Wikimedia Israel announces the seventh annual international Wikimania conference this week in Haifa, Israel

HAIFA, ISRAEL -- August 2, 2011 The annual international conference, run by the Wikimedia community, and organized by a different local team each year, will be attended by 650 Wikipedia editors, Wikimedia advocates, free content promoters, researchers and educators from 56 countries.  This week attendees will gather at the Haifa Auditorium on Mt. Carmel to take part in 125 workshops, discussions and presentations dedicated to free knowledge initiatives, open content, open source, online copyright, web communities and networks, education and knowledge acquisition and best practices in furthering the Wikimedia movement all over the world. Keynote speakers this year include Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, Sue Gardner, Deans from the University of Haifa and Bar-Ilan University are planned speakers along with Prof. Yochai Benkler, professor of law at Harvard University, and Joseph Reagle, a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard and author of Good Faith Collaboration: The Culture of Wikipedia.

Among the attendees are 115 participants who received full scholarships and 60 attendees with partial scholarships. Scholarships were awarded by the Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Italia, Wikimedia France, Wikimedia Poland, and Wikimedia Austria.

“We’re really excited to host so many people from all over the world in Haifa this year. During this year’s planning, we really wanted to make sure this year’s Wikimania is both highly productive and also fun,” said Tomer Ashur, Wikimedia Israel Chairman, “In addition to the impressive workshops and presentations scheduled, we also thought it would be a great opportunity to have a bit of fun as well. Since so many people are travelling all over the world, the team also put together a special tour around Haifa Bay, Galilee, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. We really hope the seventh annual Wikimania is a memorable event for everyone joining us!”

This year’s kind sponsors include:  Municipality of Haifa, the Israel Internet Association (ISOC-IL), Answers.com, Ask.com, Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the University of Haifa, the Sagi Internet Research Center, Babylon, East Jerusalem Development Ltd. and several other companies.

Wikimania will celebrate its seventh year, previously held in all corners of the world including Egypt, Argentina, Germany and Taiwan. In 2012, Wikimania will take place in the United States in Washington, DC.

The full program schedule for the event can be found online: http://wikimania2011.wikimedia.org/wiki/Schedule

Live updates and information from Wikimania 2011:

Follow live updates and twitter activity throughout @WikimediaIL and by following the keywords #wikimania and #wikimania2011.

Photos and videos will be updated regularly to the Wikimedia Commons, Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/WikimediaIL) and Flickr stream (http://www.flickr.com/Wikimediail)