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From Isabel Drost-Fromm <>
Subject Invitation to travel to Berlin
Date Wed, 10 May 2017 20:15:24 GMT
CAREFUL: This mail was posted to lists with different visibility levels. 
I would love to see any discussion following it happen in public. While 
I'm subscribed to a few of our events lists, I would assume many people 
at Apache aren't which is why IMHO dev@c.a.o might be a good place to 
take this proposal apart.


TL;DR: Back when I created Berlin Buzzwords I did so to have an excuse 
to invite lovely people from all over the world to visit Berlin. It took 
until last week for me to ask some people outside of the NoSQL/ search/ 
big data circles what I would have to do to get them to travel to 
Berlin. The answer I got? "Just ask" - So here I am.

Longer version (I know I'll regret thinking about this a second after 
hitting send):

Looking in vain for an existing group of people to exchange ideas around 
the topic of distributed team management across organisation boundaries, 
last summer I started organising - "async 
cat herding" meetup for exactly this topic. I've scheduled it at lunch 
time, received lots of interest, but for one talk at a time usually 
attracted only roughly 20 attendees.

Ever since I started that thing my head has been tossing around the idea 
to see if one could arrange something bigger. Something that touches 
community management, open development, inner source, project 
neutrality, foundation growth, async communication - essentially some 
sort of Apache Community Summit, or Apache Community Hackathon to 
overload the meetup acronym's meaning.

I started working for a new employer (, fintech founded in 
1999, meetup friendly, organised holocratically***) as "Open Source
Strategist"*. Shortly after starting there a colleague (Stefan, CC'ed) 
told me that this company has space for 180ppl total at no cost (2 
rooms, one of which can be split, so it's 3 rooms max). This information 
got me thinking, the result of that thinking made Stefan "slightly" 
nervous ;) However that same result also made a handful of ASF 
affiliated people smile when I shared it with them, so I thought it 
would make sense to take the idea one step further:

With this mail I would like to see how much interest there would be in 
attending an event that is solely about Apache project leadership topics.

If there's only <20 ppl, I'm happy to offer my family's living room, 
been there, done that before - promise to keep the 3D printer switched 
off this time around.

If there's <70ppl, we can easily host this in the Europace Casino meetup 
room, no big deal, there's plenty of experience in how to do that there 
including one video recording set should we be inclined to record any talks.

For the case that there's <200ppl interested, we will need some 
organisation time up-front, but I have been told that we would be welcome.

If more than 200ppl attend, I'd have to get creative.

Up until 200ppl I'd keep the event free as in free beer to everyone who 
contributed to Apache and hand out tickets on a first come first serve 
basis. Free as in free beer means no first class catering, no 
reimbursement for speakers, no fancy conference hotel to spend all your 
conference days in. However is located close to Berlin 
Alexanderplatz - you won't starve for a lack of food. Nor will you get 
bored if you need some fresh air, happy to share local knowledge on what 
to do, where to eat, what to see ;)

Apart from number of attendees there are a couple open questions I'm 
aware of:

- In terms of topics I would love to focus on developer
collaboration, Apache Way, Community leadership, distributed teams**. If 
we want organised tracks, I'd need speakers. For a first iteration I 
won't setup a double blind submission and review system and instead keep 
things as simple as possible which implies a good chance of unfairness.

- For marketing I would love to bring this to the Berlin Buzzwords team, 
I can talk to German publishers, would rely on Apache channels for 
everything else.

- Should someone want professional videos and want to pay for that I can 
see if I can get you in touch with the ppl who have done this in the 
past at Buzzwords, if not, maybe Google Live Hangouts could be an option 
(have done this for the past two achnee meetups, worked ok-ish, depends 
on bandwidth).

- I have no idea wrt. to pricing - to avoid contractual obligations, tax 
implications and personal liability stuff I'd shoot for minimising 
number of signed contracts/ money collected with the caveat that people 
would have to be honest in giving back tickets they don't need (which 
currently doesn't work with organised events here in Berlin). 
I've had crowdfunding suggested before - yes, this is an option, if we 
find or create an intermediate entity to collect and wisely spend the 
money that is not me - otherwise among other things my tax declaration 
get's even more complicated than it already is, and no I won't be the 
one creating an e.V. for that myself for the same reasons that I didn't 
do that back when Berlin Buzzwords was founded: I'm not a paperwork 
loving person, sorry.

If you are interested in all of this, I have prepared a short poll for you:

Isabel (about to regret having hit send in a minute, not proof reading 
as otherwise I won't send this out...)

* If any of you have any good advise on where/ how to start and which 
pitfalls to avoid, lets talk separately.

** Mostly out of personal interest and because I'm frustrated that for 
me it seems easier to find such content by anyone but the Apache 
Software Foundation, but maybe that's my personal filter bubble.

*** Press teaser adapted, shortened and translated from the official 
German version: Hypoport AG is a FinTech service provider in the 
financial industry. The business model is based on a portfolio of 
institutional customers, private clients, financial services companies. 
Europace AG is a 100% subsidiary of Hypoport, developing and operating 
an online financial market place called Europace, the largest German 
platform for real estate financing, building loan products, and advise 
credit products. Europace is connecting roughly 400 partners - banks, 
insurances, financial sales institutions. Several thousand users are 
handling roughly 35k transactions each month with a volumn of about 4 
billion Euro via the Europace platform.

.oO(I'm wondering if anyone really reads until down here...)

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