Wikimania 2017/Relazione Liam Wyatt

Da Wikimedia Italia.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Scusami, questa relazione è in inglese...

My formal activity at Wikimania Montreal was the presentation of the results of my major volunteer activity this year: the Fair Use in Australia policy advocacy campaign (project homepage on Meta). I delivered this 30 minute talk with the WMF's Joseph Seddon: (video, slides and conference program submission). From feedback from the audience I believe the presentation was a success, but that's not for me to judge! Part of the value of this presentation - aside from demonstrating the kind of copyright-advocacy work that has been happening in Australia (which I initiated and coordinated while living in Italy) - was to showcase some new methods of running advocacy campaigns that have not happened before in our community. These include click-to-dropdown CentralNotice banners, and collaborating with existing advocacy organisations on copyright topics which are not directly affecting to Wikipedia itself (even though ideologically within our movement's scope of 'free access to knowledge').

Relatedly, was invited to attend, and spoke at, a lunchtime gathering of community members involved in policy and advocacy around the world (led by Jan from WMF and Dimi from FKAGEU). We discussed Freedom of Panorama, censorship and blocking, and of course Fair Use.

FDC meetings
As a recently re-elected member of the Funds Dissemination Committee, and its current deputy-chair, a large portion of my time in Montreal was spent in face-to-face meetings with applicants for Annual Plan Grants (APG). Three other FDC members were also present at Wikimania (including WM-IT's Lorenzo Losa).

Each meeting lasted approximately an hour. And, although the contents of these meetings must remain private, in chronological order I was involved in meetings with staff and board members of:

  • Wikimeda Deutschland;
  • Kiwix (a major component of, and deeply integrated with Wikimedia CH);
  • Wikimedia Argentina;
  • Wikimedia Nederland;
  • Wikimedia Serbia;
  • Wikimedia Norge;
  • Wikimedia UK;
  • Wikimedia Israel;
  • Wikimedia Sverige;
  • and the Wiki Ed Foundation which wishes to join the APG process for the first time this year.

Also, the FDC met with the members of the Affiliations Committee (which included WM-IT's Camelia Boban) to discuss the ways that our two committees - which have overlapping responsibility for Chapter-oversight - can and should work together in a more consistent way. Both committees expect that the practical outcomes of the Movement Strategy process will change the way "movement accountability" is managed, so a lot is dependent on that process.

There is very high value in these in-person meetings between FDC members and APG applicants. One of the consistent pieces of feedback from all the applicants was that they do not feel they 'understand' or 'know' the FDC well enough - and that it would help them to improve the quality of their annual plans if they did. At present, the FDC operation budget includes capacity for two members to go to WikimediaConference Berlin (also known as the Affiliates Conference) each year, and zero to Wikimania. Therefore, the four FDC members in Montreal were all funded through other methods (such as WM-IT scholarship for me), even though we spent most of our time on FDC-duty. We hope that in future years, the FDC operation budget will include capacity to send representatives officially to Wikimania. We hope that the amount of time we spent on of FDC-duty workload has demonstrated the value of that expense.


  • I was able to meet with, and spend a lot of time talking to, the new team running the Structured Data on Commons project. This will be crucial infrastructure for the future of GLAM-Wiki work.
  • Relatedly, I was able to meet with the new manager of the WMF's Community Programs team (responsible for all GLAM and Education activities at the WMF) Ben Vershbow. The creation of this position is very signifiant step forward for the future of GLAM-Wiki collaborations.
  • I participated in several sessions of the movement strategy sessions - and in particular I asked an important question (in my opinion at least) of both WMF and WM-DE leadership in the room, what kinds of power their organisations would be willing to relinquish depending on the practical needs of the Strategy plan. This, I believe, is important to build trust among all movement entities that we act in the greater interest not merely to increase the power of our own parts of the movement.
  • Having already been involved in the "conference theme design" team for Wikimania Cape Town next year, I have been asked to be one of the program coordinators.
  • Many casual conversations and enjoyable interactions with all sorts of different people across the movement! Hard to quantify, or make a formal report about, but possibly this is the most valuable part :-)