We co-hosted 11 netpolitical evenings in 2017, with an average of 50 participants (220 participants from Aug-Dec 2017, 550 in total), covering topics from EU advocacy, cyber feminism, open source art and to state of the art research around e-privacy. The May edition of the netpolitical evening even featured an all female speakers line-up! The event also has a loyal remote audience via live stream and broadcasting of various free radio stations across Austria. In addition, it became a valuable platform to find partners, participants, or multipliers for WMAT activities (e.g. #mediana17, Wikimedia Hackathon, art+feminism, Wikidata workshops). The initiative is 100% volunteer run and cost neutral, the venue is an in-kind donation by the local hackspace Metalab.
For us, Wiki Loves Parliament is a great way to combine the creation of useful content for Wikipedia and Commons and establishing local contacts in the Federal States and educating politicians about free knowledge and free licenses. This year we got the chance to visit the local parliament in Vorarlberg, in Western Austria. As in earlier similar projects, it was a close cooperation of six Austrian and German volunteers, led by Plani. The team of photographers and editors managed to photograph all members of parliament and almost all members of the local government, as well the parliament building and public parts of the sessions. In addition, many articles could be improved (not counting improvements by inserting pictures) as a result of the interaction between politicians and Wikimedians. 36 of 36 members of parliament and 5 of 7 members of government were present. The pictures taken of them had an exceptionally high percentage of quality images according to the Commons community.
As in previous years, WMAT supported the WikiCup in the German-language Wikipedia with the main prize, the WikiCup trophy. 38 editors participated in this year's competition. The WikiCup 2017 resulted in 3189 new or revised articles.
The Young Wikipedians ("Jungwikipedianer") are a community of German-language Wikipedians under the age of 18. The purpose of the group is to provide a pressure-free environment, to make friends and to develop articles together. They help each other on-wiki. Once a year there is a Young Wikipedians meeting in real life. This year they met in the city of Düsseldorf in Germany. Two of the 25 participants came from Austria and were supported with travel grants by WMAT. In addition to the important social aspects of this event, the Young Wikipedians also addressed the current Wikimedia strategy discussion.
WMAT's last strategy meeting (including the annual Christmas dinner) took place on December 17 in Vienna. For the first time, most of the input came from our newly established strategic working groups (i.e. organisational development, Wikiversity, Wikimedia Commons, communitiy, new contributors and diversity, partnerships and international relations) which consist of WMAT board and staff members as well as volunteer leaders from our community. The result was the co-creation of the program focus and budget planning and/or update for these areas, which were discussed and approved by the bord during the strategy meeting. Even after this short time (the groups were only set up three months ago) we are positive that this new model leads to more transparency, inclusion, shared responsibility, and new ideas. Hence, it was also decided to transfer some direct decision-making power over the respective budgets to the groups. The meeting was facilitated by the three staff members, the participants were seven board members, including two women.