Mirjam Kühne

The RIPE Chair Team Reports - Highlights from RIPE 87

Mirjam Kühne
Contributors: Niall O'Reilly

6 min read


RIPE 87 in Rome was yet another engaging, productive, highly memorable RIPE Meeting. The RIPE Chair Team reports on how it all went.

The RIPE community came together last week in the outskirts of Rome where we welcomed 557 people onsite and 171 online. Here we'll take a look at the highlights, some of the new things we tried at this meeting, activities across the working group sessions, and also planning for this and future meetings of the RIPE community.

Meeting highlights

There were so many highlights! The Programme Committee (PC) and the Working Groups (WG) chairs put together a very interesting agenda with presentations and discussions covering a wide range of topics.

But thinking about which moments are likely to stick with me the most, I'd have to point to Randy Bush’s presentation on The RIR Social Contract during the opening, which drew a lot of praise and attention, as well as Romain Jacob’s talk entitled The Internet of Tomorrow Must Sleep More and Grow Old. Valerie Aurora's talk and game So You Think You Understand IP Fragmentation during the Community Plenary was also enjoyed by everyone who got to play along. And it was heartwarming to see how much sympathy and understanding the community showed after Stavros Konstantaras' Post Mortem Analysis of the AMS-IX Outage.

One thing that was also felt through the meeting was that there was more time for meaningful discussion. Some of the WG chairs made a conscious effort to get extra room for questions and conversation into their agendas which was very much appreciated by the members of the WGs.

Local Hubs

Local Hubs

For the first time, we had a number of self-organised local hubs where people were able to come together and join the RIPE Meeting online as a group. This time there six hubs in total spread across different cities in the RIPE region. We'll be evaluating how this initiative worked out with the attendees who took part and will report back with more details.

Diversity and Inclusion

We had a really interesting and vibrant Diversity and Inclusion session with a series of short Lightning Talks that focused on open source, the work of a system administrator, and accessibility improvements for meetings. There were many good suggestions on how we can make sure people with different needs feel more comfortable during the meeting and also during social events.

New RIPE Logo

After almost 35 years, we developed a new logo for the RIPE community that illustrates our values and also shows our relationship with the RIPE NCC. I was very happy to see so many happy faces in the audience when I revealed the new logo during the RIPE community plenary. And a big thanks to the RIPE NCC designer Miguel Bastos who found such an elegant solution to a rather complex problem description.

New RIPE Logo

Selections for leadership roles

Since the last RIPE Meeting, a number of WGs chose new co-chairs. We filled two seats for the PC and we elected a member for the NRO NC. I was really pleased to see so many candidates for pretty much all these roles. Here are the results:

  • Valerie Aurora and Franziska Lichtblau were elected to the PC
  • Constanze Bürger was elected on to the NRO NC
  • New WG co-chairs: Doris Hauser (DNS WG), Christian Seitz (IPv6 WG), David Tatlisu (DB WG), Alex Le Heux (Address Policy WG), Janos Zsako (RIPE NCC Services WG)

Training for new WG Chairs

To provide guidance to existing RIPE WG chairs and also to make it easier for people who might consider to run as WG chair in the future, together with the RIPE NCC, we developed a series of training modules:

  • The RIPE Community and its Structure
  • The Role of the RIPE WG Chair
  • How is Work done in RIPE Working Groups?
  • How do you keep a WG working?

All available modules can be found in the RIPE NCC Academy (you will need a RIPE NCC access account). More modules on the Policy Development Process, the RIPE Code of Conduct and other topics will be added soon.

Covid at RIPE 87

I was very sorry to hear that a number of participants and RIPE NCC staff came down with Covid during or after the RIPE Meeting week. I realise that we could have been more pro-active in encouraging people to take measures by handing out masks and tests from day one. We will certainly learn from this for next time and will also communicate this better to raise awareness so that participants can take precautions accordingly.

RIPE Meeting planning

Starting with online participation, Meetecho have again continued to improve the meeting platform for online attendance at our meetings. In the community plenary session, there was a discussion how to make better use of that platform so that we are more effective when it comes to inclusion of online participants.

I also spoke to many people about the planning and organisation of RIPE meetings in general: How do we choose a country and a venue? What is the role of the host? What criteria do we take into account before making a decision and what does the RIPE NCC events team do when they go on scouting trips for the next RIPE Meeting locations? There is a web page that describes the process.

This document in turn points to a lot more detailed host requirements. The host, the RIPE NCC staff and the RIPE Chair Team work very closely together to find the best possible venue for RIPE Meetings. With all the input we gathered, we will review the process and see how we can make it more transparent in the future. After the last call for hosts, we received proposals up until RIPE 91 and will have more information early next year.

The next RIPE Meeting - RIPE 88 - will take place in Krakow, Poland. We will open the call for presentations soon. So, if there are any topics you missed at this RIPE Meeting, please do not hesitate to propose them for RIPE 88.



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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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