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There is significant effort being invested in the near-term mixed-mode meeting definitions ad hoc (ably led by George Zimmerman) to answer questions related to how IEEE 802 might operate effectively as we transition away from the current COVID driven reality of all remote-only meetings. The ad hoc has a challenging task, especially as the proposed hybrid transition mode is something in which very few organisations have been successful. However, we need to find ways to make hybrid operation at least a little bit successful to maintain our IEEE 802 standards momentum with all stakeholders, and to avoid the financial penalties of an immediate, permanent move to remote-only operation.
One of the few positives of the COVID crisis is that it has opened the eyes of many to the various benefits of remote-only meetings. Previously, most IEEE 802 participants would have been dismissive of the idea that IEEE 802 standardisation could operate effectively in a remote-only mode, or even in a mode with reduced F2F meetings (I actually proposed this in 2009, but the suggestion was rejected). They were probably correct, even up to the beginning of the COVID crisis, because the supporting tools were imperfect and because all IEEE 802’s processes, rules, philosophies and culture (and sometimes even holiday plans) revolved around the use of F2F meetings every two months, somewhere in the world. However, we have managed to operate reasonably well in most groups in remote-only mode for the last 18 months by adapting the way we operate and adopting new tools. Even better, we have done so without damaging the environment with long distance travel, and without damaging our waistlines with hotel/restaurant food.
The fact remote-only operation has been effective, at least some of the time, for at least some groups, should cause us to examine the way we operate in the longer term, looking for options that magnify all the benefits of remote-only operation and mitigate the risks. We could examine questions like:
In the interest of examining these, and related questions, Paul Nikolich appointed me as the Chair of an IEEE 802 Future meeting vision ad hoc
Name: Future meeting vision ad hoc
Chair: Andrew Myles
Scope: Establish a long term vision for how IEEE 802 meetings might operate effectively in the future, possibly challenging the historical assumption that IEEE 802 WGs meeting F2F six times per year is optimal. The immediate goal of the ad hoc will be to understand what has worked well and what has not worked well with remote meetings over the last 18 months, and what would be needed to allow remote meetings to operate better in the future. This understanding will then assist the ad hoc explore the longer term question of how often IEEE 802 WGs should meet F2F, remotely or in a hybrid mode in the future.
Membership: Volunteers requested, with a goal of at least one member from each IEEE 802 WG and at least one IEEE 802 EC member involved in meeting operation a
Now that the near-term mixed-mode meeting definitions ad hoc is making good progress on examining short term options, it is time to start thinking about long term options in parallel. This e-mail is a call to action:
So far I have one volunteer. Thanks, Steve Shellhammer! WG Chairs, could you pass this invitation on to interested & knowledgeable members of your WGs?
I will call the first teleconference of the ad hoc once we have a sufficient number of volunteers. The first meeting of the ad hoc will be remote-only, held at a time friendly to the ad hoc Chair (somewhere between 3pm ET and 8am ET). I guess this highlights a key issue for remote-only meetings – the world is round! 😊
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