Registration is open for Wikimania 2017, the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects. The event will take place in Montréal, Canada from August 9–13, the first time ever in Canada. Free knowledge leaders and hundreds of volunteer editors will come together at the Centre Sheraton Montréal for three days of talks, discussions, meetups, training, and workshops.
At this event, the biggest wiki gathering of the year, attendees will discuss the advancement of free knowledge, the role of academia, cultural institutions, and technology in free knowledge, privacy and digital rights, and the future of the Wikimedia movement. The conference’s programming spans a diverse range of topics, from modeling and ingesting performing arts-related data into Wikidata to evaluating the impact of journals on Wikipedia (and dozens more).
This year’s conference—which is co-organized by the local independent affiliate organization, Wikimedia Canada and the Wikimedia Foundation— will also present a unique opportunity for participants to engage in Wikimedia 2030: a global consultation to define Wikimedia’s future role in the world. Over the past six months, hundreds of volunteer editors, Wikimedia affiliates, experts, researchers, donors, readers, and partners have joined the conversation to consider what the world will look like in 2030, and what we want to achieve as a free knowledge movement. At Wikimania 2017, participants will be able to join in-person sessions and conversations to discuss what we’ve learned so far and where we want to go in the future.
What you’ll find at this year’s Wikimania
Andrew Lih (User:Fuzheado), who has attended every Wikimania since 2005, says that he’s learned something new every time he’s attended Wikimania. “No matter the logistical complications, there has never been a bad Wikimania because the people in the community are so incredibly interesting and productive,” he says. “Just getting them together in one room always yields great collaborations.”
This year, Andrew says he’s particularly looking forward to the first time French has been a significant part of any Wikimania conference. “We’re collaborating with the Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec (BAnQ) during the event, as they have expressed interest in projects beyond just Wikipedia—in Wikisource and Wikidata,” he says. A keynote speech will feature Frédéric Giuliano, the Archivist-Coordinator at BAnQ, in conversation with Hélène Laverdure, Curator and Director General of the National Archives at BAnQ.
Other keynote speakers include:
- Susan N. Herman, the President of the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Jimmy Wales in conversation with Gabriella Coleman, the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University, facilitated by Evan Prodromou, an Internet entrepreneur and wiki and software developer based in Montréal.
- Esra’a Al Shafei, a Bahraini human rights activist and outspoken defender of free speech, and founder of Majal.org, a network of online platforms that amplify under-reported and marginalized voices.
- Katherine Maher the Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and its sister projects, in conversation with Christophe “schiste” Henner, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.
In addition, there are more than 100 community-submitted talks and more than a dozen workshops on topics including making access affordable, collaboration under censorship, and legal threats to free knowledge. Wikimedia Canada will also feature programming related to Canada’s cultural heritage and free knowledge communities.
“Wikimedia Canada members will present inspiring projects at Wikimania 2017, the result of successful collaborations with several Canadian public and private institutions,” explains Wikimedia Canada president Benoit Rochon. “The archives of BAnQ (Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec) on Wikimedia Commons which have been viewed more than 30 million times, the first Aboriginal encyclopedia in Canada (Atikamekw, one of the largest and still active First Nations language) on Wikipedia and the WikiMed conference are all unique accomplishments we will proudly share with the international Wikimania participants.”
Wikimania registration is now available through the Wikimania registration page.
If you cannot attend Wikimania in person, there are still opportunities to follow along. Select sessions will be livestreamed throughout the conference on YouTube and Facebook Live on the Wikipedia Facebook page; more information will be available in early August. You can also follow @Wikimania and the hashtag #wikimania on Twitter. We will round up presentations and highlights for both Meta and our blog after the conference ends.
Melody Kramer, Senior Audience Development Manager, Communications