The annual Wikimania conference will be coming to Mexico City on July 15-19, gathering volunteers and digital rights leaders to discuss access to knowledge, participation in the Wikimedia projects, and the role of Wikipedia in education. Photo by Ralf Roletschek, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.
Wikimania 2015, the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister projects, will take place in Mexico City from July 15-19. Digital rights leaders and hundreds of volunteer editors will come together at the Hilton Mexico City Reforma to discuss issues at the heart of the Wikimedia movement, including the state of free knowledge, the role of Wikipedia in education, international privacy issues, and using technology to grow participation.
Wikimania focuses on the Wikimedia vision: to make the sum of all knowledge available to everyone on the planet. Unfortunately, access to knowledge around the world is not equal. In some places, people do not have Internet access or cannot afford access. In Mexico, for example, only 40% of the population have access to the Internet. In other areas of the globe, access to knowledge is censored or constrained. These issues, which directly impact our ability to fulfill the Wikimedia mission, will be at the center of conversations at the conference.
This year’s conference—which is co-organized by the local Wikimedia affiliate, Wikimedia Mexico, and the Wikimedia Foundation—will feature a special focus on efforts from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal to improve access to knowledge and increase the amount of quality content on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
“People across Mexico read 44 million Wikipedia articles every month. While we have made great strides in making knowledge available, we have a long way to go to achieve our mission,” says Iván Martinez, president and founder of Wikimedia Mexico. “Wikimedia communities in Latin America and other countries are increasingly finding solutions for growing quality information on Wikimedia projects, including through partnerships with educational, government, cultural, and civil associations. Wikimania is a chance for us to share these kinds of experiences with each other to make Wikipedia and its sister projects stronger.”
This year’s speakers and workshops include:
- “Bringing Free Education to the World” by Luis von Ahn, Guatemalan entrepreneur and academic, founder of reCAPTCHA, and co-founder and CEO of Duolingo
- “Wikipedia and the collective construction of knowledge” by César Rendueles, Spanish sociologist, researcher, and social critic
- “Wikipedia Five Pillars Panel” featuring members of digital humanities organization Red de Humanidades Digitales (RedHD)
- A panel on “Latin America Internet Freedom,” featuring
- Carlos Brito of Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3DMX; Digital Rights Defense Network)
- Darío Ramírez of Article 19 Mexico
- Katitza Rodríguez of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Renata Ávila, Guatemalan human rights and intellectual property lawyer with Web we want and country lead for Creative Commons Guatemala
- Paz Peña, Chilean researcher and promoter of digital rights in Latin America with Derechos Digitales
- Yana Welinder, senior legal counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation
- A lecture from Carlos A. Scolari, renowned digital media researcher from Argentina who studies new ways of communication that originated from the rise of the Internet
- Annual “State of the Wiki” address from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
- Opening Plenary by Lila Tretikov, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation
With more than 35 million articles in 288 languages, Wikipedia is the largest shared knowledge resource in human history. Nearly half a billion people turn to Wikipedia every month for everything from preserving cultural heritage, to improving cancer detection, to researching homework. This remarkable scope and scale was recognized this month by the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Spain. The jury recognized Wikipedia as an “important example of international, democratic, open and participatory cooperation—to which thousands of people of all nationalities contribute selflessly.”
“Wikimedians collaborate digitally with each other from far corners of our planet all of the time,” says executive director Lila Tretikov. “Once a year we have a chance to gather in person and we are so excited to meet this year in Mexico City, and share our passion, knowledge, and experiences.”
The Wikimania conference has been organized globally for the last 10 years, to make it easier for anyone to access, share and contribute to free knowledge.
Registration for Wikimania 2015 is now open here.
Juliet Barbara, Senior Communication Manager, Wikimedia Foundation
Samantha Lien, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation
Joe Sutherland, Communications Intern, Wikimedia Foundation