FOSScamp 2017 @ Syros, Greece

Could you please make a brief summary of that in a spreadsheet table, e.g.

Revenue
Ticket sales 12x 40 480
Total revenue 480

Expenses
Meals/snacks (everybody? Ura staff?) …
Flight/bus/ferry (Elio?) …
Accommodation (Ura staff?) …
Accommodation (volunteers?) …
Total expenses …

Profit/loss: (Revenue - expense)

It doesn’t need to be pretty like a company P/L as it is not a lot of money, but it will serve two purposes:

  • it helps answer any questions people have asked and ends those discussions
  • it will provide a useful reference for anybody who wants to be involved in planning another event like this

Here is an example of the DebConf16 financial report

These questions are not accusations, I realize it takes effort to make a report like that but every FLOSS organization tries to do that.

@pocock again FOSScamp was NOT organised by an NGO!


R.S

And yes, if you read your thread again it seems like an accusation. I checked the dictionary and many things of what you mentioned are the definition of accusations.


R.S

It did request funding from non-profit organizations though, so don’t you think it might be reasonable to provide a brief financial report for the event?

Some people have expressed concerns, if you want to use the word accusations that is fine, but I’ve told them that Open Labs has a great record of doing things well and that I was hoping you would clear everything up quickly with the financial report for the event. The time we spent discussing it is probably more time than it would take to make the report.

Regards,

Daniel

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Individuals have requested funding from various projects, as an entity we haven’t had any transaction so I don’t see the logic you are using here.

You are still avoiding Redon’s questions however.

Who are the people that expressed concerns? In what way did they express them and why no one has expressed these concerns to us?


R.S

If they choose to remain anonymous but you have documented everything they asked about, does it really matter who they are?

A lot of people noticed the FOSSCamp because of my blog (it is syndicated widely), the blogs from participants and the funding requests sent to Wikimedia (which are public):

https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Sido_uku/FOSScamp_Syros_2017
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Nafie_shehu/FOSScamp_Syros_2017
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Grants:TPS/Silva.1994/FOSScamp_Syros_2017

Hi everyone,

I wanted to emphasize once again that Foss Camp Syros 2017 is NOT organized by Open Labs, but from Ura Design, Open Labs was only the community support.
@pocock that means that only @elioqoshi has the right to produce a financial report with the costs of the event.
From what I read, I see that there are also other people who has concerns related to this topic, so I think that having a financial report for this would be helpful to clarify everyone who has concerns for this, especially communities who sponsored people coming.

Cheers,
Kristi

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I won’t take that as an argument as at no point it’s mentioned WHO IS CONCERNED with that apart @pocock.
The way @pocock has been handling this is very inappropriate towards us and does not put me in a position to do something I am not required to do. Red Hat, Collabora and various other open source business don’t do public financial reports either, because it’s a business, not a non profit NGO. The single source of concern is Daniel at this point, I haven’t seen anyone else expressing this concern.

Again, projects which sponsored community members are free to reach out to us for more details but what Daniel is doing is unacceptable for me. If people sponsored by various projects see this as a blocker to justify their sponsorship, we are happy to help and give more details on it, but the only person who expressed their concerns at this point is @pocock, who was not involved with the event either.

Again, as of now I only see people who are concerned about other people’s concerns. Instead it might be helpful to see people who are actually concerned and involved in this whole discussion to voice their opinion here.

Why? This is not a personal issue, it is quite a reasonable request. It is also a lot better to clear it up quickly now than have questions about it in future when Open Labs people ask for funding again.

Actually, I publicized it quite widely with my blog post and I also referred Lior and other potential visitors to the event.

but that is not an accurate comparison. Consider the relationship between Debian (non-profit) and Ubuntu (private company). There are developers who are members of both organizations. If an Ubuntu developer used their access to Debian systems to put an Ubuntu notice on the main debian.org web site, lots of people would ask questions. If an Ubuntu developer asked for Debian funds to be given to Ubuntu as a fee for something, then people would probably ask for details.

Once again, this is not a personal issue with Elio or Redon, this is an objective request for clarification about an amount that you already said isn’t actually so much money so I’m surprised it hasn’t been clarified already.

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There is nothing else to clarify in addition to what have been said. This discussion is making the same cycle over and over again. The amounts we are talking are ridiculous and the fact that we are taking in length about this make me even more suspicious about the intentions of this debate. For many times already: this has not been organized by OLs but from Ura, which is a company and not obligated to share any financial reports. It has never been said that it will disclose these details.
Connecting this with future funding for members in order to push for this is not a good strategy and will not make any change in what has been already told.
OLs members have dedicated so much effort, time and personal funds to support other floss organizations and if these organizations use their funding opportunities as a threat than maybe it is not a good idea to contribute to them!
You are still not being clear about people that had concerns, which makes it clear that you were the only one concerned about this. I’m really curious to understand the reason.
since we are talking about the same arguments this is my last contribution to this issue.


R.S

Hi,

I’ll try to make a few things straight over these requests.

  1. From the outside it looks like you guys (the open source community) do a great job in organizing events, that’s why we’re happy to both participate and help financial. And also the reason I was extra happy you host the next LibreOffice conference.

  2. Daniel raised the point of things looking differently from outside (e.g. OpenLabs vs. Ura Design) which sometimes confuses people. This has been cleared in this thread. I must admit I was surprised to see Ura Design name when I paid the participation fee. But having a for profit company is OK, but still makes people ask some questions around that.

  3. Transparency is something very valued for sponsors there should be better ways to answer this issue, even when the organizer is a for profit company. The request was for a event report, not for the company report. This will create a good name for FOSScamp and will make it likely for organizations to continue help next year.

I know then event itself wasn’t sponsored, but many participants were (myself included), and it looks like it’s an important part of the “business” model of the event, as otherwise it won’t have many participants.

  1. Daniel has been your champion in Debian, even when he asked “unpleasant” questions he is still on your side (that’s my impression).

@kaplanlior the fundamental point here is that when the funding request was sent to Debian, it was sent from “We at Open Labs Hackerspace”, not “We at Ura Design”. Ura Design was never mentioned in the funding request sent to Debian. Isn’t that unfairly leveraging the good will that exists towards Open Labs due to the hard work of so many volunteers over so many years?

In other communications I have subsequently seen, Ura Design was not referred to as a for-profit entity but as a “design collective”.

Further investigation revealed that the three people named in that funding request were actually employees of Ura Design at the time they sent the funding request. Each of them asked for the EUR 40 to be paid to their own employer. The funding request did not declare their obvious conflict of interest.

According to Wikimedia guidelines, “We support volunteer participation; participation that is tied to paid work is not eligible for funding.”. If @elioqoshi company wasn’t supporting the event on a voluntary basis, isn’t that a violation of the guidelines?

They also state in the Wikimedia grant agreement requires people to declare any conflict of interest. Why did people submitting requests to Wikimedia not declare their connection with Ura Design?

In this thread, people have made comparison to Red Hat, a for-profit company. But I would ask you @elioqoshi and @rskikuli: do Red Hat write to non-profit organizations like Debian, Wikimedia and Mozilla and ask us to pay for their employees to attend their own summit? Or do companies like that typically waive the attendance fees for their own staff or charge them internally?

@elioqoshi didn’t the agreement with Digicom go through? I thought the Open Labs had internet by this time, because the last time I heard from Digicom they were waiting from you guys to sign the contract .

Hello everyone,
On this thread there are a lot off things that concern me personally.
First of all a link to my application shared there (yes it is public and anyone can see it) I felt bad as it was my first application for a grant ever (withdraw) and the last until now. Have I made mistake there?

I can’t speak about the other things related to questions for URA design, but what I understand is that it has not been clear enough to all the people how the FOSSCamp was organized.

So the last comment is also unappopriate for me:

can you please tell us if you care about Open Labs, why you didn’t put some of that EUR 500 in the Open Labs bank account to ensure the Internet bills are paid and so that other members don’t have to pay more fees?

The reasons as below:

not all the things are about the money, at least this is what I have learned from life until now
we were having a discussion about an agreement with an ISP provider here, so we are wait for it to be finished, and unfourtunately we couldn’t made it before this event

I also do care for Open Labs, but I try to solve things with the others who also care for the same thing in a more peaceful way. As you @pocock are also a member you I suppose must have been informed before about the conditions of Open Labs from other organizers. (as I know you were informed for this before)
If our community is doing something wrong why is this debate on a publik thread, is this for our sake?

Our mission is promoting open source culture, free software and free knowledge. It has been a pain to me to have the same assets as other peers on my university for proper studies, but with Open Labs I found those barriers removed. So I do care a lot for Open Labs but I don’t have a company to donate internet, what to do?

If Ura would have done it is still a conflict of interest, as employeers are also members. Ura is a profit but there is an element that connects them “open source”.
For legal and other argument you are talking about I have no comment.
All the things I am concerned about is for Open Labs community and I am trying to show up the best of it.

As an Open Labs member myself, I felt embarrassed about this. Other Open Labs members feel pressure to raise money and there is now another thread in the forum using pressure selling tactics to squeeze the members to pay membership fees

This isn’t true, I have had many financial problems but never felt presure I should donate for Open Labs and never pressure I should apply for grants… Also this thread is a disccusion we are not enforcing no one to agree with this. We are not a corporate not a company, we are trying to build a warmth and nice place to share knowledge.

Best regards,
Sidorela

@Sidorela don’t you see the contradiction in those two statements from your reply?

Personally, I would like to encourage you to continue applying for things but please be careful to read the conditions. I know that many web sites have long lists of terms and conditions now and many people just click “Accept” without reading them but the Wikimedia Grant Agreement is worth reading carefully before you submit your next application.

  • “Open Labs members feel pressure to raise money”
  • “pressure selling tactics”
  • “squeeze the members to pay”

As they say out west, “easy now, cowboy!” Or, in the words of another prophet, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can leave a stain.”

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Let me start this reply by saying that it took me quite some willpower to not fall into your accusations traps and provocations. While according to you I might have some conflict of interest, I must say that your tone of voice is very toxic and not appreciated by other people as well. You might be able to notice that but I want to be sure that you are aware of it. I will try to keep this short but I’m not sure how much I will succeed in that, as this will definitely be the last reply from my side here. I have reached out to the Debian Project Leader to close this issue once and for all. Having said that, it seems that you feel frustrated with the situation so let me tell you about my frustrations as well:

  • you include Members’ only discussions in a public thread while being yourself a member
  • you insult at least one member directly by calling them names and other defamatory comments which are directed at Open Labs members generally
  • you wait 4.5 months (138 days) after the last reply on this thread to bring this up again for more attention as it died down and that seemed to not be enough although everyone explained the situation pretty well and we are walking in circles here
  • during this period, we meet at least 3 times in various events and not in a single occasion you bring this discussion up. You act as if everything’s fine. This thread being on a public list makes me critically doubt your intentions. This is not accountability anymore, this is pointing fingers.
  • you just had a Debian Bug Sprint at the very hackerspace you just insulted its members at. If your accusations are that strong, how are you even comfortable coming to a place like that voluntarily over and over?

Everyone was responsible on their own in their funding requests and for many people, the highlight was that mostly Open Labs folks were there, not who organizes it (which is a more technical detail).

This does not require much commentary.

This is getting interesting.

Seems that your investigations were lacking as Ura has no employees apart me but only contractors. But let’s just assume for a second that it’s the same thing. The fee was actually covering various logistics costs and unexpected costs which came up prior and during the FOSScamp. We went over this already in October when you first asked/accused. No project reached out to the funding requesters for similar information, something I’d be available to help if that was the case. Why don’t you escalate this problem in the respective projects? Maybe it will work out better for you than this forum thread.

Well, that’s a nice way to twist the comparison. I answered this in the last paragraph (and other posts 5 months ago)

I’m so sorry to hear that. Please let us know how we can avoid this in the future so you don’t feel embarassed anymore. That’s the last thing we want.

Not sure which 500 EUR you are referring to.

What is “more fees”? There are currently no fees. As @silvi said, over 2 months ago we have been talking with Digicom, who would sponsor our internet. As you can see, they are pretty slow with the contract.
The thing is that even easier than conducting your investigations, it is to verify that the members you are directly accusing are responsible for securing the majority of the funding which has covered the ongoing costs of the hackerspace since 2013. Paying rent out of our own pockets in some cases. Your accusations are very serious and I don’t take them lightly, since my own personal and professional profile is in line here. In legal terms that would be exactly defamation.

That’s all I have to say on this matter. With due modesty, if there would be anyone working in a field for the sole purpose of making money, hackerspaces like Open Labs wouldn’t be a smart choice. I’m not sure where you got the idea from that this would be the case. You accuse people of misusing funds yet in all our activities talk to women at the hackerspace about getting involved in Debian because they will get free travel to various events. It’s a bit of cherrypicking, isn’t it?

Last reply from my side here.

in all our activities talk to women
at the hackerspace about getting involved in Debian because they will
get free travel to various events. It’s a bit of cherrypicking, isn’t
it?

Last reply from my side here.

I don’t want to try and speak for women but if any woman does go to tech events for more than just “free travel” maybe they should have the last word on this?