Wikimedia Conference group photo (the other way round)
The Wikimedia Conference 2017 was different than the previous events in many regards - from the number of participants to the scope and complexity of topics covered - this Wikimedia event was one of a kind. We were very impressed by the work of WMDE and the WMF to make it work for so many different audiences, needs, and challenges, comprising everything from mass strategy workshops to regular skill transfer sessions as well as networking and exchange. We were happy to contribute to the conference with some of our know-how concerning grantmaking, organisational development, and community work while at the same time being able to participate in the discussions around movement strategy. As always, the Wikimedia Conference was also a good opportunity to connect people and ideas, in our case especially the "Whose Knowledge?" team with our "Wikipedia for Peace" initiative, as they share many goals and values. We also gathered many good ideas around event management for our Hackathon in Vienna a few weeks later: the sticker set to customize name badges, the printed conference guide, and conference equipment in the new corporate design.
One of the few downsides of the conference was that we were restricted to three participants (for comprehensible reasons given the sheer size of this year's conference) but it would have been a good opportuinty for us to introduce one of our new board members to the international movement and get their valuable external insights and perspective on the strategy process.
The idea of Pre-Hackathons was first implemented by Wikimedia Isreal last year, when they organized the Wikimedia Hackathon. They hosted a workshop for their local community to get them ready for the Hackathon by explaining the basics platforms (MediaWiki, GitHub, Phabricator etc.) and to combine it with an install party. In addition there was a Pre-Hackathon in Palestine for volunteers who would not be able to cross the borders to Israel for the main event. WMAT adopted both concepts and adapted them to our own context: We had two workshops in Vienna for local volunteers, one for women and non-binary coders only and one for all genders. The idea here was to also provide information and assistance to get ready and installed for the main event, but also to form networks among like-minded newcomers, so they have familiar faces at the main event with 200+ people. The level of collaboration and the retention rate (participation at the main event) much higher at the female/non-binary workshop, and the participants formed peer groups that were re-activated during the main Hackathon. We also inspired and supported coding workshops and Pre-Hackathons in partner communities of the Central and Eastern European (CEE) region, i.e. Greece, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic. During a joint presentation at this years CEE meeting in Warsaw, sharing our various approaches and respective learnings.
Throne of Cards IV was an international eSports tournament with 25 participants in Vienna. In the German-language Wikipedia, there is a wikiproject for eSports which was founded and is maintained by user Peshay159. The idea was to improve the connection between the eSports community and the Wikipedia community because of their common interest in digital media. WMAT contributed to the catering of the tournament and helped with organizational issues concerning Wikipedians. Lists of missing Wikipedia articles were created and Wikipedians could take photographs of the contestants. The outcome regarding content creation was below expectations (45 new images, 1 new article). In terms of awareness for the possibility of contributing to Wikipedia, 257,940 unique visitors were reached via the event's streaming platform.