Grants talk:Conference/Wikidata Con 2019

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WMF Comments[edit]

Hi Melanie Koeppen (WMDE). Thank you for submitting this very important grant proposal. I appreciate that you have referred extensively to the results of previous events and your activities since. That helps in providing a better perspective. Yet, I have a few issues I would ask you to elaborate on.

  • 16 responses to the Community survey is not much if you take into consideration the expected amount of participants. However, the Community input table is quite details. Is that based mostly on WMDE’s experience? What other information resources did you used? Is it possible to share the survey more widely?
  • Increase awareness around Wikidata / Wikibase is something that can also be done through reaching out to communities less involved with this projects. Are you going to address this through the participant selection process? You mentioned you wanted experienced community members, but are you planing to reserve some spots to emerging communities members (that are not necessarily WikiData experts, but might benefit greatly from attending the conference)? And if so, do you plan on having training sessions?
  • What level of experience is required to attend the conference?
  • You are seeking to support 36 international scholarships. Does that mean you expect most of the participants to come from Germany and/or Europe? In this case we think it would be a good idea to reserve a large share of the scholarships to emerging communities.

Thank you again for your significant role in supporting this community. Looking forward to your response. Best, CAlmog (WMF) (talk) 13:57, 22 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Hi CAlmog (WMF), thank you for your questions. :) Following the answers to your bullet points:
  1. The community survey has been shared with a selected crowd of community members who know Wikidata/Wikibase well and can provide input from a variety of perspectives. It was also shared with specific groups within the community (eg GLAM Wikimedia group chat). The input table was built only with the replies from the survey - most of them were quite structured and specific. If necessary, we can spread it further on the different channels of the Wikidata community. However, the replies also match the themes from previous meetups, workshops or conversations around Wikidata and Wikibase.
  2. We are aiming for a diverse audience on multiple levels that share an interest in Wikidata/Wikibase topics. Our channels reach a widespread audience of communities and organisations alike, ensuring a mixture of people and partners. During the program of the first day with its focus on giving inspiration to the participants and sharing success stories about Wikidata, we will ensure that everyone has a common understanding of what Wikidata and Wikibase are, and how the content of Wikidata can be edited or reused.
  3. Time- and capacity- constraints make it necessary to specifically address the most important topics of the Wikidata/Wikibase community. Additionally, we want to add themes emerging from current and future partners in the Wikidata/Wikibase ecosystem. Therefore, we want to create a program that answers to the needs of the target groups, requiring the attendees to have a working level of experience with Wikidata and Wikibase. We feel this appropriate as newcomers have opportunities to learn and engage with Wikidata/Wikibase in various other local and international community events.
  4. The calculation for the 36 international scholarships is based on our experience from Wikimedia Conference/Wikimedia Summit (about 1100 Euro per person on average) and therefore should allow us to support Wikidata community members from all over the world. When looking at scholarship applications, we not only want to look at geographical diversity, but at the same time at diversity on multiple levels (such as language, focus areas inside Wikidata, skills, or gender). We will try to have a good cross section of people at the conference.
Let me know if this helps you, or if you need additional information. Looking forward to your feedback! Thanks, Melanie Koeppen (WMDE) (talk) 16:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]
Hi Melanie Koeppen (WMDE), thank you for replying. After further consultation with the Conference Grant Committee, we still have some more questions:
  • We acknowledge the experience of the Wikidata and Wikibase community members you reached out to, but given the fact that you intend to host 250 participants, we thing that 16 responses to the survey is not sufficient. We recommend you will try to pursue more community members inputs, and specifically advise people who participated in previous Wikidata conferences.
  • We are still not clear on how would you ensure the diverse participation of the global community in the event. What is your thoughts on the percentage of participation of Global North and Global South attendees? We see Wikidata as an integral and very important component within the movement. Lately there are more and more emerging communities making an effort in implementing Wikidata, so we think an extra effort should be made to reach out to those communities, to ensure it's better and wider use.
  • How would you measure the success of conference? How will you guarantee that the participants and their communities benefit from the conference?
  • The distribution of scholarships is still unclear. How גo you propose to allocate amongst 250 participants in terms of region and other criteria you have defined?


  • On the Communication item you mentioned 'Website costs' - who will create and maintain the website? will it be WMDE?
  • What did you mean by 'Buffer' in the Miscellaneous item?
  • How many Keynote Speakers will there be?
  • Could you please provide a breakdown for the Location item?

Thank you Melanie Koeppen (WMDE), and hope to hear from you soon. Best, CAlmog (WMF) (talk) 15:39, 19 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Hello CAlmog (WMF), dear committee,
Thanks for your questions and your interest for the conference. Here are our answers in bullet points:
  • We believe that the first run of the survey in the community was sufficient to collect data on the top of the knowledge we already have about the community, that we collect constantly through different methods (survey after the 2017 conference, community communication manager being in permanent contact with the community, specific requests at events like “pink pony session” at Wikimania, Wikidata meetups…). However, we will continue gathering input from the community and the participants, for example with the application form that will also contain submissions for the program, as well as a feedback field where people are encouraged to share their thoughts. We should also keep in mind that the WikidataCon 2019 is not only a community-based conference, but also an event dedicated to partnerships, strategy, and building stronger relationships with external organizations. On this topic, WMDE has a strong knowledge built by a dedicated partnership team working on Wikidata and Wikibase. A representant of this team is part of the committee and will make sure that the participants and the program will highlight the topics we want to be discussed during the event.
  • About ensuring the diversity of the event: we’re aiming for at least 20% of the total amount of participants who are from other regions of the world than Europe and North America. In order to achieve this, we will make sure that we reach local communities by communicating to them about the conference, reaching the local chapters and user groups. We already identified communities who are active around Wikidata and we plan to contact them as soon as the application phase starts. Scholarships will also be a key point to allow more people from emerging communities to attend: geographical diversity is the first criterion for scholarships. During the selection process, we will get advice from people who have a strong knowledge of emerging communities: Cornelius Kibelka is part of the committee and Asaf Bartov will be advising the committee. However, we would like to mention again that the conference is targeted at volunteers who are already active in Wikidata: because of the limited amount of seats, we can’t invite editors who are only working on Wikidata, and in general people who are completely new to Wikidata.
  • Here are our four metrics for measuring the success of the conference:
    • 20% of people coming from countries outside of Europe and North-America
    • 30% of non-male participants
    • 80% of the participants declare that they are satisfied or very satisfied in the appreciation survey
    • In the 6 months after the conference, 5 more instances of Wikibase have been created by participants
  • In order to make sure that the participants and their communities benefit from the conference, we will make sure that the program is built by the participants (open submission process), that there is a lot of time and space left for the participants to organize their own meetups, working groups, etc. and just like in 2017, we will provide a very qualitative documentation with live-stream and recordings that will allow people to reuse the content of the talks later and share them with their local communities.
  • We will also implement several ways to follow-up with the participants after the conference:
    • A satisfaction survey after the event
    • A specific follow-up for scholars, who committed to share knowledge with their local community
    • In 2020, the organizations and local communities will be encouraged to organize their own small events to continue working on the topics and projects of the WikidataCon 2019
    • We can also consider having a specific follow-up process with organizations and partners to measure the impact of the conference on their projects
  • About the distribution of scholarships: if we get the total amount of money we requested, we will be able to fund 36 full scholarships. To evaluate the scholarship applications, the committee will be mostly focused on gender and geographical diversity. We will also ask the applicants to commit to reporting on actions taken to share the knowledge they would gain during the conference with their local community. Based on the answers of the application form, the committee will select the people who will receive a scholarship. Specific metrics and selection process for the scholarships have not been decided yet, but it will be designed by the committee before the selection phase starts in May.
  • About the external website: in order to spare costs, we recently decided to not develop an external website. Using pages on Wikidata is efficient enough to describe the conference and the processes, as well as to engage with the community. Therefore, we decided to reallocate the funds to other communication and documentation material.
  • The buffer is a small amount of money we keep in case of unexpected expenses, to make sure we are not overspending.
  • There will be two keynote speakers, there are currently discussions running within the organization team to choose them.
  • Here are the details about the costs for the location:
    • Room rental (0,5 day set up and 2 days conference), cleaning costs and service personnel: 35,000.00€
    • Equipment rental (furniture and moderation material): 5,000.00€
    • Technical equipment rental, Wifi, streaming, event technician 5,000.00€
    • Child care service: 2,000.00 €

We hope that these answers can help you to understand our work better, and we wish you good luck for the last steps of the grant process! Cheers, Melanie Koeppen (WMDE) (talk) 17:06, 20 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you![edit]

Dear CAlmog (WMF) and dear committee, Thank you for your support and funding our proposal. We are really grateful and are looking forward to the event! All the best, Melanie Koeppen (WMDE) (talk) 14:23, 25 March 2019 (UTC)[reply]