India Community Consultation 2014

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
India Community Consultation Meet -2014 (most of the) participants

This page was for planning, and later documenting, a strategic community consultation about the future of Wikimedia work in India, which was held in Bangalore on October 4th and 5th 2014.



Indians have been active on Wikipedia in many languages since the very beginning, as well as other Wikimedia projects. Some regional and language communities have grown and matured, and others have been struggling to engage contributors. In 2010, the Wikimedia Foundation adopted a strategy, following a significant movement-wide consultation and discussion, which identified India as the top strategic focus for the Foundation to "catalyse".

Although the strategy process benefited from the participation of a few Indian Wikimedians, the resultant "catalyst" strategy was not systematically discussed with the wider Indian community, as far as we know. The Foundation began executing that strategy, hiring the team that came to be known as India Programs, and later transitioning that team (with substantial changes in team personnel) into a partnership grant to the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) in 2012.

In parallel in 2011, community volunteers set up the Wikimedia Chapter organization, known as Wikimedia India.

However, impact in India has not been growing as much as had been envisioned during the 2009-2010 strategy process, and despite good will on the parts of WMF, Wikimedia India and CIS, it appears some individual contributors feel inadequately supported in terms relevant to them and in their preferred modes of engagement.

In summary, the current state of affairs in supporting the growth, health, and motivation of Wikimedia volunteers in India leaves much to be desired. Recently, some specific conversations, particularly over the FDC proposals of the chapter and CIS, have led us at the Wikimedia Foundation to decide we should attempt to facilitate, and hopefully rebuild, a shared vision for the future of Wikimedia work in India. We intend to be open to any of a wide range of possible futures, with both formal and informal ways to create shared identity and purpose.


The aim of the weekend meeting is to:

  1. Share views and preferences on the most effective ways to pursue our shared vision of creating and sharing free knowledge in India and in the Indian languages (including English) around the world.
  2. Attempt to come to agreement on a roadmap for a future where our resources are better utilized, our volunteers are better served, and progress on our mission is more steadily attained.

This roadmap would then become the basis for future engagement in India by the Foundation, and for the expected relationships and responsibilities between different groups interested in promoting the mission in India.

What this meeting is NOT[edit]

We recognize that many people have opinions and positions regarding past work and past decisions, some of them strongly held. Because the opportunity is precious and the time is limited, we are explicitly not interested in detailed analyses of the past, and specifically of past grievances or injustices, real or perceived. This is not to dismiss any possibility of discussing those topics, and to be sure, there is much to learn from past difficulties and conflict (and we believe much has been learned already; indeed this meeting certainly emerges out of such learning), but we would like you to keep this meeting focused on constructive dialogue about the future and how to get there from the present.

All of us at the Foundation will remain open to discussing issues concerning the past via other channels (including teleconferencing or videochats, and including private communication if necessary). The intent is not to artificially silence all discussion of the past, but to use lessons from it for the future.


Famously, decisions are made by those who show up. We consider it crucial that legitimate representatives of the major communities in India, geographical, linguistic and project based, are present and able to speak their minds and to participate in crafting a model for the future.

Following a period reserved for nomination by each community, and going by community nominations wherever provided (except for people living outside India), generally favoring higher participation where many people were nominated, and further including current and past bearers of particular roles in relevant groups and organizations, WMF is inviting the following delegates to the consultation in Bangalore, bearing cost of domestic travel and accommodation.

Please confirm accepting the invitation by signing your name, and please indicate which airport you'll need to travel from, or put in NONE if local to Bangalore. Please do so by noon Friday September 19 so we can confirm travel and lodging as soon as possible. If you have any difficulties meeting this deadline, do let us know.



  • Jayanta Nath (also President of Wikimedia India chapter)
    • Traveling from airport: Kolkata
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes

Jayantanth (talk) 02:36, 19 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Cherian Tinu Abraham (also former EC)
  • Shyamal
    • Traveling from airport: NONE
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: no
  • Arun Ramarathnam (also former WMIN EC)
    • Traveling from airport: NONE (Bangalore based)
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: yes/no
  • Srikanth Ramakrishnan (also former WMIN EC)
  • Pranav Curumsey (also former WMIN EC)
  • Tito Dutta
    • Traveling from airport: Kolkata
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
  • Redtigerxyz
  • Faizhaider
Hello there.
I'm afraid we can't include you in the upcoming Bangalore meeting with more information. Please e-mail me at to discuss this. We cannot book accommodation for you unless we discuss it first. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 10:16, 3 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Dhaval S. Vyas
    • Traveling from airport: London
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Sushant Savla
    • Traveling from airport: Mumbai
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Vihang
    • Traveling from airport: Ahmedabad
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes



  • Omshivaprakash
    • Traveling from airport: NONE
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: No
  • Hari Prasad Nadig (also former EC)
    • Traveling from airport: NONE
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: yes/no


  • Darshan Kandolkar
    • Traveling from airport: Goa
    • confirmed acceptance: yes




  • Ansuman
    • Traveling from airport: Bhubaneswar ✈
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
  • Subas Chandra Rout
    • Traveling from airport: ? - Bhubaneswar
    • confirmed acceptance: ? - Yes

--Subas Chandra Rout (talk) 13:37, 21 September 2014 (UTC), putting signature was forgotten on 18/08/2014Reply[reply]

  • Mrutyunjaya Kar
    • Traveling from airport: Bhubaneswar ✈
    • confirmed acceptance: Y
Unfortunate situation

I am sorry to write that due to a very unfortunate situation I refrain from going to Bengaluru. There is direct flight from Bhubaneswar to Bengaluru, a 2hours journey. I was informed that ticket was booked in Air India via Mumbai. At the last moment I was informed again that the return journey is of 2 stop journey (Bengaluru-Delhi-Mumbai-Bhubaneswr) in night, the duration being about 15 hours. So I prefer to stay back. The first booked ticket could have been sent to me earlier. --Subas Chandra Rout (talk) 04:04, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dear Subas Chandra Rout, I've just checked with our travel team, and this mix up was by Air India: they rerouted you because of a sudden change in their schedule. I've sent you a mail asking you to confirm a different (and easier) itinerary; please respond asap so we can make sure you are here for the consultation. ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 08:56, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We have success! Dr Subas will be joining us :-) ASengupta (WMF) (talk) 15:55, 2 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • Satdeep Gill
    • Traveling from airport: Chandigarh
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes

--Satdeep gill (talk) 03:28, 19 September 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Since I'm unable to come, I've uploaded the following documents that I had prepared in 2011 when WMF was planning an India program.

Will update and upload to commons later. Tamil wiki community is collating inputs from many wikipedians including me and our representatives will present them during the consultation. -- Sundar (talk) 07:22, 1 October 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]



  • Sumana Koundinya
    • Traveling from airport: Not required
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: No
  • Shubha
    • Traveling from airport: Not required
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: no


  • Shuaib -- can't make it
    • Traveling from airport: Nagpur
    • confirmed acceptance: not yet

Wikimedia India chapter Executive Committee (WMIN EC)[edit]

  • ViswaPrabha
    • Traveling from airport by train/bus: Thrissur (booking by self)
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Jayanta Nath (also the Bangla delegate)
    • Traveling from airport: Kolkata
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Karthik Nadar
    • Traveling from airport: Mumbai
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Nikita Belavate
    • Traveling from airport: Mumbai
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
  • Nikhil Kawale
    • Traveling from airport: No
    • confirmed acceptance: Yes
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: yes
  • Dr Ekbal Bappukunju -- can't make it
  • RadhaKrishna Arvapally -- can't make it


  • Sowmyan Tirumurti (former WMIN executive manager)
    • Traveling from airport: Bangalore based. No transportation required
    • confirmed acceptance: Confirm acceptance
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: yes/no

CIS and CIS-A2K team[edit]

(all local and confirmed)

  • T. Vishnu Vardhan
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: Yes
  • Sunil Abraham
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: No
  • UB Pavanaja
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: yes
  • Rahimanuddin Shaik
    • staying at the hotel the night of the 4th?: Yes

WMF delegates[edit]

(all confirmed)

  • Vice-chair of the Board of Trustees Patricio Lorente
  • Trustee Bishakha Datta
  • Senior Director of Grantmaking Anasuya Sengupta
  • Head of Wikimedia Grants and Global South Partnerships Asaf Bartov
  • Chief Financial Officer Garfield Byrd

How were those delegates selected?[edit]

Ideally, each community would have nominated appropriate delegates through its own processes (ideally on-wiki). Announcements about this meeting were sent on the mailing lists and posted on village pumps (special thanks to Ravi!), to help create a process that would result in a clear decision about 1 or 2 people who can travel and take the time to represent the community at this conversation.

Only a few communities managed to come up with nominations (see talk page), and those nominations were our guide. Where nominations were not provided, self-nominations were considered, and proactive reaching out to the most active contributors on un(der)represented communities were made, resulting in a few more delegates, at WMF's discretion, focusing on active contributors with (ideally) a longer track record, to maximize the amount of experience and context in the room while retaining the legitimacy that can only come from including active contributors. That said, we did also invite a handful of less (or no longer) active contributors, if we found they have crucial context we would otherwise miss.

A note on international travel[edit]

Generally, WMF has committed to fund only domestic (within India) travel for community delegates. We have made two exceptions, to ensure adequate representation of the active community (of Marathi Wikipedia) and respecting community wishes (of Gujarati Wikipedia). While these flights are more expensive, of course, we are confident these individuals would greatly contribute to the event and the discussions we would be able to have, and would also be good for the India-based folks to meet and have a chance to get to know better, face to face.

And, of course, we are already paying for a few international flights, for us WMF folks to attend.


The location will be Bangalore, for practical reasons to do with community representation and ease of access. WMF will see to it that delegates from various communities and regions across India are funded and supported to travel to Bangalore to participate.


The venue and accommodation is the Mövenpick Hotel, selected largely for its proximity to the airport, to ease people's travel and maximize our time together. All participants' stay is covered by WMF, per the travel arrangements you have made with the travel coordinators.

115, HMT Road, Near BEL Circle, Gokula Extension, Bangalore
+91 80 4300 1000

Bangalore residents are welcome (but not required...) to stay overnight on the 4th, to ease their participation bright and early on the 5th, avoiding traffic etc.

If you're from Bangalore, please update the appropriate line below your name, in the Participation section above, to indicate whether you'd like to stay at the hotel on the night of the 4th, so we can book accommodation for you.


The meeting will be supported by an expert facilitator, Mr. Gagan Sethi, to ensure we get the most out of the meeting, in terms of focus and outcomes. The facilitator is not a moderator, does not have authority in the process, and is not involved in producing official minutes or any report summarizing the event. The facilitator is not meant to exert any undue influence on the proceedings, but to support all of us to maximally achieve effective collaboration and cover the topics we set out to.

Agenda and Schedule[edit]

To accommodate those celebrating Puja/Dussehra, we will be starting at noon on Saturday, Oct 4th. This would allow people to take early flights in the morning of the 4th and still make it on time. The venue is no more than an hour's travel from the airport. We have asked the hotel to ensure transport for everyone coming from the airport, please contact us if you need any other support.

Friday, Oct 3rd[edit]

6pm to 9pm
informal meetup of delegates with local community

Saturday, Oct 4th[edit]

12pm to 1pm
lunch at hotel restaurant
1pm to 3.30pm
Session 1 -- Introductions; Setting groundrules and expectations; Dealing with the past
3.30pm to 4pm
tea break
4pm to 6pm
Session 2 -- creating the future: vision and roadmap[s]
7pm onwards
dinner at hotel restaurant, free time (feel free to suggest/organize some social activity!)

Sunday, Oct 5th[edit]

7am to 9am
breakfast at hotel restaurant
9am to 10.30am
Session 3 -- recap; share workgroups results; map
10.30am to 11am
tea break
11am to 12.30pm
Session 4 -- discussion of map
12.30pm to 1.30pm
lunch at hotel restaurant
1.30pm to 3.30pm
session 5 -- from field of action to desired future state; roles and responsibilities
3.30pm to 4pm
tea break
4pm to 5pm
wrap-up, commitments, joint statement
5pm onwards
free time
7pm onwards
dinner at hotel restaurant


Any feedback on this meeting is welcome on the talk page.