Who will be the 2021 Wikimedian of the Year?

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We are a few weeks away from finding out who this year’s Wikimedians of the Year are — at the much-anticipated virtual Wikimania 2021. The tradition the Wikimedian of the Year goes back to 2011 and has since evolved in dynamic ways and welcomed Wikimedians from different backgrounds and experiences.

Who will be this year’s winner winners?! Find out on August 15 at Wikimania. Registration is now open.

Who will be this year’s Wikimedian of the Year? See what past winners have to say about their experiences. (Commons. You can use this version to add titles in your language)

Building on a decade of experience, the Wikimedia movement has come together – almost each year – to celebrate the contributions of exceptional community members. The Movement Communications team at the Wikimedia Foundation was tasked with organizing this year’s celebration. With a small multi-disciplinary team of staff and a nominations committee composed of community members – former winners for a start – we began with a desire to make a unique and unforgettable celebration at the first-ever Wikimania taking place virtually. This would be a great opportunity to experiment and for the future, build on things that worked well and improve others. The first change introduced was the community-inclusive nominations committee itself, which forwarded a short list of candidates to Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder, for consideration and final selection.

This year we also welcomed nominations from community members – through this Diff post, via a survey, and by direct outreach to a cross-section of community members and staff with a community background. During March of this year, 120 nominations were received from 80 individuals; a pleasant and much-appreciated surprise. This is something we would like to actively build on for next year so the process continues to become more transparent and inclusive.

Finally and perhaps most excitedly, we also expanded the awards to celebrate a richer profile of our projects, community members, and geographic representation. It’s been a tough year and a half with the global pandemic and we didn’t get to connect in-person like we used to. Why not make this virtual celebration bigger then.

  • We created a category – Newcomer of the Year – to celebrate somebody who has joined the movement in the past 1-2 years and already made a significant contribution.
  • For a techno-social movement with so much dependence on innovation, the developer community is often behind the scenes. So this year, we wanted to celebrate a Tech Innovator who has made great contributions to technology and supported others in the process.
  • The Rich Media category was specifically added to highlight non-text contributions that constitute such a large part of our identity and user experience. Particularly, contributions in photography, video, and sound were considered in creating this category.
  • Honourable mentions this year include exceptional Wikimedians widely nominated by their peers and highly rated by the nominations committee, but who already have a strong presence in the movement as well as public exposure, such as press coverage, local recognition, and national titles.
  • Finally, celebrating the 20th year of Wikipedia, it made sense to also honour a Wikimedian who has been around for three decades of our vibrant existence. Therefore, we added the 20th Year Honouree category, to celebrate a wiki lifetime of contribution.

This year’s celebration promises a unique experience – bigger and more inclusive than ever before. Seven great Wikimedians from all corners of the movement will be celebrated on August 15 at Wikimania, register now and join the celebration.

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