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ESEAP Conference 2022/Report/Rachmat (WMID)

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An ESEAP family gathering photo in Sydney. Thank you, Gnangarra, for this lovely picture!

The ESEAP Conference 2022 is the second regional conference devoted to Wikimedians in the East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Pacific regions. It was convened in Sydney, Australia, from November 18 to 20, 2022.


Wikimedia Indonesia was allocated three spots to attend the conference. The attendees of the ESEAP Conference 2022 from Wikimedia Indonesia were:


August 2022[edit]

Getting ready for the conference started in mid-August when I filed the application paperwork for the Australian visa. Since my passport was currently with the German Embassy (which was also applying for a German visa at the same time and waiting to be informed by the embassy), I had not yet progressed with the Australian visa application.

September 2022[edit]

For some reason, I was unable to leave for Germany. After receiving my passport back in early September, I continued applying for an Australian visa on September 8, 2022. I had set up an account in the ImmiAccount system and filled in my personal identity some time earlier, so on that date, I went ahead to upload the required documents and made a payment of AUD 150. I was surprised by the speedy visa approval process, which only took about 10 minutes. After making the visa payment, I was notified by the system that my Australian visa was successfully granted. It was the swiftest visa application process I have experienced.

At the end of September 2022, I was notified that my proposal to do a presentation was accepted by the event organizers. I was thrilled to read that, coupled with the information that the session proposal I had made with Ichsan had also made it through. At that point, I started thinking about what I wanted to share in my presentation and prepared the data from the questionnaire I had developed with Ichsan to be analyzed.

October 2022[edit]

In the early October of 2022, the Wikimedia Foundation's Movement Strategy and Governance (MSG) team and I sat down to prepare a plan for establishing a Hub workshop session. This was happening because the presentation proposal I had made was hub-related and it seemed better to incorporate it with other sessions on the same topic. Vivien, Ramzy, Kaarel, Johnny, and I had regular conversations to develop the plan. During these meetings, a suggestion was made to create a survey to see what conference participants and communities in the ESEAP region (in general) needed in building a Hub and discussed at the conference. The survey was finalized and circulated to the community in early November 2022.

November 2022[edit]

During November, there were many conference-related activities. First, finalizing the questions for the questionnaire to be delivered to the ESEAP community and contacting some community members to prompt them to complete it. Second, preparing questionnaire data on the reasons why contributors to the Indonesian Wikipedia continue to edit to this day. I was also chasing time to prepare my own slides that were still in draft and had to be handed over to the committee.

Things I contributed or participated in the conference[edit]

November 18, 2022
Time (AEDT) Room 1 Kangaroo Room 2 Koala
18:00 ESEAP Conference 2022 Opening
19:00 Introductions: Open mic and cultural celebration
November 19, 2022
Time (AEDT) Room 1 Kangaroo Room 2 Koala
09:00 Welcome to Country; Opening: Reconnecting ESEAP
09:30 Key issues for ESEAP: Round the region — Rachel Judhistari (WMF); Table-based discussion: Language, Human rights, policy issues, education, legal, technical, Hub development
10:30 Morning tea
11:00 Community Engagement — Naval Scene, Trainholic, Brazal.dang ESEAP Hub (1): What could a hub look like? — Vivien Chang, Rachmat (WMID), Buszmail
12:00 Culture & Heritage/Open GLAM — RASharma (WMF), Harditaher, Jimmyjrg, FRomeo (WMF) Governance — Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight, Mehman Ibragimov
12:45 Group photo
13:00 Lunch and guided walk (optional)
14:00 Affiliate Leadership Development — JChen (WMF), Tjaiwan giling & Gesi giling, a participant from Myanmar (virtual), Einebillion, *Youngjin & Motoko C. K. Tech and platform Workshop: Wikisource — SGill (WMF), Beeswaxcandle
15:00 Afternoon tea
15:30 Alliances and Partnerships — SPramudya (WMF), Brigid vW, Bunty Avieson, Joycewikiwiki & KOKUYO Wiki Challenges & Competitions — Jimmyjrg, Maffeth.opiana, Dimas Hardijanto, IBrazal (WMF)
16:15 Wikisource and language preservation — Exec8, Carma Citrawati & Bayu Gita, SGill (WMF) Tech and platform workshop: Wikistories — LMccabe (WMF), BAPerdana-WMF
16:45 Wrap up and feedback board on the day’s program and outcomes; Sound Logo — Mehrdad Pourzaki
19:00 Dinner cruise departs King Street Wharf, Darling Harbour
November 20, 2022
Time (AEDT) Room 1 Kangaroo Room 2 Koala
08:00 Commons walk
09:30 Language diversity — SGill (WMF), Kunirasem, Venuslui, WhisperToMe Tech and platform workshop: Working Wikimedia Commons — JarrahTree, Mike Dickison
10:30 Morning tea
11:00 Lightning talks: Education — Pru.mitchell, Athikhun Suwannakhan, IBrazal (WMF) on behalf of the WMF Education Team, Agus Damanik, WAqil Diversity, Safety & Awareness — Gnangarra, RXerself
11:45 Wikidata workshop — JarrahTree, 99of9, MargaretRDonald ESEAP Hub (2): Determining what ESEAP wants in a Hub — MPourzaki (WMF)
13:00 Lunch and guided walk
14:00 Citation and tools — Canley, Alphama, Samwilson, Kerry Raymond Wikimania 2023 — Organizers
15:30 ESEAP Hub (3): The Plan — Canley
16:15 Wrap up and formal close
I was introducing the Wikimedia community of Indonesia and its standing, in the ESEAP Hub (1) session.

I was one of the core organizing committee (COT) and was involved in discussions with Wikimedia Australia and volunteer organizers, such as Butch and Gnangarra. The preparation started around July 2022 and lasted until very close to the day. I provided some feedback on the conference logo, which was also assisted by the Communications team of Wikimedia Indonesia.

To learn about the conference sessions or programs that I attended/participated in, see the yellow boxes in the table on the right.

Things learned at the conference[edit]

I attended a number of discussion and presentation sessions at the ESEAP Conference 2022. Some highlights are as follows.

  1. In Rachel's presentation on advocacy work in the ESEAP region, I noted that human rights issues are prioritized in the WMF and that the Global Advocacy team found cases of alleged human rights violations in some regions. Such issues should be brought to the attention of stakeholders involved in the Wikimedia movement in countries in the ESEAP region to allow for action and mitigation of future challenges.
  2. I was not fully aware of the history of the ESEAP community until Butch gave some interesting insights in his presentation. I found out that the initiative to build this community started about a decade ago. I was very proud that the senior officials at Wikimedia Indonesia were actively engaged in its establishment.
  3. I am very grateful to the MSG team for including me in planning the Hub workshop sessions at the conference. I gained valuable insights from this, such as by planning the program line-up for the Hub workshop, providing suggestions and comments for the community survey, and recognizing the items that will be pursued after the Hub workshop is concluded. In addition, from this engagement, I got to know the MSG team better and shared many different experiences. Thank you, Vivien and Mehrdad!
  4. A different approach to attract more contributors to Wikimedia projects was taken by the PhilWiki community in the Philippines. They regularly hold photography competitions, and some great images qualify for the international level. I applaud their endeavor and would like to see more of it happening in the future.
  5. I had heard somewhere earlier that the WMF was working on a tool that would make it easier for organizers to hold Wikimedia events, the Event Registration Tool. I look forward to this tool to be available for use in the near future and will be helpful for event organizers who have been using third-party tools that are probably not compatible with Wikimedia projects.

Post-event (plans after the conference)[edit]

Attendees from Indonesia in the airport waiting room briefly before departing to Indonesia.

Following this conference, I am envisioning to continue to be involved in some of the following things that will have impacts for Wikimedia Indonesia.

  1. Establishment of the ESEAP Hub is already moving towards a more formal structure. In the ESEAP Hub session (3), I became one of the interim committees from Southeast Asia, communicating with the rest of the interim committees, and would involve in every discussion that would impact the Wikimedia community in the region. This participation is also the starting point to give back what Wikimedia Indonesia has learned so far to the Wikimedia community in the ESEAP region.
  2. Strengthen the Wikimedia community in Indonesia that Wikimedia Indonesia has been supporting to participate in more discussions around the Wikimedia movement and the strategy towards 2030. This is a massive step and should be initiated from the beginning to enable them to recognize the strategic changes that occur within the Wikimedia movement.
  3. Keeping up with critical issues in advocacy and working with the WMF Global Advocacy team on threats that may emerge in the next few years. This will be one of my main areas of focus to ensure that the Wikimedia project is insulated from the unethical actions of those who would abuse the project.
  4. From the volunteer side, I would like to closely follow the development of the Event Registration Tool, learn to use OpenRefine, which has been crossing my mind for a long time, and participate as a volunteer committee in Wikimania 2023.

Comments/suggestions about the conference[edit]

Some of my observations during the conference were:

  1. The prompt response from the travel agent was excellent in responding to my queries regarding visa and ticketing. I was pleased that they were able to handle this professionally and were able to answer questions in a straightforward and transparent manner. Thank you, Chris!
  2. The structure of the program, which was tailored by topic (despite a large number of presentation submissions) by the organizers, was very good. This sets an example for us at Wikimedia Indonesia to adopt in future conferences or similar events. Thank you, Ghozi, Butch, and Gnangarra!
  3. I did not use a real-time translator during the event, but I appreciate the organizers' effort in making translation tools available to non-English speaking participants. I found a few participants who used the tool and was happy to see that it was beneficial to them.
  4. The hotel's proximity to public transportation and the event venue was a major plus for me. I really experienced Sydney beyond the event and would like to return there on another occasion. My hotel room was pretty comfortable and clean. And I just found out that you can drink tap water!
  5. The social events and onboard dinners were also a first and special experience for me. Circling Sydney City from the boat and enjoying a varied dinner menu while enjoying the Opera House in the evening will be my lasting memory. Thank you, Wikimedia Australia, for the recommendation!

Related stuff[edit]

  • I loved being able to move around to capture some of the sessions and presenters. If you are looking to use the pictures I took during the conference (or take a look), please head over to this category on Commons.
  • I have shared the slides I used to present at the conference. You can find it here. Please reach out to me at rachmat.wahidi@wikimedia.or.id if you have any questions about my presentation or would like to have a conversation. :)