Grants:PEG/Cascadia Wikimedians/WikiConference USA 2016 + WikiProject Medicine Conference 2016
Statement of purpose:
WikiConference USA 2016 serves as the premier conference space for building and extending collaborations in the US and Canada between Wikipedia editors, Wikimedia chapters, Wikimedia contributors, free knowledge practitioners, higher education students and their faculty. Building on momentum established through two consecutive annual meetings in New York (2014) and Washington D.C. (2015), Wikimedia 2016 seeks to facilitate a partnership between Cascadia Wikimedians and the University of Washington to host the third WikiConference USA. In addition to building and extending the relationships between online contributors through sustained social interactions, WikiConference USA will introduce new contributors to more experienced editors, highlight innovative new projects, and offer focused community attention toward solving enduring problems for the editing community. (User:BobCummings)
Keynote presentation from 2015 by Law Professor Danielle Citron
Presentation from 2015: "Open Biomedical Knowledge – Wikipedia, Wikidata, and beyond"
Presentation from 2015: "Cochrane-Wikipedia Initiative"
Cascadia Wikimedians will host a regional Wikimedia conference for about 300 attendees in Seattle in August 2016.
- Schedule will be similar to the 2014 schedule or 2015 schedule for WikiConference USA, with one or more dedicated tracks for topics of interest to WikiProject Medicine
- Scale, format, and focus will be similar to previous years
- The likely location of the conference is the en:University of Washington's Seattle Campus.
- The University of Washington is ranked by US News and World Report as #11 on its list of Best Global Universities in 2016. The school enrolled 45,213 graduate and undergraduate students as of Fall 2014.
- The University of Washington School of Medicine was ranked by US News and World Report as the #1 school for primary care and the #10 school for research, with 938 students enrolled. UW's School of Nursing was ranked #4 and has 374 students. The UW is also highly ranked in clinical psychology (#2), public health (#6), physical therapy (#27), health care management (#10), pharmacy (#10), and other health fields.
- The headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also located in Seattle. The Gates Foundation has a strong interest in global public health, and it would be ideal if we could engage them in participating in the conference.
- This grant is related to a Wikimedia NYC grant request for a scholarship program for this same conference. See Grants:PEG/Wikimedia New York City/2016 WikiConference USA scholarship program#Activities. Both of these grants need WMF funding for the WikiConference to proceed as in the past two years.
- The WikiProject Medicine Foundation may pursue a separate funding scheme for travel scholarships for its attendees
- Wikimedia DC will oversee conference programming.
- In consultation with Cascadia, WMNYC will lead the contract negotiations with the event coordinator and other service providers.
- The event coordinator selected (possibly University of Washington Conference Management) will provide paid staff to do things which volunteers ought not do.
- Negotiate rates
- Hire and coordinate with essential paid services including catering and venue cleanup
- Pay bills
- Do accounting
- Manage contracts
- Centralize communication among volunteers
- Publish the planning schedule
- Other stakeholders can join planning as they like in the usual wiki way
- Cascadia Wikimedians will do the following things:
- Select and reserve the venue (likely a building on the University of Washington's Seattle Campus for the "content" sessions, and possibly UW dorm space for at least some of the visitors who need overnight guest accommodations)
- Do local in-person advertising
- Provide on-the-ground volunteer staff support during the event (probably augmented with UW events staff)
- English Wikipedia
- Wikimedia Commons
- Other Wikimedia projects of interest to contributors in the United States and Canada
Fit with strategy
- Increasing participation
Measures of success
- See also the related measures of success for the scholarship management part of this conference. Grants:PEG/Wikimedia_New_York_City/2016_WikiConference_USA_scholarship_program#Measures_of_success
- The primary success metric will be hosting a pleasant conference.
Resources and risks
- Institutional memory of 2014 and 2015 national WikiConferences. Many of the same organizers are overseeing this one.
- Cascadia Wikimedians have a good relationship with the likely venue, the University of Washington, and my be able to secure institutional support or sponsorship from within the UW
- Other local organizational partners in the area include other free culture community meetups and GLAM institutions
- The backing of Wikimedia community organizers in the United States confirms community interest and support
- UW has an experienced Conference Management department.
- Lots of things can go wrong with conferences
- In 2014 the conference organizers had a stalker. Volunteers were clueless and the WMF was embarrassed by this, not that it was anyone's fault except the stalker's own.
- There is little worry about problems with community participation - things worked well in previous years, even though this is a usual risk with volunteer-run conferences
- Multiple stakeholders must confirm investment in the conference simultaneously to proceed
- WM NYC has to confirm scholarship funding
- Wikimedia DC + others have to confirm online organization, particularly for conference programming
- Our nonprofit affiliate with staff has to confirm paid staff support for event organization
- Cascadia Wikimedians is the smallest and least experienced organizational presentation partner - they need the support of these others to fully commit, but the others cannot commit until and unless funding from this grant is available
Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines. Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.
Project budget table
See sample expenses published for the 2014 NYC conference at Grants:PEG/WM_US-NYC/WikiConference_USA_2014/Report#Expenses. The budget for this year will be comparable with two major exceptions. Those exceptions are that scholarships are in another budget at Grants:PEG/Wikimedia New York City/2016 WikiConference USA scholarship program, and that we need to pay venue costs whereas in 2014 and 2015 we had donors provide the venues for free.
Estimated costs are as follows:
- Scholarships - 40,000
- Venue - 30,000, which is 10,000 for each of 3 days (This is a very preliminary estimate based on past conferences. Note that we might be able to get a discounted rate if we get institutional sponsorship from a department within UW. In case of discount, unused funds will be returned.)
- Event coordinator - 10,000, paid professional at University of Washington venue. In 2015 Wiki Education Foundation was generous to donate this and do accounting, legal, negotiation, etc. Must be paid staff.
- Venue staffing
- Security: $1,000
- A/V: $2,000
- Porter: $2,000
- Catering: $10,000
- Video: $5,000
- Coffee: $2,000
- Printing: $2,000
- Incidental: $6,000
|Number||Category||Item description||Unit||Number of units||Cost per unit||Total cost||Currency||Notes|
|1||venue||physical meeting space||1 day||3||10,000||30,000||USD||Venue is University of Washington, including auditorium, conference lobby, and classrooms for breakout sessions|
|2||event coordinator||a person who coordinates non-volunteer duties||event duration||1 person||10,000||10,000||USD||One option for hiring this person is Wiki Education Foundation, which provided this service in 2015. Another option is the university itself, Conference Services. Still another option is a local nonprofit incubator which provides these services.|
|3||security||a security officer provided by venue||1 hour||40||25||1000||USD||security officer patrols event|
|4||audio/video support||A/V support provided by venue||1 hour||40||50||2000||USD||tech support for microphones, projectors, and on-site video|
|5||facilities support||doorman, janitorial||1 hour||80||25||2000||USD||cleanup, doors|
|6||food catering||meals||1 meal||600||16.67||10,000||USD||includes lunch (3 days) and dinner one day, for each of 150 people. 150 people * 4 meals = 600 feedings, each costing ~16.67|
|7||video||record as many sessions as possible||1 hour||100||50||5,000||USD||recording will be ~20 hours, then ~30 hours processing. We will call for bids or ideas for more efficiency. 50/hour is much less than the 125/hour local market rate and the demand for this is loud and pervasive.|
|7||coffee||1 coffee break for one person||900||2.25||2,000||USD||150 people, morning and afternoon, on each of three days. 150*2*3=900 coffee breaks|
|8||printing||paper||1 conference||-||-||2,000||USD||Various costs, including pre-event advertising, signage at the event, reusable Wikimedia banners for Wikimedia Cascadia, and project highlighting with posters|
|9||scholarships||scholarships||1 funded attendee||64||625||40,000||USD||average scholarship cost in 2015 was 625 per person, with 32 awarded (20k). Because this city is ~10% of the size of past conferences, we request twice the scholarship funding.|
|10||incidental||~10% of total event cost, not including scholarships||6,000||USD||What could possibly go wrong?|
Scholarship budget details
- 40,000 - travel and lodging for grant recipients
- 5,000 will be fees to the travel agency which books this, effectively making 35,000 in travel scholarships
- 20,000 will be the same scholarship funding used for the NYC and DC conferences
- 15,000 will be for regional scholarships in Cascadia. This additional scholarship funding is necessary because the conference is in a metropolitan area 1/10 the size of the past two conferences. Particularly, this conference needs to fund group travel by bus from the nearby cities of Vancouver and Portland.
In 2014, 22,000 was the scholarship budget granted by the WMF for WikiConference USA in New York City. This conference will be in Seattle, a city with 1/10 of the population of New York, so an increase in scholarships funding from 2014 is requested, as more participants will need to travel.
In 2015 the scholarship budget was 20,000 for the conference in DC, organized with the Wiki Education Foundation.
The Wiki Education Foundation has an existing relationship with a travel agent in the United States and they will mentor WM NYC in using a travel agent to book trips for scholarship recipients, perhaps with their own travel agent
Total cost of project
Total amount requested
Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants Program. USD 110,000
Additional sources of revenue
Additional sources of revenue, other than the Project and Event Grants Program, that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded.
We may be able to negotiate these kinds of donations.
- Perhaps the university will give a reduced venue rate.
- Perhaps we can solicit funding from other sponsors.
- It is much easier to solicit donations when a conference is viable. Lots of people will support a conference that will happen, even when they would not give anything to a conference which is not confirmed.
See a description of non financial assistance available. Please inform the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requirements for non-financial assistance now. In past years Wikimedia Foundation staff have attended this event. It would be nice to have interested WMF staff attend again.
A budget for a comparable event with at a less expensive venue, Seattle University, was examined. The comparable event cost was $85,000, which had more participants, but only included $10,000 in scholarships (it had a more professional target audience).