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International Events Specialist
WikimediaBusinessFull TimeRemoteRemote

The Wikimedia Foundation is seeking a remote Wikimania Program Manager, to advance the Wikimedia movement’s vision of every human being able to freely share in the sum of all knowledge; as well as its strategic direction – that by 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

As Wikimania Program Manager, you will be responsible for full and timely delivery of an important annual international flagship event of the Wikimedia movement; Wikimania. Located in different parts of the world each year, Wikimania is a key opportunity for our community of volunteers from all over the world to connect and collaborate on the movement’s goals. This is a mid-level career position that will not have any direct reports.

You will be the primary liaison between staff, contractors, volunteers, committees and local host teams who collectively plan, organize, and run this important event. The annual Wikimania program is mainly led by volunteer efforts, which you will provide input to and facilitate, where required.

You will build and iterate on a strategic 3-5 year plan for Wikimania to ensure the event provides effective support to Wikimedia communities, and to ensure that the event runs sustainably, fosters interesting, timely and thought provoking dialogue, learning and conversations, and that it supports the global open and free knowledge agenda more generally. You will coordinate closely with a diverse range of volunteers and local event hosts, helping them navigate processes and guiding the overall effort to timely conclusions. You will collaborate to secure hosts from around the world for Wikimania several years in advance. You will bring precision, long range planning, attention to detail, energy, enthusiasm, patience, compassion, a natural interest to work with people from around the world, and a capacity to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and experience levels.

You will be a key member of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Community Convenings & Events team, which is a relatively new team. You will be an active “builder” of processes and procedures that will benefit the team and the community we serve. These processes and procedures must be sensitive to the ethos of the movement and to a growing international community, as well as compliant with Wikimedia Foundation procedures. Your perspectives and experience will guide an evolving approach to convenorship in what is primarily an online community.

You are responsible for:

  • Budget management: participating in budgeting and forecasting exercises, estimating major conference costs; creating and managing budgets; preparing invoices for payment.
  • Facilitating the bidding, review, negotiation, and finalization of contracts for venues and vendors.
  • Scoping, recruiting, and supervising contractors handling logistics of events. Hire and supervise local temporary staff as needed.
  • Conducting regular international travel for site visits to host locations.
  • Identifying and approaching potential sponsors for Wikimania
  • Actively supporting and fostering a cadre of volunteers who work on Wikimania; enlisting and maintaining relationships with them after the event, as well as coaching or mentoring host teams where needed so that volunteer skills and capacity are built.
  • Facilitating and working collaboratively with these volunteers to provide advice, guidance, and support for the local host teams.
  • Working closely and collaboratively with several WMF teams: Finance and Administration, Travel, Legal, Communications, Trust & Safety, Community Relations, Community Development and Learning & Evaluation to ensure their input and involvement in Wikimania preparations.
  • Identifying movement partners with aligned agendas for potential collaboration.
  • Working with an event coordinator and logistics team/contractors to ensure that all space and logistic requirements are met, including: A-V, internet connectivity, registration, printing and signage, accommodations, accessibility compliance, security, transportation and catering.
  • Ensuring that the Friendly/Safe Space Policy is upheld and implemented at Wikimania.
  • Coordinating with key stakeholders to ensure that an event registration system, database (CRM), web site, and other software is in place to enhance registration, logistics, promotion and program design.
  • Ensuring that the onsite needs of WMF Executives are met during and at Wikimania.
  • Managing a comprehensive post-event analysis and debrief with all stakeholders to learn from experience and make recommendations for future events; documenting these analyses/debriefs.
  • Collaborating with Community Engagement department colleagues who are based in different regions to inform an evolving global events ecosystem.

Skills and Experience:

  • International Event Planning – a proven background in international event planning is vital in this role, as this annual event with participants reaching almost a thousand yearly,  moves around the globe;
  • Project Management – proven track record and affinity with project management principles and best practices is going to be important in this role to ensure that all elements are organized and event and production teams stay on schedule;
  • Budget management – you will oversee financial elements of event planning and execution, so budget and financial management skills are vital to be successful in this role;
  • Cross Cultural communication skills – effective and thoughtful written and verbal communication skills are essential in this role as liaison between many types of stakeholders;
  • Collaboration skills –  our events are collaborative in their design in accordance with our movement’s focus on volunteer leadership. and in order to create a positive experience for participants;
  • Community management – working and navigating (internet based) communities that are self-governed by means of committees, organizations and working groups.

Qualities that are important to us:

  • Creativity in approaching challenges
  • Ability to work with volunteers and facilitating work that is mainly led by the community
  • Sensitivity to a culturally diverse range of people
  • Strategic and long term vision
  • Adaptability to change and resilience to ambiguity
  • Self-organization, independence, efficiency and ability to meet deadlines in a remote culture
  • Positivity and confidence in working with volunteers facing the sometimes stressful tasks associated with large event management

Additionally, we’d love it if you have:

  • Affinity or experience with Wiki communities and are aware of the Wikiverse
  • Knowledge on open source event management systems and processes (registration, conference planning)
  • Fluency in at least one other language in addition to mandatory professional competency in English.
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