Mirjam Kühne

RIPE Chair Team One Month In

Mirjam Kühne
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One month into their new roles, the RIPE Chair and Vice Chair have been busy working on a whole range of topics and tasks of importance to the RIPE community.

We started our roles as RIPE Chair and Vice Chair on 1 September and would like to give you a short update about what we’ve been up to so far.

RIPE 81 Preparations

As usual, the RIPE NCC Event Team has been doing a lot of work in the background, including investigating another meeting platform. The main motivation was to bring everyone onto one platform - as opposed to RIPE 80 where some people were on zoom and others followed the meeting on the webstream. We consulted on this with the RIPE NCC and agree with this decision. There will also be a cool new social tool that we can all use during the breaks and the social events. More information on this will be available soon on RIPE Labs. 

RIPE 81 Community Plenary

Initially the slot for the community plenary looked quite long and we weren’t sure we would come up with enough interesting content to fill it. But in the meantime, a variety of topics have been put forward that we believe will be relevant for the community. In addition to an update from the new RIPE Chair Team, there will be reports from a number of RIPE Task Forces, and also a report from the Nominating Committee.

Interaction with RIPE WG Chair Teams

As one of our first actions, we reached out to all RIPE WG chairs, WG by WG. While all WG chairs come together regularly as a group (mostly around RIPE Meetings), we wanted to hear from the individual chair teams. This turned out to be very useful. Not surprisingly, no two WGs are the same and depending on the purpose of the WG, the work items, the diversity of the participants and the experience of the chairs, a whole range of topics came up and we will definitely continue this interaction.

One recurring item was the recruitment of new WG chairs. Some chairs brought up the idea of trainee or apprentice chairs. We also want to do more to encourage more active participation by new and young attendees. This could be a continuation of the newcomer events, more long-term mentoring programmes and/or more documentation about the role and tasks of a WG chair.

RIPE WG Chairs Collective

As recommended by the Accountability Task Force, the RIPE WG chairs worked on a document describing the tasks and responsibilities of the RIPE WG chairs as a collective. This document has now been sent to the RIPE community for review and will be published as a RIPE document after RIPE 81.

Diversity and Inclusion

This is a topic close to our hearts as we all know that the RIPE community needs to be able to attract a much more diverse mix of new, young participants in order to be able to continue its useful work. So, we were very happy to see the initiative taken by Bijal Sanghani, from EURO-IX, who organised a panel discussion with the title “Let’s Talk, Let’s Act - How to attract and engage young people in our industry”. The panel itself comprised four young people from various backgrounds and different parts of the world, but there was also a lively discussion in the chat room. The topics ranged from the importance of mentoring and good fellowship programmes as well as the benefits young people can bring to the community. We picked up a lot of ideas that we want to further investigate with the RIPE Community.

RIPE Task Forces

The Code of Conduct Task Force

This was initiated by the former RIPE Chair Hans Petter Holen at RIPE 80. So we sent out a call for volunteers to update the RIPE Code of Conduct. We found a group of very active and experienced volunteers and the task force has now been set up (read the charter). It is expected that the next draft Code of Conduct will be sent to the community before RIPE 81.

RIPE Database Requirements Task Force

We met with the chairs of the RIPE Database Requirements Task Force to get a status update. The original timeline was very ambitious and the COVID-19 pandemic caused more delay, which led us to update the charter of the task force. The task force is planning to organise a BoF during RIPE 81 and will produce a draft proposal before that.

Other Meetings

The RIPE NCC Executive Board extended an invitation to the new RIPE Chair to attend the meetings of the Executive Board. We appreciate this. The RIPE NCC acts as a secretariat for the RIPE community and it is important to have good communication channels between the RIPE NCC and the RIPE Chair Team. The last EB meeting took place in early September and Mirjam gave a short update about our planned activities and priorities.

We also attended a number of online community events such as NLNOG, MENOG, UKNOF, RIPE DNS WG online sessions, SEEDIG6.

What's Next?

In addition to continuing the work begun by former RIPE Chair Hans Petter Holen such as reviewing the outstanding and recurring actions recommended by the Accountability Task Force, we will continue engaging with the RIPE working groups and task forces. 
We are also working together with the two remaining trusted contacts to arrange for the recruitment and training of additional trusted contacts.

Another thing on our agenda is "RIPE Identity". This includes topics such as

  • The relationship between RIPE  and RIPE NCC

  • Reviewing RIPE section on www.ripe.net and RIPE documents

  • Attracting new participants to the RIPE community and help them to engage actively


We hope this gives you a good overview of what we've been up to in our first month. If you have any comments for us, you can reach us at chair-team@ripe.net or leave a message under the article. Otherwise, you can find out more about the work we're doing for the RIPE community, as well as may other things RIPE related, by joining us at RIPE 81



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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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