Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Conference Fund/WCNA/WikiConference North America 2023

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WCNA/WikiConference North America 2023
proposed start date2023-05-08T00:00:00Z
proposed end date2024-02-29T00:00:00Z
budget (local currency)147165 CAD
amount requested (USD)109915 USD [note 1]
amount recommended (local)147165 CAD
decision fiscal year2022-23
applicant• Louis Germain (WMCA)
organization (if applicable)• WikiConference North America
Review Final Report

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Applicant details[edit]

A. Are you applying as a(n)

Wikimedia Affiliate (chapter, thematic org., or user group)

B. Full name of organization presenting the proposal.

WikiConference North America

F. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?


F1. Please provide your main Wikimedia Username.

Louis Germain (WMCA)

F2. Please provide the Usernames of people related to this proposal.

Louis Germain (WMCA) Xeno Pharos

G. Are you legally registered?


If you are applying as an individual or your group is not a legally registered nonprofit in your country, we require that you have a fiscal sponsor.

I. Fiscal organization name.

Wikimedia Canada

Objectives and Strategy[edit]

1. Please state the title of your proposal.

WCNA/WikiConference North America 2023

2.1. When will the event begin? Please enter the event start date.


2.2. When is the last day of your event?


3.1. When will you begin preparing for your event?


3.2. When will you expect to complete your last event payment?


4. In which country will the conference take place?


4.1. In which city will the conference take place?

5. Is it a remote or in-person event?

In-person event

5.1. What will be the total number of participants at the event? (including scholarship recipients + organizing team + other guests + self funded guests) (required)


6. Please indicate whether your work will be focused on one country (local), more than one or several countries in your region (regional) or has a cross-regional (global) scope.


6.1. If you have answered regional, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.

This is the North American conference, so we expect people from Canada, USA, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.This if the North America conference, so we expect people from Canada, USA, Mexico, Central America and Caribbean.

7. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has.

8. Do you work with any thematic or regional platforms such as WISCom, CEE, Iberocoop, etc.


8.1. Please describe what platforms and your work with them.

9. Please describe the target participants for this event.

The target audience for WikiConference North America is anyone who is part of the Wikimedia community from North America. We will also be trying to get represenation from every Wikimedia affiliate in North America. We are also targeting people who share in the values of the Wikimedia movement (librarians, archivists, open source developers, open knowledge enthusiasts, etc.), as this conference provides a great opportunity for relationship as well as having new people introduced to the movement.

10. Please provide the link to the event's page if you already have one.

The following questions (11-14) will refer to the Community Engagement Survey which is required in order to submit a proposal. Here is the survey form that you can copy and use (if the link does not work): This survey is required to access a Conference grant.

11. How many people did you send the community engagement survey to?


11.1. When did you conduct the survey, and for how long?

In 2021, we conduct our survey just after the conference, for two months. We got 36 replies. 2022 survey is still ongoing while I type this. We got 12 replies so far.

12. How many people responded to the survey?


13. What are the main objectives of the event?

WikiConference North America is the annual gathering of Wikimedia volunteers, stakeholders and enthusiasts from throughout the continent, providing a meaningful setting for Wikimedia-related discussions and activities. The conference nurtures grassroots Wikimedia communities, addresses long-standing online and local community issues, spurs the creation of new content, and facilitates partnerships with cultural and educational institutions. 2023 would be the 1st year we can meet up in person since 2020. As there's more and more discussion about creating a North American hub, the conference will also allow us to organize activities about this issue : keynotes, panels, debate, etc.

14. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve these objectives?

For 2021, our community engagement survey indicated community building and strategic discussions as top priorities. Subsets of these that we would like to focus on are equity in participation, including human rights, feminism, indigenous issues, and other high impact topics. We also want to talk about reliability of content. Wikimedia Canada, through this conference, hopes to develop new partnerships with indigenous communities to create Wikimedia projects in their languages, to discuss privilege and how some communities may have privilege in North America but many do not as well as knowledge equity. The top-two activities people have prioritized are working groups and community building. We will want to ensure we set up the proper environments and infrastructure that allow people to form these working groups as well as to meet others and build community.

15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified CONTENT knowledge gaps (Knowledge Inequity)? Select up to THREE that most apply to your work.

Content Gender gap, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context), Cultural background, ethnicity, religion, racial

15.1. In a few sentences, explain how your work is specifically addressing this content gap (or Knowledge inequity) to ensure a greater representation of knowledge. (optional recommended).

One of our objective is to increase the representation of minority or under-represented groups and subjects within the Wikimedia projects, both in terms of contributors and in terms of content. It also aims to increase the quality of the content of the Wikimedia projects on topics identified as having a high impact. There are currently knowledge gaps within the Wikimedia projects. We believe that knowledge equity cannot be achieved if we do not make the effort to add content that has historically been overlooked. We want to mobilize the community around the representation of minority and underrepresented groups in the Wikimedia projects. Finally, the conference is another occasion to mobilize institutions (GLAM, Universities, Goverment, etc.) and support them so they can contribute to free knowledge and the Wikimedia projects, especially regarding knowledge inequity.

16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or THEMATIC focus. Select up to THREE that most apply to your work and explain the rationale for identifying these themes.

Advocacy, Culture, heritage or GLAM , Diversity

17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities?

Linguistic / Language, Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation

18. Do you intend to invite or engage with non-Wikimedian individuals or organizations? If so – can you explain your intention for this outreach?

The conference also invites non-Wikimedians, such as academics, students, librarians, and archivists, to engage with the Wikimedia movement through conference programming, collaborative events, cultural initiatives, discussions, and more. We are targeting people who share the values of the Wikimedia movement (librarians, archivists, open source developers, open knowledge enthusiasts, etc.), as this conference provides a great opportunity for relationship as well as having new people introduced to the movement.

19. What will you do to make sure participants continue to engage in your activities after the event?

For newcomers to the conference and/or Wikimedia movement, we hope the conference itself provides enough networking opportunities for these individuals to remain engaged with the projects and community. All registrants and participants will be invited to join the WikiConference mailing list (it is illegal in Canada to add them to the list ourselves), and will receive a follow-up survey after the event. In this survey, we plan to ask questions on their continued engagement after the conference, and whether the conference had an impact on that engagement. We also set up social media channels (Facebook, Telegram, etc.) for each iteration of WCNA, to help participants keep in touch and continue discussions from the conference.

20. In what ways do you think your proposal most contributes to the Movement Strategy 2030 recommendations. Select a maximum of THREE options that most apply.

Increase the Sustainability of Our Movement, Invest in Skills and Leadership Development, Identify Topics for Impact

Logistical Aspects[edit]

21. Do you have any proposed venue for the event?

We are still looking for the conference venue but it should be centrally located in downtown Toronto. It is close to several subway stops and within walking distance of numerous hotels, restaurants, and major cultural heritage and tourist destinations. We are in discussion with the University of Toronto. The conference venue is within easy reach from the Toronto Pearson International Airport and is located less than one hour to the conference venue via public transport.

22. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?


23. How many scholarships would you like to offer?

We plan to offer 80 scholarships. While we will focus on the online and offline contributions of the scholarship applicants, we will keep gender, regional, linguistic, and technical background in mind to ensure diverse participation. Additionally, we will be directly inviting certain individuals to ensure we have diverse participation. We will have Wikimedians from different languages, geographies & gender. We will also be focusing on bringing in developers and researchers.

24. What expenses will the scholarship cover?

The scolarships will cover travel and lodging.

25. How will scholarship recipients be selected?

Similar to previous WikiConference North America scholarship processes, individuals will have to fill a scholarship application documenting their involvement in Wikimedia projects, both online and offline. Scholarship applicants will be evaluated by a Scholarship Committee made up of volunteers. The evaluation will be primarily based on the level of experience and involvement of the applicant in the Wikimedia movement, and what the applicant would bring to the conference to share with others as well as bring back to its own community and have an impact. At least one representative from each North American user group and two representatives from each North American chapter will receive a scholarship. This include user groups from North America, the Caribbean and Central America as well as the Wikimedians of North American Indigenous Languages User Group.

26. In which ways can Wikimedia Foundation staff support your event onsite?

Some members of the organizing committee are employees of the Foundation who work in Toronto (Jack Glover & Mehrdad Pourzaki). They will help us with the logistic and the communications. Eventually, the organizing committee will need to welcome new members to complete the sub-committees: programs, scholarships, volunteers and finance. We would appreciate if we can get the support from the Foundation and its staff regarding these committees. We also hope they can join us to participate in discussion and presentation of cases on governance within the movement. The Foundation staff expertise will greatly benefit the community.

26.2. Do you intend to invite any WMF staff members to your event? (please note that all WMF staff travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the foundation). Please indicate what is the limit number of WMF staff members you would like to welcome at your event.

Absolutely. Previous editions of WikiConference North America have included staff participation, whether through providing presentations or simply being at the conference as an attendee. We believe the conference provides a great way for WMF staff to network with other community members, as well as to learn more about the projects and issues the community is facing. Likewise, WikiConference North America attendees have a lot to gain from WMF staff, whether it's learning through presentations or simply networking. We would love to see presentations from WMF staff, including in particular the strategy for Wikimedia 2030, as well as sessions regarding new tools, features, and strategy the WMF has been working on (such as Structured Data on the Commons, GLAM outreach efforts, hub, etc.).

27. Please outline the roles and responsibilities of the organizing team for the conference.

We're going to create 7 sub-committees : General coordination + liaison to WMF - that's the core team. Logistic and local coordination - responsible for all the logistical aspects of the conference: accommodation, transportation, reception and layout, rooms, technical and computer services, catering services, etc. Conference Program - The role of this committee is to ensure the quality and credibility of the conferences and presentations Scholarships - To evaluate the applications Communications - The mandate of this committee is to direct the various activities related to the promotion and communications of the event. Volunteer Coordination - Volunteer resource managers ensure the recruitment, well-being and satisfaction of volunteers. Safe Space Committee - Ensures that the environment is safe and inclusive for everyone.

28. Do you have plans to co-organize the event with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates?


28.1. If yes, can you please explain how you are going to co-organize the event and what responsibilities each partner will have.

The events is organized by Wikimedia Canada, supported by Wikimedia New York city. We are working in collaboration and both entity are part of the core team. Short-term, we wish to recruit a member of the Spanish-speaking community from Mexico or the Caribbean to be part of the main team.

29. What kind of risks do you anticipate and how would you mitigate these?

The main identified risks are safety issues and funding. Those will be minimized by putting in place a Safety/Safe Space Committee responsible to ensure the safety of all participants. For funding, we will coordinate with the WikiConference North America User Group to try to get some of the sponsors from previous conferences, as well as requesting funding from the Government of Canada and Government of Quebec, especially for translation English-French. We will also contact several potential Canadian sponsors, and get in-kind donations locally in Toronto. One component of the measurement process that is hard to quantify is to have more attendees than anticipated. This will be mitigated by planning for additional space/activities if a significant amount of local attendees want to participate on a particular day. Furthermore, Wikimedia Canada is closely working with previous WCNA organizers to learn from them and implement their lessons learned. Finally, we are still looking for a venue. We are in discussion with the University of Toronto but if it is not confirmed, we could have a problem to find another space. We already have a list of place where we could go if necessary.

30. Friendly space policy - Please add the link to the friendly space policy that your community will be using for this event. (to be updated for this edition)

All conference participants are expected to respect and abide by our Friendly/Safe Space Policy. In turn, we provide a positive, productive, and welcoming environment for all participants. Safety is a priority at the conference and we address it at the start of each day's activities. We have learned that issues -big and small- occur routinely, from trip-and-falls and lost phones, to dealing with banned editors and inappropriate comments during a plenary. To this end, we assure that our Safe Space Team, which includes new and experienced volunteers as well as WMF T&S staff, is well-trained. We are highly visible during the conference by wearing, for example, different-colored lanyards.

Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation[edit]

31. What do you hope to learn from your work organising this conference?

Before, during and after the event, we plan to collect datat to help us answer several questions:

Who are the participants of our convention? Women? Men? Non-binaries? Wikimedians or non-wikimedians? How do they identify themselves? etc. We also want to know where are they from and what are their interest? Knowing that we want to increase the sustainability of our movement, invest in skills and leadership development and identify topics for impact, the data that we we're going to collect should give us an idea on how to achieve these goal. Starting from there, we will learn what strategies to apply and how. Also to achieve our goals, we must learn to communicate better. We think it's gonna be one of the lessons learned. The organization of this congress will teach us to work better as a team, to better delegate and to better promote exchanges.Team building seems a very important objective to us as this will affect all our actions in the movement. Finally, we will improve our project management capabilities learning from our mistakes and successes. To us, it seems important to learn from what we did wrong with the idea to not repeat our errors.

32. Main open metrics
Main Open Metrics Data
Main Open Metrics Description Target
Content knowledge gap As it is one of our main objectives, we have an interest to know how many participants still engage and contribute to content knowledge gap activities after the event. We hope that working groups and community building will promote the contributions to high impact topics. After the event, our goal is to see 80% of contributors to be interested and to contribute about these subjects. What did they learn and how can they apply what they have learned? 80
Indigenous people and partners We would like to see more indigenous people from all across North America to participate in our convention. First question to know is how many people from First Nations will be there. Then, we plan to work with them and their respective communities to establish a partnership with the objective to support the creation, development and growth of Wikimedia projects in Indigenous languages. The Wikipedia in Atikamekw is a good example of what we could do with other indigenous communities. That's hard to determinate a target as we don't know how many Indigenous people will be there, but our intention is to forge two partnerships in the short-middle term. 2
Mobilized institutions As stated above, we want to mobilize institutions (GLAM, Universities, Goverment, etc.) and support them so they can contribute to free knowledge and the Wikimedia projects, especially regarding knowledge inequity. In its Strategy 2030, the Wikimedia Movement aims to identify high-impact topics with the aim of improving coverage of priority topics, identified collectively, that have an impact on the world and can improve people's lives. We think institutions can help us with that.

After the event, we are interested to know how many of the institutions present to the convention keep contributing to Wikimedia. How our convention did influence them to keep working on our projects ?

wikimedians vs non-wikimedians We want to know how many non-wikimedians are participants and how many start contributing after the convention. What activities influence them to participate in the movement, what did they learn and why did they decide to get involved? Starting from there, we will collect some information that could help us to encourage new people to contribute. N/A
Gender We know that only 18% of the content in all Wikimedia projects, including biographies on Wikipedia, are of women. Further, only 15% of Wikimedia contributors are women. We intend to implement strategies to encourage women's participation at the convention: communications, special dedicated activities, panels, etc. And what about non-binaries ? Are they represented ?

We would like to know how many women, men and non-binaries have registered so that we can improve our strategies for the next convention.


Financial Proposal[edit]

33. What is the amount you are requesting from Wikimedia Foundation? Please provide this amount in your local currency.


34. Select your local currency.


Requested amount in USD
109915 USD [note 1]
  1. a b The following amount in US dollars was calculated by Wikimedia Foundation staff using the fixed currency rates. This amount is approximate and may not reflect the actual currency exchange rates on the day of submission or distribution. If the application is funded, the funding will be sent in the recipient’s local currency.
35. Please upload your budget for this proposal or indicate the link to it.

36. Do you expect to receive funding for this conference from other organizations to support your work?


36.1. If yes, what kind of resources are you expecting to get?

We hope to get more funding from Government of Canada and Government of Quebec. The money will help us to invite more french speakers and to offer simultaneous interpretation. In Wikimedia Canada strategic transformation plan, we insist to promote french language around Canada. It's going to be the occasion, for us, to achieve this objective.

We also are working on getting a discount on space and material location.

Finally, Wikimedia Canada will support the event and pay for staff cost.

We/I have read the Application Privacy Statement, WMF Friendly Space Policy and Universal Code of Conduct.


Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.
Other public document(s):

Endorsements and Feedback[edit]

Please add endorsements and feedback to the grant discussion page only. Endorsements added here will be removed automatically.

Community members are invited to share meaningful feedback on the proposal and include reasons why they endorse the proposal. Consider the following:

  • Stating why the proposal is important for the communities involved and why they think the strategies chosen will achieve the results that are expected.
  • Highlighting any aspects they think are particularly well developed: for instance, the strategies and activities proposed, the levels of community engagement, outreach to underrepresented groups, addressing knowledge gaps, partnerships, the overall budget and learning and evaluation section of the proposal, etc.
  • Highlighting if the proposal focuses on any interesting research, learning or innovation, etc. Also if it builds on learning from past proposals developed by the individual or organization, or other Wikimedia communities.
  • Analyzing if the proposal is going to contribute in any way to important developments around specific Wikimedia projects or Movement Strategy.
  • Analysing if the proposal is coherent in terms of the objectives, strategies, budget, and expected results (metrics).