On June 24, 2017 WMAT held its 10th annual general assembly in Vienna. Apart from the usual procedures of presenting the results of the internal and external audits and discharging of the board, WMAT also asked the members to approve of the planned restructuring of the board, including the election of three new members and the new leadership following our president Kurt Kulac who stepped back after nine years of tireless service for the chapter. The members expressed their confidence in the new leadership and board by confirming Alexander Wagner as the new president and Philip Kopetzky as vice president. The three newly elected board members are: Ulrike Zeller, a lawyer specialized in copyright law, and Magdalena Reiter, manager of the open commons region Linz who also bring expertise in open design and open tech communities. The third prospect board member is Prof. Friedrich Schipper, who has been collaborating with WMAT for three years around the education and university projects.
Another important development from the General Assembly was the report of our Good Governance Committee (GGC) with recommendations for improved procedures in cases of conflicts of interests (CoI). This comprised the institutionalisation of good practices from our recent CoI (early, proactive information and updates of the GGC by the board), as well as learnings from shortcomings, i.e. procedures for securing anonymity and confidentiality in cases of reports or inquiries to the GGC.
There were 20 participants at the general assembly (association members and interested guest), as well as the three WMAT staff members as organizers.
In preparation of the general assembly on June 24, the WMAT board came together to prepare the last steps for the leadership transition, i.e. changes to the bylaws. It was also a review of the activities of the first months of 2017 and a recap of the successful Hackathon organization and tech community outreach. We also used the opportunity to create input for cycle two of the Movement Strategy Process.
The meeting was organized by our board member Philip Kopetzky and our ED. 7 additional board members participated in the meeting.
The seminar was led by the historian Andrea Brait and an university assistant. The group consisted of 3 female and 7 male students. WMAT supported their effort with setting up a basic (more or less empty) page in Wikipedia at the beginning of semester and with proof-reading and moving it to the article namespace at the end of the semester.
University of Vienna: New Media in History and History Education IIIedit
The course about New Media in History and History Education at the University of Vienna was held by Professors Andrea Brait and Christian Wagner. Wikimedia was included for the fourth time in this course (the last time being last semester, from October 2016 to January 2017). Wikimedia supported this course with advice and technical help by a WMAT staff member. 17 students participated in the course, 12 of them were female and 5 male. 16 of 17 students were new users.
At the beginning of the semester the students created a short "practice" Wikipedia article together:
As a coalition of free radio stations, community broadcasting stations, netpolitical organisations, and cultural initiatives the #mediana17 conference was held in June in Salzburg. Wikimedia Österreich contributed with a panel on the current EU copyright reform in order to raise awareness concerning the possible impact on civil society and online communities. We also supported a position paper that was released during the conference which among other things also incorporates the point of view of the European Wikimedia Chapters on these issues - especially concerning the so-called upload filters. 20 of the 50 guests were female.
In accordance with the grant agreement between WMAT and WMF, we developed a friendly space policy which applies to all community events supported by WMAT. These Veranstaltungsrichtlinien ("event guidelines") are written in a way that they can be used by any Wikimedia community event in the German-speaking countries, not just for WMAT-related events.
On the right is a copy of a template created for the German-language Wikipedia. It says:
"The Wikipedia Event Guidelines apply at this event."
The Vienna Boys' Choir, established in 1498, is one of the best known its kind in the world. In Vienna, it is regarded as a major symbol and ambassador of the city's culture and tradition. Many members of the choir became famous musicians later in their lives. The choir resides in a boarding school in Augarten, a spacious park in Vienna's 2nd district.
A class of twelve boys and two female teachers visited WMAT's office for a three hours Wikipedia workshop which was conducted by WMAT staff. They learned how to assess the accuracy of Wikipedia and websites in general. They also added a video of them singing to the German-language Wikipedia article about the choir and practiced using Wikipedia as readers, especially concerning linking.
We co-hosted 6 netpolitical evenings as of June 2017, with an average of 60 participants, covering topics from EU advocacy, cyber feminism, open source art and to state of the art research around e-privacy. The May edition of the netpolitical evening even featured an all female speakers line-up! The event also has a loyal remote audience via live stream and broadcasting of various free radio stations across Austria. In addition, it became a valuable platform to find partners, participants, or multipliers for WMAT activities (e.g. #mediana17, hackathon, art+feminism). The initiative is 100% volunteer run and cost neutral, the venue is an in-kind donation by the local hackspace metalab.
Progress report: Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EUedit
WMAT is co-funding the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU (FKAGEU). It is headed by our Wikimedian in Brussels, Dimitar Dimitrov. For 2017 the European affiliates have agreed on a common reporting structure, the detailed report with information on our progress regarding the EU copyright reform and other legislative changes as well as our stakeholder relations (Wikimedia is now officially a member of EDRi!). WMAT's local work with the Austrian Internet Service Providers (ISPA) is also prominently featured in the report.
For the third time after 2016 and 2015, WMAT conducted an anonymous Qualtrics survey among the Austrian Wikimedia community in order to collect feedback on its activities. 80 Wikimedians participated in the survey. The high satisfaction rate concerning our services could be maintained or even increased, compared to the past years.
Excerpts from the survey:
Which of the following groups support you in your work in Wikipedia and/or other Wikimedia projects?
multiple answers were possible
other users whom I also know in "real life" (66%)
other users whom I do not know in "real life" (57%)
Wikimedia Österreich (57%)
Wikimedia Deutschland (25%)
my family and friends (20%)
educational institutes (9%)
my employer (8%)
none of the above (6%)
Wikimedia Foundation (5%)
To what extent does this statement apply to you: I feel appreciated by Wikimedia Österreich.