Minutes of the Meetings of the Executive Committee of the Internet Society

15 June 2000
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Author(s): Martin Burack
Date: 2000.6.15
Committee:Executive Committee of BoT
Document: excom-00-04
Revision:
Supersedes:
Status: DRAFT
Maintainer: Martin Burack
Access: Unrestricted

The meeting was called to order by Geoff Huston, Chair, at 8:30am, EDT.

Participants:
Vint Cerf
Geoff Huston
Christine Maxwell
Kees Neggers
Marty Burack
Don Heath
Lynn St.Amour
Torryn Brazell (for INET discussions)

1. INET

  1. INET 2000
    We have 486 registrants to date; 170 are from Japan, and 105 from the U.S. In addition, we will have 109 NTW students (who will pay about $300 each). Our co-managers in Japan are reasonably confident of reaching 1,200-1,500 paid registrants. At a minimum, it looks as though we will at least reach 900-1,000. We will have a typical dependence upon walk-in registrations. Tutorials are likely to again be very successful; we have the biggest registration ever for this point in time: 266. Sponsorships have reached approximately $3.5mm and may reach $3.7+mm. Some expenses are running over budget and additional sponsorships are being sought to cover this. Hitoshi Arai will be meeting with Torryn on June 23rd, in Reston, to review INET status. At that point, a realistic forecast of profitability will be developed. It currently appears that INET will achieve a breakeven or better.
  2. INET 2001 – Status of bids for Stockholm, Glasgow, Paris>br> Selection committee is clarifying some details on revenue sharing, but is close to a decision. Stockholm appears to have the strongest bid, in great measure because of financial guarantees and a plan for revenue sharing. A recommendation, along with supporting documentation (such as an MOU) will be prepared and submitted during the next 2-3 weeks, via email to Ex-Comm and then to the Board for review and approval.
  3. Issues (General Discussion)
    What should ISOC’s strategic direction be for conferences? An inordinate amount of money is raised each year for a conference that is very good but may not have sufficient long term impact to be worth the investment of ISOC resources. The way in which we manage INET has improved, due to outsourcing more financial and operational responsibility to local organizers, and the amount of work required by the staff is much less than in past years. This has freed up some staff resources to do other needed work, which has helped ISOC cope with day to day operations in spite of personnel losses. But the conference market has changed significantly since the first INET and we may still need a different value proposition, as has been discussed previously (e.g., regional and/or issue specific smaller conferences). Most conferences make profits because of the selling of exhibition space. Richard Perlman (V.P. for Conferences) is expected to have the strategic directions document ready for review in a couple of weeks.

2. NTW 2000
Yokohama – We have 109 students; a dozen or so more people who had been accepted dropped out due to lack of funding. Geoff commented that he understood that George Sadowsky (V.P. for Education) was managing within the constraints of the budget. There will be five English language tracks and one French track. There are some typical visa problems, but they are manageable.

Mexico City – We expect to have 200 students in 8 tracks. 7-10 instructors will attend INET.

3. Financials
We should achieve a small surplus this year, but it is dependent upon when new org members come on the books. Final figures as of the end of May are not yet determined, but it appears that we had a surplus of $150-160K. Cash flow is manageable, but still not yet in a comfort level. Don will present plans at the Board meeting for doing more to raise funds.

A general discussion followed: ISOC needs to break out of the mold we’re in. We can’t afford not to change, or we will become marginalized. We can do more to make potential donors/sponsors aware of our support of the IETF role in standards. We need to do more on social policy agendas that many foundations and corporations are involved in. That would make it easier for them to understand why they should be providing financial support for ISOC.

This morning, Geoff emailed a document to Ex-Comm for comments, in which he lays out a proposal for making fundamental changes in the way ISOC is structured and operates. It will then be passed around to the Trustees, VPs, and chapters for additional comments. Vint sent some comments to Geoff. Christine said she would be submitting significant input. Don and Kees said they would review and comment. Lynn has worked with the staff and a couple of consultants on a good deal of benchmarking and analyses of processes and procedures. She has put together a draft document and will use that to comment on what Geoff sent out.

Meanwhile, Don pointed out, if the Trustees can help Don bring in 10 more Gold members, that will relieve a lot of day-to-day pressures.

4. China Delegation
The visit is going very well. Chinese media has highlighted ISOC’s participation.

5. UNESCO Update
We’ve submitted the administrative forms required. A discussion paper hasgone through many drafts, with comments from 60 people.

6. Postel Award
We are looking for nominees. The Secretariat will send out a final call for nominations soon.

7. BoT Meeting in Yokohama
A major part of the meeting should be devoted to the plans developed by Geoff and by Lynn. More emphasis is needed by V.P.s to focus the Board on decisions and approvals needed and less on information presentations. They should summarize their needs at the front of their reports to make it easier for the Trustees to focus on strategic issues.