Wikimania 2012/Bids/Stellenbosch/Q&A

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Jury members will list questions below. Please answer them/ adjust the bid accordingly by April 8, 1500 GMT


* What kind of experience do you have, individually and collectively, in terms of organising Wikimedia related events and projects in the past? Could you elaborate on this carefully, listing out a history of your personal and collective engagement with the movement.

The team members who have had experience in organising events and conferences - both Wikimedia-related events, other Commons events and conferences and general events, are Kerryn McKay and Charlene Foster. Kerryn McKay has assisted with the following events:

  • SA Free Culture Tour (Jimmy Wales and Lawrence Lessig) March 2007: organised, coordinated and managed a road show tour for Jimmy Wales and Larry Lessig , including speaking at the University of Western Cape and an ISOC meeting, and opening and speaking at The Armchair Theatre (free culture concert) and press interviews.
  • iCommons 2007 in Dubrovnik, Croatia June 2007: organising 350 international participants to go to Croatia for iCommons iSummit 2007. Organised all logistics, travel and accommodation, working in conjunction with the team based in Croatia. Our team in South Africa were the main drivers and managed the financial aspects and final approval of the summit, including conference programme, all admin and logistics, and scholarships.
  • Innovation Series and Wikipedia Academy, November 2007: Invited Jimmy Wales to speak at an evening engagement in Johannesburg, Gauteng, and also to attend and assist at the first Wikipedia Academy at Cida City Campus in Johannesburg. Coordinated both events with various stakeholders.
  • iCommons 2008 in Sapporo, Japan August 2008: organised and coordinated conference of 500 participants, including all functions from programme creation, scholarship transportation and accommodation, venue and logisticis including translation and live video-feed as well as all event documentation, liaison with Sapporo team who worked at the City of Sapporo. Fundraising and sponsorship.
  • Wikimedia Chapter kickoff workshop, August 2010: liaised with the Wikimedia Foundation, organised transportation and accommodation, scholarship management and venue logistics
  • Digital Natives Workshop, November 2010: liaised with Indian- and Amsterdam-based team to engage and invite African digital natives to a three-day workshop in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Responsible for all logistics and coordination, including scholarships, transport, visa letters and phone calls, ground travel and accommodation, as well as workshop facilitation.

Charlene Foster has been working collaboratively with a broad network of professionals in media, communications, experiential marketing and tangient services for many years, who have, initiated, led and given support to events in South Africa, a number of African States, Europe and the US. Listed is a cross section of events that have been executed by Charlene and Associate Partners

• First African American delegation, post the unbanning of all political parties in South Africa (Meeting Planning for specific Industries represented in the delegation and their SA counterparts , “Government in Waiting” Convention, Tour planning of historic landmarks & political icons) • US-DOE/SA-DMEA BI-National Energy Summit, Johannesburg ( SA Event Partner, Service Procurement & Breakaway Plennary Meetings, Partnership Facilitation) • First SA Presidential Inauguration (US VVIP Logistics & Protocoll) • Two Nations Concert - Prince Charles Trust & Nelson Mandela Foundation (Royal Albert Hall) (Intern Selection, Protocol & Travel Logistics, Artist Procurement) • US Presidential visit to South Africa (Protocol & Travel Logistics Support,,VVIP detail) • Standard Bank Joy of Jazz (Government Liaison and Protocol Management) • Miriam Makeba Memorial (Production & Protocol Management, Sponsorship) • The USA/SA Trade Expo (Offsite Meeting Logistics & Protocol to9 specific exhibitors) • Rhythms of Africa (Associate Producers, Artist Procurement, Supplier Contracts, Sponsorship) • Live 8 – Africa Standing Tall Against Poverty – Johannesburg Stage (Associate Producers, Sponsorship, Travel, Production & VVIP Logistics & Protocol Management, Live Broadcast of Event - crossover to stages around the world) • Celebrate Africa, Africa Day Celebrations, with the City of Jo’burg and the Johannesburg Development Agency (Event Originator, Associate Producer, Fundraising/Sponsorship, Travel & Production Logistics Management) • SA Cultural Week (Exhibition and Workshops showcasing SA Music, Fashion, Film, Visual Art, Craft in Germany, Netherlands, Denmark, US) • The Mobile Games Co. (Africajam) • Unicef (South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya) • Coca Cola South & East Africa (Brand Repatriation & Retention Strategy Events) • Spark Africa (Kenya) • Peer Pressure Entertainment (Ghana • Super Cassette Industries(India) • Imagine Africa • Visual Arts Network of South Africa • Moshito (Music Conference & Exhibition – Digital Hub • Southern Africa Arts Exchange • Music Industries Development Initiative • Tourism Indaba SA Tourism Authority • Niche events during the 2010 FIFA World Cup©.

The team also consists of active Wikipedians who have been active since 2003 and 2005, and Ian Gilfillan has previously been involved in a Wikimania bid. These Wikipedians are an integral and leading part of the local Wikipedian community.

* Have your considered the how will you make decisions? Have you considered the financial aspects (opening bank account, issuing receipts etc.)

Decisions have already been made and high-level decisions are made democratically with the proposed directors of the ZA Wikimedia Chapter. The core team has worked together intensively for the past 6 months in putting the chapter together and there is awareness of where the various strengths fall within the team. Some of the team are stronger in relationship-building with other stakeholders and managing logistics, whilst some of the 'older' Wikipedians in the team are stronger at understanding the community and reaching out to this community.

As matter of course a bank account will be opened when the Chapter has been incorporated. As per our experience with organising other events, a separate account will be opened but linked and this is where all the financial activity will take place. We understand strict audit and book-keeping procedures and have already established using the accounting system, QuickBooks. These skills will be shared with the ZA Chapter and thus the preparation and implementation of the Wikimania 2012. Our systems have also managed international conferences with currency conversions, invoicing and international payments and payment receipts.

We could also use the Financial Reporting system created by Wikimedia Indonesia.

* You will need many volunteers or paid coordinators – how are you planning to approach and find them?

We will have a dedicated (non volunteer) core team who will organise the conference. Volunteers will be used for things such as helping set up and dismantle venues (eg signage), registration, providing onsite directions, group travel assistance (with signboards) for buses. Volunteers will be sourced from local universities such as Stellenbosch and University of the Western Cape, and their various outreach programmes.


* Is the maximum capacity of the main hall 450 people? This limits the conference somewhat.

There are a number of other options that can be used in Stellenbosch. The room that hosts 450 is the HB Thom Theatre. Our thinking was that the conference would not pull as many international participants as previous years given the fact that the distance is further to travel, thus a plenary room that could accommodate 450 people would suffice.

However, there are a number of venues and facilities that can be used. If it is crucial to accommodate 500-plus participants in a plenary session, our further thinking is that the Stellenbosch Conservatorium could also be utilised. This is the Music Department at the University and includes the large Endler Hall (which is one of the finest concert halls in the world), which can seat upto 556 people. If we wish to host everything in one venue then we could also utilise the breakaway rooms that can host a total of 500 people as follows: lecture rooms (upto 60 people each), Jannasch lecture hall (up to 180 persons), Fismer Hall (upto 200 persons).

* An estimated 500 attendees will come to the conference – will the WiFi be able to support such a large group? Was this tested? Will you provide additional WiFi infastracture?

We will ensure that the WiFi will be able to support 500 participants and we will have dedicated technical personnel on board to ensure that this happens. This has not been tested as yet, with 500 simultaneous users. Should we win the bid we will then go ahead with making these arrangements. Our thinking is that we will supplement internet connectivity with an outside service provider, and not rely on the university to provide this service as we will then have more control.

* How are the multiple venues arranged? Are they all near each other or in the same building? Is it possible/feasible to have several parallel sessions for keynotes, smaller presentations, etc.?

The original idea was that breakaway sessions would be housed in two to three venues, including the JS Gericke Library building (with three rooms), the STIAS conference centre (with 5 rooms) and the Research Commons (with four rooms). These are not situated together although they are all on campus, and would require participants to walk between them. However it would be few minutes walk and we have, in the past, managed this type of set up. Should one venue be preferred, then we would utilise the Conservatorium (as mentioned above) and its comlementary rooms.

* Is the University of Stellenbosch a formal partner? If so, what is the agreement, could you make it explicit, and explain the benefits, e.g. subsidised accommodation, etc.?

The university is not a formal partner as yet. Initial discussions have taken place with one of the team members and the university staff (Dean of the University and the university Librarian), during which the university has expressed a great deal of interest in the conference. A more formal proposal is required to be put to the university and in which our financial criteria are put forward. There are two aspects to this proposed partnership: firstly, to open up local dialogue for Wikipedia and academia, and this is a long-term goal of the new ZA Chapter. For this goal, the university is seen as less a hosting partner and more an awareness-raising partner around this goal. Secondly, to be a hosting partner. Here we would request that the conference *venues* are either provided free of charge or subisdized. This would *not* include accommodation.


*To the extent that Cape Town is a larger and possibly more diverse city, with a large student population and an existing Wikimedian base, do you have plans to hold single or multiple events at a location in the city, given the proximity to Cape Town?

*Can you help us understand the benefits of being in Stellenbosch vs Cape Town? Please list all, e.g. safety, proximity of venues, university buy-in etc. The main reason we selected Stellenbosch was due to one of the bid co-ordinators studying at Stellenbosch University. He was able to secure strong university support from the early stages, and personally visit and inspect all the venues. Stellenbosch does have a lower crime rate, and its smaller size brings advantages in proximity, but the main reason was because of the strong early support from a like-minded institution.

Stellenbosch University also has a state of the art technology infrastructure though it's capacity is not tested as yet. The relationship between the university and the Wikimedia ZA chapter is in development and therefore not in a position as yet to articulate what the terms of the relationship will be for the purposes of the Wikimania 2012 bid and the development of the chapter going forward. The aesthetic beauty, historic, cultural, academic and tourism value of Stellenbosch is less known to the world, as Cape Town has an established global profile and growing footprint. The proximity of most amenities in Stellenbosch is within walking distance from the campus with minimal personal safety precautions needed for delegates. Hosting in Stellenbosch allows for more focussed sessions and optimizes delegate attendance as well as resolutions taken, whereas Cape Town would distract delegates (to the point of almost being absent) from most conference activities/sessions to enjoy the sites and sounds of the city which would pose a security and logistical threat to the delegates and organizing team.

We could host the opening and/or closing of the conference in Cape Town at the CTICC (dependent on availability). We would garner support from Cape Town City officials and other stakeholders to host an Open Day inclusive of an Expo of Wikimedia projects combined with a cultural exchange that could seed future GLAM activity.

Hosting Wikimania 2012 in Stellenbosch is an opportunity to create "critical" mass and awareness one small town at a time.


* Did you contact the hotels already and check availability?

Yes, I have checked availability and have narrowed options down to two places who can do large, group bookings: Protea Hotel Stellenbosch and the Lord Charles Hotel. There is availabilty over our proposed dates, 12 to 15 July 2012 (although see the additional date options under the proposed itinerary question.)

* Will the registration to accommodation be done through the organizers or directly through the hotels?

Through the conference organisers, and not directly with the accommodation.

* What is the costs of the dorms? How many dorm rooms available?

We will not use dorm rooms. This is to our mind an option but not a great option - so we would rather house participants in decent and comfortable accommodation although they will be required to share.

* Where discounts for hotels obtained?

We can enter into negotiations on block bookings - and both hotels welcome this business and are prepared to substantially negotiate the cost.

We can also approach one of the hotel groups for sponsorship of some of the accomodation

* What meals will be provided by the organizers?

During the conference lunch will be provided and tea breaks. Dinner will be for participants' account unless there is an evening function which includes a snack meal. Any other refreshments will be for participants' account.

* Are the hotels B&B? if not – where will attendees be able to eat breakfast?

Breakfast will be included in the hotel cost.


* Can you provide a budget?

Yes, we have a draft budget with approximate costs therein. This includes covering travel and accommodation for about 20 scholarships, plus keynote speakers. It does not include venue hire as yet - although this would be a high cost if not subsidized by the University. We would also consider a reasonable (small) registration fee for participants.

Draft Budget

* What kind of costs are we looking at here that are estimable - for e.g. accommodation, venues, transport - and do any of the costs present a significant advantage over holding Wikimania in a first-world country?

The cost is not going to be significantly reduced in relation to hosting in a global Northern country. (We prefer this term to 'first world'!) Although the South African currency is much weaker than the Euro (eg: R 9.90 to Euro 1.00) or US Dollar (eg: R7.00 to USD 1.00), costs are still high as the Cape Town environs are expensive due to tourism opportunities.

An example of a standard (non negotiated at this point) cost for accommodation @ 176 rooms with two people sharing = R 1, 800.00 per room x 176 = R 316, 800.00. In USD this would be around $ 45,200.00

* Have you approached sponsors? Do you have a list of possible sponsors?

See below. We have approached a small number to date.

* What is your experience in finding sponsorship?

Our experience in finding sponsorship is that this requires knowledge, skill and careful strategic planning. The 'product offering' for corporate entities must be well-thought out and should also provide organisations and companies with a number of different options that have been pre-developed. In our previous fundraising efforts for a conference, we have used an independent marketing and sponsorship expert to assist with this.

We have experience in raising sponsorship for various events, conferences and social causes to date.


* Do you have support letters from the university? Government and municipal bodies? Possible sponsorships? # What kind of support do you expect (or have arranged) from local South African institutions, both educational and otherwise (for e.g. funding agencies) - these could include the universities (Stellenbosch, Cape Town, UWC, Cape Technikon, etc.), the Shuttleworth Foundation, etc. etc.

Corporate entities[edit]

We have spoken to two proposed corporate sponsors, and have two letters expressing interest from Cerebra and Old Mutual. We believe, primarily, that the private sector would be our prime target, from large national corporates to SMMEs (small medium and micro enterprises). We would thus propose a tiered sponsorship structure to enable various size companies to provide support according to their means. In South Africa, as in many countries, one really has 'one chance' to attract and gain sponsorship. Should we win the bid, we would propose to bring a fundraising/ sponsorship manager on board (which we have done successfully in the past) who can unpack the value-offering for corporates and put together a succinct and clear funding strategy, with sponsorship tiers and a 'marketing' proposal.

Once Wikimedia ZA Chapter becomes a legal entity broadening our support base would be much easier. At present there is a lot of interest from corporate and government entities who are reticent to commit that support to paper. Local government support is also hindered by the current political landscape which will change shortly as we prepare to go to the polls May 2011.


We are also in discussion with the National Department of Communication as this type of conference hosted at a university falls into their 'knowledge hub' project. Discussions with government are lengthy and they will only provide a letter upon more concrete facts (thus not during the bidding phase) but our intention is to have financial support from these conversations.

Academic institutions[edit]

The support that we would get from Stellenbosch University would be around venue costs or discounts. Other universities or institutions of learning would come on board as possible programme or content partners. These partnerships would not be financial.

* Will you take a production company or produce the conference yourself?

Given the strengths of the team members, we would largely be able to manage the conference logistics, although we would call on various service providers such as travel agents, technical service providers, transportation companies, and external MC (a 'personality' on the South African scene.)

* Do you have ideas for guest speakers? Who? How many?

This question as well as those below are interesting in that our intention is to have a collaborative programme creation following a call for proposals and expressions of interest for content channels and focus; thus the content cannot be prescribed without community input. However, we will endeavour to answer the questions below, but please note that these are in draft format, given the above proposed methodology for programme creation. Both prominent African wikipedians and prominent open content African - and Southern-perspective players from jursidictions such as Brazil and India (given that South Africa has a overt india-Brazil relationship) to introduce context to an African-hosted conference.

* What kind of outreach can you do to draw in people from within South Africa and neighbouring countries?

We would like to organise scholarships for local actors operating in the Wikimedia space. The last workshop that we organised, for Digital Natives in Africa, sent out an email call for participation to our (The African Commons Project) network. The workshop was for about 30 people and we received over 350 responses to the call. Thus outreach to networks via email will be successful; limiting scholarships is more of a challenge. I think that a message put out to African Wikipedia community through prominent Wikipedians such as Ndesanjo Macha, and their contacts with their communities, would be well received.

* What kind of Africa focus, both within and outside South Africa, do you propose? For e.g. do you have specific plans for including/highlighting strong African language Wikipedias (Swahili, Arabic, Afrikaans, Yoruba) and nascent indigenous South African language Wikipedias?

We would definitely wish to include a focus on African languages and the actors that have helped - or are currently helping - grow these languages.

* What are your weaknesses? And how will you cope with your weaknesses?

Team members living in different regions in South Africa Team members removed from other active jurisdictions in the global North Team members have full-time jobs and there is limited time to devote to organisation

Solutions: build in financial support for team travel during the preparation phase as well as remote meeting; build relationships remotely with other Wikipedia jurisdictions; build in financial support for dedicated time allocations for those team members who wish to be involved in the conference organisation

* What is your suggested itinerary of the conference?

In the interim one of our team members, Charlene, has put together the following draft proposed itinerary: Proposed Wikimania 2012 Conference Schedule July 2012

(Optional) Tues. 10th Hacking Day

07h30 – 09h30 Breakfast
09h45 – 12h45 Hacking Agenda
13h00 – 14h00 Lunch
14h15 – 18h00 Hacking Agenda
18h30 – 19h30 Cocktail Hour
19h45 – 22h30 Early bird Welcome Dinner and Entertainment
23h00 Downtime - Rest or Recreation


  • Welcome dinner to be catered for by Stellenbosch Community Kitchen - Opportunity for Stellenbosch Cullinary Community (reputable restaurants and catering entities) to come together in varied groups to cater meals for delegates – different groups cater each day for the duration of the conference – Enterprise Development and Community Collaboration potential/opportunity
  • Buffet Snack stations and refreshments set up around campus after lunch and dinner – fruit and veg in season/soup/biscuits/tea/coffe/juice/water
  • Mock/Cocktail Bar - happy hour before dinner
(Optional) Wed. 11th Hacking Day / Wikipedia Academy

07h30 – 09h30 Breakfast
09h45 – 12h45 Hacking Agenda
13h00 – 14h00 Lunch
14h15 – 18h00 Hacking Agenda
18h30 – 19h30 Happy Hour
19h45 – 23h00 Dinner and Entertainment

  • Wikipedia Academy/winter Schools/ University Outreach – Participants to elect campus to visit (UWC/UCT./Penunitech/Cape Tech/Stellenbosch) and facilitate edit/contributor/talk workshops. Schools to bus in learners and teachers to participate – Incentivized approach with 2011 ZA Chapter National outreach to schools and Institutions of Higher Learning – remote participation/ information upload and hands on facilitation
  • Set up Children’s Zone
  • Wikimedia ZA Chapter – Madiba Day Call to Action – Wikipedia Academy
  • Packed meals and transport for delegates to satellite campus locations or arranged meals on campus.
Thur. 12 Conference Day

07h30 – 09h30 Breakfast
09h45 – 12h45 Conference Agenda – Opening Ceremony
13h00 - 14h00 Lunch
14h15 – 18h00 Conference Agenda - Feedback on Wikipedia Academy
19h30 – 23h30 Dinner and Entertainment

  • 10h00 - 12h00 * Media briefing - WMF Board,Project Reps and WmZA Chapter rep
Fri. 13 Conference Day

07h30 – 09h30 Breakfast
09h45 – 12h45 Conference Agenda
13h00 – 14h00 Lunch
14h15 – 18h00 Conference Agenda
19h00 – 21h30 Closing Ceremony and Dinner
22h00 -02h00 Culture Crawl – Variety of Acts, Genres’ and venues in Stellenbosch and surrounds


  • Vehicles/ drivers/security/chaperones on standby for delegates electing “off site” locations
  • Western Cape Creative/Cultural Treasures
  • Consideration given to delegates religious and spiritual beliefs – Jewish, Muslim, Other – Could ask community of specific religion to invite delegates to share rituals and ceremonies

The schedule could be changed to the Open Day either on Friday 13 or Saturday 14 to be hosted in Cape Town and would include a cultural exchange / expo to focus public attention in an interactive way exposing them to Wikimedia Projects and encourage high volume traffic to the venue. All planning, logistics and resources for this event taken into account.

Sat. 14 Public Access (optional) and Tour Day/ Departure Day

07h45 – 09h45 Breakfast
10h00 – 12h00 Conference Open Day – Public Access – Q & A Session
12h30 – 12h45 Board busses for City/Township/Beach Tour
14h00 – 18h00 Peninsula Tour - TBD and Departures