Grants:Conference/FloNight & Rosiestep/WikiConference North America 2016/Report

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Report accepted
This report for a Conference Grant approved in FY 2016-17 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

WikiConference North America 2016/Report

Project status[edit]

Did you comply with the requirements specified by WMF in the grant agreement?


Is your project completed?


Activities and lessons learned[edit]

Phone meetings: Conference planning took several months and included an all-volunteer distributed group which met weekly. There were weekly All-Hands meetings, Core Team Meetings, Committee Meetings, and Grantee Meetings. There were also occasional meetings between the grantees and WMF staff, e.g. Safety & Trust.

Site Visits: Site visit1: Mel Ganus met with the San Diego Public Library and Balboa Park to establish relationships and gauge interest in hosting WCNA. Site visit2: Andrew Lih and Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight visited the two venues two months before the event. They met with library and park staff to address their questions and concerns, as well as discuss programming tracks. Andrew and Rosie also met with six hotels, a hostel, and restaurants in the area of venue. After the site visit, images were uploaded to Commons and the conference wiki pages were updated to reflect the information brought back. Site visit3: The day before the event, the Core Team met with library and museum staff to finalize plans at all locations. The Core Team also conducted a Safety & Trust meeting so everyone understood roles and processes.

Post Mortems: The Core Team conducted Post mortem #1 with attendees on the afternoon of the last day of the conference to learn what went well, what could be improved next time, and to offer a period of reflection. The Core Team conducted Post mortem #2 at the hotel after the conference was over to debrief and to document lessons learned.

Lessons learned[edit]

What worked well?


  • One of our best practices was our awareness of the scholarship budget process. When someone declined the award, we used our wait-list to notify the next highest-scored scholarship applicant regarding their award.
  • Richard Knipel was responsible for the community network. He outreached to all the formal Affiliates in North America and the unaffiliated communities, assuring everyone was aware of the conference and was able to send a representative to the conference; we tied scholarship applications to this process.

The conference was put together by a very large volunteer group from the United States and Mexico. This included: Academic track - Bob Cummings Breakfast - Tony Verdun Communications & press - Rob Fernandez Community Networking - Richard Knipel Culture Crawl Friday - Andrew Lih Editathons:

  • Memoria/Philosophy editathon- Julie Farman
  • American Chemical Society editathon - John Sadowski
  • Balboa Park - Andrew Lih & Richard Knipel
  • IPD - Siko Bouterse

Fiscal sponsor -Kirill Lokshin Grant writing - Sydney Poore Imaging:

  • Videography - Brett Gibbs
  • Camcording - Lane Rasberry
  • Photography - Gerald Shields
  • Montages - Andrew Lih

Indigenous People’s Day - Kelly Doyle International relations - Ivan Martinez Keynotes - Sydney, Andrew, Phoebe, Kelly Logistics - Phoebe Ayers

  • Venue set-up - Adam Moss
  • Local logistics - James Udan
  • Check-in (incl. lanyards, name tags, bracelets, signage) - Phoebe Ayers

Logo - Sherry Antoine Programs - Sydney Poore Registration - Phoebe Ayers Reporting - Sydney Poore & Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight Safety & Trust - Sydney Poore & Rosie Stephenson Scholarships - Rosie Stephenson Social media - Kevin Payravi Surveys - Sydney Poore & Rosie Stephenson Technology - James Hare Post conference thank you notes - Kelly Doyle T-shirt design - Andrew Lih Volunteers - Brenda Wahler Another thing that worked well was our communication within our volunteer community, with our venues (library; Balboa Park), and with our Grant’s Officer. We held weekly All-Hands phone meetings; twice-weekly Core Team committee meetings; various committee meetings, e.g. scholarships, programs on an as-needed basis. We conducted site visits and held regular phone calls with the points of contact at the venue. Sharing information was the key to staying on top of what still needed to be done. We had checklists for everything.

What didn't work?
  • The initial plans by the Cascadia User Group and the local San Diego contact helped move the planning forward but each lost momentum on their own. Once a cohesive team was in place, conference planning became easier and was handled in a more systematic way.
  • Requiring scholarship recipients to provide receipts for travel and lodging reimbursement placed financial strains on several scholarship awards. Utilizing a travel vendor would be helpful next time.

What would you do differently if you planned a similar projec
  • In the future, we would handle registration differently. We’d want to have a better understanding of who registered to attend which day(s).
  • In the future, we would develop a policy regarding Press relations, which would include things such as a press kit, colored wrist band, and so on.
  • We didn’t document what we did as well as could have as each week passed by. Adding a “documentarian” to the committee list would be a recommendation for the future conference organizers. During the conference, they would be key to documenting the event.

Outcomes and impact[edit]


Provide the original project goal here.

Primary goals:

  1. Promote knowledge transfer between affiliates in the USA, Canada and Mexico about organizational development.
  2. Provide public outreach to the general public in Southern California.: Based on the number of unregistered attendees, we think this goal was achieved.
  3. Provide opportunities for training for North American user groups about grants and program management.
  4. Support meetups for thematic work in the health care, cultural, and educational/academic sector.

Secondary goal:

  1. Create long-term networking and partnering opportunities with organizations from the cultural and educational sector (e.g. GLAM, universities, etc.) in the Southern California region in order to build on the existing momentum and to achieve sustainability beyond the conference. Being connected to the venues was a great resource. The conference won’t necessarily grow a long-term relationship with the area.
Did you achieve your project goal? How do you know your goal was achieved? Please answer in 1 - 2 short paragraphs.

Promote knowledge transfer between affiliates in the USA, Canada and Mexico about organizational development.

  • Each formal affiliate in North America was notified about the conference and efforts were made to give at least one scholarship to a representative from each affiliate.
  • The conference was organized by a large team of volunteers who managed different aspects of the event. The core organizing team took on significant leadership roles, and decided to establish a North America conference user group to manage future processes and knowledge sharing for future events.
  • Several participants led their first editathons or training events at WikiCon North America, and later continued to host events after the conference.

Provide public outreach to the general public in Southern California.

  • Based on the number of unregistered attendees, we think this goal was achieved. Appox. 50 people not previously affiliated with wikimedia movement formally registered. A condition of using the San Diego Library was that most sessions would be open to the public. So, we have an indeterminate number of additional people walking into to sessions throughout the day particularly the edit-a-thons and session. 319 unique attendees for the whole conference

Support meetups for thematic work in the health care, cultural, and educational/academic sector.

  • Editathons at a big conference are a recharging opportunity. Most of us love to edit, and when we got overwhelmed with all the people and the 7 Tracks of events, we could go to an editathon to unwind. We offered Museum meetups in the form of “backstage passes” to several collections, such as “Cannibals” at the Museum of Man. We also offered a Science editathon, Women in Philosophy editathon, and in Indigenous People’s editahon including representatives from the Kumeyaay people. We were such a large group. Individual volunteers took on the responsibility for organizing thematic meetups. Science editathon brought in an additional $1k in funding from an outside organizations. American Chemical Society. The IPD editathon was repeated weeks after the conference was over.
  • The lessons learned from this are the editathons and hackathons offered an important track at large conferences to be productive and to detach from the intense experience of too many activities at one time. This makes for an easy platform or learning moment for those who want to volunteer to host their first or second wiki editathon/meetup as their are seasoned editors nearby to assist with questions, etc.
Goal Survey response Notes
At least 75% of attendees confirm having learned new information regarding project management, running Affiliates, or projects, or community building. 78% said WCNA connected them with more resources. New information noted includes: Volunteer support at Wikimedia events, logistics of planning future Wikimedia events, plans for user groups, grants from WMF, resources and contact information at Wikimedia Foundation.
At least 85% of attendees find the conference useful in the post-conference survey. 96% said the conference was good or excellent, and provided useful information.

89% said they learned something.

At least 75% of attendees confirm having new ideas and/or better vision for the projects they want to work on. 70% attendees plan to start one or more projects or collaborations in next 6 months with people met at WikiConference North America.

41% say WikiConference NA helped them to join or start a new initiative

New projects or interests based on learnings at Wikiconference North America include: Wikidata, Art+feminism, Curation tasks, Video, Wikipedian in Residence, Libraries, Wiki Loves Pride, Education program, Indigenous People in North America, Gender inclusivity,

Progress towards targets and goals[edit]

Global Metrics[edit]

We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees. In addition to the measures of success for your specific program (in above section), please use the table below to let us know how your project contributed to the Global Metrics. We know that not all projects will have results for each type of metric, so feel free to put "0" where necessary.

  1. Next to each required metric, list the actual outcome achieved through this project.
  2. Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome. For example, if you were funded for an edit-a-thon which resulted in 0 new images, your explanation might be "This project focused solely on participation and articles written/improved, the goal was not to collect images."

For more information and a sample, see Global Metrics.

Metric Achieved outcome Explanation
1. # of active editors involved
2. # of new editors
3. # of individuals involved 319 people attended, 52 scholarships given.
4a. # of new images/media added to Wikimedia articles/pages
4b. # of new images/media uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (Optional)
5. # of articles added or improved on Wikimedia projects
6. Absolute value of bytes added to or deleted from Wikimedia projects
Learning question
Did your work increase the motivation of contributors, and how do you know?


What impact did this project have on WMF's mission and the strategic priorities?

Option A: How did you increase participation in one or more Wikimedia projects? WikiProject Science: Improvements were made to 79 science articles and 2 Wikidata entries, of which 6 articles were biographies of women. Many of the articles improved were technical topics that are hard to attract edits to. Outreach was made to local American Chemical Society chapters. The event tied in to ACS's other events for National Nanotechnology Day. “I received a thank-you note from ACS saying that the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy was impressed with the breadth of the efforts, which included this edit-a-thon.” -John Sadowski See also: Category:Edit-a-thon Notable Chemists and Chemistry with the American Chemical Society WikiProject Indigenous People: The impact of the programming around Indigenous People’s Day at the conference was multitudinous. Firstly, this event brought to the attention of attendees the gaps around these issues on Wikipedia and how they can start to solve these problems through their already established editing habits. This impact was achieved through carefully selecting speakers who had intimate, expert level knowledge about these issues. While these speakers did not have Wikipedia experience, they did have an understanding of the complications that can arise around representation and appropriate language necessary to make potential Wikipedia content as correct and relevant as possible. In addition, through this programming, we were able to include experts and academics from the San Diego community and from Native American reservations in the surrounding areas which establishes a greater network of our reach and outreach in the conference location. It was significant to include Stan Rodriguez as a keynote speaker immediately following Katherine Maher’s introduction and address at the start of the conference, this set the tone for the importance placed on the conference theme of inclusivity for all attendees. The addresses by Dr. Lourdes Epstein (Tec de Monterrey) and Mike Connolly Miskwish (Kumeyaay Nation) on Indigenous People’s Day had further impact as they facilitated conversations about several ways to approach the gaps on Wikipedia and creative solutions currently in practice. For example, Dr. Epstein’s projects at Tec de Monterrey conveyed the scale of work that can be accomplished by students in a short period of time. Preserving indigenous music through engagement with Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons can easily be replicated and used for a plethora of topics. Similarly, Mike Connolly Miskwish’s discussion about the history of the Kumeyaay nation, and his guidance as to where to find appropriate source material for Wikipedia, was invaluable. The impact of the edit-a-thon immediately following his talk was definitely increased by his presence and input as an expert on the subject. The co-facilitation of this edit-a-thon by Whose Knowledge? also brought a new perspective and approach to support the theme of inclusivity. “I hope to see, and would be happy to help facilitate, events like Indigenous People’s Day at other Wikipedia events. The feedback I’ve received about this programming at WikiConference North America 2016 has been overwhelmingly positive in terms of the theme, events, and keynote speakers. I’m proud and honored to have been involved in the planning and execution of these events as I strongly feel they had impact on attendees and those who we selected to speak at the conference.” - Kelly Doyle Links regarding Indigenous People's Day:'s_Day_2016 (impact of edit-a-thon) Outreach Dashboard – IPD edit-a-thon Diversity: “I attended a number of sessions at the event, and was impressed that the organizers made a sincere effort to represent diversity, at a deep rather than superficial level. “Inclusivity” was the theme of the conference, and several talks addressed gender and racial disparities, not only on Wikipedia but in society at large.” - Funcrunch

Reporting and documentation of expenditures[edit]

This section describes the grant's use of funds


Did you send documentation of all expenses paid with grant funds to grants at wikimedia dot org, according to the guidelines here? Answer "Yes" or "No".


lease list all project expenses in a table here, with descriptions and dates. Review the instructions here.
Number Category Item description Approved budget in USD Actual budget in USD Notes
1 Venue Room rent $0.00 $0.00 Donated by Balboa Park and San Diego Public Library
2 Equipment and services Technical (A/V, wireless access, etc.) $0.00 $0.00 Donated by Balboa Park and the San Diego Public Library
3 Catering Coffee and lunch breaks for 3 days $6,775.00 $9,922.50
4 Travel scholarships Partial travel and accommodation scholarships for 40 individuals $30,000.00 $28,565.57 Amount includes $4,829 in travel paid for directly by WMF for 9 scholarship recipients.
5 Travel & Accomodation Keynote speakers (2), pre-event site visit (2), conference core organizational team (7) $9,750.00 $8,760.91
6 Conference materials Name tags, registration materials for 200 $1,000.00 $524.52
7 Event insurance Event liability insurance, event permit(s) for wiknics. $400.00 $455.50
8 Contingency 5% of total event cost $2,075.00 $282.96 AV cables and adapters
Totals $50,000.00 $48,511.96
Total project budget (from your approved grant submission)
Total amount requested from WMF (from your approved grant submission, this total will be the same as the total project budget if PEG is your only funding source)
Total amount spent on this project
$48,511.96 (including amounts paid by WMF on behalf of the project)
Total amount of Project and Event grant funds spent on this project
$48,511.96 (including amounts paid by WMF on behalf of the project)
Are there additional sources that funded any part of this project? List them here.

Remaining funds[edit]

The funds remaining from this grant may be allocated to another grant submission if it is approved: Grants:Conference/WCNA/WikiConference North America 2018.
Are there any grant funds remaining?
Answer YES or NO.
Please list the total amount (specify currency) remaining here. (This is the amount you did not use, or the amount you still have after completing your grant.)
$6,317.04 remaining.
If funds are remaining they must be returned to WMF, reallocated to mission-aligned activities, or applied to another approved grant.
Please state here if you intend to return unused funds to WMF, submit a request for reallocation, or submit a new grant request, and then follow the instructions on your approved grant submission.
Will hold funds while WikCon North America 2018 grant request is reviewed. Approved by Kacie Harold on 02/13/2018.