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Wikimania Committee/Minutes/2023-01-12

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The Wikimania Steering Committee is grateful to have received 11 submissions from around the world to host Wikimania in 2024, 2025, and beyond. This is a new approach they are exploring, inspired by the distributed virtual Wikimanias in 2021 and 2022, and the great work of the 2023 Singapore Wikimania regional ESEAP organizers. In addition to the support the committee provides as the stewards of Wikimania, together with the Foundation’s Movement Communications team, the plan is to facilitate more time for Wikimania organizers so they can learn from each other in practice.

Agenda items discussed from January to March:

  • Review of submissions, consideration of requirements for hosting Wikimania, regional scenarios, visas, timezones, etc.
  • Meetings with some of the organizers
  • Planning the announcement of hosts, starting with 2024


  • Jan 12: Florence, Phoebe, Gnangarra, Butch, Andrew, Ivan, Lisa, Mehrdad
  • Jan 19: Andrew, Iolanda, Phoebe, Gnangarra, Butch, Mehrdad, Lisa, Mayur
  • Jan 26: Butch, Flo, Gnangarra, Phoebe, Andrew, Iolanda, Lisa, Mayur, Mehrdad
  • Feb 2: Linda, Mehrdad, Andrew, Flo, Phoebe, Mayur, Butch, Lisa, Gnangarra, Mehrdad, Eric
  • Feb 9: Andrew, Flo, Eric, Iolanda, Phoebe, Butch, Gnangarra, Mehrdad, Mayur, Lisa
  • Feb 16: Meeting with Kraków expression of interest lead
  • Feb 23: Phoebe, Gnangarra, Andrew, Lisa, Mayur, Mehrdad
  • March 9: Meeting with Kraków organizers and CEE folks: Anton Protsiuk, Florence, Andrew, Gnangarra, Linda, Lisa, Maciej, Natalia CWik, Natalia, Philip, Szymon, Phoebe, Butch, Iolanda, Käbi
  • Monday March 20: Announcement of the host of Wikimania in 2024

High-level considerations


Major criteria for consideration

  • Rotation, Travel, Visa, Safety + security, Facilities + services, Event venue, Lodging, Timing, Organizers, Submission
  • Scenarios for visa needs, timezones, and regional rotation of Wikimania between 2024, 2025 and 2026


  • There is the base mission of bringing Wikimedians to a place, keeping them safe, and sending them home
  • There is so much in between, the inspiration, the vision
  • Running Wikimania is a great way to bring in people into the movement in a new kind of role (or new to Wikimedia)! So leave the door open and make a process for onboarding volunteers.

Foundation support

  • Volunteers are the protagonists of Wikimania
  • Organizing can take a lot of time and effort
  • Wikimania has had many changes over time ... less Foundation support or more, less money or more ... all with varying degrees of successes and challenges
  • Meeting consistently over time can help this, internally figuring out what the needs are



Paris was one of the earliest expressions received, it would've been great for 2024, but the Olympics are happening (Jul 26 - Aug 11, 2024) and things will be costly and busy. Paris would be wonderful in so many ways. Other than Montreal (bilingual) we have never had a fully francophone Wikimania. There is also great opportunity there to do a collaborative cross-regional WikiFranca effort, with a keen focus on partnering with French-speaking individuals and teams in Africa. The organizers are happy with 2025 or 2026. It will have similar visa challenges as Poland with Schengen.

  • Considering rotation as a key requirement, we are due in South America the longest. Looking at the received expressions of interest, we can group submissions under Americas, East Africa, and Europe for considerations for 2024, 2025, 2026, and possibly 2027. We are considering multiple elements as we short-list candidates, including ease of travel (one flight for most participants), visa requirements, safety and security for all Wikimedians, and healthcare as we return to in-person events once more.
  • Wikimania 2023 in Singapore will be the first organized by a coalition of affiliates, the ESEAP in this case, and a regional Core Organizing Team. This collaborative model may be the way future Wikimanias are organized.
  • Harder to reach places will need more explanation to justify hosting a global event
  • Rotation and language are big considerations
  • We have 3 submissions from East Africa for 2024 and 2025. The Steering Committee would like to consider East Africa for a future Wikimania and may reach out to the organizers to encourage a regional submission with one city chosen by the community in the region, similar to how the ESEAP community chose Singapore.
  • For the Americas, we received submissions from Mexico (Guadalajara and Mexico City), New York City (USA), and Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). We are due in South America the longest (Buenos Aires in 2009). With many regions to visit and take the Wikimania magic to, we will likely host only one Wikimania in the Americas in the next 3 years. Mexico City is located centrally and is easy to get to for most, but would mean for the first time returning to the same city. What is our precedent for returning to the same city (Mexico City) or the same country (Poland, USA)?
  • Other submissions are pending further discussion, risk assessment, or require further clarification from organizers and the Steering Committee will reach out to them.

Returning to the same city / country

  • Are there workable alternative locations in communities/regions that we haven't been to? Are there regional or language communities to collaborate with? Is it an "easy" city (lots of travel, connections, venues, visas, etc.)?
  • Pros:
    • There is convenience and experience
    • Central location, easy flights, strong community
  • Cons:
    • Rotation around the world to different locales is desired as political and other considerations allow (ie. political stability, pandemic concerns, economic climate, human rights, legal situation, etc)

Expressions of interest:

  • Istanbul is not off the table, we'll keep assessing it for future years, perhaps 2027 or 2028. With 2024 returning to the CEE region, it might be some time before returning to a very close neighbour.
  • Justifying a return to London will be difficult ... have been in the same city before, it's quite costly, and will have visa challenges for many Wikimedians
  • Dubai has great venues and some of the best accessibility and visa processes for our movement. However, the security requirements for all speakers to register with the government will be a concern and a major barrier for community members. The situation for LGBT community members and travel for those living with HIV is not optimal.

Biggest discussions (1) Who is ready for 2024 and can hit the ground running immediately? (2) Going back to the same location - Poland and US, same country; Mexico City, same city. (3) Risk Assessment

If there's a bigger war that extends to Poland

  • All of Europe would be at war so a much bigger contingency plan would be needed since it couldn't be in the region or the continent at all
  • If a full-blown war happens, we would need to probably reconsider Wikimania because many Wikimedians living in Europe wouldn't be able to travel at all and holding an event somewhere else would be insensitive
  • If the war crosses over into Poland, it would shut general opportunities for Wikimania down, it wouldn't be good for anyone.

One consideration is IF the war progresses across Ukraine and moves closer to Poland, without crossing the border, but if it's closer, we may need to pivot. Luckily we have a regional team from CEE, including Ukranian Wikimedians, that are leading the Kraków 2024 bid.

JOINT STATEMENT from East Africa: EAST AFRICA REGION (EARTH) has resolved to support two countries (Tanzania and Kenya) for 2024-2025 given the following scenario. If Wikimania COT decide to host Wikimania 2024 in East Africa region, then the selected country is Tanzania, but if Wikimania COT decide to host Wikimania 2025 in East Africa region, then pre-selected country to be supported is KENYA.

  • We were in Africa in 2018, Cape Town
  • We are due in South America the longest, 2009 Buenos Aires
    • Among bids, it would be advisable for Bolivia to first host some regional or thematic events. Hosting Wikimania as an introduction is a very heavy lift for up and coming affiliates.
    • Mexico City, we were there in 2015 and for the first time, we would be returning to the same city. Guadalajara, would add an extra leg of travel and additional carbon footprint for every traveler. We would need a serious justification for why Gudalajara must be the host, a stronger justification than "just because."
      • Involve multiple affiliates in Latin America and will reach out to Iberoconf organizers as a place to start. Similar to how ESEAP communities votes and chose Singapore. It would be ideal if this place in Latin America is (1) one that has experience with hosting some regional or thematic events, and (2) returning to a new place.

What's next

  • The shortlisted submissions will receive a risk assessment from the Foundation. The results will be presented to the Steering Committee to help in their decision-making.
  • The Steering Committee may also hold interviews, aiming for February, with short-listed (and risk-assessed candidates) before a final decision is made. Interview was held with first the Kraków submission lead and later an extended group from CEE organizers.
  • To officially announce the 2024 host in March so that affiliates can still make adjustment on their support budget for 2024. Can delay the 2025 and 2026 to August to allow more legroom to decide.
    • Will softly, with the announcement of 2024, give the movement another chance to express interest for 2025 and 2026 so they don't feel locked out.
  • Announcement of Wikimania 2024
    • Priority from the committee for (1) early announcement so affiliates can already start budgeting for 2024, and (2) so some organizers from 2024 can already begin shadowing 2023 and learning on-hand in practice
  • What to announce about 2024 at Wikimania 2023
    • Can present the venue and the theme for Kraków
    • To invest in the visionary part of the event, early call for ideas and volunteers
  • For 2025, the committee would love to return to Latin America, especially South America. We are due in South America the longest, not since Buenos Aires in 2009. Counting Mexico, Wikimania was last in Latin America in 2015. The committee would like to:
  • The committee is committing to 2025 and 2026 by the summer, we are considering these, if there are others, welcoming EOIs