Re: [Mtgvenue] Updated potential meeting location list

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Fri, 21 February 2020 22:15 UTC

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Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2020 17:15:48 -0500
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: Jay Daley <jay@ietf.org>, mtgvenue@ietf.org
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Subject: Re: [Mtgvenue] Updated potential meeting location list
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Jay,

I see your response below as very encouraging.  I agree with you
about striving for objective measurements as well, but hope we
can avoid the common trap of confusing "hard to measure" with
"unimportant".  

Let me give threeexamples from recent discussions.  (1) Jordi's
passionate argument against meeting in Barcelona because of
potential serious disruption (and the parallels it might have in
Hong Kong) are not easily reduced to objective and quantitative
measures and I'm sure we could find people on the other side of
either position who would be equally passionate.  Both are not
only hard to quantify or scale objectively but they require
judging risks that cannot be known exactly unless one can
accurately predict the future (one could say the same thing
about the odds of getting snowed in during a given week in
Minneapolis (or Chicago, or Calgary, or Stockholm or Helsinki)).
However, that does not diminish the importance of those issues.
(2) There are several cities on the list that have extensive
international and intercontinental direct air connections
--something that, as you point out, can be evaluated objectively
-- but only if one includes carriers that a significant number
of people may find problematic and/or that some companies have
on "do not use" lists.   The latter is going to be much harder
to get good, objective, data about about, but it can be almost
as real an issue in deterring travel as places that require
itineraries with multiple connections for many participants.
(3) Travel or other departments push back aggressively on what
they see as "tourist destinations", at least requiring extra
justification.  I'd guess we pretty much know what those
destinations are (although we might quibble about edge cases)
but I can't think of a way to either make that categorization
objective or to quantify the number of people who would be
effected (especially if we ignore whatever historical
information we have because things change).   Again, that does
not make the issues less important.

In any even, the general strategy seems sound.  Good luck with
it.   And, with this note, I'm going to stop posting to this
thread in the hope that it will help you get on with it.

regards,
    john


--On Saturday, February 22, 2020 10:44 +1300 Jay Daley
<jay@ietf.org> wrote:

> Replying to a whole bunch of emails:
> 
> I have no idea how cities originally got onto this list, or
> why some cities are not there or why some cities we have been
> too are no longer there.  I'm also not sure what is assessed
> at what stage (which I will go away and find out).  The
> current state is that I've inherited an opaque, historical
> process where the secretariat had done their job some time ago
> but the list had not been updated and the community not
> informed, and so I corrected that.
> 
> My future focus is on defining an overall assessment pipeline
> which implements the consensus policy. My initial thoughts
> about that are that this definition should include:
> 
> - how things enter the pipeline.  I expect this will have
> multiple entry points depending on who is asking and probably
> different requirements for each, such as: — sponsors, who
> offer to pay for specific cities/regions and who will probably
> have the lowest burden of all — venues who send us bids with
> special pricing who will probably have the highest burden and
> be asked to do substantial work if they want their bid
> considered — local community members, who will probably be
> expected to do some initial research — community members who
> have preferred cities for an endless set of reasons - what
> stages there are in the assessment and what is assessed at
> each stage - what community engagement takes place and when
> 
> The detailed assessment process is already in place and ably
> managed by the secretariat so this will be more an exercise in
> clear definitions than changing the underlying details.
> 
> One exception to that and something you are going to see from
> me a lot, is that I prefer to use independent empirical data
> for complex decisions instead of human judgement.  So when it
> comes to airport links I will be looking to see if there is a
> public index of airport connectivity that we can refer to.
> Similarly, comments have been made about some cities being
> unsuitable due to air-pollution and I will be looking at the
> standard air-quality indices to guide us there.  Obviously
> there are nuances and ranges for which human judgement must be
> used, but the index should be the starting point not an email
> thread about the number of flights in/out.
> 
> Finally, there are actually two cities listed as unsuitable -
> Nassau and Macau - for the reasons given in my announcement.
> 
> Jay