Following the announcement of the 2019 Wikimania theme this document describes some of the exciting changes that we are making to the program design of Wikimania. This year’s Wikimania program will be structured around parallel themed "spaces", with a strong focus on practical and collaborative sessions.
A new structure
As Wikimania has grown and matured over the years, the physical format has remained relatively constant. Traditionally, a central program committee makes a general ‘call for submissions’; the vast majority of submissions received are for the ‘presentation’ format; and approximately two-thirds of all submissions must be rejected due to time/space constraints. Once the submissions are reviewed and accepted, they are scheduled into sessions with other talks on a similar topic.
This year, the Wikimania Stockholm organising team are trying something new…
Rather than a centrally-controlled program weighted towards individual, retrospective presentations and a passive audience, we believe that this year’s conference theme requires a format that is future-oriented, collaborative, active, and focused on practical problem-solving. The outcomes targeted should be those that can be most efficiently achieved at in person events, namely: practical training, learning, idea-sharing and cross-cultural collaboration.
This year’s program will feature a series of parallel Spaces, a.k.a. "tracks" or "symposia", each focused on a particular topic area (examples below), with its own dedicated room in the venue, its own leaders, and a small team to help build and promote their specific program. This is partially inspired by other OpenSource community events, such as MozFest.
Spaces and leaders
The content of all of the Spaces will heavily focus on active formats including facilitated/training workshops, discussion-forum sessions, breakout groups - with occasional invited talks from subject area experts. Each Space will have a duration of one, two or three days, depending on their scope. Rather than a call for “presentations” we will first be making a call for proposals to coordinate these Spaces - emphasising their participatory and active nature.
Each Space’s leaders, with the support of the Wikimania core team, will help determine the needs of their own program – the number of sessions, who would lead those sessions, desired topic areas, etc. The eventual program will, therefore, be more proactively curated, rather than a single committee reacting to the submissions as with past Wikimanias. The leaders of each Space will be encouraged to engage people interested in the topic to help build their part of the program and facilitate during the event.
Once the topics and leaders for these Spaces have been selected, a page on the conference wiki will be created where general submissions can be made. Those submissions will be for the individual Space, based on the needs defined by each Space's leaders, not the program committee as a whole. Collectively, this group of Space Leaders, the Wikimedia Sverige conference manager (Eric Luth), and the program chair (Wittylama), are the program team. This team ensures that the overall program is coherent, practical, and that it addresses the theme. By working as a team we can ensure that the program is diverse in its form, content, and facilitators.
We hope this change to the program format will:
- Increase the diversity of the content discussed;
- Utilise the valuable resource of being physically together to greatest advantage;
- Allow more people to have a sense of ‘ownership’ of the program by virtue of it being co-created;
- Give Wikimania a more explicit purpose, allowing its outcomes to be more measurable;
- Enable greater participation from non-Wikimedian attendees and external allied organisations.
Attendees will still be free to move between Spaces throughout the days. The largest room – the Aula Magna – where plenary sessions will be held, will also feature a curated series of presentations representing all the different Spaces. This room will be livestreamed online. Each Space's leaders will be able to nominate a session from their topic area to appear in this "headline" track.
Feedback from the plenary poster session at Wikimania 2018 indicated that participants appreciated interacting with their audience in front of their poster – one-by-one, for a longer time, and in greater depth – than is possible in a short speech to a group. Therefore, we will be continuing this approach and further expanding it. The poster-session will be the primary venue for attendees to showcase their own projects at the conference. The plenary poster session enables many more submissions to be accepted, as they are presented simultaneously, and allows people who are less confident in public speaking [or in English] to participate fully.
Spaces will still have some scope for traditional presentations (e.g. prepared talk accompanied by slides + Q&A), and there will still be "lightning talks" sessions.
Ideas for Spaces related to the 2019 conference theme could include: (Note this is not a complete/official/definitive list; these ideas are just for inspiration.)
- Language: Sessions about WikidataLexicography, MediaWiki localisation, machine translation, digitisation and transcription for Wikisource, unicode for indigenous and threatened languages, oral history and voice recording … [Related SDGs: 4, 8, 10]
- Environmental sustainability: Sessions about Wikimedia’s carbon footprint, Wikipedia as a global knowledge resource on climate change and disaster response, possible GLAM-like partnerships with environmental research institutions and NGOs, environmental information (live and historical) on Wikidata, biodiversity information on Wikipedia/Wikidata/Wikispecies ... [Related SDGs: 7, 11, 13]
- Advocacy and legal: Sessions on indigenous/traditional knowledge, current campaigns and tactics for lobbying, rights-labelling systems … [Related SDGs: 8, 10, 16]
- Education and learning: Sessions about best practices in editing-training outreach, integrating wikimedia into tertiary curricula, media literacy and NPOV in the age of fake news .... [Related SDGs: 4, 5, 8]
- GLAM: Sessions including best practices in outreach campaigns, training for connecting Wikidata to cultural datasets, WikiCite and library-science, digital repatriation … [Related SDGs: 9, 11, 17]
- Gaps in content, gaps in community: Discussion of gender gap and other demographic imbalances within our communities, examination of circumstances which perpetuate these gaps, along with solutions (technical, social, policy) ... [Related SDGs: 4, 5, 10]
- Technology innovation: discussions of geo/mapping, artificial Intelligence, data visualisation, and their impact upon the wikimedia projects and third-party re-use. [Related SDGs: 9,11, 17]
- March 1: Open of Call for proposals for Spaces, and their respective Leaders.
If you are interested in being the leader of a Space at Wikimania, please fill-out the form linked here. It asks about your topic focus, intended audience, the link to the theme, probable sessions, proposed duration, invited speakers/organisation you have in mind.... Equally, if you have an excellent idea for a Space but don’t necessarily want to coordinate it yourself, that’s ok too. Please tell the team about the idea anyway.
- March 22: Close of call for proposals for Spaces and their Leaders.
Note: The applications for scholarships close on the 15th. The Wikimania core team will contact the proposers and discuss their proposal.
- May 1: Announcement of selected topics for the Spaces, and their leaders. Opening of call for submissions for presentations/sessions within the Spaces, and for the Poster session.
June 1Extended: June 9: Close of call for submissions for presentations and posters.
- July 1: Program published.
Submitted proposals for Spaces
The call for proposals for Spaces, and their respective leaders is done via an online form. However, in the interests of transparency, and collaboration, the topic, description and leader's preferred name for ALL submissions will be published below, updated regularly:
As of 22 March, there are 31 proposals yet submitted (published in the order that they were submitted):
|Proposed topic||Short description||Leaders|
|Languages||In the spirit of UNESCO's International Year of Indigenous Languages, this space focuses on language issues, though not limited to indigenous languages. Potential presentation topics include Wikidata lexicography, i18n, outreach to underserved language communities and sessions on re-use of material (templates, modules, etc.) across several language wikis.||Jon Harald Søby (WMNO), MF-Warburg, Rémy Gerbet WMFr and Shangkuanlc|
|Data Science||A crash course into the world of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science. This is a technically-aligned space but it's intended for people who are just getting into the field of AI. In line with the sustainable development goal of innovation, this space will teach participants on how to begin with their journey with machine learning; picking up basics of how models work, how data is processed and how Python is used to work with this. Over the next few years, AI will increasingly play a role in how it affects our lives and the Wikimedia movement, and you can be the one to find out how it can change Wikipedia!|
|Diversity||This space will include topic areas such as (alphabetically): age, differently-abled, gender, geography, language, race, social economic status, etc. In this regard, it will include conversations regarding capacity building, community health, partnerships, resources, roles, revenue, technology, etc.||Camelia.boban, Comp1089, Jamie Tubers Netha Hussain|
|Health||Sessions about efforts to improve Wikipedia's health content. Plus discussions of distribution of Wikipedia to those without access to the Internet.||Wiki Project Med (Esh77 and Doc James)|
|Education||The Wikipedia & Education User Group is a global group that facilitates, supports, and advocates for implementing Wikipedia and its sister projects into the educational and academic curricula in both the Wikimedia Movement and outside of it, in the Open Education and Open Knowledge movements. Considering UNESCO’s SDGs, as well as our own strategic process striving for “Knowledge as Service” and “Knowledge equity”, this space will connect individuals, affiliates and like-minded partners and organization looking at implementing Wikimedia projects as a teaching and learning platforms.||Wikipedia & Education User Group|
|Environmental Sustainability||This space will look at the connections between Free Knowledge and environmental sustainability: How can the Wikimedia Movement play a role in the struggle towards a more environmentally sustainable future through providing resources, partnerships, and leading by example?||Lukas Mezger; Joy Agyepong|
|Transcription||Wikisource year in review panel; Wikisource workshop Bring Your Own Book; Wikisource as citation buildout for Wikipedia||Slowking4; VIGNERON|
|a11y: Components and Standards||Accessibility - fondly called a11y - is an effort to design and create websites that can be used by everyone. The impact of a11y on web technologies can never be overemphasized as it supports assistive technologies to interpret web pages. When curating content for the web, Be open to accessibility in your audience and any accessibility issues. Basically, be aware that some of your audience might not be able to: see well or at all, hear well or at all, move well or at all, speak well or at all, or understand information presented in some ways well or at all.||Eyitayo Alimi; Kayode Yussuf|
|GLAM/cultural partnerships||The GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) and Cultural Partnerships space aims to cover the breadth of cultural and heritage-related activities in the movement, either through external partnerships or our own community initiatives. Through mini-keynotes, lightning talks, case studies, skills training, identifying critical challenges and group brainstorming sessions, the space will employ a number of approaches to engage Wikimedia community members, and those new to the movement, in how to improve content in the artistic, cultural and heritage domains.||Andrew Lih (Wikimedia DC); Giovanna Fontenelle; Jenn Sutcliffe; co-leaders TBD.|
|Censorship of Information, Censorship and Privacy||We are increasingly seen a new wave of censorship of information around Wikipedia and free knowledge around the world, with the block of Wikipedia in Turkey (2017 - ongoing) and Venezuela (2019), we need an space to swiftly address this issue, and how or volunteers can fight back in the environment of (mostly) repressive governments, safeguarding their anonymity in favor of free knowledge.||Oscar Costero and Basak Tosun|
|Bridging the Gap||Aim of this space is to establish international "Partnerships for the Goals". What can we do to reduce gaps in content, gaps in community, or else? Let's discuss best practices and new projects (to reduce gender gap, ..., international GLAM projects) The space is open to all forms of participation. Let us create a vision of tomorrow and bring it on the way today.||1rhb; co-leader TBD.|
|Multimedia knowledge||Free knowledge does not only use text as a medium but is increasingly shared in the form of graphic, photography, video and sound to name just a few. Storing, curating and using knowledge on a non written format (such as audios & videos) is something that has been consistently asked by people dealing with cultures that do not follow the usual occidental paradigm, be them tribes in Africa & Latin America or minor language speakers in Europe, which often share the same problems. Especially all kinds of minor languages profit a lot from non-written material. This helps to strengthen inclusivity and diversity in all Wikimedia projects. Wikimania should include a space to host multimedia content creators and curators from all projects dealing with such content. Possible topics for talks, workshops and meetings are photography and photo editing, use of video and audio in Wiki projects, proper curation of media with structured data, oral knowledge collection and many more.||MB-one; co-leader DarwIn|
|Quality||Any and all aspects of the quality of content on the Wikimedia projects: challenges, successes, initiatives, and tools, to assess, map, improve, and encourage the increase of quality of content on the projects. (Not just Wikipedia!)
Some questions we might address in this space: how do we evaluate the quality of different kinds of content (such as environmental or social topics) across different language Wikipedias, and how do we convey that to readers? What are tools for checking and indicating quality in Wikidata or Commons? As we approach the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia, how does quality relate to the long-term sustainability and maintenance of our projects? What are ways we can use improving quality as an outreach tool? And what does quality mean to different projects, languages, and topics?
|Ijon and Phoebe|
|Technical Outreach Within and Beyond Wikimedia||An exploration of who we are as a free software community, which tools we work on, where are we heading, what we could improve, and which strategies we could develop to build bridges within the FOSS (free and open-source software) communities. Sessions on how we can become more connected to other open source communities and how we can improve the access to advanced tools to non-coders. It would include presentations and workshops about tech we develop, on best practices for fostering technical contributions in the Wikimedia communities and reaching out to other technical communities in the FOSS world. It would differ from traditional hackathons especially as we intend to focus on the social aspect of our technical communities. Technical contributions and outreach are very inclusive terms for us, including writting mediawiki patches, tools, scripts, templates, queries (SPARQL and SQL especially), map building, data science analysis, organizing technical meetups, providing technical resources for communities, participating in technological mentoring programs (eg: Outreachy, and GSoC), and several others.||Chicocvenancio; Contraexemplo; SSethi|
|Supporting and Developing Organizers||The Movement Directions with its focus on Knowledge Equity and Knowledge as a Service requires a greater range of community facilitators -- of people leading and facilitating development of existing communities and reaching out to include new communities. To address key knowledge gaps and engage global allies, such as those working on the UNESCO goals, we need to involve more partners, communities, and types of knowledge contribution. To do this, both our local and global communities to acknowledge, support and integrate a wide group of organizers and other community leaders who support communities in activities outside of the Wikis. This space is about exploring how communities currently identify, train, and support organizers, and about thinking about the needs for growing this network of organizing contributors as part of the Movement Direction.||Alex Stinson; co leader TBD|
|Thriving in Safety||We welcome sessions about safe growth, protecting vulnerable groups of contributors, technical or other solutions to fight harassment, mitigating risks at events and from beyond the movement, protecting oneself when contributing in difficult environments, sessions about where to find help, sharing resources and solutions around safety on local wikis.||Christel Steigenberger; Mardetanha; HakanIST; DerHexer|
|Gender Well-being||In order to achieve SDG 1 to 5 the Gender Balance is the key issue. This will not be a space for women only as we can only get there together with men. Gender is key for our future as many studies show it. We cannot allow us to leave anybody behind whether it is a woman, a man or a child. As it was put at the United Nations at the CSW63 we need pushing back the push back.||Sandra Becker; Jalu.|
|Open data to tackle corruption in the Nordic-Baltic Region||The aim of this space is to discuss the potential use and impact of open government data in monitoring and detecting political corruption in the Nordic-Baltic region. We propose to: (1) discuss the potential for open data to enhance legislation and policies related to Lobbying, Political Financing, Conflict of interest, Financial Disclosure, Public Procurement, and Corporate Ownership. (2) Discuss Nordic and Baltic initiatives that use open data to prevent corruption. (3) Conduct a workshop discussing: i) how to overcome barriers to reuse of data (political, organisational, technical, financial, legal); ii) the relevance of data for key stakeholders (civil society, journalism and academia); iii) how to assess the impact of open data.||Alina Ostling; Toni Mickiewicz (Open Knowledge Sweden) & Transparency International Latvia|
|Wikimedia + Libraries||The Wikimedia + Libraries space will explore and invite projects, processes, collaborations, and best practices, that contribute to the intersection of Wikimedia and Libraries. This space will serve as a platform for Wikimedians who are enthusiastic about improving access to sources, and libraries (including related organisations such IFLA) + databases such as JSTOR or Internet Archive—who are passionate about opening up their knowledge galaxies to explore opportunities of mutual benefit. Eventually, help Wikimedia to attain "Knowledge Equity" and be able to provide "Knowledge as a Service."||KCVelaga; co-leader TBD|
|Partnerships||The Partnership space will be organized in partnership, to discuss and develop the vision of the Big Open Movement. Our aim will be to better understand existing partnerships and design potential new ones, especially with partners working on SDGs.We will also discuss a shared strategy for a broad partnership of Big Open organizations that would allow us to achieve greater collective impact in the face of an increasingly commercialized and morally compromised internet. In order to do this, we will discuss our changing approaches to open - the core value behind our activities, and how it can be filled with new meaning. We want this space to be collectively created with WIkimedia partner organizations and movements.||Nicola Zeuner, WMDE; Alek Tarkowski|
|Inter-, transnational and multicultural projects and collaborations||This space will be focused on sharing experiences about multiple projects that were carried out by members of different chapters, countries and projects as well proposing new ideas for the future. Also it would be possible to ask, how comparable organizations work in this field.||Marcus Cyron; BugWarp|
|Global Advocacy for Free Knowledge: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities||Wikimedia doesn't exist in a vacuum, so how do we create the legal/policy environment for flourishing free knowledge now and in the future? How can we make access to knowledge better on a systemic level as global community? We aim to host a space for experts, academics, policy-makers, community leaders, and anyone with a curiosity about law, policy, and advocacy to come together to work on answers to this broad question.||Stephen LaPorte; Jan Gerlach; Anna Mazgal; Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov; Amelia Sanchez-Moran; Jacob Rogers; Allison Davenport; Douglas Scott|
|Libraries belong in Wikimedia projects||A non-exhaustive list of ideas that could fit in this space: 1) National Libraries and Wikidata: a round up of experiences from National Libraries that are experimenting with exposing data in Wikidata. Can we see any patterns in achievements and barriers? We could naturally expect the National Library of Sweden to participate but also the National Library of Wales, German National Library, and perhaps others (especially if we start recruiting sooner rather than later). This session would also be attractive to national libraries that have not yet looked at Wikidata or that are just beginning to explore options. 2) The relationship between Wikidata and Bibframe: Bibframe is a replacement for the MARC standard, built on linked data principles. This would be a panel discussion (or a follow on to the National Library session?) exploring the relationship between Wikidata and Bibframe for libraries. 3) AMA ("ask me anything") - a safe space for librarians and friends. Many librarians have jumped in with both feet into editing and contributing to Wikipedia / Wikidata / Commons. This is an opportunity to have your questions about policies and norms asked and answered! 4) Mapping from Dublin Core to Structured Data on Commons: Many digital library systems are based on Dublin Core (or some variation of it). Speakers could address how they might approach mapping from systems that support Dublin Core into Structured Data Commons. 4) Education happens in libraries: Wiki Education programs have a lot in common and to offer to librarians who support information / digital literacy on campus. Learn how librarians are natural allies for Wiki Education!||Merrilee Proffitt; Co-leader TBD|
|Foresight and Long-term thinking: Our place in an uncertain world||Both the Strategic Direction and Sustainable Development Goals focus on the 2030 time horizon. But what will the world look like in 2030? What are the alternative futures we can imagine? And what decisions do we need to make today with that foresight? Sessions in this space might include: workshops to conceive scenarios depicting the world in 2030, discussions on how the Wikimedia movement might navigate those futures, and other ways to facilitate long-term thinking and futures literacy in the movement.||Guillaume Paumier; co-leader TBD|
|Wikimedia 2030 – The path towards our future||In 2017, we set ourselves an ambitious goal of becoming the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and now we need a path for how we get there. In the spirit of what got us started we work together to find our path. Nine working groups from our global community are identifying how we need to adapt our structures and maximizing our movement’s potential in the fields of Roles & Responsibilities, Revenue Streams, Resource Allocation, Capacity Building, Partnerships, Diversity, Product & Technology, Community Health, and Advocacy. At Wikimania – according to the current timeline – working groups will have developed drafts of guidance for concrete changes in these areas. We invite everyone interested in contributing to the future of Wikimedia to bring in their perspectives, expertise, and questions and to engage with the Working Groups, with the Core Team, and with other strategy enthusiasts.||Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla; together with the Movement Strategy Core Team and Working Groups|
|Total recall of all Wikimania||Total recall of all Wikimania space will be a flashback of all Wikimania events from 2005 till 2018, discussing how much we have achieved from the first Wikimania till the last Wikimania in terms of the best of knowledge shared and presented in the form of presentations, workshops, feedback and suggestions that were discussed after each Wikimania events. An analysis will be done in this space by experts, academics, policy-makers, community leaders, and frequent attendees of Wikimania about how much and how far we have achieved as our ultimate Sustainable Development Goals focus on the 2030 and beyond. Sessions can be mini-keynotes, lightning talks, workshops and discussion on case studies, identifying critical challenges if any.||Marajozkee; Kclibrarian.|
|Growing Wikimedia’s readership worldwide||Understanding and serving potential Wikimedia readers in countries where access to the internet is quickly growing. Among other challenges, lack of name recognition impedes the Wikimedia movement's ability to invite new readers, contributors, and advocates to join our communities. If you don't know about Wikipedia, how can you use it, contribute to it, or advocate for it? You can do a lot to bring new readers to Wikimedia projects where you live through video campaigns, radio shows, new product features, and more. This space would be a session to share completed, ongoing, and upcoming projects to bring new readers to Wikimedia. Sessions about how we can work together to bring more people to Wikimedia projects. Examples: using social media to raise awareness, offline projects to raise awareness, how new readers use our content...||Anne Gomez; Rupika Sharma|
|Technical Innovation||Wikimedians are change-averse, but our needs are constantly evolving and changing. How do we innovate and change our technology to meet those needs, without leaving our existing users behind? Session could include case studies of previous technical changes, suggestions of the future of the Gadget or Toolforge infrastructure, etc.||Legoktm; co-leader TBD|
|Social Activism and Wikipedia||Since the dawn of Web 2.0, active citizens have enjoyed access to a plethora of online tools for advancing their causes. Blogs, wikis and social media have shaped the way global online communities gain access to news and information. Have we grasped the role Wikipedia can play in this landscape? The purpose of this Space shall be to host case studies and discussions on what has already been done, what worked and what backfired and ideally, a brainstorming session on how the Wikimedia projects can help educate and motivate citizens to help build a better world for all.||Mina Theofilatou; SunshineBanana21000|
|Community Growth||People in our movement have been working hard to make Wikimedia communities sustainable by recruiting and retaining newcomers to the projects. Wikimedians have been running local events, evolving our software, and working to improve the processes and culture on our wikis -- but we still have a long way to go. We will come together for discussions, presentations, and workshops that address these questions: What is and is not working around attracting and retaining newcomers? How should Wikimedia activities evolve to help communities grow and flourish? How should our technology and culture evolve to help new populations to come online and participate? We will discuss experiences from Wikimedians and their projects, findings from research, and results from affiliates’ and chapters’ work and translate them into ideas and best practices that Wikimedians can bring back to their communities.||Marshall Miller, Verena Lindner, Christine Domgörgen, Jonathan Morgan; community co-leaders TBD|
|Research||This space will seek to accomplish three distinct goals: (1) present completed and in progress actionable research projects by people conducting research on Wikimedia projects and in adjacent spaces; (2) provide a series of tutorials to help Wikimedians and researchers learn to use a series of useful tools for collecting and analyzing data from Wikimedia projects; (3) provide a space to discuss issues related to doing research in Wikimedia projects. The Research track will include four types of sessions: Presentations of Research (~ 1 day); Tutorials (~1 day); Research Lightning Talks (60-90 minute session); A Research "Town Hall" Meeting (60-90 minute session)||Leila Zia; Benjamin Mako Hill|
- Where/When can I make my submission to present at Wikimania?
- See the explanation at #Timeline.
- The topic I wish to discuss is not related to the theme, what do I do?
- The primary method people will be able to present their work outside of the theme is during the #Poster session. However, the theme is much broader than you might first think. Please look at the information describing Wikimedia's relationship to each at Theme/FAQ.
- Why are you changing the program format?
- See the explanation at #A new structure.
- What is a "space", a "leader"? Who is on the program committee?
- See the explanation at #Details
- Who can I contact for more information?
- What questions are in the "Wikimania program leader proposal form"?
- Section 1 Public Summary - Proposed topic title; Short description; Name/Username of leader(s); contact URL.
- Section 2 Details of your proposal - Email address; Affiliation; Intended audience; Proposed session description; Keynote session; Duration; Relationship to the Sustainable Development Goals; Any other details.