Colombia: A New Home for Campus Party in 2013?

Campus Party [es], the meeting for the collective creation of knowledge and training in Information Technology and Communication (ICT) will be held this year in Bogotá, as it has been in previous years since its birth in Colombia in 2008. This year the meeting is expected to draw in over 5,000 people. Traditionally the event has attracted the economic support from the Mayor of Bogotá, however, this time around Mayor Gustavo Petro has decided not to support the event.

The lack of financial support from the mayor of Bogotá has motivated Paco Ragageles, co-founder of Campus Party, to post on his personal blog [es] and on Twitter [es]. He writes that it may be time to think of another venue for the Campus Party in Columbia. At the end of his post he clarified:

Pd (obviamente es mi opinion personal con la info que tengo podría y desearía estar equivocado)

PS. obviously this is my personal opinion with the information that I have – I could be and I hope that I am wrong

Mayor Petro through his press office [es] confirmed and explained his decision on three points:

En primer lugar, cuando los organizadores de Campus Party se acercaron a la Alcaldía, se les preguntó si podía estar presente ETB [Empresa  de Telecomunicaciones de Bogotá] [es] en el evento y respondieron que no, que solo podía estar presente una empresa extranjera, entonces no es razonable que la Administración apoye tal criterio de exclusión del operador de Bogotá.

En segundo lugar, los 600 millones que el Distrito ha dejado de aportar este año solo representan una pequeña parte del costo estimado del evento Campus Party, según manifestaron los organizadores.

En tercer lugar, esos 600 millones la Alcaldía los va a invertir en apropiación social de las Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación (TIC) en barrios y colegios de estratos populares a través de la semana distrital de TIC que la Alcaldía está preparando para el segundo trimestre de este año, con un impacto social mucho mayor que si se invierten en eventos como Campus Party.

Firstly, when the organisers of Campus Party came into the office we asked them if the Bogotá Telecommunications Company [es] could be a part of the event. They said no, that only a foreign company could participate. Therefore, it is not reasonable to suggest that the Administration support such an exclusion of an operator based in Bogotá.

Secondly, the 600 million pesos that the District has failed to give this year is only a small part of the estimated cost of the Campus Party event, according to the organisers.

Thirdly, the town hall is planning on investing 600 million pesos during the ICT week planned for the second quarter of this year to develop the use of technology in the poorer neighbourhoods and schools. The social impact of this will be far greater than if you were to invest in events like Campus Party.

“Mujer Florestal” maintains [es] that the blog entry published by Paco Ragageles generated misinformation and explains:

Si la Campus Party esta buscando nueva sede, es muy irresponsable relacionar este acto con el apoyo que le brindaba la Alcaldía Mayor de Bogotá, que como lo mencione anteriormente representa solo un 11% del valor total, no se deben lanzar apreciaciones espontáneas sin exponer las respectivas cifras e impactos.

If the Campus Party is looking for a new location then it is irresponsible to link this with the withdrawal of funding from the Mayor of Bogotá, as it only represents 11% of the total cost of the event. Judgements should not be made without examining the figures and potential impacts.

Image from the flickr user campuspartycolombia (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The phrase ‘Campus Party’ was a local trending topic on Twitter, where many people were proposing and debating new cities for the event in 2013.

Carlos Gutiérrez (@glomaker) writes [es] enthusiastically about his proposal for Medellín:

Ojalá Campus Party 2013 sea en Medellín, estoy seguro que sería una buena plaza! #CPCO

I hope Campus Party 2013 comes to Medellín, I am sure it would be a great place to hold it! #CPCO

Diana Galindo (@dianagalindob) makes a comparison [es] between Campus Party 2013 and events like the upcoming concert by the singer Madonna:

Campus Party en Medellín, Madona también. Qué sigue, Medellín la capital?

Campus Party in Medellín, and Madonna as well. What's next, Medellín becoming the capital?

Camilo Galeano (@camilogaleano) says it is a given [es] that Campus Party 2013 will be in Medellín:

Este será el último campus Party en Bogotá! (Fijo se lo queda Medellín)

This will be the last Campus Party in Bogotá! (The next will definitely be in Medellín)

Eliana Caraballo (@elianaca) argues the case for Cartagena [es] as a possible location, where the last Summit of the Americas took place:

CAMPUS PARTY EN CARTAGENA!!! ¿Si pudieron hacer una cumbre de presidentes, por qué no un evento de tecnología tan importante? @AlcaldiaCtg

CAMPUS PARTY IN CARTAGENA!!! If they could hold the Presidents’ Summit there, why not an important technological event? @AlcaldiaCtg

Cari Isa Vanegas (@Caricilla) suggests [es] Barranquilla:

En Barranquilla no tendríamos problemas en acoger al Campus Party

We would have no trouble welcoming the Campus Party in Barranquilla

Sebas R. Sarmiento (@sebas779) regrets [es] that the Bogotá town hall cannot support the event, but asks for it to be held in his city:

 Lamentable saber que la alcaldía de Bogotá no apoya un evento como Campus Party, pero bueno, ojalá decidan que ahora se haga en Cali!

It is regrettable to find out that the Bogotá town hall cannot support an event such as the Campus Party, but well, I hope they decide to hold it in Cali!

Diana Luque, in her blog [es] “Identidad Geek”, considers the possible investment of 600 million pesos and links to an article [es] written by another co-founder of Campus Party showing the benefits of the event and their strong interest in achieving the investment through sponsorship:

 (…)  ¿A cuantas personas llegará la iniciativa de la alcaldía y a cuantos Campus Party? Para tratar de demostrar el aporte del evento, la respuesta de la organización a la alcaldía sobre lo que han hecho en la ciudad no se hizo esperar.

How many people will benefit from the initiatives by the town hall and Campus Party? In order to demonstrate the contribution of the event, the organization's response to the mayor about what they have done in the city was left for far too long

Diana concludes by supporting the idea of relocating:

Me gustaría que se quedara en Bogotá, pero pienso que Medellín o Cali merecen la oportunidad, como lo merece en México Puebla o en cualquier otro país salir de la capital. Mi verdadera crítica es que en medio de la globalización y el acercarnos más a través de Internet, no entendemos que las capitales no son el ombligo de los países.

I would like it to stay in Bogotá, but I think Medellin or Cali deserve the opportunity, like Puebla in Mexico deserve it or any other city that's not a capital city. My real criticism is that in the midst of globalisation and the Internet bringing us ever closer together, we do not understand that capital cities are not the centre of all that happens in their respective countries.

At the time of writing this post, Paco Ragageles in the last update of his blog [es] clarified:

Pd2 Actualización (en vista de la que se esta liando, aclaro, yo solo digo lo que me da la sensación va a suceder, y añado que es triste para nosotros, es insostenible campus sin el apoyo de la municipalidad y no lo tenemos este año, y respeto 100% la decisión libre y soberana, simplemente tendremos que buscar nuevo hogar y agradecer por los años que nos ayudaron, sin hacer mas lío please)

Update (in the wake of this running on, I will clarify my position and just say whatever I feel will happen. I add that this is sad for us, that for Campus it is unsustainable without the support of the town hall this year. I respect this decision 100% but now we will have to find a new home for next year. I thank you for the years when you helped us and I am hoping for no more trouble, please.)

1 comment

  • […] Colombia: A New Home for Campus Party in 2013?, Lully Posada, English translation by  Chellsy Alis Manning (español aquí): Paco Ragageles, co-founder of Campus Party, in his blog published the decision to consider an alternative venue for Campus Party Colombia following the decision of the mayor of Bogota to not endorse the event as he had done in the past Citizens have reacted in blogs and Twitter, and have even proposed a new venue for 2013. – Paco Ragageles, cofundador de Campus Party, publicó en su blog la decisión de considerar otra sede para Campus Party Colombia tras la decisión de la alcaldía de Bogotá de no avalar el evento como lo había hecho tradicionalmente. Los ciudadanos han reaccionado en blogs y Twitter, e incluso han propuesto una nueva sede para el 2013. […]

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