Loco Council, or an alternative idea of what it could be :)

Jono Bacon jono at ubuntu.com
Wed Oct 3 10:52:03 BST 2007

Hi all,

I have been reading over this thread, and want to offer a few thoughts.

The crux of this discussion is that LoCo teams need money to do stuff.
This in itself is a point of debate - personally, I have run a number of
community booths over the years. I have run three booths for KDE, helped
with the ubuntu-uk and Jokosher booths and have been a primary organiser
for a large event for three years - LugRadio Live 2005, 2006 and 2007
and the LugRadio Live events in the UK and USA in 2008. All of these
efforts were completely community run, including LugRadio Live - there
is no large funding body.

I am aware of the intricacies of what is involved in funding a community
booth, and I believe you can away with a lot without any formal funding
- people provide different parts of the booth (posters, flyers, name
badges, laptops, t-shirts etc, Canonical provide a chunk of CDs) - the
team contributes their own expertise to resource the different things
they need.

Now, I don't deny that not all teams can do this. While a team like
ubuntu-uk could pull together to sort out posters, flyers, embroidered
t-shirts, CDs, provide demos and other impressive booth work, not all
teams have the resources available, particularly in poorer countries and
regions. I also want to stress that I did not pull any special strings
for ubuntu-uk - they/I approached the booth like any other LoCo. The
problem here in my mind is this concept of a central body acting as a
funding source for LoCo teams and receiving and dishing out donations -
I think it is way to complex; a very large hammer to crush a small nut.

>From what I can tell, having been involved in the LoCo project for a
while now, there are relatively few teams who seriously struggle to find
resources for their booths. So this problem that Yann raises affects, in
my mind, relatively few teams - don't get me wrong, it certainly does
affect those teams, and it is a problem, but I believe the suggested
solution is too large and complex for the actual level of problem in the

I believe that each team is its own autonomous unit that performs its
own organisational functions, and the wider LoCo project is merely there
to provide largely mentoring advice and guidance - I am conscious that
the wider LoCo project does not become a "big brother" and interfere
with what each team does. Therefore, I believe it is each teams
responsibility to source any additional funding and resources - if
ubuntu-<cc> wants to have a very large and lavish presence at a show, it
should source the additional funding itself from a company in its region
of the world.

Every community has inefficiencies that need to be fixed, and the LoCo
community has plenty of its own, but I believe the concerns raised
around this issue affect relatively few teams, and I would much rather
we put our efforts into getting a solid LoCo Council up and running,
encouraging more excellent mentoring schemes like USTeams (AfricanTeams
is a dream of mine), get our resource request bottlenecks fixed, and
think of worldwide plans and online events for the wider community to
take part in - we are all advocates, and I would like us to focus on
better ways of advocating Ubuntu instead of the cyclic discussion of

Just my 0.02c.


Jono Bacon
Ubuntu Community Manager
www.ubuntu.com / www.jonobacon.org

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