the rotation we have set for Wikimania guarantees that at least once every three years we
do not pick the easiest, cheapest and safest location.
The reality is that US-Canada and Europe are the easiest and cheapest locations. Well,
with Esino Lario we have done our best to assure some complexities, but in general
organizing wikimania in Asia, Latin America, Africa and Australia is more challenging and
more expensive for people who have the money to pay their travel to travel there (let’s be
very clear: if the event is in Ghana, this does not mean that it is possible for a person
from Senegal to afford his/her trip. If the event is in Europe, US and Canada it is much
more likely that a person from there can afford his/her trip. Australia is an exception in
many ways but in general it is expensive for the majority of the partcipants).
I personally believe the real criteria to choose where to host Wikimania should be a
positive impact. If organizing Wikimania in a location can bring resources (volunteers,
brains, fundings, content...), boost projects, involve communities it does make sense to
organize it there even if it is much more expensive than in other location. I personally
believe our goal should not be to put our flag in a new location but to make the best
impact where Wikimania takes place. And let’s get ready to invest more (money, time,
difficulties) if it makes sense.
Wikimania needs to change its selection process. My experience (and the experience of
others) is that the current system is not a healthy system. We are putting teams one
against the other and hurting people we do not want to hurt: we want everyone to win and
to be involved in different capacities in the Wikimedia projects and in Wikimania.
Montreal has been chosen because it is a very good site, with a very good team, a safe
place, and for the first time in a francophone location; by selecting as rapidly as
possible the venue for 2017 we provide the Montreal team enough time to prepare the event
and we have time ourselves to discuss and establish a new process.
The committee has met twice in the past three months and we were getting ready to announce
the news. The delays are never positive and it is good that the topic is now at the centre
of discussions. please do contribute to the process and the discussion about it also on
meta to make sure its more easily recorded and accessible
iolanda / iopensa
member of the Wikimania Committee and volunteer for Wikimania Esino Lario