Mirjam Kühne

Report from the RIPE Chair Team: 100 Days In

Mirjam Kühne
Contributors: Niall O'Reilly
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Almost one hundred days in and the RIPE Chair team is busy working to support all kinds of activities happening in the RIPE community.


The end of this strange year is in sight and in just a few weeks the days will start getting longer again! As a community, I feel we’ve managed to keep closely connected, we’ve made sure to stay involved in all kinds of activities and events, and we’ve kept up the good work we do together. Here’s a look at what we’ve been doing to help support all this in our role as the RIPE Chair team over this last stretch of the year.

RIPE 81 Follow-up

After a successful RIPE 81 meeting, we met with the RIPE NCC Meeting Team, the RIPE Programme Committee and the RIPE Working Group chairs. Overall, everyone agreed that it was a good meeting and there was a lot of positive feedback about Meetecho and SpatialChat. For future virtual meetings, we’re planning to use the same set of tools. In the meantime, the RIPE NCC will work to further improve these tools and to provide clear guidance about their usage.

We also heard that people especially liked those parts of the meeting that allowed for discussion and interaction. So we’re thinking about how to adjust the meeting plan as a whole or individual sessions to provide more space for discussion next time. We might also see more interim meetings like the ones held by the DNS WG.

Update from various RIPE Activities

Although RIPE Meetings are a real highlight of the year, there are all sorts of other community activities that take place outside of them. A lot of continuous volunteer work is done by the different WGs, Task Forces and the Programme Committee. Here’s a look at some of what’s been going on.

RIPE WG Chairs

The document ‘RIPE WG Chairs Collective - Tasks and Responsibilities’ has been published as ripe-749. This concludes recommendation 12 of the RIPE Accountability Task Force.

Short biographies are now available for WG chairs, and we’ll also include information about the terms served by chairs and when the next call for volunteers will be made. This will help give more visibility to the important volunteer work WG chairs do and, at the same time, provide the community more transparency, especially new participants. We also added a Guide for New Working Group Chairs containing all sorts of useful information for new chairs and anyone else who might consider taking on such a role in the future.

If you’re interested in engaging more actively with the RIPE community, do take a look at the Guide for New WG Chairs and see if you’d be interested in taking on this kind of role.

Programme Committee

At RIPE 81, two new community members were elected to join the RIPE Programme Committee (PC). Mohamad Boroumand and Fernando García will replace Maria Isabel Gandia and Alireza Vaziri who decided not to run again and who we thank for their active involvement.

Together with Franziska Lichtblau, the chair of the PC, we are working on a more complete onboarding process for new PC members and those considering to stand as candidates in the future. In addition to that, the terms of all PC members are now posted on the website so you can see whose term is up next.

If you’re interested in engaging more actively with RIPE by becoming a member of the Programme Committee, take a look at the PC pages on the RIPE Website.

Task Forces

A lot of good work is done by RIPE Task Forces and we regularly catch up with each of these groups to discuss their progress, any hurdles they’re facing, and whether additional support is needed.

RIPE Database Requirements Task Force

After more feedback was gathered during a BoF at RIPE 81, the RIPE Database Requirements Task Force recently published a comprehensive draft document for the community to review and comment on. The document lists a number of concrete recommendations that the community needs to discuss and consider.

The mail archives of the Task Force are publicly available and linked from their charter page. Please feel free to review the document and provide feedback on the RIPE mailing list or directly to the Task Force.

Code of Conduct Task Force

The Code of Conduct Task Force is currently working on the first document listed on their charter. The Task Force members meet regularly and take their mandate very seriously. Also the outcome of the RIPE NCC Elections Task Force and the potential involvement of the Code of Conduct Task Force and the Trusted Contacts has been discussed thoroughly. The Task Force will send an update to the RIPE Mailing list soon. The mail archives of the Task Force are publicly available and linked from their charter page. 

Diversity Task Force

The Diversity Task Force formed at RIPE 74 to increase diversity in the RIPE community. The Task Force has pushed forward a number of new initiatives and achieved a lot in the meantime, such as:

  • Childcare at RIPE Meetings
  • Women in Tech sessions
  • An expanded RIPE Meeting fellowship programme
  • A new draft Code of Conduct (which the newly formed task force is now focusing on)
  • Meeting metrics

However, there’s still a lot do of course. We are currently looking into how to best continue this work. One idea is to keep and promote the mailing list as an open discussion list for the community to share interesting information and ideas. In addition to that, new Task Forces might be created now and again to focus on specific items.

Join the Diversity Task Force mailing list if you are interested to work on this topic.

BCOP Task Force

The Best Current Operational Practices Task Force was formed back at RIPE 67 "to initiate and coordinate the process of documenting good common operational practices in networking". This group has produced a number of useful documents and has plans to produce more still. In fact, it’s become clear that the work being done here goes way beyond what a Task Force would normally do. Together with the task force chairs, we’re currently discussing what form future work here should take and how we can best support it. 

For the future of this group, it is important that more community members commit to contribute text to new BCOP documents. If you are interested in this, please contact us at chair-team@ripe.net or email the BCOP mailing list

Policy Development Process

Appeal

The Policy Development Process (PDP) includes an appeals procedure. This October, that procedure was applied for the first time. This is a noteworthy first and a lot of time and energy has gone into making sure that the appeal was properly handled.

After carrying out a full evaluation of the declaration of consensus, the WG chairs collective decided to uphold the decision made by the chairs of the WG in which the original policy proposal was discussed. Since this was the first time this part of the PDP was used, we will do a thorough review together with all parties involved. 

PDP history

As part of this review, we are also looking at the history of the PDP and the ripe-documents defining it.

RIPE Identity and Inclusion

As announced during the RIPE Community Plenary session at RIPE 81, we started to look at what we call RIPE Identity. This is a long-term and important activity. We want to make sure the work of RIPE, including the WGs and Task Forces are visible and accessible to all RIPE community members, but also other stakeholders. This also means promoting the important role the RIPE community plays in Internet Governance.

RIPE community website

We started to review the RIPE community related information on ripe.net: Is the information still correct and up to date? Is the structure intuitive and clear, or do community members, particularly newer ones, have a hard time navigating it? Is there missing information? With the help of the RIPE NCC, we made some changes here and there, but will continue to do a more thorough review next year. 

RIPE document store

We also started looking at the RIPE document store: how are the documents produced and maintained? Is there consistent meta data? What categories do documents fall under? We’ll be working our way through these and other questions to ensure that these important documents are accessible to everyone.

Events

We frequently attend online community events. This is what we've done over the last couple of months:

ENOG 17: We gave a short presentation at ENOG 17 during the opening plenary encouraging more participation in RIPE and asking how we can best build bridges between various distinct communities across the RIPE region so as to foster greater inclusion.

IGF 2020: We attended some of the sessions of this year’s Internet Governance Forum. We recommend a read of the excellent IGF 2020 Liveblog put together by the RIPE NCC on RIPE Labs.

In addition to that, we listened to a webinar on the future of encryption in the EU organised by the Internet Society, attended the online Euro-IX Forum and a webinar on the role of norms in the Internet infrastructure. We participated in a number of really interesting virtual LINX events on topics such as building networks in remote areas and the current cyberthreat landscape. We also frequently attend the interim DNS WG sessions.

The RIPE Chair will also attend the RIPE NCC Executive Board meeting on 11 December and the upcoming Government Roundtable Meetings.

Conclusion

We hope you find this information useful. Please let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or any suggestions or input for us. You can of course also contact us directly at chair-team@ripe.net.

If you’re not yet subscribed to the RIPE Mailing List, we would like to encourage you to do so. A lot of information relevant to the entire community is shared and discussed on this list. 

Since this will probably be the last update for this year, we would like to wish you a peaceful and healthy festive season and a happy turn of the year. Here’s hoping we can all meet again in 2021!

 

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About the author

I studied Computer Science at the TU Berlin, Germany, and have been a member of the RIPE community for over twenty years. Currently I am serving as the Chair of the RIPE Community.

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