FOSS4G2019 Q&A Bucarest

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Questions Till Adams:

  • Can you please give some hints on dates when the conference will take place and also on the weather-conditions at that time?

Due to various considerations, we have 2 time intervals in mind:

  1. end of August for the wonderful National Theater of Bucharest “I.L. Caragiale”.
  2. mid-September for the House of Parliament / Conference Center Romexpo.

The final decision will also take into consideration major events that take place in Bucharest in that timeframe, such as the biggest classical music festival and classical international competition of Eastern Europe, the George Enescu Festival. Weather wise, Romania has a temperate continental climate, with warm late summers, thus FOSS4G participants should expect around 25 - 28C with occasional summer showers, perfect for terrace talks.

  • Do you have plans to involve other neighboured countries/loal chapters (if there any?)

Definitely, yes. We have good connections developed through various collaborations over the years with neighbouring countries, such as: Hungary (you probably already know Zoltan Siki), rep. Of Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine. Furthermore, we emphasize on the great opportunity to build and strengthen the community is this part of the world by offering the honour of hosting a global FOSS4G to Bucharest, a close city with affordable prices.

  • Do you expect, that you can attract your supporting organisations also to sponsor the event?

We are confident that all supporting organizations will sponsor FOSS4G 2019 Bucharest, at least in kind (people, rooms, printing, drivers etc. etc.). We are a very active OSGeo Local Chapter and have been for over 10 years now. Numerous professional connections were established through geo-spatial.org seminars, meetings and mailing list discussions. Seniors professionals today grew with the community and found new colleagues among community members. These members are today spread through various institutions, academia and companies that understand the importance and visibility of such an event.

  • There was a big discussion about how we can open the conference for as many attendees as possible. Of course, this also is a function of the whole package price (travel, accommodation, conference fee,). Could you please line out, what your plans are in order to make a travel to FOSS4G 2019 possible to as many people (especially students, people from 3rd-world countries) as possible?

We are very well aware of this situation, if not for anything else, but for the fact that, generally, FOSS4G is an expensive conference for the average Romanian / Bucharest SME/ Romanian public institution. Thus, we are keen in making FOSS4G 2019 as accessible as possible and for that we have a number of decisions made. We will offer a 50% discount for students and low-income economies (according to the World Bank ranking https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519 ) in the limit of 100. The criterion will be first come first served basis. We will continue the Travel Grant program that we consider very valuable for the OSGeo community. The selection criteria will most probably follow the FOSS4G 2016 one.

Please, also keep in mind that Romania has a low index of cost of living (take a look here! https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/gmaps.jsp?indexToShow=getCpiIndex). Hence, the conference costs with venue, catering etc. will follow that line. Furthermore, the additional expenses for FOSS4G participants will be considerable acceptable: 1 beer = 1.6-2 EUR, 1 cocktail = 3-5 EUR, 1 bottle of good wine = 15-20 EUR; decent meal = 8-12 EUR, all considered downtown Bucharest. Taxi services are also quite cheap: around 0.30 EUR/km. Of course, Uber and Taxify are quite popular in the Romanian capital. Another considerable aspect closely related to participants’ additional expenses is the flight price. Bucharest is an important flight hub, where among national flight companies, numerous low cost companies also operate (Blue Air, Wizz Air, Ryanair, etc).