Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input

Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com> Sun, 22 May 2016 15:19 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] IETF 100, Singapore -- proposed path forward and request for input
To: Ted Hardie <ted.ietf@gmail.com>
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From: Eliot Lear <lear@cisco.com>
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Date: Sun, 22 May 2016 17:18:50 +0200
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Hi Ted,

On 5/22/16 12:32 PM, Ted Hardie wrote:

> If I understand you correctly, you see any and all of the principles
> as ones we might choose to let slide in order to meet some other
> goal.   In that context, I find the phrase "weighting the impact to
> participants" to be worrying.  If you naively attempt to do that
> weighting by assessing the impact per individual and multiplying it
> out by the number of individuals you expect to fall in the class, you
> can easily end up continually disadvantaging minority groups.  Doing
> it fairly by any means will be difficult.

Put more bluntly: there will *always* be some group who is at least
inconvenienced and at most prohibited from attending a meeting.  I agree
with Stephen that the word "difficult" should be replaced with
"impossible".  To your point that a static analysis could disadvantage
minority groups, I agree.  This is yet another case of sharing the
inconvenience.

>
> I personally believe, because of the importance of openness to our
> basic operation, principles of inclusiveness should not be part of the
> meeting trade-off except in extraordinary circumstances.

And I don't think they are.  Quite frankly barring a location itself is
a form of exclusion, especially when taking into account economics.  It
may be an *appropriate* exclusion if going there means that many others
would be excluded.  Kathleen and Suresh, and later Dave and Narelle,
have made clear that diversity/inclusiveness is a broad notion.  Gender,
sexual preference, and nationality are all listed in Fred's draft, as is
religion.  I will tell you that religion has been a problem in the past
where participants have been unable to eat according to their custom. 
For those who are devout followers of a faith we have not made every
accommodation.  We probably cannot.

What I find worrying is that we may end up foreclosing participation to
new members because of their governments' laws.  They need to be
considered in this discussion, and thus far it feels as though they have
not been, and often aren't.  That is particularly problematic because it
risks the future of this organization, which isn't growing very quickly,
to begin with.

Earlier and at the microphone, you zoomed into the point about
families.  If there is a balance between increased participation of
members, and the ability of members to bring their families to events,
it seems to me the latter must give way to the former, except where that
inconvenience would inhibit direct participation.  And even in that
situation we must be circumspect, as I previously mentioned.

None of the above answers the question of whether or not we should go to
Singapore.  It is sufficient for me to know that such an analysis is
taking place and that the IAOC would be willing to defend their
decision.  Having clear criteria is good.  But quantifying a decision
may prove "difficult". 

The other issue here is that you were surprised by the selection.  The
value of this conversation is that we can avoid that from happening
again to you or others.  For that I think you've done a service to the
organization.

Eliot