Grants:Conference/Wikidata Con 2019

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Wikidata Con 2019
The WikidataCon is the conference around Wikidata and Wikibase. With the WikidataCon, we want to create a networking and learning space for the international Wikidata Community, current re-users of our data and software, contributors and users of the software, and interested stakeholders in the fields of Open Data and Technology.
strategic priority
  • Improve the quality of the content (data, structure, documentation)
  • Increase the awareness around Wikidata / Wikibase (get more people onboard, more reuse on the Wikidata projects, collaboration with other organizations)
event dates25th/26th October 2019
amount-local40,000 EUR (Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program)
amount46,000 USD (rounded amount, conversion rate from European Central Bank, February 4, 2019)
organization• Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

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 WikidataCon is the conference around Wikidata and Wikibase. With the WikidataCon, we want to create a networking and learning space for the international Wikidata Community, current re-users of our data and software, contributors and users of the software, and interested stakeholders in the fields of Open Data and Technology. We hope that attendees will actively contribute to the success of the event, get inspired and learn from each other, develop new ideas as well as partnerships to further evolve the growing ecosystem of Open Data and Free Knowledge. The WikidataCon 2017 has shown how important this conference is to the community. In 2019 we want to build upon the success of the 2017 conference, create even more enthusiasm, and make more people and organisations aware of the potential of Wikidata and Wikibase.

The program will be built by a program committee with representatives from WMDE staff and the Wikidata community. As a change to 2017, we plan to have a featured track on lexicographical data in the program, that allows us to invite stakeholders from the respective field, and explore options for the use of lexicographical data for our movement and beyond.

The WikidataCon will be held in Berlin, Germany, and is hosted by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.. We are applying for this grant to provide international scholarships that will allow more people to attend the event.

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) 25th/26th October 2019
Proposed location Urania Berlin e.V.
Number of participants 250
Event page
Primary contact person Melanie Koeppen (WMDE)


Community input[edit]

Wikidata Con 2017 group photo (CC-BY-SA, Rama)

Community empowerment is the core of the conference. To make sure that the conference is reflecting the wishes and concerns of the community, we built a program and selection committee including 4 volunteers. They will design the participant selection process, receive and select the program submissions, and give input for the final design of the program.

Description Priority
Strategic discussions:

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

Future of Wikidata (in terms of content, data quality, new technologies, reuse) and development of new projects (Lexicographical Data, Structured Data on Commons)

Community Growth (e.g. developing policies and practice on civility and behaviour issues)

Discussions on ontology and data structure, how to build a consistent and comprehensive knowledge base (including new content like lexicographical data)

Reuse of Wikidata and integration inside and outside the Wikimedia projects: identify what are the needs, how to make this easier to reuse

Data import: define how and to which extent reuse and import of new data should be supported, what data is appropriate for mass-imports ;  build clear guidelines

Further development of the Wikibase ecosystem and how to deal with the increasing interest of organizations for Wikibase. How to develop support for the Wikibase community?







Capacity development:

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

Teaching each other the useful tools in the Wikidata ecosystem: SPARQL queries, Petscan, OpenRefine

Creating and adapting templates and Lua modules to reuse Wikidata’s data on other Wikimedia Projects

How to build tools: empower more people to be able to create solutions to their problems

How to explain Wikidata, train and engage new editors





Working groups:

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

Wikibase: install, set up, reuse the software

Improving the documentation, especially for newcomers, and providing it in more languages

Developing tools: identify needs, understanding problems, and building solutions together

Sources and data quality: model, import, improve references

GLAM, heritage monuments, art on Wikidata

Wikidata in education: how to use Wikidata as a learning tool







Community building:

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

Developing an harmonious ecosystem between Wikidata and other Wikimedia Projects

Encouraging collaboration between sub-communities and tool developers



Survey analysis:

1.) How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?

We initially sent the survey to 25 people, and some of them shared it in their own network (GLAM-focused group, chapter mailing-list, etc.) In one week, we received 16 answers in total.

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?

The Wikidata community is very broad and diverse, with a lot of different topics of interests. Therefore, a lot of different goals and focus points were raised. Nevertheless, we could summarize them in two main goals which are broadly shared:

  • Improve the quality of the content (data, structure, documentation)
  • Increase the awareness around Wikidata / Wikibase (get more people onboard, more reuse on the Wikidata projects, collaboration with other organizations)

3.) Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?

In order to tackle the above goals, the participants should have access to talks, discussions and meetups about these topics. Specific workshops about data quality and data structure can be organized, as well as documentation sprints and knowledge sharing sessions where the community will be directly involved in helping others to learn new tools or methods.

Awareness around Wikidata will be addressed frequently with sessions about partnerships, success stories of data usage, and the community will be encouraged to share their experience with reusing data on Wikimedia projects.


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?

WikidataCon2017 Survey

Wikidata and its community are growing, and more and more individuals, communities, institutions and organisations are getting aware of the potential of Wikidata and its underlying software, Wikibase. The 2017 conference has been a huge success: The participant survey has shown excellent results, and many reports, session material, stories and lessons learned were shared by the participants during and after the conference. On top of that, workshops, sessions, meetups and talks around Wikidata and Wikibase were held within and outside of the movement over the past years, showing the high interest in Wikidata and Wikibase, its value and impact. The enthusiasm for Wikidata is overwhelming: Already the initial announcement of the WikidataCon 2019 created excitement on social networks. The WikidataCon will be an excellent opportunity to bring Wikidata and Open Data enthusiasts from all over the world together, and to provide a unique chance to connect with each other in real life.

2.) How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?

Closing Ceremony - WikidataCon 2017 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. is developing Wikidata and Wikibase. Working together with the broader Wikidata community as well as with partners around Wikidata and Wikibase is an integral and core part of our work. We support communities and partners by providing information and help, gather feedback to further improve Wikidata and Wikibase and are present at movement events and beyond. Many people from the Wikidata community all around the world are organizing meetups to connect with each other as well as workshops to onboard more people into Wikidata. For example, for the 6th birthday of Wikidata, more than 30 events have been organized by local community groups in 27 countries. By bringing people together, we want to create opportunities to learn, share and evolve knowledge and skills around Wikidata & Wikibase.

3.) Please list the priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community. What progress have you made in those areas?

The 2017 conference showed the high interest and need for Wikidata/Wikibase events and opportunities to learn more about Wikidata and Wikibase. Therefore we have supported local and international events in various ways, e.g. by sharing our knowledge at workshops and in talks, providing support for organizers of meetups and workshops, or creating opportunities to connect and work with each other at movement events. We have been documenting stories about the usage of Wikidata and Wikibase, so that people can learn from it, and provided material and resources. In 2018 we developed a Train-the-Trainer program, that we conducted in 3 cities in Germany and Austria, to enable more people to teach Wikidata.

4.) If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what key lessons were learned, and what would you like to improve on?

At the 2017 conference, more people were interested in attending the conference than we had seats for. This year we will raise up the the number of participants to 250, and design a participant selection process. This way, we will make sure that the people who attend the event really bring something to the conference and the discussions (submissions to the program, interesting point of view or input, contribution to success stories).

In 2017 post-conference survey one of the key improvement points that participants mentioned was the lack of free moments to network with each other. We want to make networking a main focus of the event, and we will provide the necessary structure for it: a dedicated networking space, more breaks and time slots when people can connect to each other, and some side events dedicated to networking.


Venue and Logistics[edit]

1.) If the venue is more than 1 hour away from a major airport or transportation hub, how will participants travel to the event venue?
The WikidataCon will be held at the conference venue Urania, which is less than one hour away from Tegel airport as well as the central railway station. It takes one hour to get there from Schönefeld airport.
WikidataCon 2017 setting up the venue (CC BY-SA 4.0)
2.) Is the event venue within walking distance from the hotel? If not, how will people travel between the two locations?
We have contracted with Motel One Berlin-Tiergarten which is located next to the conference venue.
3.) Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
4.) Do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?
The venue is quite big and the workshop rooms are spread over three floors, which makes it harder for all attendees to meet each other by coincidence.  To gather all attendees at some points of the day at the same spot and to create as many networking possibilities as possible, the following measures will be taken:
  • Offering catering and dinner at one central location for everyone
  • Have a networking area available during the whole day, where drinks will be served and people can connect with each other
  • A self-organized meetup room will allow participants to organize spontaneous meetups and gather people who have common interests or activities

Friendly space policy[edit]

Please link to the friendly space policy that your community will be using for this event.

All participants of the WikidataCon are expected to respect and abide by the Wikimedia Foundation Friendly Space Policy and the Code of Conduct for technical spaces. Individuals not cooperating with these policies may be asked to leave the event.

Throughout the event, people can reach out to dedicated people in case they witness something or feel uncomfortable in a situation.


Wikidata Con 2017 group photo 2 (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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 includes the Wikidata community, especially people and organisations who are already involved in editing, structuring and reusing the data, but will also reach further the organisations, projects and individuals who may be interested in using Wikidata and Wikibase, or contributing in various ways to the evolution of Wikidata.
2.) 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?
We will  follow up on the events that will be organized after the conference (just like in 2017). We will keep contact with new stakeholders who bring valuable perspectives to our movement, so that new partnerships and projects can arise like all activities happend around Wikibase in 2018. Because various stakeholders met at WikidataCon 2017 one of our developer released a simpler installation of Wikibase too. The year after, volunteers organized lots of workshops, improved the software and tested it.
3.) 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.
Yes, we would like to invite about 15 WMF staff members from different departments (e.g. Technology,  Audiences), to join us in discussing the future of Wikidata, or to talk about projects like Wikidata Query Service or Structured Data on Wikimedia Commons.


1.) How many scholarships would you like to offer?
36 (international)
2. )What expenses will the scholarship cover?
Travel, Accommodation, Food, Public Transport, Visa Costs
3.) How will scholarship recipients be selected?
As in 2017, we will have a scholarship committee with representatives from both the Wikidata team and the community. We are aiming to provide diversity among the participants: country of origin, gender. The committee will define the process in detail, and the scholars will go through the application process, that will make sure that the participants are involved in the Wikidata community and/or can bring an interesting point of view on partnerships. With this process we will also create more equity for more diverse knowledge.

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 Melanie Koeppen
Logistics Daniela Gentner (WMDE)
Conference Program Léa Lacroix (WMDE), Lydia Pintscher (WMDE)
Scholarships Daniela Gentner (WMDE), Léa Lacroix (WMDE)
Communications Léa Lacroix (WMDE)
Volunteer Coordinators Daniela Gentner (WMDE), Léa Lacroix (WMDE)
Other team members tba


  • Since the event has a limited amount of seats, we will run an application process to make sure that people who register are committed to the event, and can bring something to it. However, the no-show rate is still a risk. In 2017, we had 5% of no-show rate, and we intend to stay under this level. We will communicate regularly with the attendees, encourage them to inform us as soon as possible if they can’t attend, and prepare a short waitlist to fill the vacant seats if needed.


Event budget table
Item Description Costs Comments
Location Costs for 2 days €49,000.00 Room and furniture rental costs, technical equipment hire, event technician, Internet, live streaming, childcare service
Catering Costs for 250 people €65,000.00 Drinks for Thursday evening @WMDE Office, Friday and  Saturday conference catering and beverages (lunch and dinner)
Communication Costs €15,500.00 Website, location branding, production cost communication material
Support Staff Costs €1,500.00 Support staff on-site
Keynote Speakers €2,500.00 Accommodation and travel costs
Logistics Costs €1,500.00 Transportation costs
Miscellaneous €5,000.00 Buffer
SUBTOTAL €140,000.00
Scholarships €40,000.00 Accommodation (3 nights), travel (incl. public transport tickets on-site), visa costs for 36 scholars
TOTAL €180,000.00
Total cost of event
Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
We are currently in the process of acquiring sponsors for a third conference day, which will be a hackathon. This will not affect the scholarship amount. Once sponsoring for the third day is secured, we will adjust the budget and submit to the Grant Committee for approval.
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, Wikidata is growing and growing. Conferences like these are needed to keep the healthy and close community. Sjoerd de Bruin (talk) 15:59, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - LGTM. Kind regards, — TBhagat (contribs | talk) 16:00, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • The previous WikidataCon was very useful, both for me personally and, IMO, the community as a whole. Jon Harald Søby (talk) 16:29, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Last 2017 WikidataCon was a blast. Also, we will need a moment to sum up all the new things that are going on with Structured/Lexicographical data and address the necessity of furthering data models cleaning/enhancement. An in-person meeting is always the way to go with these issues. Sannita - not just another sysop 16:46, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support Excellent proposal. Wikidata is a really important project, and such conference/seminar is really important. This will help the best contributors to share their knowledge/learning with each other. All the best. -- Tito Dutta (talk) 16:50, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support need to support the future Slowking4 (talk) 17:56, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • A conference such as this will definitely provide an outlet for greater focused improvements to Wikidata in ways that other events may not be able to accomplish. Mahir256 (talk) 18:04, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support - In the meantime Wikidata is much to important to get around it. People need to meet an share information on their work and ideas to boost interaction, more so for complex matters. --[[kgh]] (talk) 21:42, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support This was a highly-constructive and productive conference in 2017. I expect this year's event to be equally amazing. --Rosiestep (talk) 21:43, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support An essential part of what keeps Wikidata working. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:48, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support. Wikidata is the core of Wikimedia's innovation. This event is essential for all stakeholders in the Wikimedia movement to move forward and for newcomers (be they new editors, researchers, developers, etc.) to discover the value of Wikidata. --abián 22:08, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support This event will help the community to grow closer and to address old issues from a fresh perspective. It will reinforce also the social fabric of the project.--Micru (talk) 22:33, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support - An important event that will help drive the development of the Wikidata community. The first event has proven itself extremely important and useful. Shani Evenstein. 22:47, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support It was magic last time and we people working with WD needs to meet more often and discuss WD Salgo60 (talk) 00:43, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support There’s still a lot to do about structuring data, and an in-person event seems the best way to strengthen the community and bring about fruitful discussions. Andreasmperu (Wikidata, enwiki) 01:32, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Wikidata is the core of the knowledge for the Wikimedia Movement and each time for more projects outside the movement. This conference is essential to all of us who want to interact one with each other to improve the existing Wikidata, but for the newcomers too, because it is the best opportunity to take a close look at how the Wikidata's community work. Regards, Ivanhercaz (talk) 03:06, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support WikidataCon 2017 was a great achievement and very useful for the Wikimedia community. For instance, I had a lot of feedback on tools that I made. I look forward for the next edition! Envlh (talk) 07:03, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support The 2017 one was great, more of that please! --Magnus Manske (talk) 08:28, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support This is a great conference for the community at large.--HakanIST (talk) 11:02, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Unique opportunity to meet so many cooperators in person. Jneubert (talk) 11:39, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support wikidata is awesome! CatCat (talk) 12:33, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Synergy! Michaelgraaf (talk) 12:43, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support The 2017 edition was great and had a very significant impact on Wikidata. We should make it happen again. Tpt (talk) 12:47, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support I went to this conference in 2017. It was good, relevant and well-organized. I look forward to the 2019 conference. Finn Årup Nielsen (fnielsen) (talk) 13:57, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support I'd love to join this year to learn and share what we're doing around data about American women and Wikidata! digitaleffie
  • Strong support Strong support WikidataCon 2017 was fantastic and we've made a lot of progress since then. It would be a huge disappointment if this event doesn't happen. Simon Cobb (Sic19 ; talk page) 22:14, 5 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support Such annual conference is a great event to collaborate and communicate.-Nizil Shah (talk) 05:38, 6 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support This is very vital and remains the next attention for Wikimedia project. Kaizenify (talk) 00:59, 7 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support This is a solid proposal to follow up on a highly successful and inspiring previous event. -- Daniel Mietchen (talk) 20:10, 9 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Endorse – Wikidata is a project that almost uniquely lends itself to enhanced collaboration in person,nbecuase there are so many things that are hard to share and hard to teach electronically. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c · enwiki) 20:58, 17 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support WikidataCon 2017 was extremely valuable and it provided a great (and uncommon) opportunity to interact with diverse people of the Wikidata community, including editors, coders, scientific researchers, as well as data and community managers. The organization in 2017 was also outstanding, so, I hope this proposal gets accepted. Criscod (talk) 16:09, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Strong support Wikidata is great and I would love to learn more about working with WD from different perspectives and meeting new WD colleagues. Ecritures (talk) 17:20, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Support That's a great proposal
  • Support Support Great to improve Wikidata. Conny (talk) 16:45, 22 February 2019 (UTC).
  • Strong support Strong support. Historically, this event has contributed to triggering active cross-national networks and sharing resources, not only limited to people who were able to attend. One example comes from Brazil --though we did not attend WikidataCon we were able to learn from the event, i.e. streaming and chats, and somehow get inspired and replicate some of the training sections in our context, in a setting we have called Wikidata Labs. --Joalpe (talk) 12:02, 28 February 2019 (UTC)