Plenary session

12 May 2017

At 9:30 a.m.:

LESLIE CARR: Good morning everyone. Thank you so much for being here at 9:30 in the morning, everyone who knows me knows that I do not like 9:30 in the morning so I appreciate so much coming here to it talk and listen about this very important initiative. So, everyone knows that the RIPE meetings don't necessarily reflect the population of Europe and the Middle East that we serve so we in the RIPE community were trying to figure out what can we do and we had done some things, we have started having discussions with the Programme Committee and the Working Group Chairs. Shane collected some metrics and did a presentation at RIPE 73. We implemented a code of conduct at RIPE 71. And we realised that we didn't have enough expertise on what the next steps were, and we needed some ‑‑ we needed some outside help. So, this Sunday, we organised a workshop to come up with ideas on what our next steps were.

So, we wanted to make sure that everyone is on the same page with some of the benefits of having more diverse group involved in the RIPE community. Many studies have shown that diverse groups produce fair and better results so in the RIPE context we want to shake sure we have the best ideas, the best contributions and that this comes out with better financial policies.

So, the RIPE NCC was kind enough to support a full day workshop, this workshop was facilitated by Fiona of the open knowledge foundation and TU Berlin and Catherine Jarmull who is a data consultant and ‑‑ thank you very much to both of those wonderful people.

So, we started with a small group that was composed of people from the RIPE Programme Committee, the Working Group collective and the RIPE NCC, that felt very passionate about this issue and wanted to work to help improve diversity.

So, Mirjam, would you like to come talk about the survey.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: Thanks. Well Fiona and Catherine sent us all a survey before the workshop and to get a better feel of the situation and where we are in this community and so in summary, these are the results ‑‑ this is the summary of the survey from, the small group that we had in the workshop. So, we all felt that RIPE does better than some other communities out there, but there is still a lot to do and a lot of potential and we also felt that the community acknowledges the issue and we talked about this for some time now, we had this presentation from Shane and then the initiatives in the Programme Committee and the Working Group Chairs but again, there is more that can be done, so that is why we are here today. And also, what we have learned, what we found out is communications is key and that we are, we need to project that also, even communicating that we are open and inviting environment is already a great step and showing to the outside world or showing to the wider community that we care about diversity and increasing diversity and being inclusive and open and welcoming is already a great step to invite others to come to this community. So there was kind of one of the take aways from the workshop.

What else did we learn? We had a lot of good background information about things that we are kind of subconsciously maybe aware of, but it was great to talk about this some more detail, such as ‑‑ how we all work with stereotypes and with a impact they have, this issue of leaky pipe, women kind of drop out during university and also in work life for various reasons, definitions of diversity, inclusion and so forth and we also had a lot of case studies of similar communities and what we have done and how they increased diversity in their environments and it was interesting that while we started out looking mostly at gender diversity, overall in throughout the workshops it turns out once we focus on one of these ‑‑ on one group it basically is intersectional and also opens up to other groups, so while we may be focusing here mainly on gender diversity at the moment that is not restricted to that, of course.

And we had a great brainstorming in the end that naturally led to us coming up with all kinds of ideas and initiatives and created a long list of possible initiatives that we want to go through now.

We came up, that was our brainstorming session in the end, it was very interactive, and then there was one other I think that we learned is some of the things that other communities did is be explicited and inviting to people, find role models, talk about the issue like we are doing here now, create some spaces for women, so they can network and find each other like we do do with the Net girls events here and also find more ‑‑ the more women or the more diverse community you have and the more women you have, it will also then attract others to participate.

And again communications is key, we can do a lot more with showing already what we do, how open we are, maybe talk a bit more about this diversity initiative here, and also prepare some communications, for instance, about local ‑‑ to the local groups and we will come back to that, how local communities can be very instrumental in helping with this initiatives and continue to work on the code of conduct, make sure it's applied, it's up to date and everybody is aware of it.

Shane loves to talk about metrics, so he is next.

SHANE KERR: So, we are going to spend sometime now talking about a little bit more detail about some of the ideas that we had and I think this is the point of the conversation, the presentation, where maybe we expect a little more feedback from the audience, so everyone wake up and pay attention and get into it.

At the last meeting, I presented some metrics that I had about trying to figure out how many women there were at RIPE meetings over time, and one of the important take aways from that presentation that was we tonight really have good metrics, so what we want to try to do going forward is capture more information about our community and how inclusive we are and how diverse our participants are. What we want to do going forward is try to be ‑‑ to try to capture this information, both about our meeting participants but also about our presentation, the people actually providing presentations and holding workshops and things like that and also about our leadership. So, what we propose is basically simple things, when you sign for a meeting we want to ask people if they want to opt‑in to say whether or not they are a member of ‑‑ what they consider an under represented group at the RIPE meeting. Now, we don't have the exact details about how that is going to work in terms of your interface and how it's going to work in terms of when you sign up and things like that but that is the basic idea, so we want to basically leave up to people to self identify, I think that is probably the most important way, and because we want to be a little bit careful about it we want to make sure we have the same questions over a long period of time so we are compare data sets so if we ask one set of questions at the next meeting and different after it, it's very difficult to say whether or not we can relate them to each other. So we want to try get it right. And because of the short amount of time before we actually start open up the registration for the next meeting we are going to have to be a little bit careful about that so it probably won't be anything we have in time for the next meeting in Dubai but the following in France will be something we really aim to have a good set of metrics so when you sign up for a meeting and submit your papers and things like that. And the idea here is just so over time we can try to figure out how well we are doing, how diverse and inclusive we are. Ideally, after ten meetings we will have very few people saying they belong to an under represented group because everybody will be represented, for now that is what we aring if to start with.

Now, I think it was Mirjam mentioning earlier that one of the things also that we want to do is engaging early. What we hope to do here is reach out to people in the community where we are going to be having our meetings and talk to the different groups in that area and try to get people who aren't really part of our community now but let them know that we are going to be having a meeting and getting all these cool people together and talking about interesting things and try to bring them in. So, talking to universities in the place where we are going to behaving meetings, network operator groups, exchange points and do it as soon as we choose a venue, so typically we might do a little bit of this activity now, but it will be sort of short time before the meeting, we want to do this as early as possible to try to match up with other people's calendars and things like that and appoint specific people for this so it's sort of someone's job to do this as well. And of course, as always, the goal for this is to increase diversity and get local participants to join in the work that we are doing.

We also want to try to be more family friendly at the meetings, for example, we are looking at the idea of arranging child care for the RIPE meetings, and the idea here would be for people who have younger children, before school age we realise that if your children in school you don't have a flexibility but if you have younger children a lot of thyme puts restriction on you as a care‑giver whether you are a man or woman so we think ‑‑ we don't have any final solutions here like all of our initiatives but we this could help make the meeting for accessible to a wider range of people and make some alternate social events which are more open for people who have children so it's not just something that we are all going to do like I did last night and start out really late and party. Why are you laughing? All right.

I am going to pass it over to Brian now.

BRIAN NISBET: So, one of the things that fits, we are hoping will fit in with things like the family friendly piece and as you will hopefully notice all of these are, they grow, and build on each other and they interlock, so remote participation, we had Denis presenting remotely yesterday, we had a couple of pre recorded presentations already this year, and we want to increase the ability of people to present remotely, whether that is pre ordered or via some one of the many, many different video‑conferencing systems that exist out there, but allow people to engage in the meeting without potentially having to travel, to spend money on hotels etc., etc., to go somewhere that may be difficult for them. This has been traditionally difficult and from a Programme Committee point of view, we have had previous issues with people who have been presenting from verandas with bird song in the background which isn't great for the attendees, but things are definitely getting better, other meetings are moving forward with this and we feel it's a very important thing to be able to produce, so eventually we will have NCC staff sitting in a room while all of us are V Cing in from somewhere else.

And then we have a whole bunch of other things, and hopefully one of the things you have seen with the initiative we have talked about and what I am going to go through now, is that, yes, we took ‑‑ we took a look at this, as Mirjam said from the first of view in regards to increased participation from women, but as we went through it it was like and this, okay, this is important for youth diversity, this is important for socioeconomic diversity, this is important for race, class and creed diversity, and we would really like to believe as we build on these, these are important things. So, what else are we going to do? And there is a reasonable list of this. We want to advertise and potentially formalise the Net girls lunches at RIPE meetings, get them really kind of front and centre and make sure that anybody who comes, especially any new women who come to the meeting, it's really clear that this whole network, this community exists and they can join in. We want to support the RIPE NCC and we hope that everyone will support the RIPE NCC in expanding and promoting the RIPE fellowship. This is the first year of the fellowship programme I think it's already been quite successful, and new people have come, they have engaged in the meeting and we want to see more of that.

Hand in hand with that we want to expand the mentoring programme and not just for the RIPE fellows, so they get assigned a mentor who talks and introduces them to lots of people and the interesting points they work on but try and see what we can do about expanding that to newcomers to the meeting, whether they befell lows or otherwise. We need to look at making the submission system for the plenary programme especially more inviting. There is a number of possible things we can work on there and we really want to try and increase that participation and therefore increase the diversity of people you see on stage over the first two days and the last day of the meeting.

Part of the outreach piece and the engaging with local groups earlier and this builds on that, is actively find women speakers. There is a number of different initiatives and websites who will give you information on extremely talented and expert women in their fields and that is one of the things we want to look at. And just build ‑‑ and increase that participation.

There are also sites who will help you in providing tickets to your event to more diverse groups, which, and things we learned during ‑‑ if we listed all the things we learned during the workshop we could be here for hours. But this was one of the things that none of us knew existed and that is another very interesting initiative.

Looking at the possible facilitation of meditation or prayer room at the meetings, those of us who are Godless western Europeans are ‑‑ this is not something we thought about before but we need to look at this, we need to try and make it more encouraging and hand that not everyone works the same way that I do (understood). We need to look harder for diverse leadership across the whole community, and this is a huge piece, whether we are talking about the Programme Committee or the Working Group Chairs, whether we are talking about the NCC board to that level, it's to really look at all of these areas and see how this can be built on and how this can be increased. And we are ‑‑ we have been talking and I know that various people have been talking to the NCC about a schools outreach programme as well, about telling the world what we do here. I go and talk to my old school and everyone is like, what the hell is a network engineer, doesn't the Internet not just work? This is one of the things, it's to talk to that, and we talk about leaky pipelines and, it's to try and build on that and help with that.

So I think is ‑‑ am I doing this slide as well?

So, what we ‑‑ what we really want to do here this morning and we have spoken to Hans Petter about this and to the Working Group Chairs and things like this, first of all we want to get feedback from the wider RIPE community. We are ‑‑ we are five people, we have had input, there is a slightly larger group of maybe about 12 of us but we are not everyone and we know we are not everyone by any stretch of the imagination. We don't represent in the community so we need that feedback from all of you, and indeed all the people who can't make it to the meeting, we will be looking for feedback from them too, on the good ideas that other people have that we simply haven't thought of because we do not claim to have any exclusivity on innovation in this regard. The plan is to create the task force, which Hans Petter sort of did without us noticing on Monday afternoon, we are a task force now? Oh, okay. Cool. So we have to write a charter for that, and have to put milestones in and time‑lines and the time‑line is important. Shane already alluded to the fact it's going to take quite a long time to get the metrics that we need so we are looking at ‑‑ we are looking at four to five years as the initial time‑line of the task force, we are looking at what we will do over that period of time and the milestones we will have in place. So, as you can see, volunteers, we will be look to go expand the number of people who are involved in this, who are willing to put whatever kind of work in as with any task force, but try and expand the number of people who are there, and of course most importantly, we are looking to implement the initiatives that we have already discussed.

So if would you like to volunteer indeed or just send us your really great ideas or give us your really great ideas, you can talk to us here, we are here for the rest of the day it. We have diversity [at] ripe [dot] net and you can send us an e‑mail and discuss it and of course various of us and the expanded task force will be at RIPE meetings into the future.

VESNA MANOJLOVIC: Now we have some familiar images to illustrate what we were talking about and to give you inspiration to come to the mic and actually tell us what you think.

And this happened at this RIPE meeting so there was a so‑called all male panel, and we are trying to combine that with the Net girls, which have also been meeting each other for a long time and this is one of the previous photos because we couldn't upload one from the lunch a few days ago yet. And this can be a result. So, when people put a lot of effort into changing situations, this is how our community can look like. This is also photo from several years ago where you can see that a lot of smiling faces but also a lot of different faces, a lot of people from different backgrounds, different genders, different ages, different glasses, different moustaches, there are all kinds of diversity we can aim for this and this is how we would like our future to look like with your help and your engagement. So please talk to us, the mics are open.

LESLIE CARR: I know this is a topic many of us feel passionately about so remember we are all trying to make this very open and welcoming place for everyone, so please make sure that we all respect everyone's ideas.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Erik Bais. Thanks for the updates. There was one of the words that came across in multiple slides halves mentioned multiple times but is not explained, at least it was a new topic for me, what is leaky pipes?

LESLIE CARR: The concept of a leaky pipeline, if you imagine at the very beginning all people have the same interests in network engineering, which is ‑‑ starts with zero, because you are a little kid playing with blocks. And then as time goes on it tends to be more women and more people ‑‑ tend to drop out at much higher rates so the idea of a leaky pipeline, people drop out in middle school and high school and college, people drop out at their earlier jobs and things like that at a much higher rate. So we want to try to plug some of the holes in that pipeline by making very welcoming community.


AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Aaron Hughes, I am on the board, CEO of 6 connect. More importantly, I am 25 year conference attendee, I travel about 40 weeks a year, I see a very common set of leaky pipes, I suppose, about a third new attendees at every conference. When I think about diversity and addressing the leaky pipe issue, I love the idea of mentor ship programmes, I think one of the things I am most proud about, particularly in this community, is regardless of; creed, colour, race preference, hair colour, operating system preference, router vendor choice, everybody embraces each other, once you have broken the barrier of trust and being allowed to participate in this community because you are going to contribute to it. So, when I think about the underlying issue, I think it is about converting people from being shy or meek or introverted into becoming forces to be reckoned with and that requires being pulled into this community with support from mentor ship. So my suggestion would be that instead of just working on a small mentor ship programme we assign every single first time attendee to a mentor, say something like for your first three conferences you get assigned someone who has been here at least five times to help them enter this community and provide guidelines to help them what is written and then to the unknowns, how to actually interact with people and feel comfortable in addressing people and grow in this community and maybe even more than that, provide a package about selling yourself as a conference attendee, how do you sell this to your organisations, how do you get the funding to come back and justify your existence, how do you learn to interact with peers in this community? So I don't think about diversity in terms of let's get more women, I think how do we get more people to be more sticky to turn into veterans and contributors. I think the diversity issue will fix itself as long as we help to bring new people in.

LESLIE CARR: Thank you. We would love if you would like to help us develop a mentorship programme, develop that.

AARON HUGHES: Happy to volunteer.

ALEXANDER ISAVNIN: From Russia, I really appreciate having something like child care during conference because, I am also volunteering to help you, I have two little children so I am experienced somehow and it is very good because usually it spring meetings I have to go out for meetings, catch my family and go travel. Or drop them home, that would be a little saving. The second ‑‑ I volunteer and support. The second point I would like to state I strongly object diversity for diversity, for example having 50/50 gender diversity at the board or at the panel just because again of diversity is not very good idea. We are here, for example, first of all for professional community. And if we want to talk about diversity we should talk first of all, ask do something feel that they are not welcome because of diversity problem, they experiencing problem to get on the panel, to get somewhere. Well, again, talking about gender diversity, I think Western Europe is slightly wrong place, you are welcome for example, for Russian region an of Checnia, we will see would be happening at the next RIPE meeting in a different region.

On this topic, I would like to talk with any of you because I don't completely share your opinion and I have some objections. And actually, well, I get ‑‑ on Wednesday with topics of geographical diversity, first of all you know that RIPE community spans from Lisbon to ‑‑ and it's never been somewhere easter than maybe Istanbul something like. Geopanelists, the people live there, have two hands and two legs and speak human languages, they have no chance to feel experience of RIPE meetings, of RIPE community face‑to‑face so please take into account geographical diversities of these meetings and and I am also volunteering to help you on these topics. Thank you.

SHANE KERR: Thank you. I want to talk to that a little bit. Thank you very much, I realise that we have a wide range of opinions, we have as many opinions as we have people in our community about what diversity means and how we can fix that. So, thank you very much for being willing to say that you don't necessarily agree with our priorities. I think it's important that we hear that message as well. And we will, I think, try to adjust our initiatives and things based on your feedback, and based on what the community thinks are the most important things to work on especially since you just volunteered to help us with that.

BRIAN NISBET: I think it is important and we discussed this and we have discussed this in the PC and the Working Group Chairs and I think we didn't talk about it in the presentation but it needs to be said that this is a technical meeting with a wide range of really fantastic people who come and share their knowledge and experience with us. And that is what we need to continue, and the ‑‑ there can never be a point where we go we are doing this for diversity sake, and there is no suggestion that any of the initiatives we are are going to promote that. The people who will be continuing to come to speak, to participate, we want to encourage the same level of expertise and skill happening and none of the things that we have talked about and none of the things that we are planning should be seen as changing that. Now, there is a long conversation about perceptions of mr tockracies and things like that, we are more than happenty discuss with people, but fundamentally speaking we need to continue to be, and I say this obviously from a PC point of view where I am probably biased and Working Group Chairs, we need to continue to be the incredibly highly regarded meeting that we are and that is vital that underpins all of this. We also need to look at what we ‑‑ at our impressions of what meritocracy is around the structures and our unconscious biases, so it's complex, but it's a fundamental point.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: Probably a lot of talent out there that we are not tapping into right now and that can help with that.

BENNO OVEREINDER: Thank you for organising this session. So, you asked for volunteers and just some people volunteered, but I also realise that we are not everywhere and I believe RIPE NCC is really involved in all these different areas, so I don't want to put Serge here on the spot, but I think you asked for volunteers, but I think there is also substantial efforts at RIPE NCC to facilitate this. I don't expect any answers but I want just to mention this, and if ‑‑ if you can react on that.

LESLIE CARR: The NCC staff has been incredibly helpful, we are really grateful that we have such awesome partners and we know that some of the initiatives are going to put a lot of work on the staff and also on the tech team and thank you and we are sorry.

BENNO OVEREINDER: It's good to have this explicit to the room, I think. And there will be ‑‑ well, the task force will hopefully 12, 15 people, but at sometime it has to be, well, probably if the task force stops it has to be continued by NCC staff, I guess. And the other thing is more a question actually, and what do other RIRs, Internet region, do? Maybe not explicitly in diversity, I have ‑‑or fair I have only attended NANOGs and they are the same representation maybe here as here as the RIPE, I understand from people from RIPE area they go to APNIC, for good reasons because there are good tutorials and we don't see these people here at the RIPE meeting, can we learn something from APNIC area of AFRINIC?

VESNA MANOJLOVIC: Let me try to answer that question. We do have a strong cooperation from the RIPE NCC, we have strong cooperation with other RIRs; however, for this specific meeting, we wanted to keep the workshop that we had before the meeting, closer, tighter, targeted to the issues of the RIPE community. So one of the actions which we didn't put in there because it was an oversight, will be cooperating more with other RIR communities, learning from them and sharing our experiences because actually, as far as I know, and I think I am quite involved in this, we are the ‑‑ the first one to put such publically facing effort and have the whole session organised about the diversity efforts. I am sure that other RIRs are in the background of course busy with that because they have their own very varied regions that are different than others, they have their own issues and so on, but the panel, the diversity session is the first time, as far as I know.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: We already reach out to other RIRs and there is great interest in doing this together as one community and to collaborate on this, so thanks for the reminder.

Mike Hughes: I was trying to work it out to phrase this three different ways: Like Aaron Hughes, no relation, I am a 20‑year veteran of these, my first was RIPE 30 in '99, I don't have the travel habit hike his any more, I remember my first meeting and NANOG and it was very daunting and now, I am an old hand and part of the furniture here, I met Ren and got introduced to half the world as far as the Internet seems to be. And I found value in coming to these meetings through that. I am going to ask the audience now, of the people here who could make their own decision to attend this RIPE meeting, you were in control of your travel budget and just decide to come and you didn't have to ask for anybody's authority? Show your hands. Very few people could just come of their own volition. The thing that we need to do ‑‑ comparatively in this room and yeah, it is only a subset but I wouldn't even say it was half, probably about 20%. I would say the majority of people, and that includes myself now, because I report to a VP who is not one of us, he doesn't understand why I come. I try to explain to him why I come and even I can't explain to him why I come. What would be good is to be able to make it easier for people to justify the expense of travelling to a RIPE meeting, and attending a RIPE meeting, because that is one of the hard things to get new people into this community. And then once we have got them in, like Aaron says, get them involved and to deliver value, UKNOF, which is the community I'm involved in, we get something like 30% first time attendees every time, but not all these people come back, the conversion rate is really small.

BRIAN NISBET: There is a couple of points there, and I have ‑‑ I have just been through a process of effectively justifying my travel to RIPE meetings, to the management above me. And yeah, it is hard, but I think we can work on that and that is one of the things we can certainly do, what the point I am not sure but hopefully relatively early on, we talk about the communication, we can say, right, here are some tips, it's part of what Aaron said and we already discussed here, here are some tips in regards to justifying your travel to RIPE meeting and being part of the community and the positives that it brings. On the newcomers rates and the conversion rate, the amazing how common across this meeting, across other conferences, across the various volunteer events, science fictione conventions etc. That I organise that those numbers of 30 to 40% newcomers, 30 to 40% people who turn up regularly enough and the remainder who are here every single meeting like clock work, are mirrored throughout so many different events. There is a level of conversion you will never get, I remember talking in a newcomers' meeting to some people from Romanian ISP, why are you at the RIPE meeting, they said this is huge ISP. They were like it's our turn. We are the people who were picked this year to go. And they are not going to come back if ever, maybe ten years before they come back again. So while we need to work on that and I think Mirjam has things to say about that as well, there is a level of conversion we will never get and those numbers are amazingly repeated and common throughout a variety of events, which is really interesting from a human activity point of view.

Mike Hughes: I am not asking for perfection or 100% or even 50, it's of the ones that we can influence, what with:we do to influence them, accepting some we will never influence.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: Somewhere in the slide we were talking about communications and the RIPE NCC can potentially help in preparing more documentation and pro mow material that we can use for local communities but also for management and to explain what the benefits of the RIPE meeting attendance could be.

Jackie hammer: Prior to anything I would like to say this is my first RIPE meeting and I have encountered far, far less prejudices for me as a woman than in any other parts of the community by now, so I pay my respects to the RIPE community for that. The other thing, I think the Net girls is a really good idea. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the dinner ‑‑ the lunch and I ‑‑ I think the big problem is, it's difficult if you can't make it to a fixed appointment, you don't have a handle on meeting such people, so my proposal would be to like the stickers or with the registration, ask people what they are open to to be encountered so I can just go to a table like the meet and greet table and say I would like to meet other women or we are often thinking in the groups, and also could go there and say I like to meet people from Asia, Middle East or maybe there is somebody here from Africa, I don't know, if there is something I want to talk to them and know the cultural differences and get to know people from there. We can't just think in the groups with the Net girls but maybe we can work on over all concept with people just volunteering to talk to other people about their culture, their ‑‑ I don't know like even with disabled people or I don't know if we have them here, just broaden the scope and not think we have to get a group of middle Asians, we have to get a group of girls.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: That is an excellent suggestion.

LESLIE CARR: I know that there is a meeting interaction tool that is not very well used, do you think that if we try to work to expand that, like that using that on line tool would be helpful to you?

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Well, I have the impression that the problem with the online tool is it's another tool, another registration so it is kind a lot of work to enter that, it's a huge barrier to cross. So, if you just did it with the stickers or on the registration form with the tick boxes, it could be easier. And what ‑‑ when you have these groups like the Net girls I personally often have the feeling that it ends up like a children's table on an adult party and often feel cast out if I encounter such a group, so you are proposing to formalise the Net girls, that could be difficult because I don't want that to happen and I personally would avoid a group of, like girls or something where I have the feeling you are being cast out for being a woman.

LESLIE CARR: Thank you.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: In the back I think you were next.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Thank you. Jewel Jan, I would like to say it's my second RIPE meeting and I am just feeling like a new bee, there is still some buzz word to know and how things work, I am feeling just like I could have little mention it's my first RIPE meeting. And the other part is about your idea about family and children especially, I think it's a great idea, there is some problem with schools and so on, yeah, it's not necessarily easy to put in place. But when we ‑‑ it will be convenient for us to not only convenient for us to have our family with us, yeah, it will be cool but there is another reason to do this: It's mainly because when we speak about diversity and openness, I think that you ‑‑ young girls better at this.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Blake with I Browse, I think maybe now somewhere in the inclusivity thing is the disabled, simply because maybe happy eyeballs doesn't work for people whose eyes don't work, maybe IPv6 breaks browsers for the ‑‑ that said, I appreciate the emphasis on avoiding diversity for diversity sake and more on just general inclusivity rather than creating a diversity Working Group or something like that. Thanks.

Erik Bais: So one of the things that I found in the community itself is that I noticed that some of the people here actually bring their spouse and partner to the conference. Was it looked at to see if we can have a separate track for additional socials during the day while we sit here in the meeting rooms, to actually encourage that more and more, to bring partners, bring family, and have ‑‑ doing things while we have the meeting here inside the conference room, so that it would actually be not only the partners and that they have to do things by themselves but actually go out as a group and have ‑‑ have activities?

MIRJAM KUEHNE: We haven't looked into all these details, and I don't know if Nick is in the room, he is probably freaking out at this point to organise all this in the future but there can also be of course organised by the community and that doesn't have to be provided by the community. Nick is in the back.

NICK HYRKA: You know we are open to anything. One thing that was mentioned was the monitoring programme and we have tried it in the past if anybody can recall this and it fell apart partly because of lack of support, we don't mind doing this again and again but we really rely on community to support these initiatives, it isn't just the RIPE NCC, it isn't just the panel on the stage. We need everybody to back us. So we are willing and open and able to try anything. Thank you.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: This is Mehmet Akcin, I would like to refer to what Brian said, that I should clarify myself as a Godless western European but the idea to have meditation room or that type of thing is really good. I see it all the time in the hospitals at home but I never had that thought here so I think that type of thinking and arrangements are really good. So, do things that is not just on the agenda but help people feel welcome is really important, I think.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Martin Swissy, RIPE citizen. I believe that the concept of diversity has been hijacked by many groups of politicians, ideology, etc., so I am strongly for diversity, but putting it as a final goal might be just unfair in terms of if we think of having the right reflection of what is being there, so I'm not talking about gender party or whatever, so I would rather put that on two principles: First, we recognise that we are a diverse community and then the principle is to get that diversity really reflected and I will go back later for how, so the principle is, it is already diverse and the principle is to reflect that, to show that diversity.

Second, we are not happy with that level of diversity, then the second principle would be openness and inclusiveness, welcoming, and now back to the how, for the second how is, identifying the barriers, the hurdles and be sure that we are able to remove some of them. For sure we will not be able to remove all of them. But when we identify some, let's say, start with the low hanging fruit and say, hey, there is a problem there, we are not welcome that kind of people and if it is possible then we do it. Going back to ‑‑ how to do it is of course having communication and personally I think one of the best way is self derigs and you do it very, very good ‑‑ one picture is enough to show some, how to say, shift with reality, and as business people we like API ‑‑ K PI. You can put it on the diversity right now, is it really reflected and you can put it and then the diversity becomes just a goal, okay, set some goals having 50% gender parity or whatever, then it is an goal to show that diversity, and what ‑‑ for the well copping the second one, you might have K PI and see the improvement, are we really more welcoming and how to figure out, how we can measure it and with that I think that we will have ‑‑ put forward those principles, and speaking about diversity as an ‑‑ to show that we are really for that, without going for what sometimes politicians or ideology groups want to trap us. That is my personal point of view.

SHANE KERR: So, thank you. I think your kind of view on it makes sense. Certainly, personally I feel I have a very poor intuition about diverse and open the RIPE community is. I feel very welcome here. I feel like we are very open community. But having measurements and these kind of K PIs that you mentioned, I think is necessary for people like me to actually, to know for sure, to prove to myself that we are actually open and welcoming. So yes.

BRIAN NISBET: I think as gentleman said on Monday, communication communication communication. That whole thing as we have already said is to really try and show how open and inclusive we believe remember and then to figure out what the gap is between what we believe we are and what we want to become.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Ben Gordon from Sweden. First of all, thank you for the initiative, it's very good. And I really think that the diversity is important, but not the goal, sort of. And I know all about this, about prejudice, I brought my son up, my first son, all alone from two months, I know how it is to be excluded from daycare and everything. And I would like to say, but to ‑‑ I have a suggestion. And you had a point there on one slide that there were sort of vital remote participation, I won't be going to Dubai, so I will be relying on remote participation. I would like to see much more vitalisation of it, a better system, and I would like to see in all remote meeting, maybe in between the meetings, just to get it going. So, I mean, we saw yesterday the problem with remote participation for the presentation from Denis. It's a problem, sometimes, then if we could iron out the big problems with the remote participation, probably we could do something really good with, we could see a lot of other people participate if we tried this all remote participation.

SHANE KERR: That was a call for more meetings?

BRIAN NISBET: We are probably only have time for the three people who are at the mic there now because it's 25 past and I know the board needs to finish their meeting at a quarter to as well.

PAUL RENDEK: From the RIPE NCC. Thanks very much for pulling us together because this is really fantastic and personally I think I have devoted a lot of time in jumping out of the ship in Amsterdam and promoting RIPE and RIPE NCC along a very, very large service region, which is something I only found out when I dared to jump out of the Amsterdam office, and go to Kazakhstan and countries that are so far away from anything that we are doing here. What I is it along all those journeys that I have had, you know, in representing the company or even this community there, is to ask those people whether they felt they were part of RIPE. Do they? Do they people in Kazakhstan feel they are part of RIPE? After we engaged them they said yes, of course, we do, but that doesn't everything we do here fits everywhere fits with the service region and all the groups, when I looked at the table you you showed me of the panel of guys standing there and the table of women, I was scared with both of the images and I think I could have ‑‑ I could have myself brought colour to any one of those two photos. So and I think that this is something that also has to happen organically, look at this, we are at RIPE 74. We have only been outside of the western European region from what I can see once and we are about to do that for the second time. We haven't even been to Central Asia with something like this. When you start looking at it and saying all right we have got to get more people at RIPE, when I talk to the folks at Kazakhstan or Oman, Amsterdam is somewhere you would go on vacation sometime in your life, it's not ‑‑ it's maybe not even relevant to your business and you can't even justify that, so when we see that we see them saying we do feel part of RIPE but maybe not in the part of RIPE that you are defining for me. So even those definitions of like who should be here and who shouldn't be here, where are we going? This is all something that I think also has to happen a little organically, so shoving these things and trying to put square pegs in round holes might not always work but I love the initiative and hope I can you are the participate further with you.

SHANE KERR: I know we are out of time, I don't care. I want to say, I think it's really great that Paul, that do you mention this issue and that we rely on you to bring people from other communities and I was surprised to hear that people from very far regions from where we are now feel like part of the RIPE community and that makes me very happy so thank you.

AUDIENCE SPEAKER: Good morning. Thank you for the presentation and the efforts you bring to T I usually don't like to label pie self as coming from a certain region but since I am Lebanese so I will put my middle eastern hat and I can just give you one advice in case you are starting this task force, you cannot not deal with everyone using the same mindset. Unfortunately in the Middle East and this part of the world the minuted set is a bit more passive, so you cannot just say okay we will make it and they will come. So I would advise you to adopt a more aggressive way in order to address these categories of people. I know Paul and the team in Dubai is doing tremendous work in the area. Unfortunately I don't think this is still enough. I have had like a few discussions in the last two days with some of the people and I was mentioning the fact that there is a very, very few people from the Middle East, the Gulf countries and so on and I always heard, they go to MENOG, right? MENOG is something and I have been there in Oman a couple of weeks ago and this is something else. Having said that, I will be joining the RIPE NCC very soon and I will be happy to help from you the inside as well. Thank you.

Oh Sam ma from MENOG also part of the PC. There is a lot of things said, I totally take Mike's point of view, maybe it wasn't understood correctly, the not simply about conversion but getting people to know the event and participate. I personally ‑‑ if anybody new to this would ask me which event to go, I would honestly not tell them to come to the RIPE meeting, I would tell them to go to APRICOT because it's a lot more open to new people and a lot more encouraging a lot more educational. Not that people here are not friendly, you guys are lovely. I had other points but I will leave them for later for more discussion. I have a lot to say but save it for later.

MIRJAM KUEHNE: I am afraid we have to wrap this up here. I have a personal note, I found very curious to have only one women speak at the mic and it's great to to get so much feedback and suggestions and also help volunteers, but I thought it was curious there was only one woman amongst all these men at the mics. But, we will still looking for more volunteers, please come talk to us or send mail to the mailing list, what was on the slide earlier on diversity [at] ripe [dot] net and ideally with concrete action like I would love to do X and I would like to help you with Y, that would be awesome. And of course come and talk to us during the breaks, we are still here for the rest of the day, most of us, I think. Well, then ‑‑ I don't know ‑‑ we have to clear out the room?

(Coffee break)