On Tue, 6 Oct 2015 at 01:59 Lodewijk <lodewijk(a)effeietsanders.org> wrote:
Did anyone do a calculation whether holding it in an
expensive city (say,
London) with cheaper flights actually /is/ cheaper than holding it in a
cheap city in Asia (say, Delhi or Mumbai)? And then I don't mean WMF-budget
wise, but total costs: including the costs by all affiliates, and the costs
privately paid for by the volunteers. I recall being positively surprised
that there was very little difference between India and Berlin for the
I've been doing this regularly for years in an *ad hoc* way. It informed
the pick of areas. For example, the additional cost to the community of
hosting Wikimania in Australia is (very roughly) US$1k extra per person
from outside Oceania compared to the base cost, and US$1k less for each
person in Oceania. At typical levels of 800 non-local self-funded
attendees, of whom we have around 10 from Oceania, and 400 local people who
wouldn't otherwise come at all, This means an additional community cost of
~US$750k (and a bunch more for Wikimedia organisational funds, paid
directly from WMF or via the chapters) in return for the opportunity for
400 local Oceanians to attend who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity.
This is, clearly, not a completely unacceptable additional burden, but it
is one we should take on carefully. By picking the venue for Wikimania we
are not just 'awarding' some locals, but demanding a great many community
people reach even deeper to try to attend, and for a great many, put it
beyond their financial reach. Though Wikimedia organisational funds pay a
huge amount for scholarships, almost entirely focussed on the
less-represented countries in our community, but this does not (and cannot
reasonably) cover the majority of attendees.
Off the top of my head, the numbers are roughly comparable for Latin
America (slightly less for Mexico), a bit lower for South Asia, Sub-Saharan
Africa, and Eastern Europe/Russia/Central Asia, and lower still for Asia
Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa. The numbers drift from year
to year a bit, but sadly there's not much impact on the overall headline
whilst the editing community is so unequally geographically distributed.
This is why we included the call to area to get into the practice of having
annual regional or sub-regional conferences. These would let a much larger
portion of our community more easily afford to come to an in-person
community event to share their passion, talk about what we can do to
improve the projects, and learn new things. This is what the Wikimedia
conferences, be they the global Wikimania or the regional "Wikimeetings"
(people should suggest a great name!), should be about.