Wikimedians all over the world are preparing for Wikimania 2012, to be held July 12 through 14 in Washington, DC (USA). The organizers from Wikimedia DC, the Wikimedia chapter for the District of Columbia, expect more than 1000 participants.

Wikimania is the annual global conference of the Wikimedia movement, which has previously been held in Frankfurt (Germany), Boston (USA), Taipei (Taiwan), Alexandria (Egypt), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Gdańsk (Poland) and Haifa (Israel). It brings together many of the volunteers who are working all year on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, and other experts, academics, and enthusiasts whose vision is to empower people around the world through free access to global knowledge.

The theme of this year’s Wikimania is “Explore. Engage. Empower.” The schedule contains more than 100 presentations which were selected out of 400 global submissions. Presentations are divided into five categories:

  • Wikis, Collaboration, and the Public Sector
  • GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, & Museums)
  • (Wiki-)Culture & Community
  • Research, Analysis, and Education
  • Technology & Infrastructure

The opening session will feature a keynote by Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, titled “Fostering diversity: not a boring chore, a critical opportunity”, and the by now traditional “State of the Wiki” plenary address by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. The main conference is preceded by the Wikimania Hackathon (July 10-11) and followed by an “Unconference” event on July 15.

The organizers would like to thank Google, Ask.com, Wikia, WikiHow, The Saylor Foundation, The Lounsbery Foundation, and the Encyclopedia of Life, who are sponsoring the event – as does Irene Lynch, a 78-year-old great grandmother from New Jersey.

Regular registration is open until June 22.

See also the press release of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Hope to see you in Washington, DC!

Tilman Bayer, Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)