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Preparing to host 300 guests. Jason Krüger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., Wikimedia Conference 2017 – 20, CC BY-SA 4.0

Three program tracks with something for every taste

The program for the Wikimedia Conference 2018 is taking shape. We’ve spent the last weeks processing all the participant registrations and turning the answers into sessions for this year’s conference. By now, we’ve cooked up a crisp preliminary program (changes will still occur), and we’re quite happy with how it has turned out. The scheduling of the different sessions will be published in around two weeks, but we’re excited to already share a preview with you here.

As previously announced, the conference will again have three programmatic tracks: Movement Strategy, Movement Partnerships, and Capacity-Building & Learning. It goes for all three tracks that we’ve mainly focused on interactive sessions that require active participation. We therefore recommend all participants to prepare for the conference, and will also send out some relevant reading material in advance.

The Strategy Journey

The Strategy Track will kick off Phase II of the Movement Strategy process. In this track every session builds on the previous. The opportunities and challenges raised by the Strategic Direction will be addressed, as well as its contextualization for all affiliates. The Strategy Track will require a high level of commitment; it’s a journey where we’d like the participants to be on board for all three days of the conference.

The aim is to create the initial structure of a number of thematic working groups that throughout the coming year will work on how to tackle different issues (to be named at the WMCON) in light of the Strategic Direction.

If you were looking forward to the Partnerships and Capacity-Building & Learning tracks, but still would like to know what’s going on in the Strategy Process, do not despair: There’ll be plenary sessions in between where everyone will have a chance to participate.

Pick and choose from the Partnerships and Learning buffets

After a successful Partnerships Track last year, we’re doing it again! Within this track there’ll be a “Partnerships Playbook”, chapters I, II, and III, about general partnership practices. Also, anyone who’s experiencing concrete problems will have the chance to consult our experts in the Partnerships Clinic. As a response to the widely expressed interest in cross-affiliate partnerships there’ll be a Partnerships Market. Bring your idea to the market – and you might get another affiliate as partner! Finally, if you’re looking for some inspiration, you can visit the three sharing talks about partnerships on GLAM, Education, and Grassroots.

For the Capacity-Building & Learning Track, we again saw that there’s a high interest in different aspects of governance, as well as community support, event organisation, and the use of different tools. Within these themes we have the following sessions in place:

There’ll also be a two-hours workshop on Structured Data on Commons that we know many will be interested in. You can see the full program here.

Side orders to the program

The majority of the registration answers again showed that the WMCON is important as a place to meet each other and network. We’re still working on the social program around the conference, and on making sure that there’ll be spaces for meet-ups and informal conversations. Remember to add your regional, thematic or language-specific meet-up to the WMCON 2018 page.

In the meantime, we’re every day posting a quote and photo of one of this year’s participants. If you’re interested in familiarizing yourself with some of these, you’ll find our facebook group here.

In the facebook group we’ve also been posting a couple of facts and photos from the first WMCONs to show how the conference has developed over time. We were partly inspired to do this because we’ve been working on a report on our learnings from the last three years of organizing the WMCON. You can find the report here.

The conference will take place in the same venue as last year. We look forward to seeing you! Beko, Wikimedia Conference 2017 Day 2․ (6), CC BY-SA 4.0

The Wikimedia Conference 2018 takes place in Berlin from 20 to 22 April, 2018.