Credentials Community Group Telecon

Minutes for 2015-06-23

  1. Web Payments IG face-to-face in NYC
  2. Introduction to Matt Stone
  3. Current Status of Credentials at W3C
  4. Badge Alliance updates
  5. Focus on Recruiting New Members
Manu Sporny
Nate Otto, Manu Sporny
Nate Otto, Manu Sporny, Richard Varn, Matt Stone, Eric Korb, Sunny Lee, Dave Longley, Rob Trainer, David I. Lehn, Laura Fowler, Gregg Kellogg, Brent Shambaugh
Audio Log
Nate Otto is scribing.
Manu Sporny: Let's get started
Manu Sporny: Today is mostly a sync-up. A lot of things have happened over the last week, and today we can figure out what next steps are based on what's happened over the last week and a half

Topic: Web Payments IG face-to-face in NYC

Manu Sporny: Today: a recap of the Web Payments face to face in New York, and a couple announcements from the Badge Alliance about events happening there over the last couple weeks, and an update on a renewed recruiting focus.
Manu Sporny: We had three discussions about credentials at the face to face. Thanks to Richard and Eric for coming. It really helped to have them in the room.
Manu Sporny: Unfortunately, I don't think the credentials discussion went very well. Let me start off by saying the plan was to talk about use cases around credentials that were specifically related to payments.
Manu Sporny: We started discussing that, but the discussion was quickly derailed by some new payments members who weren't familiar with any of the credentials work
Manu Sporny: The initial conversation around credentials were that they should not be put in the critical path for payments
Manu Sporny: We had some resistence from Apple and Mozilla in particular
Manu Sporny: We almost immediately hit stiff opposition because some of the new members were not familiar with the work.
Manu Sporny: What they thought we were proposing was to put credentials in the critical path of the payments work
Manu Sporny: Once we started heading down that path of conversation, it was very difficult to get everybody back on track
Manu Sporny: Eric and Richard were able to jump in and say credentials are important for education, for health care.
Manu Sporny: The other group that wanted to see the credentials work succeed were the long term payments group members, including the banks who are familiar with the identity/credentials problem
Manu Sporny: It was decided to discuss credentials again in the breakout session the 2nd day
Manu Sporny: Within 5 minutes, the breakout group decided that credentials should proceed in parallel, that a working group should be formed.
Manu Sporny: We brought that conclusion to the main group (that a credentials group should be formed, that it should be done in parallel). Requested time on the third day to talk about credentials then. Staff contacts felt that the new members in the room had already talked about it enough and it shouldn't be added to the agenda
Manu Sporny: Staff heard loud and clear that people were interested in credentials but thought that the group was split. Manu disagrees with this conclusion, and thinks that the actual proposal that's on the table would be agreeable to those members, that their resistance was to something nobody was proposing.
Manu Sporny: The good news is that people believe the the credentials stuff is something the w3c should do at some point (in the next year), but they weren't able to get that down as a consensus decision of the whole group.
Richard Varn: Given that we didn't ever envision this as an integral part of the payments part, why are we talking to them as if they are the approval entity when this is really a w3c decision to make?
Manu Sporny: They actually do need credentials/identity verification in payments work. European banks particularly see this as a hard requirement.
Manu Sporny: The other reason is because the Payments Interest Group is an official group whose charter includes the ability to propose new working groups to start. They can fast track the charter through w3c management.
Manu Sporny: If we decide not to involve them, we have to do the full w3c process, which would take a full year or so, when we wanted it up and running by october ideally.
Manu Sporny: This isn't to say we haven't been making good progress.
Manu Sporny: If we had made the ideal progress at this meeting, an interest group would be created, which would be doing the same work that we're already doing.

Topic: Introduction to Matt Stone

Matt Stone: I just rang in. I'm with Pearson. The division I'm with is PearsonVue, which deals with high security testing in brick and mortar facilities for high stakes assessments, nursing, accountings etc.
Matt Stone: We have a startup within Pearson called Acclaim that is using the Mozilla Open Badges Specification, and we also have an application called Credential Manager. I run the group in charge of Acclaim and Credential Manager at Pearson.
Manu Sporny: We reached out to Matt & Pearson to see if they're interested in taking a leadership role with the potential working group that could be formed at the W3C.

Topic: Current Status of Credentials at W3C

Manu Sporny: The last bit at the face to face, was that there was a roundtable on the last day, with large financial institutions that after they finished the presentation said that they didn't see anything about credentials / identity on there, and that's their #1 priority.
Manu Sporny: To wrap up, the mistake that I made was underestimating the amount of influence the new members would have, particularly if they didn't understand the proposal. Because there was such a large group in the room (40 or so), it was difficult to combat that.
Manu Sporny: As far as next steps, I have calls scheduled with staff contacts. WIll propose something about identity and credentialing in Japan at TPAC.
Manu Sporny: It would be good to have something there (a mini workshop etc), because we'll have 500 people there
Eric Korb: (Sorry missed a little bit there) - The frustration for me was that during breakouts/lunch/dinner, there was a lot of support for credentials, but people just didn't speak up.
Eric Korb: But that's the standards process, and it's not going to deter us. Richard and I did pursue to Manu that a stronger place we could go could be IMS Global.
Eric Korb: That could potentially position us in a stronger place. But it really comes down to getting the support from the stakeholders.
Eric Korb: I think we continue to work, continue to work with IMS, Badge Alliance, and stay the course.
Richard Varn: Let me pile on. There are two kinds of people who spoke up in opposition: vested interests in doing something different, and another guy who didn't know much about anything and overstated everything.
Richard Varn: How is consensus defined? I'd rather work in a place where you ask "who objects to this and why"? Why not ask the group between meetings? .. if you object to this, what would you have it do instead?"
Richard Varn: I like the vote strategy -- think IMS Global presents opportunities to do stuff with credentials that W3C doesn't.Maybe with a yes-and in a health-care specific forum
Manu Sporny: If W3C doesn't see people knocking on his door, tell me where his door is, and we'll knock on it.
Manu Sporny: W3C process doesn't require 100% consensus. Unfortunately in the pre-consensus process, we got tied up and never got past it. What I was trying to do by day 3 was to at least collect some kind of consensus position from the group, and we were blocked from doing that group. Mainly because the group to there was to figure out what the payments charter would be, and they removed everything noncritical from their path to that which included the credentials stuff.
Richard Varn: Is there an interim process? Can we ask between meetings?
Manu Sporny: Yes, but it takes longer in the interirm
Matt Stone: Is the next opportunity TPAC?
Sunny Lee: Question: previously we were talking about fast track status to a working group - what happens to the planning work we've done to make this happen?
Manu Sporny: The next opportunity is the next couple weeks. I'm going to go back to the (mailing list) and start pushing them to come up with some kind of consensus.
Manu Sporny: At TPAC it would be good to shoot for the first Credential WG meeting
Manu Sporny: I think if we can create a charter by August, focus on recruiting effort particularly strongly, we could still make the TPAC start.
Sunny Lee: Manu, yes that's my question
Manu Sporny: We can use a lot of the work we've been doing.
Manu Sporny: We're doing the work that an IG would be doing right now, if it were created
Manu Sporny: Whether we're on the fast track or slow track, the same work is still necessary
Manu Sporny: The only real remaining thing to do to see if we can do a fast track WG, is to get the groups in.
Manu Sporny: Richard, to answer your question about what the w3c ceo cares about, he cares about new large members. The W3C doesn't like chartering new groups unless they can see success, and the metric is about 30 organizations interested.
Nate Otto: Could you give me an idea, I think you put recruiting on the agenda a bit later, could you give us some basic TODOs on what the people on the call can do to make the process happen? [scribe assist by Dave Longley]
Manu Sporny: Let's talk about recruiting at the last part of the call
Manu Sporny: Let's get an update from the BA, and then talk about recruiting
Manu Sporny: Any more Qs on face to face?

Topic: Badge Alliance updates

Manu Sporny is scribing.
Nate Otto: I can give you minor updates - on June 10th in Los Angles, MacArthur and Mozilla Foundation convened a meeting - contracted w/ Concentric Sky to get badges ecosystem together - and others by conference call - goal was to figure out how MacArthur/Mozilla would support Badge Alliance going forward.
Nate Otto: Digital media and learning portfolio was spun out of MacArthur - start being core supporter of badges - all badge work came from DML portfolio, that's going to be a NewOrg - start process of recommendations - transition point - what can we do to make sure Badge Alliance most effectively supports necessary work going forward.
Nate Otto: I've been reaching out to folks on this call - how badge alliance needs to act - what they need to focus on in order to ensure the right supports for developing the standard are built.
Nate Otto: I think we're going to do greater focus on technical standard itself. Done a great job of bringing in use cases, need to deliver on high-quality experiences and implementations - very nicely interoperable - support for W3C group - whatever this work needs to happen - BA needs to support that as well.
Nate Otto: I'm writing up recommendations for NewOrg - there will be future announcements coming out - strongly committed to making badges and online verifiable credential a part of online educational requirements.
Sunny Lee: Yep, sounds good.
Nate Otto: If anyone is interested - Badges community has meeting at 9am Pacific
Nate Otto: Will talk about this a bit this week and next week.
Manu Sporny: When will the full announcement be made?
Nate Otto: In a couple of weeks.
Nate Otto: A little bit of wayfinding going on at the moment.

Topic: Focus on Recruiting New Members

Nate Otto is scribing.
Manu Sporny: Nate's question was what can people on this list do to help recruit?
Manu Sporny: Where we were was drafting this recruiting letter, which is not done yet. We need to get that done. That's one option.
Manu Sporny: The other option is that people in this group can take the base of the recruiting letter and send it to orgs they know, tailored as needed for each of those groups. Divide and conquor approach, everyone chases the leads they have.
Eric Korb: A pointer, I'm more in favor of trying to craft your own letter.
Eric Korb: I see this more as a personal invitations at a peer to peer (rolodex) level. What concerns about consistency and message do we need to be aware of from a w3c process level?
Matt Stone: I think you're right -- let's get these down to a list of 3-5 value propositions that we can each use to craft letters to people we know
Eric Korb: Question: I heard a comment about multiple people both hitting the same prospects? Should we try to avoid that. I thought the idea we could sign up for people we hoped to recruit. I think it's ok to hear stereo from multiple people you trust, but wanted to make sure that would be ok
Manu Sporny: I think we shouldn't have people hammering one company with four people contacting them at one time, so sign up to chase after an organization, chase after them, and if you hit a point wher eyou're not getting a good response, we'll figure out how to hand it off to someone else in the group
Nate Otto: I'm fine with that - move quickly - on weekly calls - update on recruiting - update on handoff - make sure letters are going out at a reasonable speed. [scribe assist by Manu Sporny]
Manu Sporny: Ok
Manu Sporny: Any other comments/concerns about recruiting stuff
Matt Stone: What kinds of organizations are we trying to target for this?
Manu Sporny: The organizations that are the kind that will be convincing to W3C. Large, multinational orgs with big engineering resoruces. That's what W3C wants to see.
Manu Sporny: From a statistical perspective, the orgs that actually get the work done are smaller orgs, less than 50 people, who have skin in the game because credentials are a core part of their business.
Matt Stone: When we're talking to the larger groups, do we have the expectation from them to be a lot more from them than being a voice in the chorus?
Manu Sporny: The message we really send to large organizations are that the dues are a secondary thing. The core is that this tech is going to be a core part of your next generation products. If you can't find a way to make that argument to a company, you probably don't have the right company.
Manu Sporny: For example, for ETS or Pearson, it's clear that credentials and identity will be core to their next generation products. We know that there is some product line that is going to be affected by the work that's going here. You should really take the time to be involved in the work, so you know how to be involved in it when it comes to building your future products.
Richard Varn: We have an ecosystem map of types of companies involved if that would be helpful
Manu Sporny: Eric has put this graphic into some presentations
Richard Varn: That lends some structure to the discussion.
Richard Varn: Then if nobody knows a person from some of the companies in the map, we can just split them up and talk to them
Richard Varn: You might find that there are some company types that you'd be surprised care about this.
Manu Sporny: I think at this point we should try to coordinate less, and just start going after leads.
Nate Otto: Question - Is there room for people in credentialing organizations, the actual issuers?
Manu Sporny: Yes, there is great reason for folks on the business side, consumer protection, etc. Try to get a holistic group of people together to work on the standard, not just technology providers.
Eric Korb: It's fair to say that for educational institutions would be good to have here as well.
Manu Sporny: The problem we've had with universities is they find it really hard to send representatives to participate in the work. The people who end up showing up are graduate students, who tend only to stick around for a couple years before they get their pHDs and leave. You're right that the fees are very low for a university to join, and if the university is involved in the future of crednetials and badging, then it makes perfect sense for them to join.
Manu Sporny: 4 Minutes left. Unless anyone objects, I think we're going to shift into recruiting mode, and get as many people involved in the work as possible.
Manu Sporny: Goal is to convince the w3c that there is a large community of people who want this to happen quickly.
Dave Longley: Is the goal for these companies to contact the w3c directly or to make commitments to us that we can communicate to the W3C?
Manu Sporny: The second approach. Jeff would hate me if we told everybody to email him directly.
Manu Sporny: Any other business?
Manu Sporny: Thank you everyone for the call and the ideas and helping to step up and recruit people. I think, let's start ASAP. If the next thing you do after you get off this call is pick up the phone to recruit someone, that would be great.
Manu Sporny: Next week: an update on recruiting, and see everyone on the mailing list in the interim.