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Re: [802SEC] +++EC Email Ballot+++ENDS 13 JAN+++motion to hold plenary sessions outside NA

I vote Disapprove because I think this is the wrong solution to the problem.

I fully support the notion of moving our sessions outside of North
America. In 802.16 we have addressed the issue through our interims.
In 2004 and for the sites chosen for 2005, we will have four sessions
in Asia (China, China, Korea, and Taiwan), one in Europe (Italy), and
one in Canada (the joint interim in Vancouver).

I realize that this doesn't completely address the problem. We need
to start moving the plenaries around also. I can think of three
reasons to do so:

(1) The P&P discriminate against the interims regarding WG membership
status. I think that we can, and should, address this issue
separately from geography by changing the P&P to allow a
duly-constituted full interim session to count like a plenary for the
purposes of WG membership.

(2) It's difficult for people to enter the U.S. Note that this can be
addressed by meeting in Canada. For example, when Jim Carlo and I met
with Chinese officials in Shenzhen in May 2004, we suggested asked if
it would be helpful to hold more meetings in China. The response was
that it doesn't make much difference, as long as we avoid the U.S.
due to visa problems. We were specifically told that Canada would be
fine. So I disagree with those who have said that a Canadian meeting
is basically a U.S. meeting.

(3) Because there is symbolic value in the site of a session.

The last issue is, in my opinion, the main reason to make sure we
distribute the plenaries. However, we need to think and plan
carefully in addressing this issue. For instance, the 802.16 sessions
in Asia have been very effective at increasing the interest in our
activities within the host country and region. However, this effect
was not achieved by just showing up. We got the result because each
of our interims has a corporate host. The hosts, who have competed
for an opportunity to host a future session, take great pride in the
session and make sure that the locals are well aware of it. They also
make sure that any local sensitivities are addressed, such as
coordinating with the appropriate authorities. One result of all this
activity for 802.16 has been that we leave a lot of good will behind
and bring a lot of new, geographically diverse participation into the

I think that the wrong way to begin having geographically diverse
plenaries is by mandating that we hold them periodically. We need to
be careful about offending the locals by moving in without
coordination into a country with industry interest in our work. And I
don't think it would be helpful, for instance, to meet in a remote
location without local industry interest just because it had rooms
available. We need to find a place that would welcome us not as
conventioneers but as engineers.

Our real problem is not a geography problem but a site-selection
problem. We ask for diverse venues, but we don't get any to pick
from. We ask Buzz to find us some, but he is not in a position to
find good ones. The right way, in my opinion, to address the issue is
not to mandate geography but instead to open up the site selection
process. For example, we could begin by saying that the first
available plenary slot would be opened up for proposals by potential
hosts. [That's how 802.16 does it; proposers are given a set of
guidelines and a list of questions to answer.] Then, we can publicize
the solicitation process. I am sure we could get some strong
proposals from institutions in places where we would like to have
stronger relationships.

If we do develop a site selection process that results in strong
proposals coming in, then I trust the EC to begin making good choices
that give us geographical diversity. Mandating the geography without
acting to get better geographic options is a recipe for trouble.


At 16:02 -0500 2004-12-28, Paul Nikolich wrote:
>Dear EC members,
>This is a email ballot to make a determination on the below motion.
>"I move that beginning calendar year 2008, at least one 802 plenary
>session shall be held outside of North America in each calendar
>Moved: Bob O'Hara
>Second: Jerry Upton
>The ballot opens 6pm ET Tuesay 28 December 2004  and closes Thursday
>13 January 2005.
>--Paul Nikolich

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