[111attendees] Hybrid meetings (was: Re: test)

Lars Eggert <lars@eggert.org> Mon, 26 July 2021 07:38 UTC

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From: Lars Eggert <lars@eggert.org>
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Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2021 10:38:10 +0300
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Cc: Toerless Eckert <tte@cs.fau.de>, Randy Bush <randy@psg.com>, 111attendees@ietf.org, Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org>, Michael StJohns <msj@nthpermutation.com>, Vittorio Bertola <vittorio.bertola=40open-xchange.com@dmarc.ietf.org>
To: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
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Subject: [111attendees] Hybrid meetings (was: Re: test)
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Hi,

On 2021-7-23, at 20:30, John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> wrote:
> we should be putting
> effort into figuring out how to do hybrid meetings well,
> starting with figuring out what "hybrid" means for us.

effort has been put into this for some months now, via a small secretariat-led team made up of some secretariat and LLC staff, NOC members and some occasional IESG involvement.

As you can imagine, the added complexities of a hybrid meeting are substantial. They remain so even if we disregard the required COVID measures for a moment, because of usefully supporting a (much) larger remotely participating community from a smaller in-person setup. Uncertainty about necessary COVID-related measures imposed by authorities at the place of the in-person meeting make matters significantly more difficult, not to mention the in-person community maybe desiring measures beyond what is required by the authorities.

> If the first case applies, spending time in SHMOO and/or in
> consultations by the LLC fine-tuning criteria for going back to
> in-person meetings or whether the "next" meeting will be in
> person, is a waste of time and resource.

The uncertainties related to COVID require us to evaluate a wide range of options. The situation unfortunately remains very fluid, and so efforts that appeared relevant only a few weeks ago may seem like a waste of time and resources now - but at the same time, efforts that seemed irrelevant then are looking much more relevant now.

For example, several weeks ago, trend lines looked like a November meeting with a substantial in-person presence in Madrid might be viable, hence we've spent time and effort in this direction. But we're also spending time and effort on a more hybrid meeting (with a much larger remote participant set), and of course on a fully-online option (which is where SHMOO comes in); and it increasingly looks like we'll need to rely on the latter planning now.

> Either way, it seems to me that, as IETF Chair and General Area
> AD, it seems to me, if the SHMOO charter and work are no longer
> a good match for the needs of the IETF, you have both the
> authority and responsibility to make that determination and to
> either shut things down or initiate a conversation about
> adjusting the charter so that things get onto a more useful
> track.  Or you could propose that people start working on a
> charter for a SHMHybrid WG that would compete with SHMOO for
> interested people, time, and resources (it is probably clear
> that I don't think much of that idea, but it is logically
> possible).

The main reason I brought up the SHMOO charter at all was to explain why the current SHMOO documents are not covering hybrid meetings, which some were wondering about. I didn't intend to imply that the community should not discuss hybrid meetings, and I apologize if I came across like that.

I'll also note that SHMOO has WG chairs, which are in charge of managing the group and can initiate steps to recharter. But I don't think a rechartered SHMOO or new WG on hybrid meetings is what should happen first (see below).

> It seems to me however that, unless you have a plan about how
> individual I-Ds --ones that the experience of the last 18 months
> suggests would be very controversial-- would reach consensus
> without a WG structure and be processed, is sort of missing the
> point.

Before talking about how an I-D in this space may or may not reach consensus, and whether a rechartered SHMOO or new WG would or wouldn't help here, I think we all would actually like to see such I-Ds posted - namely, ones that outline what a hybrid meeting structure and experience should look like - in times of COVID and in a brighter future without.

Thanks,
Lars