Wikimania  festival ends on a high note with participants enjoying mind blowing sessions

Wikimania festival ends on a high note with participants enjoying mind blowing sessions

BY WIKIPEDIA SPOKE PERSON,17TH AUG,2022– The Festival Edition of Wikimania lived up to its name with volunteers
participating in person and virtually in sessions celebrating all things WIkipedia and Wikimedia projects with hackathons, training, discussions, exhibitions and everything from mariachi performances to laughter meditation.
Wikimania took place from 11-14 August, and was co-organized by Wikimedia volunteers and the Wikimedia Foundation, the global nonprofit that supports Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects.

The conference program included over 120 sessions, including the annual Wikimedian of the Year awards, presented by Wikipedia Founder, Jimmy Wales. The Wikimedians of the Year  awards have been running since 2011. To date 24 Wikimedians have been recognized for their contribution to the free knowledge movement from all over the world. The awards this year were bigger than ever, and honored Wikipedia editors and other contributors to Wikimedia projects highlighting major achievements within the Wikimedia movement. The award winners (with full details available in a blog here) were:
Wikimedian of the Year: Olga Paredes Based in Bolivia, Olga is a volunteer leader in multiple Wikimedia communities, including Wikimujeres and Wikimedistas de Bolivia.

Her outstanding leadership and commitment to  collaboration has led to the growth of the movement, particularly in Latin America and to the  encouragement of active participation from women.
Wikimedia Laureate: Andrew Lih Andrew is an internationally-renowned Wikipedia expert, author, professor, and Wikimedia
contributor. In 2003, he was the first person to teach Wikipedia at the university level, instructing
his students to write and edit pages about sites in Hong Kong.  Wikimedia Laureate: Deror Lin In addition to being an inspiring editor and a prolific contributor, Deror has been instrumental in  convening Wikimedia community members from around the world as a key organizer of multiple Wikimanias, famously the 2011 Wikimania in his native Israel.

Honorable Mention: Anna Torres Anna is the Executive Director of Wikimedia Argentina, who over the last nine years has grown  a vision for more and more voices, leaders, and communities from Latin America to join the Wikimedia movement. Newcomer of the Year: Nkem Osuigwe  Dr. Nkem Osuigwe helped to start a partnership between the Wikimedia Foundation and the African Library and Information Associations & Institutions in 2020, using an existing professional network to generate over 27,000 edits since then.

Media Contributor of the Year: Annie Rauwerda Annie uses social media to spread the word about free, open knowledge, inspiring the next generation of community members and contributors to learn about Wikipedia. In 2020, she began posting screenshots of various quirky and interesting Wikipedia pages to Instagram. By
the end of the year, her Instagram account @depthsofwikipedia had over 50,000 followers – and now she has more than 1.5 million followers across Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

Tech Contributor of the Year: Taavi Väänänen Based in Finland, Taavi volunteers with the Wikimedia movement as a developer and as a system administrator. He’s been a critical member of the team running Wikimedia Cloud Services, including Toolforge and Cloud VPS, key pieces of infrastructure that let volunteers host their Wikimedia-related bots, tools, and other software projects for free. New honorees: Wikimedia Affiliate Spotlight
In a first-time partnership with the Wikimedia Affiliations Committee, this year’s Wikimedian of the Year celebration also spotlighted affiliates whose invaluable contributions to the movement help it grow in content and contributors. Wikimedia Affiliate Spotlight – Partnerships: Art+Feminism Art+Feminism is a nonprofit that builds a community of activists committed to closing information gaps related to gender, feminism, and the arts, beginning with Wikipedia. Since 2014, over 20,000 people at more than 1,500 events around the world have participated in Art+Feminism’s edit-a-thons, resulting in the creation and improvement of more than 100,000 articles on Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects. Wikimedia Affiliate Spotlight – Governance: Wikimedia UK Wikimedia UK, the UK-based affiliate for the global Wikimedia movement, has centered knowledge equity, not just in programming and content, but in their own leadership. They recently diversified their staff and board of directors, demonstrating that leadership should be as  representative as the readers and editors who make Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects possible.
The conference welcomed attendees to a time-zone friendly program, with simultaneous live translation of sessions into 13 languages, allowing participants from all over the world to take part.

Speaking about the events, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said, “I went to my first Wikimania in 2005, and back then it was one of the first times that we met the people behind Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. As I look at this year’s Wikimania, I’m amazed at how far we’ve come.

What was once a meeting of a few hundred people is now a meeting of thousands. Wikipedia is shaping the way information is shared online in ways that I could have never expected in those early days. This year’s festival is a testament to the work and the generosity of volunteers from around the world and their commitment to free knowledge.” In addition to the online sessions, there were 40 in-person events bringing volunteers back together for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Information on all the sessions is still  available here.

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