Talk:Wikimania 2016 bids/Esino Lario

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Why Esino Lario?[edit]

Esino Lario is at the same time an unexpected and possible location for Wikimania. Unexpected because of course it is not a major city; possible because it is 100 km from Milan, it is served by three airports (one of which is Malpensa Airport, a major European airport), it is reached by optical fiber, it is connected by two electricity lines, it is relatively closed for a group of volunteers of Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH, and for Wikimedia Italia staff and it is in the world-wide renewed beautiful area of Lake Como. Furthermore, Esino Lario has being using open licenses since 2006, it has received a Wikimedia Italia prize in 2009 for open content, it has contributed to the Wikimedia projects with its historical documentation, it has served as pilot experience for the project Share Your Knowledge: Creative Commons and Wikipedia for cultural institutions and it is currently involved in the project The Alps on Wikipedia, a project in partnership with Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH.

Why not another place?[edit]

The aim of this bid is exactly to prepare Wikimania to be hosted in many more and many other places. Esino Lario is the right place to build the necessary experience, because – differently from other places – it can take advantage of the support of an existing and strong chapter (with an office, some staff and the experience of Wikimedia Conference Milan 2013), the presence of an engaged group of volunteers with different skills and backgrounds, a history of interactions between Wikimedia and the local community, and a location which presents a manageable complexity. Testing a new format for Wikimania would be much more complex without those four essential assets. We have no doubts that there are other beautiful and great place where Wikimania can be hosted, but Esino Lario is the right one to test a new format and to allow a broader range of places to be selected in the future. This is why Esino Lario and not another place.

What is the plus value of organizing Wikimania in Esino Lario?[edit]

Esino Lario offers to Wikimania:

  1. Proximity. In a small mountain town, the event occupies the entire territory. Venues, restaurants, bars, and the large majority of the accommodation is all in one place. Participants can enjoy the sessions, the evening program and the excursions together and the location facilitates interaction, exchanges, formal and informal meetings during the day and in the evening. The advantage of a large city is that participants can be dispersed (which makes it much easier to manage them), but it does not facilitate interactions and a full involvement of people in the event.
  2. A new format. The specificity and the complexity of Wikimania Esino Lario is a challenge and a chance to rethink Wikimania. The planning of the event has required a review of the existing documentation and Esino Lario is a change to consider new locations and the capacity of the program to fit and be triggered by the specificities of those new locations (location, participants, objectives, financial plan and evaluation).
  3. Legacy. Wikimania Esino Lario will not only produce an event but also a territorial development. This legacy is not produced with fundings from the Wikimedia movement but it is triggered by Wikimania. This strategy can be implemented in new locations and it can produce with the effort and the investment of Wikimania a larger and permanent impact.

How long does it takes to get to Esino Lario?[edit]

Esino Lario is 1h 40 minutes from Milan central station by train and bus; the bus waits for the train.
From the airports by public transport you basically need to reach Milan central station (+ above). To reduce the inconvenience of having to take 3 different transports and to wait for connections, we have planned a direct transport from the airports. Direct transport takes 2 h from Malpensa, 1 h 30 min from Linate and 1 h 40 min from Orio al Serio; busses can accommodate up to 50 people and if we consider only 20 people per bus the cost is 25 € per person (the cost of public transport from Malpensa is 18.85 €). For further details please refer to traveling to Esino Lario.

Is there anything to do in Esino Lario?[edit]

Yes. Wikimania Esino Lario will organize specific special events and excursions, and Esino Lario is located just above Lake Como, a well-known touristic location with villas, botanical gardens, monuments and lovely villages. Program of Wikimania Esino Lario.


How many people can participate in Wikimania Esino Lario?[edit]

We are planning the event for 1'000 people. This is the number we have used to plan venues, food, technology, transport and accommodation. According to previous experiences, 700 people seem the reasonable expected number of participants for a Wikimania in a non-English speaking country. For further details please refer to participants.

Why are you limiting the number of participants?[edit]

Setting the number of participants to Wikimania Esino Lario to 1'000 (with the objective of welcoming 700) is meant to assure that the event is manageable and pleasant. This number was set during the feasibility study and it is to a relevant number of participants compared to other Wikimanias in non-English speaking countries. For further details please refer to participants.

Frankfurt Cambridge, US Taipei Alexandria Buenos Aires Gdańsk Haifa Washington DC Hong Kong London Esino Lario proposal
Date 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Population of the hosting city 687.775 105.162 2.652.959 4.546.231 2.890.151 460.276 63.666 646.449 7.184.000 8.308.369 772
Conference attendees (including volunteers) 380 400 440 650 559 500 726 1400 1000 4000 1000
Attendees compared to the population 0,06% 0,38% 0,02% 0,01% 0,02% 0,11% 1,14% 0,22% 0,01% 0,05% 129,53%
# beds planned at a low price 434 690 889 650 559 622 180 250 100 1241 700
Percentage of beds at low price compared to the number of attendees 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 25% 18% 10% 31% 70,00%
Note about the beds plus local participants (inhabitants) plus local participants (inhabitants) 700 is the number of available beds (confirmed) in Esino Lario.
Number of attendees planned in Esino Lario compared to previous Wikimania 263% 250% 227% 154% 179% 200% 138% 71% 100% 25%

Shouldn't we get the largest possible number of people at Wikimania?[edit]

This is a choice. If you think Wikimania should involve the largest possible number of people, Wikimania Esino Lario is NOT the right place to do it. Wikimania Esino Lario can offer something different: an event characterized by proximity which allows to experiment a format of Wikimania.Let's also consider that a large cultural event is not an event with 2'000-4'000 participants/visitors, but an event with 70'000 participants/visitors (this is the number of attendees of Art Basel, the festival of literature in Mantua - quite specialized cultural events). If we aim at making Wikimania the largest possible event, then we should maybe head directly toward 70'000 people. Something we should also consider.

Where are you going to put all those people during Wikimania Esino Lario?[edit]

We are going to accommodate the majority of people in Esino Lario in hotels, dorms and private apartments. This is possible because Esino Lario has a century of touristic economy which reached 12'000 summer presences in the Sixties and Seventies. People can also take advantage of the available accommodation in the near-by villages of Perledo and Varenna and Lake Como (Lecco, Abbadia Lariana, Mandello del Lario, Lierna, Bellagio, Menaggio, Bellano, Dervio, Colico). For further details please refer to accommodation.

How are you going to manage all those people moving around?[edit]

We are going to intensify busses between the railway station Varenna-Esino and Esino Lario (5 busses rented for 7 days), and we will have small 8-people vans to manage local transport in Esino Lario (4 vans for the week). The plan considers local transport also for volunteers, occasional visitors and participants with accommodation in Varenna. For further details please refer to moving around.


Are we going to have the Internet?[edit]

Yes. Optical fiber reaches Esino Lario. For Wikimania we will take advantage of it and distribute it properly. For further details please refer to technical.

Do you have enough electricity?[edit]

We are going to increase the electricity supply for event. This is possible because Esino Lario is connected by two electricity lines (from Varenna and from Valsassina); we have evaluated the necessity for each building to manage the increase of electricity and estimated the price in collaboration with the regional head of a major electricity company. Technical implementation of Wikimania Esino Lario.

How about blackouts?[edit]

Short blackouts can happen during big storms; normally they last few seconds. We are planning to use an uninterruptible power supply to protect servers and video recordings will take advantage of each camera battery. We considered having generators, but the efficiency of such a solution has a disproportionate cost compared to probabilities and to the real capacity of generators to provide backup for an event of our size. According to safety regulations we will equip rooms and we will obviously provide each working space with banal - but timeless - chart-sheets and markers.


Is Wikimania Esino Lario supported by a chapter?[edit]

Yes. Wikimania Esino Lario is supported by two chapters: Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH. Wikimedia Italia general assembly has expressed its support in October 2013 and in April 2014 it has confirmed it; Wikimedia CH has supported it with a board resolution. Please refer to our history and to Wikimania Esino Lario support.


Wouldn't it be easier to organize Wikimania in a large city?[edit]

Yes. But we are Wikipedians: we built the greatest encyclopaedia on the planet, and we can manage a conference like this one.

Date of the Event[edit]

Good luck for your bid; I have a comment; the proposed dates coincide with the month of Ramadan (from June 7 to July 6, 2016), it can be review? --Touzrimounir (talk) 10:20, 18 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]

dear Touzrimounir, you are right; this is a critical point we considered since the feasibility study. The last week of June was selected for a series of important advantages it can assure (school is over in Italy so we can take advantage of transport and venues, tourism is heavy in the region in July-August, and normally it is the best weather); moving the event in August would make it impossible for the availability of accommodation and local volunteers. In June during the event we can assure food at the needed time (late in the evening) and we will be more than pleased to take care of everything which can facilitate the participation of attendees during the Ramadan. Please do not hesitate to provide your suggestions. my warm regards and it was really nice meeting you at Wikimania London, --iopensa (talk) 13:04, 18 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Iolanda. I would like to second this Ramadan issue. Could you perhaps consider holding Wikimania from June 1 to June 6th or 7th -- right before Ramadan? This would still be in June and allow for the things you mention? Thanks, Abbasjnr (talk) 13:19, 23 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]
Dear Abbasjnr, unfortunately at the beginning of June schools are still open and we would not be able to use two main infrastructures and we would have major problems with transport (availability of busses and regular school flows). I will be more than pleased to provide all support to manage menus and timing for the meals in the evenings during the event. If you have other suggestions please do not hesitate to let us know. thanks, --iopensa (talk) 13:58, 23 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thank you for a very nice bid! However, I have a further concern, this time not related to Ramadan. In most European countries (except Italy, of course) school and university years last until end of June, and the last week of June is in most cases an exam period (see w:Academic term). This would mean that neither students nor university professors from Europe will be able to attend Wikimania, as there is virtually no chance students will be allowed to be absent during the entire exam period. This would be quite disappointing, in my view, to leave most of European students away from Wikimania.
  • Speaking of Ramadan, I am not a Muslim but I do have Muslim friends and I can say that it will be very difficult for Muslims to attend Wikimania in Esino Lario. Just keep in mind that the event takes place in mid-June (=longest days) and in high altitude (=even longer days), and Muslims must finish breakfast before dawn and must not start dinner before sunset. With dawn in Esino Lario around 3 a.m. and sunset around 9 p.m., this does not look like a good Ramadan destination for Muslims...
  • Given these two factors, I would advice you to move Wikimania to early July. For example, will 7-9 July or 14-16 July work for you? These dates seem to fit both schedules of both European students and professors and of Muslims, and this does not seem to clash with neither physics conference (or you can check dates with its organisers and decide accordingly) nor with holiday season (which is, according to the bid, in August) — NickK (talk) 14:59, 23 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

In reality when I was referring to schools, I was specifically talking about primary and secondary schools with courses. Also in Italy universities have exam sessions in late June and July. There are two things we can do

  1. we can have a meeting with the team involved in Esino Lario in January to check if it is feasible to move the dates in July. There are some major concerns we need to take into account: venues, accommodation and transport. If we can manage them we can move it. The doubts about July is because houses are normally rented in July and August and of course we need to guarantee accommodation for the participants – this is a main priority – but we can certainly check to get the ok on the apartments. It is going to be difficult or probably not possible to use in July Villa Monastero in Varenna; i negotiated already to move the national conference of physics but they will have it at the beginning of July (but maybe before the 7th). This would be a solution which can fit both issues (the issue of students and teachers was also brought up in the meeting with the jury - see below) and I perfectly agree that they are important concerns.
  2. the second option (which is not much and we can use it in case there is less accommodation in July) is to have the conference (the main 3 days) as usual in the weekend (this would not collapse with exams); we would have 1 day of conference on Friday or Monday (according to the most suitable solution) with arrivals on Friday evenings (we need to manage the direct transport but I don't see much problems). we can also move the so-called pre-conference after the conference if it is more convenient.

Thanks NickK for the comments and suggestions, --iopensa (talk) 15:33, 23 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Having a conference over the weekend is a usual solution, but this does not help much, as most likely someone will have exams either a day before or a day after Wikimania, which is not a perfect solution. Moving Wikimania to early July seems to be a perfect solution, thank you for considering it — NickK (talk) 01:17, 24 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

We have double-checked with owners and landlords the availability of apartments in July. As we expected since the very early planning of Wikimania Esino Lario, it is not feasible to move Wikimania in July because we would have a drastic reduction of availabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact us (also privately) if we can accomodate specific needs. If we have no specific requests we will maintain the current planning with the pre-conference on Wednesday and Thursday and the conference on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. --iopensa (talk) 08:17, 26 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]


  • The nearest airport from Esino Lario is, at the very least, 2 hours (from either LIN or BGY). And on top of that, the directions you provided call for delegates to transfer to two different train routes and via bus. Factoring in travel time from travellers who will be coming from the far ends of the globe (e.g. from South America, Australia), why not have (say) Milan host Wikimania instead, besides the novelty of holding it in a remote outdoor venue? Wouldn't the delegates, who have already endured long transcontinental flights, really prefer to have some rest rather than have to transfer through various train/bus trips?
    • Yes, public transport requires to make changes; we do agree that a direct transport is much more convenient for participants. We also agree that people coming in particular from Asia, Americas and Australia (transcontinental travel with heavy jetleg) are a priority. We planned direct busses exactly to respond to this issue.
    • I live in Milan and to get home with public transport from the airport I need to make three transfers as well; getting from the airport to Milan and getting to your accommodation can take two hours; furthermore once you are in Milan, you need to commute to your accommodation to the venue (in London to reduce costs, it took me around 45 minutes - 1 hour every day to get to the Barbican, and in many other Wikimanias we had 30 minutes by bus to reach the venue for people accommodated in dorms). Of course I am not underestimating your point, but I think it makes sense to consider that every location presents some issues related to transport. Esino Lario is not only a remote outdoor venue; it is a new synergy with a location. in Milan we are an event as many others; organizing Wikimania in Esino Lario is really boosting something else: links with local governments, the province and the region, partnerships with institutions, engagement of a large team, negotiations with major companies and grantmakers, and a program of events for two years accompany WIkimania. The strength of Esino Lario is its ability to be all-encompassing: of course we are talking about a small centre, but a centre for us, collaborating with us and capable of driving energy around it (it is the fact that Esino is unexpected that is relevant; indeed not so different from how unexpected and game-changer Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects are and have been).
  • Each bus from the Milan airport can take, on average, 50 persons. For sure, there will be certain times of the day when, within 1-2 hours, less than half of the expected bus capacity will be filled up. How long would you expect the early delegates to wait for other delegates to arrive and, if that is the case, how do you intend to make their waiting time as comfortable as possible?
    • At the moment in the budget we planned that bus transfers from the airports is paid by participants. This means that we have a variable budget which allows us to increase the number of busses according to the needs.
    • The cost of each bus is less then 500 euro per bus per 50 people (10 euro per person); the cost of public transport from Malpensa is around 20 euro per person. If we set the cost of direct buses similar to public transport, we can cover the cost of busses also if the bus leaves partially empty. So it is not necessary that people wait for the bus to be full.
    • We will set a schedule for the busses (likely it will be mid day and evening) and of course we will plan busses according to flights (collecting information through a registration process).
    • To make waiting time as comfortable as possible, we have planed infopoints at least at the railway station Varenna-Esino (this is going to be an important transport hub) and Malpensa. I will be meeting the major of Perledo (where the railway station Varenna-Esino is located) this afternoon, but I didn’t jet checked for the logistics at Malpensa and if we can have a specific space for us during arrivals. We can consider other infopoints in the other airports (Linate and Orio al Serio) but until we do not have confirmation of volunteers I think it is important to focus on critical hubs and eventually increase their number if we can guarantee the presence of enough people (or a partnership-agreement with existing services).
  • I'm seeing the possibility that, if Esino Lario will win Wikimania, a lot of delegates from Europe would probably try to bring in their cars. What is the combined maximum parking capacity of all the venues within Esino Lario?
    • The combined maximum parking capacity of all the venues within Esino Lario is not really a parameter: we are rearranging the mobility in particular in streets and areas owned by the city council, and we are converting some parking as pedestrian areas during the event. I have invited the urban planner Fabio Vanin to join the team to have someone reviewing the traffic flows. In general we will have cars parked outside the centre and parking in the centre for runners, vans and bus stops. In the industrial area of Bigallo, and in the areas of Cainallo and Ortanella with their streets (owned by the city council) we are talking about hundreds of parkings. Once the car is parked, in Esino we expect people to move by foot (and to have some vans to support mobility).
  • Because of limited capacity, you stated that hotels from the nearby towns of Perledo and Varenna will also be made available to the delegates. These towns are 15-40 minutes away from Esino Lario itself. What means of public transportation can the delegates take to move around between Esino Lario and Perledo/Varenna? In case public transportation is hard to come by or is filled to capacity, do you have any contingency plans to transport the delegates to and from their hotels?
    • Varenna, Perledo, Esino are on the public bus line, but we do not rely for Wikimania on the existing public transport because it is defiantly too limited for our needs. The plan to increase local transport takes into consideration both local flows and people accommodated in Perledo and Varenna. People can pay for local transport with a ticket or we will associate transport to the accommodation by negotiating rates with hotels.
  • How far is the nearest hospital (among Lecco, Gravedona and Morbegno)? In case a delegate will need to receive immediate treatment there, how long will it take the ambulance to get there?
    • If I take a car and I drive from Esino to one of these hospitals it will take me around 1 hour (more or less for all of them). But during Wikimania Esino Lario immediate treatment will not be managed by driving as fast as possible people to the nearest hospital. We will have the presence of a doctor and an equipped ambulance, and there is already a defibrillator and a local team capable of reacting to emergencies. The transport and the time to reach the hospital will vary according to the kind of situation: i.e. the helicopter can take people even to Milan if a specific surgery or equipment is needed; if a person has hurt his/her back the ambulance can even take 3 hours to get to the hospital to reduce at the minimum damages to the spine during transport. So immediate treatment will be managed first of all locally, and transport to the hospital will follow.
  • Can you tell us more about the specific plans you have with regard to accessibility? How do you intend to make it convenient for delegates to reach the meeting rooms in the venues where no provision for accessibility/wheelchairs is available? (e.g. just in case one of the meeting rooms will be held in a room that is accessible through a stair)
    • In Italy we have a very strict legislation related to accessibility/wheelchairs for public buildings, hotels, restaurants and bars. In Esino we already have an hotel with properly equipped rooms and bathrooms, convenient toilets around the village, an easy or specific entrance for wheelchairs in almost all buildings and a medical car equipped for transport of wheelchairs owned by the local association Soccorso Val d'Esino which we can use during the event. There is a building with few steps to access it and during the visit it appears it is manageable with a ramp. The only critical situation we have is the Primary School with four rooms connected to a staircase; these rooms thought have all an external door. As you can imagine having a Primary School with full accessibility is something which in general makes sense and at the moment there are works in the garden of Villa Clotilde (already financed); we are considering creating an external path reaching these four rooms which seems a quite simple intervention. Furthermore we already asked a friend on a wheelchair to make a visit to Esino to review the locations and to suggest the best solutions to organize the event in the most convenient way for all.
  • Most of the talks in Wikimania are made up of talks, presentations and panel discussions which take place at parallel times, and for sure a delegate might want to move to another meeting room that will deal with a topic that is within his or her interest. In case you will be using up all the available venues and meeting rooms for all the panel talks, can the delegates make it to another venue in due time? (e.g. if they'll be moving from one far end to the other far end) Since the venues are placed at significant distances, do you have a grace period/vacant period between each talk in order to accommodate delegates who may still be on their way to their next talk?
    • According to the discussions we had at the very beginning of the planning with other Italian-speaking past editions Wikimania attendees, people suggested to plan the program to limit the running from one panel to the other. We are organizing the program in thematic blocks (morning/afternoon). For example discussions and presentations about education can take place in the different rooms of the Primary School building during a block (so if you are interested in the topic you can browse around the building, having your break near by). In general though the distances between buildings are similar to a university campus (or similar to the waiting time for the elevator in London); it is not an exceptional situation. I was thinking it would be cool to have signs in Esino Lario like in airports, including the information about the walking time (i.e. an arrow indicating the Sport Hall at Villa Clotilde with “7 minutes”).
  • (trivial question, but this information is missing as of the time I read the bid pages) How far are the Sports Hall and the ex-Cinema from the Villa Clotilde?
    • If I recall correctly, at a normal walking rhythm I have calculated 7 minutes from the Sports Hall to Villa Clotilde; it is around the same time from the ex-cinema to Villa Clotilde.
  • In the projected number of delegates, you say that 70% of delegates would come from Europe, and Italians would make up 50% of all estimated delegates. Wikimania aims to be an event that promotes diversity (among others) and ideally community members from all over the world should be well-represented (if not equally). What measures do you intend to implement to ensure that you can get as much delegates as you can have from the Global South? How soon do you intend to take measures to ensure that those delegates who may encounter visa restrictions will be supported and assisted as soon as they will need to apply for visas?
    • The projected number of delegates is an hypothesis to manage transport. I roughly defined percentages to try to estimate arrivals to the different airports, railway station and cars. I keep high numbers from Europe and Italy to assure that we consider properly flows to Linate, Orio al Serio and Milano centrale railway station and flows by car (and being able to estimate and manage parking). This calculation is not related to nationalities; a person landing in Zurich from Asia and reaching Milan by train counts – for transport management – as a participant from Europe.
    • I do agree that assuring that community members from all over the world are well-represented is a very important issue; I think scholarships and visas are definitely key issues.
      • We have solicited two youth organizations to see if it is possible to increase our scholarships by linking them to existing european and international youth programs; I still didn’t receive an answer, but I launched a proposal. I’d like also to see if it is possible to trigger the support of other donors for scholarships (this is actually an issue which has emerged several times in discussions related to scholarships); the fact we have some more time for the event this edition can be a relevant opportunity to contact more potential partners.
      • For visa we have a specific advantage: we can apply for visa both in Italy and in Switzerland thanks to the partnership with Wikimedia CH. This is very import because for the Wikimedia conference in Milan I have been informed that there have been problems to obtain visa for participants from specific countries (I am sorry to say one of them is the Philippines); we will of course inform the Italian ministry of foreign affairs about the conference but we might have participants entering Europe through Switzerland if the procedure can work better (we have been told that for the hackathon in Zurich the visa process worked very well).
  • Hall/former cinema - "The majority of the fundraising efforts are focused on renovating this building and put it back n full use (it is a space which has always been used extensively by the community)." Do you mean fundraising efforts by the Esino Lario community which happened long ago, or are you referring to the fundraising efforts for this Wikimania bid?
    • I have just deposited yesterday a request for 80’000 euro to Fondazione Banca del Monte di Lombardia for the renovation of this building. I refer to current efforts to collect grants (not WMF) meant for local development.

--- Titopao (talk) 18:10, 3 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

dear Titopao , please find above the answers. thanks, --iopensa (talk) 10:51, 4 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Questions from the jury[edit]

We had an online meeting with the jury December 15, 2014. Below a short report about the questions and hints we received.

  • Accessibility. An important suggestion we received is to identify a person in charge of accessibility, to make sure someone takes care of it and manages it properly. For further information about accessibility, it might be relevant also to refer to Deror Avi about it, since he visited Esino Lario in July 2014 and he was specifically checking accessibility.
    • Francesco Tarantini (with professional experience in coordinating nursing and medical services) just contacted me to join the team. We will have him also as accessibility coordinator unless we decide later on to have a specific person devoted to it (we have a medical car equipped for transport of wheelchairs and at the moment it seems better to keep the coordination of medical assistance and accessibility together). --iopensa (talk) 08:49, 18 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  • Dates. An issue which has been brought up is the difficulty for some European students to attend an event at the end of June (period of exam). The period for Esino and the area is certainly the most suitable but it would be useful to think to how we can facilitate students. Of course informing about the dates on time (including the information in the scholarship requests and anticipate the scholarship process) might facilitate participation by proving time to get organized. Please do not hesitate to suggest other things we can do to make it easier for students.
  • The role of Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH. There have been some significant changes in the role of Wikimedia Italia in the last months, corresponding to the preparatory work for the application to Cariplo Foundation. In particular the collaboration – beyond the identified role described in the confirmed support – is becoming more focussed on the Wikimedia activities and program before and after the event. This specific involvement create a clear role for the chapter, it reinforce current activities and it assures that the links and work wikimania can open and create is followed up by the association specialized in Wikimedia activities. At the moment we do not have an agreement or a similar collaboration with Wikimedia CH, but it might be a relevant direction to browse also with them.
  • Fundriasing. We have provided updates on the financial plan. The focus at the moment is with grantmakers (because we need to apply as soon as possible) and the key technical sponsor-partner Telecom (major Italian phone and communication company). We have secured already some fundings (also 2 sponsors) but we didn't invest at the moment a lot of energies in these fundraising (we thought it is better to start networking with sponsors in 2015 if the bid is accepted; we shortly and informally presented the project to the Chamber of Commerce of Lecco and local sponsors might have received the news about the event for the local press). There are three possibilities for European grants: interreg program (CH-Italia - expected call in 2015), Alpine Space (all the countries around the alps - expected call in 2015) and youth programs (we have contacted at the moment 2 youth organizations in Italy but we do not have answers jet).
  • Connectivity. We have updated the jury about the links and open discussion with Telecom and presented the different possibilities to manage the connectivity during the event. It might be relevant also to refer to Manuel Schneider about it, since he visited Esino Lario in July 2014 and he might be able to provide his impression and report.

--iopensa (talk) 17:53, 16 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Something I wanted to say[edit]

During the meeting with the jury there is one thing I regret I didn’t say. I thought about it all day, but then – we were so concentrated in answering questions and try to provide all information – that it slipped away. I regret I didn’t say “we are ready”. I don’t mean that things are simple or that everything is set, but we are on it. It is not something we could say 6 months ago, and it is surely something we were really far away 16 months ago. But now it is different. The difference is that things get done without asking, people take charge of tasks doing them 10 times better we could expect, little groups has started working together, Wikimedia Italia is discussing on how to increase and trigger its outreach program taking full advantage of the event, and new people join the team with their professionally, time and a sparkling excitement. Getting ready has not been for free; a lot of things happened and it took time, respect and trust to slowly build it. We are aware we are asking a lot. We worked to provide information and evidences, to show we can get things done, and to make sure you can see that we are committed and serious. But we are bidding with something which really moves “outdoor”, and it is never easy to take a new path. Probably the most courageous thing we are asking is “trust us”. And the only thing I really wanted to not forget telling is that we are ready. --iopensa (talk) 08:48, 18 December 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Why did you announce the selection of Wikimania Esino Lario on Twitter before it was announced on the official mailing list?[edit]

I personally took the decision of announcing the selection of Wikimania Esino Lario on tweeter (and then to share it on Facebook, where the Esino Lario community is very present) on December 24th, 2014, before it was announced on the official Wikimania mailing list. I received by email the communication and the email didn’t require to maintain the information confidential; I would like also to thank the Manila team to backup the news and sending such a nice message.

I have announced it on twitter for two reasons:

  1. to make sure people got excited about it and kept their enthusiasm. we have been working 16 months on the Wikimania Esino Lario bid, we have been waiting a lot for this answer with some necessary postponements. A lot of people were waiting for it and I needed to tell them as soon as possible to not consume the enthusiasm and making sure they are on it.
  2. to fundraise. the very same day (December 24th - and I can assure you that with two children 5 and 6 years old is not really the best day) I delivered the application to Cariplo Foundation (requiring grants to involve people in the region in wikimedia activities for two years, and to have more funds for the infrastructures). The deadline was December and i wanted to tell them we have been selected immediately, because of course it makes a big difference for funders if we are or we were not.

Of course Esino Lario will be visited by Ellie and Garfield and the decision is provisional. At the same time it is relevant to say that we had already a site visit in July 2014 (Deror Avi and Manuel Schneider) with a positive evaluation, and our bid provides full details about Esino Lario and the situation in the most precise way. Of course the confirmation of the selection is in May 2015 (the expected date of the site visit), but Esino Lario is an extremely peculiar and complex place where to host a conference and until May we already need people, partners, fundings and the positive excitement to get things done. We will do our best to properly receive the site visit, and we want to show that we have been moving on. I didn't announce this fantastic step for pride and joyful enthusiasm (which I do have, but i could wait); i have been bold to get the necessary involvement and support from the stakeholders (the Esino Lario community, our working team, the public institutions which can also facilitate images for Wikimedia Commons and Wiki Loves Monuments in Italy in 2015 – we have specific restrictions in Italy) and for the moment it looks like it is working. I hope this explanation can clarify the reasons and we are really enthusiast for the communication on the Wikimania mailing list and looking forward to the site visit. --iopensa (talk) 11:15, 22 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]


We have a safety section not a security one in the Esino Lario navbox. I think that a specific link should be added on this topic. This might be a "scary" discussion and I don't feel confortable doing it, but I prefer to do it and be ridiculed than other possible scenarios.

Many months ago, after the Charlie Hebdo attack, we were discussing of a banner for the victims on the itWikipedia village pump. Almost everybody disagree with the user who made the proposal claiming our "impartiality" from the events. Well, citing previous cases related to wikimedia or wikipedia issues, such as possible new legislation or funding requests, I made the example of our reaction facing a tragic event involving a group of wikimedians. It was just to show that in the case, we probably would have put a banner.

Since then what was a purely theoretical supposition became in my mind a highly improbable yet possible scenario. Especially after the following and even worse November attacks. There might be security issues at a global wikimedian event. I have discussed the topic again during the last moths with other wikimedians and even if they consider it not probable (so do I) it is nontheless true that a wikimedian assembly is a "profitable" target for terrorism: it provides an high impact (just think about a commemorative banner on the 6th world website, together with the "simple" news coverage), it attacks a symbol of the freedom of knowledge, and it affects a group of people from all over the world, but mainly the "western empishere" and usually quite young.

Italy is an European country where no recent critical event has occurred in the last years and for this reason it is considered a next target for terrorism. That was clearly said by national media after the last Paris attacks. It also means that it is safer so far and that's a good thing, all my respect goes to the Italian authorities for their prevention work so far.

Security is defentely more complicated to provide in open meeting than in a specific building. The event, which is an intrinsically critical target for the abovementioned reasons, seems to take place in a sparse and quite isolated area.

I won't be in Esino Lario, I don' attend this meetings but I am worried. I'm worried for people I care that will be there. I don't care if I sound to pessimistic, prevention is never enough. Circa two weeks ago I said in one of the last discussion with a wikimedian that I would have taken a look on the meta event page and here I am.

What's the security plan? Were the police forces informed so far? I guess so in some way, and I don't care about all the details. Just provide some. Which police force will be present for example? Is there an evacuation plan?

Again I am sorry if this sounds too dark but, as I said, I don't like writing about that myself.--Alexmar983 (talk) 23:14, 17 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimania Esino Lario is an event in the mountains but it is not that we live on the trees. We are perfectly aware of the time we live in and in realty all events in Italy are requested to be notified. Local authorities have been informed about the event. The Questore (head of the police) joint our gathering in Lecco in January, and yesterday I was on the phone with her to send her copy of the program, the expected participants and the sites. There will be a site visit newt week or the week after, presence of the police during the event and a specific control. We are following with care all the steps to reduce risks and manage emergencies. If you want more information you can contact me privately. Thanks for your message and for contributing in making sure our Wikimania is planned in the best way. --iopensa (talk) 10:32, 23 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I never said you were not prepared, I just though it was good to confirm that you are. A lot of things have changed since the last wikimania, it is sad but it is true. Italian authorities have done an amazing job so far, recent events in Belgium but not in Italy proves it sadly one more time. I confess: I am impressed that you can organize a meeting like that which such a special location in even more "special" times. It is hard job and I do not envy you at the moment. Thank you for answer. --Alexmar983 (talk) 12:34, 23 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]


We could add User:Alexmar983/supermarkets to the navbox if you want. Just add some images of the shop in the area and a link to the maps. If you want, I can refine it.--Alexmar983 (talk) 00:16, 18 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I've informed the ML of Wikimedia italy about the supermarket page and I got no opposition and one favorable comment. I will probably insert it in the following days. I also remove this note. if someone can go a take a picture, (s)h could also inform the owner(s)/director(s) of the upcoming event.--Alexmar983 (talk) 14:10, 17 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Editing and thanks[edit]

I am editing the page by using the model of the Wikimedia Conference 2016. Thanks Wikimedia Deutschland! --iopensa (talk) 15:01, 17 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]