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Pre-RIPE 84 Working Group Chair Meeting Summary

28 March 2022

Attendees:
Ignas Bagdonas, Sandoche Balakrichenan, Nina Bargisen, Markus de Brün, João Damas, Constanze Dietrich, Rob Evans, Ondřej Filip, Antony Gollan, Julf Helsingius, Paul Hoogsteder, Raymond Jetten, James Kennedy, Achilleas Kemos, Shane Kerr, Kurtis Lindqvist, Moritz Müller, Brian Nisbet, Niall O'Reilly, Bijal Sanghani, Marcos Sanz, Brian Trammell, Leo Vegoda, Alexandra Vos, Martin Winter

Chair: Mirjam Kühne

Scribe: Kjerstin Burdiek 

1. Preparations for RIPE 84

Mirjam opened the meeting by welcoming the working group chairs, especially the new ones. She asked them for their goals and concerns about the upcoming RIPE Meeting, for instance related to the hybrid nature of the meeting, the situation around COVID-19 and the ongoing war.

The chairs discussed how to balance the physical meeting with accommodating online participants. Most looked forward to meeting in person again but acknowledged that it could be challenging to smoothly incorporate online presentations and audiences. It was noted that getting online participants involved in social events would be especially difficult. Similarly, it would take extra effort to welcome new members of the community and help them build connections. It was suggested that veteran community members and working group chairs be prepared to reach out and get new members involved from the start.

Several chairs had attended the recent hybrid IETF event and shared what measures worked there for combining online and onsite participation. The Meetecho meeting platform had worked well, especially in working groups that really tried to include online and onsite participation. In addition, several chairs mentioned that it was useful having different badges for different levels of comfort with social distancing.

Drawing on this, several chairs expressed concerns about COVID-19 safety protocols at the meeting. There was support for having different social distancing badges. It was also noted that people should be accepting of others choosing to follow optional safety measures such as wearing masks or keeping distance. Everyone would be getting used to interacting in person again while trying to stay safe, so chairs should be mindful of this in their sessions.

The chairs also considered meetings going forward. It was suggested to have one online meeting and one onsite meeting per year to make it easier for people to attend. This would make sense given that travel was more complicated than ever. However, other chairs disagreed and said hybrid was best for both meetings, especially now that physical meetings were once again possible. Still, it would be worth improving the structure of hybrid meetings to adapt them better for online participants. Mirjam noted that interim working group sessions were also effective for engaging with people.

Alexandra Vos, RIPE NCC Events Organiser, presented the RIPE NCC’s current plans for RIPE 84. So far, there were 190 people registered for onsite participation and 136 for online, which was on track with previous meetings. The RIPE NCC would indeed have different badges for different levels of social distancing, and there would be socially distanced seats in conference rooms. The RIPE NCC would also have masks and self-tests available for participants throughout the meeting. Furthermore, there would be QR codes in each room to link participants to a phone app where they could join the queue for questions, share their slides and enter the chat room. Meetecho would once again be the online meeting platform.

For social participation at the meeting, Alexandra shared there would be online games, Kahoot quizzes and both an onsite and online dinner. The venue would also have a booth in the coffee break area where onsite participants could sit and speak to those online. The RIPE NCC had also organised trainings on how to moderate sessions (for session chairs only), how to present effectively and how to create clear presentation slides.

Mirjam suggested that the chairs try to have at least one chair of each working group be onsite or to name a substitute chair who could be present during the meeting. She shared that there were also plans for a pre-RIPE 84 event for students to help them get involved in the community. The chairs then discussed whether to have an in-person lunch at the event or have an online lunch after the meeting. It was decided that both could be done, with an option to join the lunch during the meeting online as well.

Next, the group heard from Leo Vegoda, chair of the RIPE Code of Conduct Task Force. He shared that the Task Force was suggesting to include a reference to the Code of Conduct in the introduction and welcome, as well in the opening of each session. The goal was to convey that the Code of Conduct was in place to help participants people feel more welcome and more comfortable interacting with each other.

Mirjam added that there would be two additional trusted contacts from the RIPE NCC present at the meeting, as there was not yet a full Code of Conduct Team. There would also be security guards at the meeting and at the social events.

Finally, the chairs considered how to address the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the meeting. Mirjam encouraged the chairs to take responsibility in case discussions got out of hand.

2. AOB

Mirjam asked the relevant chairs to add the RIPE Database Task Force’s recommendations as discussion points in their sessions. She also reminded the chairs to be sure to get their terms and upcoming elections posted online. Finally, she asked them if they wanted another interim meeting before RIPE 84. Some chairs were in favour if time permitted.

It was suggested that there be a private room on Mattermost for working group chairs during the RIPE Meeting. This would be especially useful at this hybrid event so that chairs participating online and onsite could stay in touch. Mirjam approved of this idea and encouraged the chairs to use this room and other venues as a way to offer each other support. She also invited chairs to reach out to her if they had any questions.