Aug 07 2011
The 2011 international Wikimania conference took place in Haifa last week, marking a decade since the establishment of Wikipedia. Hundreds of representatives from 48 countries took part in the conference, including of course Wikepedia founder Jimmy Wales, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner and others. The University of Haifa and its Sagy Center for Internet Research, headed by Prof. Sheizaf Rafaeli, were among the sponsors of the conference, and the assistance provided by the University contributed to Israel’s qualifying to host the prestigious event.
This year’s Wikimania conference, attended by Wikimedia users, free knowledge, free content and open source software supporters, researchers, educators, journalists and more, took place in Haifa and offered 125 lectures in five different tracks. It also hosted workshops discussing topics such as free content, copyright, online communities, education and scholarship.
The conference is held in a different country each year, and Israel was a candidate to host it this year alongside many other cities, such as Montreal, New York, Toronto, Tokyo and Barcelona. Wikimedia Israel won the bid to host the 2011 conference in Haifa and it was organized by volunteers with the help of sponsorships and donations.
In parallel to the conference, the third annual “Wikipedia Academy” was held at Haifa Auditorium, which is mostly in Hebrew and discusses the integration of Wikipedia and academia.