[Ambassadors] EMEA Membership Questions

Christoph Wickert christoph.wickert at googlemail.com
Sat May 17 14:08:33 UTC 2008

Hi Francesco,

thanks for your reply and for defining your position. I cannot agree to
everything (especially to your mathematics ;)), so please let me give
you a few answers:

Am Freitag, den 16.05.2008, 15:03 +0200 schrieb Francesco Ugolini: 
> 2008/5/10 Christoph Wickert <christoph.wickert at googlemail.com>:
> > Sorry if I took you to literally. Also as I already told you in private
> > I do not criticize you or your work. Please don't be offended just
> > because you are the chair of EMEA. Thanks
> >
> > Maybe someone else of the people who voted for 128 EUR could explain it
> > to me then? I'm not talking about 128 or 129 Euros now but the general
> > height of the fee.
> All the founders vote for this fee, and they all together decided that
> it would the best solution, considering the number in a year ( 10.5 €
> circa per month and less than 4 cent per day),

??? 10,50 Euros a month divided by 30 days is 35 Cent per day. (This
makes me wonder if I'm the only one who is reading your mail.)

>  so i know we are living
> with an economy near the stagnation, but i don't understand why this
> fee could create such criticism. Yes, i agree if you tell me that
> those are money, and it's a week or two of work in a PA office, but i
> think if you consider that amount in a larger view it's not so much.

It's not much for you and me or might not be much for most Europeans,
but for people in Africa it's two months working full time (see below).
When you say "it's a week of work" then I doubt you understood the
> >
> > There are several people on this list who say the fee is very high so I
> > don't understand why this hasn't been considered by the founding members
> > before.
> Maybe because they weren't in Bruxelles?

Point taken. But I think it is wrong to imply indifference to all people
who did not make it Bruxelles.

> >I agree the fee is a statement, but do you think that on the other hand
> >not being able to pay the fee also is one? People who are not willing or
> >able to pay the membership may still valuable and hard working
> >contributors.
> There are several categories that have cost reduction to allow people
> who can't afford such cost (i think one of this people with a certain
> income not to pay or pay a low fee, but see the "fee document" to be
> sure).

I'd love to but I have no idea what document your are talking about. I
did a full text search on all my fedora mail but I can't find it, did
search the Wiki and did not find it ether. Could you please show me this

In January we had the "EMEA: Preliminary Statutes" thread and there
only a maximum was defined. The fad_2007_emea_ship_en presentation at
http://chitlesh.fedorapeople.org/FAD/ mentions two fellowship/membership
levels: 25 and 50 Euros. So I hope you can understand why I was shocked
when I first heard of 128 EUR last week.

According to Gerold the cost reduced membership is only available to
pupils, students or to people who do not work full time. I already wrote
this im my second mail in this thread and nobody has corrected me/Gerold
since then, so I have to assume this is correct.

The Problem with this fee is that it does not take the ambassador's
income or their countries purchasing power parity (PPP) into account. 

GDP - per capita (PPP): [1]
Germany: 34,400
France: $33,800
Italy: $31,000
Netherlands: $38,600
Switzerland: $39,800

and in contrast:
Armenia: $5,700
Jordan: $4,700
Mauritius $11,900
Mozambique: $900
Nigeria: $2,200

We have Ambassadors from all these countries and all these people will
have to pay the same amount of money. Do you really think you will be
able to attract members from Africa or the Middle East this way?

> >Sorry if I did not point out my suggestion more clearly: Lower the
> >member fee to enable more people to participate. Especially because the
> >NPO is called EMEA but lacks ME and A at the moment.
> A is not missing. In Africa there are some ambassadors who expressed
> in the past their agreement for such initiative, not to have a card
> with Fedora EMEA writte on it, but to be able to easily ask for
> resources and be part of a easy network that could linke them. In the
> last LinuxTag a Monzambique ambassador attended the event and seemes
> interested in this idea.

Africa or Middle East are missing as long as the EMEA e.V. has no paying
member from there that is allowed to vote on all e.V. issues. Simple as

> For ME there is some work in progress, but if you consider we had just
> an event in Dubay (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraEvents/GITEX).
> I think if we ask ambassadors and contributors they aren't in search
> of membership, but in search of help. Fedora EMEA is something that
> was created after two year of contribution, that underlines the
> importance to have a center in the EMEA where we can refer to improve
> our work.

I can only speak for myself, but I'm also in search of participation.
And participation unfortunately is limited to membership. As Jeroen
pointed out this is not our policy but a legal need that you cannot
change. All you can change is the height of the fee.
> >It's a fact that we already have this situation. Think of Kushal for
> >example: No doubt that he is a valuable contributor and if I did not
> >offer him a free place to sleep he would not have been able to come to
> >Berlin at all. Two days ago he told me that he wont be able to come
> >anyway because he did not find a sponsor.
> I agree with Joerg and Max posts: they express what i think too.
> Let me add a tought:
> There is a lot of work in front of us, we have to focus our time and
> passion (that you and everyone here has) in a costructive way. While
> we are discussiong about this issue, we are losing a possible Fedora
> user and/or contributors, and we are moving away the community.

Do you really think we are loosing people because we TALK? Fedora is
lucky to have a large and vital community and it is completely normal
for people to have different opinions. Talking about this is not a
uncomfortable liability or a waste of time but a fundamental need.

If you say we are moving away from the community I have to reply that
IMO we are moving away by making the Fedora NPO an exclusive club of
Europeans or people who can afford it otherwise.

> Please, just give the time to Fedora EMEA to spring its wings and
> demostrate its capacities, then you'll have all the time to criticize
> its positions, 

Sorry to interrupt you here: I'm not criticizing the EMEA's positions
but a single point in it's design. 

> but, now, let Gerold and the EMEA board to build Fedora
> EMEA: they were voted by people with a publig vote (see the M-L
> announce and the self-nomination wiki) and now they have the right and
> the duty to work!

Of course they have, please understand I don't challenge this at all.

Kind Regards,

[1] Numbers are taken from the World Fact Book.

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