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Discussions/The future of Wikimania

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy

The Discussion Room is a space for open and facilitated discussions at Wikimania. Participation of the audience in the session is critical, because there are no speakers, and there is no expert panel!

You can find a full overview of the discussion topics on the Discussion Room main page. Please note: there is limited seating available, and we're not saving any seats! Please be on time, but feel free to join during the midway break between two discussions.

Practical facts

The future of Wikimania
Date & Time
Sunday 26 June, 14.45–15.25h
Fuzheado & Mike Peel
Primary School


The Discussion Rooms host discussions with a specific style:

  • Discussions of 40 minutes each;
  • Clearly defined topic for each discussion, related to Wikimedia;
  • Aiming to reach pre-defined goals during the discussion;
  • Discussions take place in English;
  • Discussions are moderated by a facilitator;
  • There is no audience as everybody is expected to participate in discussions, and everybody is audience;
  • Key lessons and points are documented live on etherpad, and may be processed later;
  • Each discussion will come with a single recommendation of maximum 120 characters.

Each discussion targets specifically online Wikimedia projects, it lasts 40 minutes and it starts with a short 2-3 minutes introduction.

To set the tone of our discussions, we have three rules:

  • Focus on YOU. We are interested in discussing and triggering individual action, things people can personally do and change to improve our Wikimedia projects and movement. We trust the discussion can be much more interesting if we do not focus on what others should do ("the others", Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Be constructive and polite. Disagreements animate discussions and they can allow us to unfold all issues related to a topic. Let's avoid personal attacks, let's consider that we have different backgrounds and let's aim at making everybody comfortable in sharing their legitimate point of view.
  • Be short and on topic. Let's create space for everyone to express his/her opinion.



As the Wikimedia community has grown and changed in the past eleven years, so has Wikimania, the annual community conference. It has grown in scale, changed in nature, experimented with different styles and tracks, and explored different pricing and scholarship models, venues and purposes. This year's conference is an example of that experimentation. Many attendees consider it the height of their wiki year, and the most effective way to build strong relationships with community members across the globe, make progress on tricky issues, and secure agreement and mutual understanding. At its very largest, however, Wikimania has attracted fewer than 0.1% of the active editors of the sites.

  • Review facts and figures for past Wikimanias: number of participants, budget, diversity, focus etc.
  • Many members cannot take on the luxury of attending a global conference, because they have commitments that make it impossible to travel, or travel such a great distance, because they do not have the funds and cannot get a scholarship, or other reasons. How do we assist as many of our community members as possible to enjoy the Wikimania experience?
  • Discuss what we each hope for the future of community conferences in general, and consider what changes might improve them. Where should our work be focused? How do we make things better than they are?
Targeted Participants
  • New and experienced community members interested in community dynamics, events, engagement and culture.
  • People from communities currently ill-served by the existing provision.
  • Previous and prospective sponsors of such events, like the Wikimedia Foundation and chapters.
Preparatory readings or materials

(This discussion topic is based mostly on the submission: "The future of Wikimania and other community conferences)

Interested attendees

Pinging James Forrester