RFC8719: High-Level Guidance for the Meeting Policy of the IETF

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                       S. Krishnan
Request for Comments: 8719                                        Kaloom
BCP: 226                                                   February 2020
Category: Best Current Practice                                         
ISSN: 2070-1721

         High-Level Guidance for the Meeting Policy of the IETF


   This document describes a meeting location policy for the IETF and
   the various stakeholders required to realize this policy.

Status of This Memo

   This memo documents an Internet Best Current Practice.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   BCPs is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2020 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
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   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction
   2.  The 1-1-1-* Meeting Policy
   3.  Implementation of the Policy
   4.  Procedure for Initiating Proposals for Exploratory Meetings
   5.  Re-evaluation and Changes to This Policy
   6.  References
     6.1.  Normative References
     6.2.  Informative References
   Author's Address

1.  Introduction

   The work of the IETF is primarily conducted on working group (WG)
   mailing lists, while face-to-face WG meetings mainly provide a high-
   bandwidth mechanism for working out unresolved issues.  The IETF
   currently strives to have a 1-1-1 meeting policy where the goal is to
   distribute the meetings equally between North America, Europe, and
   Asia (see "Meeting Location Distribution" (slides 14 and 15) of
   [IETFMEET] for details).  These are the locations from which most of
   the IETF participants have come in the recent past.  This meeting
   rotation is mainly aimed at distributing the travel effort for the
   existing IETF participants who physically attend meetings and for
   distributing the timezone difficulty for those who participate
   remotely.  This policy has been neither defined precisely nor
   documented in an IETF consensus document until now.  This BCP RFC is
   meant to serve as a consensus-backed statement of this policy.

2.  The 1-1-1-* Meeting Policy

   Given that the majority of the current meeting participants come from
   North America, Europe, and Asia [CONT-DIST], the IETF policy is that
   the meetings should primarily be held in those regions.  That is, the
   meeting policy (let's call this the "1-1-1" policy) is that meetings
   should rotate between North America, Europe, and Asia.  Note that the
   boundaries between those regions have been purposefully left
   undefined.  It is important to note that such rotation and any
   effects to distributing travel pain should be considered from a long-
   term perspective.  While a potential cycle in an IETF year may be a
   meeting in North America in March, a meeting in Europe in July, and a
   meeting in Asia on November, the 1-1-1 policy does not imply such a
   cycle, as long as the distribution to these regions over multiple
   years is roughly equal.  There are many reasons why meetings might be
   distributed differently in a given year.  Meeting locations in
   subsequent years should seek to rebalance the distribution, if

   While this meeting rotation caters to the current set of IETF
   participants, it is important to recognize that due to the dynamic
   and evolving nature of participation, there may be significant
   changes to the regions that provide a major share of participants in
   the future.  Therefore, the 1-1-1-* meeting policy is a slightly
   modified version of the aforementioned 1-1-1 meeting policy that
   allows for additional flexibility in the form of an exploratory
   meeting (denoted with an "*").  Exploratory meetings can be used to
   experiment with exceptional meetings without extensively impacting
   the regular meetings.  For example, these exploratory meetings can
   include meetings in other geographical regions, virtual meetings, and
   additional meetings beyond the three regular meetings in a calendar

   The timing and frequency of future exploratory meetings will be based
   on IETF consensus as determined by the IETF chair.  Once a meeting
   proposal is initiated, the IESG will make a decision in consultation
   with the IETF Administrative Support Activity (IASA) [RFC8711] to
   ensure that the proposal can be realistically implemented.  The final
   decision will be communicated back to the community to ensure that
   there is adequate opportunity to comment.

      |  NOTE: There have not been a large number of meetings that would
      |  qualify as exploratory meetings under the 1-1-1 policy (with
      |  IETF 95 in Buenos Aires and IETF 47 in Adelaide being the
      |  exceptional instances).  IETF 27 (Amsterdam) and IETF 54
      |  (Yokohama) were earlier examples of exploratory meetings that
      |  pioneered Europe and Asia as regular IETF destinations.

3.  Implementation of the Policy

   IASA should understand the policy written in this document to be the
   aspiration of the IETF community.  Similarly, any exploratory meeting
   decisions will also be communicated to the IASA to be implemented.
   The actual selection of the venue would be performed by the IASA
   following the process described in [RFC8718].

   As mentioned in [RFC8718], the IASA will also be responsible for the

   *  assisting the community in the development of detailed meeting
      criteria that are feasible and implementable, and

   *  providing sufficient transparency in a timely manner concerning
      planned meetings so that community feedback can be collected and
      acted upon.

   Given that the geographical location of the venue has a significant
   influence on the venue selection process, it needs to be considered
   at the same level as the other Important Criteria specified in
   Section 3.2 of [RFC8718] (including potentially trading-off the
   geographical region to meet other criteria and notifying the
   community if the geographical region requirement cannot be met).

4.  Procedure for Initiating Proposals for Exploratory Meetings

   Someone who is interested in pursuing an exploratory venue proposes
   it on the IETF discussion list or on a future discussion list
   expressly set up and announced for this purpose.  The community gets
   to comment on the venue and offer their opinions.  If the IETF chair
   determines that there is community consensus to pursue the venue
   further, the venue will be put up for discussion on the venue-
   selection mailing list <https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/venue-
   selection>.  This would allow the interested party(ies) to refine
   their proposal based on insightful feedback regarding the logistics
   of the venue from those tasked with evaluating it.  Once the venue
   selection process takes place, the final decision will be
   communicated back to the community to ensure that there is adequate
   opportunity to comment.

5.  Re-evaluation and Changes to This Policy

   Given the dynamic nature of participant distribution in the IETF, it
   is expected that this policy will need to be periodically evaluated
   and revised to ensure that the stated goals continue to be met.  The
   criteria that are to be met need to be agreed upon by the community
   prior to initiating a revision of this document (e.g., try to mirror
   draft author distribution over the preceding five years).

6.  References

6.1.  Normative References

   [RFC8711]  Haberman, B., Hall, J., and J. Livingood, "Structure of
              the IETF Administrative Support Activity, Version 2.0",
              BCP 101, RFC 8711, DOI 10.17487/RFC8711, February 2020,

6.2.  Informative References

              IETF, "Number of attendees per continent across meetings",

   [IETFMEET] Hinden, B. and R. Pelletier, "IAOC Report IETF79",
              November 2010,

   [RFC8718]  Lear, E., Ed., "IETF Plenary Meeting Venue Selection
              Process", BCP 226, RFC 8718, DOI 10.17487/RFC8718,
              February 2020, <https://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8718>.


   The author would like to thank Jari Arkko, Alia Atlas, Fred Baker,
   Brian Carpenter, Alissa Cooper, Dave Crocker, Spencer Dawkins,
   Stephen Farrell, Tobias Gondrom, Eric Gray, Bob Hinden, Ole Jacobsen,
   Olaf Kolkman, Eliot Lear, Andrew Malis, Yoav Nir, Ray Pelletier,
   Melinda Shore, John Klensin, Charles Eckel, Russ Housley, Andrew
   Sullivan, Eric Rescorla, Richard Barnes, Cullen Jennings, Ted Lemon,
   Lou Berger, John Levine, Adam Roach, Mark Nottingham, Tom Petch,
   Randy Bush, Roni Even, Julien Meuric, Lloyd Wood, Alvaro Retana, and
   Martin Vigoureux for their ideas and comments to improve this

Author's Address

   Suresh Krishnan

   Email: suresh@kaloom.com