Talk:WikiConference India 2020: Initial conversations

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I thank the community from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for taking the initiative. I agree with a consensus decision versus bidding (when no one came forward for three years) can save a lot of time.

While I can support in my capacity, I would urge the Local Organizing committee to reach out to village pumps of each Indian language community with this idea and a detailed plan of how you propose to conduct the conference including all communities in execution. You can provide them a template or format through which a community as a whole can endorse this idea.

Since this is a national conference, individual support or opposition from Wikipedians doesn't mean much. Constituent communities of India should support this wholeheartedly. Then only they will feel as being part of this conference.

If there is any opposing or competing community, then the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana community should sit down with them and try to achieve a consensus. Such a consensus would look more legitimate and representative even for WMF and other funding agencies. --Ravi (talk) 07:29, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

@Ravidreams: Hi Ravi, thanks for the suggestion. We completely agree that if a community as whole supports this proposal, it would add more credibility. Working in that direction, we have created a section here, where language communities after having discussion on their local Village Pumps, can post an endorsement here after consensus. We will also be proactively reaching out to Wikimedians who have already endorsed, and also others to start discussions on their local Wikis. Regards, KCVelaga (talk) 15:30, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, Thanks for taking my suggestion in good spirit. I have few more questions or concerns to be addressed too.
Besides the Village Pump discussion in Telugu WIkipedia page, is there a preliminary/braod plan or vision for the event? For example, who are all committed to be in the organizing team and take the event to completion in case of unforeseen difficulties for any of the leading volunteers like you and Pavan? What are the roles and responsibiities of various members in the local organizing team? Since there is no WMIN or User group, how will such a large amount of fund be handled? DO you have local institutional partners who can commmit support? It is good to present such details and present a plan even if it is minimal. I am going to support your proposal :) but before that we need to make sure have a solid plan. Having conducted such events in the past, I have seen the initial enthusiasm fade away and only few volunteers struggling till the end. --Ravi (talk) 11:14, 6 October 2019 (UTC)
Hi @Ravidreams: Yes, we do have a preliminary plan. However, I am not sure if you are expecting this one, but I will let know you know whatever we have. Pavan and I have been discussing this idea for a long time, but we were not able to commit we are aware that it does take a lot of time and effort. As we came sure about our commitments, then we decided to go forward about this. As mentioned on the main page, since no one came up for the past three years, we felt that we will propose to host. We also discussed this idea with several community members before and after the announcement and took their ideas+feedback. The overall timeline is; once there is a consensus (discussions are going great on several VPs) and a good number of communities endorse, we are planning to host an IRC (under discussion as of now) to for a final discussion, and clear any doubts people may have. If it goes as per the plan, we will be doing a community engagement survey (a requirement for Conference Grant) and also start a conversation with WMF regarding the grant proposal. With inputs from the survey, we will frame the grant proposal, and put it up for community review (both program and budget) before proposing to WMF. We will continue with the preparation of processes (such as program, scholarships, management etc.) at a slow pace during the grant review period, keeping it flexible. Post funding decision, we will start the actual preparations. The current timeline says the grant funding decision will be out in March 2020. We assume that we will at least 6-8 months from then. Regarding the whole organising, there will be a call for organisers with clear guidelines regarding time commitment involved so that others don't take the load of others. We will also be ensuring a mix of newbies and experienced people for capacity development. To not to waste volunteers' time on tedious tasks such as travel arrangements, we are planning to have a paid conference coordinator (probably a professional event planner - will be discussed with the community). Scholarships may be open during May, and decisions should be out by July at max. For handling the funds, we had some initial conversation with CIS-A2K to act as fiscal sponsor and also have an auditor to check the spending. For the conference, we are thinking of having the main theme as quality and local knowledge, this will be discussed and refined as we progress. This main theme will largely influence the sessions in the conference program. Regarding the venue, deriving the learning from 2016 organisers, for a conference of this scale, we thought it would be better to do it in a hotel. Also, most of the times, if are the accommodation and food are booked with the hotel, the banquet halls are provided at free of charge. But we will local partners for other tasks. For example, we are having a conversation with an engineering college for sponsorship and also have their students as volunteers during the conference days. Regarding the local organising, we will be forming a core local organising team soon (by the end of this month) we had a lot of talks with members from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana who expressed their interest to be a part, and we will formalising that by forming a team who can commit their time. We will also be because these people will need to give a lot of time as we move close to the event, and we will make sure that they are aware of that. We are thinking of doing the conference in 2nd/3rd week of December 2020, at least 5 days before Christmas. I hope this answers your concerns, at least partly. I will happy to explain more anything that you specifically point out. KCVelaga (talk) 07:19, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
@KCVelaga:, the preliminary plan sounds ok. But, what concerns me is this looks like two people proposing to do it in a city and whole community is excited about it. While I appreciate the initiative you have took, just like I suggested each community to endorse this besides individual support, it is equally important that the Telugu Wikimedia community, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Wikimedia community and any other local organization who will be your parter to clearly state through a resolution that they are proposing to the host this event together. The resolution should also the list of members and organizations in the Local Organizing Committee and their responsibilities. In this regard, the simple discussion and support recorded in Telugu Wikipedia at the moment is inadequate. I am all for doing the event in any city led by any indvidual(s), provided it is properly backed by a community. With all the good faith assumed, it is too risky to let all the burden be handled by only a couple of volunteers. I would be happy to support this proposal once I see such a resolution from the Local Organizing Committee. Thanks.
P.S. The Tamil Wikipedia community has already registered full support for this event to be conducted in Hyderabad. So, let me make it clear that there is no competing or conflicting interest here. But, I want to make sure a local community is committed to this event and not just few individuals. --Ravi (talk) 22:03, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

Individual message to communities[edit]

@Satdeep Gill, Stalinjeet Brar, Manavpreet Kaur, యర్రా రామారావు, and Pratik.pks:@Sushant savla, Mekala Harika, Indrajitdas, Satpal Dandiwal, and QueerEcofeminist:@Katta Srinivasa Rao, Ramesam54, Jinoytommanjaly, Jayprakash12345, Dharampal Singh, and Tarunsamanta:@J ansari, Balajijagadesh, Pranayraj1985, Aliva Sahoo, and B.K.Viswanadh:@Info-farmer, Albetudu, Rajasekhar1961, Maina Tudu, and Nagarani Bethi:@Marajozkee, Chaduvari, Ssgapu22, Fredericknoronha, and Vikashegde: Dear all, many thanks for endorsing our proposal to host WCI 2020 in Hyderabad. Following the conversation from the above section, we would like to have endorsements from communities, which would add credibility while we further proceed. So I am pinging you all to start a discussion on your local Wiki (on your language's most active Wiki, Wikipedia generally) and then after consensus, endorse this proposal on behalf of the language community. We have a created a draft message for you to use, please localise it to your context, and modify as you feel necessary. Also please avoid multiple discussions, and check if there already an existing one before starting one. Also to note, Telugu Wikimedians/from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, please ignore this, as we have a thread already about this. Thanks again, and let me know if there are any questions. KCVelaga (talk) 15:36, 4 October 2019 (UTC)