Perhaps stating the obvious, but please remember there were some
significant flaws with the consultation by the WMF that you refer to
(especially with regards to the way questions were phrased and options were
limited beforehand, if I recall correctly).

Wikimania's purpose is mostly pluriform and suits different needs for
different people. That makes it particularly hard to evaluate - I grant you
that. But given the diverse directions that we're trying to bring together,
ranging from individuals to highly professionalized 100+ employee
organizations, this is to be expected. To reduce costs, we have squashed
more and more activities into this one annual event. That further
reinforces the pluriform nature of the event(s). At this point it's hard to
see Wikimania as an event, and it has more become like a piece of
infrastructure that is being used by many events - including the main
conference, but also tons of meetups, preconferences, committee meetings,
strategy processes, consultations and side conferences.


On Fri, Sep 28, 2018 at 5:36 AM Chris Keating <>

> > > So it seems that the main rationale for an annual Wikimania brought up
> in
> > > the 2016 meeting was that Wikimania was vital for movement governance
> and
> > > accountability. Which wasn't particularly stressed in the WMF's
> > > consultation, but I can see why that kind of issue was very fresh in
> > > peoples' minds in 2016.
> > >
> >
> > As the facilitator of the 2016 session discussing Wikimania, I don't
> recall
> > the "main rationale" of the discussion being about "governance and
> > accountability" and instead remember many more issues that stood out.
> >
> > For example, the prominent phrases from the first part of the meeting
> > include the following, with most of the notes echoing these themes:
> > - inspiring, and connecting
> > - opportunity for different communities to meet
> > - important to use opportunity to do outreach
> > - empower important volunteers
> Sorry, previous email sent half-finished.
> Sorry, don't think I expressed myself particularly well. Yes, those
> themes appear to have been present in the meeting, but they were also
> very much present in the WMF's consultation, which concluded that they
> could probably be fulfilled just as well by moving to a
> one-year-in-two rotation between Wikimanias and other regional
> gatherings.
> The thing that was present in the in-person meeting, but not from the
> consultation exercise, was the statement from all the chapter chairs
> saying that Wikimania was vital for movement governance and
> accountability.
> Then of course there was a lot of enthusiasm about the idea of
> continuing Wikimania from people attending Wikimania who have attended
> many previous Wikimanias. Putting a load of people present at an event
> in a room and saying "should this event continue to happen?" is not
> great for rigorous decision-making.
> (BTW, I'm not saying I favour the other option - the regional
> conferences seem to be happening anyway)
> > 2. The Wikimedia Conference (WMCON) has pivoted to become the Wikimedia
> > Summit. In the process, they announced "learning and capacity-building
> will
> > not be part of the program." [2] Therefore I'd argue that the onus is
> even
> > *more* on conferences like Wikimania to facilitate this.
> That would be good! But it kind of returns to the point that
> Wikimania's purpose is still fairly ill-defined. Personally I would
> really welcome Wikimania becoming explicitly focused on learning and
> capacity-building, because currently its focus changes every year and
> often when a focus is articulated it's not necessarily followed
> through.
> Chris
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