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Annual Wikipedia conference "Wikimania" comes to Mexico City

Featured speakers include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation executive director Lila Tretikov, entrepreneur Luis von Ahn, and other leaders in technology, culture and society

Event gathers volunteers and digital rights leaders to discuss access to knowledge, participation in the Wikimedia projects, and the role of Wikipedia in education

Wikimania 2015, the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister free knowledge projects, will take place in México City from July 15-19. Digital rights leaders and hundreds of volunteer editors will come together to learn about new projects and approaches and discuss issues at the heart of the Wikimedia movement. The event will be held at the Hilton México City Reforma.

Wikimania focuses on the Wikimedia vision: to make the sum of all knowledge available to everyone on the planet. Unfortunately, access to knowledge around the world is not equal. In some places, people do not have Internet access or cannot afford access. In México, for example, only 40% of people have access to the Internet. In other places, access to knowledge is censored or constrained. These issues, which directly impact our ability to fulfill the Wikimedia mission, will be at the center of conversations at the conference.

“One billion people will come online in this decade,” said Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. “And the opportunities to consume and produce knowledge are going to change and evolve as radically as the technology that creates them. We need to work together as a global community to leverage this growth to advance our mission of freely sharing in the sum of all knowledge.”

Other themes to be addressed at Wikimania 2015 include the the state of free knowledge, the role of Wikipedia in education, privacy and digital rights, using technology to grow participation, and more. This year’s conference, which is co-organized by the local Wikimedia México and the Wikimedia Foundation, will also feature a special focus efforts in Latin America and other countries including Brazil, Spain and Portugal to grow the quality and amount of knowledge on Wikipedia and the other projects.

“People across México read 44 million Wikipedia articles every month. While we have made great strides in making knowledge available, we have a long way to go to achieve our mission,” said Iván Martinez, president and founder of Wikimedia México. “Wikimedia communities in Latin America and other countries are increasingly finding solutions for growing quality information on Wikimedia projects, including through partnerships with educational, government, cultural, and civil associations. Wikimania is a chance for us to share these kinds of experiences with each other to make Wikipedia and its sister projects stronger.”

With more than 35 million articles in 288 languages, Wikipedia is the largest shared knowledge resource in human history. Nearly half a billion people turn to Wikipedia every month for everything from preserving cultural heritage, to improving cancer detection, to researching homework. This remarkable scope and scale was recognized this month by the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, awarded by the Princess of Asturias Foundation in Spain. The jury recognized Wikipedia as an "important example of international, democratic, open, and participatory cooperation—to which thousands of people of all nationalities contribute selflessly."

"Wikimedians collaborate digitally with each other from far corners of our planet all of the time," said Lila Tretikov, executive director at the Wikimedia Foundation. "Once a year we have a chance to gather in person and we are so excited to meet this year in México City, and share our passion, knowledge, and experiences.”

With the goal of ensuring that any person can access, share and contribute to knowledge, the event has been organized globally for the last 10 years to bring people together around this mission.

Registration is open for Wikimania 2015. To register, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wikimania-2015-mexico-city-registration-16421289519

Program Summary
Notable sessions and workshops from prominent contributors to digital rights and open source culture include
  • "Bringing Free Education to the World" by Luis von Ahn, Guatemalan entrepreneur and academic, founder of reCAPTCHA and co-founder and CEO of Duolingo
  • “Wikipedia and the collective construction of knowledge” by César Rendueles, Spanish sociologist, researcher, and social critic
  • “Wikipedia Five Pillars Panel” featuring members of digital humanities organization Red de Humanidades Digitales (RedHD)
  • A panel on “Latin America Internet Freedom” featuring Carlos Brito of Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (R3DMX, Digital Rights Defense Network), Darío Ramírez of Article 19 Mexico, Katitza Rodríguez of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Renata Ávila Guatemalan Human Rights and Intellectual Property Lawyer with Web we want and country lead for Creative Commons Guatemala, Paz Peña Chilean researcher and promoter of digital rights in Latin America with Derechos Digitales, and Yana Welinder, Senior Legal Counsel at the Wikimedia Foundation
  • A lecture from Carlos A. Scolari, renowned digital media researcher from Argentina who studies new ways of communication that originated from the rise of the Internet
  • “State of the Wiki” address from Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
  • Opening Plenary by Lila Tretikov, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation

All Spanish-language sessions will be simultaneously translated into English for the international audience

Special events include
  • Welcome reception at the Hilton México City Reforma
  • Reception at the Museo Soumaya, which contains 66,000 works from 30 centuries of art
  • Pre-conference hackathon, where anyone is welcome to spend their time hacking on anything related to MediaWiki or one of the Wikimedia projects
  • Education pre-conference where Mexican teachers will be trained by experts about using Wikipedia to teach in the classroom
  • Closing reception at the Laboratorio Arte Alameda sponsored by Ache Entretenimiento agency and Time Out México Magazine
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About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Wikipedia consists of more than 34 million articles in 288 languages. Every month, tens of thousands of active volunteers contribute to Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects. With nearly half a billion monthly users, projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation are one of the most popular web properties in the world. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

About Wikimedia México

Wikimedia México A.C. (WMMX) is a local chapter of the Wikimedia movement and one of the most active in the Spanish speaking countries. Since its recognition in 2011, it has been involved in almost 300 events, including workshops, conferences and more. WMMX has strong ties with the culture, education, TI companies, government sectors, as well as other volunteer organizations that actively support the chapter’s work in Mexico. Among the institutions that WMMX have worked with are: Fine Arts Palace Museum (Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes), Center for Digital Culture (Centro de Cultura Digital), Chopo University Museum (Museo Universitario del Chopo), and Soumaya Museum (Museo Soumaya) to name just a few. WMMX is working on a wide variety of projects this year including their current support of the Wikipedistas en Puebla initiative to form a future Wikimedia User Group in that state.

About Wikimania

Wikimania is an annual conference centered on the Wikimedia projects (Wikipedia and its sister projects) and the Wikimedia community of volunteers. It features presentations on Wikimedia projects, other wikis, free and open source software, free knowledge and free content, and the social and technical aspects which relate to these topics. Wikimania 2015 marks the 11th year of the conference.

About Wikipedia

Wikipedia is the world’s free knowledge resource. It is a collaborative creation that has been added to and edited by millions of people from around the globe since it was created in 2001: anyone can edit it, at any time. Wikipedia is offered in 288 languages containing a total of more than 34 million articles, and visited by nearly half a billion people every month. It is the largest collection of free knowledge in human history, and today its content is contributed and edited by the community of more than 75,000 volunteer editors each month.

Press Contacts

Martha Oliver

  • Another Company México City.
  • (55) 6392 1100 ext. 2416
  • 55-28800940
  • moliver@anothercompany.com.mx

Katherine Maher

  • The Wikimedia Foundation
  • +1 415-839-6885 ext 6633
  • press@wikimedia.org