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Wikimedia Conference 2018/Program/46

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46. Orientation for Newcomers to the Wikimedia Movement


Delphine Ménard (Wikimedia Foundation)

Length (min)


Audience / Target group

First timers to the Wikimedia Conference or people who want to have an introduction to the history of the Wikimedia movement

Session Format

Presentation/ Q&A


This session is intended to take a look back at the history of the Wikimedia movement and outline the different milestones which led to the current organisational status. Its intent is to accompany people entering the organisation today to benefit from institutional memory and understand the state of Wikimedia as a movement today.

Desired Outcome

That people who are new to the movement understand its history. Keep the institutional memory alive.


This was largely a slide based presentation with only a couple of questions. The session started with all participants briefly introducing themselves. Before giving the short history of the movement, Delphine first spoke about biases she might have as a long-term Wikimedian, a woman, a staff-member etc.

Talk on history of the movement included key points of change: creation of WMF, of chapters, of thematic organisations, Haifa letter, creation of FDC, Chapters Association, governance crisis, derecognitions. It proceeded with short generalization of what affiliates do and the metaphor for newcomers: new people are basically jumping onto the moving train which cannot be stopped, but we can help new people to get into it.