Wikimania 2021: How will program applications work in practice?

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The basis of the entire Wikimedia movement is around sharing and learning. This couldn’t be any more true of Wikimania, the Wikimedia movement’s largest annual gathering. We gather this year to celebrate the humans that make the projects possible and look forward to providing space for those who want to share their work through a session at Wikimania. If you’re an individual, group, or affiliate that is interested in hosting a session this year, read on to learn about how the process will work. 


There are 2 pathways in which proposals can be submitted to participate in the program for this years’ virtual Wikimania.


This track* is dedicated to sessions presented by Movement Groups & Affiliates. This will be open to all (new or established) affiliates in the Wikimedia Movement. Whether you are a regional grouping, a thematic affiliate, a small user group, or a local chapter — we welcome all of the different organizational groupings within the Wikimedia movement. 

An excellent opportunity to highlight the people, the projects and the impact they have created in your community and beyond. We highly encourage you to spotlight and celebrate new voices, faces, and projects in your community, in addition to the individuals in your community that receive more recognition in the movement. 

*This track will be running concurrently with the one mentioned below. 


This track* is dedicated to sessions presented by individuals, or a collective of individuals — it will be open to anyone interested in participating in the program. Whether you have been active in the movement for years, or just months. You are welcome even if this is your first time speaking to a large audience. Just like the other track, all session formats are welcomed. 

Traditionally we always have a large variety of people that are a part of the program for Wikimania. With this approach we keep this same spirit of previous years.

*This track will be running concurrently with the one mentioned above. 


There is a difference in how time is being allocated per track. Different formats will be receiving a difference in time allocation. We’ll explain the differences below. 

  • Lecture-based session: 20 mins presentation + 10 mins of Question & Answer
  • Fireside chat / interviews: 30 mins
  • Discussion (roundtable, panel): 45 mins
  • Workshops + Tutorials: 45 mins
  • Celebrations/Entertainment: 30 mins


We wanted to give the Wikimedia movement groups and affiliates a chance to own a part of the program. We are allocating a maximum 1.5 hours per group to curate. This would correspond with 3 lecture-based presentations, however your 1.5 hour block is up to your criteria – if you want to have a dog walking session or any other creative/social format via video, you can do that as well. You can choose what formats you would like to present your content in. Please refer to the section above for the time allocation for each format. 


Time allocation will be based on the format chosen during submissions. Please refer to the section above for the time allocation for each format. 


You have the freedom to choose how to incorporate this lens to your topic of choice. 

Example 1: MOVEMENT GROUPS & AFFILIATES (1.5 hour)

  • You want to submit a proposal for a lecture-based session with a series of lectures about the challenges you have experienced in the Education space within your community
  • By applying PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE you could choose this format per session
    • PAST – Explaining how this challenge emerged and how you got involved in the past. You could do a lookback at your most pressing challenges. 
    • PRESENT – What is the current state of your challenge? What progress have you made to date? Were there any blockers that prevented you from progressing? 
    • FUTURE – sharing how your future plans and outcomes look like. How do you plan on progressing on the initial challenge, what is the road ahead? What are the successes and failures you can expect? Are you collaborating with anybody in the movement? 


Here’s an example of how you can incorporate the lens as a single person: 

  • You want to host a facilitated discussion session around common challenges and solutions in closing the gender gap on-wiki, with an international panel of community representatives and gender diversity activists.
  • By applying PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE you could choose this format: 
    • PAST – N/A
    • PRESENT –  Closing the Gender Gap is a relevant topic currently, how does the expansion of the concept of gender in western society affect the Wiki Community/humanity as a whole, and what have we done to address the challenges, concerns and barriers? What are we doing to disseminate the knowledge around the concept of gender across the globe? What has been your personal experience with the concept of gender and inclusion?
    • FUTURE – How will we continue to be pioneers in creating an open and safe space for everyone – indifferent of their gender. What will we do to bridge the gap and motivate gender diversity, among other categories?


Here’s an example of how you can incorporate the lens as a group of individuals: 

  • You want to host a workshop session on how to incorporate safe space policies in any organization and will host this workshop with different individuals across different organizations leading the way.
  • By applying PAST – PRESENT – FUTURE you could choose this format
    • FUTURE –  A workshop on how to implement Friendly Space Policies: What will future organizations and workplaces look like? How can we help accelerate and embrace change? What initiatives are leading the way in reimagining organization and society itself? 

DO’S and DON’T:  

  • DO feature a case study that highlights cross-regional collaboration
  • DO invite a local or international activist you or your grouping have worked with to speak during your session
  • DO submit sessions as a collective of people that have been working together on a project 
  • DO focus on global approach with regional case studies
  • DO consider the wide range of your audience that might vary from new to well known members of the community
  • DO work with different types of media during your session: video, illustrations, voice clips etc.  
  • DO celebrate your community’s achievements
  • DON’T make your session a show-and-tell but rather think of ways in which you can make the content engaging 
  • DON’T use highly technical language if you are catering your session to newcomers, preferably define your technical concepts, regardless of who your audience is – you could always have someone who is not on the same page as you.
  • DON’T assume that everyone has the historical background that you do around the community or topic at large.
  • DON’T fill your presentation slides with a lot of information and small text. Use your slides as a tool to highlight important information and have a visual representation of what you are speaking of. 


Movement Groups & Affiliates TrackIndividual/Collective Track 
Submission open – 28th MaySubmission open – 28th May 
Submission close – 18th JuneSubmission close – 18th June
Submission Period – 3 weeksSubmission Period – 3 weeks
Review – 21st June – 2nd July (2 weeks) Review – 21st June – 2nd July (2 weeks)
Acceptance to submitter – 5th – 9th July Acceptance – 5th – 9th July 


Reading all of this information could leave you with questions. We therefore will be making ourselves available for office hours. More information on when and how to engage with us will be provided next week. 

In the meantime you can leave your questions for the Core Organizing Team here:


In the past, and most recently in 2019, Wikimania had offered “Learning Days” as part of the pre-conference activities of the in-person event. For the virtual edition of Wikimania, the Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation will be launching a Speaker Training program that speakers would be able to apply for. It is not mandatory to participate in the speaker training if you are planning to speak at Wikimania. More information on this Speaker Training program will be forthcoming for accepted speakers.

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