NANOG 84 Ombuds Report

NANOG 84 Ombuds' Report

NANOG Overall Score: 71/100

Veritas Academy assesses Belonging, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Intentionality (BEDII). Each measure is scored on a scale of 1-to-4 against the BEDII competencies in five categories in the below focus areas. 

NANOG’s Score in Focus Areas: 

  • Open and Close: 14/20
  • Event Sponsored Meals: 18/20
  • Event Specific Activities: 11/20
  • Networking Events: 12/20 
  • Overall Environment: 16/20

NANOG’s Areas of Highest Rankings:

  • Event-Sponsored Meals (18/20) 
  • Overall Environment (16/20) 

NANOG’s Areas of Lowest Rankings:

  • Event Specific Activities (11/20) 
  • Networking Events: Socials, etc. (12/20)

Overall Negative Findings of Lowest Ranking Scores:

Event-Specific Activities (11/20):  

  • Overall, there was a lack of intentionality with regard to maximizing the belonging and inclusion of all participants.  

Networking Events (12/20): 

  • Overall, there was a lack of intentionality with regard to maximizing belonging and inclusion of all participants; this is by virtue of the limited and very similar types of planned networking events.  

Formal Concerns:

Below are concerns directly expressed to the Ombudsmen. *Note: Numbers in parentheses reflect the number of distinct (different people at different times) concerns brought forward.

  • (1) Insincere delivery of Code of Conduct
  • (2) Touchy-feely and inappropriately ‘playful ‘attendees 
  • (2) A lack of belonging for women
  • (1) Attendees “treating this conference like a dating pool” 
  • (1) A lack of belonging for people of color 
  • (1) Challenge with a vendor in the enforcement of the conference vaccination policy
  • (1) Marketing materials (blood red color) 
  • (3) Overbearing and controlling leaders drowning out participant’s experiences 

Pause, Reflect, and Choose:

As NANOG takes in the scorecard and the specific concerns brought forward by NANOG participants, it is critical to do so from the lens of Pause, Reflect, and Choose.

Pause: do not respond to these findings based on the overuse of reality testing.

Reality checks can get in the way of innovative thinking. For example, the “We can’t please everyone” mindset leads some people to forgo considering anyone who is not in the majority. 

Reflect: take some time to answer some critical questions.

For instance:  

  • What kind of conference do we want for our participants? 
  • How serious are we about increasing the diversity of our participants?  
  • Are we willing to take steps that may bring some discomfort to our current participant base? 
  • Are we making assumptions about what our current participant base will or will not accept? 

Choose: intentional choices can only come after we pause and reflect on where we are, who we are, and what we want moving forward. 


Outside of specific event planning and execution, Veritas Academy recommends that NANOG consider:  

  • Collecting, tracking, and responding to demographic data specific to event attendance. 
    • Demographic collection can be critical to:  
      • Understanding who attends the conference, across race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation and identity, gender identity, and physical status
      • Understanding current diversity trends and gaps by conference dates, locations, and themes 
      • Analyzing trends and developing mitigation strategies, as necessary.