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Wikimedia Conference 2018/Buddy Project

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Summary version of the Buddy Project

What is the Buddy Project?

It is an overwhelming experience to be part of an event such as the Wikimedia Conference, especially if you have never been at an event like this before. As we did for the Wikimedia Conference 2017, we would like to connect new and experienced participants. Our aim is that through this offer everyone can make the most of their experience and take as many impressions, contacts, ideas and inspirations home with them as possible.

The idea is to match two participants, who are interested in joining this idea, one who’s been on a Wikimedia Conference at least once and one who hasn’t – but that’s not a must. Additionally, the matching process will be influenced by the participants’ individual interests and expectations they will state in their registration. Participants will be matched by the WMDE staff and will get to know their buddy at the pre-conference or at the first conference evening (on Thursday) at the latest.

If both Buddies agree, they may exchange email addresses in advance so they can get in touch before the conference.

Of course, the Buddy Project is based on voluntary participation. There are no mandatory sessions for buddies or any other obligations whatsoever. Still, the idea is that Buddies meet from time to time, for example during breaks, which will give them the chance to discuss the Conference or just get to know each other. No one is forced to do anything she or he doesn’t want to do – although we would be happy if as many as possible would take part!

Who can take part?

The project mainly aims to include new people in the international community of Wikimedia but is open for everyone, who would like to take part and thinks that she or he has experiences or knowledge to share with others and/or would like to learn something new.

What would being part of the Buddy Project mean?

For newcomers:

Newcomers will have someone they can turn to specifically with any questions they might have, either concerning the conference in particular or the Wikimedia Movement in general. They will also have a first contact person, which will contribute to a quick and effortless involvement into the Wikimedia Conference and the Movement itself. Getting in touch with other participants by benefitting from the contacts their allocated Buddy has established already will also help newcomers to build their own network.

We define "newcomer" as someone who has never been at the Wikimedia Conference. You might be an "old hand" in the Movement itself, but it's about actually attending this conference.

For experienced participants:

Taking part as an experienced participant would mean having the chance to pass on own experiences and at the same time obtain new input and perspectives on various topics. They may help newcomers to build their own network and provide good conditions for an effortless start into the Movement in order to contribute to the enormous important goal to ensure a continuous involvement of new Wikimedians.

We define "experienced participant" as someone who has been at the Wikimedia Conference at least once or more. It would be good if you feel safe enough to guide your newcomer through the Wikimedia Conference, or at least be able to answer some questions regarding the conference and what it is all about.


Buddies can arrange their communication in the way they like. The first "official" meeting will be on Thursday (April 19) at 8.00 pm in the main room (Kindl 1) and all participants of the project are welcome!