Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100

Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org> Fri, 27 May 2016 17:12 UTC

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Date: Fri, 27 May 2016 13:12:21 -0400
From: Rich Kulawiec <rsk@gsp.org>
To: ietf@ietf.org
Subject: Re: [Recentattendees] Background on Singapore go/no go for IETF 100
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On Fri, May 27, 2016 at 11:34:53AM -0400, John C Klensin wrote:
> It seems to me that, if the IETF does nothing, it could provide
> critics of the IETF community to assert that the IETF is
> insensitive to issues of diversity and that its role and work
> should be discounted because they represent only privileged
> "majority" interests.

I have reluctantly levelled this criticism because I believe it to
be true: the IETF's fixation on physical meetings means that only the
privileged few can attend: this mechanism selects for those with time
(their own or their employer's), money (their own or their employer's),
the ability to travel, the willingness to travel, the freedom to travel
(e.g., ability to leave family and work and other responsibilities),
the willingness to undertake all the risks associated with travel (legal
or otherwise, see current discussion thread), and so on.

If all the time, money, and effort that has gone into this discussion
and this meeting had been applied to virtualizing meetings, it would
have done much more to broaden participation not just geographically
but demographically.  And it would alleviate the need to ever have
this conversation again -- instead of necessitating it repeatedly,
something I'm sad to say that I think may become more rather than
less likely as political/legal conditions shift in various countries.

---rsk