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Versions: 00 01                                                         
Network Working Group                                            E. Lear
Internet-Draft                                             Cisco Systems
Intended status: Informational                             July 22, 2019
Expires: January 23, 2020

                   Meeting Modalities for the Future


   The IETF currently meets three times per year in various parts of the
   world.  Somewhere around 1,000 people all get into planes, consume
   carbon, and then attend various meetings in what often is a jetlagged
   stupor.  We gotta stop meeting like this.  This draft calls on the
   LLC to research on the community's behalf new modalities for IETF
   face-to-face meetings.

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
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   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on January 23, 2020.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2019 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (https://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of

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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Why We Meet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.2.  The Negatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Finding alternatives  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  Changes from Earlier Versions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5

1.  Introduction

   For the last few decades, the Internet Engineering Task Force has
   brought together between 900 and 2,000 engineers and support staff
   from various points around the globe to various points around the
   globe, three times per year.  This, despite the fact that we're
   supposed to be the people who design, maintain, and showcase the
   latest Internet technologies.

   There are both positive and negative impacts on in-person meetings.

1.1.  Why We Meet

   [I-D.ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process] explains in great
   detail why we as an organization meet in person.  The largest
   positive impact is that we are able to work together in a collegial
   way to accomplish tasks in person that for whatever reason could not
   be accomplished via other means.

   Also, as perhaps is demonstrated by societies more broadly, there is
   a need for people to establish relationships so that people can more
   recognize each other as people, rather than just as bits on the wire.

   We also meet to cross-fertilize between efforts, so that transport
   people can provide application discussions, and security people can
   help the rest of us to develop secure protocols.

   Finally, we meet to test interopability and capabilities in
   "Hackathons", where the focus is on coding in a social context.  If
   code is law, this is law being made.

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1.2.  The Negatives

   Due to the number of working groups meeting, each working group often
   gets between one and three hours to meet, and no more.  Unless the
   value to a person is the hallway conversations, if someone's primary
   task is to advance work in one or two working groups, that person has
   travelled a long way for a very limited amount of face time.

   o  The cost of bringing us together on individuals and sponsors can
      range from US $2,000 to $5,000 per person, when considering
      registration, food, travel, and hotel costs.  The costs are even
      greater for those who live in remote locations.

   o  People who cannot travel, either because they cannot afford the
      costs or the time away, are put at a disadvantage to those who

   o  The environment takes a pretty big hit.  While we all have to eat,
      wherever we are, and we all have to sleep, we don't all have to
      travel to get to where we eat and sleep.  For most of us who will
      have traveled to Montreal will have generated between sixty and
      120 kilograms of CO2, and that's before we generate hot air in our
      meetings.  And when we do get to these meetings, hotels themselves
      are generally not as good at managing their environmental impact
      as individuals are.  Specifically, it is often difficult to
      separate trash, lots of plastic is used for drinks, and we
      generally use more energy.

   We gotta stop meeting like this.

2.  Finding alternatives

   As I just mentioned, it is not possible to eliminate in-person
   meetings.  However, it may well be possible to reduce our plenary
   face to face meetings from three times per year to two times per
   year, and at the same time improve productivity.

   And so, a number of alternatives should be considered, with an eye
   toward eliminating one of our three in-person meetings per year:

   o  Simply eliminate one meeting.  We try to do our work with two
      meetings per year.

   o  Replace one meeting with several different smaller meetings in
      which working groups are grouped together based on likely common
      interest and attendance.

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   o  Replace one meeting with one or more optional F2F meetings for
      individual working groups.

   o  Replace one meeting with a virtual plenary meeting.

   o  A combination of some of these or others.

   To determine what is best, the LLC is requested, in consultation with
   the IESG to develop and present to the community an analysis of
   available options to change our meeting structure, with an eye toward
   improving productivity at meetings, reducing our impact on the
   planet, and maintaining financial health of the organization.

   This is not intended to be a short affair, but one where the LLC is
   encouraged to bring in appropriate expertise, consider what
   information they have, what information they need, collect it,
   analyze it, and bring it back to the community for our consideration.
   This memo does not propose particular solutions quite simply because
   it is already recognized that substantial legwork needs to be
   performed before any particular experiment can be proposed.  It is
   hoped that the positives mentioned will be preserved and improved
   through this exercise.

   As part of this effort, the LLC should ask venues what their
   environmental footprint is and how they calculate it.  It should be a
   requirement for selection that venues answer these questions, as a
   desirable feature under

   Once the LLC has presented the analysis, the community is called upon
   to consider and discuss the options.  The IESG and LLC are called
   upon to facilitate those discussions, to bring them to a productive
   outcome, from which next steps can be take.  Those next steps could
   include one or more experiments, or nothing at all if the community
   cannot then come to a consensus.

3.  Security Considerations


4.  IANA Considerations


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5.  Changes from Earlier Versions

   Draft -00:

   o  Initial revision

6.  Normative References

              Lear, E., "IETF Plenary Meeting Venue Selection Process",
              draft-ietf-mtgvenue-iaoc-venue-selection-process-16 (work
              in progress), June 2018.

Author's Address

   Eliot Lear
   Cisco Systems
   Richtistrasse 7
   Wallisellen  CH-8304

   Phone: +41 44 878 9200
   Email: lear@cisco.com

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