A version of this article was first published in the CEE Newsletter
In late September and early October, Wikimedia Ukraine held its 13th annual Wikiconference for the Ukrainian Wikimedia community. It became the most-attended Wikiconference in our history, bringing over 100 unique participants across three locations and online.
Because of the ongoing Russia’s war against Ukraine, we kept the pandemic-time tradition of holding the Wikiconference not as one standalone event but rather as several smaller conferences, both offline and online. (Bringing everyone under the same roof in one weekend is not possible because of wartime security considerations – it’s easier to arrange for a good shelter for fewer people, participants are less eager to travel etc. – and because many Ukrainians were forced to leave the country fleeing Russia’s invasion).
Thus, Wikiconference 2023 consisted of four meetups:
- Online day — a one day fully online program on September 30th, which saw around 60 people joining on Zoom and YouTube. (Although offline events were also streamed to YouTube, we didn’t have the resources to make them truly hybrid, and thus we held a separate online day for virtual participants to feel fully included).
- Two-day conference on Kyiv on October 7-8; 45 participants.
- One-day conference and an additional wiki training in Komarno, a town close to Lviv in the west of Ukraine, on October 14-15; 34 participants.
- One-day conference in Kharkiv, in Ukraine’s east, on October 15; 11 participants.
Overall, Wikiconference 2023 saw at least 102 participants: 80 people offline and at least 22 online-only participants (likely more, but we can’t track everyone who joined on YouTube).
The conference’s program focused on the topics relevant to the Ukrainian community right now (such as Wikipedia during the war or Wikipedia Education Program and other Wikimedia Ukraine’s projects) and on the future of the Wikimedia movement. For example, we had three sessions on AI on Wikipedia / in education, as well as discussed Wikifunctions, the most recent Wikimedia project.
Having an online day enabled us to invite international speakers, including Wikimania 2024 Core Organizing Team project leader Maciej Nadzikiewicz, Wikimedia Foundation’s Lead Program Officer Asaf Bartov, and Wikimedia Poland’s Vice President Julia Maria Koszewska.
The conference has helped sparked many ideas (some of them are even documented onwiki) – now it’s time for the easy part of implementing them🙂
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