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Cape Town – The programme for Wikimania (the annual gathering of volunteers from around the world to celebrate Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects) has been released and features more than 80 community-submitted talks, 32 poster discussions, and four keynote sessions.

Wikimania’s 2018 theme, Bridging knowledge gaps—the ubuntu way forward, epitomises the organisation’s commitment to ensure a more equitable spread of information across the Internet. Topics related to access, equity, sharing and open content will all be put under the microscope during the three day conference and in the pre-conference sessions.

Wikimania kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa from 18-22 July. This is the first time the conference will be held in sub-Saharan Africa.

The main conference will take place from 20-22 July at the Cape Sun in Cape Town central. Through a combination of talks, panel discussions, workshops, and lunchtime lightning talks, attendees will share their ideas to bridge Wikipedia’s gaps, including gender and transgender contributions, African content, and language.

Pre-conference activities on 18th and 19th July include a Hackathon and independently organised meetups bringing together people with similar interests.

A path in the programme has been highlighted to ensure that new Wikimedia users or those interested in participating in any of the projects are able to do so.

In addition, a Learn to Edit Wikipedia section will be available in the public area of the conference, where volunteers will assist newcomers with registering and explain how to start editing on Wikipedia.

Among the Wikimania 2018 sessions that have been curated for newcomers are sessions such as:
“A Gentle Introduction to Wikidata for Absolute Beginners + Wikidata Query Tutorial – part1”, a workshop that will take absolute beginners from contributing to Wikidata to querying Wikidata using SPARQL.
“AfroCROWD: expanding into the African Diaspora”, a panel discussion on how to grow awareness of Wikimedia among potential editors of African descent.
“Introduction to Low Context and High Context: Communicate Effectively Between Cultures”, a workshop that will highlight how easily misunderstandings can happen in an intercultural context.

Programme summary
The seven underlying themes of the Wikimania 2018 sessions are: language and literacy, access and accessibility, participation and representation, community health, content quality, legal and policy, and knowledge forms.

Other notable sessions for Wikimania 2018 include:
“Knowledge Equity and Spatial Justice on Wikipedia” by Dr. Martin Dittus, data scientist with a focus on mass-participation platforms and social computing.
“The Decolonizing Debate: Social Media as Source Archive and Wikipedia” by Prof. Sean Jacobs, associate professor of international affairs at The New School in New York City whose focus areas include trends in digital culture.
“The Dangers of Supremely White Data and The Coded Gaze” by Joy Buolamwini , founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, who uses art and research to highlight the implications of artificial intelligence in society.
“Wikimedia 2030: What needs to change for the movement to move in our new strategic direction?” a talk about Wikimedia’s next steps in its commitment to greater knowledge equity and access.
“Research on gender gap in Wikipedia: What do we know so far?” an exploration of the research conducted into Wikipedia’s gender gaps over the past decade.
For more information on the talks to be delivered by keynote speakers Dr Martin Dittus, Dr Sean Jacobs and Joy Buolamwini visit: Wikimania 2018 Keynotes

For the full conference programme, please visit Wikimania 2018 Programme.

The public can register for the event at a cost of $75 per day or $200 for the full three days of the conference but South Africans may qualify for a 50% discount.

For continued participation in the Wikimedia movement, sign up on Wikipedia and contribute content about your culture in your language.

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