Acting Globally: what BiCon 2010 could be like…

I’ve been thinking ahead to BiCon 2010, also an international BiCon and how we might make it truly international.

I’ve had wonderful experiences at previous International and European BiCons and I’m looking forward to London 2010 because it will be run by good people, good people will be there and it is close to where I live.

Here are some grand utopian ideas for the next international BiCon. I hope they will be of interest to those who like to think about such things. If there is enough enthusiasm from folks who are in positions to make them reality I’d be pleased to see them happen. These aren’t demands on other people’s time, effort and priorities and I can offer limited help myself.

So, an international BiCon. Will that include a couple of people from every country in the world? I’d like that as an aim. I think that would make for an amazing and important world event.

There are currently 192 Members of the United Nations. Barriers might include finding people in those countries interested in coming to a BiCon, language, money and borders. I’m not assuming everyone in the world interested in bisexuality will want to come to a BiCon; I’d like them to have the option though and if they want something different I’d be interested in hearing what.

Can we invite 384 people from around the world? Can we use say the world’s top 3 or 5 languages for some sessions and get some interpreters? Can we put together a fund to pay towards travel and subsistence costs for those who cannot afford them?
There are people from all over the place in UK and EU and they might not have the same problem with borders. An invitation to a more academic event might help.  Say 2 hours work per country, that’s 384 hours.  Say a team of ten volunteers.  Over 6 months, that’s a couple of hours per week each.  International LGBT and human rights organisations might help. If they have Bisexuality in their remit I think they ought to.

The Institute of Interpreters and Translators Rates and Salaries Survey 2001 gives an average daily rate for public service interpreting as £218. Let’s guess then £250 x 2 interpreters x 3 languages x 3 days = £4500.  Costs spread over 200 attendees would be £22.50 (£37.50 for 5 languages).  There might be funding to help with such things.
What about travel costs.  Let’s estimate we pay 2/3. Let’s estimate 1/3 attendees (128) pay £1000, 1/3 pay £500, 1/3 pay £100. So total = (128 x 1000) + (128 x 500) + (128 x 100) = £204, 800 and we pay 2/3 = £136, 533. That’s £683 spread over 200 attendees which seems too much to me.

However, it doesn’t seem ridiculous to ask funding bodies or sponsors for £10,000 – £200,000 for a once-every 4 years international and unique event. Perhaps we could get help.  Paying 10% of my guess at a total would be £102 over 200 people which seems an even more reasonable target.

So, I think inviting two people from every country in the world to international BiCon seems reasonable if we can get a few volunteers.  I think we could almost certainly afford interpreters to have one stream per day in 3 or possibly 5 world languages as well as English.  I think we might be able to raise enough money to pay for 10% of attendees to come and paying for 2/3 of them to come seems ambitious but not ridiculous. I haven’t included accommodation costs – perhaps some of us could accommodate a guest? Perhaps block booking would make this reasonable?

A smaller project would be to get 2 people from each EU state – 27 countries.  So 2 hours per country, 5 volunteers – about an hour per month each for 6 months. 3 languages as before: £22.50 over 200 attendees. Travel: 27 x 2 = 54 people. Say 1/3 at £300, 1/3 at £200, 1/3 at £100.  We pay 2/3. That’s £36 each over 200 attendees. A couple of donations (I would) and we’d have a total of £50 extra over 200 attendees.

I think we could do some of these things.  I’d like us to try.

Grant Denkinson