Talk:Wikimania 2016 bids

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Dar es Salaam[edit]

Hi Madam I, and SJ talk  am sorry to inform you about my ignoring the disqualification of the Dar es Salaam Bid done by Ellie Young because there is nothing wrong we did to cause her action and actually she erred in to to testify that her decisions made by the Jury, this is not fair because if somebody can delete a page without giving a reason. Please help me to terminate their intention. Manawa|TalkEducation First 05:46, 24 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Francis, I left a note when I did my edit on the Wikimania 2016 bids, Ellie's edit came with an announcement on the Wikimania 2016 mailing list. I also left a message on your talk page. I think that if you want to contest the jury's decision to disqualify Dar es Salaam from the Wikimania 2016 bids, you should appeal to Ellie and the Wikimania 2016 jury. I have no say on their decision to disqualify Dar es Salaam and there's nothing I could do about their decision. Thanks. --- Titopao (talk) 03:35, 24 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]


CT Cooper You updated the page to reflect the jury decision. Where did you get this information? Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:21, 2 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

It was announced by the Twitter accounts @WikimaniaManila and @WikimaniaEsino just before Christmas that Esino Lario had won the bidding process. I discussed the result with one of the members of the Manilla team, so I can confirm it is legitimate. However, to be on the safe side, I originally planned not to update the pages until the jury formally announced their decision, which we are still currently waiting for. However, TruPepitoM (talk · contribs) has in good faith gone ahead and updated the pages anyway, so I thought it prudent to finish the job rather than reverting. CT Cooper · talk 15:44, 2 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
For the record I think in future years, the jury should take the lead in making such announcements and updating the pages. CT Cooper · talk 15:46, 2 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Reasons for disqualification[edit]

I can't find any reasons given for the disqualifications. Where is this information? How can it be made more visible? Nealmcb (talk) 13:48, 2 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Manawa|TalkEducation First 18:43,2 May 2015 (UTC)

  • From what I've been told it simply came down to the jury judging that those bids had no chance of winning and so they ruled them out before the final phase of reviewing. I don't think the term "disqualified" is a good word choice for this though, and I would suggest "ruled out" or something like that instead. CT Cooper · talk 23:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]


I have a number of concerns regarding accessibility at Wikimania in general and Esino Lario in specific:

  1. At Wikimania_checklist it seems important enough to provide coffee breaks (see section), but there is no mention of accessibility. Why?
  2. At Wikimania Handbook there is no mention of accessibility concerns. Why?
  3. Specific facilities:
    1. The main meeting area for Esino Lario is not accessible (see accessibility section).
    2. More than half of the Primary School is not accessible.
    3. The Kindergarten page fails to address accessibility at all (no subsection).
    4. The Meeting accessibility section indicates the rooms are, to quote, "accessible from the street". Yet, pictures show stairs to get to the doors. 1, 2.
    5. Hall (former cinema): Accessibility section says it will be accessible if renovations are done. What if they are not? Is there a fallback plan? That's 300 seats that might not be accessible, the third largest facility.
    6. Museo delle Grigne fails to address how attendees are to get to the basement.
    7. Ex-Albergo Italia accessibility section is empty. External photograph indicates stairs preventing accessible access.
    8. Villa_Monastero accessibility section is empty.
    9. Bar Restaurant 58, external detail shown here, shows steps preventing accessible access. There is no subpage for this location.
    10. Ristorante albergo La Montanina, external detail shown here, shows steps preventing accessible access. There is no subpage for this location.

In abstract, the WMF needs to be doing a much better job of insisting on accessibility for all participants to any Wikimania. Mere lip service is paid to the issue, and virtually or completely ignored in planning recommendations.

In detail, it is not surprising that the bid for Esino Lario is so lacking in preparation for accessibility issues given the lack of emphasis by the WMF. In detail, the proposal for Esino Lario has failings in a majority of the locations stipulated for use during the conference. This is a serious slap in the face to attendees who have accessibility issues, and can readily be viewed as discriminatory. Imagine the public relations nightmare the WMF would have if it said "<insert under privileged group> will not have full access to most facilities used by Wikimania". Yet, this is precisely what the WMF is doing to those with accessibility issues.

Those of you who might decry this analysis need to look very carefully in the mirror. If I have accessibility concerns to attend this conference, these pages are the appraisals I would be using to determine if I should go or not. It is not enough for someone to respond here and say "It will all be accessible". It is blatantly obvious it isn't and won't be, even if all plans come to fruition (and there's no assurances they will). Even the main hall is inaccessible. That should have been enough to disqualify this bid. Sadly, it wasn't. Imagine a bid for the Winter Olympics from a location that has no mountains anywhere within 500km. You can't do Winter Olympics without mountains. It should be equally absurd to host Wikimania without full access to those with accessibility concerns. Yet, this bid appears likely to be accepted. I am shocked, appalled, dismayed and disgusted. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:40, 8 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Hammersoft I do not know the correct place to voice a concern like this but I expect that your message has not reached the person who takes responsibility for addressing it. I posted to the general forum seeking an answer. It is not obvious to me where concerns of this sort ought to be sent. You are not responsible for finding the right place to post especially when there is no designated right place, but I expect that your posting here and not in a more trafficked place is why you have not gotten an answer. I also want to know who takes responsibility for answering discrimination concerns. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:34, 17 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks Bluerasberry! I tried to raise the issues at the place where it seemed most relevant, but apparently I missed. It would be nice if in the future it were more clear as to where the community could comment. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:10, 17 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • There have already been private enquiries by others to Ellie Young as to why the bid was quietly changed to accepted with no report or explanation, as was justly expected by myself and others. As far as I know, nobody from the WMF have commented on the issue yet. I was clearly told by the WMF that the contents of my letter, which included accessibility concerns, would be reviewed during the site visit which allegedly took place in May, so I'm surprised I haven't heard anything now we're in mid-June. I've been patient so far, but I'll be making enquires of my own if this silence remains. CT Cooper · talk 21:42, 17 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Accessibility inspection and planning
Thanks for reading the bid and commenting it. If the objective of this comment is to get a reply from the organisers, Talk:Wikimania 2016 bids/Esino Lario would have been a better talk page; user talk messages can also be useful when things fall through the cracks. Unofficial comment follows.
The sentence «so lacking in preparation for accessibility issues» is incomprehensible for me; this bid is pioneer in providing accessibility studies for every single building and possibly room, with detailed textual information as well as photos and maps and feasibility studies. (Can you find any other event in Wikimedia history which did better at documentation? How do you know past Wikimanias were better for accessibility when they said nothing about it?) This was done spontaneously by the organisers; I expect they'll share their experience with future organisers in the Wikimania handbook, which already received many edits by Iolanda and is a community effort.
While your comment is extensive, I fail to see the specific issues you found: which events or services to you understand will not be accessible, that instead should be? As far as I know, a plan is in place so that accommodation and events will be allocated strategically and assistance provided to the attendees with accessibility issues in a way that makes Wikimania enjoyable for them. Gabriel of WMCH visited Esino Lario and provided extensive and very specific guidance on how to address accessibility issues. Given this is the biggest Wikimania venue ever, it's harder to give access to 100 % of it, but this doesn't imply a decrease in service.
So, again; I don't know the specifics, but if you have specific concerns or suggestions then it would probably be easier for the organisers to address them. That said, the organisers are very helpful, so they may manage to answer you nonetheless; but of course it will be harder.
On the matter of exclusion of specific groups, what you write is blatantly false. For instance, Wikimania 2011 was (in practice) not accessible to Palestinians. Some Wikimanias were during Ramadan. There are plenty of other creeds which forbid orthodox observants to attend one Wikimania or another (including Wikimania 2015). Europe and USA citizens with insufficient financial resources are excluded from most Wikimanias by default (automatically excluded from scholarships). Visa are always an issue for at least some country. Sometimes the event overlapped with events of other communities, which were therefore excluded. Sometimes Wikimania is during exam period for at least some country, excluding the students of that country. Most Wikimanias did not provide assistance or a program for newbies, nor for people with children, which were therefore excluded as well. Most Wikimanias were in countries with restrictive laws for at least one subgroup of wikimedians. Wikimania Esino Lario will be during Ramadan, too; but is trying to be as inclusive as possible for the many target audiences. Nemo 14:13, 17 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • I cited multiple specific examples of facilities that are not accessible or where there is documentation lacking with regards to accessibility. I made no comment with regard to prior wikimanias, so I fail to see why that is an issue you raise in your response? Equating the inability of a person who is disabled to attend Wikimania with a person who observes Ramadan is offensive. I'm sure you didn't intend to equate people of Muslim faith with being handicapped, so I'll let that slide. The rest of your comparisons are moot; they simply do not apply as valid comparisons for people who can otherwise attend but can't because the facilities are not fully accessible. I will state...yet again...the main event hall itself is not accessible. I'm not sure what part of "the main hall has steps to be reached" is unclear. What certainly isn't clear is whether the WMF intends to do anything about it. What is distinctly absent from the intended adjustments is any intent to provide access (much less emergency egress) for people confined to a wheel chair. What is clear to me is that if the WMF's intended reaction to media questions regarding accessibility is to make comparisons of people who lack money, people with children or Palestinians to those with mobility impairments, there's going to be a public relations disaster. Please, do NOT respond to this until the WMF has a clearer picture of how you're going to respond. Any further commentary like the above isn't going to help, but rather feed the media frenzy that could ensue. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:42, 17 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  • And a year on, with the conference just a week away, the main hall still has steps to be reached. <sigh>. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:49, 14 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
There seems no reason to worry, as the WMF took responsibility for this a year ago, in a posting below headed WMF response and dated 16:23 of 25 June 2015, in which they committed explicitly "to accommodate the accessibility needs of attendees to the conference" and thereby categorically removed this issue from the list of things the Community needs to worry about. So no doubt they will have rectified the situation within the next day or so. After all, they have the resources to do so, and the alternative, that your reasonable and legitimate suggestions were being dismissed out of hand last year with no intention then or now of addressing them, is surely unthinkable. If it should turn out that by some terrible mischance the arrangements for which they have taken responsibility should turn out to be unsatisfactory after all, then no doubt that would be handled in the same way as any other major corporate failure. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:47, 19 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It's too late for any further serious building work, modifications etc. now. Rightly or wrongly, what has been done to deal with accessibility has been done, what hasn't been done hasn't been done. CT Cooper · talk 18:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I am not privy to the arrangements the Foundation have made in order to follow through on the assurances they gave the Community a year ago -- they may have hired temporary ramps, mobile lifting equipment or even a team of porters. After all, they have been well aware of the requirements and we should not be dictating solutions to them. They have taken on the responsibility and how they discharge it is now their affair. All we can reasonably do is ask that it works, effectively and efficiently. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The Wikimania 2016 team spoke about dealing with accessibility issues at Wikimania 2015. During that discussion they mentioned making modifications to buildings, the use of vehicles, among other things – the hiring of "porters" (there are lots of volunteers anyway) or "mobile lifting equipment" was not specified. I should emphasise that they are actually the ones directly responsible for the day-to-day running of the conference, not the WMF. Regardless, whether you're talking about temporary equipment or permanent modifications, it's too late now – what has been done has been done and what hasn't been done hasn't been done. Furthermore, there is no "we" here. Members of the community are free to discuss these issues as they wish. CT Cooper · talk 11:59, 25 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
We can talk all we like. The WMF served notice on us (in the pronunicamento immediately below) that they were satisfied that certain things would happen, and I took the opportunity then to point out that they were thereby relieving us of the responsibility of action. The us and them situation arose out of the very clear language that they used to block further discussion. As to how well they carried out the responsibilities that they had taken on, I leave it to those who were there to judge -- I have no knowledge of what was planned as compared to what actually happened. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:31, 25 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, the WMF gave their response – that response was not satisfactory – so the discussion continued. Further discussion on these issues can and likely will happen weather the WMF approves of it or not. Any person who thinks simply repeating over and over again "The WMF have given their answer" like a broken record is going to end community involvement in these matters will find out different. CT Cooper · talk 17:21, 26 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed -- perhaps it would be constructive to report on the success or otherwise of those arrangements with some factual evidence. Do you have any data on that? If not, perhaps you would prefer to leave the discussion to those who do. When there is sufficient evidence to have a sensible discussion as to whether or not the WMF have discharged the responsibilities that they took upon themselves would be the time to discuss what, if anything, they could or should have done or not done differently. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 19:05, 26 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I will decide for myself what discussions I do or do not participate in, thank you very much. I made clear my view that it was too late to do anything further in regards to accessibility – though that doesn't mean concerns cannot be raised and discussions cannot be had. Similarly, it is clearly too early to digest what has happened, let alone present data or the like. After all, it will be a while under all the feedback is collected and processed. If those who previously raised concerns have something to say or present on how things actually went, they'll do it their own time. CT Cooper · talk 19:35, 26 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]

WMF response[edit]

The WMF conducted a thorough inquiry into all the arrangements and issues regarding Esino Lario as a site for Wikimania in 2016. In particular we are satisfied that our requirements for connectivity, transportation, accommodation, meeting rooms, and accessibility will be met. Accessibility testing was done and as we have done with all venues. I am working with the local team to accommodate the accessibility needs of attendees to the conference, as we do with every conference. The WMF and Esino Lario team will come back to share more information about how accessibility needs are being met for 2016 once 2015's Wikimania is over, since supporting the Mexico team needs to be my key focus right now.--EYoung (WMF) (talk) 16:23, 25 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]

I do appreciate that a response has been made, but it only tells us one thing – that the WMF is satisfied. It tells us very little of substance on the concerns raised and offers precious little accountability to the community. Myself and others were told to "be patient" and were lead to believe that once the site visit had been conducted, which was done in May, we would get a full response to the issues we had raised. Instead, the issue has been kicked into the long grass to some unspecified date after Wikimania 2015, long after the final decision on hosting has apparently been made. I think we have good reasons to be disappointed. CT Cooper · talk 17:02, 28 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
Nevertheless, the WMF has spoken, through an authorised representative, and has assumed responsibility for the consequences. If it should turn out, as some people suggest, that accessibility arrangements are inadequate, then no doubt the WMF Board and Executive Director will take the appropriate corrective action. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:32, 28 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
If the Executive Director or WMF Board had to intervene or take corrective action then it would be as a result of serious failings; failings which could have been avoided. I would also argue that the wider community has responsibilities for Wikimania as much as the WMF itself does. CT Cooper · talk 12:55, 29 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Other Site Suggestions[edit]

I understand it might be a little to late to make other suggestions, but I'm going to give it a shot anyways. I'm assuming the goal is to have a small-town feel for this next one. While there may be a desire not to hold two consecutive events in North America, if that is not a problem might I suggest Lake Placid New York in the United States. I've been there, and it is enchantingly beautiful in the summertime. This small village of about 3,000 has an excess in ability to hold a major conference, as it has twice been the host of the Winter Olympics (in 1932 and 1980), and has also held such events as the Winter Universiade. It features a brand-new conference facility directly attached to its two Olympic arenas, which seat about 3,000 and 10,000. Accomidation-wise has over 10,000 year-round rooms in immediate proximity to the village, and over 40,000 within a 50 mile radius of the village. At least my research has implied these are the approximate statistics, and that there are even more accommodations open in the summertime. I think Lake Placid would be a phenomenal site for a conference sometime in the future if not in 2016.

Large-city wise, a future conference could be held in Chicago. The city is a major location for holding conferences. Over 108,000 hotel rooms in the city (and even more in the greater Chicago region), a transit hub (easily accessible), and home to the largest convention center in North America. The city is incredibly beautiful in the city, you have to be there to understand just how stunning the lakefront is. SecretName101 (talk) 04:13, 5 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]

Site possibly failing[edit]

I know this page is apparently not read by anybody of import, but I wonder what the WMF's fallback plan is now that it appears Esino Lario looks to be possibly failing? [1] And there goes 60 beds as well, in a town that can't supply enough beds for the conference as is. The WMF had better start scrambling to come up with another solution, even if it is just a fallback solution. We're ~12 months out, and this selection is already beginning to unravel. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:32, 14 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]