actions related to improving IETF meeting selections

IETF Chair <chair@ietf.org> Wed, 08 June 2016 13:58 UTC

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Subject: actions related to improving IETF meeting selections
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Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 16:58:19 +0300
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The discussion about the Singapore meeting has been difficult for us. The IETF needs a meeting that we are generally happy with. Various past mistakes and new learnings aside, we are now in a situation where no decision in this space will be perfect. We knew that no matter what choice is made, there will be groups of people who feel they are unfairly impacted.

But perhaps the most important things are that, long-term, the community gets to carefully weigh what they expect from meeting locations, that we all learn from more about the various challenges discussed, we are an open organisation for everybody including minorities, and that we improve our processes going forward. It is also crucial that the IETF remains an organisation that can do its technical work, and be open to all of our global participants in a fair manner. And obviously be capable of arranging our operations in the real world, in areas that our participants come from.

What follows is what we are proposing as additional onward work to address the issues highlighted in this discussion:

o   The IAOC as well as members of the community have asked me to charter a working group to continue the discussion of the detailed meeting criteria document (draft-baker-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process). All criteria are on the table for discussion. The working group proposal is being reviewed by the IESG, and will be out for community review shortly. A WG meeting in Berlin is planned.

o   Develop a BCP that defines the community-backed, official policy for the overall strategy of geographic meeting distribution (our current strategy is referred to as 1-1-1*). An initial draft for this is in the works.

o   Arrange a special session in Berlin to discuss the role of human rights, visas, and other aspects of international meeting arrangements. We have begun to work to find outside experts in this space who can join a conversation. (If you have suggestions, let us know.)

o   Continue the new practice of informing the community of potential future meeting destinations, and collecting “crowd-sourced” input on their suitability.

o   Commit to a proper, informed process to identify issues that any subgroup (including but not only the LGBTQ community) has with our site selections.

o   Commit to returning to the 1-1-1* meeting model — or what the eventual BCP policy is -- for Asia for the remainder of the decade. For the last decade, we’ve only met there 4 times.

o   Commit to holding all other currently planned meetings as they are, and focusing on making the most appropriate decisions about future meetings, as informed by community input.

o   While we do not believe that we should respond to the current discussions merely with a suggestion of conducting our meeting virtually, it is a clear direction that IETF and other organisations will be using more virtual collaboration tools in the future. The IESG has discussed taking initial steps with regards to bigger virtual meetings. Experiences from this could drive further efforts.

Jari Arkko, IETF Chair