Grants:Conference/FloNight & Rosiestep/WikiConference North America 2016

This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. Wikimedia District of Columbia administered the grant on behalf of User:FloNight and User:Rosiestep.

FloNight & Rosiestep/WikiConference North America 2016
A Wikimedia conference for North America as an expanded version of WikiConference USA in 2014 and 2015.
targetAll English and Spanish language Wikimedia Foundation projects
strategic priorityImproving Quality and Increasing Participation
start dateAugust 9
start year2016
end dateOctober 15
end year2016
budget (local currency)$50,000 USD
budget (USD)$50,000
grant type2 individuals acting as grantees for the conference planning team
non-profit statusYes, WMUS-DC fiscal sponsor
contact(s)• FloNight sydney.poore(_AT_);
WikiConference USA 2015 group photo in front of the National Archives



WikiConference North America 2016 is an expansion of the previous two WikiConference USA to include Mexico and Canada.

The primary goals of the event are to:

  1. Promote knowledge transfer between affiliates in the USA, Canada and Mexico about organizational development.
  2. Provide public outreach to the general public in Southern California.
  3. Provide opportunities for training for North American user groups about grants and program management.
  4. Support meetups for thematic work in the health care, cultural, and educational/academic sector.

The secondary goals of the event are:

  1. Create long-term networking and partnering opportunities with organizations from the cultural and educational sector (e.g. GLAM, universities, etc.) in the Southern California region in order to build on the existing momentum and to achieve sustainability beyond the conference.
  2. Provide opportunities for face-to-face rapport-building connections between existing Wikimedia volunteers and community members to strengthening personal relationships between the participants and to improve the community health of the wikimedia movement.

Events will take place from October 7th through October 10th.




WikiConference North America 2016 will create a forum for Wikipedians and non-Wikipedians, including academics, professionals, students, and activists, to participate in meaningful Wikimedia-related discussions and activities. The conference will nurture grassroots Wikimedia communities, address long-standing online and local community issues, spur creation of new content, and facilitate partnerships with cultural and educational institutions.

Planning and preparations


The decision to organize WikiConference North America as an expansion of WikiConference USA grew from the plan to relocate the conference to San Diego, California. The close proximity to Mexico allows for attendance of Wikimedians in Mexico and a Spanish language track.

Community engagement


The preliminary discussion to move WikiConference USA to San Diego occurred in late April on a regular conference call for United States based Wikimedians. When the possibility was announced to the broader United States community, there was broad community support for the change of the location. A San Diego based conference planning team, led by DrMel, secured the venues and accommodations. A North American-wide conference planning team was created at several planning meeting in Italy at Wikimania.

Travel scholarships


The conference organizers will be awarding travel scholarships to bring in attendees from throughout North America. Since most Americans live in a region without a chapter, a growing number Wikimedia Foundation affiliated user groups are being created. This conference will offer Wikimedians in user groups (or planning to form user groups) an opportunity to network with other Wikimedians and learn what they can do to reach out to people and institutions in their home region.

Conference venue and registration



The San Diego Public Library
Balboa Park

The first major partner who committed to support WikiConference North America 2016 is the City of San Diego Public Libraries. Erwin Magbanua, Special Events Coordinator for the downtown library, has enthusiastically agreed that the library can host, co-sponsor, help plan and market ongoing Wikipedia events, including this year's WikiConference North America. The library will make their most spacious and beautiful meeting rooms available during the 3-day holiday weekend Oct 8–10, and Erwin has now reserved them for us, with no fees. The value of the library’s in kind donations exceed $26,000.

  • Pre-conference: Friday

Balboa Park Online Collaborative (, is interested in partnering for multiple events and building a more active group of Wikipedians within our GLAM communities. BPOC handles supporting any technology-related projects member organizations of Balboa Park want to do. Main contact: Nik Honeysett, CEO of the BPOC.

Conference program

Session at the WikiConference USA 2014 in New York

WikiConference North America 2016 will take place over four days of keynotes, presentations, panels, workshops, lightning talks, and a number of different hands-on activities. The first day (Friday) October 7th will offer participants an opportunity to engage in hands-on activities (photo excursions, museum crawl editing event), whereas the main conference will span over three days (Saturday October 8th – Monday October 10th, with the latter being a national holiday – Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day – in the United States). The sessions will mainly be filled through an open submission process that has been working very well in past iterations of WikiConference USA.

The conference theme is Inclusionism.

  • Indigenous Peoples' Day will be recognized on Monday October 10 with a keynote speaker
  • Spanish language sessions may be included in the program
  • The San Diego Public library will be open to the general public and most of WikiConference North America will be open to public. Information about Wikipedia and editor training will be provided to interested people.
  • Invitations will be sent out to user groups and local Wikimedias across North America to gather a broad geographic and cultural mix of people.

The conference will feature a variety of different session formats:

  • Keynotes: The conference organizers will invite luminaries in the open content movement to inspire and inform attendees.
  • Presentations: The Program Committee will select presentations based on the proposals submitted through the open submission process.
  • Panels and Workshops: The Program Committee will work with participants to organize panels and workshops on select topics.
  • Lightning Talks: Attendees will be given opportunities to sign up to give 5–10 minute talks on a topic of their choice.
  • Hands-on activities: Attending long-time Wikimedia contributors will be invited to engage in hands-on editing and image creation activities.

High-level timeline:

We envision a number of different tracks, e.g.

  • Community, e.g. Women & Wikipedia, Inter-community relationships (Conflict Resolution, Harassment, Engagement with new contributors), WikiProjects, local User Groups, Chapters, Thematic Community Meetups
  • Outreach, in the library lobby to the general public and targeted outreach to librarians, health care experts, students and experts.
  • Education, e.g. Partnerships with educational institutions, Case study presentations, Panel of instructors and students who engage in "Teaching with Wikipedia", Tools (Wiki Education Foundation dashboard), WikiStudies (a new journal investigating the intersection of Wikipedia and higher education)
  • Others (to be determined by the Program Committee)



Target readership

English and Spanish language Wikipedias and Commons are the primary Wikimedia projects to reach for impact. The secondary targets are all English or Spanish language Wikimedia projects, as well as some other language projects that widely used in North America.

Fit with strategy


What crucial thing will the project try to change or benefit in the Wikimedia movement? Please select the Wikimedia strategic priority(ies) that your project most directly aims to impact and explain how your project fits. Most projects fit all strategic priorities. However, we would like project managers to focus their efforts on impacting 1–2 strategic priorities. Examples of strategic priorities can be found here.

WikiConference North America aims to increase participation of Wikimedians in successful projects through out North America. Additionally, the event will improve the quality of content on English and Spanish language Wikipedias and Commons.

Measures of success


Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed. See the PEG program resources for suggested measures of success.

At different points during and after the conference, we will be asking participants to fill out comment forms and surveys. We will compile participant comments as a quantifiable measure of participant engagement, as well as a measure of effectiveness of the conference sessions.

Following the conference, we will obtain the following datasets. The results will be published in a formal conference report which will also include a comprehensive financial report:

  • Conference attendance
  • Geographic representation
  • Organizational and institutional representation
  • New projects and partnerships started by attendees following the conference
  • Reports from scholarship recipients post-conference
  1. At least 85% of attendees find the conference useful in the post-conference survey.
  2. At least 75% of attendees confirm having new ideas and/or better vision for the projects they want to work on.
  3. At least 75% of attendees confirm having learned new information regarding project management, running chapter or user group projects, or community building.
  4. At least 30 articles created/improved during the museum crawl at Balboa Park museums.
  5. With the conference seeking to encourage knowledge transfer to local groups across the United States, we will also measure the amount of new successfully established and officially recognized Wikimedia user groups over the next 6 months, and the increase in successful project run by user groups based in North America.
  6. Outreach to the general public at the San Diego Library will engage 100 people over the course of the event.

Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some global metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.

Resources and risks



Position Name
Conference Grantees Sydney Poore/FloNight , Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight/Rosiestep
Core organizing team Sydney Poore/FloNight, Fuzheado, Gamaliel, User:Kirill Lokshin Pharos, Phoebe Ayers, Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight/Rosiestep,
Affiliates Chair Pharos
Program Chair Sydney Poore/FloNight User:BobCummings (Academic track), Fuzheado (GLAM Day/Museum Crawl)
Scholarship Chair Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight/Rosiestep
Local logistics Co-chairs Melissa Ganus and Phoebe Ayers
Communications Chair Gamaliel
Volunteer Coordinators Addis Wang, Adam Moss & User:Montanabw
Other team members User:ProtoplasmaKid (President of Wikimedia Mexico chapter, Wikimania 2015 chief coordinator), User:Pharos (President of Wikimedia New York City Chapter), User:Kirill Lokshin (President of Wikimedia DC chapter), User:Peaceray (President of Cascadia Wikimedians User Group), User:Fuzheado, User:AddisWang, User:Dominic, User:Phoebe, User:BobCummings, User:SuperHamster

Evidence of past success in executing similar projects



There are two main risks for WikiConference NA 2016:
  1. Attendance is below expectations: we invest and organize and yet the event only attracts a few Wikimedians. However, based on the number of local groups involved in supporting the event (Wikimedia New York, Wikimedia DC, Cascadia Wikimedians, Wiki Education Foundation, local community members from California), the number of recent editing events in Southern California that have drawn new attendees and interest, and also based on the number of past conference attendees at Wikicon USA, we assume this risk is low. Prior conferences of this kind have indicated that the biggest factor keeping Wikimedians from different parts of the United States from attending the conference is the amount of money available for scholarships (with significantly more people applying than scholarships being available).
  2. There is no WMF chapter or affiliate in Southern California that has experience planning a WikiConference. However, the core organizational team has Board members from Wikimedia Chapters and active Wikimedians from User Groups in the United States who are experienced with planning Wiki Conferences.



Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.

Project budget table

Project budget table


Fiscal sponsorship will be by Wikimedia District of Columbia.

Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Cost per unit Total cost Currency Notes
1 Venue Room rent Days 4 0 USD Will be donated by Balboa Park and the San Diego Public Library
2 Equipment and services Technical (A/V, wireless access, etc.) Days 4 0 USD Will be donated by Balboa Park and the San Diego Public Library
3 Catering Coffee and lunch breaks Days x persons 6,775 USD Lunch for attendees on scholarship, keynotes, student volunteers, and other organizational team members without registration fees. (Light lunches for Saturday and Monday @ USD 25 per person.) Registration fees will cover the cost of meals for other attendees. Snacks and refreshments at 1 afternoon coffee breaks for 3 days at USD 15 per person for all attendees.
4 Travel and accommodations Partial scholarships, People 40 30,000 USD Partial scholarships to offset the cost of travel and accommodations to attend WikiConference 2016 USA for approximately 40 individuals. Approximately 12 partial scholarships will be targeted to user groups and other people creating a wikimedia community in a geographic location or topic area.
5 Travel and accommodations People 9,750 USD Keynote speakers (2), pre-event site visit (2), conference core organizational team (7)
6 Conference material Name tags, registration materials Person 200 5 1,000 USD
7 Event insurance, permits, and other fees 400 USD Event liability insurance, event permit(s) for wiknics.
8 Contingency 2,075 USD 5% of the total cost of the event.

Total cost of project


USD $50,000

Total amount requested


USD $50,000

Additional sources of revenue


Additional sources of revenue, other than the Project and Event Grants Program, that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded.

We are working on raising additional funds and in-kind donations through:

  • The City of San Diego
  • Local grantmaking institutions
  • Corporate sponsors

Non-financial requirements


WMF staff as keynote speaker (Katherine Maher) and other potential presenters or attendees.

We'd like to run a geo-targeted banners on select Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia, Commons) prior to the conference in order to attract attention from Wikimedians across the United States, Mexico, and Canada.



Community notification


You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a village pump, talk page, mailing list. Please paste a link below to where the relevant communities have been notified of this proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?

Update on June 30th to 'Wikimedians Active in Local Regions of the United States' (WALRUS) conference call about change to WikiConference North America
WikiConference North America 2016
User:ProtoplasmaKid is posting to the Wikimedia Mexico Chapter mailing list and to the Iberocoop list.



Do you think this project should be selected for a Project and Event Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  •   Support WikiConference is a vital tool that supports and connects editors, Wikimedia community volunteers, academics, and members of cultural institutions. Attending WikiConference in 2015 has had a significant positive impact in my work both as an academic and a Wikimedian and it is important that we keep this institution active to support others in these ways. Gamaliel (talk) 21:19, 30 June 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support WikiConference is an excellent event, well worth the investment. The team is solid, and the plan is coming along very nicely.--Ragesoss (talk) 02:08, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support venue for GLAM networking and editor training. vital. ridiculous payback. Slowking4 (talk) 02:10, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support bringing the wikicon to the west coast will potentially bring in a new group of interested editors and people (interest among academics in the University of California system is high, for instance). There is broad consensus that regional conferences are highly useful. -- phoebe | talk 02:59, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support the conference and the important role it plays as a US-MX-CA collaboration. The public outreach possibilities are enormous, as it will be at the main public library branch and admission for the public will be free. (COI disclosure - I'm involved with the planning and execution of this event) -- Fuzheado (talk) 03:36, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support Having attended last year's WikiConference USA in D.C., the experience was an invaluable opportunity to better integrate with the community and learn about a multitude of topics. I've personally met several of the organizers, and have confidence in them. The setting of the venue and the collaboration with the San Diego Library is a huge plus and great opportunity. The event is certainly worth the investment. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 05:28, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support This will be tight. SJ talk  12:25, 1 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support I have never participated in such event, but I like it when It mentions public involves "non-Wikipedians, including academics". As a researcher, It's always a chance to meet the community to think about new projects. --GoncalvesMarcio
  •   Support In-person meetings like these help me with my on-wiki work. I look forward to participating. harej (talk) 20:15, 2 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support I'm Wikimedian from Sindh and have dedicated myself for Sdwiki, I want to participate to learn more about WMF projects and if such events happens in Pakistan I would easily join because I can't afford to come and join it in USA. Jogi don (talk) 02:26, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support As a writing and communication instructor in higher ed, I look forward to this opportunity to meet Wikipedia contributors, researchers,and educators, and taking WikiCon to San Diego is an excellent way to grow the network of contributors for all the reasons mentioned above. Rtbhive (talk) 19:57, 3 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support Signing on behalf of Wikimedia Mexico board. It's a great opportunity for our chapter to have more opportunities and regional projects. ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 21:54, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support glad to see this moving forward. --Pine 21:17, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I expect that many or all of the contributors to the withdrawn proposal for a 2016 WikiConference in Seattle will support this proposal. I have been doing what I can to direct the attention of anyone who spoke up for that idea to this new proposal. Blue Rasberry (talk) 12:08, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support WikiConference USA is a proven commodity for those of us who may or may not be able to go to Wikimania during the year and is open to more of an unconference feel rather than a strict feeling of must do this or that. Mitch32(Protection is not a principle, but an expedient.) 00:38, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support happy to support this, and the team has really pulled the plan together. PKM (talk) 02:43, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support -Another Believer (talk) 17:29, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support - very important that WikiCon comes to the west coast; the networking and community-building aspects are very important, this is a good proposal to build up the wikipedia community in the west and Latin America. Montanabw (talk) 18:03, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support - This conference will build on the work of Wiki Conference USA and expand it in some important directions, including more connections with those in academia interested in furthering public knowledge. BobCummings (talk) 16:49, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
  •   Support - This is an important annual event that allows the Wikipedia community to grow and diversify in needed ways. The previous conferences spurred continued collaborations and I expect that this one will be even more successful in this direction. Mozucat (talk) 19:40, 13 July 2016 (UTC)