DSN-Indaba-22062014

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The first day was spent listening to delegates, recount the state of community efforts in their home countries, the unique challenges they face as well as future plans. We learned how group dynamics and diversity helped Tunisia acquire the status of being the [[m:Wikimedia_Tunisie|Newly recognised African user group]], and from Egypt we learned how universities are responding to Wikipedia. From Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon, we learned of the local efforts of WiR at Africa Centre and how they are linking up with local academia and Art to expose the public to Wikipedia. We learned of grass roots efforts from Ghana and Nigeria, in reaching out to schools and the public in general. We heard how difficult it is to arrange events without the approval of local authorities. From Cameroon we learned how Wiki Loves Monuments improved acceptance of Wikipedia through the competition. From Ethiopia we learned about the dangers faced by bloggers and how Wikipedia is often mistaken to Wikileaks. We learned how some wikipedians have actually been incarcerated for blogging. From Malawi and Tanzania we learned how Wikipedians are fusing their entrepreneurial skills with open knowledge. From Kenya we learned of efforts to regroup and pursue chapter status again. We learned of the efforts of university students to build a community in Botswana. From Namibia we learned of a renewed effort to experiment on oral citations as a way to create acceptance of local and indigenous knowledge into Wikipedia. We learned of community efforts in South Africa, which still hsa the only chapter in the continent. At the end of the day, we reviewed statistics of African language wikipedias and the insights that can be drawn from these. The day was rounded up by a presentation on Wikimedia Foundation's global south strategy and how it is poised to assit communities in the continent.       
 
The first day was spent listening to delegates, recount the state of community efforts in their home countries, the unique challenges they face as well as future plans. We learned how group dynamics and diversity helped Tunisia acquire the status of being the [[m:Wikimedia_Tunisie|Newly recognised African user group]], and from Egypt we learned how universities are responding to Wikipedia. From Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon, we learned of the local efforts of WiR at Africa Centre and how they are linking up with local academia and Art to expose the public to Wikipedia. We learned of grass roots efforts from Ghana and Nigeria, in reaching out to schools and the public in general. We heard how difficult it is to arrange events without the approval of local authorities. From Cameroon we learned how Wiki Loves Monuments improved acceptance of Wikipedia through the competition. From Ethiopia we learned about the dangers faced by bloggers and how Wikipedia is often mistaken to Wikileaks. We learned how some wikipedians have actually been incarcerated for blogging. From Malawi and Tanzania we learned how Wikipedians are fusing their entrepreneurial skills with open knowledge. From Kenya we learned of efforts to regroup and pursue chapter status again. We learned of the efforts of university students to build a community in Botswana. From Namibia we learned of a renewed effort to experiment on oral citations as a way to create acceptance of local and indigenous knowledge into Wikipedia. We learned of community efforts in South Africa, which still hsa the only chapter in the continent. At the end of the day, we reviewed statistics of African language wikipedias and the insights that can be drawn from these. The day was rounded up by a presentation on Wikimedia Foundation's global south strategy and how it is poised to assit communities in the continent.       
  
[[File:Wiki Indaba Conference 2014, Day 2 11.jpg|thumb|WMF Grants Team]]
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[[File:Wiki_Indaba_Conference_2014,_Day_2_11.jpg|thumb|left|WMF Grants Team]]
[[File:Wiki Indaba Conference 2014, Day 2 15.jpg|thumb|Wikipedia Zero Presentation]]
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[[File:Wiki_Indaba_Conference_2014,_Day_2_15.jpg|thumb|left|Wikipedia Zero Presentation]]
 
After a refreshing social event in the heart of Johannesburg, We were back to Day 2 and onto business. Delegates got a chance to interact with the Wikimedia Foundation grants team (Anasuya and Asaf) and to ask important questions about available funding opportunities to enable them to run outreach events in their countries. Many misconceptions were dispelled and delegates gained confidence in planning future projects with the assurance that funding and support will be available when they eventually need them.     
 
After a refreshing social event in the heart of Johannesburg, We were back to Day 2 and onto business. Delegates got a chance to interact with the Wikimedia Foundation grants team (Anasuya and Asaf) and to ask important questions about available funding opportunities to enable them to run outreach events in their countries. Many misconceptions were dispelled and delegates gained confidence in planning future projects with the assurance that funding and support will be available when they eventually need them.     
  

Revision as of 12:16, 12 July 2014

Title

Africa's first Regional Conference gathers Wikimedians in Johannesburg

Body

Wiki Indaba 2014
Conference memorabilia

This June, Wikimedia South Africa hosted over 35 Wikimedians in Johannesburg for the first ever Wiki Indaba Regional Conference. All four regions in Africa were represented by at least 1 country, with West Africa having the lion's share. For three days, we talked about the need, challenges and solutions for activating wikipedia editing communities in the continent, in order to fulfill our vision of sharing the sum of all human knowledge with the world.

We left with a renewed sense of purpose and united goal to create wikipedia editing communities in our respective countries, through clear communication channels and co-operation plans, even while being reminded that we don’t have a magic wand to accomplish these goals overnight.

The first day was spent listening to delegates, recount the state of community efforts in their home countries, the unique challenges they face as well as future plans. We learned how group dynamics and diversity helped Tunisia acquire the status of being the Newly recognised African user group, and from Egypt we learned how universities are responding to Wikipedia. From Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon, we learned of the local efforts of WiR at Africa Centre and how they are linking up with local academia and Art to expose the public to Wikipedia. We learned of grass roots efforts from Ghana and Nigeria, in reaching out to schools and the public in general. We heard how difficult it is to arrange events without the approval of local authorities. From Cameroon we learned how Wiki Loves Monuments improved acceptance of Wikipedia through the competition. From Ethiopia we learned about the dangers faced by bloggers and how Wikipedia is often mistaken to Wikileaks. We learned how some wikipedians have actually been incarcerated for blogging. From Malawi and Tanzania we learned how Wikipedians are fusing their entrepreneurial skills with open knowledge. From Kenya we learned of efforts to regroup and pursue chapter status again. We learned of the efforts of university students to build a community in Botswana. From Namibia we learned of a renewed effort to experiment on oral citations as a way to create acceptance of local and indigenous knowledge into Wikipedia. We learned of community efforts in South Africa, which still hsa the only chapter in the continent. At the end of the day, we reviewed statistics of African language wikipedias and the insights that can be drawn from these. The day was rounded up by a presentation on Wikimedia Foundation's global south strategy and how it is poised to assit communities in the continent.

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WMF Grants Team
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Wikipedia Zero Presentation

After a refreshing social event in the heart of Johannesburg, We were back to Day 2 and onto business. Delegates got a chance to interact with the Wikimedia Foundation grants team (Anasuya and Asaf) and to ask important questions about available funding opportunities to enable them to run outreach events in their countries. Many misconceptions were dispelled and delegates gained confidence in planning future projects with the assurance that funding and support will be available when they eventually need them.

The Ada Initiative’s Valerie Aurora and Alyssa Wright from OpenStreetMap each shared information from other open source communities they’ve participated in, calling upon participants to lend and borrow strategies across communities grappling with similar issues. Many attendees agreed that proactively inviting diverse groups of contributors and then providing social support to encourage participation can be a meaningful way to foster increased diversity in our communities. This theme was explicitly raised in a presentation by Jake Orlowitz and Siko Bouterse, and it reverberated in several other conversations and initiatives discussed throughout the conference.

Session notes

Participants have begun capturing key findings from past initiatives as Learning Patterns. Six new patterns were generated at Diversity Conference and we expect to see more diversity-related learnings in the future. Working groups at the conference also generated nine ideas for new projects in IdeaLab, including a Wikiproject to support the community in dealing with mental health issues and a global user group aimed at closing the gender gap. We hope you’ll help grow these plans for future collaborations into actionable initiatives in the coming weeks and months!

IdeaLab working group

The conference ended with participants creating actions items for four areas of diversity-focused work: women, LGBT, geographic diversity, and technology. We also started a Diversity page on Meta-wiki to better communicate the importance of diversity in Wikimedia and collectively imagine how we will get to a more diverse future together - improvements to this new page are welcome.

What still seems missing among these various discrete points of learning and action, though, is a concrete sense that we have an overarching strategy for increasing diversity in our community, and a common set of tools to draw upon. This was the first global Wikimedia gathering specifically focused on diversity. As we continue the conversation, can we begin to weave these various findings, ideas and tools into a strategic plan for the future?

(Watch videos from the conference participants on Wikimedia Commons here. Complete conference documentation is available on Meta-wiki. Many thanks to our wonderful hosts at Wikimedia Deutschland in Berlin for a well-organized event, and to all participants for sharing their knowledge and experiences at this conference. We look forward to continuing this conversation in the coming months.)

Siko Bouterse, Head of Individual Engagement Grants, Wikimedia Foundation

Notes

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