Many of us had looked forward to this event and now finally, the first regional conference for Wikimedia affiliates in Northern Europe has successfully taken place. The event marks the inception of an amplified strategic collaboration between Wikimedia affiliates in Northern Europe.
30 participants met in Stockholm in October, representing Wikimedia Norge, Wikimedia Suomi, Wikimedia Danmark, Wikimedia Eesti, Wikimedians of Latvia User Group, Wikimedians of Iceland User Group, and Wikimedia Sverige who hosted the event. The event goes under the name of WikiNEM (Wikimedia Northern Europe Meeting 2018).
Because WikiNEM was the first meeting of its kind it was organized as an open space meeting, a technique used to generate lots of ideas and identify actions in a short space of time. Karen Mardahl, vice chair of Wikimedia Danmark, has written down her experience and key take aways from taking part in the discussions and how everyone engaged with the various activities. Her story is available on Meta and is recommended reading for anyone who wishes to know more about it.
What was the outcome?
The participants of WikiNEM were equally invested in discussing as in careful note taking to make sure that the ideas generated could be harnessed and curated into various action plans. As a result of that, the documentation page is a pretty detailed account of what a group of 30 individuals can achieve in only two days.
One of the very first activities concerned the root cause to meeting like this and asked participants to answer what they believed the purpose of a regional collaboration in Northern Europe is. The group concluded on a joint statement about the purpose:
To do awesome stuff together by establishing a framework for active collaboration in Northern Europe, identifying common issues and using our expertise and resources in dealing with and developing them.
All participants also submitted their vision for the collaboration.
The meeting agenda arrived at eight specified action plans on topics relevant to the affiliates in Northern Europe that will form the backbone of the next steps in working together:
- How to cooperate in the Nordic region?
- Gender issues for the region
- Education collaborations
- Wikimedia PR
- GLAM Follow up
- Collaborations to support minority languages
- Sister projects & outside collaboration
- Naming the collaboration in Northern Europe
A suitable abbreviation for the collaboration is already being discussed over at the new portal on Meta and there is a working group specifically tasked with planning for the next meeting. We look forward to many interesting discussions and steps forward together.