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== Unformatted notes from the session ==
== Unformatted notes from the session ==
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This pad is for notes related to https://wikiconference.org/wiki/2019/Mini-Meetup_C_-_Climate_change and
This pad is for notes related to https://wikiconference.org/wiki/2019/Mini-Meetup_C_-_Climate_change and

Revision as of 18:33, 1 December 2019

Liv Inger Somby speaking at Wikimania 2019 on indigenous languages, with cubes representing the Sustainable Development Goals on stage
An outcome of the session was the foundation of the Wikimedians for Sustainable Development user group the next day.

This submission has been designated as a lightning talk at WikiConference North America 2019.


Wikimedia and the Sustainable Development Goals — what next?


Reliability of Information
+ Relationship Building & Support
+ Inclusion and Diversity
+ Editor Recruitment & Retention
+ Tech & Tools
+ Harassment Civility & Safety
+ Other

Type of session:

Round Table


Wikimania 2019 had the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as their theme.

In this session, we want to explore avenues for further engagement between the Wikimedia and Sustainable Development communities, with special emphasis on

  • underserved communities, topics, languages etc. within the Wikimedia ecosystem
  • Wikimedia-related activities in or relevant to North America

Academic Peer Review option:


Author name:

Daniel Mietchen

E-mail address:


Wikimedia username:

Daniel Mietchen

Affiliated organization(s):

WikiCite; University of Virginia

Estimated time:

45 min

Preferred room size:


Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

Yes, e.g. at Wikimania 2017 and 2018

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)


Unformatted notes from the session

This pad is for notes related to https://wikiconference.org/wiki/2019/Mini-Meetup_C_-_Climate_change and and https://wikiconference.org/wiki/Submissions:2019/Lunch_Meetup_L_-_Climate_Change_/_Sustainability .

See also https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_portal and https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedians_for_Sustainable_Development

How to manage differing viewpoints?

Me talking about my conversation with bluerasberry. How big an issue is climate change? If it's big enough how many people are needed to enact change to prevent it? Does wikipedia reach that many people? If so how do we make it clear that this is as big an issue as it is to promote this change.

The climate change editing community is incredibly small, around 10, compared to how large the issue is.

Q: would it be helpful to get our sustainability people to run editathons with the wiki community. A: Yes

We have some really poor articles in the climate space and we need people to help maintain and grow them.

WikiConfs in South Africa about climate change was very successful and added a lot of African specific information

Q: whats the state of wikidata climate change?

A: We needs lots of data, many projects and many goals.

Somehing else that's missing is entry level contribution projects for climate topics. Lots of communties have approachable ways of creation but we haven't identified the way to do this.

The IPCC came up with this document to prevent climate growth beyond 1.5*, it's not clear how we implement this though. Wikipedia should be the source that does this

Q: what's stopping us from making that page?

A: we need someone who knows how to write this article to write it. This would be most effective with a wikipedian in residence.

Carlinmack wrote this colour

Discussion will continue on Sunday at lunch.


   - Daniel will be juggling https://wikiconference.org/wiki/Submissions:2019/WikiCite_track/Sunday_Lunch_Meetup in parallel.
   - The event in south africa was so successful but to do a thing like this requires a lot of effort - 60 people, 3 days, 15 organisors.
   - Could Alex write up his thoughts? He only does this in a volunteer capacity but it needs an owner. Esther would like to organise something but doesn't feel like she has the experience to execute it. There would be the resources needed from the Botanic Gardens (her institute). Alex suggests that the NY community is very supportive. Su-Laine can offer blogs and webinar training. However we need people to collaborate to write these really difficult to write articles that climate change requires. We need an organisation that can bring together the knowledge - a wikipedian here is from the national academies of sciences, engineering and medicine(?) and they have those people! She thinks that the academy is willing to pivot into accepting and creating content for wikipedia. Q: is there room for climate justice? Yes. We don't really have a protocol about scientists contributing to wikipedia and what the best practices are. Q: does the scope of your work include international scientists? A: Not so much but the connections do exist.
   - Q: who goes to the botanical gardens events? A: We have connections to various local universities 

Once we have a global community about sustainability we can integrate climate information into the articles about individual species, habitats. It makes it more of a default to have climate change information of everything in the world.

Wikipedia is strongest talking about the causes of climate change but we are missing information in the mitigation, adaptation and effects space. We need to put information in context and in scale. But first we need to think about strategy, . We have articles about individual mitigation of climate change, but not municiple mitigation. We can't rely on one scientist, we need general sources like the IPCC report on preventing 1.5*C.

Q: Where in the not article space can we start a bibliography of good sources? A: There's 3 hubs, a metapage https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_portal, the en:wikiproject https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Climate_change and the wikidata portal https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:WikiProject_Climate_Change. We have good pubmed sources but we are missing good climate sources. Scholia https://tools.wmflabs.org/scholia/topic/Q125928

The agriculture perspective is missing from wikipedia but is key to climate change itself.

We should create a curriculum for general readers about good sources.

We need to be very clear with our tone of voice about how serious an issue this is. To guide our voice we need to assess what the consensus is right now. This is important because if we describe it as a theory vs a crisis it will shift the public perspective. We have recently done a name change to redirect climate change to global warming as climate change (general topic) is about climate change in history and not relevant to the current issue. It would be good to have a style guide

When the is a lot of information about a topic we look to general overviews like textbooks to decide what should be in an article. When speaking to scientists we need to explain that we can't use primary sources as they are too specific.

Policy articles right now are a mess as they are too large or out of date, so we need normal editorial work to improve these. The hardest part is finding useful sources so we should organise an event around that. Q: Have you done virtual meetups? A: They work well around a specific topic, but they don't work well for newcomers. However climate change is a different type of problem to like Woman in Red where every article follows a format and easy to find sources where they exist.

We need experts to come review articles and to provide sources. We only people who understand the research to write articles, not the sources themselves. Science communication and science are diffirent skills.

http://climatefeedback.org is a network of scientist that provide review of media coverage. There has been some interaction with the wiki community but they aren't responsive to the community. They have an annotator tool that they use is used to highlight statements in the aritcles and provide sources against the claims made in media. Q: could we have them annotate wiki articles? A: we could be we need to have a hackathon to create workflows for this sort of work.

Maybe we should use there tools in wiki contexts instead of the talk pages

We should create an initiative that translates climate articles like wikiproject medicine. This process is creating a simplified lede in international english and having Translators without Borders https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine/Translation_task_force . This ensures that there's at least some reliable information in these language. Additionally most readers stop reading after the lede .

We have a large backlog of translated language that still isn't on wikipedia due to people not wanting to import into languages they can't read.

It is more common than not for institutions to have social media managers, but not wikipedians in residence even though they are so important for education outreach. It's a tough problem to solve as it's hard to find people who are knowlegable about wiki and the residence itself. Additionally science communicators are in such high demand so it's hard to get people to contribute to wiki.

See also