Hi Wikimedians We wholeheartedly supported the Mumbai-Pune bid for organising the conference. It has received widespread community support from Wikipedians across the country on the mailing list. We also take note of the fact that there is no visible active intent to make a bid to host the event from other cities.
The previous note from Executive Committee (EC) clearly indicates the intent and commitment to run an annual event, year on year, with the support of other stakeholders in the movement. To that end we request that the organising team of this year's event keep this an important objective. EC had previously made a proposal for such an event many in early 2011 but it was then deferred to September due to other procedural hurdles in getting all aspects of a formal entity up and running - A bank account being a prerequisite to execute the plan. EC regrets the communication gaps and discomfort caused in some quarters due to misunderstandings of intent which our earlier email clearly and directly addresses. The Wikimedia movement is community driven and we reiterate that involving the community is and will be a key priority for your Chapter and Executive Committee. We request everyone's support for the Mumbai-Pune efforts to organise the 2011 WikiConference. Please consider this note a full and complete support of the India Chapter for the event. We thank the Mumbai and Pune Wikimedians again for the passion and leadership in working towards organising the first edition of this event. We will engage and work with the Mumbai team and other Wikipedians on the specific aspects of the frame work. As indicated in the earlier email, it was meant to be a draft seeking comments from other stakeholders. There were a few other aspects that were highlighted to which we would like to provide the following: *Feedback #1: Treat us like equals and stakeholders. Amongst us, chapter will then be first among equals.* The Chapter is only a part of the Community and should be reflective of it. If the impression was otherwise, we apologise and reiterate our commitment to an equitable relationship with the Community. That said, please do understand that your Chapter has very clearly said that we will organise an event even in instances where there are no city bids - this is a fairly large undertaking for the Chapter and the Executive Committee as well. *Feedback #2: The second request is always ask our opinion before issuing policy, especially for a thing like WikiConference which has not been conducted before.* The framework was intended for discussion and for feedback - it isn't final and will not be final till there has been discussion and feedback on it. If the language indicated otherwise, we sincerely regret it. *Feedback #3: Lastly, this present framework will not do. We need a framework which gives autonomy to the Organising Committee to successfully pull off an event of this scale and nature. While organising this Wikiconference, the community is willing to develop a sensible, practical framework which can be debated and finalised after the event is over. In this manner best practices and lessons learnt will be incorporated.* We understand this. The idea behind the framework is to give us a road-map of how to prepare, execute and wrap up an event of this magnitude - given that this year will be the first, we are open to working together on such a framework and to better it as it goes along with the host communities. However, we must all agree that a framework is important to ensure that the annual event is sustainable and successful. The exact nature of the framework is something we can jointly define and we must all agree that at the end of the event, that we must all jointly draft this framework that can be reused for future events and years as a priority. Gautam K John and Arun Ramarathnam will represent the Chapter in the organizing committee for the Conference. Sincerely, Arjuna Rao Chavala President, Wikimedia Chapter
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