Grants:Conference/WLM Team/Wiki Loves Monuments International Team Offsite Meeting 2017

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This Wikimedia Foundation grant has a fiscal sponsor. Wikimedia Italia administered the grant on behalf of WLM International Organizing Team.

Wiki Loves Monuments International Team Offsite Meeting 2017
Physical meeting to (re)define the mission for Wiki Loves Monuments international team, improve collaboration and teamwork across the team, and identify the areas of focus for 2017
targetWLM International Team and representatives for some local competitions and/or other Wiki Loves activities
strategic priorityIncreasing participation & quality
nonprofitgrantee: unincorporated group; fiscal sponsor: yes, non-profit
websitewebsite & Who's who

Goals and outcomes[edit]


Please list three to four priorities that the community has identified that they want to focus on at this conference. These should be specific and actionable.

The goals of offsite meeting are:

  • Flesh out the end-to-end experience of Wiki Loves Monuments and rethink/improve the process & workflow. This includes aligning a technical strategy for tools & Wikidata;
  • Review and update mission of Wiki Loves Monuments international team;
  • Define focus areas for 2017. This includes finalizing/summarizing the 2016 evaluation;
  • Find/summarize approaches for some practical issues national teams are facing, such as volunteer exhaustion;
  • Increase collaboration across Wiki Loves Monuments international team.


It is helpful to get an understanding of why this event is important to your community, and what experiences you have had in the past. Please answer the applicable questions below.

1. What inspired your community to begin planning this event?
Since 2010, Wiki Loves Monuments has been organized. In the first years, the focus was on keeping up with the rapid growth. Now, there is stabilization of the model. Some countries have managed to complete their image coverage of the monument lists. This calls for a re-evaluation of the goals and strategy Wiki Loves Monuments should take. Wiki Loves Monuments is in some countries a mature event, while in others there is still much space to grow in the traditional concept.
Also, for the first time in a few years, it looks like there will be significant retention in the international team. By starting the organization of the 2017 competition early with a physical meeting, we have the opportunity to discuss and plan some issues that have been lingering for the past years. An improved workflow and user experience (at all levels, including participation, organizing the contest, jury processes and coordination) come to mind, as well as an improvement in the technical sphere.
All in all, we believe that this will lead to an improved experience for Wiki Loves Monuments organizers and participants around the world, and an improved impact of the competition as a whole.

2. How does this event tie into other activities that your group has done?
The group is responsible for coordinating the international photo competition Wiki Loves Monuments. In the past year, more than 40 countries participated in this competition. This event serves as a way to improve that effort through the goals stated above.

3. If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what outcomes and benefits have you seen from past conferences?

In 2011 and 2012 meetings have been organized with some overlap. They were beneficial to the competition and the team at the time, but the focus of those meetings was entirely different, and therefore they are hard to compare. The competition was in a different stage of development, and the focus was primarily on skill and knowledge transfer.

4. Please list the focus priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community. What progress have you made in those areas?
not applicable.

5. If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what key lessons were learned, and what would you like to improve on?
The previous events have been several years ago, and differ too much in scope to be relevant.

Measures of success[edit]

Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You are welcome to modify, delete or add to the metrics listed below so they reflect the goals of your event.

Success of this meeting would be determined by achieving the goals we set. Those are mostly qualitative. Here are the proposes set of metrics or evaluation mechanisms for whether the goals are achieved:

Goal 1: Flesh out the end-to-end experience of WLM and rethink the process and workflows

Outcome: A report/presentation of the current end-to-end experience and the proposed updated experience/workflows with reasoning/description of why certain changes have been proposed.

Goal 2: Review and update the mission of Wiki Loves Monuments team

Outcome: An operational and specific (but not overly specific) mission for the international team that would, among other things, allow the team to assess which areas the team will focus on and address and which ones will not.

Goal 3: Define focus areas for 2017

Outcome: A list of focus areas for 2017 along with a brief explanation for each (report).

Goal 4: Increase collaboration across Wiki Loves Monuments international team

Outcome: This will be hard to measure and qualitative. There are certain signals that can indicate more collaboration down the line (though they should not be interpreted at face-value). For example, more diverse team communications in our internal email list, the wikilovesmonuments public list, Wiki Loves Monuments (2017) milestone on phabricator, and what the team members “feel” about increased collaboration can be used as signals for potential success. We can also provide some anecdotal evidence for improved collaboration, but that is the extent we can commit to measuring.

We consider a goal achieved if a strategy or approach was agreed upon, or in such a state that it can be proposed to the wider community (if needed). The group is too small and predefined to define success based on typical participation metrics.


Venue and Logistics[edit]

Friendly space policy

Event Program[edit]

Please give a brief outline of the conference schedule or program and any events or activities you are planning for participants. The timing, topics and format of each session should be finalized and published on Meta six weeks before the event.

We want to have an effective and efficient meeting for 2,5 days (Friday-Sunday), tentative dates are: 10-12 February. That means that we will ask the participants to arrive as much as possible on Friday morning, and that we start at lunch with the international team. We plan to have joint dinner, when also other participants join, and a small social program on Friday evening, so that we all know each other, and can start fresh on Saturday morning.

During the two days, the following topics will be on the agenda (open to change, not necessarily in this order and depending on input of pre-event discussions and external input):

  • Introductions, opening;
  • Presentation on the 2016 competition/evaluation, based on collected data through survey & evaluation;
  • Collection/Discussion of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats;
  • Review and update mission of Wiki Loves Monuments;
  • Flesh out the end-to-end experience of Wiki Loves Monuments and rethink the process & workflow. Find points for improvement;
  • Align technical strategy for tools and Wikidata situation. Upgrade the technical experience for 2017 and beyond;
  • Find approaches for volunteer exhaustion and other challenges national teams are facing based on best practices;
  • Identifying conclusions, summarizing outcomes.

We may include also working sessions for drafting documents/documentation and doing some hands-on technical work, depending on the demand.

Community Input[edit]

Grant reviewers will be interested to read how the planning discussion developed and who was engaged. Please link below to all of the places where discussion about this conference are happening, i.e. talk pages, Facebook groups, meetup pages, notes from meetings. The most central, up to date, and relevant page should be highlighted in BOLD letters.

Planning for this proposal was mainly by the international team, primarily delegated to a few members. Team members were invited to give input. Input by the wider community on the relevant topics will be or has been requested through evaluating survey of the 2016 competition and/or a feedback page. This proposal will be announced on the wider Wiki Loves Monuments organizers' mailing list. This is also the venue where typically a wider discussion would take place, given the international nature of this group. A narrower discussion is also expected to take place on the (closed) international team mailing list.

Relevant questions may or may not be posted on other venues, as suitable (for example, Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia Commons) - depending on the topic and the intended audience.


It is crucial that most participants have a minimum level of Wikimedia experience so that they can engage actively in workshops and discussions. Please answer all applicable questions below.

1. Please describe the target audience for this conference or event.
The intended participants would be members of the international team of 2016/2017 as well as a number of invited participants to include expertise that is missing in this group. This may include a few local organizers from countries with specific experience, or people with a background in other Wiki Loves competitions. Number of participants is aimed at 10-15 (no more to ensure an effective meeting). All or almost all participants are expected to have Wikimedia experience, unless they contribute particular expertise. Participation is by invitation only.
2. If you are requesting funds for travel scholarships, what criteria will be used to select scholarship recipients?
Participation is on invitation only. Travel & stay will be reimbursed for participants with the primary criterium that they add value to the meeting and the process. This will include travel reimbursement for the team members: Lokal_Profil, Alleycat80, Ilario, Ilya, Jean-Frédéric, Romaine, Slaporte (in volunteer capacity), Yarl and Effeietsanders. On top of that, some non-team members are expected to be invited & reimbursed for their expertise/insights.
3. If your conference has an outreach component, how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects?
Not applicable.
4. Are you thinking about inviting WMF staff to attend or participate in the event? If yes, please list individuals or teams who you may want to invite, or describe how you would like WMF staff to be involved in the event.
No, we are not planning to invite WMF staff at their WMF staff capacity


Please describe how you plan to follow up with event participants after the conference.

The team will continue to organize the 2017 competition after the event, implementing the strategies set (if needed after further community discussions). Documentation will be made available through or linked from the portal on Wikimedia Commons (not yet created).

Resources and risks[edit]

Describe the resource potential for successfully executing this project and the key risks/threats.


Organizing team

The event is rather simple, given the size of the group. Main organization of the event will lie with Pawel and Lodewijk, with support on content/agenda by Lily. For financial transactions, we have to work out a practical approach with the WMF finance department (reimbursements directly at the WMF, or through an affiliate). This may also depend on the exact location.


Examples of risks, along with how you would minimize or overcome them, are:

  • Skill gaps in project leadership team (e.g. no financial management experience)
  • Components of the measurement process that are hard to quantify

Examples of how to minimize these risks include:

  • Recruiting volunteers with desired skills to project leadership team.
  • Working with the WMF Learning & Evaluation Team to develop an appropriate measurement and evaluation plan.

Some identified risks include:
  • Visa problems due to short timeline. Risk is minimized by organizing the event inside the Schengen zone, as all team members are either inhabitants of the Schengen zone, or can travel there without problems.
  • Chaotic and ineffective meeting. Risk is minimized by keeping the group at a maximum of 15 participants, which makes it manageable by the participants themselves.
  • Not all essential topics are discussed. Risk is minimized by maximizing meeting time, and clearly seperating social & meeting time. Agenda is set and prepared on beforehand, and input is as much as possible collected ahead of the meeting.
  • Logistics. Risk is minimized as several members of the international team have experience in organizing meetings of different sizes.


Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

Event budget table
Item Expected costs (€) notes
Travel costs 6500 15 people
Accommodation 2500 15 x 3 nights
Venue 750 3 days
Food 2250 meals
Unforeseen/other 1000

Notes: Because the goals include teambuilding and shared meals are part of that experience, meals will be shared where possible through the weekend, and are for that reason also included in the budget. Venue opportunities will be found once grant has been approved.

Total cost of event

Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
€13,000 (amount requested in Euro)

Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
Possibly the venue can be sponsored locally. If this is the case, this amount will be deducted from the grant. If any other costs can be sponsored locally, that would be happily accepted and deducted.

Please confirm that you are aware that changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.




Do you think this project should be selected for a Conference Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  1. Effeietsanders (talk) 12:01, 5 December 2016 (UTC) (as creator of request)
  2. Alexander (talk) 21:57, 7 December 2016 (UTC) (This meeting should help the international team to organize WLM-2017 and subsequent WLM's, which will supply the community with thousands of useful photos; WLM contests are one of the main sources of good photos, and all Wikimedia projects strongly benefit from that)
  3. Millars (talk) 00:42, 8 December 2016 (UTC) WLM has been the most successful international Wikimedia project and it has inspired new projects, however it could be improved and some local initiatives can be shared to be more effective.
  4. Multichill (talk) 11:10, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
  5. Cristian Cenci (WMI) (talk) 16:59, 8 December 2016 (UTC) As everybody knows, Italy has no FdP; that's means that we "use" WLM as an activity to reach the national government. Every change and improvements on WLM is very important for us.
  6. Romaine (talk) 06:49, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
  7. WLM was (and still is) a great contest, a mother of all other similar, however it needs rethinking - so I guess such a meeting is important. Polimerek (talk) 22:12, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  1. Regiomontanus (talk) 15:22, 15 December 2016 (UTC) The WLM community in Austria has almost finished the task of having at least one picture of every listed monument. But we are always thinking about how we could use the skill and experience of our community to develop the idea of documenting the cultural heritage worldwide further.
  2. Lokal Profil (talk) 10:42, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
  3. Halibutt (talk) 10:54, 19 December 2016 (UTC) Since in many countries we have already have gathered all the low-hanging fruits, we need some serious rethinking of WLM before we move forwards. Two thumbs up.
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