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Submissions/Inspiring Friendly Spaces: What we learned from running a gender gap campaign on-wiki

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Inspiring Friendly Spaces: What we learned from running a gender gap campaign on-wiki

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)

Presentation, w/ significant Q&A discussion

Author of the submission

Siko Bouterse

E-mail address



Siko (WMF), PEarley (WMF) with co-participation from User:Jmorgan (WMF).

Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Foundation's Community Resources team

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Many Wikimedia projects talk about civility, and offline Wikimedia events increasingly have a friendly space policy. But what about creating truly friendly and hospitable spaces online? How do we create on-wiki atmospheres that support diverse groups of contributors to feel welcome, respected, and prepared to do their best collaborative thinking?

In March 2015, we launched the Inspire Campaign, an experiment aimed at getting participants all over the world to share new ideas for addressing Wikimedia's gender gap, and encouraging collaborative project teams to turn the most promising ideas into actionable initiatives. The Wikimedia Foundation committed $250,000 in funding for a set of the most actionable ideas in need of support, to be selected by a committee of volunteers. We organized this campaign in IdeaLab on Meta-wiki, a wiki that didn't have a civility policy, and isn't a home-wiki for most who would participate in this campaign. We knew we were inviting folks to share their thoughts and co-dream with us about some very hard issues, and there was some potential to create a situation where participants could become targets for harassment, further worsening the very gender gap that we aimed to address.

In order to create a hospitable and supportive environment that made it quick and easy for lots of women and allies to get involved, we tested out a number of social and technical solutions for this campaign. In this talk, we'll share what we learned from organizing the campaign, highlight some key outcomes and new initiatitives coming out of the campaign, and facilitate a robust discussion with the audience. Please bring your questions and let's discuss ways that the Wikimedia movement is thinking about setting up our online spaces to address the gender gap and more!

  • WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
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Slides or further information (optional)
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  1. -Another Believer (talk) 06:45, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Slowking4 (talk) 02:00, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Wotancito (talk) 07:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ocaasi (talk) 18:20, 3 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. I JethroBT (talk) 21:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. guillom (talk) 23:54, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Djembayz (talk) 22:58, 15 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Jaluj (talk) 14:53, 9 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]