[Wikimedia-l] Registration open for Chapter Board workshop

Laura Hale laura at fanhistory.com
Fri Dec 6 11:27:17 UTC 2013

Hi Chris,

If there is only one Wikimedia Foundation board recognised thematic
organization, why did you chose to use a plural?  And The Wikinewsie Group
has aff-comm recognition, and as the Board has never rejected an aff-comm
recommendation, I don't particularly see the problem.

What I do see as problematic is WM-UK organizing this conference, talking
about chapters moving towards professionalism in the context of the
Wikimedia Movement while charging chapters and a thematic organization to
attend, selecting a hotel for participants to stay at that costs above the
per diem rate that the WMF funds for, and then saying there is the
expectation that it will not be an issue for people to attend with the high
registration fee and high accomodation costs because these will not be
incurred by individuals but by their organizations.

As the Movement appears to be having a discussion about finacial
responsibility and effect use of donor funds, that sort of approach appears
to run counter to all of that.  No explanation other than "We talked down
the price!" appears to have been forth coming as to why a place was
selected that costs roughly USD$200 a night.  There is no agenda for this
conference to understand why the conference is worth that expensive costs.
 The people presenting clearly are not in need of the conference as it is
Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia DE, Wikimedia PL, Wikimedia France.  These are by
and large the chapters with FDC funding or access to independent sources of
funding.  They are clearly not being targetted for training.  The people
who appear to be targetted as attendees are ones who have no money... and
you're off to charge them large amounts.

I don't see how these costs, which you expect to be absorbed by donor
funds, are a good use of those funds.  I don't see how expecting people to
incur expenses over around USD$850 to attend a two day conference ($400 for
two nights, $65 for registration, $230 for a flight from somewhere close in
Europe, $50 to get to the event from the airport, $100 in food) where the
thing starts out by violating WMF guidelines.

What knowledge exactly are you planning to pass on to people from less
developed chapters?  Fiscal responsibility, best use of donor funds,
following WMF's best practices for grant funding...  These are off the
table?  What else is there?

Laura Hale

On Friday, December 6, 2013, Chris Keating wrote:

> Hi Laura, you can bypass the registration fee by selecting "other payment
> option" in the way I said.
> In response to another off list query, I should point out that
> unfortunately this workshop is only open to existing (incorporated &
> recognised) chapters/thorgs, not those still in planning or awaiting
> recognition.

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