Visiting Wikimedian

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Visiting Wikimedian” is a program by Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE). The purpose of the program is to share experience and learnings from WMDE with other Wikimedia movement affiliates. The duration of the stay is three to six months.

“I would soon work at a foreign organization for the first time in my life. I was excited. I had doubts. I had fears. 'Einsteigen, bitte' (Get in, please), the automatic voice said from the arrived train. I got in.” –– David Saroyan, blog post

Our motivation[edit]

Teele Vaalma (in the middle) supported us as a “Visiting Wikimedian” in organizing the Wikimedia Conference 2016

WMDE wishes to be a Learning Partner for the Wikimedia movement. By that we mean that while we already benefit from the vast experience and knowledge that exists among the organisations of the Wikimedia movement, we want to take it a step further: To share our learnings, enable collaboration and team up with our partners to create greater impact together!

“Following five days were long and full of energy. I had to run and tape and explain and call and carry. And I think that a smile never left my face. I was trusted with things, like I were one of the team. And indeed I was, for that conference." –– Teele Vaalma, blog post

WMDE, as one of the oldest and largest organisations in the Movement, is committed to support the movement’s ability to learn together and to work effectively across Chapters. The Wikimedia Conference, that the Visiting Wikimedian will participate in organizing, is an integral part of this commitment.

The end goal of the stay is that the Visiting Wikimedian can apply her/his learnings to programs and processes in their home organization. Lessons learned can also be shared with the broader movement. On top of that, WMDE’s staff and volunteers both get a chance to see our own organization with fresh eyes, and to better understand how other Chapters work.

A first pilot of the program was run between March and May 2016 with Teele Vaalma from Wikimedia Eesti. She supported the organization of the Wikimedia Conference 2016. Teele wrote a blog post about her experience. David Saroyan from Wikimedia Armenia was our second Visiting Wikimedian from January to April 2017, supporting us in organizing the Wikimedia Conference 2017. He wrote a blog post about his experience as well.

Wanna learn more about the Visiting Wikimedian?[edit]

David Saroyan (on the right) supported us a Visiting Wikimedian in organizing the Wikimedia Conference 2017

The Visiting Wikimedian program grew from the Wikimedia Conference, and the tasks are therefore mainly to support the organization of the conference both in terms of logistics and program.

“The feeling of being useful kept me moving and smiling. I believed in myself. I very much hope that the team and also the participants were satisfied with my assistance. One of my tasks had been coming up with Wikimedia-related questions and answers for a social game at the conference party so I was grinning with excitement to see if the attendees liked them. And they did! I was so proud.” ––Teele Vaalma, blog post

The Visiting Wikimedian will be involved in all essential steps of the planning and organizing process, and will be able to contribute in multiple ways. We are open to designing the tasks together, according to the Visiting Wikimedian’s skills, needs and experiences. In deciding the specific tasks, we will also take the context and plans of the relevant partner organization into account (e.g. if the Wikimedia affiliate plans to host an international conference). The Visiting Wikimedian will also gain an insight into the daily work processes of a large non-profit organization.

"The Wikimedia Conference team noticed my passion for graphic design and started giving me more tasks in that area. This led to me making almost all the signage and posters that people saw at the Wikimedia Conference. I also designed the “How to survive in Berlin” conference guide.” –– David Saroyan, blog post

Depending on the legal situation of the Visiting Wikimedian (being national of a member state of the European Union or not), contract details might differ. The general conditions are:

  • Agreement on outputs, for example creation of learning patterns, blog posts and other learning materials
  • Optimally full-time (~40 hours per week; negotiable)
  • Compensation of expenses (e.g. travel, accommodation, per diem)
  • On-site stay at WMDE’s office in Berlin for 3 to 6 months
  • Good English speaking skills are required, German speaking skills are not mandatory (WMDE’s office is bilingual)

In exchange, Wikimedia Deutschland, to the best of our ability, supports you to learn and benefit from your stay, and to to be able to transfer your learnings to your home affiliate and the movement.

Former Visiting Wikimedians[edit]

Get in touch[edit]

We are always striving to improve this program. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please reach out to Cornelius Kibelka via e-mail to