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Chapters meeting 2010/Documentation/Roles movement

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(redactorial note: the statements do not necessarily represent shared opinions, but are mainly opinions that were stated by someone during the discussion unless otherwise noted)

Organizational Development aka Roles in the Movement


Arne Klempert, board member of WMF introduces the topic.

Former movement roles task force to broad and complicated. Nobody really jumped into the topic of clarifying the roles in the Organization, nobody felt responsible. Organizational Development needs clarification. What is missing is a framework for interaction. There still is no clarification of the individual roles and responsibilities in the organization. Usage of a much too difficult language

Board is responsible to do the first step in the question of organizational development. BUT: It should be done TOGETHER, NOT ALONE

Classification draft:

  • Wikimedia Foundation
  • Wikimedia chapters
  • Chapter committee
  • Unaffiliated volunteers / informal groups
    • Term needs to be clarified – led to first discussion

Questions and Answers:[edit]

  • What about readers of the Wikipedia?
    • Readers are not a part of the organizational development/structure of the Wikimedia. They are external, not internal.
  • What about institutions?
    • They are part of the movement but also external
  • We need clarification of what we are talking about and who’s a part of it.
    • Important is the WE. That’s what it’s all about. That WE clarify things together. Share resources etc…
  • Where do volunteers begin and where do they end? Who has a voice? Only organization-internal volunteers or also writers who are not part of it?
    • The Editing community has a part in the organizational structure. They are not external.
  • So two types of volunteers?
    • Probably yes…

For years this has been discussed. There is a need for a defined end result. There should be a document where roles and responsibilities within the Wikimedia Organization are clearly defined agreed upon all stakeholders. Need for proposals on how to move forward within organizational development. End result should be achieved by Summer 2011

Q: Who are the stakeholders? How to draw a distinction? Could readers be included if they try to be part of the organization?
A: If a reader wants to be part of the organization he’s already more than a reader.
DA: Organization can screw up things! Key distinction: People who really want to organize should do it.
DA: Once you decide to stop being only a reader, you should be able to participate in organizational movements. Editors should be included, although they are no stakeholders. Why exclude people who are affected by changes in the organization?
A: Wikimedia Foundation as a starting point but it needs partners. But how far should it go? Movement roles are too broad…
DA: Editors who really want to be a stakeholder or really want to have a voice in the organization are not really represented in the WMF. 
A: Editors should be represented better.
A: But we mostly need agreement of the existing stakeholders, we don’t need agreement of every single group. Groups can only be accountable if they develop a voice together.
DQ: People don’t know what their roles are and how they get access to the the organization. How do we educate people to get access?
DA: That is not the topic of this session.
DQ: Example of Phoebe. How can an editor be a part of the organization? Editors don’t know the existing structure, they don’t know how to get a part of it, they have no one to go to or to ask for help. A clarified structure within Wikimedia could help with that. We need to have people where other people could go to.
AQ: What will be a solution to the problem?
A: I like to have a workflow. 
DA: People should be involved. Perhaps we should advert to the problem on the front page of Wikipedia.
AQ: Do you think it’s a good thing to organize stuff?
Vote: Yes, it is important! (without dissentient vote)
DA: People outside the organization need some kind of attachment. We need someone to talk to.
A: Yes we also need that for insiders.
DA: It has to be clarified in order to stop wasting time. If you have structured rules, you have someone to talk to.
MA: Clarified roles for stakeholders.
DA: We could make a list of roles. I think then it is easy to clarify everything.
A: Entangled roles in/out the community. Conflicts could be shut down if there are clear responsibilities.
A: Like in a marriage: Bring people together but clarify their roles first.
DQ: Perhaps we can minimize the task force. It would be nice to get descriptions of the roles within the organization. Makes it easier for one to identify his/her own role.
DA: There are very different tasks and therefore very different roles. Roles don’t have to be the same than  the tasks. Focus on upcoming tasks.
DA: Existing tasks first.
A: Looking at the past only is not enough to get a full picture. Identify new tasks. Try to be prepared.
Q: What do you need and expect from organizing the structure?
A: Research resources. Look in the past. Total agreement in the end. People who oversee the whole thing would be good. Conclusion to the research consensus in the end.
A: TRUST. We need to achieve the best result for EVERYONE.
A: We can’t include everyone. We need priorities. To organize, we have to focus on the existing entities.
DA: But volunteers have an opinion too. They can say whether they like the structural direction of the organization or not. People, who can’t sign it, should still have the possibility to be a part of it. People who GIVE should be included.
Centralized approach
If you are interested to be a part of it, let us know
We want to bring the right people together to make this a success
Now that the board is a part of it, there will be not just talking
Agreement to the process participation
The former movement roles task force was unsuccessful
Positive that we are much more successful now, better resources, different players.
There’s a working group tomorrow. Sign up!
To the board: Please talk to the people!!!