Wikimedia Conference 2016/Program

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Over the last weeks and months, we – Cornelius Kibelka, Nicole Ebber, the Program Advisors, the Program Capacity & Learning team of the Wikimedia Foundation, WMDE’s Evaluation & Partnerships Team, and the Board of Trustees – have developed the program for the Wikimedia Conference. It bases mainly on the information given by participants in the registration, our experience from previous years and our advisers' advice.

Be prepared![edit]

As in the previous years, it will be again a quite interactive event and all participants are asked to prepare intensively for the announced topics and sessions. All entities and their representatives are requested to thoroughly discuss the conference topics and sessions internally before they start their journey to Berlin.

Reading the session outline is necessary for active participation. Of course, participation does not end after the conference: There will be documentation, reporting back to your home organisations, evaluation and follow-up tasks to be done.

Four cornerstones[edit]

To ensure an impact oriented (in terms of the motto but also in terms of results) conference, we need different formats and target group specific sessions. We have identified four cornerstones that complete the program.

1: “How to move forward”

In the light of the recent events and following the mail of our chair, Tim Moritz Hector, we will diversify the program and provide a space to address the most burning questions around the current leadership and governance situation.
2: One overarching movement theme: Impact.

WMCON brings together movement stakeholders to discuss the future of the movement. We have to make the most of this unique opportunity where this group of affiliate and WMF representatives is gathering in one place and have them work, think, talk, listen, and learn together. For inspiration, we will also consider to invite external key note speakers.
3: Capacity building and learning.

The culture of shared learning is slowly increasing among movement entities. We are getting better at learning from each other’s mistakes and successes, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Working and learning sessions will be built according to the participants needs; speakers will come from within and outside of the movement.
Facilitated social activities.

Only a safe space in a creative, trustful atmosphere will enable a good, effective working environment that includes newbies and old hands alike. We will create more moments of sharing, of social exchange and provide guidance for side events and evening sessions.

Session formats[edit]

Based on our experiences, we have developed (roughly) four different session formats:

Working sessions that don't have a pre-defined time slot maximum. Input by the participants is needed/expected, they are heavily involved in developing outputs together. The sessions are not facilitated by our two main facilitators, but support by special facilitators who are experts in their field.
Sessions that are mainly based on conversations/talks, a time slot of max 60-90 min, facilitation is generally needed. The idea of the format is mainly to inform people, but based on talks/questions.
Workshop session with a time slot of max 60 min, no facilitation needed. Mainly thought as workshop sessions, where central speakers transfer their knowledge to other. Input by the participants is desirable, but not necessary.
Sessions in a lecture/keynote-style with a time slot of max 60 min, facilitation eventually needed, e.g. for Q&A. One central speaker, no input by participants is needed.

Cornelius, the Program and Engagement Coordinator, is working closely together with the facilitators and speakers to further develop the schedule and formats. The idea is to avoid dry lectures as much as possible and rather go for interactive formats. Some session will involve decision making processes, some will be necessary to get a broader understanding of the status of the discussion and will define next steps and time-lines, some will focus on sharing experience and learnings, some will help releasing tensions and others will just foster social processes.

Track 1: "How to move forward"[edit]

The conference provides a platform for conversations around how to deal with the current leadership crisis and how to move forward, what role the affiliates can play here, or how they can support the WMF in the current situation.

Track 2: Movement Impact[edit]

Previous events and conversations – on- and offline – have shown that impact is an important topic for discussion within our movement and the nonprofit world. Our movement – from the youngest User Group to the Wikimedia Foundation – is striving for impact on Free Knowledge in society, seeking to create impactful programs, processes, and support structures aligned with our shared mission. At the same time, “impact” is a concept that we struggle with. We would like to unlock the potential for better collaboration, learning, and development in our movement – and more impact of our movement.

Track 3: Capacity Building and Learning[edit]

The Wikimedia Conference is not only a conference where people meet, discuss and work, but also a perfect place to share ideas and learn from each other. Based on the experiences and feedback from the previous years and the information in the registration form, we have created an own “Capacity Building and Learning” track with the idea to share successful / impactful ideas for programs and projects.

Further sessions[edit]