[tor-project] NYC HOPE to nine days

George george at queair.net
Tue May 19 19:11:05 UTC 2020


> Greetings,
> While we all want things to go back to normal, the science just doesn't 
> make that possible. July and August may still seem far away, but there 
> simply is no way the COVID-19 crisis will be over by then, even in the 
> best-case scenario. We had planned on waiting until June to make a final 
> decision, but it's become clear that planning an in-person conference 
> simply wouldn't be the responsible thing to do. Nothing matters more than 
> the health and safety of our attendees. Yes, this will be a financial 
> kick in the teeth for us. But it's one we'll willingly take as the mere 
> possibility of putting any of you at risk is unconscionable.
> We want to be clear on one important point. Apart from the obvious 
> disappointment of not being able to host this historic event at a new 
> venue we were so looking forward to, we want everyone to come out of this 
> not feeling dissatisfaction beyond that. More on that later.
> This is what we're now looking at:
> We are NOT canceling HOPE. Instead, we are changing what this year's HOPE 
> will be.
> HOPE 2020 will now be a NINE DAY EVENT, beginning on Saturday, July 25th 
> and running until Sunday, August 2nd, 2020. Why did we add an entire week? 
> Because we want some good to come out of this and we believe our community 
> is in a position to do just that. We all know what we WON'T have without a 
> physical conference, but let's now focus on what we CAN have with some 
> imagination and collaboration. That's what the hacker community is all about.
> We intend to have around the same number of talks as we normally do, but 
> spread out over a much longer period and available for viewing on a high 
> capacity stream. Those of you who bought tickets will have exclusive access 
> to the presenters so you can ask questions, participate in workshops, and 
> interact with other conference attendees. In addition, you will also 
> receive a conference t-shirt and badge that won't ever be made available to 
> anyone else.
> We plan on having NINE keynote speakers, again with exclusive Q&A access 
> for our attendees.
> Participation in HOPE will no longer be bound by visas and worries of arrest 
> by certain controversial types. So expect a dynamic and varied cast of 
> characters. It wouldn't be HOPE without that, but now we can REALLY remove 
> some barriers.
> In addition to ongoing talks and panels, we'll also have workshops for the 
> duration of the nine day event. Expect everything from lockpicking to 
> soldering instruction to our infamous ham radio exams.
> For the overnight hours, we're planning on having concerts, DJs, and other 
> fun stuff. HOPE will remain a 24 hour event, but for nine days!
> All of this has been - and will continue to be - a daunting task. The 
> COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of us in varying ways. The continued 
> survival of 2600 was quickly put into doubt as our distributors stopped 
> paying us, bookstores with our issues in them shut down, and new issues 
> were left in loading zones. We've lost more than half a year's income at 
> last count and have had to stop getting paid in order to continue to 
> survive. Making this year's HOPE a success is really the only way we can 
> come through this.
> As mentioned above, we don't want anyone to feel extra unhappy because of 
> this. If you want a refund, we will give you one. But with all of the 
> losses we've already suffered, we won't be able to continue existing if we 
> have to issue very many of those. That's why we're hoping we can put 
> together the best event possible and make this the highlight of our summer 
> despite all that's happened.
> We are in the process of accepting talk and workshop proposals that have 
> already been submitted. We will be providing technical support so that 
> presenters will be able to participate smoothly in a virtual environment. 
> We are now opening up the submission process to include many more 
> participants from all around the globe, something we never really had the 
> ability to do before. We hope to have talks, workshops, and musical 
> presentations from a truly international community, no longer bound by a 
> physical presence.
> While we have a dedicated team of volunteers already working on making this 
> happen, we can definitely use many more, especially as the event draws 
> closer and becomes bigger. Email volunteers at hope.net and let us know how 
> you think you can help. We're looking for people with experience setting up 
> and producing live online broadcasts. We are also looking for emcees, 
> moderators for online forums, and people to fulfill other behind-the-scenes 
> roles.
> If we get through all of this, we fully intend to hold a physical HOPE in 
> 2021 (the first odd-year HOPE since 1997). This will also enable us to 
> continue publishing once bookstores start opening again. All of this depends 
> on our hacker spirit getting us through the toughest times we ever could 
> have imagined. And if you share our enthusiasm over what this new incarnation 
> of HOPE will mean, this summer will indeed be one to look forward to.
> Stay safe.
> The HOPE Staff
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