RE: [Manycouches] Meet Only line - I object

"STARK, BARBARA H" <bs7652@att.com> Wed, 03 February 2021 22:49 UTC

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From: "STARK, BARBARA H" <bs7652@att.com>
To: "'Kathleen Moriarty'" <kathleen.moriarty.ietf@gmail.com>, "'Donald Eastlake'" <d3e3e3@gmail.com>
CC: "'<manycouches@ietf.org>'" <manycouches@ietf.org>, "'IETF Discussion'" <ietf@ietf.org>
Subject: RE: [Manycouches] Meet Only line - I object
Thread-Topic: [Manycouches] Meet Only line - I object
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Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2021 22:49:23 +0000
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On Wed, Feb 3, 2021 at 2:40 PM Donald Eastlake <d3e3e3@gmail.com<mailto:d3e3e3@gmail.com>> wrote:
With current technology, virtual meetings are markedly inferior to
physical meetings. I oppose any reduction from three such meetings a
year, when they can be held, as such a change will make the IETF less
effective.

I'd like to see more online and not have 3 in-person meetings a year.  The lower costs may make it more accessible to some who cannot afford to travel.  It is also more equitable if everyone is remote for at least some of the meetings.  One time a year in person might be fine and I think we can figure that out.  This may also help primary caretakers of children or parents.  I know that has been a barrier expressed int he past from parents of young children.

In terms of timelines, some countries have not started to vaccinate yet as the richer countries have bought the initial supplies. With virus mutations, I suspect the IETF won't be able to meet in July if transmission of variants is possible.

Equitable considerations should be factored into the decision process.

<bhs> I think that different meeting locations are more or less convenient for different people. If the number of meetings were reduced, I’m wondering which region’s people will find themselves most inconvenienced by no longer having a meeting reasonably near them (= less cost and travel time / time away from home)? When I had young children I would often not go to all of the in-person meetings for orgs I participated in. The locations I didn’t go to were primarily those that required the most travel time. I think it would be better to have the 3 f2f meetings, but for people to feel like they could give themselves permission not to attend all of them. As long as the set of people who aren’t physically attending can be reasonably accommodated, there’s no reason for a significant portion of the population to be prevented from meeting in person. The world isn’t “equitable”. One meeting in a year that is convenient to a small portion of the IETF population isn’t “equitable”. Anyway, I felt like I was able to be very effective with this strategy of not attending all f2f meetings. I chaired groups and led projects. The key is for people not to be punished for this strategy (i.e., not considered suited for a leadership position). But I honestly think that’s less of a problem than people getting past the idea that they’re somehow required to attend all f2f meetings. Those who can and want to meet f2f shouldn’t be prevented from meeting f2f just so people who don’t want to or aren’t able to don’t have to figure out how to say “no, I won’t travel to this one”. I have definitely seen progress slow down tremendously this past year due to the lack of f2f meetings. I would rate our past 3 virtual meetings as better than nothing but nowhere near as productive as a f2f meeting. I think we need to err more on the side of getting things done than on the side of preventing work from getting  done in order to be equitable.  - Barbara