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

Ben Dechrai ben at dechrai.com
Sat Sep 23 13:14:42 AEST 2017

Hi Russell, Jonathan,

On 23/09/17 09:47, Jonathan Woithe via linux-aus wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 23, 2017 at 01:22:39AM +1000, Russell Coker via linux-aus wrote:
>> I agree in principle.  Sponsoring things that teach kids about technology is a 
>> good thing.  Sponsoring such educational events for kids that are only mostly-
>> free is OK as long as there is a good amount of free content.  An event that 
>> has Scratch, electronics, and Minecraft isn't tainted because of Minecraft 
>> being involved.  But an assurance that they won't say "now that Linux 
>> Australia has given us money we can buy more Minecraft licenses" would be 
>> good.

I'm happy to stipulate that BuzzConf will spend /no/ money on Minecraft
licences :)

>> Hypothetically speaking if there were only 10 kids involved then at $500 each 
>> it would not be good value for money.  But if there were 50+ kids then $100 
>> each might be reasonable, if there were 100+ then I would endorse it.

We have allocated 50 children's tickets for the event, and expect to
sell them all at this rate. The $100 per child would be based on the $5k
sponsorship, so would include facilities, as well ad hardware. If LA
only sponsored the hardware, it would drop to an average of $20 per
child (more specifically $32ish for 30ish children).

> I like the idea that LA's money should not effectively go towards the
> purchase of closed products, although this is not an entirely
> straight-forward condition to enforce.

My personal philosophies agree entirely, that LA's money shouldn't be
used on proprietary costs. The lower value of funds I'm seeking would
cover the cost of the open source hardware that kids will be taking
away. The higher value would include the same, plus the hire of items
such as tables, chairs, A/V for the presentations.

> If a grant from LA allows the organisers to cover the cost of the open
> materials required by the workshop it does effectively free up funds
> obtained from other sources for other things - which might be proprietary.

In terms of the cost of the hardware for the kids tracks, if we do not
secure funding, we will have to charge parents. LA's support here
wouldn't free up funds.

In terms of the increased cost of hire to run a second track to fit in
the number of workshops we have for kids, if we do not secure funding,
then we will have to choose between cancelling some of the the
workshops, or making a loss. That's the risk with any conference though.
LA's support here would only free up funds if we make a profit. We're
not on track for this yet, given our current budgets.

Out biggest costs are rent (i.e. tents, equipment, venue space),
utilities (i.e. internet, power), and business costs (i.e. insurance).
These businesses probably use proprietary software, but I can't think of
any financial investment we make in supporting proprietary technologies
for the purposes of educational components of event.

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