Prepared by Movement Strategy and Governance team, Wikimedia Foundation
Wikimedia communities in the East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific (ESEAP) region convened in Sydney, Australia, from 18 to 20 November 2022 for ESEAP Conference 2022, the second regional conference. One of the focuses of the conference was to have a strategic discussion regarding the formalization of a Hub in the ESEAP region; moving from an informal collaboration group to a more formal structure aligned with the Movement Strategy recommendation and supporting guidelines. Driven by active volunteers from the ESEAP community and facilitated by staff from the Wikimedia Foundation, the discussion spanned three sessions throughout the conference period; covering the “What”, “How”, “Who”, and “When” aspects of an ESEAP Hub. Participants reached a consensus on the draft goal of ESEAP Hub in the first session, reflected on previous discussions in the region, and reconnected to strategy development in the second session. Participants later reached a consensus on the formation of an Interim Committee and a working timeline to drive the work of the ESEAP Hub forward and presented the plan in the final session.
This report covers the three Hub sessions at ESEAP Conference 2022 (See program page for more details):
- ESEAP Hub (1): What could a hub look like
- ESEAP Hub (2): Determining what ESEAP wants in a Hub
- ESEAP Hub (3): The Plan
The sessions to discuss the ESEAP Hub governance and development during the Conference reflected the ongoing collaboration work started by individual contributors, members of the communities and affiliates of the region since 2014. The discussions were to build upon the findings and reflections of the ESEAP Conference 2018 in Bali, Indonesia and the ESEAP Strategy Summit 2019 in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as discussions from a series of virtual monthly meetings that began in August 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These three sessions were co-designed and developed by volunteers from the ESEAP community together with members of the Movement Strategy and Governance team at the Wikimedia Foundation. (Please see approved session proposals on Meta: ESEAP Hub Governance: Join Efforts to Our Next Milestone and Building a hub and how we can help it happen). The session designs and plans were reviewed by the volunteers from the core team and program team of the Conference, with their feedback incorporated.
To ensure members in the region have a chance to share their perspectives regarding the expectations of the ESEAP Regional Cooperation and how to move forward prior to the discussions at the Conference, a community engagement survey was also conducted to gather further inputs. You can find the survey analysis here.
Session 1: What could a hub look like?
The aim of the first session was on what an ESEAP hub could look like and get a consensus on the draft goal for the ESEAP Hub. The session covered view a high-level introduction to the hub concept and development around the Wikimedia movement to provide an overall framing, followed by a summary of expectations of the overall hub discussions in this Conference surfaced from the community engagement survey. Afterwards, a regional case with relevant regional contexts and perspectives was presented before the discussion started on the goal of the ESEAP Hub.
Potential goals proposed by community members from the survey were first presented to the participants, and followed by breakout discussion with three guiding questions. The two breakout groups returned to convene as a whole and shared their reflection. Alignments of the goals were identified as the below:
- “Seat on the table” - voice in decision making internally and globally
- Understanding local context and challenges to go forward
- Professional support - both human and financial resources
- Resources - devolution/delegation
- Transparency and access to information.
Based on the areas identified, a common goal of the ESEAP Hub had therefore been drafted and agreed upon by the participants:
“A Hub in the ESEAP will strive to achieve the following in accordance to local contexts:
- Make collective decisions internally, and have representation in the global decision making process of the Wikimedia movement;
- Have appropriate human and financial resources to support communications, transparency, and coordination.”
Session 2: Determining what ESEAP wants in a Hub
The second session aimed at getting consensus on how the ESEAP hub can achieve its goal and started the conversation on who to take the work forward. The session first started with a reflection on previous discussions regarding collaboration areas in the region and reconnected to the draft goals. Thoughts received from community members on the regional geographical scope of ESEAP were also presented in the session.
The participants then proceeded to their discussions in three breakout groups to discuss concrete actions for carrying out the draft goal that was formulated during the first session. During the discussion, the participants also had access to thoughts on priority areas for collaboration which came out from the survey results. The breakout groups returned to convene as a whole and shared the results of their discussion.
The facilitator proceeded to open the floor for discussion, in which several points were raised and discussed:
- On how to determine the sub-regional scopes of the ESEAP region, which is viewed as too large in size for some; there were proposals to take languages and geography divisions into consideration.
- The importance of using simple English to facilitate communication in the ESEAP region;
- The need to have a physical base of operations located within a particular country, possibly being hosted by a local Wikimedia movement entity there in order to overcome the legal and administrative hurdles; and
- The necessity of having an interim committee to steer the work of a Hub in the ESEAP region forward, with possible professional support from the Wikimedia Foundation.
A consensus was reached that an interim committee, tasked with steering the preparatory work for a hub in the ESEAP region, should be formed. The composition of this interim committee is based on the three sub-regional divisions identified in the sessions – the blocs of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania. The participants proposed to continue further discussions regarding who to represent the sub-regions during the time until the next session and to present their plan in the final session at the plenary.
Session 3: The Plan
In the third session, the focus was on providing an overview of the discussions of the previous two sessions to all the participants and presenting the plan for carrying forward the work of the ESEAP hub, including who to support the work and the forecasting timeline. It was agreed that the interim committee will serve until Wikimania 2023, and will move forward on drafting roles and responsibilities of the ESEAP hub.
The consensus on the composition of the interim committee was reached among the community members at the Conference and presented to the audience. It was decided that three seats would be allocated to East Asia, three seats to South East Asia, and two to Oceania. The members proposed for the interim committee were as below:
- East Asia: Joyce Chen from Wikimedia Taiwan and Gu from Wikimedia Korea. It was decided that the third seat would be reserved for a member from the Japanese-speaking communities, who will be appointed at a later date.
- Southeast Asia: Butch Bustria and Azoma in their individual contributor capacity, and Rachmat Wahidi from Wikimedia Indonesia.
- Oceania: Gnangarra in individual contributor capacity, and Amanda Lawrence from Wikimedia Australia.
A tentative timeline of the plan was also presented in the session. The Movement Strategy and Governance team wrapped up the session by sharing its post-conference provisional plans to support the newly formed interim committee and the overall hub process, and congratulated the participants for their achievements in this Conference.
The planning and execution of ESEAP Hub sessions at ESEAP Conference 2022 achieved the following:
- Conducted initial needs assessment of the ESEAP region through the community engagement survey.
- Agreed on a draft goal of the ESEAP Hub.
- Established the ESEAP Hub Interim Committee composed of members from the three sub-regions to carry the work forward.
- Formulated a draft timeline to guide the work of the ESEAP Hub Interim Committee.