Board in Tokyo

The board came together in Tokyo for a 3 day meeting to review progress and work on future strategy. We met in Japan in preparation for next year's conference in Fukuoka.

We were hosted by Yukako Uchida and the JPCERT/CC team. Their hospitality was awesome and greatly helped the meeting’s success.

On Monday night we held a social event for Japanese teams. It was great to see folks again and rekindle friendships that have been on hold since the last conference in Dublin, or even pre-pandemic for some.

Over the next days, we reviewed the strategy for our annual conferences. Traditionally we rotate these through North America, Europe and Asia. This is not a formal requirement - it’s just the way events have been located. Each year the board reviews the proposed location for the event to be held in 3 years time (so, in this case 2026). The board discussed expanding the three locations but felt that we weren’t ready to do this yet. Prior to doing this the board felt we should increase the size and scale of the regional symposia in new regions to make sure we would be ready to hold a successful annual conference.

We discussed the requirements we ask event locations to meet as part of the RFP process. One the last few years we’ve moved from hotel space to conference centre space. These locations typically have sophisticated networking set up - so we haven’t built our own (as we used to do). We plan to add requirements for open VPN access . We also discussed requesting details on air quality in the event space.

The board reviewed proposals to change and improve the Incident Response Hall of Fame process. These discussions will continue over the next few months ready for next year's HoF.

We discussed the outstanding dues owed to FIRST. There are a very small number of teams who have outstanding dues. Allowing these teams to continue to participate in FIRST and, potentially, claiming a discount for events, is unfair to the vast majority of members who are in good standing. There are, often, good reasons for the failure to pay dues and we will always do our best to assist teams where this happens. Last year we spent a great deal of time resolving most of these issues - we now plan to resolve any open issues in the next few weeks.

A significant portion of the time we spent together was used to review our strategy and goals. You’ll be aware that there has been significant change on the board in the last 2 elections. The newer board members have now had time to get a good understanding of the issues FIRST faces - finance, legal, process etc. We worked together to build a document detailing where we believe FIRST should be in 5 years. We then looked at what blockers we face that stop us getting there. As we flesh this out we’ll be communicating this with you.

Published on FIRST POST: May-Jun 2023