Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2018/Blog post

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Developing regional cooperation: Wikimedia CEE Meeting in Lviv[edit]

Seventh annual Wikimedia CEE Meeting was held in Lviv, Ukraine, on October 13-15th. One of several regional conferences across the Wikimedia Movement, it aims at applying Movement Strategy to the peculiarities of the region, and, most importantly, building communities’ capacities.

Central and Eastern European Wikimedia community thinks of itself as a large family. Many countries, regions, and languages, various development levels, different Wikimedia affiliation stages can be found across the CEE region. There is no lack of regional and cultural diversity here. There is more or less common history behind, and common future lies ahead.

Out of 127 participants 50% attended a CEE Meeting for the first time and for 30% it was their first international event ever. Wikimedia experience of participants varied from <1 year to 17 years. Gender ration was as follows: 38% women, 62% men.

Organisers from Wikimedia Ukraine, with the help of international program committee, designed the program of the conference with two priorities: to have thorough discussions in the Strategic working groups and to build capacities of the participants. There were speakers invited: Kaarel Vaidla and Tanveer Hasan from Movement Strategy Team led the strategic discussions, and Julia Kirchner from Wikimedia Deutschland, hosted a big working session of the first day of the conference, entitled How can we work better together? There were lots of session submissions received from the participants themselves, starting from presentations of successful outreach projects like Wiki Loves Yerevan, to the discussions without known answer, eg. about dilemmas of Wikimedia communities in authoritarian countries.

As for capacity building sessions, the program of the conference could brag with workshops on Partnerships, Wikidata, and SPARQL by Asaf Bartov, Board governance workshop by Tim Moritz Hector and Frans Grijzenhout, and other practical sessions. Particularly CEE-ish session was entitled CEEbots coming: Asen Stefanov from Bulgaria and user:Base from Ukraine presented their vision of how bots can help all CEE communities. Even more, they created a landing page for the bot requests where anyone from the region could ask for help with an automated task.

Probably the most waited session of the Meeting was “After spring comes summer? CEESpring roundtable” from the international organisers of the CEE Spring article contest. CEE Spring is a flagship project of CEE region communities and was quite fruitful for Wikipedias in the last years; still there were new ideas gathered to be implemented in future.

Wikimedia Ukraine team did their best to organise the event and is now working on the report, intending to pass 2018 experience to Wikimedia Serbia, next hosts of the CEE Meeting. Organising team is willing to express their gratitude to Ukrainian Catholic University for allowing to use Sheptytsky Center as a venue, international program committee for the help with the program, to Wikimedia Deutschland for their expertise, and to all participants for making it happen.

More photos and other materials can be found on Wikimedia Commons: Category:Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2018