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WMNO/Arctic Knot: A Wikimedia Languages conference
Arctic Knot: A Wikimedia Languages Conference is a continuation of the Celtic Knot series of conferences, and the first one to be held outside UK & Ireland. The conference will focus on the minority and indigenous language community and how the Wikimedia projects can support the use and visibility of these languages. The organization of the conference will be a regional and global collaboration between different Wikimedia affiliates, both chapters and user groups.
targetWikidata and small language Wikipedias in Europe
strategic priorityIncreasing Participation
event dates24 June 2021 – 25 June 2021
amount-local591,950 NOK
amount66,278 USD
contact• astrid@wikimedia.no• jhsoby@wikimedia.no
organization• Wikimedia Norge
website• wikimedia.no

Event overview[edit]

Purpose and vision

Please give a brief description of the event you are planning. What do you hope to accomplish during the event? Why is this event important for your community?

The main objective for Arctic Knot: Wikimedia Language Conference is the coming together of people working to support small language communities, remote or physical if possible; strengthening the bonds into a 'knot' and leading into action. Attendees can expect to learn about and discuss innovative approaches to open education, open knowledge and open data that support and grow language communities. Arctic Knot: A Wikimedia Languages Conference is a continuation of the Celtic Knot series of conferences, and the first one to be held outside the UK & Ireland. The previous conferences have focused on sharing knowledge about different Celtic languages, the 2021 conference will focus on the Sámi indigenous languages spoken in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia.

The Arctic Knot will focus on the minority and indigenous language community and how the Wikimedia projects can support the use and visibility of these languages. The organization of the conference will be a regional and global collaboration between different Wikimedia affiliates, both chapters and user groups. With the Arctic Knot conference and the diversity of conference partners Wikimedia Norge hopes to strengthen the future work of the wider Wikimedia community on support for peer to peer learning on smaller language Wikipedias and communities.

The conference partners are Wikitongues, Wikimedia UK, Wikimedia Deutschland and Art+Feminism. The community engagement survey and the post conference survey done by Wikimedia UK will help guide us in putting together the conference program. In the post conference survey from Wikimedia UK most attendees highlighted Wikidata and language technology as an area of interest, with significant interest in empowering Wiki communities, cultural institutions, and Wikimedia in education.

The Arctic Knot will feature two main strands, a remote and physical and it will be a combination of local and virtual components. For the virtual components we will build on the feedback from this year's conference and learn from other remote conferences that are taking place the next 6 months.

Do you consider this to be a Regional; Thematic or Growth event? You can read more about each category here.

Arctic Knot: A Wikimedia Languages Conference is a thematic conference organised together with the UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø. But with the rest of the group of partners we have for the conference it will also be a regional collaboration between Wikimedia Norge, Wikimedia UK and Wikimedia Deutschland and a global collaboration with the partners Wikitongues and Art+Feminism. Wikimedia Norge already has established collaborations with Wikitongues and Art+Feminism and we are excited to expand these collaborations for the Arctic Knot conference.

Is it a Remote, or in-person event?

Because these are uncertain times, and we don't know what next year will bring, we are planning for a remote conference with some possible local in-person components. The remote conference will build on the experiences and tools from the Celtic Knot 2020 which was a fully remote conference. The local in-person component could be for residents in Norway only. The possible in-person conferences will be at a venue at UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø where local Wikimedia volunteers, staff and students from UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø and representatives from our Sámi partnerships can participate. This local component will have great value for Wikimedia Norge in our Sámi Knowledge online project.

We ask for the possibility to redesign this conference grant application in February 2021 in case travel restrictions are lifted between countries in Europe and the use of the WMF Risk assessment tool gives a green result for an in-person event. We have emailed a risk assessment per 28 September 2020 to the Conference grant team.

Important details

Please add key information to the table below. The dates, location and number of participants can be estimates and do not need to be finalized at this time.

Proposed date(s) 24 June – 25 June 2021 with a possible preconference event 23 June
Proposed location At the UiT The Arctic University of Tromsø, the University Library, in the city of Tromsø, Norway.
Number of participants 50–70
Event page https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Knot_Conference_2021
Primary contact person Astrid Carlsen


Community input[edit]

Use the results from the community engagement survey to fill in the table below. Since you cannot cover all topics or meet all needs at one event, prioritisation is important. Please rank the priority of each topic, skill, project or problem as high, medium or low. Finally, please answer the questions in the table below, if any of the questions are not relevant leave it blank.

Description Priority
Strategic discussions:

What are the top issues affecting your community that need to be discussed in person?

The top issues that need to be discussed in person are:
  • Increasing language diversity
  • Language revitalization on Wikimedia projects
  • Increasing minority language Wikimedia communities
  • International cooperation, learning from other communities' ways of doing things
  • Getting knowledge from inside minority communities
  • How to use unwritten sources
  • How to standardize unstandardized languages
Capacity development:

Are there important skills that many people in your community need to learn?

Important skills that people want to learn are:
  • Wikidata integration and templates
  • Building small communities
  • Sharing resources (re-use code and materials from other communities)
  • Forming strategic partnerships
  • Producing and using multilingual content
  • Conflict management
  • Communication skills
Working groups:

Are there joint projects that need to be planned in person?

Some of the issues that should be planned in person are:
  • Future European "language hub"
  • Find ways to monitor linguistic integrity of small wikis while maintaining mutual respect
  • How to get paid professionals to also contribute to wiki
  • Maintaining existing content in small-community projects
  • Better Wikidata integration on small projects
Community building:

Are there other in-person activities are important for community building?

Some of the participants noted the following:
  • Networking
  • Team building

Survey analysis:

  1. How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?
    • The survey was sent out to various Telegram groups with up to 60 members each (but probably a good deal of overlap) and the Norwegian Wikipedia village pumps. There were 20 responses.
  2. Did you see consensus around shared goals that this community wants to focus on in the next 12 months? What were the top 2 goals?
    • There was a good variety in the responses, but the two most recurring themes were increasing participation in small language wikis, and improving Wikidata support (templates, modules, etc) for small wikis.
  3. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?
    • Brainstorm and share experiences and best practices around recruiting contributors (and partner organizations) to small wikis.
    • Share technical skills and expertise across language barriers.

Due to uncertainties around COVID-19 and travel, we also asked participants whether or not they would be more likely to attend the conference if it is fully digital, and whether or not any of their answers/priorities would change if the conference turns out to be fully remote. Most of the respondents were neither more nor less likely to attend if it is fully remote, while some said they were more likely to attend if it is fully remote. However, several of the respondents also stated that it would be more difficult to achieve the wanted outcomes with a fully remote conference, as some things are done much more efficiently in-person.


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?
Wikimedia Norge has taken part at all previous four Celtic Knot conferences and they have been very important for us in how we have shaped our Sámi knowledge online project. We have learned from our colleagues from across Europe how they work on the technical, partnerships and community level with small language Wikipedias. We’re very happy Wikimedia UK will let us organize the 5th Celtic Knot conference in Tromsø in 2021 under the name Arctic Knot: a Wikimedia Language Conference. The planning of the conference gives us, a smaller chapter, the chance to work with a group of partners we can learn a lot from.
2. How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?
The conference will be a milestone for Wikimedia Norge in our work with the indigenous Sámi languages. It will be an important opportunity to invite our Sámi cultural and educational partner institutions and community members to come together and discuss how we can further expand our work to support the use and visibility of the Sámi languages, share our results with a wider public, and celebrate what we have achieved so far. Creating a meeting place, digital or remote, is highly important at this time where physical meetings and travels are cancelled and we don't get the formal and informal opportunities to discuss new ideas with community members and partner institutions.
3. Do you have any Thematic or Regional committee or group? (Such as WISCom, CEE, Iberocoop, etc).
No, but the Wikimedia Language Diversity is the coordinating body for the promotion and development of indigenous languages on the Wikimedia projects and one of the Wikimedia Norge staff members are active in this coordinating body.


Venue and Logistics[edit]

1. Do you have any proposed venue for the event? If so, please share details (such as: how far is it from the airport or transportation hub; how close is it to the hotel, do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?)
Yes, at the University Library at the UiT Arctic University of Norway
2. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
3. Are you planning to outsource some of the services? For example - a travel agency, an event production service?

Friendly space policy[edit]

We will follow and announce several points from the Friendly Space Policy of the Wikimedia Foundation. For possible in-person gatherings where participants speak Northern Sámi or Norwegian we will use Wikimedia Norge's Friendly Space Policy that is available in four languages.


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 target audience for the conference is the participants from the previous Celtic Knot conferences, so both volunteers and staff members interested in small language Wikipedias and how to give them support. The Norwegian audience for the conference include volunteers, staff and board members from Wikimedia Norge, students from our Sámi education program and representatives from our Sámi educational and cultural institutions.
2. If your conference has an outreach component to also target non-wikimedian individuals or mission aligned institutions, can you explain your intention for this outreach (for example: how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects)?
We will invite individuals from mission aligned institutions we already work with, both educational institutions and cultural institutions. However, we need to wait and see how the physical strand of the conference can be done safely and following COVID-19 measurements. One solution is to divide the physical strand in smaller cohorts based on different subjects, for example community, tech, partnerships.
3. Are you thinking about collaborating with potential partners? Such as national; educational or thematic groups and organizations? If so, will this partnership be a financial one (such as sponsorship), or a visionary one (to collaborate in regards to the content of the event)? Please share some details if you have any.
Yes, we will partner different groups and institutions:
  • The UiT Arctic University of Tromsø will be the Norweagian partner institutions. They will provide a venue and help with logistics and the conference program.
  • Wikitongues will be a partner organisation for the conference facilitation, documentation and communication work.
  • Wikimedia UK will be a partner organisation providing capacity and advice on setting up a remote conference. Beyond the remote participation, which Wikimedia UK worked on for the 2020 Celtic Knot, they have also organised and supported previous Celtic Knot conferences since the inception of the event in 2017. That's also the expertise and connections we are excited they are bringing to the conference team and event.
  • Wikimedia Deutschland will be a partner organisation for the technical part of the conference program, communication and community engagement.
  • Art+Feminism will be a partner organisation for the preconference editathon event titled Arctic Art+Feminism: an editathon focused on female-identified artists from the Arctic region. Art+Feminism will be participating virtually for the Arctic Knot. This event is one of four remote editathons funded by the Norwegian Fritt Ord Foundation.
4. In which ways can WMF staff support your event onsite? If you would like support, please list the different capacities in which we can support, or describe how you would like WMF staff to be involved in the event. (Some examples of WMF support or involvement might be: for outreach and communication efforts; to lead specific sessions; for legal or safety reasons, etc).
We would very much like WMF Language strategist Amir Ahroni to be involved in one or more sessions on small language Wikipedias, we would like to ask for a presentation of Abstract Wikipedia from a WMF staff member, and we would like to invite the ED of WMF, Kathrine Maher, to take part in opening the conference.


1. How many scholarships would you like to offer and what expenses will the scholarship cover?
We would like to offer 20 scholarships for volunteers in Norway. The scholarships will cover accommodation and travels.
2. How will scholarship recipients be selected?
Applications will be reviewed by the conference scholarship committee. The scholarship committee will prioritize scholarships to volunteers
3. Do you plan to target or prioritize specific communities or participants?
Yes, the scholarship committee will prioritize applications from Sámi community members and Sámi educational partnerships institutions Wikimedia Norge have and active editors to the Wikimedia projects, especially on the Northern Sámi Wikipedia.
4. How will you insure diversity and inclusion in your scholarship process?
The scholarship will either be only for participants living in Norway, or also international scholarships if travel restrictions are lifted. Either way the scholarship committee will set up some guidelines for awarding scholarships to insure diversity and inclusion.

Resources and risks[edit]

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


Organizing team
Team User Names
WMF Liaison Astrid Carlsen (Wikimedia Norge)
Logistics Erlend Hagan, at the University Library of UiT Arctic University of Tromsø and Jon Harald Søby (Wikimedia Norge)
Conference Program Kristen Tcherneshoff (from Wikitongues), Richard Nevell (from Wikimedia UK), Léa Lacroix (from Wikimedia Deutschland) and Trondtr and Astrid Carlsen from Wikimedia Norge
Scholarships Wikimedia Norge staff members and the established wiki scholarships committee of Wikimedia Norge
Communications Mali Brødreskift (Wikimedia Norge) and Wikitongues
Volunteer Coordinators Yupik and Jon Harald Søby (Wikimedia Norge)
Other team members Amber Berson from Art+Feminism for Arctic Art+Feminism preconference event


  • Creating networking opportunities in a remote conference
We will build on the existing communication channels established for the Celtic Knot conferences, as the different telegram groups. But we will have to think how we can facilitate both the big and smaller, formal and informal, conversations during the conference.
  • Including and welcoming representatives from mission-aligned institutions and organizations
We had feedback from several people we sent the community engagement survey to that they didn't think they were in the target group for the conference. It's important we use an inclusive language that people also outside the Wikimedia movement can understand, that we provide translations and subtitles when possible and avoid using English only. If we invite our Sámi partners, the conference program should of course also be available in Sámi languages.


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

Event budget table
Number Category Item description Unit Number of units Cost per unit Total cost Currency Notes
1 Conference venue The physical part (including organizing team and participants from Norway) of the conference will take part at the UiT The Arctic University of Norway Rooms, logistics, security, and COVID-19 saftey requirements 3 70,000 210,000 NOK Inkind donation
2 Administration Planning, executing and documenting the conference Hours 400 250 125,000 NOK The administration hours includeds 100 hours that are inkind donations from the partners in the conference team, 25,000 NOK and the volounteer hours
3 Accounting and auditing Accounting and auditing of the conferences expences will be done by Wikimedia Norge's external accountant, cost are based on the accountants hourly rate Hours 40 700 28,000 NOK
4 Food and beverages For the physical part of the conference Per person 25 300 7,500 NOK The Univerisity will ordere the food and take care of the logistics and we will cover the cost.
5 Scholarships 20 scholarships for volunteers in Norway. The scholarships will cover accommodation and travels. Per person 20 5,000 100,000 NOK
6 Facilitation One facilitator Facilitation per day 2 days 50,000 100,000 NOK
7 10 % Unforseen costs 47,450 NOK
8 Translations and subtitles Transalations of conference webpages and presentations Per A4 page 30 1,500 45,000 NOK Translations from Norwegian and English to Sámi langugages
9 Simultaneous translation and transcription costs Simultaneous translations of presentations Per presentation 15 10,000 150,000 NOK Translations from Norwegian and English to Sámi langugages and from Sámi langugages to Norwegian and English
10 Merch to participants and shipping costs Gym bags with Arctic Knot Wikimedia Language conference logo Per bag 175 80 14,000 NOK The gym bags will be send out to all the participants and partners of the conference
Inkind donations 235,000 NOK Total sum of inkind donations
Total costs 826,950 NOK
Total cost of event
Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
591,950 NOK
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
Inkind donations are listed in the budget above, the sum of inkind donations is 235,000 NOK.
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.

  • Support Support The Celtic Knot is an important way in which language communities can come together to share their experience and knowledge. It has always been inspiring, and I am delighted that WMNO are taking it on for 2021. They have a very good plan, and focusing on a remote event with the option for in-person activities should the local situation allow sounds like a sensible approach. The 2020 conference showed that there is a lot of value in the event taking place online. Richard Nevell (WMUK) (talk) 10:53, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support On behalf of Art+Feminism, we are happy to endorse this work and this conference grant application. WMNO has created a beautiful plan building on their existing work and expanding partnerships. --Kiraface (talk) 14:16, 28 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support As an individual (rather than WKUK staff member), I certainly support this event, as would/will most editors on cywiki, if not all. Small is beautiful! The above outline is inline with the past Celtic Knot conferences and should help support similar, smaller wikis. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 14:34, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support an important and useful conference. Long live the CelticArctic Knot! Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 12:21, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support Essential forum for quintessentially Celtic hackers in complete harmony with other non-dominat language wiki coders. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 12:14, 24 November 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Support Past editions of Celtic Knot were very useful for Galician language Wikimedia community, learning about other experiences. It would be great an Artic Knot for learn more about indigenous languages. --Estevoaei (talk) 20:12, 24 January 2021 (UTC)