To the Horizon and Beyond at ESEAP Conference 2024

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Greetings, fellow Wikimedians! In case you were unaware, the biennial ESEAP Conference is back! This time, the premier gathering of Wikimedia volunteers from the East, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (ESEAP) region shall be hosted by the city of Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, as voted by ESEAP Wikimedians during Wikimania 2023. We cannot wait to share with all of you what we have coming next week!

With nearly 150 Wikimedians from 13 countries attending, the conference promises an exciting experience from 10-12 May, bringing together diverse expertise and strategies for a massive event of collaboration, workshop, and sharing of best practices, to enhance global and regional collaboration and knowledge dissemination on all Wikimedia projects.

2023 ESEAP Strategy Summit, Singapore, CC-BY-SA-4.0 Joycewikiwiki

This year’s theme shall be “Collaboration Beyond the Horizon,” reflecting ESEAP’s ongoing commitment to bring together all of the region beyond the limits and exploring the opportunities in transcending boundaries to foster a more interconnected and innovative Wikimedia community. It emphasizes the importance of collaborative efforts in driving the growth and sustainability of the free and open knowledge infrastructure. Read more on our theme announcement blog.

A total of 96 scholars were selected to be fully funded to attend the conference, whereas around 40 self-funded attendees have registered to turn up. Throughout the conference, attendees will present over 60 presentations relating to the conference theme, as has been selected by the conference programme committee out of the 81 programmes submitted.

The presentations will be split into six themes, Community initiatives (21 presentations), Diversity, equity and inclusion (7), Education (2), GLAM, Heritage and Culture (10), Governance, Legal and Advocacy (16), and Technology and projects workshops (16).

2019 ESEAP Strategy Summit, Bangkok, CC-BY-SA-4.0 Vanj Padilla

Some of the exciting sessions to be featured in the conference include:

  • Enriching Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s Local History on Wikipedia.  This initiative funded by the Wikimedia Foundation Alliance Fund aims to enhance Auckland’s local history pages on Wikipedia and provide resources for the new compulsory Aotearoa New Zealand Histories Curriculum. The project will also engage students working at the museum during their summer break to create and edit content related to local history.
2018 ESEAP Conference, Bali,
CC-BY-SA-4.0, Exec8
  • Facing the Heritage Language Crisis: Promotion and Teaching through Wikipedia. This session focus on the efforts of the Amis indigenous language Wikimedia community in Taiwan to foster a language-friendly environment, and revitalize and modernize the Amis language by simplifying vocabulary and sentence structures on Wikipedia through the use of Lingua Libre, a freely licensed multilingual, audiovisual corpus of languages and the Amis language dictionary.

We also look forward to exciting cultural sharing via performances, presentations, as well as the physical sharing of souvenir (especially food) from the different cultures. So if you’re attending the conference, be sure to bring your own!

2022 ESEAP Conference, Sydney,
CC-BY-SA-4.0 Bella Thornton

This conference shall serve as a hub for Wikimedians, guests, as well as stakeholders with an interest in Wikimedia projects and the movement’s growth within the region. Being among the significant volunteer-driven events in the region, the ESEAP Conference 2024 (ESEAP KK24) will offer you opportunities to connect with other Wikimedians and learn from each other, as well as discuss strategies for the coming future.

Kota Kinabalu, being a strategic location for the new and emerging Malaysian Wikimedia community, represents the indigenous and underrepresented communities. Co-organizer Wikimedia Community User Group Malaysia (WCUGM), is not only a growing Wikimedia affiliate, but will also be showcasing their growth and hospitality to all during the three-day conference.

We can’t wait to meet everyone as we dive into panel discussions, workshops, showcases, as well as learning sessions covering various topics including the adding of reliable sources, community sustainability, and collaborative knowledge creation. The conference shall be the platform for dialogue on the future direction of Wikimedia’s missions for free knowledge, and most importantly the region’s role and strategy looking forward. Not to mention the many cultural activities to await as arranged by WCUGM!

So be sure to not miss the conference! For those who are unable to attend the conference physically, you may participate online via YouTube livestream. Zoom remote conference session link is available by request for live interpretations in multiple languages.

Le Méridien Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Le Méridien Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, venue of ESEAP Conference 2024
CC-BY-SA 3.0 CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

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