Wikimania is a magical event, as it brings so many different people into the same place to share knowledge, to experience different cultures, and to collaborate with members of the global community.  Singapore is working on developing these aspects, we have already shifted the scholarship process from one of attending and writing a report to one where scholars are requested to be active volunteers during the event from the Expo space to supporting rooms and help upload content to our projects so everyone can be there while Wikimania is happening.    

Evelin raises an interesting perspective about " the only good place to ever do it is Europe" , historically Wikimania has spent a lot of time in Europe because it had large individual communities who could absorb the negative impacts on their volunteers organising Wikimania.  Europe offers many advantages in being accessible to a large local contributing community, yet visa requirements exclude the majority of our contributors likewise for the US, Canada, Australia though it's something we could lobby our governments to change.  To balance this, countries like Singapore are invaluable for hosting Wikimanias where everyone can attend most with no visa required for the few that do a simple online application.  

The real value for the movement is what Wikimania does to strengthen our global community, whether that's leaving a local legacy like Esino Lario, Cape Town, or strengthening a regional community like ESEAP and CEE.  The WMF has stepped up and recognised the value from the positive impacts of Wikimania and provided support to address the negative impacts it has on communities.  We need regular Wikimanias in places that allow more people to attend, we need to consider what positive impacts can be achieved whether its internal or external ideally we want both. To achieve that Wikimania needs to be moved around the world and into as many communities as possible, yes regional events can also do that but a "Global audience" is so important to external partners getting involved.

As Wikimania evolves we know the community will find new ways to make it even better and more inclusive.  It could be multiple city hosting so that Wikimania is a 24 hour 3 day global event with live connections. Think about something like Live Aid which 37 years was a first. We have the technology and skills to do that now just need the team to take on the challenge.

However we approach Wikimania in the future the one key we must retain is the personal interactions, we have yet to find an effective way to make random connections in person happen.


On Tue, 21 Mar 2023 at 08:36, Abdulkadir Abdulkadir <abdulkadirabdulkadir215@gmail.com> wrote:
Hello folks 

Wikimania serve as a bridge that connect beautiful people from different parts of the world to come together and share experiences, knowledge, culture, skills and many more which I can't wait to find myself among of them.
Hopefully one day one time I will be part of the of journey, also when the Wikimania will be hosted in Africa.

On Mon, 20 Mar 2023, 23:44 Evelin Heidel, <scannopolis@gmail.com> wrote:

El lun, 20 mar 2023 a las 17:54, phoebe ayers (<phoebe.wiki@gmail.com>) escribió:

For folks who are newer to Wikimania, one core principle we do have is to make sure the conference goes to different parts of the world, precisely because we have community members everywhere and we don't want it to always be an extra-long journey for the same people. Of course rotation by itself isn't enough: we also need a group or collaboration that is excited to host the conference, as well as a location that will work well for a global conference. But these factors together hopefully result in a Wikimania that moves around. We got some great expressions of interest for Wikimania, and I find it exciting that after the lull of the pandemic there is lots of interest in hosting Wikimania going forward from so many groups.  

I'd argue that based on that criteria ("a location that will work well for a global conference") unfortunately the only good place to ever do it is Europe (both for convenience of travel & because it's an international flying hub), and we'd probably all agree that's a very bad idea. However, out of 18 Wikimanias so far, most of them have been in Europe nevertheless.

This is not a critique to Wikimedia Polska -- I'm very happy for them and I have no doubt they deserve this, but there's a need to review the whole model with some type of community discussion that goes well beyond a session on Wikimania about the "Future of Wikimania", some discussions on a mailing list, and the steering committee. Maybe it's time to do a committee that focuses specifically on "re-imagining the future of Wikimania" that can focus on doing several needed things -- like analyzing all the reports, learnings & surveys from previous years, running a community survey, and actually advocating more time to run a community conversation on what things are important; including how the WMF can (or cannot) support this event. 

I'm saying this too because one can personally find some arguments compelling (i.e. sustainability) but then others in the movement might find other arguments more important, and it's always good to know that.

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