Michal's comments reflect part of what I'm thinking - and I think the exact splits of the regions may require some further discussions. Given the notes I've seen elsewhere, I trust that this is a first draft of the exact outlines of the regions, and not necessarily definitive? For example, I was also surprised to see your definition of 'North America' being US + Canada, and not to include Mexico. 

Either way, the underlying discussion is much more important: how do we select our next Wikimanias, but maybe more importantly, what do we expect from our annual conference. Because there lies an assumption under your methods that we need more than 2 years of preparations, which I'm not certain to agree with. 

I'm all for a lighter conference in general, maybe with more focus on online interaction. I think Esino Lario is a great experiment in that respect, to go back a bit to the roots of Wikimania, in some respects. I would be so glad to see lower standards for Wikimania, allowing more volunteers to feel confident to participate in organising it. Less people, even (I would be totally happy to limit it to 500-800 per year on-site). 

This is a discussion we seem to skip each year as a community - what do we expect exactly of Wikimania, what do we want to accomplish with it? What are its goals? All other things (location, venue, structure, rotation) should be following that outcome. 


On Sun, Oct 4, 2015 at 9:37 PM, Michał Buczyński <sandbox@o2.pl> wrote:
Hello James,

having read your announcement, I don't really see what you would like to consult with the community and when, as the decisions seem to be made by you and "we need to select very quickly the area for 2018, and after that, 2019 and beyond."

I am also surprised that e.g. Gdańsk is in "Eastern Europe". And you put it in one venue bucket with Uzbekistan for some reason.
Or that you "want to ensure that, every third year, Wikimania will take place neither in Europe nor North America."  Combining these two would mean we could wait for a Wikimania in Ukraine, Poland, Mexico (Northern America) or some other "Eastern European" country (whatever it means here) forever.

For the future, I would like to ask you and your committee for a more careful wording and a careful definition of geographic terms you want to use.
I see this is a rushed anouncement but knowing that these decisions were done 80+ days ago makes it difficult to accept.

Kind Regards,
Michał Buczyński
WMPL, WMF FDC member

Dnia 4 października 2015 20:10 James Forrester napisał(a):




TL;DR: The Wikimania Committee and the WMF Community Engagement department will be working on coming up with a new process for venues for future Wikimanias, which we will be seeking input from the community in the next few months




At the Committee’s meeting in Mexico City in August, we agreed to alter the way that Wikimania locations are decided.


Consequently, from now on the Committee will pick an area for Wikimania four to five years in advance, from the following (provisional) list.   The years in which we have already held Wikimanias in these areas are shown in parentheses


* Western, Northern, and Southern Europe (2005, 2014)

* Canada and United States (2006, 2012)

* Asia-Pacific (2007, 2013)

* Middle East and North Africa (2008, 2011)

* Latin America (2009, 2015)

* Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central Asia (2010)

* South Asia (none yet)

* Sub-Saharan Africa (none yet)

* Oceania (none yet)


The Committee intends to deliberately rotate between these areas to make sure we allow as many community members to attend as cheaply as possible.


The large majority of our community members are based in either North America or Europe; organising Wikimanias in these areas allows the majority of our community members to attend cheaply, so that money spent on scholarships can go further, and be more focussed in supporting our community members wherever they are based.


Locating Wikimania in other continents does not assure that participants from these areas  can attend more cheaply. Nevertheless, to support the movement worldwide, we do want to ensure that, every third year, Wikimania will take place neither in Europe nor North America.


We  propose that a sequence of "Western, Northern, and Southern Europe", "Canada and United States", and one of the others every three years, picked out several years into the future. Beyond the first two areas, we may not visit some as often as others. (I have not listed Antarctica as an area to which we will rotate, which may well be a disappointment to members of the British Antarctic Survey and others in that location.)


More widely, we would like to encourage Wikimedia conferences as open, engaging and fun community meetups, alongside the annual Wikimania conference. I know that several chapters run country-specific conferences each year, which is a good move. I think that there should be at least one annual Wikimedia conference in each of these areas. This would help newer editors know that there are people like them nearby without requiring the existence of, or putting too great a demand on, every national chapter or other local affiliated body. In some areas like Africa where the distances are great, multiple regional conferences may make sense.


As part of the new system of location selection, we will no longer have a 'bidding' process. Instead, the Committee invites people interested in leading or helping to run a Wikimania to contact us on-wiki, or via the wikimania-l list. If you think that you know a great team, venue or concept for holding Wikimania, in your area or anywhere else, please discuss the possibilities with us. We will work with interested community members to narrow down the selection to a particular venue.


Our next few locations will thus go like this:


* 2016: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – Esino Lario in Italy

* 2017: Canada and United States – TBD

* 2018: TBD – TBD

* 2019: Western, Northern, and Southern Europe – TBD

* 2020: Canada and United States – TBD

* 2021: TBD – TBD


As you can see, as well as picking the 2017 venue in Canada or the United States, for which we have a candidate lined up, we need to select very quickly the area for 2018, and after that, 2019 and beyond. There are several areas we’ve outlined above that have never had a Wikimania, and others where we have not visited for some time. We would love your thoughts on the areas on which we should focus for 2018 and beyond. We’ll also be asking in future for your thoughts about how to structure the programme of each Wikimania to make it as good as it can be for you, for others, and for our community overall.


Thank you.




James D. Forrester

Chair, Wikimania Committee


Wikimania-l mailing list