[Linux-aus] [Grant Application] Kids Tracks at BuzzConf

Ben Dechrai ben at dechrai.com
Thu Sep 21 16:02:31 AEST 2017

Thanks Kathy, and LA members, for considering this request.

On the topic of open source and BuzzConf, I'd argue that less than 10%
of our content touches on proprietary technologies.

Deakin University's talk will no doubt cover encumbered technology, as
university product so often is; and AusPost's talk on emerging
technologies will touch on products such as Google Home; but all
presentations are theoretical, with aspirations and predictions being
the take-aways, which apply equally to all technologists, regardless of

The kids workshops use Arduinos, Makey Makeys, MIT's Scratch game
development project, paper, conductive ink, and so on. One of the
workshops uses Minecraft.

The main workshops use Blender3D, Arduinos, Python and packages. The
Deep Learning workshop uses exclusively FLOSS tools. The workshops on
Augmented and Virtual Reality use proprietary hardware (such as the
HoloLens and HTC Vibe), but based on development in open source
technologies. Some applications might connect to cloud services, which
might be proprietary.

I'm also a bit confused about the comment on the declined sponsorship
request earlier this month. Neither Rick nor I have ever formally
requested funding from LA. In early 2016, I was encouraged to
investigate the possibility, and I spoke with Hugh Blemings by email
about that, but the matter died off at some point, and I didn't pursue
it. If someone else is applying for funding in BuzzConf's name, I'd love
to know more. If my memory is failing, I'd like to know that too :)


On 21/09/17 14:29, Linux Australia President wrote:
> This is a courtesy note to acknowledge receipt of this Grant
> application. Community feedback is welcomed on this request up to 2nd
> October, and this Grant Request will be considered at Council meeting
> 12th October.
> The 2017 Grants program ends on 30 September, and the funds allocated
> here are all spent. However, what I'd like to recommend is that we
> simply follow the established process for Grants to consider this
> request, until we formally open the 2018 Grants program.
> The 2018 Grants program has $AUD 35k allocated, so the $1000 amount
> request is 1/35th of this. The larger amount requested as an event
> partner - $5000 - is 1/7th of our total Grant and sponsorship pool for
> 2017/2018.
> For transparency, Linux Australia declined a sponsorship request for
> BuzzConf earlier this month given that the conference covers primarily
> proprietary, not open, technologies.
> Kind regards,
> Kathy Reid
> On 18/09/17 20:19, Ben Dechrai via linux-aus wrote:
>> Dear LA council and members,
>> You may have heard about BuzzConf <https://buzzconf.io/>. It's an
>> annual technology festival that's about to see its third event run
>> from Dec 1st to 3rd. Take liberal portions of tech conference, mix in
>> a family friendly atmosphere, a strong focus on diversity, and the
>> party atmosphere of a music festival, and you're on the right track.
>> This year, we've had a fantastic number of submissions to the kids
>> track <https://buzzconf.io/kids-track/>, and have enough to run two
>> tracks for them! Some of them require the supply of hardware, in
>> particular:
>>> *Nightmare Light*
>>> In this workshop we will help you design, build and program a
>>> nightmare-light. We’ll have sensors available for those who want to
>>> detect ambient light for an extra challenge. The workshop is geared
>>> towards children but those young-at-heart are welcome to join too!
>>> Younger children can participate too if they have an overseeing
>>> parent to help them.
>>> Participation is $30 per person to cover hardware costs. Each person
>>> will get a kit with:
>>> 1 x Arduino (will need a USB cable for programming)
>>> 1 x Photo resistor
>>> 1 x LED light pack
>>> 1 x Battery
>>> 1 x Set of wires (for electrical connection)
>> Children attend BuzzConf for free and get their own educational
>> track, because we want to make events like these as accessible as
>> possible to families, especially single-parent families, who often
>> can't get to conferences.
>> In this spirit, we'd love to cover all workshop costs for children
>> too. We currently have 37 child tickets sold, with 13 more available.
>> With an anticipated 20-30 children making a nightmare light, the
>> workshop organiser will be supplying $600 - $900 worth of hardware.
>> CoderDojo Carlton are also running a number of workshops and, while
>> they will be bringing hardware from their pool, they anticipate
>> incurring costs of around $65 for the components that kids will be
>> taking away (conductive tape, and LEDs).
>> We are seeking funding to cover the cost to the organisers of running
>> the children's workshops, estimated at no more than $1,000. Would LA
>> be amenable to covering this cost? After the event, we would provide
>> a detailed itinerary and costs of hardware that was given to the kids
>> (we wouldn't expect workshop organisers to be reimbursed for hardware
>> that they don't give away), so that LA's contribution is only for
>> those costs. It may, in this scenario, be easier for this request to
>> be that the organisers are paid directly by LA, and that we are
>> seeking funding on their behalf.
>> In acknowledgement of this support, we would including LA's logo on
>> our website as a Festival Sponsor (a $1,000 value in our sponsor doc).
>> On the off-chance that LA would consider a larger investment, in
>> order to run the two tracks for children, we are needing to secure
>> additional facilities, such as tables, tents, power, and projection
>> facilities. If LA were to consider a $5,000 investment and become a
>> Festival Partner, we would prioritise these funds to ensure the
>> children's workshop cost outlined above are covered first and
>> foremost. The remainder would help us with the increased costs of
>> additional facilities. The Festival Partner support level also
>> includes two festival tickets, which LA could use as they wish. (You
>> might want to send some representatives of LA, or give them away to
>> the community. We could help promote any activity around making these
>> available to others.)
>> Many thanks in advance for your consideration. I welcome any
>> questions for clarification.
>> Ben Dechrai
>> Co-founder, BuzzConf Technology Festival
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> -- 
> Kathy Reid
> President
> Linux Australia
> 0418 130 636
> president at linux.org.au
> http://linux.org.au
> Linux Australia Inc
> GPO Box 4788
> Sydney NSW 2001
> Australia
> ABN 56 987 117 479 

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