Preparations for the first hybrid RIPE Meeting are well underway as the wider community continues to reconnect at more and more in-person events. Learn more in this month's update from the RIPE Chair Team.
Preparing for RIPE 84
As mentioned in our last update, preparations for RIPE 84 are in full swing. This is our first physical meeting for what feels like a very long time and we are very much looking forward to meeting old friends and greeting newcomers. That said, arranging a RIPE Meeting after two years of COVID and in the midst of massive upheaval in our service region comes with new challenges.
Hybrid meeting planning
RIPE 83 was our fourth virtual RIPE Meeting. By this point, we had solved a lot of the teething problems that come with making the move away from physical meetings, and the event was a great success. Because of that, now that everyone has seen how engaging virtual RIPE Meetings can be, we want and need to make sure that the whole meeting experience remains excellent for those who prefer to take part online. RIPE 84 will be a fully hybrid meeting with as much support for remote participation as we can provide.
The RIPE NCC Meeting Team has been putting a lot of work into planning around this. They went along to the IETF 113 meeting - which took place as a hybrid meeting in Vienna - and came back with a number of good suggestions that can be applied to the RIPE Meeting. Also the SEE 10 meeting that took place this week shows how well a hybrid meeting can work. Obviously a big benefit of an in-person meeting is the "hallway track" which will be difficult to emulate for online participants. But we're working on a number of ideas aimed at making remote participants feel part of the crowd as much as possible.
In addition to the challenge of organising our first hybrid meeting after two years of online events, another challenge is of course the fact that COVID is by no means over. We want you to feel safe and comfortable and will implement a number of measures to make this happen, such as handing out masks and self tests. We're also allowing for a lot of space in the meeting rooms and you can indicate on your badge if you want to keep distance to others. Other measures will depend on the legal obligations in Germany at that time.
The ongoing war in Ukraine will likely continue to be a pressing topic as we come to RIPE 84. This matter concerns all of us deeply, both as a community and as individuals, some of whom have been impacted by these events in a very immediate way.
There will be lots of conversation to be had about the repercussions of the war for the Internet and for our community more generally, and we should expect to see this topic being discussed across different sessions throughout the week. The RIPE Cooperation Working Group has already made a start by hosting an online Open Discussion on Internet Sanctions and Connectivity.
RIPE 84 agenda
The Programme Committee had its first meeting and already accepted a good number of talks that cover a broad range of topics. The Call for Proposals is still open and we're looking forward to more presentation submissions. Also the RIPE Working Groups are now putting together the agendas for their sessions. Now is a good time to contact them if you would like to discuss or present a topic.
The RIPE NCC is going to offer online training sessions for presenters prior to RIPE 84. This might be interesting for new presenters who are hesitant to submit a talk for RIPE 84. But it's of course open to all RIPE 84 speakers.
Students and young engineers
Last, but not least, we are going to organise an online event for students and young engineers prior to RIPE 84. We are planning to make this a recurring activity with the aim to attract the next generation RIPE participants. You can get more information on this on the RIPE 84 meeting site.
Ongoing RIPE Activities
We are working with the RIPE NCC to create a page on the RIPE website to keep track of ongoing activities in the RIPE community. This will make it easier, especially for new participants, to find out what's going on and how and where you can participate. For now, I'll keep listing some of the activities in these monthly updates.
RIPE Task Forces - Definition and Guidelines
On 23 March, we announced version 3 of the document RIPE Task Forces - Definition and Guidelines, incorporating suggestions made after v2 was published. The deadline for additional comments ended on 10 April. We will review all comments.
Revised Policy Development Process (PDP)
The deadline for comments for v2 of the revised PDP has ended on 16 March. We are now amending the document based on comments received and will announce v3 shortly.
Code of Conduct Task Force
The RIPE Conduct Task Force Task has almost finalised the second document: The Reporting and Operational Procedures for the Code of Conduct Team. You can find more information in Leo Vegoda's article on the RIPE Code of Conduct Process. Since we won't have a new Code of Conduct Team in place for RIPE 84, we recruited two new Trusted Contacts who will join Rob Evans and Vesna Manojlovic. They will receive relevant training and will be available at the RIPE 84 Meeting in Berlin.
HEAnet and INEX
Niall attended the Annual Conference of Ireland's National Education and Research Network HEAnet and the March Meeting of the Irish Internet Exchange Point (INEX). Both events were good opportunities to engage in person with different sections of the local community. Each organisation was able to look back with satisfaction on how it had managed not only to maintain connectivity but also to increase capacity to match demand during the COVID pandemic.
Reflecting the duality of HEAnet’s role as Ireland’s NREN, the conference programme included both operational and academic presentations; themes included the international context, cybersecurity, deployment of eduroam in public libraries, developing curriculum to promote awareness of cyber-risks among teenagers, and cancer research.
A particularly striking impression was how far the Irish NREN community and RIPE have drifted apart. Except for HEAnet staff, hardly any of the participants seemed to be aware of either RIPE or the RIPE NCC. This observation underscores the importance which the RIPE Chair Team attaches to outreach to the academic sector and the timeliness of a specific student event which is planned in connection with RIPE 84.
At the INEX meeting, topics included management of the exchange point, technical aspects of peering, and INEX’s initiative on continuing professional development of member personnel. In support of this last, Álvaro Vives of the RIPE NCC gave a remote presentation on training modules available both generally and to RIPE NCC members.