Wikimania 2015 bids/Esino Lario/2015-2016

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We decided to apply in 2014 to host Wikimania in Esino Lario in 2016. We are aware that this is an unusual request and below we present the reasons and the implications of eventually supporting this proposal.

  • Proposed dates: Wikimania Esino Lario takes place in the last week of June 2016.
    • Pre-conference: Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd June 2016
    • Conference: Friday 24th, Saturday 25th, Sunday 26th June 2016.
    • Post-conference: Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th June 2016 .

In case the proposal Wikimania Esino Lario is considered relevant and valuable, we ask until December 2014 to fundraise and confirm our financial obligations.

Risk mitigation[edit]

Internal risks[edit]
Area (internal) Risk Result Impact Likelihood in 2015 Mitigation strategy 2015 Likelihood 2016 Mitigation strategy 2016
Location/Accommodation Limited accommodation, accommodation does not respond to the expected quality. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: first enquiry on the accommodation available (to Esino Lario owners only); random visit to apartments and dorms; feedback from the apartment owners; consensus on the definition of the reimbursement and definition of the request to participants; definition of alternative possibilities. Involvement of Esino Lario tourist office staff and definition of a coordinator for the task (Catherine de Senarclens).
  • 1 year to prepare the accommodation: request of apartments to owners not living in Esino Lario; census of the accommodation and apartments (information, photos, status, request of upgrade), definition of number of beds for each apartment, editing of instructions for each apartment, definition of people/groups for apartment or typology of acomodation and management of special needs. Information for participants before they register (to understand the atmosphere and define their expectations.
Medium
  • 2 years to prepare the accommodation. Please refer to 2015 for the tasks.
  • 1 extra year allows also to imagine the follow up (centralized website for the apartment and the accommodation in Esino, proposal of establishing a diffuse hotel).
Location/Food Disorganized lunch and dinner, waiting time, not sufficient quantity and variety of food. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: enquiry on the restaurants and bars available; discussions with the restaurant and bars owners; request of pre-invoices to catering services; definition of prices and presentation of issues related to special diets. Definition of a coordinator of the task who can review menus and provide feedback and hints to restaurants, bars and catering (Tommaso Fara). Including in the budget catering expected costs for lunch and coffee breaks.
  • 1 year to manage the food.
Medium 2 years to manage the food. More time also allows us to browse and implement solutions which can enrich the variety (es. street food, chefs in accomodation with kitchen).
Location/Transport Disorganized transport, waiting time, difficulty to reach Esino Lario. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: request of pre-invoices to bus companies, hypothesis of number of participants and flows; including in the budget expected costs for transport (Varenna-Esino and transport within Esino Lario; definition of a price for participants to organize direct transport from the airports.
  • 1 year to manage transport.
Medium 2 years to manage transport.
Location/Venues Not enough venues, equipment does not respond to the expected needs. The event is a failure. High High
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: list of venues; collecting maps of venues, identifying needs and limits (accessibility, equipment, current and future use); collecting data (maps, details); definition of priorities and related budget; definition of the equipment needed.
  • 1 year to manage the venues. 5 months to fundraise for the necessary upgrades (no time to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful) and 5 months to implement the upgrades.
  • To manage risks (in particular issues related to how much time is necessary to implement the upgrades) the proposal looked only at interventions priority 1 (interventions which are indispensable to host Wikimania).
Low
  • 2 years to manage the venues.
  • 5 months to fundraise for the necessary upgrades (with time until December 2014, which allows to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful) and 17 months to implement the upgrades.
  • More time allows to consider also interventions priority 2 (interventions which are not indispensabile to host Wikimania but which can provide better conditions and leaving a greater legacy). Time also allows to use more efficiently the budget for the equipment with careful expenses thought also for the future use of the venues.
Location/Connectivity Connectivity does not respond to the conference requirements. The event is a failure. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: collecting data on the status, definition of the strategy, definition of a budget, definition of a coordinator with experience in ICT for development and connectivity in remote areas (Simone Sala).
  • 1 year to manage the connectivity.
Low

2 years to manage the connectivity. More time to implement and test the system, to manage problems, and to define the best solutions also for future uses.

Program / Sessions he program does not introduce any new element. Sessions are poorly selected and they do not respond to expectations and needs of the attendees. The event is a failure. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which include an overview of past wikimania, potential target groups and their expectations, review of the feedback, format of sessions.
  • 5 members of the team already focussed on the working sessions.
  • 5 months prepare the program: identify other 5 members of the team who can work and review the structure of the working session and prepare call for proposals; specifically define the program, involve the community, collaborate with the program committee.
Low 12 months to prepare the program.
Program / Special events and excursions The location does not offer any enjoyable activity, it is boring, it does not respond to the expectation of the attendees of enjoying their time together. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: contacts with artists (for music, performances and workshops), definition of a budget, definition of a coordinator for the special events and two people involved in managing the excursions; establishing a partnership with the Comunità montana and Regional Grigne Park for excursions in the mountains.
  • 1 year to manage the special events and excursions.
Low 2 years to manage the special events and excursions. More time can also allow to enrich the program with more events and a better calendar before and after Wikimania. This can allow to take full advantage of the communication and visibility of Wikimania.
Organization/Financial plan Incapacity of responding to the financial obligations. The promoters are incapable of responding to the financial obligations. High High
  • Preparation of the bid which includes: identification of potential donors, definition of the budget, definition of priorities for upgrades.
  • 3 months to prepare applications and to contact sponsors (no time to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful).
  • To implement the event in 2015 the financial strategy is based on reducing the budget to the essential, to focus on 1 donor (and the specific costs this donor and the relevant program can support), to include in applications only upgrades which are the most easy and fast to implement, and to consider specifically donors which can respond in a short time.
Low Fundraising structured in two phases:
  • 5 months to fundraise for the necessary upgrades (with time until December 2014, which allows to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful). The first phase focuses on guarantee the financial sustainability of the event and to cover its necessary costs (focus on priority 1 upgrades).
  • Other 12 months to further fundraise with donors and sponsors. This fundraising can provide funds also for priority 2 upgrades and to take full advantage of the organization of Wikimania (communication, events, outreach, side events, side projects).
Organization/Stakeholders Stakeholders do not support the event or they withdraw from their support. The event demonstrates to have a very limited capacity of collaborating with people and institutions. Medium High Preparation of the bid: contacts with stakeholders, presentation of the proposal (concept) to stakeholders, asking for letters of support or resolutions and collecting them. Medium Time until December 2014 to test the proposal and to see if it can get the necessary financial support to be implemented. The implementation in 2016 also provides a start-up phase of the project in which not only the concept of the proposal is supported but stakeholders can have the time to see, discuss and verify the plan. The time also allows stakeholders to consider their eventual in-kind and financial commitment.
Organization/Stakeholders Wikimania Esino Lario produces a disproportionate increase of work for Wikimedia Italia. Wikimedia Italia staff is overcharged, volunteers are overcharged, regular activities are postponed or treasured. The general atmosphere and the workflow of the association is challenged. It is important to mention that applications and request to donors need to be signed by Wikimedia Italia; Wikimedia Italia is the registered association which can make requests (an individual or informal group can not); Wikimedia Italia is not the only institution which can endorse the project and sign grant requests, but for some donors it is the most suitable institution. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid: self-stending budget, the budget includes staff and general costs, the financial plan which does not include funds from Wikimedia Italia, the preparatory phase did not include the direct involvement of Wikimedia Italia board. Identification of a person who will manage the fundraising with institutions (Iolanda Pensa).
  • Wikimedia Italia has financially supported with a board resolution the involvement of a conference manager in the preparatory phase of the bid. The proposal is also linked to current activities in which Wikimedia Italy is involved (GLAMs in Lombardy Region - ArcheoWiki and Wiki Loves Monuments; outreach in schools and libraries; The Alps on Wikipedia). Wikimedia Italia is not expected to cover the costs of the event; it is expected in the agreement to promote it (communication, role, acknowledgment) and to be the financial sponsor of the event (which means that grants and financial support pass through Wikimedia Italia account and expenses are monitored by the association (accountability).
  • The proposal is conceived to boost the visibility and communication of Wikimedia projects in Italy; it is important to consider side initiatives (i.e. training for volunteers) to make sure Wikimedia Italia can take full advantage of Wikimania outreach and take care of its follow up and its fall-outs.
Low
  • Time until December 2014 to guarantee the necessary financial support from donors (also Wikimedia Italia can decide to support the event with in-kind contribution or a budget). This time allows to to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful.
  • Possibility of involving a person who can work on Wikimania and on other linked initiatives of Wikimedia Italia.
Organization The complexity of the logistics and the implementation of the financial plan are considered so challenging and such a priority, that all other aspects of the conference are underestimated and not followed properly. The conference only provides the necessary. Other important elements such as the structure and content of the program, the quality and variety of food, the quality of the special events and excursions is managed in the last minute. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High High
  • Preparation of the bid: review of existing documentation and past Wikimanias, proposal which includes all the aspects of the conference, identification of members of the team who can focus on specific aspects (not only logistics and budget).
  • Necessity of involving a project manager who monitors the advancement of the project in all areas.
Low
  • More time to take care of all the aspects of the conference.
  • Necessity of involving a project manager who monitors the advancement of the project in all areas.
External risks[edit]
Area (external) Risk Result Impact Likelihood in 2015 Mitigation strategy 2015 Likelihood 2016 Mitigation strategy 2016
Stakeholders Lack of support from the local hotels, dorms and apartment owners. Hotel or dorms in Esino Lario close and they can not be used. Limited accommodation, accommodation does not respond to the expected quality. High Medium Request of support during the bidding process. We didn’t count the available accommodation: we specifically checked the support of people. We consider that the number of available accommodation can increase and decrease. We set 700 beds in Esino Lario as a reasonable goal and we planed the management of transport from Varenna and Perledo. We also set the number of participants accordingly. Medium During the process of requesting support we noticed that time is an important element to allow people to take the decision and to commit to the event. Time until December 2014 to double check the accommodation.
Stakeholders Lack of support from the local restaurants and bars. Restaurants and bars in Esino Lario close or they can not be used. Disorganized lunch and dinner, waiting time, not sufficient quantity and variety of food. High Medium Contacts with restaurants and bars in Esino Lario. We set 1’000 people as the number of participants. We considered the number of seats in local restaurants, we planned the tensile structure and we didn’t consider the option of sandwiches. Medium Time until December 2014 to double check bars, restaurants and catering.
Stakeholders People can not believe it is possibile to organize a conference in a small village and they are unsure if the information provided is true and correct. The discussion is influenced by a negative bias and it concentrates on evaluating the idea rather than getting things done. Negative atmosphere or the bid is not selected. High High Detailed executive plan. Clear and transparent overview of current status, plan, budget and risks. Full access to further data and documents, possibility to talk directly to all the people involved in the planning. Review of the Jury, possibility for the community to contribute to review the bid, possibility to involve other people in reviewing the bid, possibility to visit Esino Lario.

It is important to mention that it is in the interest of everybody to produce a successful event. Wikimania Esino Lario had required and will require a lot of work. Winning the bid and being incapable of properly implement the event will only produce a failure and a bad reputation.

Low Time until December 2014 to double check the executive plan and to allow the organizers to demonstrate that they can cover their financial obligations.
2015-2016 The Jury and the Steering Committee do not want to change the timing of Wikimania and to approve a project for 2016. The bid is not selected. High High We present the reasons and implications of proposing in 2014 to host Wikimania Esino Lario in 2016. Medium The arguments we present can be relevant in the future for other Wikimanias.
Organization/Financial plan Wikimedia Foundation is worried to have to cover the financial obligations of the promoters. The bid is not selected. High High
  • Preparation of the bid: executive project, expenses, financial plan, contacts with the Wikimania coordinator for Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Proposal in 2014 to host Wikimania Esino Lario in 2016. This proposal allows the organizers to demonstrate that they can cover their financial obligations.
  • Request to Wikimedia Foundation of 250’000 $: this request is proportionate with other events of similar size, it is considered a reasonable budget for the event and it does not ask Wikimedia Foundation the maximum budget of Wikimania.
  • Definition in the budget of an amount of 20’000 euro for contingencies.
Low Request of time until December 2014 to allow the organizers to demonstrate that they can cover their financial obligations.
Organization/Financial plan The financial support collected by potential sponsors and grant-makers is insufficient to cover the event. The event is cancelled. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid: identification of potential donors, definition of the budget, definition of priorities for upgrades.
  • 3 months to prepare applications and to contact sponsors (no time to redefine the location in case the fundraise is unsuccessful).
Low In case of no other financial support is confirmed by December 2014, the event can be cancelled and relocated.
Organization/Expenses The expenses planned are less than the actual expenses necessary to organize Wikimania Esino Lario. The event produces a financial loss. High Medium Bidding process: detailed executive project, detailed budget, involvement of Giulia Sepe in asking estimated costs to companies, double check of the budget, review of the budget with Wikimania coordinator for Wikimedia Foundation, including in the budget 20'000 € of contingencies. Request to Wikimedia Foundation of 250'000 $ which is less than the total budget Wikimedia Foundation can use to support Wikimania. Low Time until December 2014 to double check the budget, ask for further estimated costs to other companies and start the fundraising.
Stakeholders The Esino Lario city council will change in May 2014 and at the moment we do not know who will be the candidates. This change can in particular produce delays in resetting procedures, complete existing infrastructural projects, and providing the necessary authorizations to implement the infrastructural upgrades planned in the project High Medium Preparation of the bid: definition of priorities for upgrades. The upgrades selected are not complex infrastructural interventions: they include setting the connectivity, buying and installing two stairs in the Sport Hall and preparing the collaborative space (repurposing the building which includes electricity-wired, painting and forniture). None of those interventions require authorizations of the Sovrintendenza ai beni ambientali (regional authority), they focus on two Esino Lario city council buildings, and they do not require complex yards. Low Time allows to properly implement the upgrades in collaboration with the newly elected Esino Lario city council and eventually to implement larger upgrades if the fundraising allows it.
Participants Attendees arrive to Esino Lario thinking the conference is just as the others they attended. They expect to find the underground, millions of bars and nightclubs and public night transport guarantee until 4am. Clash between expectations and reality. Negative feedback from the participants; the event is unsuccessful. High Medium Clear and transparent overview of what we and Esino Lario can offer. Low After two year of talking about it and the event is more likely to be properly understood for what it is.
Safety The venues and the location do not respond to the Italian safety regulations. The event is cancelled. High Medium Preparation of the bid: involvement of a person in charge of safety (Pietro Pensa is an engineer specialized in building and working also on safety for Milan Expo sites; he has been involved in the definition of the upgrades and the number of people who can use the Esino Lario city council venues according to the Italian safety regulation). In the bid the number of people who can use the venues has been set not according to the maximum number of people who can fit the rooms but according to the number of exists and the distance to the exists. Low Time until December 2014 to double check the venues and the regulations.
Medical necessities Attendees have simple medical necessities; medical products, common illness, small injuries. Medical necessities need to be managed. High High
  • Preparation of the bid: definition of the timing to extend the opening hours of the pharmacy and contacts with the association Soccorso Val d’Esino
  • Opening hours of the pharmacy, involvement of the association Soccorso Val d’Esino, presence of the doctor in Esino Lario during the event and research of volunteer doctors.
High Time until December 2014 to double check the management of simple medical necessities.
Medical necessities A medical emergency occurs. The medical emergency need to be managed. High Medium
  • Preparation of the bid: plan for the medical assistance also in case of emergency.
  • Involvement of the association Soccorso Val d’Esino, presence of the doctor in Esino Lario during the event and research of volunteer doctors, informing hospitals about the event.
Medium Time until December 2014 to double check the management of medical emergencies.
Weather It rains for the entire week. Difficulty in enjoying the week by taking advantage of the outdoor activities and the location. Not particularly pleasant walking distances. Medium Medium
  • Organization of the event in late June (which is normally a good season).
  • All the program is based on the possibility that it will rain all week (events and special events are all planned indoors; only the mountain excursions can be negatively influenced by the rain).
  • Organization of local transport in Esino Lario.
Medium Same strategy as in 2015.
Expectation Wikimedians want to have the biggest Wikimania ever. The bid is not selected. High Medium The proposal explicitly defines the number of people who can participate in Wikimania Esino Lario, it presents an hypothesis of participants and it highlights the positive implications of an event which is smaller compared to the number of attendees of Wikimania Washington DC and those planned for Wikimania London. The number of participants is comparable with Wikimania Hong Kong (and other previous events) and the request of funds to Wikimedia Foundation is defined accordingly. The limited number of participants is not a bug of Wikimania Esino Lario, it is a feature. The jury can decide if this specific approach is relevant or not. Medium Same strategy as in 2015.

Implications of providing 2 years to prepare Wikimania[edit]

Disadvantages - 2 years to prepare Wikimania Advantages - 2 years to prepare Wikimania
  • If accepted, the proposal requires a change in the process.
  • The process can be changed only with a consensus (at least of the Steering Committee and Jury).
  • Some people can consider it an irregular process (even if transparent and authorized by the Steering Committee and Jury).
  • Some people can consider it unfair to other candidates (even if nobody seems to have asked it before).
  • Team. Two years allows the team to properly cross with previous teams, to take advantage of collaborating with the current Wikimania team, to provide its support and to build its skills. In other words thanks to time, Wikimania teams can team up.
  • Diverse locations. One year is sufficient to organize Wikimania in a fully equipped city but it is not enough to organize the conference in a broader range of locations (also where there are not necessary very experienced teams of volunteers).
  • Outreach. Wikimania is a great chance of visibility and communication of the Wikimedia projects. Two years allows to take full advantage of Wikimania outreach and leverage (side programs, programs in local languages, involvement of stakeholders and partners...).
  • Diverse programs. One year is very short: in the majority of the cases you will get a conference which copy and paste solutions and avoids challenges, risks and broader visions to assure it is simply manageable. More time allows to better develop the concept of the conference and to plan and manage all aspects of it, also the new ones.
  • Enlarging the number of bids. At the moment there are few bids. Two years can allow you to trigger new bids (as the committee is already planning to do), to support the proposals, to mirror the volunteer for a longer period to get them ready and to strengthen their skills, and to allow groups to team up one edition to the other (which would be a great advantage for everybody).
  • Fundraising. Two years allows to facilitate the fundraising with sponsors and grant-makers. It is important to consider that in many countries sponsorships are not necessarily the most efficient financial strategy compared to public, semipublic and private grant-makers, which require applications, co-fundings (WMF support to the winning bid can be used as co-funding), and a longer process (around 3-6 months for a reply). Fundraising can also be relevant to enlarge the number of scholarships in collaboration with other institutions and existing programs (i.e. youth exchanges, mobility programs).
  • Decision. Wikimania has currently a Jury and a Steering Committee in place which can take this decision. The decision can be discussed with the community.


Notes[edit]