Re: [Diversity] Concerns about Singapore

Spencer Dawkins at IETF <> Tue, 12 April 2016 14:34 UTC

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Date: Tue, 12 Apr 2016 09:34:09 -0500
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From: Spencer Dawkins at IETF <>
To: Dave Crocker <>
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Cc: "" <>, Vinayak Hegde <>
Subject: Re: [Diversity] Concerns about Singapore
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Hi, Dave,

On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 7:14 AM, Dave Crocker <> wrote:

> On 4/11/2016 7:28 PM, Spencer Dawkins at IETF wrote:
>> Yeah, we had to complain, and complain loudly, but if you check out
>>, you'll see a lot more IETF
>> meetings in Canada, especially during the worst times. There would
>> likely have been even more meetings in Canada, except for hosts who
>> wanted IETF meetings in specific places in the US (which is fair,
>> because those specific places were easier for them to support).
> Is it fair?
> If we know of a pattern of problems with getting participants to be able
> to attend, shouldn't that be more important than host convenience (as long
> as we have the choice of an alternate venue)?  The goal of a meeting is to
> get work done.  Choosing a venue that makes it difficult for participants
> to attends works against that basic goal.

I'd say that if our deal with hosts is that they are giving us hundreds of
thousands of dollars to host a meeting, and they can do that without
spending even more money on stuff that's hard in one location, and easier
in another, we can't be surprised that they want to do it in the easy

If that doesn't work for us, we should tell them, and go from there. But
that's up to us.

Speaking only as a meeting attendee, on this one, of course.

> The Secretariat started opening registration earlier, so people could
>> register and request visa letters earlier. I don't know if it ever
>> happened, but there was talk about letting people register for more than
>> one meeting, so they could request a visa letter for IETF N+1 before
>> IETF N had even happened.
>> When three Nomcom members were delayed getting visas for Honolulu, my
>> understanding is that IETF/ISOC folk were making personal calls to the
>> US State Department to see what could be done to expedite that.
> Every country carries some kinds of problems, given the diversity of IETF
> attendance.  But some countries are notably more problematic.
> Is it reasonable to hold our meetings in places that require this sort of
> special action?  If so, why?

I suspect that there are other special actions taken when we meet in other
places, that haven't gone through episodes of difficulty for Chinese
attendees - but honestly, that's what I know most about, from spending ten
years at Huawei, especially early on (say, 2005 to 2008), so I don't know
what else has been required for other people in other places.

I can't comment on "reasonable".