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Wikimedia Belgium/OpenSpace

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The OpenSpace will be an open space allowing people to meet. It will be a mixture between offices, apartment and multimedia room in a loft style (actually, a loft would be nice to build that).

The main goal is to allow developers to live and work together a week-end, a mid-week, a week, maybe even 2 or 3 weeks and be able to concentrate all their efforts to produce code.

You can also imagine it's like your start-up or workplace but for open source communities. A developers paradise.

This space can also be used for some conference room, for workshops, Wikimedia projects presentation and so on.

Who ?[edit]

By order of priority, the target public is:

  1. MediaWiki and Wikimedia developers
  2. Wikimedia related development like bots, tools, etc.
  3. Wikimedia projects workshops
  4. Open source development projects, with an accent on culture, education, or knowledge sharing
  5. Workshops, with an accent on culture, education, or knowledge sharing
  6. All open source development projects

Why ?[edit]

Open source projects are furthermore managed as a commercial organization, like Canonical for Ubuntu or MySQL AB (now Sun) for MySQL or sponsored by one.

We want to provide an alternative for others. And guess what, MediaWiki and all the Wikimedia related development are not sponsored by a commercial organization, so we fill a need.

We're confident giving the opportunity for people to meet in real life and share space, we can kick up great idea.

When ?[edit]

The ideal would be Summer 2009 but October 2009 is more realistic.

Where ?[edit]

In the center of Brussels.

How ?[edit]

The OpenSpace will be financed by corporate sponsoring.

The start budget will 25 000 € (it could be a gold sponsor donation of 10 000 € + 3 silver donations of 5000 €), to buy furnitures, to secure the 2 months locative deposit and eventually to buy some hardware.

But for the hardware, we're going to call in nature sponsorship from Dell, Fijutsi Siemens for laptops and desktops, etc., also Sun and IBM for the servers.

We've planned a budget of 25 000 € per year, 40% for rent, the extra for electricity, transport or food intervention and emergencies like new hardware needed in a quick time.


Why a corporate sponsoring and not to include it in regular Wikimedia Belgium budget?[edit]

Because it's an appealing project for corporates.

And it's the ideal time! In crisis time, you don't cut marketing budget. Instead, you choose wisely your projects.

So we're dependent for companies ? They're going to have a word to say to help the projects they'll support to get priority[edit]

No, the sponsoring contract will be very clear on this point: the OpenSpace is independent.

By the way, some will get a priority: the Wikimedia projects.

Note for the partisans of dual NL/F Belgium chapters[edit]

The OpenSpace project demonstrates the need of an national-level association, to get corporate sponsoring, to get more credibility.

And because we aren't just think about a specific language Wikimedia project, but to projects serving all the Wikimedia communities, like the Wikimedia Deutschland Toolserver project serve us all.

And because we share the same values: to support free communities. The Wikimedia Foundation mission is to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally.

Wikimedia Belgium will be able with the OpenSpace to provide physical infrastucture to allow MediaWiki developers meetings, bots and tools Wikimedia projects developers hackathons, Wikimedia projects informal meetings and workshops. We'll also be able to offer facilities to open source developers communities, especially with strong ties with education, share of knowledge or culture. All of that contribute to a free world.

This following paragraphs is a personal essay of its contributor and not an official statement.

How do you dare to put local politics in such a vision? We are going to empower people to build tools used worldwide. We share universal values. We're the same people, in the same world.