Thanks Phoebe and the Wikimania Steering Committee for organising the selection process and of course congratulations to the team in Poland who are going to organise a great Wikimania.
(Disclaimer: I have been privileged enough to have been able to attend many a WIkimania, and am perhaps one of the worst people in the world to write the text below)
Reading your comment on hopefully announcing the Wikimania hosts for 2025 and 2026 soon makes me wonder if we are not overlooking a fundamental discussion with regards to the continued existence of Wikimania as it currently takes place. Are we going to continue to annually organise a global event, flying people from all over the world to a location which limits physical participation to those that are able to do so (regardless of the few scholarships we manage to distribute for volunteers)?
Would it not be a good idea to start with revisiting our goals (for example: reconnecting, exchanging experiences and sharing cool projects) and start thinking of alternatives to the current Wikimania set up? It would also be interesting to match these goals with the increase in regional engagement which is taking place across our movement.
I have the feeling I might have missed some earlier discusion on this, but I am not seeing much change in the Wikimania concept in a time that probably demands change both from a sustainability as well as an equity perspective.
And again I am probably not the best person to point this out (coming from an incredibly privileged position) and I love wikimania and I love seeing all of you on a regular basis… but at the same time I have noticed that we are all trying to adjust to a changing world…and it would seem that a movement as unique as ours should be able to come up with a better alternative?
I hope that people take this mail in the spirit that it is intended and if I can contribute to facilitating this discussion I am of course more than willing to do so!
Jan-Bart de Vreede
(Views expressed in this email are my personal views)
I am very excited to share that Wikimania 2024 will be hosted in the city of Kraków in Poland
!  Kraków had a strong submission with a collaborative design and an experienced, enthusiastic team supporting it . At the crossroads of history, culture, and technology, we are confident that the impact of Wikimania will be great for our projects, the movement in general, and especially, local communities in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region. Read more on Diff .
Bringing our movement’s beloved event to life is not simple and we took many criteria into consideration. We were grateful for the expressions of interest received for hosting Wikimania in 2024, 2025, and beyond . Announcing host cities this far in advance is a new approach to organizing Wikimania we are exploring . In addition to the support we provide as the stewards of Wikimania, together with the Foundation’s Movement Communications team, we see great value in facilitating more time for organizers so they can learn from each other in practice and strengthen their capacity , . We hope to announce the hosts of Wikimania in 2025 and 2026 in the coming months or at Wikimania 2023 in Singapore.
Once again, wholehearted congratulations to the 2024 Wikimania team. We know you will do an excellent job welcoming our global family to your timeless city. And to our global family, we hope that you are as excited as we are returning to the vibrant CEE region after 14 years. Looking forward to collaborating with you all on wiki and in person.
My best wishes for all,
Phoebe (Wikimania Steering Committee)
On behalf of the Wikimania Steering Committee and the Wikimedia Foundation Movement Communications teamTranslations available on Diff
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