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Future of Affiliate Gatherings

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The Future of the Wikimedia Summit[edit]

The Wikimedia Summit 2024 will be the last of its kind. Wikimedia Deutschland is ready to hand the event over to the affiliates to design future gatherings based on their needs, interests and opportunities. We are hoping for an affiliate gathering that is aligned more with movement strategy, allows for more equitable participation, with an engaging program designed by the participants. Wikimedia Deutschland gathered some pretty clear data on the preferences for content, focus and formats of these future events via an affiliate survey.

  • An affiliate survey was run from November 22 to December 8, 2023. The results can be found in this slide deck.
  • At the Wikimedia Summit, there was a session to discuss the results. A new group was formed to investigate the future of affiliate gatherings. The list of those individuals can be found at Wikimedia Summit 2024#Purpose 2.

Online call with affiliates - Summary[edit]

On the 28th of March, a pre-engagement online call on the Wikimedia Summit between Wikimedia Deutschland and Affiliates took place.

The session's Etherpad notes

Wikimedia Summit 2024 presentation of pre-engagement- The Future of Affiliate Gatherings

Summary of the conversations[edit]

What are the things you like the most about Wikimedia events?[edit]

  • Sharing experiences
  • Peer support
  • Peer learning
  • Networking
  • Collaborations
  • Capacity building

Affiliate survey analysis[edit]

What sticks out to you from the survey on the future of affiliate gatherings?

  • Inclusivity and Accessibility: There was a consensus on the importance of making events inclusive for all affiliates who wish to contribute or benefit, including addressing visa restrictions to facilitate participation.
  • Annual Meeting and Rotation: Participants expressed surprise at the widespread agreement to organize the meeting annually and rotate its location. This approach was seen as reducing visa stress, promoting diversity, and enabling broader participation.
  • Hybrid Events: While there were challenges in implementing hybrid events, such as logistical complexities, it was recognized as crucial for ensuring accessibility, especially for those unable to travel.
  • Difference between User Groups vs. Chapters: User groups showed more interest in organizing events despite Chapters having more resources, indicating potential strategy fatigue among larger affiliates.
  • Movement Strategy: There was a majority agreement among affiliates to discuss Movement strategy, with UGs showing particular enthusiasm for leading such discussions.

Future of affiliate gatherings[edit]

If you imagine what the next affiliate gatherings could be in 2026, what do you envision?

  • Inclusivity and Youth Engagement: Participants emphasized the importance of inclusivity, particularly involving young people, and making Wiki projects more inclusive and disability-friendly.
  • Extended Time and Hybrid Events: There was a desire for longer events to facilitate deeper discussions and networking. Hybrid events were seen as essential for sustainability and broader participation, but with a need for special facilitation for online participants.
  • Diverse Topics and Learning Opportunities: Participants wanted a broader range of topics beyond Movement strategy and governance, with a focus on sharing success stories and capacity building.
  • Addressing Visa Issues: Concerns were raised about visa limitations and the need for more accessible locations to accommodate all affiliates.
  • Professional Training and Guidance: Participants sought professional training for affiliates and clear guidelines from WMDE based on its experience in organizing events in the past.
  • Human Connection and Multi-lingual Support: Human connection was emphasized over traditional conference formats, with a call for multi-lingual support to ensure inclusivity.
  • Localized Events and Resource Sharing: There was a suggestion for more localized events and better resource sharing to bridge the gap between chapters and user groups.
  • Impact and Inspiration: The envisioned affiliate meeting should leave participants feeling inspired, connected, and equipped with practical strategies for implementation, rather than burned out.

Additional things to accomplish in Berlin[edit]

What will be our output in Berlin? What needs to happen to fulfill the desired outcome? How do we get there?

  • Clarify Expectations for First-Timers: Participants inquired about what first-timers could expect from the event, with a suggestion to keep the initial event small.
  • Explore Possibility to Integrate Affiliate Gatherings into Other Events: Discussions were proposed regarding whether Affiliate gatherings could be incorporated into other events such as Wikimania or Global Council GAs.
  • Ensure Engagement of WMF representatives: Concerns were raised about the level of engagement from WMF during the conversations at the Summit. Participants expressed disappointment over the lack of engagement from high-level executives from the WMF in previous Summits and suggested greater participation in smaller sessions.

Useful resources for drafting a new concept[edit]