Global Topic

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Thoughts about making W3C more global

This page gathers some thoughts about making W3C more glocal, in order to make W3C easier to participate, especially from Asian participants. This page is initially edited by Judy Zhu (Alibaba).


  • Make W3C more global.
  • Make W3C easier to participate, especially from Asian participants.

Conference Calls

  • Issues:
    • Conference calls are inconvenient for Asian participants, usually late at night (and worse for New Zealand)
    • Sending web page links to IRC channel is not as helpful for many as sharing a screen. For others, it is better because it allows them to read at their own pace. (It helps when material is available in advance).
    • W3C's webex system sometimes has audio quality too poor for effective participation.
  • Proposals:
    • Change conference call time to GMT 13:00 or 14:00, which is widely accepted time for international SDOs.
      • Problem: This can be a time that is bad for most active participants.
    • Rotate conference call times.
      • This is easier to forget. Given the wide availability of calendar tools which can handle time-zone calculations reasonably well, that seems surmountable.
      • If people only attend the most comfortable time for them, this risks concentrating the real work in one rotation. Instead of helping people that further excludes them.
    • Use modern tools for conference calls, e.g. WebEx, Gotomeeting, to be able to share screens.

Motivate people to speak up

  • Why people don’t want to speak up:
    • Afraid of making mistakes;
    • Not prepared well;
    • Lack of technical background;
    • Language problem;
    • Lack of standard experience.
  • Proposals:
    • Have a big screen on the front to project the IRC channel, so people can see the live discussions from the screen.
    • Presenters can show the open issue list, and discuss them one by one, to get people involved.
    • Presenters make their objectives clear: for information, for discussion, or for decision?
    • Have active coordinators in the meeting, help people to translate if necessary.

Meeting Preparation

  • Issues:
    • Delegates are not prepared well for the meeting and can’t participate effectively.
  • Proposals:
    • Have written materials uploaded to the website beforehand.
    • Ask W3C local offices to arrange gathering ad-hoc meeting to introduce important topics.
    • Arrange newcomer training sessions in local languages depending on meeting locations.
    • Mentor initiative: have volunteers to work as mentors, 1:1 help to newcomers.
    • Language badge: each delegate can wear a badge to indicate what languages they can speak, e.g. use a blue badge to indicate: I can speak Chinese.

During the Meeting

  • Issues:
    • Language issue: some Asian participants can’t understand the discussions very well.
    • Panel discussion: difficult to follow, because it is live, and there are no materials beforehand.
  • Proposals:
    • Ask people to speak slowly, and don’t use local pronunciation or slang.
    • Chairs can help to repeat the questions or comments.
    • Use modern tools to get inputs from participants.
    • Panel discussion: it is better show the main points from each panelists beforehand.


  • Allow more diversity
    • Make leadership more global, e.g. give more chances to Asian delegates.
    • Allow people to speak other languages in case of some difficult words, e.g. in Chinese or Japanese.
    • Take it easy about the mistakes that people made.
  • Take travel into account
    • Global meeting locations.
    • Global meal styles.
      • This is important. People who are suddenly eating unusual food can find themselves feeling vaguely ill at ease, with notable impact on their ability to concentrate and contribute effectively.
    • Schedule meetings to help people stay awake - avoid long sessions (especially in theater/style with no break.
  • Global culture
    • Understand and allow different cultures.