Wikimedia Diversity Conference/Schedule

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Main Schedule Social Programme Further Reading Participants Accommodation Discussion Documentation



Saturday[edit]

Time Lounge Room 112
08:30 a.m. - 09:00 a.m. Registration
09:00 a.m. - 09:30 a.m. Pavel Richter // Welcome

Anna Lena Schiller (facilitator) // Intro & Get to know each other

Best Practice I
09:30 a.m. - 09:55 a.m. Ilona Buchem // Promoting gender diversity through open innovation
Best Practice II
10:00 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Netha Hussain // Diversifying India through outreach among women

John Andersson // Thematic edit-a-thons as a way to reach new groups

Andrés Maggese // Preservation of indigenous languages through Wikipedia

Nemin Wang // Editor diversity on Chinese Wikipedia

Best Practice III
11:00 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Gregory Varnum // LGBT Outreach

Katie Chan // Where´s the T in Wikimedia Diversity

Dumisani Ndubane // Wiki Indaba and the African agenda

T Vishnu Vardhan // So many languages: Challenges and opportunities for the Wikimedia movement in India


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
1:00 p.m. - 1:25 p.m. Ask a board member

Questions and discussion with Alice Wiegand and María Sefidari, moderated by Anna Lena

Ideas & Action I
1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Jake Orlowitz // Inviting diversity: A playful approach to broadening our community Matthew Flaschen, Jared Zimmerman, Vibha Bamba, Pau Giner // Engaging new editors by reducing barriers
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Coffee break
Ideas & Action II
3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Ilona Buchem and Netha Hussain // Design Diversity Alyssa Wright and Siko Bouterse // Creating a toolset for impact
Sum-up first day
5:40 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Round-up
7:00 p.m. - n.n. Social Program

Sunday[edit]

Time Lounge Room 112
9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. Anna Lena Schiller // Welcome and Intro
Best Practice IV
9:30 a.m. - 9:55 a.m. Alyssa Wright // Collaborating with other open source communities Ting Chen // The economy of Diversity
Best Practice V
10:00 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Valerie Aurora // Diversity initiatives that worked in other open communities Silvia Stieneker // Women edit - from a small local initiative to a nationwide network

Emily Temple-Wood // Women scientists and philosophers on English Wikipedia

Best Practice VI
11:00 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Gerard Meijssen // Wikidata as a tool to bring initial information


Tim Moritz Hector // The Teahouse - why and how we internationalize it

Sydney Poore // Mentoring: how to mentor women and older people in the Wikimedia movement


12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Lunch
Ideas & Action III
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Alolita Sharma // The question of culture: changing the diversity equation of open source Siko Bouterse // Ideas into Action: IdeaLab Diversity working session
2:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Coffee break and Wikimetrics demonstration by Jessie Wild in the beanbag lounge on the upper floor.
Closing Panel and sum-up
3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Round-up & next Steps
5:00 p.m. - ??? Social Program

Ilona Buchem // Promoting gender diversity through open innovation[edit]

The presentation focuses on outlining the approach, development steps and preliminary results of the project “Wikipedia Diversity” conducted by Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin and Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. The project focuses on enhancing gender diversity in the German Wikipedia and follows the principles of open innovation. Its aim is to engage the Wikipedia community in devising new, creative and effective ways of approaching gender diversity, especially related to such questions as: How can we establish a welcoming culture which is inviting to female contributors? How can we communicate in an inclusive way and solve conflicts constructively? How can we develop awareness of gender issues without provoking gender wars?


Ilona Buchem is professor for Digital Media and Diversity at Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany. Her courses focus on how digital media change current practices in education and business. In her research, she explores how to design and apply digital media to support open learning, collaboration, creativity, diversity and inclusion.

@mediendidaktik on Twitter

Netha Hussain // Diversifying India through outreach among women[edit]

Wikimedia’s gender gap is more pronounced in the Indian Wikimedia Community where only 3% of the participants of the editor survey (2011) were female as opposed to 9% globally. The presentation will focus on the context-specific barriers and challenges faced by Indian women in editing Wikipedia and how the Wikimedia community in India has attempted to bridge the gender gap. It will focus on the designs of outreach programs conducted in India for targeting different population groups, and the cultural aspects that are to be addressed while conducting outreach.

Netha Hussain is a medical student from Kerala, India. She began editing Wikipedia in 2010, contributing to the English and Malayalam Wikipedia. She has been involved in women topics and coordinated two edit-athons in India to increase the representation of women in Wikipedia and the coverage of articles about women in India. She is also an active blogger and has published various blog posts about Wikipedia and women.

@nethahussain on Twitter

Andrés Maggese // Preservation of indigenous languages through Wikipedia[edit]

The presentation will focus on Andrés Maggese’s work with school children in Argentina. Many children are of Guaraní or Quechua descent and still speak these languages besides Spanish, but most of them did not know about Wikipedia’s existence in their native languages. Over the last few months, Maggese and his partner have introduced them to these language versions of Wikipedia and taught them how to edit. The presentation will show the steps they took, the ensuing results so far and their expectations for the future.


Andrés Maggese, Wikipedian since 2012, has been working in schools in Argentina since last year. He currently works as a teaching assistant, focusing on Wikipedia in the classroom. With his partner, a sysop, he focuses on teaching children how to use and edit Wikipedia in Spanish, Guaraní and Quechua.

John Andersson // Thematic edit-a-thons as a way to reach new groups[edit]

The presentation will give an overview about what Wikimedia Sverige has done so far with regard to edit-a-thons. First, it will give examples followed by a general discussion on what can be learned from these. Wikimedia Sverige had three edit-a-thon events in 2012 and 2013 focusing on different topics. By means of a survey among the participants, they will be evaluated in order to find common denominators. The question is if carefully chosen thematic topics can help to get more women involved and if there is a need to change the format of an edit-a-thon to reach a successful outcome. Thus, the idea of the presentation is to share Wikimedia Sverige’s experiences with edit-a-thons and to get valuable input from others to continue work in this area.


John Andersson is a project manager at Wikimedia Sverige and has worked with the two projects Europeana Awareness and the Open Database of Public Art in Sweden up until the second half of 2013. Since July, he has also also been working with Wikipedia in education and has been involved in a project directed at immigrants who study Swedish. He has been an active contributor to Wikipedia and other free knowledge projects for about seven years and an administrator for the Swedish Wikipedia for six years.

Nemin Wang // Editor diversity on Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

Although Taiwan does not have the same population level as mainland China, 39% of all editors on Chinese Wikipedia come from Taiwan. Only 19% of them come from mainland China and 26% come from Hong Kong. These facts result in a really special editing environment. Neutral point of view has become more important and popular than verifiability and original research. The central question is: How do people with different ideologies improve Wikipedia?


Nemin Wang is an administrator and local community coordinator of Chinese Wikipedia. In the past three years, he has hosted more than 25 offline activities in five cities in China.

Gregory Varnum // LGBT Outreach[edit]

The session will focus on online and offline outreach to LGBT communities and wiki users by Wikimedians and Wikipedians. It will include a presentation on conducting effective LGBT outreach, a brief update on existing LGBT outreach by Wikimedia projects, and conclude with a group discussion.


Gregory Varnum's online work includes founding and serving as the lead administrator of WikiQueer, a Wikipedia style wiki for the LGBT communities; advising Netroots Nation LGBT outreach; volunteering for the Wikimedia movement – including serving on the Affiliations Committee, on the Wikimania Program Committee, as a Hackathon coordinator, MediaWiki developer, and doing offline outreach; and serving as a consultant to political, educational, and direct service organizations doing LGBT advocacy or outreach.

@GregVarnum on Twitter

Dumisani Ndubane // Wiki Indaba and the African agenda[edit]

The topic of this session will be the merits of Wiki Indaba and how the event is hoped to be the first organized response to the question of community building in Africa. The session will focus on diversities to be encountered in dealing with Wikimedians and organizations from different parts of Africa.


Dumisani Ndubane is the president of Wikimedia South Africa and proponent of Wiki Indaba. He has been a Wikimedian since 2008 and has experience with small language communities in South Africa. He has managed various projects for WMZA including Wiki Loves Monuments and Joburgpedia.

@Dumi_ndubs on Twitter

Katie Chan // Where's the T in Wikimedia Diversity[edit]

When the Wikimedia community talks about diversity issues, a lot of thoughts and bits are given to the low proportion of female editors, global south and attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual editors and article subjects. What is often not addressed are transgender issues, how they affect those of our editors that are concerned by these issues, and whether our approach towards transgender issues and subjects on our projects involve appropriate sensitivities. When transgender related discussions do occur, many of the participants often demonstrate a critical lack of understanding of the issues involved. This presentation will focus on transgender and gender nonconforming topics, Wikimedia projects’ coverage of it, and discuss possible initiatives to improve Wikimedia movement treatments of this area.


Katie Chan currently works as a volunteer support organizer for Wikimedia UK. She joined the Wikimedia movement in 2004 contributing to the English Wikipedia, before branching out into other projects in more recent times. Within the Wikimedia movement, she has previously served on the Foundation Election Committee in 2008 and 2013, the Grant Advisory Committee and Wikimania 2013 Scholarship Committee. She is currently an administrator on the English Wikipedia and a volunteer on OTRS.

@katieteresachan on Twitter

T Vishnu Vardhan // So many languages: Challenges and opportunities for the Wikimedia movement in India[edit]

Due to the large number of languages that exist in India, the country has more than 20 different Wikipedia language versions. However, most of them are neither significant in size nor in quality. The presentation looks at the challenges and opportunities the language diversity in India presents to the Indian Wikimedia movement. An attempt will also be made at speculating about possible models on how each language could potentially contribute to other Wikipedia language versions. The presentation will critically look at the following questions: Could language diversity diversify and develop an Indian language version of Wikipedia? Is there really unity in diversity?

T Vishnu Vardhan is the program director “Access to Knowledge” at CIS since February 2013. His experience spans across academics, industry (media) and not-for-profit sectors. Over the last eleven years, he has worked in various capacities as a researcher, grant manager, teacher, project consultant, information architect and translator.

@vishnuvardhan_t on Twitter

Jake Orlowitz // Inviting diversity: A playful approach to broadening our community[edit]

Like other open-source projects, Wikipedia’s culture can seem complicated, inaccessible, or even intimidating to newcomers. This impression can work against our aim for diversity. A series of experiments use welcoming social interaction to see how changing tone can increase diversity in communities like English Wikipedia and Meta-Wiki. This session will explore four strategies: invitation, acknowledgement, showcasing people, and playful design, which have been used in projects like The Wikipedia Adventure, Wikipedia’s Teahouse, WikiWomen’s Collaborative, and IdeaLab. Does this approach contribute to diversity in meaningful ways? Are there pieces of it that could be used in other projects?

Jake Orlowitz has been editing English Wikipedia and Meta-Wiki for five years. He focuses on outreach to new editors and all of the ways we can help attract and engage them. He has been an IRC channel operator in the wikipedia-en-help channel for three years, a Wikipedia Teahouse host and organizer, a creator of guides for new users, and the designer and builder of a learning game for new editors called The Wikipedia Adventure.

@JakeOrlowitz on Twitter

Matthew Flaschen, Jared Zimmerman, Vibha Bamba, Pau Giner // Engaging new editors by reducing barriers[edit]

Everyone learns and participates in different ways. This session focuses on how underrepresented groups of users face inordinate barriers to entry to becoming and remain editors. The current system favors a very small segment of users. Contributions from women and the global south are underrepresented, leading to a lack of diversity in the user population and the content that users are exposed to. We’ll look at some of the projects both underway and planned, to increase participation and reduce friction of ways to contribute.

Matthew Flaschen is a Software Engineer on the Wikimedia Foundation’s Growth Team. He has been part of the Wikimedia community since he joined Wikipedia in 2004. At the Foundation, he has been a developer on several projects focused on new editors.

Jared Zimmerman is Director of User Experience (UX) for the Wikimedia Foundation and responsible for the look and feel of the foundation and its projects in conjunction with the community.

Vibha Bamba is a Senior User Experience designer for the Wikimedia Foundation and currently works on VisualEditor, Wikipedia Mobile, and User Identity for overall editor growth and retention. Pau Giner is a User Experience designer for the Wikimedia Foundation and currently works on Editor Growth and Retention, Language Engineering, and Multimedia.

Pau Giner is a User Experience designer for the Wikimedia Foundation and currently works on Editor Growth and Retention, Language Engineering, and Multimedia.

@JaredZimmerman, @vibhabamba, @pauginer on Twitter

Ilona Buchem and Netha Hussain // Design Diversity[edit]

In this workshop, the participants will engage in designing concepts for actions targeted towards fostering diversity in Wikipedia. These actions can be interactive formats, networks, events, learning resources, research and projects of any kind. “Design as enquiry” will be used as a method to inspire innovative solutions. “Design” is meant here as epistemic activity which provides insights into the situation to be changed. Participants will work in small groups and use a variety of materials including pictures, objects, blocks etc. to build and visualize ideas.

READ MORE HERE: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Diversity_Conference/Design_Diversity

Ilona Buchem is professor for Digital Media and Diversity at Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin, Germany. Her courses focus on how digital media change current practices in education and business. In her research, she explores how to design and apply digital media to support open learning, collaboration, creativity, diversity and inclusion.

Netha Hussain is a medical student from Kerala, India. She began editing Wikipedia in 2010, contributing to the English- and Malayalam Wikipedia. She has been involved in women topics and coordinated two edit-a-thons in India to increase the representation of women in Wikipedia and the coverage of articles about women in India. She is also an active blogger and has published various blog posts about Wikipedia and women.

@mediendidaktik on Twitter

Alyssa Wright and Siko Bouterse // Creating a toolset for impact[edit]

Setting up experiments and demonstrating the impact of diversity (and lack thereof) can help us communicate the importance of it and make progress towards equitable representation in our community. But fear and inertia can stop us from trying new things. Measuring diversity, from current demographics to initiative outcomes, can be in tension with the ethos of privacy found at the heart of the open source movement. How do we track demographics to improve diversity within a context of privacy we want to preserve? How can we work towards diversity in ways that don’t alienate the existing community, and yet still demonstrate the impact of our approaches? The goal of this interactive session is to develop a common toolset for diversity experimentation and measurement which balances community concerns with grounded strategies for implementation.


Siko Bouterse works for the Wikimedia Foundation as Head of Individual Engagement Grants and started the Wikimedia IdeaLab, where she encourages people to turn ideas into action. She worked on projects like the WikiWomen‘s Collaborative and the Wikipedia Teahouse.

For the past five years, Alyssa Wright has worked in the open source geospatial industry as Vice President of Civic Programs at Boundless. Prior to her direct involvement in open source, she was a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and a research affiliate with the MIT Center for Civic Media where she studied technologies as tools for empathy.

@sikob & @alyssapwright on Twitter

Alyssa Wright // Collaborating with other open source communities[edit]

Wikipedia’s community is not the only technical one tackling questions of diversity in their ranks. What are other open source communities doing to address issues of representation and participation? This workshop is an opportunity to review research and strategies across communities, including recent work within the OpenStreetMap project. A fundamental assumption is that we cannot move a conversation about technical equity alone, it is only by working together that we can build the alliances, dialogue, support, techniques, and accountability required for technical equity.


For the past five years, Alyssa Wright has worked in the open source geospatial industry as Vice President of Civic Programs at Boundless. Prior to her direct involvement in open source, she was a graduate student at the MIT Media Lab and a research affiliate with the MIT Center for Civic Media where she studied technologies as tools for empathy.

@alyssapwright on Twitter

Ting Chen // The economy of Diversity[edit]

Nothing is for free, except Wikipedia. Diversity is also not for free. The discussion aims to answer the following questions: What is the price? At which cost is the Wikimedia movement ready to pay that price? What is the benefit and to which benefit can the Wikimedia movement get out of that price?


Ting Chen is a long term Wikimedian. He originally started editing the German Wikipedia in 2003 while studying at Braunschweig University of Technology but soon changed his focus to the Chinese Wikipedia. Ting Chen took part in the first Wikimania, which took place in Frankfurt in 2005 and he instructed the Chinese Wikipedia Community. He was chair of the Wikimedia Foundation from 2010 to 2012.

Valerie Aurora // Diversity initiatives that worked in other open communities[edit]

Other open culture and technology communities have similar diversity problems to Wikimedia communities, and some have made significant progress through specific diversity initiatives. This presentation will outline diversity initiatives from similar world-wide online open „stuff“ communities, analyze why they succeeded or failed, and conduct a round-table discussion on whether they might work for Wikimedia communities. These include: internships, travel scholarships, event anti-harassment policies, codes of conduct for online behavior, unstructured appeals for civility, pledges, petitions, leadership from event organizers, leadership from project leaders, keynotes, editorials, various forms of awareness-raising, and HOWTOs.


Valerie Aurora has more than ten years of experience as both an open source developer and an advocate for women in open source. In January 2011, Valerie co-founded the Ada Initiative with Mary Gardiner in order to work full-time on increasing the participation of women in open source, Wikipedia, and other areas of open technology and culture. Her volunteer work includes several years as a lead volunteer for LinuxChix, writing for Geek Feminism, and writing HOWTO Encourage Women in Linux.

@vaurora / @adainitiative on Twitter

Silvia Stieneker // Women edit - from a small local initiative to a nationwide network[edit]

Wikimedia Deutschland‘s program “Women edit” seeks to encourage women to actively participate in Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, or Wikivoyage. In November 2012, a monthly meet-up for women in Berlin who are interested in editing Wikipedia was initiated. It was soon found that many of the participating women are interested in real-life-contacts with experienced Wikiwomen and other female newbie-editors on a regular basis – it was thus decided to transfer the local idea to other places in Germany. The goal is to establish a nationwide network for women editors, who support each other (online and offline) and tell others that contributing is fun.


Silvia Stieneker currently works as a project manager for “Women edit” at Wikimedia Deutschland. Prior to that she worked as a primary school teacher and as a freelance journalist, texter, translator and trainer.

Emily Temple-Wood // Women scientists and philosophers on English Wikipedia[edit]

The session will cover efforts to correct systemic bias on the English Wikipedia in two critical biographical areas: scientists and philosophers. Kevin is working with a group of academics to address the lack of coverage of women philosophers on ENWP, a gap generated by the compounding gender imbalances of Wikimedia and philosophy. He will cover the details of this discrepancy and how collaboration between academia and ENWP might mitigate it. WikiProject Women Scientists is an important initiative to increase the abysmal coverage of female scientists on English Wikipedia. Of an estimated 3,000+ notable women scientists, only 1,500 have articles, and only 5 of those are Featured Articles. This session will cover reasons behind this and efforts to expand the project.


Emily Temple-Wood is a Wikipedia administrator and the founder of the English Wikipedia‘ s WikiProject Women Scientists. She has spoken about the project at two scientific conferences in 2013 and gave a talk at Wikimania 2013 that covered the project’s history and encouraged audience members to join. WikiProject Women Scientists has been very successful in 2013, producing many pieces of quality content on the English Wikipedia.

Gerard Meijssen // Wikidata as a tool to bring initial information[edit]

All Wikipedias suffer from a lack of information about the “global south.” When this information is known in Wikidata, it is relatively easy to bring this information as a stub to many languages. This is already done on some Wikipedias. In this presentation, Gerard Meijssen will explain what is needed to bring information to a language. He will also indicate possibilities that become possible as Wikidata matures.


Gerard Meijssen is a longtime Wikimedian and is especially interested in language and other cultures. He has been particularly active on Wiktionary, the language committee and, most recently, on Wikidata. He is also a frequent blogger about subjects like language, other cultures and Wikidata.

@GerardMeijssen on Twitter

Tim Moritz Hector // The Teahouse - why and how we internationalize it[edit]

The Teahouse project was started by fellows and employees of the Wikimedia Foundation. It provides a suitable, usable and friendly space for Wikipedia newcomers where they can ask questions and receive ideas about what to do and how to do it in Wikipedia. It especially addresses diverse target groups such as the elderly, people with little technical experience and women. So far, the project is implemented on the English Wikipedia but it is planned to adapt it for the German language version as well. The session will focus on how the Teahouse can help to fill the gap between online and offline support and why it works particularly well for women in order to increase diversity. It will also highlight the challenges of internationalization and discuss community-based problems in implementing it in different Wikimedia-projects.


Tim Moritz Hector is a an editor, mentor and administrator on the German Wikipedia. As a volunteer, he is engaging in projects at Wikimedia Deutschland with a focus on addressing new editors. He conducts courses about Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, was Wikipedian in Residence at the #ZDFcheck (ZDF is a public-service broadcasting television) and supports the German wikiHow as community facilitator.

@Tim_Moritz on Twitter

Sydney Poore // Mentoring: how to mentor women and older people in the Wikimedia movement[edit]

The presentation gives an overview about different approaches for mentoring which will encourage a diverse group of volunteers in all types of volunteer jobs in the Wikimedia movement. It includes a focus on encouraging women and older people to fill on-site and off-site volunteer jobs.


Sydney Poore has been a Wikimedia volunteer since 2005 and has served in the Wikimedia Funds Dissemination Committee since 2012. She also served in other committees within the Wikimedia movement such as the Wikimedia Funds Dissemination Advisory Group (2012), the Wikimedia Ombudsmen Commission (2011, 2012, 2013), and the English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee (2007-2009).

@SydneyPoore on Twitter

Alolita Sharma // The question of culture: changing the diversity equation of open source[edit]

The culture of open source presents significant barriers to encouraging contributions from a diverse community. Many open source projects believe that contributions can come from anywhere and everywhere and that they promote the emergence of innovative software from their communities. However, maintaining an open collaborative model with a diverse group of contributors from all over the world is hard. Encouraging and spreading the culture of diversity in open source engineering contributions is key to driving innovation. Successful open source projects like MediaWiki/Wikimedia, Firefox/ Mozilla have used a variety of strategies to increase participation and diversity. The aim of the presentation and following discussion is to show what works, what does not and how culture, diversity and open source innovation are closely related.


Alolita Sharma is Director of Engineering for Internationalisation and Localisation at Wikipedia. She has been working with open source software and has promoted its adoption for almost two decades. Alolita is board member of the Software Freedom Law Center, emeritus board member of the Open Source Initiative, and a passionate advocate of Open Source and the Open Web.

@alolita on Twitter

Siko Bouterse // Ideas into Action: IdeaLab Diversity working session[edit]

Conferences are best when the connections we make and conversations we have are followed up by action! Throughout the conference, we will be gathering a list of projects and ideas for improving diversity that come up over the course of presentations and discussions. The idea of the workshop is to turn some of the best ideas into actionable projects. Participants can begin drafting project plans in IdeaLab on Meta-Wiki, or otherwise dive into organizing and getting started with work on projects to improve diversity in Wikimedia communities.


Siko Bouterse works for the Wikimedia Foundation as Head of Individual Engagement Grants and started the Wikimedia IdeaLab, where she encourages people to turn ideas into action. She worked on projects like the WikiWomen‘s Collaborative and the Wikipedia Teahouse.

@Sikob on Twitter