Wikimania Committee/Minutes/2021-11-18

Wikimania 2022 Working Session 2 edit

Given unprecedented and ever-changing global circumstances means we still have to think outside the box for organizing Wikimania 2022. Wikimania 2020 was cancelled, 2021 went fully online. Wikimania 2022 will build on the great and recent experience of organizing a fully virtual event, and at the same time balancing with a growing desire for people to once more connect in person. All of this in the context of vaccine equity in the world, ever-changing global circumstances, and cities/countries going in and out of various waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Session overview edit

4 models for Wikimania 2022 were discussed at this meeting.

Attendance edit

Andrew Lih, Anna Torres, Butch Bustria, Deror Avi, Florence Devouard, Gnangarra, Iván Martinez, Iolanda Pensa, Lodewijk, Susanna Mkrtchyan, Winnie Kabinte

Supporting staff: Elfego Solares, Joël Letang, Lisa McCabe, Mehrdad Pourzaki

Summary edit


All models will have virtual participation

(1) Completely virtual – would build on this year's experience and factor in improvements in timing, platform, translations, presenter experience, etc. Pros: would build on this year's great experience. Cons: virtual participation fatigue

(2) Decentralized – multiple in-person Wikimanias happening all over the world WITH a virtual / hybrid component

  • Based on regions: for example: Africa, ESEAP, Europe, MENA, North America, South America, South Asia
  • Based on timezones: for example: Americas, Europe + Africa, Asia

Pros: will have the in-person essence people are yearning for. Cons: hard to coordinate and still unpredictable given global pandemic conditions. At the time of this discussion, part of Europe are facing a potential 4th wave and related closures.

(3) Centralized – one in-person event (location TBD) WITH a hybrid / virtual component

Pros: Wikimania as we love it :) Cons: location TBD, but will have cancellation risks and vaccine inequity


  • How about a mainly virtual Wikimania with some in-person components
  • Could the in-person component be something that local affiliates organize? They can do this as a one-day event and we still do the primary focus on virtual
  • Regional travel may still be complicated next August; anything beyond national may get difficult
  • How could the virtual interaction still be fun and interactive, and not an after thought
  • Virtual is the only realistic option at the moment, there is caution in supporting the others. Central is currently difficult to imagine and challenging during this time in history.
  • Option 1 could have a global COT again, but options 2 and 3 will be different based on the local capacity in the COT
  • Decentralized can offer the opportunity to organise Wikimania which can be fun, and boosting participation, but can also be complicated to implement.
  • Having regional events AND regional Wikimanias can be quite taxing on the movement. How conferences relate to each other needs to be figured out rather than repeating Wikimania just a few months later, and the regional conferences do things like edit-a-thons, trivia night, etc. instead
  • There were scholarship requests last year for communities to come together if they wanted to. So instead of a fully decentralized model, we could open the door for communities to have a Wikimania as they choose.
  • The main Wikimania is virtual and we let communities decide what they want to do.
  • Regional events be refactored knowing a lot of folks presented already at wikimania, do more things unique to the respective community
  • +1 to virtual main and with well-supported "watch parties," locally-led mini Wikimanias and integrated with the virtual main
  • Even for short distance there could still be complications in travel
  • The Hybrid model was tried out this year at German-speaking Wikicon
  • We need to do an "energy check" (who wants to organise wikimania, if we can put together different online events...)
  • There is monotony in virtual events and we should think of ways to facilitate in-person participation (could people travel to other regions?)
  • A conference in Mexico / Latin America is possible at this point. Opening the concept to trans-regional communities and creating a portal of resources.
  • Provide some checklists. Organizer office hours in the spring for the distributed organizers
  • We should decide as soon as possible the dates so people can decide early
  • Consensus
    • Virtual + community choice for local watch style meetup
    • Virtual for sure + hybrid components as conditions allow
    • Virtual + optional watch parties meetups
    • We make sure it runs fully virtual as the baseline as the fail safe


  • Late July / early August may be the best
  • Mid August many holidays in Europe
  • Late August / early September = return to school for many places in the Northern Hemisphere
  • To ask the movement about the span of time and models
  • Perhaps a return to Thursday to Sunday; better to close it on a Sunday also

What's next? edit

Timeline and milestones ahead in the roadmap to Wikimania 2022!!!