Talk:Wikimania 2015 bids/Esino Lario

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Frequently Asked QuestionsEdit


Why Esino Lario?Edit

Esino Lario is at the same time an unexpected and possible location for Wikimania. Unexpected because of course it is not a major city; possible because it is 100 km from Milan, it is served by three airports (one of which is Malpensa Airport, a major European airport), it is reached by optical fiber, it is connected by two electricity lines, it is relatively closed for a group of volunteers of Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH, and for Wikimedia Italia staff and it is in the world-wide renewed beautiful area of Lake Como. Furthermore, Esino Lario has being using open licenses since 2006, it has received a Wikimedia Italia prize in 2009 for open content, it has contributed to the Wikimedia projects with its historical documentation, it has served as pilot experience for the project Share Your Knowledge: Creative Commons and Wikipedia for cultural institutions and it is currently involved in the project The Alps on Wikipedia, a project in partnership with Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH.

Why not another place?Edit

The aim of this bid is exactly to prepare Wikimania to be hosted in many more and many other places. Esino Lario is the right place to build the necessary experience, because – differently from other places – it can take advantage of the support of an existing and strong chapter (with an office, some staff and the experience of Wikimedia Conference Milan 2013), the presence of an engaged group of volunteers with different skills and backgrounds, a history of interactions between Wikimedia and the local community, and a location which presents a manageable complexity. Testing a new format for Wikimania would be much more complex without those four essential assets. We have no doubts that there are other beautiful and great place where Wikimania can be hosted, but Esino Lario is the right one to test a new format and to allow a broader range of places to be selected in the future. This is why Esino Lario and not another place.

What is the plus value of organizing Wikimania in Esino Lario?Edit

Esino Lario offers to Wikimania:

  1. Proximity. In a small mountain town, the event occupies the entire territory. Venues, restaurants, bars, and the large majority of the accommodation is all in one place. Participants can enjoy the sessions, the evening program and the excursions together and the location facilitates interaction, exchanges, formal and informal meetings during the day and in the evening. The advantage of a large city is that participants can be dispersed (which makes it much easier to manage them), but it does not facilitate interactions and a full involvement of people in the event.
  2. A new format. The specificity and the complexity of Wikimania Esino Lario is a challenge and a chance to rethink Wikimania. The planning of the event has required a review of the existing documentation and Esino Lario is a change to consider new locations and the capacity of the program to fit and be triggered by the specificities of those new locations (location, participants, objectives, financial plan and evaluation).
  3. Legacy. Wikimania Esino Lario will not only produce an event but also a territorial development. This legacy is not produced with fundings from the Wikimedia movement but it is triggered by Wikimania. This strategy can be implemented in new locations and it can produce with the effort and the investment of Wikimania a larger and permanent impact.

How long does it takes to get to Esino Lario?Edit

Esino Lario is 1h 40 minutes from Milan central station by train and bus; the bus waits for the train.
From the airports by public transport you basically need to reach Milan central station (+ above). To reduce the inconvenience of having to take 3 different transports and to wait for connections, we have planned a direct transport from the airports. Direct transport takes 2 h from Malpensa, 1 h 30 min from Linate and 1 h 40 min from Orio al Serio; busses can accommodate up to 50 people and if we consider only 20 people per bus the cost is 25 € per person (the cost of public transport from Malpensa is 18.85 €). For further details please refer to traveling to Esino Lario.

Is there anything to do in Esino Lario?Edit

Yes. Wikimania Esino Lario will organize specific special events and excursions, and Esino Lario is located just above Lake Como, a well-known touristic location with villas, botanical gardens, monuments and lovely villages. Program of Wikimania Esino Lario.


How many people can participate in Wikimania Esino Lario?Edit

1'000 people is the maximum capacity of Wikimania Esino Lario. This is the number we have used to plan venues, food, technology, transport and accommodation. For further details please refer to participants.

Why are you limiting the number of participants?Edit

Setting the number of participants to Wikimania Esino Lario to 1'000 (with the objective of welcoming 700) is meant to assure that the event is manageable and pleasant. This number was set during the feasibility study and it is to a relevant number of participants compared to other Wikimanias in non-English speaking countries. For further details please refer to participants.

' Frankfurt Cambridge, US Taipei Alexandria Buenos Aires Gdańsk Haifa Washington DC Hong Kong London Esino Lario proposal
Date 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Population of the hosting city 687.775 105.162 2.652.959 4.546.231 2.890.151 460.276 63.666 646.449 7.184.000 8.308.369 772
Conference attendees (including volunteers) 380 400 440 650 559 500 726 1400 1000 4000 1000
Attendees compared to the population 0,06% 0,38% 0,02% 0,01% 0,02% 0,11% 1,14% 0,22% 0,01% 0,05% 129,53%
# beds planned at a low price 434 690 889 650 559 622 180 250 100 1241 700
Percentage of beds at low price compared to the number of attendees 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 25% 18% 10% 31% 70,00%
Note about the beds plus local participants (inhabitants) plus local participants (inhabitants) 700 is the number of available beds (confirmed) in Esino Lario.
Number of attendees planned in Esino Lario compared to previous Wikimania 263% 250% 227% 154% 179% 200% 138% 71% 100% 25%

Shouldn't we get the largest possible number of people at Wikimania?Edit

This is a choice. If you think Wikimania should involve the largest possible number of people, Wikimania Esino Lario is NOT the right place to do it. Wikimania Esino Lario can offer something different: an event characterized by proximity which allows to experiment a format of Wikimania.

Where are you going to put all those people during Wikimania Esino Lario?Edit

We are going to accommodate the majority of people in Esino Lario in hotels, dorms and private apartments. This is possible because Esino Lario has a century of touristic economy which reached 12'000 summer presences in the Sixties and Seventies. People can also take advantage of the available accommodation in the near-by villages of Perledo and Varenna and Lake Como (Lecco, Abbadia Lariana, Mandello del Lario, Lierna, Bellagio, Menaggio, Bellano, Dervio, Colico). For further details please refer to accommodation.

How are you going to manage all those people moving around?Edit

We are going to intensify busses between the railway station Varenna-Esino and Esino Lario (5 busses rented for 7 days), and we will have small 8-people vans to manage local transport in Esino Lario (4 vans for the week). The plan considers local transport also for volunteers, occasional visitors and participants with accommodation in Varenna. For further details please refer to moving around.


Are we going to have the Internet?Edit

Yes. Optical fiber reaches Esino Lario. For Wikimania we will take advantage of it and distribute it properly. For further details please refer to technical.

Do you have enough electricity?Edit

We are going to increase the electricity supply for event. This is possible because Esino Lario is connected by two electricity lines (from Varenna and from Valsassina). Technical implementation of Wikimania Esino Lario.

How about blackouts?Edit

Short blackouts can happen during big storms; normally they last few seconds. We will use an uninterruptible power supply to protect servers and video recordings will take advantage of each camera battery. We considered having generators, but the efficiency of such a solution has a disproportionate cost compared to probabilities and to the real capacity of generators to provide backup for an event of our size. According to safety regulations we will equip rooms and we will obviously provide each working space with banal - but timeless - chart-sheets and markers.


Is Wikimania Esino Lario supported by a chapter?Edit

Yes. Wikimania Esino Lario is supported by two chapters: Wikimedia Italia and Wikimedia CH. Wikimedia Italia general assembly has expressed its support in October 2013 and in April 2014 it has confirmed it; Wikimedia CH has supported it with a board resolution. Please refer to our history and to Wikimania Esino Lario support.


Wouldn't it be easier to organize Wikimania in a large city?Edit

Yes. But we are Wikipedians: we built the greatest encyclopaedia on the planet, and we can manage a conference like this.

Wikimania in generalEdit

Who is the actual target of Wikimania?Edit

Wikimania 2012
Map of the locations of Wikimania

Who is the actual target of Wikimania? The conference is meant to target the Wikimedia movement and the general public (Handbook). It the general public really involved in the conference? How?

Program: Does the current structure of Wikimania program respond to the needs of the community?Edit

In general the current structure of Wikimania resembles academic conferences; the schedule is organized in parallel tracks and plenary sessions. Does this structure respond to the needs of the community?

Does it make sense to have an international event every year? would it be more sustainable to have a major international event every two years and "regional" events every year?Edit

The cost of a "regional" event in Europe is surely more reasonable, but this is quite a unique situation. Organizing "regional" events in Africa, Asia, America, Oceania... is not less expensive than an international event. --iopensa (talk) 07:59, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Why Esino Lario?Edit

How did you choose this comune, as opposed to any other in the region? The chapters meeting was in Milan this year, so, if this is chosen, we could say that Lombardy is very popular for Wikimedia events. ;) PiRSquared17 (talk) 18:17, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

It is actually not a top down selection: we didn't look at a map to pick the place. it is rather the other way around. I have been working there as a volunteer for the last 7 years with associations and groups in Esino Lario, using the cc by-sa license and uploading content on Wikimedia commons (it is actually cheaper for a village to provide high resolution images of parchments and old documents rather than managing requests and an archive opening hours). Coming back from Wikimania I have started thinking about Esino Lario as a completely different location for Wikimania and a chance to do it differently, we discussed about it in Esino Lario and on the Wikimania Italy mailing list and we started thinking that it is actually possible. Esino Lario is not like any other village anywhere else: 1. there is a link to the work already done related the free knowledge; 2. the city council and the local association are not invited to join in, but they are part of the construction of it and they have already heard about open licenses and cc by-sa and Wikimedia (we actually got the Wikimedia Italia prize for free content in 2009); 3. we already have good links with partners and other institutions in the territory and experience in working together; and 4. Lombardy Region has several active members in Wikimedia Italia and this can really make it a great team. The fact that the chapter meeting was in Milan is actually a great think, because it reinforced the managing capacity to produce Wikimania and the confidence of the team.
There are surely many other small municipalities that would be great locations for Wikimania, but organizing Wikimania in a small place that doesn't have a regularly used conference space for 1'000 people I think goes beyond selecting a location. It is more like constructing it. And this requires a strong bottom-up consensus and a real engagement of the place and its community. In Italy the situation of Esino Lario is different from any other places. We don't have to build a collaboration from scratches and this make is more feasible to test something new. --iopensa (talk) 18:38, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Lake Como or Esino Lario?Edit

Esino Lario is just above Lake Como. It has the advantage to be in a very well-known touristic area. But this bid is not about Lake Como and the beauty of it and the beauty of the area. This bid is about proposing something different for Wikimania. Something which is meant to produce an impact, a project which is conceived to be sustainable in the territory where it is produced and that wants to enhance the organization of future editions of Wikimania, by testing a different strategy. Putting Lake Como in the title it can allow people to know more easily where the place is and to get a sense that we are not planning the event in an area which doesn't have attractions, but the event will take place in Esino Lario, not on the lake: we don't want to mislead people who sees the bid it. I think if Wikimania Esino Lario is selected is not because of the beauty of its location - there are millions of beautiful places on hearth - but because it makes sense to test something different, because Wikimania can open is new decade (Wikimania 2015 will be the 11th edition) by launching a new approach and because the project demonstrates to be structured, feasible and capable of doing what it says it will do. --iopensa (talk) 20:14, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

How many hotel or hostel room does Esino Lario have? Geraldshields11 (talk) 13:02, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi Geraldshields11, in Esino Lario there are 7 hotels (175 beds - plus other 44 beds which are not at a walking distance in Cainallo and Ortanella) and 3 places we call dorms (155 beds). we base our bid on the availability of apartments for rent. At the moment we have only contacted owners of apartments who live in Esino Lario. We had the support of 59 people who confirmed the possibility of using the apartments they normally rent (we set a reimbursement) for 333 beds. The total in Esino Lario is at the moment 663 beds (+ the 44 in Esino Lario not at a walking distance in Cainallo and Ortanella = 707). Furthermore there are other 387 beds in hotels in Varenna and Perledo (Varenna is 20 minutes by car to Esino and Perledo 15 minutes; by bus you need to calculate more: the regular time schedule says 40 minutes Varenna-Esino); the total with Varenna and Perledo (which together with Esino and Lierna have the same administrative council) is 1050 beds (+ the 44 in Esino Lario not at a walking distance = 1094). There is also camping space in Esino and we checked motorhome costs. In Esino Lario we didn't take into considerations rooms in houses and we didn't approach jet apartment owners who do not live in Esino Lario. We also didn't look at apartments in Varenna and Perledo. We expect that the number of beds can increase but – considering apartments which come in and which can also come out (problems, use of single or double rooms, withdraws) – we can only reasonably set in Esino Lario the number of beds to 700. I still need to update the accommodation page; sorry, we have been working intensivly off meta in the last weeks. --iopensa (talk) 19:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Dear iopensa, Thank you for the information. Geraldshields11 (talk) 00:36, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

Reducing, focusing and mergingEdit

At the moment we have a lot of documentation and with the work of Frieda and Giulia Sepe there is even more content available outside meta. In the next month we will focus on reducing, focusing and merging. Cristian has suggested to make 1 page of presentation with links to where more information is available; he also suggested to avoid tabs. Ilario has suggested to focus on one or very few key ideas to make the concept more clear (he suggested that "green wikimania" is a relevant key focus; others like the payoff "since we are already here we might as well get some work done"). --iopensa (talk) 09:06, 22 December 2013 (UTC)


Should not this page be moved to Wikimania_2016_bids/Esino_Lario ? Ruslik (talk) 18:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

At the beginning all pages where under Esino Lario. The problem is that we are proposing to evaluate this bid in the frame of this year proposals. It is unusual but proposing something new is not wrong and it seems that there is also some positive feedback on the proposal of having two years to plan and implement Wikimania. I think for the moment is better to keep the page under Wikimania_2015_bids. Eventually we can move it later. thanks, --iopensa (talk) 18:12, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
This bid will be presented again for 2016, but I would like to make some changes and I would like to keep record of the structure of the text we presented in 2014. We also plan some changes (we will reduce the texts) for the next bid. please do not move it. thanks. --iopensa (talk) 18:20, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Evaluation of Wikimania Esino Lario - Questions we would like you to considerEdit

Executing rather than contributing

Wikimania criteria look for volunteers to execute an event. Bids are asked to demonstrate their ability to meet the requirements, but they substantially inherit a predesigned format. When accepted, the time available is so limited that the selected team will focus on the logistics; you copy and paste the “call for presentations” and with gratitude you leave to another committees to manage tasks which someone else can take care of.

The model of an academic conference

I have participated to 3 editions of Wikimania. For me Wikimania is the best conference, but not for its format. Why is it possible that wikimedians meet in the same way scholars do at academic conferences (with more people presenting than listening)? The academic conferences were conceived before the Internet, to allow researchers to be updated and to access information which was truly difficult to know about (and if you present you might get a grant from your university). Today that format is crappy and it does not even work for scholars, why are we copying it? To me, the best part of each Wikimania was what the team achieved to do differently, that very effort they put to design their own way. But none of those events allowed the community to reshape Wikimania.


Wikimania is now an event with a format, guidelines, requirements and a selection procedure. A reassuring structure which indeed does not allow people to be bold.

Wikimedians are not necessarily project and event managers, but narrowing their contribution to specific executive tasks is not the way Wikimedia considers and involves its Community. Volunteers should be asked to contribute, not to execute, because we assume that people have knowledge to share.

How can we change this?

A challenge

I think the only system we can reset the way volunteers are involved and we can reset Wikimania format (by managing the issues it seems a lot of people are already noticing as problematic - like the timeframe, the development of a program that is more limited and more focussed on participants, the link between the program and the scholarships, the definition of aims and evaluation) is to have a challenge. Challenges are what produce knowledge, innovation, collaboration and advancements in technology. You can take a big city and put the Wikimania format, guidelines and requirements in it. But this system doesn’t work in Esino Lario. This is why this location can transform Wikimania: it offers us a new page. As you would do for a Wikipedia article: you look at how other articles are structured, you study your references, you ask people for help, and you receive help you didn’t ask for. Checking the sessions of previous Wikimania (structure and content), creating an hypothesis of participants to manage the logistics, having an hypothesis of participants to consider expectations, considering expectations to plan the program, looking for resources, considering a territory a space for collaboration, transforming an event into a project is an approach we do not need if we are to implement the event in a large city. Esino will be very different from other Wikimania: because it put its centre in a small village (the so-called periphery) and Wikimania with its participants are at the centre (in a concentrated, aggregating, and totalizing event).


I imagine supporting Wikimania Esino Lario is particularly complicated. We propose a challenge, we ask two years to organize Wikimania, and we are not proposing ourselves to execute the regular format, but to contribute to design Wikimania. Furthermore in the selection process the jury is not asked to provide an opinion: it is asked to make a recommendation based on a series of selection criteria. This means that the best Esino can offer is irrelevant according to the criteria. Building on experience is important, but how about leaving a space for something new?

We would like to ask the jury to judge our proposal. What do you think about it? Do you think we have introduced relevant elements? Do you think it makes sense to provide organizers two years to implement the event? Do you share the idea that Wikimania should be more focused on participants and in triggering collaborations and contributions? Do you think Wikimania should be evaluated also according to how it boosts a middle and long-term impact on the territory and the community where it is implemented? Do you think Wikimania should be evaluated according to how it boosts initiatives and new projects by the community? Do you think this bid can offer an opportunity to contribute in doing it?

This is not what the criteria require the jury to focus on, but we trust these questions can open a discussion: a space to imagine something new and to reset our event not just as a conference, but as "The way wikimedians do their conference”. --iopensa (talk) 08:45, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

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