
> >> On May 10, 2019, at 9:47 AM, Joe Touch <touch at strayalpha.com <mailto:touch at strayalpha.com>> wrote:
> >>> The only ?people who get a fully free ride that I know of are the IEEE Comsoc Board.?
> >>
> >> Hm. ?I?ve never paid to attend IETF. ?Granted, this is not because IETF comped me, but because I was fortunate enough to have an employer who could afford to send me at no cost to me.
> >>
> >> This model unfortunately doesn?t work for open source developers who are not on the payroll of a company with deep pockets.
> > 
> > Nor academics. I stopped coming because I couldn?t find a gov?t agency interested in supporting my participation either (and my current employer doesn?t either).
> > 
> > This is a problem not only for general attendance but also for the IESG - which impacts some decisions being made as well.
> Of course. But none of this is new and the world is a hard place. I missed one of the vital meetings of the IPng Directorate in 1994, the meeting that was the last chance for a major change of direction for what would become IPv6, because my then employer (CERN) had limited travel funds. I've always regretted missing that meeting. Too bad for me.

Since the ietf is in the standards business, and making good standards means making good decisions, and making good decisions requires being informed, it seems this exclusionary nature of a large critical mass of "smart people" with valid inputs is self defeating.

> On 11-May-19 06:19, Keith Moore wrote:
> > On 5/10/19 11:53 AM, Ted Lemon wrote:
> > 
> >> On May 10, 2019, at 11:10 AM, Tom Herbert <tom at herbertland.com <mailto:tom at herbertland.com>> wrote:
> >>> Maybe there should be a "non-sponsored" registration tier with a discount to help make it affordable for the little guys.
> >>
> >> The problem is figuring out a sustainability model for IETF that doesn?t rely on attendance fees and hotel stays.
> > 
> > 
> > And this has been a problem since the early 1990s when the US government stopped subsidizing the meetings (and perhaps also the secretariat?).   But I wish we'd try harder to find that sustainability model rather than constantly punting the problem, because the Internet has been suffering for all that time from a lack of diverse participation in IETF.

I concur.  This problem *must* be solved, but until it comes onto the table as an official problem it well continue to be un-resolvd.

> I don't see how the IETF is supposed to fix the fact that independent open source developers are, um, independent. There is no money tree. And if you change the model such that funded attendees are subsidising unfunded attendees in significant numbers, guess what? The number of funded attendees will rapidly decline. It seems to me that the current focus on improving remote attendance facilities is really the best we can do, but again: if remote attendance really becomes as good as on-site attendance, the number of funded atttendees will rapidly decline.

One path forward is to try to lower the cost of the conference through other means.

> I think that if there was a viable answer to this problem, we'd already have found it.

You can only find things that you look for, from reading this thread
it sounds as if there are people who would like this problem solved,
but they are not empowered to solve it, and those that are empowered
to solve it are not looking for a solution.

This is the endless complaint, no action taken cycle.

Now that I have responded to the prior comments, rather than just rant, try to offer some positive possible impacts.

A)  Lower cost to attend.  I saw at least one person mention cost of conference exceeding the air-fair, I am going to assume that was an international flight.  The Ietf by having its meetings around the globe has infact done some mitigation on this, though it is expensive to attend all meetings, some are usually within reach of many.  However the Hotel choice due to size needs is often expensive.  I could suggest what I have seen in smaller conferences to help offer a lower cost housign solution, team up with universities, especially over the summer months, many of them have empty dormatories that are available for very low cost.  I shall be at an Ottawa, Canada conference next week and my total housing cost based on a shared 2 bd room doorm suite is $250 USD for 5 nights!.

B)  Create an independent travel grant program, and/or solicite entities that already have a travel grant program that would consider the IETF an appropriate to their needs use of that grant.  List these programs on a "need helping attending IETF" web site.

C)  Continue to improve the remote attendance program, try to bring it on par with actual attendance.  We are in the era of remote "work from home, work anyplace on the planet" businesses, this technology is become more and more common place, the IETF *should* commit resources to this.

Rod Grimes                                                 rgrimes at freebsd.org

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