As a part of the Wikimedia movement’s ongoing response to the COVID-19
pandemic, we are postponing Wikimania Bangkok 2020. This decision was made
with the full support of the ESEAP host team and Wikimania Committee.
Together, we will hold Wikimania in Bangkok in 2021.
We are filled with sadness to not see you all in Bangkok in August.
However, we are confident that this is the best possible decision for the
well-being of our global community and public health overall. This decision
was proposed by the ESEAP organizers in line with their countries’ response
to the COVID-19 pandemic and is in line with recommendations from the World
Health Organization (WHO).
You are certain to have many questions. We hope to answer some of your
questions below. We will continue to answer questions on the Wikimania
Meta-Wiki page and on the Wikimania Telegram group chat (more information
*== What does “postponing” Wikimania mean? ==*
We will not host an in-person Wikimania in 2020. We are rescheduling
Wikimania Bangkok until 2021. The ESEAP organizing team will continue
their work as a regional collaborative between affiliates in the East,
South East, and Pacific regions to host us in Thailand next year.
The hotel and venue in Bangkok will remain the same. We have not yet
finalized dates for 2021. We will work with the ESEAP team and Wikimania
Steering Committee to confirm new dates. We will let you know these dates
by the end of 2020.
The good news is that Wikimania 2021 will coincide with Wikipedia’s 20th
birthday year. We expect this to be a truly memorable Wikimania -- an
opportunity to celebrate reconnection after a year apart, along with the
remarkable accomplishment of two decades of free knowledge.
*== Will there be an alternative to the in-person event? ==*
There are no plans by the 2020 Wikimania hosts to organize a virtual,
online event. Hosting Wikimania is a lot of work. The ESEAP team is
committed to hosting the best possible in-person event in Bangkok in 2021.
Therefore, they will not have the capacity to organize a virtual Wikimania
However, the Wikimania committee, the ESEAP host team, and the Wikimedia
Foundation all recognize that other members of the community may be
interested in organizing a remote, global Wikimedia event for 2020.
Although the Wikimedia Foundation does not have the capacity at this time
to lead the organizing of a virtual online conference, we recognize others
may have the desire to do so.
We welcome discussion about online events. Interested parties are welcome
to contact the Wikimania Steering Committee and Wikimania Foundation staff
for advice on the Wikimania Meta-Wiki page.
We are also considering proposals for improving the capacity of communities
to organize local virtual convenings, and for how we can support
communities in organizing impromptu local and regional Wikimedia events
once the pandemic passes. As the situation has been changing rapidly we are
still working on specifics and will share more information in the coming
*== What does this mean for scholarship applications? ==*
We are working on a plan for how to process Wikimania 2020 scholarship
applications. We will share more information in the coming weeks.
*== How was this decision made? ==*
This recommendation was made by the ESEAP organizers based on what we know
about the current COVID-19 global health pandemic and current WHO
guidelines. The decision was made together with the ESEAP team in
consultation with the Wikimania Steering Committee and Wikimedia
Foundation. Together we are fully and unanimously aligned around this
Although we are genuinely sad to not have the opportunity to see you all
this year, we also are fully supportive of this decision in all of our best
interests. It allows our ESEAP community hosts to focus on the immediate
needs of their families, local Wikimedia communities, and local communities
as a whole. It is in line with global public health guidance and aligns the
Wikimedia movement as a responsible actor in support of our common public
We want to thank all volunteers and affiliates that have been involved with
planning Wikimania. We’re especially appreciative of the ESEAP for their
leadership, flexibility, and compassion, as we have worked together to make
some difficult decisions on this important event.
*== Where can I learn more about Wikimania 2021? ==*
There are a number of channels where Wikimania is regularly discussed and
where plans for 2021 will be posted as they develop. We welcome all
interested participants to bring together our collective wisdom and
creativity to discuss what happens next with Wikimania. You can find these
- Wikimania wiki: https://wikimania.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimania
- Wikimania mailing list:
- Freenode IRC channel: #wikimania
- Telegram group chat: https://t.me/wikimaniachat
*== Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and Wikimedia? ==*
We know the Wikimedia community as generous and altruistic. Unsurprisingly,
many volunteers have started applying their skills and attention to this
current global pandemic. The Foundation created a page on Meta-Wiki where
we can share and document the steps the Foundation and movement members are
taking and ways to participate. We invite you to join us in documenting
more about our collective response: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/COVID-19
*== Thank you ==*Our world, and many of our lives, have changed rapidly
over these past few weeks. Yet we can look to history to take comfort that
crises are also often moments when people put aside differences, prioritize
community and care, and find ways to connect. The sense of community and
purpose within the Wikimedia movement is a powerful rejoinder to these
This is a moment in which not only what we do, but how we do it, will make
a meaningful impact on the world. We are so grateful for all that you do as
a movement to continue to rise to the challenges of our moment.
Please, stay safe and take care.
Katherine, on behalf of the:
- ESEAP Core Organizing Team
- Wikimania Steering Committee
- Wikimedia Foundation Events Team
P.S. You can help translate and share this message via Meta-Wiki: <
You can also find additional information about Wikimedia's other actions
regarding COVID-19 on Meta-Wiki: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/COVID-19
Katherine Maher (she/her)
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>