Program committee, let's meet to discuss how all our work went, the end results, lessons learned...
The meeting happened on 2017-02-09
Participants: Halfak, Bryan Davis, Greg, Chase, Quim. CScott was on vacation and could not attend.
A lot of the conversation went about what could have been done better, and how we should do it next time. This brought a discussion about the future of the Summit.
A reorganized collection of topics discussed:
- The unclear purpose of the Summit continues to be an essential problem; from here the rest of the Program committee work becomes more difficult
- At some point Tech management, Product, etc. ask "Why are you doing the summit?" If they don't know, that tells a story. E.g. chasing to participate and define topics. It's a lot of energy to do that. We can put that into Tech/Product's hands.
- Aaron volunteers to make some arguments next time.
- Essential problem: lack of drive from Technology and Product management
- In general, the WMF has a difficulty for setting main topics and deadlines before.
- We built process as needed (this is interpreted as good, but also bad)
- About decision-making, next time we need to be more organized beforehand. Have a better idea of what needs to be decided, by when, how to make
- At the beginning many people were invited with different affiliations, backgrounds, gender... however, a lot of that was lost on the way. A succession of coincidences, or did we do something that intrinsically drove away diversity in the Program committee?
- The platform to organize the call for participation
- Using phab for everything has its shortcomings.
- We didn't have a nice portal to do this. Wikimania does it nice. Template, ect
- IdeaLab is another good example.
- http://papercall.io/ is a tool for this.
- We should partner with whoever has already an experience organizing this type of portal / call for proposals.
- Scheduling sessions was a confusing process
- There was a lot of confusion
- Process for choosing which sessions would be scheduled was confusing
- Some feedback about the pre-scheduled sessions, how they were decided. It might have made some people uncomfortable. A secondary problem?
- Scholarships and program definitions (speakers, sessions) should be synced well.
- It has been a recurrent problem.
- Some volunteers that could have been good speakers for the topics defined were found when the deadline for scholarship requests was passed.
- About scholarship budget limitations, we could pull scholarship needs from different WMF teams in the annual plan, reflecting that the budget in TC reflects the needs of many WMF teams.
- Earlier deadlines will lead to scrabbling -- but maybe not more productive in the end. A lot of topics in-the-now. Organizationally, we just don't plan that far ahead.
Other topics mentioned:
- The core of the conference was well curated and the unconference session filled in more recent stuff
- 90 minute sessions were shockingly well conceived for our question format
- Not having live streaming was hard
(Conversation about the future of the Summit)
- bd808 rambled about 2014 Architecture summit vs 2017 Wikimedia Developer Summit focus at a broad level
- Quim: audience of event and focus of event help define the time and structure
- chase: thought this was the technical version of Wikimania
- Quim: talking with Victoria and Wes to get their expectations