Wikimania 2019 bids/Sweden
Wikimedia Sverige is a chapter with a long tradition of participating both in the movement and in conferences, and now we want to offer something back to the rest of the Wikimedia community. The recent Diversity Conference in Stockholm demonstrates the chapter’s ability to organise successful events. Sweden is a safe country to travel to, and participants from many countries do not need visas.
- Country: Sweden
- Host: Wikimedia Sverige and WMF
- City proposed: Gothenburg or Stockholm.
- Venue proposed: Clarion Post Hotel in Gothenburg and Aula Magna campus in Stockholm are currently being investigated
- Date proposed: ?-? July/August 2019
- Arrival proposed:
- Departure proposed:
- Planned attendance: 1,000
- Contact: John Andersson (WMSE) (talk)
Sweden is well connected internationally and air fares are quite competitive. Especially from Europe, travel is very inexpensive and we would expect many people from Europe to attend.
Stockholm has four airports:
- Stockholm Arlanda Airport
- Stockholm-Bromma Airport
- Stockholm-Skavsta Airport
- Stockholm Västerås Airport
Arlanda and Bromma are located closest to the city. Arlanda is Sweden's largest airport and the airport is fast and easy to get to from the city. You can also reach Stockholm through trains and ferries for less environmental impact.
Landvetter airport has international connections to 20+ countries. This is mainly to European cities, however this include airport hubs for long distance flights such as London, Frankfurt and Paris (so the amount of necessary flight changes for long distance travelers shouldn’t be that high). You can also reach Gothenburg through trains and ferries for less environmental impact. Traveling to Gothenburg from Arlanda by train takes less than 4 hours (there are plenty of departures per day).
Wikimedia Sverige is a well established chapter with 6 staff members, a well functioning board and an active volunteer community. The team has experience from a large number of conferences and knows that networks from events need to be sustained beyond the conference and connected to other initiatives. If chosen to host an event like Wikimania, we intend to hire one staff member to work part time with the organization of the conference as a dedicated task.
Furthermore, our intention is to work with the staff and volunteers from the chapters in the other Nordic countries, as we did this in preparing for Wikimedia Diversity conference and know that it is a great opportunity to establish regional Wikimedia networks. To that end we are investigating funding from different Nordic cooperation funds.
Previous experience in hosting events
Our chapter has been involved in a number of conferences in Sweden and also previously supported the GLAM Camp. We have seen the value in network building, in information sharing and in the creation of material as examples of how in person events have impact on our movement and beyond.
In 2016 we hosted our first international event – the Wikipedia Education Collab Meeting 2016 in Stockholm. This international event helped us identify missing material and tools that many of the Wikimedia organizations would benefit from. Furthermore the event strengthened the network of staff and volunteers active in the education space of Wikimedia and the participants have continued to work together on a number of efforts around communication, sharing of best practices etc.
In November 2017 Wikimedia Sverige successfully organized the Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017. The chapter decided in 2016 to organize international Wikimedia events to support the international movement and get first hand experience of the process needed for a successful international event. This was done as part of preparing for hosting Wikimania 2019.
Why Sweden is a compelling choice for Wikimania
- Stockholm is ranked among the top congress cities in the world with direct flight connections from 160 destinations.
- In February of 2017, Business Insider ranked Gothenburg as the first and Stockholm as the second most social, friendly and liberal cities in the world.
- Stockholm has a large tech scene with the most unicorns per capita in the world after Silicon Valley. We expect a lot of interest from locals if hosted in Stockholm.
- The tourism boards in Gothenburg and Stockholm have shown great interest and willingness to help which will be valuable when looking for sponsors etc.
- International congresses held in Stockholm may apply for a complimentary welcome reception at Stockholm City Hall, the world famous venue for the Nobel Prize festivities. If the application is awarded, the City of Stockholm will host a reception for up to 1,200 participants.
- Stockholm is investing significant resources into making the city accessible for everyone. For example, all public transport is wheelchair accessible and accessibility support is offered at the airports.
- The chapter’s many GLAM and educational partners are likely participants, endorsers and supporters of Wikimania being hosted in Sweden. We already have an offer for a midsize venue for free for hosting side events in Gothenburg.
- Wikimedia Sverige has a history of successful external grant applications and we expect to be able to bring in a few grants to support the event.
Our chapter has acknowledged the importance to foster a more diverse community to reflect all perspectives. We are committed that the sum of all human knowledge should not lack coverage and/or quality. There are many issues that span across national borders and specific Wikimedia projects and movement leaders need to get together and discuss and work on finding joint solutions. We would also help foster networks where these issues can develop over time. Furthermore, inspired by the Wikimedia Conference, we will work hard to create tangible outcomes during and after the conference, e.g. support ongoing network activities and development of missing material.
We want to continue learning about initiatives from all over the world and continue sharing our work with diversity on the Wikimedia projects. Sharing knowledge inspires us to try new solutions and can help us avoid repeating mistakes.
Through our participation in other international events we are aware of the plenitude of important, interesting and innovative efforts happening all over the world within our movement. We want to know more about it!
A large international event like Wikimania will spread the word of the movement and the culture to a wider audience in Sweden and help find new editors and community members, but also strengthen the existing community of active editors, partners in the education and GLAM field. The already large number of partners to Wikimedia Sverige will be encouraged to participate and will bring added value to the conference. By utilizing the conference in a strategic way we believe that it can help us grow our network even further in the GLAM, educational and open data field.
In the last couple of years, Wikimedia Sverige has had a number of internationally oriented activities and we see great value with the possibility to bring together the people and organizations we have worked with across the world. For example the edit-a-thons at Swedish embassies which we have organized with the Swedish Foreign Department, the Connected Open Heritage project with UNESCO, the Wikispeech project and a few different EU and Nordic initiatives all would benefit from bringing together relevant people at Wikimania.
We also see the event as an opportunity to strengthen the cooperation with other European chapters, especially with the Nordic ones. In the Nordic region, we have similar cultural, political and legal contexts with a history of working together. Our Wikimedia chapters have reached various degrees of maturity and hosting Wikimania in the region would make an opportunity for our organisations to learn from each other and build regional capacity to achieve our goals together. Over the past few years as the Nordic Wikimedia affiliates have established themselves we have met at several Wikimedia events and discussed how Wikimania could leverage our regional capacity.
Ease to enter
Sweden has a large number of bilateral agreements in place limiting the countries where a Visa is needed. Sweden has 80 embassies across the world and where Sweden doesn’t have an embassy, the country often work together with other EU countries around Visas. As a Schengen country travel to Sweden is Visa free for all European Nations (with the exception of Russia and Belarus).
During the Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017, we had 80 participants from 43 countries, with only two persons being denied Visa. We are very happy that we were able to ensure such a high participation rate. During this work, the chapter learnt a lot about the process and how to support successful applications.
Personal safety of participants
In February of 2017, Business Insider ranked Gothenburg as the first and Stockholm as the second most social, friendly and liberal cities in the world.
Sweden is one of the safest countries in the world and both Stockholm and Gothenburg are very safe cities.
The chapter has experience of organizing safe events with a mix of participants.
There are a number of high quality venues availiable in Stockholm and Gothenburg suitable for Wikimania. They have high accessibility and security, good internet connection and qualitative accomodation in close proximity.
Ellie Young is currently investigating venues, availability and rough price estimates for Stockholm and Gothenburg. This information will be forthcoming.
Sweden is an expensive country and the costs for venues and accommodations are high, but the quality is excellent.
Comparison between the two top choices of cities in Sweden
- International airport, good connections with ferries, trains and busses.
- Chapter’s office is located in Stockholm.
- Largest city in the country, and very “tourist friendly”.
- A lot of partners are located there.
- Really good public transport.
- A lot of high tech business in the area (potential sponsors and visitors).
- Very safe.
- Accessible to visitors (wheelchair friendly etc.)
- Possibly free reception at the city hall.
- Not that many venues are suitable or affordable
- Less active volunteer group than Gothenburg.
- The venues and hotels are rather spread out across the city, so transportation might be needed to organize.
- Local group of very active volunteers willing to help out.
- A slightly smaller city where many facilities are closer to each other.
- More venues and perhaps less costly than Stockholm for hosting Wikimania (very close to the Central railway station).
- Really good public transport systems.
- Very safe.
- Good to have events outside of Stockholm for the chapter.
- International travel connections are less frequent than Stockholm.
- Many potential partners are located in Gothenburg, however there are less than in Stockholm.
- Public transport is less accessible than Stockholm.
- "The 30 safest cities in the world". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- "The 19 most sociable and friendly cities in the world". nordic.businessinsider.com. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
- Davidson, Lauren (2015-06-28). "How Sweden became the startup capital of Europe" (in en-GB). ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-12-18.