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Discussion Room 2017

Lodewijk
Hey Marc, all,

Based on this conversation, I took a look at the programme draft here. I noticed that the Round table discussions (a.k.a. Discussion Room) are not scheduled. Given the description that is available on the wiki, I presume this is not covered by the 'birds of a feather'. 

I do hope we can schedule the round table discussions again, and that we can implement some of the lessons we're drawing from the experiences in the past three years on this issue (we = the small committee that organised the discussions this year). Feedback seemed rather positive initially (with some suggestions for improvement), but we'll be collecting some more in the upcoming weeks. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-07 15:23 GMT+02:00 Marc-Andre <[hidden email]>:
Hey,

On 2016-07-07 08:27 AM, Lane Rasberry wrote:
Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other demands is to
1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the community


So, in practice, that already exists for Montreal in two flavours:

(a) Bird-of-a-Feather sessions, which are open to anyone to schedule (in advance) and have reserved meeting space.  Those will be open for reservation from about three months before the event to as late as we can make it and still have them appear in the programme. Those are ideal for preplanned meetings and probably what you'd use for the North American meetups.

(b) Unconferency meetups, that are *not* scheduled in advance, but for which both meeting space and a common scheduling system (think "whiteboard") are made available for ad-hoc meetings during the conference and preconference.  Any room which had been set aside for the BoF that was not used will be added to the pool, but there /will/ be meeting space even if all of the BoF slots are taken.


-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Lodewijk
Hi all,

unfortunately I have not spotted a response to this email. Could someone from the 2017 team confirm what is the situation at this point? Or who I should be talking with?

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-07 15:53 GMT+02:00 Lodewijk <[hidden email]>:
Hey Marc, all,

Based on this conversation, I took a look at the programme draft here. I noticed that the Round table discussions (a.k.a. Discussion Room) are not scheduled. Given the description that is available on the wiki, I presume this is not covered by the 'birds of a feather'. 

I do hope we can schedule the round table discussions again, and that we can implement some of the lessons we're drawing from the experiences in the past three years on this issue (we = the small committee that organised the discussions this year). Feedback seemed rather positive initially (with some suggestions for improvement), but we'll be collecting some more in the upcoming weeks. 

Best,
Lodewijk

2016-07-07 15:23 GMT+02:00 Marc-Andre <[hidden email]>:
Hey,

On 2016-07-07 08:27 AM, Lane Rasberry wrote:
Backing up - one way to improve Wikimania to meet this and other demands is to
1. Have extra spaces for small meetups
2. Put those spaces on a public schedule which can be edited by the community


So, in practice, that already exists for Montreal in two flavours:

(a) Bird-of-a-Feather sessions, which are open to anyone to schedule (in advance) and have reserved meeting space.  Those will be open for reservation from about three months before the event to as late as we can make it and still have them appear in the programme. Those are ideal for preplanned meetings and probably what you'd use for the North American meetups.

(b) Unconferency meetups, that are *not* scheduled in advance, but for which both meeting space and a common scheduling system (think "whiteboard") are made available for ad-hoc meetings during the conference and preconference.  Any room which had been set aside for the BoF that was not used will be added to the pool, but there /will/ be meeting space even if all of the BoF slots are taken.


-- Coren / Marc


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Marc-Andre
Hello Lodewijk,


On 2016-08-06 10:36 AM, Lodewijk wrote:
> unfortunately I have not spotted a response to this email. Could
> someone from the 2017 team confirm what is the situation at this
> point? Or who I should be talking with?

Sorry, my response had remained a draft that I forgot to complete and
send.  :-)  Right now, the draft programme does not make distinctions
along the "presentation", "workshop" and "discussions" lines more than
the type of space available (magistral vs tables). I expect the
allocation will remain fluid until we have a better idea of how many of
each type need to be scheduled.

That said, I expect many of the roundtable discussions would fit
Bird-of-a-feather sessions: those are explicitly set aside for
self-organizing groups that want a session in whichever format meets
their needs and are able and willing to take "ownership" of them. They
are generally more specialized or aimed towards a more precise public,
and are not selected by the programme committee nor curated beyond a
simple set of criteria[1] so they are more free-form.

-- Marc

[1] They need to be directly related to the movement or an allied movement.


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Leila Zia
​Hi Marc,​

On Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 6:54 PM, Marc A. Pelletier <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello Lodewijk,


On 2016-08-06 10:36 AM, Lodewijk wrote:
unfortunately I have not spotted a response to this email. Could someone from the 2017 team confirm what is the situation at this point? Or who I should be talking with?

Sorry, my response had remained a draft that I forgot to complete and send.  :-)  Right now, the draft programme does not make distinctions along the "presentation", "workshop" and "discussions" lines more than the type of space available (magistral vs tables). I expect the allocation will remain fluid until we have a better idea of how many of each type need to be scheduled.

That said, I expect many of the roundtable discussions would fit Bird-of-a-feather sessions: those are explicitly set aside for self-organizing groups that want a session in whichever format meets their needs and are able and willing to take "ownership" of them. They are generally more specialized or aimed towards a more precise public, and are not selected by the programme committee nor curated beyond a simple set of criteria[1] so they are more free-form.

​I am not sure if I understand the above fully. Can you help me please? :)

Are we considering to not continue the support for the Discussion Rooms idea as suggested in Wikimania London and explored in London, Mexico City, and Esino Lario? If so, can you expand why? Quite a few of the Discussion sessions in Esino Lario were very well attended, the participants took active role in these sessions, and the general sentiment that I got from these sessions was that they were helpful.

I realize that from the perspective of the local organizers it may seem that Discussions can fit in Bird-of-a-feather, but unless we have strong reasons to merge them with other sessions or move them under a new umbrella, it is better to keep them in a dedicated track. This will help the team that organizes these discussions to improve the track, build a stronger reputation/brand, and maintain continuity which is key in this context. :) (And needless to say, sorry if the reasons are already documented somewhere and I didn't manage to find them.)

​Best,
Leila

--
Leila Zia
Senior Research Scientist
Wikimedia Foundation

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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Marc-Andre

Hey Leila,


On 2016-08-10 01:08 AM, Leila Zia wrote:
Are we considering to not continue the support for the Discussion Rooms idea as suggested in Wikimania London and explored in London, Mexico City, and Esino Lario? If so, can you expand why? Quite a few of the Discussion sessions in Esino Lario were very well attended, the participants took active role in these sessions, and the general sentiment that I got from these sessions was that they were helpful.

I'm not sure how you get to that conclusion - BoF sessions are a more general concept that encompasses discussions neatly; I'm not sure why you feel that does not provide support?

Perhaps there is an aspect I didn't understand.  What's missing?

-- Marc


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Leila Zia

On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 6:35 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hey Leila,


On 2016-08-10 01:08 AM, Leila Zia wrote:
Are we considering to not continue the support for the Discussion Rooms idea as suggested in Wikimania London and explored in London, Mexico City, and Esino Lario? If so, can you expand why? Quite a few of the Discussion sessions in Esino Lario were very well attended, the participants took active role in these sessions, and the general sentiment that I got from these sessions was that they were helpful.

I'm not sure how you get to that conclusion - BoF sessions are a more general concept that encompasses discussions neatly; I'm not sure why you feel that does not provide support?

Perhaps there is an aspect I didn't understand.  What's missing?


​From the point of view of an audience of these sessions, I see few differences: There is a specific structure to Discussion Room sessions that is described in, for example here. There is also a process regarding call for proposals/abstracts, reviewing them, and accepting them. This level of freedom for a subset of people (Discussion Room organizers) to control the outline and processes around Discussion Room sessions may be in contrast with what you said earlier regarding the conditions that you would like to define for discussions happening under BoF: " They are generally more specialized or aimed towards a more precise public, and are not selected by the programme committee nor curated beyond a simple set of criteria[1] so they are more free-form." and "[1] They need to be directly related to the movement or an allied movement.​​". I want to specifically emphasize "nor curated beyond a simple set of criteria".

If you see a way for allowing/having the kind of structure and process that Discussion Rooms require under BoF, then I have no more questions. :) If not, I'd appreciate if you help me understand this better.

Thanks,
Leila
 

-- Marc


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Sydney Poore
Hello Marc,

I was not on the planning team for this part of the program at the last Wikimania, but I volunteered to facilitate several sessions and also participated in several more. 

There are key difference from having a topic interest group hold a session to talk informally among themselves, and the way that the critical discussions are done. 

Both are important ways for people in our movement to communicate at a wikiconferences. The first approach...BoF...will happen with or without assistance from the organizers doing much to help. The approach is dependent on the conference organizing team providing space, a facilitator, note taker, and a process to select topics that are of interest to the broader wikimedia movement. 

The critical discussions that I attended were well attended, well facilitated, and had a better wrap up conclusion than less formal discussions. So, I hope that the next Wikimania will include a track for these more formally organized discussion sessions. 

Warm regards,
Sydney 

Sydney Poore
User:FloNight




On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 11:56 AM, Leila Zia <[hidden email]> wrote:

On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 6:35 AM, Marc-Andre <[hidden email]> wrote:

Hey Leila,


On 2016-08-10 01:08 AM, Leila Zia wrote:
Are we considering to not continue the support for the Discussion Rooms idea as suggested in Wikimania London and explored in London, Mexico City, and Esino Lario? If so, can you expand why? Quite a few of the Discussion sessions in Esino Lario were very well attended, the participants took active role in these sessions, and the general sentiment that I got from these sessions was that they were helpful.

I'm not sure how you get to that conclusion - BoF sessions are a more general concept that encompasses discussions neatly; I'm not sure why you feel that does not provide support?

Perhaps there is an aspect I didn't understand.  What's missing?


​From the point of view of an audience of these sessions, I see few differences: There is a specific structure to Discussion Room sessions that is described in, for example here. There is also a process regarding call for proposals/abstracts, reviewing them, and accepting them. This level of freedom for a subset of people (Discussion Room organizers) to control the outline and processes around Discussion Room sessions may be in contrast with what you said earlier regarding the conditions that you would like to define for discussions happening under BoF: " They are generally more specialized or aimed towards a more precise public, and are not selected by the programme committee nor curated beyond a simple set of criteria[1] so they are more free-form." and "[1] They need to be directly related to the movement or an allied movement.​​". I want to specifically emphasize "nor curated beyond a simple set of criteria".

If you see a way for allowing/having the kind of structure and process that Discussion Rooms require under BoF, then I have no more questions. :) If not, I'd appreciate if you help me understand this better.

Thanks,
Leila
 

-- Marc


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Re: Discussion Room 2017

Marc-Andre
On 2016-08-10 02:48 PM, Sydney Poore wrote:

> There are key difference from having a topic interest group hold a
> session to talk informally among themselves, and the way that the
> critical discussions are done.

I'm honestly not sure I see the difference, but I'm happy to accommodate
what is perceived to be a need by the community.

None of current proportion of presentation vs workshops vs etc. is set
in stone: they will be adjusted according to the respective number of
submissions, inter alia.  I'm more than happy to include "discussions"
explicitly in the CFP if the need is felt.

But just to make this clear: BoF sessions are no more nor less formal
than any other session, and are first class citizens of the programme.  
The only thing "informal" about them is that there is no committee
selection process:  so long as it is on-topic, it will be welcome.  (If
there are more requests than we are able to accommodate[1], slots will
be allocated on the basis of expected audience with any overflow invited
to use the unconference spaces).

-- Marc



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