Every year thousands upon thousands of Euros are being wasted and squandered on gabfests by Romani organizations or other such events on Romani matters, such as the Romani Chib, and others, with no benefit whatsoever for the Rom at a grassroots level.
Much could be achieved with the money in the right hands that is thus wasted on those so-called conferences, congresses and gatherings that are often held in obscure locations. Sometimes one has to wonder as to whether the reason to hold those events in such locations or making them that costly for participants is so that only certain privileged ones are able to attend and the cronies of those who are organizing the events in the particular countries and locations.
Aside from the costs of actually holding such events, such congresses, such as hiring locations and venues, etc. there are all the other costs to the “delegates” and others have to pay in order to attend – one of the reasons why Rom from other countries and from less well-endowed organizations cannot attend – as well as the environmental impact and cost, such as the cost of printing all the various things, the security, the travel, etc.
There is a much better alternative, but will the “baros” ever accept it?
The alternative is the Internet and Online Conference Services. Those cost very little money compared to conferences and congresses held in the real world.
Those services can be small ones like the various Instant Messenger services and programs, such as MSN, Yahoo, AOL, etc. (or others), which permit type, voice and video conferencing with a number of people, or they can be other services, some free, some – most in fact – to be paid for hosted services.
It is possible to hire such services from a variety of hosts and providers, such as WebEx Communications Inc. and many others.
Online collaboration and online meeting and conference services can bring people together from anywhere in the world; dissolve geographical boundaries by enabling people to work together in real-time on the Web – as if they were sitting next to each other.
By using online conferencing services much money can be saved on all sides and a virtual carbon neutral congress can be organized and held for little in the way of monetary outlay. The costs are minimal, especially for the participants as all they need it a PC, whether desktop or notebook, and the environmental impact – something we must consider nowadays as well – is very low. Documents can be sent from one PC to all the others as PDF files with no need for printing and producing. Event security – not cheap either – is not required as there is not physical location where the event takes place.
So, all in favor of online meetings and congresses say “aye”...
© M V Smith, August 2007