Who will be the 2022 Wikimedian of the Year?

It’s that time of the year again when we get ever closer to Wikimania and another Wikimedian of the Year celebration. The theme for this year’s Wikimania is “festival” and whether online or at local gatherings around the world, everyone is getting excited to celebrate. The festival goes global 11 to 14 August 2022, and the Wikimedian of the Year awards will take place on 14 August, the Global Day.

7 incredible Wikimedians were recognized in 2021. Who will they be in 2022? (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Last year, the Wikimedian of the Year celebration was made bigger than ever in its decade-long history. With a small multi-disciplinary working group of former winners, other community members, and a few staff from the Wikimedia Foundation, with approval from Jimmy Wales, we added new categories to celebrate contributions in media and technology, the integral role of newcomers, and in honor of Wikipedia’s 20th year, a long-time contributor.

The Wikimedian of the Year awards take place on 14 August at Wikimania. See more illustrations on Wikimedia Commons.

These new additions were well-received by the movement. This year, we will continue to celebrate a newcomer, someone who has made significant contributions to the movement in the past year or so.  We will also celebrate community members that have contributed rich media to elevate our traditionally text-based projects, and technology, helping our infrastructure to evolve and grow more resilient in an ever-changing world. There will be an honorable mention as well. This category is reserved for a highly-nominated Wikimedian who may already be extensively celebrated inside and outside the movement or who may otherwise disqualify from winning, for example, if they are paid staff of an affiliate. 

We had some great suggestions to rename the 20th Year Honouree for this year going forward: lifetime achievement award, dinosaur, old goat, and Wikimedian of the first hour were amongst them. This seminal category will now be named the Wikimedia Laureate, and we can’t wait to learn who will take the coveted prize home this year.

The magic doesn’t stop here. In a first-time partnership with the Wikimedia Affiliations Committee, this year’s celebration will also spotlight affiliates; groups small and large, new and well-established, whose invaluable contributions to the movement help us grow in content and contributors and inspire others in the process. 

Similar to last year, a small community-staff integrated working group kicked off the process, and nominations were received via targeted outreach by the organizers and via a multi-lingual, open-source, general Wikimania survey.

I can’t say much more except that I can’t wait to celebrate our 2022 winners with all of you live on 14 August. There will be performances, surprises, and, of course, unanticipated technical glitches. See you at Wikimania and, if you are feeling nostalgic, rewatch last year’s amazing celebration.