In the past, the Wikimedia Conference itself has always been a kind of monolith, a one-shot instead of being an episode in a series for the Wikimedia movement. As the mandate to organize the conference has previously been assigned from year to year, there has never been a link between each conference. In the previous years, participants were hardly able to get a profound understanding of the conference goals and topics. Instead, they focussed on exhausting discussions around the hosting and logistics. They were not aware of what was expected from them and what kind of preparation and participation was suitable for certain sessions and decisions. Participants were not encouraged to preparatory discuss conference topics inside their organizations to form opinions and to get the appropriate mandate to decide on certain issues as an official delegate. Decision making processes were slow, non-existent or became inefficient. Activity literally just died on Sunday afternoon, after the last participant had left the conference venue. In the end, no one felt responsible for post-processing the results and keeping the conversations alive.
This changes for the first time, as the Wikimedia Foundation and Wikimedia Deutschland jointly agreed on WMDE being the host for the conferences in 2015, 2016 and 2017. As of now, the conferences can be organized with a long-term perspective regarding logistics and contents, with specific goals and with proper involvement of all affected parties. For the first time, there will be a dedicated staff member/contractor (“Program and Engagement Coordinator”) whose task it will be to establish a facilitated and supported engagement process about the conference’s topics before and after the conference. This includes preparation, wrap-ups and post-processing of conversations and decision-making processes of conference topics. Our goal is to secure sustainable involvement of key movement stakeholders as well as to build bridges to future events (esp. Wikimania). Additionally, venues and accommodation and further organizational matters can be kept at lower price, by ideally cooperating with the same service providers through 2017 and negotiating on three year contracts.
Program & Engagement Coordinator
For the first time, Wikimedia Deutschland will work with a dedicated staff member/contractor (Program & Engagement Coordinator, PEC) whose primary assignment will be to support the participants and speakers and liaise with the program team throughout the year. The coordinator ensures that essential conference topics are constantly been worked on and further developed. He/she will help to build bridges to other events, especially to Wikimania, and future Wikimedia Conferences. Our experience from past attempts to work on movement wide issues showed that what we needed here is a structured and dedicated approach.
To tackle the main challenges, we want to focus on two essential points: productivity and outcome orientation as well as sustainability and continuous engagement.
Productivity & Outcome Orientation
Together with the program team and the facilitators, the coordinator will set a strong focus on improving the session design. Session descriptions should include specific goals and, if possible, work packages, outcomes and learnings. The Program & Engagement Coordinator will help to assign clear responsibilities as well as strong commitment and sufficient resources for each topic.
This will lead to a structured and inclusive knowledge management process around Wikimedia Conference topics. Conversations will become more productive and outcome oriented. To asses the impact of the conference, we will implement an evaluation process.
Sustainability & Continuous Engagement
We want the Wikimedia Conference to become more sustainable: Conference topics must be developed and discussed throughout the year. One platform for this can be other conferences (esp. Wikimania) and events as well as dedicated online environments. We are aiming for the conference to be the discussion forum for strategy, movement roles, partnerships and the future of the organizations. In the course of one year, the conference should present the “climax of engagement” of its participants and not just be an end in itself.
Starting at the Wikimedia Conference in 2015, the coordinator will enable the participants to form working groups and to have an iterative, continuous discussion process on Wikimedia Conference topics. This includes preparation, wrap-ups and post-processing of conversations held at each conference. Future conferences (2016, 2017) will build on the outcomes of the 2015 conference.
A participatory process, designed by the participants
Please note that the whole process will be designed together with the essential stakeholders. We do consider it important to make this a participatory and continuous process; one that is iteratively adapted according to the participants’ challenges and needs. This also means that we will not present ready-made solutions or tools right now, but will develop them in the coming months. The success and legitimation of this participatory process depends merely on how the stakeholders accept it and engage.
As it is the first time that Wikimedia Deutschland works with such a dedicated staff member/contractor, we will run these efforts as a pilot. For the time being, the position’s contract (also funded via this grant) will be limited until September 30, 2015. An extensive evaluation of the outcomes will be part of the Program & Engagement Coordinator’s report. If this pilot results in positive impact, we hope for an extension of the grant for the PEC position.
List of tasks and activities of the Program & Engagement Coordinator (not necessarily exhaustive)
- Develop and execute a program & engagement concept for the conference
- Develop and execute evaluation concept and metrics (with the evaluation team of WMDE)
- Liaise with the facilitators (support program development process and ensure outcome and goal oriented session design)
- Liaise with the program team (support program development process; consult with stakeholders; participate in calls and online discussions)
- Communication with the sessions leads and participants; inform specific target groups about specific sessions
- Design and set up the documentation process
- Post-process of the documentation, publish documentation (text, photos, visualizations, etc)
- Inform participants and communicate responsibilities, work packages and milestones
- Building bridges: Prepare contributions, conversations and sessions for the Wikimania
- Facilitate and monitor the engagement process (support volunteers and working groups, ensuring outcome orientation)
- Write evaluation report for the Wikimedia Conference
Event and Logistics Coordinator
Wikimedia Deutschland has a professional event team on site, which is already experienced in organizing the Wikimedia Conference as well as other events. The role of the Event and Logistics Coordinator is to successfully plan, organize, implement as well as to follow-up on the Wikimedia Conference and the fringe events (Pre-Conference Workshops, FDC Meeting, AffCom Meeting, ED Meeting).
Thus, from the kickoff to final reporting the person will be responsible for managing the logistics around the conference, execute detailed planning and thereby liaising with the WMF travel department, the Program & Engagement Coordinator as well as external vendors. Communication management, such as creating and updating Meta, sending information and creating a conference guide, becomes a crucial subject of the coordinator.
The Event and Logistics Coordinator will also take care of the cost management, which encompasses planning on the budget, expenses tracking, processing invoices and budget reporting. Important key tasks are the participant management (inviting attendees, coordinating travel and hotel booking, helping with visas and interacting with participants etc.) as well as the management of the venue and other service providers (research, inquiry to select appropriate vendors, contract negotiation, contracting and coordinating them before, during and after the event etc.). The Event and Logistics Coordinator ensures to build on long term relationship in order to save costs and time for the following Wikimedia Conferences, which are hosted in Berlin throughout 2017.
All activities are dedicated to facilitate the logistics behind the event and to support the program team and participants as good as possible, in order to enable them to fully immerse into the conference and to concentrate on the conference goals and topics.
List of tasks and activities of the Event and Logistics Coordinator (not necessarily exhaustive)
- cost management
- coordinating and organizing the conference’ venue and catering vendors
- participants management (inviting attendees, coordinating travel, helping with visas as necessary, etc.)
- communication (update Meta, keep participants up to date via e-mail, etc.)
- coordinating and organizing accommodation
- planning and preparing social activities
- coordinate and organize fringe events
- volunteer management (call for volunteers, manage and coordinate volunteers before and during conference etc.)
The main beneficiaries are the movement organizations, committees and their participants -- Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Chapters, Wikimedia Thematic Organization and Wikimedia User Groups, as well as the Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC) and the Affiliations Committee (AffCom).
Fit with strategy
What crucial thing will the project try to change or benefit in the Wikimedia movement? Please select the Wikimedia strategic priority(ies) that your project most directly aims to impact and explain how your project fits. Most projects fit all strategic priorities. However, we would like project managers to focus their efforts on impacting 1–2 strategic priorities. Examples of strategic priorities can be found here.
- Support leaders and decision makers of the movement organizations in order to allow the building of mutual trust, motivation, and empathy that enables them to solve conflicts more easily.
- Support and encourage movement leaders to tackle important strategic issues of the Wikimedia movement by providing a safe and creative space to exchange opinions and make informed decisions.
- (Depending on the input from the volunteer program team:) Support movement organizations in their organizational effectiveness, by providing capacity building workshops as well as opportunities to learn from each other and to share knowledge.
This statement should address at least one of the strategic priorities listed here specifically. See WMF Grants Program criteria for decision making.
As mentioned before, the Wikimedia Conference is the forum to work on topics as strategy, movement structures and politics. The movement still faces many tough and open questions, that have not been answered since last year. This year’s program team is currently developing a schedule that focuses on organizational maturity and effectiveness as well as financial sustainability. Capacity building and our collaborative work’s impact will be addressed in the program, too. On top of that, our highly professional and experienced event team can create the perfect space and conditions to discuss those important issues, as logistics won't distract the participants.
Measures of success
Please provide a list of both quantitative and qualitative criteria that will be used to determine how successful the project is. You will need to report on the success of the project according to these measures after the project is completed. See the PEG program resources for suggested measures of success.
Two surveys will be conducted with the conference participants in order to measure the success of the conference. The aim is to measure the satisfaction level of participants in terms of content, programm, networking possibilities and organization of the conference. The results will be shared publicly and taken as a basis for organizing future Wikimedia Conferences. An example of our evaluation can be seen in the feedback evaluation of the Wikimedia Conference 2014.
The following criteria will be used to determine the success of the project:
- 80% of participants approved that:
- the conference improved the understanding of grants, fundraising and finances in the Wikimedia movement
- the conference contributed to reaching a shared understanding of the movement’s strategy
- the conference made satisfactorily clear the significance of sharing and collaboration in the Wikimedia movement
- the conference’s capacity building workshops helped to improve the common knowledge and capacities
- 80% of participants were satisfied with:
- selection of topics
- quality of contributions
- communication from program team before conference
- In the time between the conference and September 30, 2015, there is a continuous exchange about at least 3 major topics of the Wikimedia Conference 2015 (e.g. in working groups, discussions, special events etc.).
- 30% of the 2015 conference participants engage in the structured follow-up process 6 months after the conference. Engaging means participation in working groups, discussions, special events etc.
- Topics of the Wikimedia Conference have a continuance at the Wikimania in a dedicated track or space (as qualified by dedicated Wikimania sessions, participation of 2015 conference participants at the dedicated sessions, etc.); this might be applied to other subsequent conferences as well.
- For Wikimedia Conference 2016: minimum 50% of the 2016 program activities pursue major topics of the 2015 conference or build upon related outcomes/ follow-up work of the 2015 conference.
- 50 % of the 2015 conference topics lead to concrete outcomes (e.g. documented next steps or wrap ups, learning patterns, established working groups, continued discussions, joined activities, binding decisions) -- either at the conference itself or between the 2015 and 2016 conference
- At the 2016 conference minimum 80% of participants which have also attended the 2015 conference report that the 2015 conference led to tangible outcomes for their work.
80 % of the participants could satisfactory seize the conference to:
- share knowledge with other Wikimedians
- gain knowledge from other Wikimedians
- better understanding of each others views
80% of participants were satisfied with:
- communication from organizers before the conference
- support from organizers during the conference
- conference venue
- social events
Note: In addition to your project-specific measures of success, you will also be asked to report on some global metrics at the end of your final report. Please keep this in mind as you plan, and we'll support you as you begin your project.
Resources and risks
- WMDE’s event management team has significant experience in hosting the Wikimedia Conference in the past years and other events such as the OER conference.
- WMDE has significant resources and experiences in supporting events such as the Wikimedia Conference: the Communications team, the Evaluation team, the International Relations advisor, as well as our volunteers and the Program & Engagement Coordinator (to be hired/contracted)
The main risk, which has been identified, is the shorter lead time for planning and organizing the conference in comparison to previous years. By falling back on the experienced project team, which was involved in the planning process of previous Wikimedia Conferences, this risk will be minimized.
In view of the shorter lead time and the event date (public holiday, Champions League Final in Berlin) it is likely that especially accommodation prices will be higher and that it will be difficult to accommodate all participants in one hotel. If it is not possible to accommodate all participants in one hotel, the project team will try to contract hotels, which are close by.
Another expected risk is a low participation level due to a lack of trust, motivation and consensus. We have experienced several times, that the activity of the conference’ participants did not evolve as expected in the weeks and months after the conference. We'll work with a dedicated person–the Program & Engagement Coordinator–to minimize this risk and to develop the aforementioned engagement process around movement topics. However, the success and legitimation of this process depends merely on how the stakeholders accept it and engage, this includes also interested people not participating at the Wikimedia Conference.
Grantees are subject to line-item scrutiny of expenses. Changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.
- Project budget table
|Nr. of Units
|- 5 days rent (includes also furnishing, WIFI, technical equipment, cleaning, personell)
|- 3 conference days à 150 persons
- unit price included morning break, lunch, afternoon break, non-alcoholic beverage flatrate (tea, coffee, water, juice)
|TOTAL Conference Costs
|Dinner Snack Costs (3 nights at WMDE office)
|- 170m² room at WMDE office will be used
|- unit price includes warm buffet for 150 persons à 7 € for 3 nights
|- unit price includes non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverage flatrate for 150 persons à 5 €
|- table/chairs, decoration, karaoke machine etc.
|TOTAL Dinner Snack Costs
|Social Event Cost (1 night outside WMDE office)
|- price includes non-alcoholic as well as alcoholic beverage flatrate
|- decoration, material for social activities
|TOTAL Social Event Cost
|Travel Costs On-Site
|Public Transport Ticket
|- unit price for a 4-day public transport ticket for Berlin
|Travel Costs Volunteers/ Facilitators
|- material transport plus quick transfers of organizing team
|TOTAL Travel Costs On-Site
|Office Material & Communication Costs
|- printing costs for conference guide
|Sending Visa Documents
|-signage, name badges, conference folder etc.
|TOTAL Office Material & Communication Costs
|Staff & Office Costs
|- equivalent of 1 FTE, 6 months (Jan-June)
|Program & Engagement Coordinator (incl. travel costs)
|- equivalent of 0,7 FTE, 6 months (Apr-Sep, incl. travel costs)
|Temporary staff (Dinner Snack)
|- unit price for one evening à 9 h, 3 persons
|- in-kind (development of success metrics, survey design, analysis of results, consulting with PEC and program team)
|- in-kind (material, signage desgin, media outreach)
|- in-kind (consultation with PEC, facilitators, program team, advisor to WMDE staff and board)
|- in-kind (invoicing, payments)
|- in-kind (supply office services)
|- in-kind (rent, cleaning, infrastructure etc.)
|TOTAL Staff & Office Costs
|Double Room (14.05.2015-18.04.2015)
|- accommodation for chapters/affiliations (approx. 22) which did not include WMCON funding in annual plan for 4 nights
|Double Room (13.05.2015-14.04.2015)
|- accommodation for persons who arrive earlier for pre-conference workshops
|Single Room (13.05.2015-17.05.2015)
|- accommodation for 2 facilitators
|TOTAL Accommodation Costs
|Buffer (10% on non-personel costs)
|TOTAL Extra Costs
|-travel costs handled by WMF travel department
- travel costs for affiliates, who have not budgeted for WMCON
-please note that the flight costs are calculated on the basis of last year plus 10% on top
|TOTAL Travel Costs
- Total cost of project
105.209 € (excluding travel costs)
- Total amount requested from the Project and Event Grants program
- Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this project, and amounts funded
See a description of non-financial assistance available. Please inform the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) of any requests for non-financial assistance now.
It is desirable that WMF assists WMDE by executing the following activities:
- travel booking for:
- representative of a chapter, thematic organization or user group, who have not included WMCON15 funding in annual/project plan
- FDC, AffCom, WMF Board, WMF Staff
- hotel booking for the following particpants group:
- FDC, AffCom, WMF Board, WMF Staff
- checking and (if applicable) updating the eligibility status of affiliates
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