Grants talk:PEG/WM RS/Wikimedia Management Congress 2011; Belgrade, Serbia

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Well, I have read the request and this is what I have to say:

1.-The topic of the congress seems to me to be very important ... many chapters have been professionalized and very probably, many finish being professionalized. A Congress to change opinions between whom already are now professionalized, those who go in way of it being and who still it are not but they it can manage to be, is a very interesting idea, which I believe that would be a benefit to our movement. (I am not going to expose here the reasons for professionalization, but I can do it privately to whom like a long, long talk XD)

2.-I know that the Serbian are working very much to manage to celebrate the Congress, obtaining supports and trying to cheapen the costs.

3.-But ... more than 20.000 Euros!!! ... it is enough money!... I cannot criticize the numbers they give, because I do not know the standard of living in Serbia, but I would like much that they were facilitating things to me as the category of the chosen Hotels, who is going to serve the meals, etc ... probably a more detailed budget might clear my doubts.

4.-I have not just understood the epigraph " Accomodation and meals for the organizers " ... I do not undestand why they have to rent an apartment, and in addition pay transport Home-Beograd-Home; neither I understand that be necessary to pay the meals of the organizers for 21 dyas ... I wanted a more detailed exhibition of the reasons that lead to renting an apartment and to pay in addition transport.

My conclusion:

Though the event is very interesting, and I believe that it is necessary, it seems to me that perhaps they can give slightly more of information. Nevertheless, I would encourage WMF to do everything possible in order to celebrate a Congress like this.--Marctaltor 23:56, 14 June 2011 (UTC)GAC member[reply]

Thank you Marctaltor for starting the discussion. Yes, we try very hard to have the costs as low as possible. Everyone can see what we got for free or with a discount. We saved more than 15.000€ so far. (But we are not finished yet.) But: I want to highlight that we want to have a congress in a high quality, but many chapters from Asia, Africa and South America want to come and learn, and they do not have money :(. We must help them.

  • About accommodation: How we chose it. We we wanted to have “a fair deal”. We asked several hotels for offer. We are an established team that checks prices carefully. The most expensive offer was 60€ per night. We had only two requirements: to be clean and cheap. The offer what we chose includes free breakfast, insurance and visitors tax. We discussed the best place for other meals and we decided to have it served at the venue. Why? Because the hotel can not serve all types of meals. It is very important to have different types of food (vegetarian, vegan or halal ) if we have people who request it. The second reason is time. If we eat at venue we will save time. About accommodation I want to say that it is not reserved yet because we do not have money for that. *About transportation reimbursement: the 3 managers are coming from 3 different cities, Berlin, Budapest and Novi Sad to Belgrade and it cost money.
  • About accomodation and meals for the organizers: The managers will come to BG 15 days before the official start of WMC. It is necessary because during this 15 days we will have a lot of work. We must hold 2 crew trainings, 2 checks of technical equipment, checks at the venue and speaking with their staff, checking the hotel, catering service, collaboration with media, preparation for a press conference, and welcoming guests. We can not do that in two days. We come from different cities and we need to eat and sleep somewhere. If you are planning an event like a congress you need a safe place in which you can put money, important documents, computers and laptops. We also need it for planning and held internal discussions. This cannot be a youth-hostel, or a tent. ;) --MikyM 21:25, 16 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
As a short note for now, I'm just wondering on whether we really need yet another conference, as I would believe that Chapters Conference and Wikimania (just a month before this proposed conference) should be able to cover all the topics listed here (and there are some additional conferences already in existence such as the fundraising conference). Harel 05:22, 15 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
I believe we must be done the necessary things in order that the movement works well. The work of the volunteers is very important and the base of the whole idea, but ... there comes a moment in which the volunteers already cannot do the work. Normally the volunteer is in the habit of having his own life out of the projects wikimedia and between that one life and the projects normally will choose the first one; you cannot demand from a volunteer what to a professional, neither to level of knowledge nor to level of responsibility. Us the own history of the WMF demonstrates it: if you come to certain point of growth, you end up by needing professionals.
About the number of conferences: what Harel indicates it's true, there is a conference of chapters, there is a Wikimanía, there is a meeting for the fundraising ... but:
  • 1.-These meetings they are going to be every year, by what a conference like that might never be celebrated ... I am not felt him to the idea of that because there are certain annual conferences, cannot celebrate others dedicated to other matters.
  • 2 -. Neither the conference of Chapters, nor Wikimanía, far from it the meeting for the fundraising are places to discuss the topic of the professionalization, it seems to me.
  • 3.-Also we might say " let's take advantage Of Wikimania and should do there everything; meeting of chapters, meeting for the fundraising, Iberocoop's meeting, etc. Etc " But I believe that it will not look like to many people a great idea. Better we dedicate every meeting to what it must be dedicated.--Marctaltor 09:52, 15 June 2011 (UTC)GAC Member[reply]
Hello Marcos :),
I agree with you mostly. Sometimes it is counterproductive to stuff one event too much and with so many different themes. The danger is that the people lose the concentration when there is too many they must focus on.
@ Harel: The difference between the conferences are based on their conceptional character:
  • Wikimania:
Character: The annual Wikimedia-World-Festival with several not special focused talks, discussions, presentations, music, party and cultural events.
Target group: Everybody who wants to attend
  • Wikimedia Conference:
Character: The annual Wikimedia-World-politics-meet-up. Talks and discussions about strategy and visions and theoretical topics.
Target group: Chapter officials and planners. (Limited to certain members.)
  • Wikimedia Management Conference:
Character: No festival, no theoretical stuff, no discussions about visions. The content will be: Analysis of the chapter-reality and consequent upon of it straight work on skills and management bottom up to the Wikimedia movement strategies.
Target group: Chapter-Executives and -managers and dedicated volunteers.
You can say, the WMC is the direct continuation to the Wikimedia Conference. The one is built up on the abilities of the other. Juliana 21:28, 16 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

questions after email[edit]


thanks a lot for getting the word out (I received via internal an email concerning this topic). I heard rumours on this for months, and I would have loved to know more about it in an earlier stage. I hope you don't mind if I have some questions (I will put them also on the mailing list, but also here like you suggested in your email):

  1. is there a logic behind combining these three tracks? Personally I have a little trouble seeing the overlap in participants between the office side and the "how to mentor new users on the projects". Somehow I'm having trouble to get my head around the idea and the added value - all three are very interesting topics, but there is so little overlap between them that I find it hard to imagine to find for example in WMNL or WMDE the two people who would be relevant for this whole event.
  2. from the website it is a bit unclear which are the chapters supporting it, and what supporting means - perhaps you could clarify?
  3. Is there a specific reason why you chose September as the month for this event? Since you are targeting chapters, and September will be a busy month for many chapters because of Wiki Loves Monuments, and because it is only one month after Wikimania - it doesn't strike me as the most obvious choice, but perhaps you have very good reasons :)
  4. Could you give an indication what budget is involved to organize this for the whole movement? (including all travel costs for all participants as far as likely reimbursed by participating chapters?) With a back-of-the-envelope calculation with 50 participants, average 250 euro travel costs and 30 euro per night accommodation I end up with
  5. Did I miss earlier communication about this event? I heard rumours about it, but somehow seemed to oversee the actual call for input and suggestions at an early stage.

Best regards, Effeietsanders 00:57, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Effeietsanders, thanks for your question. Here are some answers :)

  1. My opinion is: Yes, all topics are very important and interesting. Topic are separated into 3 days and people will have time for this. Participants will focus on topics which are most important for them.
  2. Yes, you are right. Our website is in progress and we still receive letters of support. The following chapters expressed their interest in the congress: Wikimedia Kenia, Wikimedia Indonesia, Wikimedia Macedonia, Wikimeda Hungary, Wikimedia Mexico. Some will support financially; they cover some cost of the technical equipment: Twoonix. Dom Omladine Beograd, Wikimedia Hungary, Wikimeda Serbia, Wikimedia DE.
  3. When we discussed the date, September seemed as perfect time. It was before we saw the date of WLM. But now, we are trying to move the date a few weeks, hopefully having it in October, because we want to welcome everyone who is interested to come.
  4. Yes. An event like this is always very expensive, especially if we count all the needs. We did the budget breakdown, which is on the grant page. In the first draft we had bigger numbers. And than we started to cut expenses and find sponsors. We saved more than 15.000€ so far and we continue to do so. Accommodation is ~28€/day (including breakfast, tax and insurance). If we count lunch and dinner it adds up 14€ plus. So accommodation and 3 meals are (28+7+7) 42€ per day per person. About travel cost. It was the most difficult to calculate because we do not know where people will come from. We looked our list of chapters, and what their capital city in they country is and after that we looked how much it would cost for them to come. It is 30€ to someone in the Balkans and 1000€ for someone coming from Africa or Asia :( Many, many chapters called me and told me: “Mile, we want to come but we are from a not so rich country and we do not have 1000€ for traveling”. I hope that I will figure out something for them. I’m using this time for appeal: All people and chapters who can help their friends from another chapter to come, please do that :))
  5. During the presentation of WMRS in Berlin, our representative mentioned the organization of the congress. There were talks about it during the informal parts of the conference. Reactions were positive and a few chapters gave their support even then. After that, there was a period in which the organizing team analyzed the situation and created the topics that have been presented. Now you have the opportunity to take a part in the discussion.Best! --MikyM 18:29, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for your reply. I would however really appreciate if you could enter into my first question: why this combination of topics that are seemingly totally unrelated and require totally different representatives each? The word management might be tied into each, but it is nonetheless totally different. Since you did not ask any input regarding the contents of the schedule to any of the chapters (maybe it was very shortly mentioned at the WMRS presentation, but that was all public communication there has ever been so far), you must have had very strong reasons to do so without further public requests for input.
Just for the record: My budget question was not just related to the money required for /you/ to organize it, but rather for the movement as a whole. Also if "rich" chapters send people, that costs donor money - and we should all add up every cost and see if that is actually worth the added value. Effeietsanders 20:10, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
P.S.: for those that were, like me, wondering when it was mentioned at the chapters meeting - it was during the 2 minute "State of the Chapter" for WMRS, in slide 18, as "International conference". So I guess it was indeed mentioned. Effeietsanders 20:18, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
(still awaiting reply)

I have hesitated in commenting on this proposal, because my initial response was negative. I am afraid it is still negative. I think there is a need for something like this, but I am not convinced by this proposal for a number of reasons. First, I think the time scale is wrong. September is just too early to organize something on the scale required. I should be run in the middle of next year. I recognize that the Serbian Chapter has already done a lot of planning, but they have not, it seems to me, drawn in other chapters to have a real input. Second, following that point, it needs to be an event in which many chapters are involved from a very early stage. All chapters need to have a real input on the goals of the conference and on the program. The five chapters that have expressed support are hardly representative, and do not, I think, include any that have moved a long way already on the road to professionalism, such as the German chapter. Third, funds should be sought not only from the WMF, but from those chapters who can afford to assist other chapters, and in some cases are already doing so. This is another way of involving other chapters. So, I think you need to postpone this event, and go back to the beginning and talk to all the other chapters, particularly the larger already professional chapters, about their needs and their ideas. I congratulate the Serbian chapter on coming up with a great idea, but it needs a lot more thought. --Bduke 22:35, 19 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Bduke. You decided to write comments even if you have negative opinion but that is very good. It is good because we can see what we did “not so good” and what we (or someone else) must do better next time. As I wrote, all chapter are informed about our idea. After several month of our work we informed all chapter with details (What, where, why, who..) WMF is not the only one who will support us financially. At the moment they cover only one part. 30% of all cost we saved as In-kind-contribution of several partners (including Twoonix, Dom Omladine and others who give some for free or with a discount. WM HU and WM DE will support with money. We asked several chapters for financial support and we asked more than 30 embassies, institutions and company. Last week chapters received email on internal list and we asked for support. Now I can use both hands and will send more emails.About program, we created the themes and now we started to find speakers. The offered topics satisfy chapters' basic needs. I don't think that there's a chapter that doesn't find any of the topics suitable. In the following period, when we'll discuss lecture details, there will be space for including more lecturers, ideas and advice from already professionalized chapters (some have already been included). Best regards, --MikyM 18:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC) [reply]

We (Wikimedia Poland) were asked by organizers to donate the conference around a month ago. But we were asked for money only - not for any other kind of input. At that time on the conference website there was very little information about the conference agenda - just a general idea + some technical information about venue and accommodation, so we asked for more details - and not having them the decision was just suspended. I disagree that from technical POV it is impossible to organize such a not-so big (just around 100 attendees) event in 2 months, especially with a staff whom we are about to provide accommodation and food for one month and who are about to devote all their time for only that one thing :-) It is possible. But I also agree that timing is not so good - in our case (Wikimedia Polska) we will be busy with Wiki Loves Monuments and our 10-th anniversary of Polish Wikipedia, so our most involved and experienced people won't be able to attend that meeting. Maybe it would be cleverer to organize a chapters meeting next year in Belgrade? Especially because chapters’ meetings agenda overlaps the agenda of this meeting - profesinalisation, fundraising, budgeting, staff-volunteers relationships all these issues are discussed with details during the annual chapters meetings year by year. Maybe the bad thing with chapter's meetings is their closed formula - but I guess it is subject to change and making another conference about the same issues should be really well rationalized… Polimerek 09:21, 20 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
One HI for you Polimerek :). Yes, your chapter is one of several who we asked for support. We are trying to move the dates so we have more time for everything and you can be sure that we can and need to do that. I am really sure that we can do this because we did a lot of work (websites, venue, topics, accommodation, catering, security) and we have a good base to continue all the rest. Best, --MikyM 18:42, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]
"...WM DE will support with money." - Just to clarify something here: There has been no decision yet made at Wikimedia Germany as to whether to support this event financially or not. It's a topic for the upcoming board meeting on July 5. Until such a decision has been made, I would appreciate it if no claim of such support were made, here or elsewhere. sebmol ? 19:25, 29 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

While I must endorse Bduke's comments, I did want to point out that there are some very positive things in this bid that I would like to see duplicated elsewhere. Most importantly, the detailed breakdown of the budget (section 2.1). This is a very good summary, and I will be recommending that other grant applications take their cue from WMRS in that area. Craig Franklin 03:44, 2 July 2011 (UTC).[reply]

Host Chapters Meeting 2012?[edit]

I found Polimerek's proposal interesting -- would WMRS be interested in hosting the Wikimedia Conference 2012, around March/April, and setting the agenda developed for WMC rather than the traditional WMCON one? (certainly keeping the classic "State of the Chapters" section.) That sounds like something that would help with the travel costs, as most chapters budget for attending that conference anyhow. I'd love to hear WMRS's response to this idea, and thank you, Polimerek, for raising it! Ijon 19:54, 27 June 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Dear Asaf,
We would take the congress together with ChapCom, but we have no satisfying answer how to integrate our concept into the other. We would prefer to have a double congress with different target groups like Hacking days and Wikimania. Do you have any other solution for the question of the target groups? Best, --OrsolyaVirág 16:21, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]
Hi, I assume you mean the Chapters Meeting, and not the Chapters Committee? :) (just checking, because in the latter case, your communication did not arrive). I think that there is big overlap between topics and target groups - and it should be possible to integrate the two. It is a misunderstanding that the chapters meeting should be a political meeting only - there should definitely be a big chunk of knowledge transfer and experience sharing too. Effeietsanders 13:39, 3 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

New date[edit]

Hi all!

After hearing your concerns about the September date, we moved the congress date to October 21-23. Hope that doesn't interfere with anything else. (We've been waiting for weeks to get a new date.) Best, --OrsolyaVirág 15:43, 2 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Well, it would be nice to update it also on the Webside.--Juan de Vojníkov 22:14, 15 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]


Dear Everyone,

In the name of Wikimedia Management Congress team, we regret to inform you that we have decided to cancel the Wikimedia Management Congress 2011. After serious considerations, we have concluded that there was a significant support from Wikimedia Chapters for holding this Congress, however, we feel that the lack of time, human resources and funds made it impossible to organize such an event at this time.

The team and Wikimedia Serbia would like to thank all chapters that have expressed interest and support for the Congress, be it written or oral. In the last few months, some chapters supported the idea of holding an event where they can learn and share their experiences and knowledge. Because of that reason, Wikimedia Serbia will support future Wikimedia events centered around management, including already existing Chapters Conferences. Wikimedia Serbia is ready for an international cooperation and willing to share its experiences with others.

All the best,--OrsolyaVirág 15:32, 20 July 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimedia Management Congress team