Wikimania Committee/Minutes/2017-10-23




  1. Andrew Lih - Fuzheado
  2. Deror Avi -
  3. Iolanda Pensa - iopensa
  4. Phoebe Ayers
  5. Ellie Young
  6. Florence Devouard - Anthere
  7. Edward Saperia
  8. User:Romaine



Nomination of Chair for this Committee and discussion about membership of the committee


Iolanda Pensa nominated Chair and Phoebe Ayers nominated Vice chair for one year. (Flo: made a motion to nominate iolanda for chair and Phobe for vice chair for one year. Andrew seconded. All in favor. Motion passed.)

We decide that membership in the commission is of 1 year and it is reviewed in first meeting after Wikimania (around September). We ask member if they want to remain in the commission; we consider member inactive after 2-3 meetings non-attendance at meetings or general inactivity at wikimania itself. We can also consider yearly new nomination by also inviting to join the committee people who have organised large wikimedia events or other wikimedia events.

Update on Wikimania '18


Ellie updates us on Wikimania Caper Town and discussions.

  • Venue of the University of Cape Town and accommodation.
  • Co-chairs for the program committee have been appointed (Liam, Emna, and Felix). Phoebe, Douglas, and Ellie will be scheduling a handover meeting soon. They will be soliciting people to serve as usual. Douglas also organized a "theme" team this summer, to work on the "knowledge gaps" idea. They are advisory. The knowledge gaps theme is a novelty of Wikimania Cape Town and it will need to be integrated in the 'call for submissions' and reviewing/scoring process -- now part of the program committee's tasks.
  • Scholarship Committee: David Richfield and Martin Rulsch are co-chairing. They are soliciting other committee members. Criteria have been reviewed. Emphasis will be on getting more recipients from Africa, helping people improve their applications (samples, mentors). Decisions will be made early March. We also are awarding 27 people who received scholarships for Montreal but were denied Visas.
  • Funds for Wikimania Cape Town are not decided yet.
  • It might be useful to involve and activate for the event local NGOs, schools and groups. have training sessions before wikimania as a way to introduce people to the community/conference?
  • It can be useful to bring in some assistance for fundraising/partnerships/sponsorships/outreach.

Liaison for Wikimania 2018


Appointment of a liaison from this committee to Wikimania '18 organizing team. At our last meeting Ed Saperia offered to serve. The liaison is a person keeping the links with the Wikimania team. Nominated Edward Saperia. All in favor. Motion passed. Ed will support in particular the team on outreach since logistics is pretty covered.

Ivan Martinez is already serving on the 'theme team' for the conference specifically addressing issues on languages and translation.

Report on Wikimania '17 Montreal


Ellie provides by email a list of some of the take-aways:

  • Visa-friendliness of host country needs to be higher on the evaluation ranking (especially as it effects scholarships)
  • Look into a system to use for submission collection, review, acknowledgement, scheduling, etc
  • Reconsider using table format for the program on conference wiki
  • Continue to put more effort into recording/streaming talks (especially post-production...) and translation
  • Look into conference management packages (vs. google sheets)
  • Earlier creation and more robust timeline for the event and roles/responsibilities
  • Rethink what info goes on name badges and lanyards with two clips vs. one
  • If we need a volunteer coordinator they must have previous event experience
  • Setting up more structured submission and review process for room requests and deadline
  • Streamline and better communication/processes around main plenary speakers
  • More protein for breakfasts ; continue with coffee/tea all day
  • Conversations around security/friendly space earlier in process; more visibility, communication with more players on policy around what happens in X situation; training for team.
  • Closing party: choose venue that provides furniture, catering, lighting, etc vs. staff having find vendors
  • Think through disabilities and accommodations thoroughly ahead of time and research options for braille program; headsets; signing translators, wheelchair accommodations
  • Finance/Payments/Contracts. Need to revisit processes in WMF to make it more streamlined/efficient/quicker
  • Transportation: for future: maybe get a transportation coordinator esp for special needs.
  • More support for Scholarship applicants (how to write a good application, visa/immigration support, etc.)
  • Onsite: Extra communication with various presenters and organizers around supplies, copies and how to acquire these.

Also if anyone thinks there are ideas from the 'futures of wikimania' session that we need to pay particular attention to, please let me know. See:

Proposals to Host Wikimania 2019


The deadline has passed and we have 4 confirmed people/groups interested (no contact with Cekli829). A draft evaluation sheet has been created to facilitate the discussion but it is not a competitive bid situation. We will announce the selected location in January and we will explicit the reasons for the selection.

Four confirmed as interested are:

  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Perth, Australia

Decisions and Next Steps


Next meeting: end of November. Focus on Wikimania 2019. Meeting postponed because Ellie needed more time for the online meetings with the teams.

Todo before next meeting

  • Ellie will ask inactive members of the committee if they want to continue on the committee
  • Ellie to provide short list of other wikimedia / affiliated events e.g., Hackathon, WmCon, etc. of this past year and upcoming to consider new members of the committee.
  • Ellie will wrap up finances later this month about Wikimania Montreal and will update the conference wiki with budget summary information, registration numbers and demographics.
  •   Done Ellie will have preliminary info on venues for 2019 for review/discussion.
  •   Done Phoebe is working on a report about the Wikimania Montreal program, and there is a plan to have a 'handover' meeting between the Wikimania '17 and the Wikimania '18 core team/program committee in the next couple of weeks. Wikimania 2017/Programme report
  • Encouraging the Wikimania 2018 to use more the Wikimania mailing list to announce their committees, the theme and what they are working on.