Grants:APG/Proposals/2012-2013 round1/Wikimedia Deutschland e.V./Impact report form
Purpose of the report
FDC funds are allocated to improve the alignment between the Wikimedia movement's strategy and spending; support greater impact and progress towards achieving shared goals; and enable all parts of the movement to learn how to achieve shared goals better and faster.
Funding should lead to increased access to and quality of content on Wikimedia project sites – the two ultimate goals of the Wikimedia movement strategic priorities, individually and as a whole. Funded activities must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."
Each entity that receives FDC funding will need to complete this report, which seeks to determine how the funding received by the entity is leading towards these goals. The information you provide will help us to:
- Identify lessons learned, in terms of both what the entity learned that could benefit the broader movement, and how the entity used movement-wide best practices to accomplish its stated objectives.
- Assess the performance of the entity over the course of the funded period against the stated objectives in the entity's annual plan.
- Ensure accountability over how the money was spent. The FDC distributes "general funds", for both ongoing and programmatic expenses; these funds can be spent as the entity best sees fit to accomplish its stated goals. Therefore, although line-item expenses are not expected to be exactly as outlined in the entity's proposal, the FDC wants to ensure that money was spent in a way that led to movement goals.
For more information, please review FDC portal/Reporting requirements or reference your entity's grant agreement.
- 1 Purpose of the report
- 2 Basic entity information
- 3 Overview of the past year
- 4 Financial summary
- 5 Progress against past year's goals/objectives
- 5.1 Program 1: Wikimedia Deutschland will simplify and improve cooperation with and within the communities on a permanent basis to increase participation and motivation within the projects.
- 5.2 Change of role (Communities Team)
- 5.3 Changing the working climate (Communities Teams)
- 5.4 Changing support mechanisms (Communities Team)
- 5.5 Program 2: Wikimedia Deutschland will increase the diversity of knowledge in Wikimedia projects to enable adequate representation of different perspectives in the projects.
- 5.6 Changes for new Wikimedians (Communities Team)
- 5.7 Changes for diversity (Education and Knowledge)
- 5.8 Changing participation (Education and Knowledge)
- 5.9 Program 3: Wikimedia Deutschland will enable readers to bring their personal perspective into the Wikimedia projects.
- 5.10 Changes for readers (Communities Team)
- 5.11 Program 4: Wikimedia Deutschland will form new cooperations to establish the concept of free knowledge on a broader basis.
- 5.12 Changes in the educational sphere (Education and Knowledge)
- 5.13 Changes for state-owned works (Politics and Society)
- 5.14 Changes at the European level (Politics and Society)
- 5.15 Changes in partnerships (Politics and Society)
- 6 Special projects
- 7 Lessons learned
- 8 Stories of success and challenge
- 9 Additional learning
- 10 Compliance
- 11 Signature
Basic entity information
Note you can copy this from your recent progress report if the information is the same.
|Entity information||Legal name of entity||Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.|
|Entity's fiscal year (mm/dd–mm/dd)||01/01 - 01-12/31|
|12 month timeframe of funds awarded (mm/dd/yy-mm/dd/yy)||01/01/13-12/31/13|
|Contact information (primary)||Primary contact name||Pavel Richter|
|Primary contact position in entity||Executive Director|
|Primary contact username||User:Pavel Richter (WMDE)|
|Primary contact firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact information (secondary)||Secondary contact name||Kasia Odrozek|
|Secondary contact position in entity||Assistant to the Executive Director|
|Secondary contact username||User: Kasia Odrozek (WMDE)|
|Secondary contact email@example.com|
Overview of the past year
The purpose of this section is to provide a brief overview of this report. Please use no more than 2–3 paragraphs to address the questions outlined below. You will have an opportunity to address these questions in detail elsewhere in this report. Also, we encourage you to share photographs, videos, and sound files in this report to make it more interactive, and include links to reports, blog posts, plans, etc as these will add context for the readers.
- HIGHLIGHTS: What were 2–3 important highlights of the past year? (These may include successes, challenges, lessons learned. Please note which you are describing)
2013 was a year of consolidation for Wikimedia Deutschland, despite continued growth.
As we had already put our fundamental structures in place in 2012, defined our main themes, and formulated our processes and models, 2013 was very much about establishing these models and findings.
By setting up the Evaluation Unit in 2013, we further consolidated our goal- and outcome-oriented approach within the organization – an approach we have been pursuing since 2012. Important basic principles for the evaluation process were also laid down, from performance models for our work to building up the relevant expertise for outcome-oriented planning. These principles are already included in the 2014 Annual Plan.
For the first time, the International Affairs Unit was in a position to draw up a review of the movement’s current situation thanks to the Chapters Dialogue. This project provides a methodical approach to bringing together the different points of view of various stakeholders (i.e. chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation, the Affiliations Committee, and the Funds Dissemination Committee) in an impressive body of knowledge that can be used by all entities within the Wikimedia movement.
In the area of education, findings from the previous year also played a significant role in determining the focus of our work for 2013. As it had become apparent that individual workshops and isolated measures are not sufficient for promoting diversity in Wikimedia projects, in 2013 we began as planned to lay down the scientific foundations for more effective measures. The result is a diversity concept that will not only function as a guiding principle for 2014, but that can also be adopted and used by other actors in the Wikimedia world.
2013 highlights included the close collaboration with our project partners, which was particularly apparent in the successful implementation of various events. For example, our open educational resources (OER) conference attracted far more academics, activists, journalists and politicians in the field of education than we had expected (more details later in the report). And thanks to the combination of our experience in working with volunteers and our expertise in event management, we were able to quickly and successfully provide the organizational help that the community asked for in setting up this year’s WikiConvention – the largest community event in German-speaking countries. Additionally, our GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, and museums) conference Zugang gestalten! (Shaping Access) took place for the third time last year and has become an integral part of the cultural policy discourse, even attracting the participation of the designated State Secretary for Culture at the Federal Chancellery.
These and other milestones were certainly important, however it is the structural progress that was made in 2013 that is particularly crucial for an organization like WMDE. Thus, Wikidata was only possible because we made the conscious decision to create and maintain long-term developer capacity, and because as an organization we are able to fully implement such a decision (25% of our employees are already software developers!).
In November we moved into our new facilities on Tempelhofer Ufer in the center of Berlin. These rooms mean that now, for the very first time, we are able to offer interested individuals, groups and organizations the physical space in which to develop their ideas on free knowledge. As well as one room that is specifically earmarked for use by the community, our spaces are always available for events such as workshops, seminars or panel discussions. Here, in direct face-to-face discussions, people can develop new ideas, review existing lines of thought and develop creative projects. We regard our open spaces as places for turning theory into practice by connecting people and facilitating action.
- SWOT: Reflecting on the context outlined for your entity in the FDC proposal, what were some of the contextual elements that either enabled or inhibited the plan? Feel free to include factors unanticipated in the proposal.
- Strengths: Organizational strengths that enabled the plan
- Strong leadership
For the past five years, Wikimedia Deutschland has been led by an experienced manager. In 2013 WMDE completed the expansion of its management team by appointing heads of department and heads of units and integrating them into the organizational structure.
- Established departments
In 2013 work continued on differentiating the work of our various departments. Despite the huge variety of topics relating to free knowledge that we deal with in our everyday work, our teams, such as Politics & Society and Education & Knowledge, have succeeded in achieving greater focus and expertise in their specific areas. This establishing of clearly defined departments has without a doubt been and still remains one of WMDE’s strengths.
- Evaluation as an integral part of the organization
The new Evaluation Unit, which Manuel Merz built up almost from scratch, has already revealed itself as a major strength and we will continue to develop this over the coming months and years. The unit has laid the foundations for the methodical evaluation of our work, and has worked with the departments to develop effective strategies for achieving our goals. Wikimedia Deutschland therefore now has the specialist expertise it needs to consciously begin implementing more effective work processes.
- Stable and reliable financial processes
We have an established, tried-and-tested system that enables us to regulate and secure our financial procedures. Our financial procedures have been audited and positively evaluated by auditing firm KPMG and as part of the chapter review.
- Campaigns and organizational capacity/structure
Over the years, we have developed a reliable model for fundraising campaigns and this has been permanently integrated into our organizational structure.
- Broad membership
Our membership grew steadily in 2013. With around 11,000 members, WMDE has a strong basis that lends it considerable weight – particularly for so young a membership organization.
- Weaknesses: Organizational weaknesses that inhibited the plan
- Wikimedia Deutschland’s governance structure does not correspond to its size and status
Our governance structure was created at a time when WMDE was much smaller, and still run and administered by volunteers. The organization now has three decision-making bodies whose competences and roles are not always clearly defined and in tune with one another. Other important aspects of governance also need to be evaluated and updated. Many need to be extended or newly established to reflect WMDE’s current development and to prevent potential crises. We want to address this topic in 2014.
- Lack of strategy
The Kompass 2020 strategy document created in 2010 is out of date and no longer appropriate, given WMDE’s current size and development. WMDE is therefore currently operating without a firm and formal strategy. This weakness has already been acknowledged, and in 2013 the WMDE Supervisory Board launched a new strategic process.
- Difficulty in achieving consensus between departments
The roles of the various departments were defined in late 2012 and throughout 2013. However, their operations are still not optimally aligned, making it difficult for departments to come to a consensus or to take advantage of synergies. We are working internally to address this weakness and have made considerable progress in consolidating our organizational structure.
- Reliance on partners for achieving our program goals
The success of many of our collaborative projects is not dependent solely on us, but also on the activities and agenda of our partners (who may also be donors). As many aspects of our work are aimed at cooperation and partnership, we cannot always make the final decision with regard to the planning and performance of a project.
- Weak support services and policies (e.g. in IT and HR)
The structural problems that have developed as a result of growth and the lack of established processes have been particularly evident in HR and IT. We therefore identified the need for a manager to organize and structure these areas. In 2014 we appointed a head of administration and HR.
- Tension between volunteers and paid staff
Last year we saw time and again how important it is to inform the communities about projects as they are developing and to involve them at an early stage. Poor communication by Wikimedia Deutschland (for example, with regard to the ZDF “Fact Check” project, the Community Project Budget and the community experts’ network) can quickly lead to a tension between staff at the WMDE Berlin office and volunteers. This can have a negative effect on project work and on mutual trust between the parties involved. The result of these communication failures was a time-consuming conflict resolution process. In future we should act sooner to ensure that this is not necessary. As involving the community via opinion polls and discussion pages takes a lot of time and effort, more time will be planned in for this process in future.
- Members are not involved enough
Although Wikimedia Deutschland has a broad membership base, members still play too small a role in its work and community life. In 2014, we are aiming to increase members’ involvement in the association’s work, for example by conducting online elections and planning more activities that encourage members to engage and participate.
- Opportunities: External opportunities that enabled the plan
- Partners: Access to relevant project partners
WMDE’s huge popularity and positive image makes it easier for us to approach important project partners and relevant stakeholders for our work. Even though we are a young organization, we are considered an expert partner in the context of free knowledge. Our successful collaborative projects clearly show the advantages this reputation brings in terms of the projects we are able to run.
- Internal partners: Good cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation
Regular contact and cooperation with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF) has contributed to the intensive and informed support of various technological and social innovations (Article Feedback Tool, Visual Editor, Echo, policies) in Wikimedia projects. With members of the Team Communities acting as the interface between WMF employees and local project activities, the respective positions could communicate and include the local communities in such processes early on. As reflected in our plan for the coming year, these experiences will be further professionalized and stabilized through investment of the relevant resources. In addition, our partnership with the WMF has and will continue to be of benefit to us in the coordination and cooperation of Wikidata projects.
- Funding: A willingness to spend
People in Germany continue to happily donate large amounts to German Wikipedia and Wikimedia Deutschland. This willingness to donate is actually growing, allowing us to implement and continually develop professional fundraising campaigns as well as to try out new approaches.
- Staff procurement: Berlin as an attractive location for the tech community
Thanks to its lively tech community and dynamic start-up scene, as well as its cheap living costs and metropolis status, Berlin is a very attractive location for workers in general – and especially for software developers. The city’s many favorable aspects make it easier for us to recruit highly skilled developers for our software development team.
- Threats: Risks or threats that inhibited the plan
These are risks that haven't actually occured and inhibited the plan but which we have considered possible during 2013. We therefore took action, where possible, to minimize them in 2014:
- Partners: Planned project partners are not available
Pursued partnerships and collaborations that may be of vital importance to planned projects may not ultimately come about because of a last-minute cancellation, or because partners back out for various reasons (financial or content-related).
- Funding: The procurement of third-party funds does not happen on time
Procuring third-party funds is usually a long and complicated process, and therefore represents a risk in itself. The funds may either not be granted or the process may be delayed to such an extent that it jeopardizes the project. We want to minimize these risks by expanding our knowledge in the field of fund acquisition (both in departments as well as in the fundraising team).
- Staff procurement: Berlin as an attractive location with a large demand for developers
In the start-up capital of Berlin, we face constant competition in attracting the best software developers – developers that are either already in Berlin or that want to come here. Additionally, for a non-profit association like WMDE, there is a risk that the strong tech scene with its often very attractive and lucrative job offers may tempt our own employees away.
- Funding: The willingness to donate declines
The continuous willingness of people in Germany to donate to Wikipedia and Wikimedia Deutschland is wonderful, but we must bear in mind that this willingness could decrease, be it due to a change in the economic situation or because the donors become interested in other organizations. In such a case, the diversified funding base that we are pursuing should offer us (at least partial) security.
- Legal context: The jurisdiction concerning the liability of Wikimedia Deutschland changes
Under the current jurisdiction, WMDE is not held liable for the content of Wikimedia projects and the possible rights violations that may occur within them. If this jurisdiction changes, we would face a very problematic and complex situation. In order to monitor and minimize these risks, we have been working for years with one of the best specialist law firms in intellectual property and media law, who have a very good knowledge of our organization and projects. We are in regular contact with this firm.
- Different priorities in technology: WMF sets different priorities in software development and Toolserver than WMDE
If WMDE’s and the WMF’s priorities begin to move apart with regards to software development – as well as with regards to Toolserver and Wikimedia Labs – this would represent a relevant risk for us both in terms of our strategic direction and in terms of communication among the community.
- German-language Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia projects involving the German and European legal areas
- GROWTH: How did your entity grow over the past year (e.g., Number of active editors reached/involved/added, number of articles created, number of events held, number of partipants reached through workshops)? And what were the long term affects of this growth (e.g. relationships with new editors, more returned editors, higher quality articles, etc)?
- The very successful 2013 online fundraising campaign contributed to a substantial growth of membership in 2013. The membership total grew from 5,292 (1,507 active members and 3,785 sustaining members; as of March 31, 2013) to 10,170 (1,750 active members and 8,420 sustaining members; as of March 31, 2014).
The FDC requires information about how your entity received and spent money over the past year. The FDC distributes general funds, so your entity is not required to use funds exactly as outlined in the proposal. While line-item expenses will not be examined, the FDC and movement wants to understand why the entity spent money in the way it did. If variance in budgeted vs. actual is greater than 20%, please provide explanation in more detail. This helps the FDC understand the rationale behind any significant changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."
If you'd prefer to share a budget created in Google or another tool and import it to wiki, you can do so in the tables below instead of using wiki tables. You can link to an external document, but we ask that you do include a table in this form. We are testing this approach in this form.
Provide exchange rate used: 1,3$= 1 EUR
Table 2 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.
- Please also include any in-kind contributions or resources that you have received in this revenues table. This might include donated office space, services, prizes, food, etc. If you are to provide a monetary equivalent (e.g. $500 for food from Organization X for service Y), please include it in this table. Otherwise, please highlight the contribution, as well as the name of the partner, in the notes section.
Revenue source Currency Anticipated Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Anticipated ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Explanation of variances from plan Transfers from the Wikimedia Fördergesellschaft (direct donations to WMDE) EUR 1,522,222 1,417,975 0 104,247 0 1,522,222 1,978,888.6 1,978,888.6 Funds from the FDC EUR 1,376,923 1,376,923 0 0 0 1,376,923 1,789,999.9 1,789,999.9 Corporate Social Responsibility EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 The attempts to generate revenues in this area were not successful. We will not pursue it in the future, concentrating rather on grant-making foundation and third-party-funds. Licensing income EUR 15,703.71 0 11,145.84 4,557.87 0 15,703.71 20,414.823 20,414.823 Membership dues EUR 309,134 5,105 276,018.75 28,011.25 16,734 325,869 401,874.2 423,629.7 A slight difference to adjusted budget. Interest WMDE EUR 0 12.77 271.05 78.97 67.81 430.6 0 559.78 Interest WMFG EUR 25,400 12,147.24 5,065.68 3,821.82 4,121.76 25,156.5 33,020 32,703.45 Third-party funding EUR 161,000 0 0 161,000 3,580 164,580 209,300 213,954 Small grants for the OER Conference and for the Wikipedia Confrence from WMAT in Q4. Wikidata EUR 38,216 38,216 0 0 0 38,216 49,680.8 49,680.8 House of Free Knowledge EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 The concept was dismissed. EU Funds for TAO EUR 28,019.07 0 0 28,019.07 4,620.76 32,639.83 36,424.791 42,431.779 EU funds for RENDER EUR 26,374.8 0 0 26,374.8 0 26,374.8 34,287.24 34,287.24 Toolserver grants EUR 10,000 10,000 0 0 0 10,000 13,000 13,000 Other EUR 11,025 2,999 802.25 3,224.28 6,606.31 13,631.84 14,332.5 17,721.392 Additional revenues e.g.: Wikipedian in Residence contract, WikiCon fees and various reimbursements. Sum 3,524,017.58 3,551,747.28 4,581,222.85 4,617,271.46 Carry over 2012 950,000 950,000 1,235,000 1,235,000 WMFG Fixed-rate 2013 248,361.22 350,000 322,869.58 455,000 This is the fixed-rate of WMFG fundraising costs (fixed-rate for 2013) that has been substracted from the donation amount tranferred to WMF in and for 2013 (partly balancing the spending items of WMFG in 2013). Sum2 4,722,378.8 4,851,747.28 6,139,092.44 6,307,271.46
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Table 3 Please report all spending in the currency of your grant unless US$ is requested.
- (The "budgeted" amount is the total planned for the year as submitted in your proposal form or your revised plan, and the "cumulative" column refers to the total spent to date this year. The "percentage spent to date" is the ratio of the cumulative amount spent over the budgeted amount.)
Expense Currency Budgeted Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Cumulative Budgeted ($US)* Cumulative ($US)* Percentage spent to date Explanation of variances from plan Administration EUR 427,444.17 93,776.93 120,491.55 93,175.69 118,305.71 425,749.88 555,677.42 553,474.84 99.60% Change of role of the association EUR 7,213.8 0 3,538.52 1,275.28 1,392.11 6,205.91 9,377.94 8,067.68 86.03% Improved motivation in the communities EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% This objective was dismissed due to a parallel community initiative (for more explanation see earlier reports). Improved support for communities EUR 387,170.99 67,883.74 42,480.63 64,807.62 257,957.07 433,129.06 503,322.28 563,067.77 111.87% Support structures for new active contributors EUR 10,305.04 0 0 305.04 7,797.5 8,102.54 13,396.55 10,533.30 78.63% The underspending results from a project that suffered in continous delays. The idea of a transfer of the "Teahouse" to the German and international communities, believed in the beginning to be done pretty fast, showed up to be a more and more complicated and growing work. A technical implentation could not be realized in 2013, but is still pursued in 2014. Taking reader interests into account EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% This objective was dismissed (for more explanation see earlier reports). Diversity concept EUR 57,535 10,140.3 2,262.71 9,761.88 49,618.85 71,783.74 74,795.5 93,318.86 124.77% The slight overspending happened mainly due to the increased costs of the Diversity Conference. The very good reception within the movement led to the format enhancement (we made it bigger than planned). Moreover we enabled many Wikimedians to take part in the Diversity Conference by granting international scholarships. Encouraging participation EUR 89,381.66 16,176.89 9,781.14 25,057.63 37,276.6 88,292.26 116,196.15 14,779.93 98.78% Linking up OER actors EUR 65,148 802.78 5,703.28 34,876.02 18,986.83 60,368.91 84,692.4 78,479.58 92.66% Free access to state-owned works EUR 30,409 827.28 3,940.3 11,641.89 19,237.95 35,647.42 39,531.7 46,341.64 117.23% Representing our interests at EU level EUR 19,402.63 1,819.19 6,491.03 7,092.41 17,419.41 32,822.04 25,223.41 42,668.65 169.16% After the initial phase of the project it became obvious that professional monitoring & representation in Brussels could not be done by volunteers only. Therefore, we drafted a contact person from the Wikimedia context and provided him with a freelance contract. Continuing partnerships and identifying new ones EUR 62,986.63 11,070.29 12,638.04 10,778.3 29,332.2 63,818.83 81,882.61 82,964.47 101.32% Wikidata /Software Development (since Q4) EUR 80,179.47 11,581.28 25,892 3,956.19 20,594.69 62,024.16 104,233.31 80,631.40 77.36% The underspending results mainly from lower travel costs than estimated and costs saving because of not purchased hardware and assets for new employees (no new employees have been hired in 2013 although originally planned). RENDER EUR 22,480.55 3,670.45 4,026.54 4,783.53 5,998.26 18,478.78 29,224.71 24,022.41 82.20% Public relations EUR 109,389.09 5,375.33 25,028.43 18,985.33 17,105.23 66,494.32 142,205.81 86,442.61 60.79% Budgeted plans for educational material and material for fundraising as well as member communication were not met. The respective projects/measures were not initiated due to shortage of personnel and restructuring processes both within Communications and the departments. Fundraising WMDE EUR 40,690.05 2,835.83 17,064.03 5,790.19 20,856.03 46,546.08 52,897.06 60,509.90 114.39% Fundraising WMFG EUR 146,663.26 27,979.41 88,415.28 30,268.57 163,508.44 310,171.7 190,662.23 403,223.21 211.49% These costs were higher than expected due to the costs of an unexpected but necessary IT audit, as well as transaction costs during the campaign which were much bigger due to the fact that the campaign was more succesfull than expected. International affairs EUR 89,534.41 2,530.15 44,248.66 22,755.6 (-)3,836.46 65,697.95 116,394.73 85,407.33 73.38% Since the grant of EUR30.000 given to WMIT was not used in its entirety, a main part of it (approx.. EUR23.000) will be paid back to WMDE which results in negative expenses in Q4 and leads to an overall slight underspending. Evaluation EUR 37,426.03 288.34 4,734.44 2,403.25 4,972.29 12,398.32 48,653.83 16,117.81 33.13% Cost savings due to negotiated discounts for software licenses After initial analysis it became clear that a planned software consulting and development project had to be adjourned. Monitoring & controlling EUR 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00% Eventmanagement EUR 28,074.27 0 1,616.92 1,457.35 10,837 13,911.27 36,496.55 18,084.65 49.55% Due to the fact that the event spaces in the new office were not completely ready yet in 2013, the planned event team didn't have as many expenses as previously planned. House of Free Knowledge EUR 177,914.84 512 1,047.13 1,355.68 52,650.89 55,565.7 231,289.29 72,235.41 31.23% Not all planned spending could be realized in 2013 and a part of the expenses were moved to the beginning of 2014 and some expenses aren't included here as they are depreciation assets. Supervisory Board EUR 95,680 17,189.68 25,396.81 19,800.71 29,987.54 92,374.74 124,384 120,087.162 96.55% Personnel costs WMDE EUR 2,133,915 520,416.86 485,489.09 551,714.86 603,246.19 2,160,867 2,774,089.5 2,809,127.1 101.26% Personnel costs WMFG EUR 101,697.96 34,911.39 33,397.1 33,389.47 40,058.07 141,756.03 132,207.34 184,282.83 139.39% This year we had higher than expected IT-costs for testing and website programming before and during the fundraiser 2013. Sum 4,220,641.85 4,272,206.64 5,486,834.40 5,553,868.63 101.22%
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Comments on the financial section:
- The budgeted figures have been adjusted in Q3. For original budgeted figures see the proposal, for explantions of the adjustement see Q3 report.
- Please note that the Annual Financial Statement's distribution between the administration and project costs will differ from the financial overview in this impact report. In accordance with the German tax standards we are entitled by law to apportion parts of the administration costs to the project costs in the Annual Financial Statements which we do every year. In order to ensure the comparability between the Annual Statements and between the FDC reports we decided to sustain both of the reporting models which will result in a discrepancy in the way we present adminstration and project costs between these two.
Progress against past year's goals/objectives
The FDC needs to understand the impact of the initiatives your entity has implemented over the past year. Because the FDC distributes general funds, entities are not required to implement the exact initiatives proposed in the FDC proposal; the FDC expects each entity to spend money in the way it best sees fit to achieve its goals and those of the movement. However, please point out any significant changes from the original proposal, and the reasons for the changes. Note that any changes from the Grant proposal, among other things, must be consistent with the WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, must be reported to WMF, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement. The WMF mission is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally."
Program 1: Wikimedia Deutschland will simplify and improve cooperation with and within the communities on a permanent basis to increase participation and motivation within the projects.
Change of role (Communities Team)
Changing the working climate (Communities Teams)
Changing support mechanisms (Communities Team)
Program 2: Wikimedia Deutschland will increase the diversity of knowledge in Wikimedia projects to enable adequate representation of different perspectives in the projects.
Changes for new Wikimedians (Communities Team)
Changes for diversity (Education and Knowledge)
Changing participation (Education and Knowledge)
Program 3: Wikimedia Deutschland will enable readers to bring their personal perspective into the Wikimedia projects.
Changes for readers (Communities Team)
Program 4: Wikimedia Deutschland will form new cooperations to establish the concept of free knowledge on a broader basis.
Changes in the educational sphere (Education and Knowledge)
Changes for state-owned works (Politics and Society)
Changes at the European level (Politics and Society)
Changes in partnerships (Politics and Society)
Activities: Summary of the year 2013 as a whole (selected highlights)
Sphere Quarter Project Achievements Challenges Exhibit I Wikidata trifft Archäologie scientific symposium focusing on the limes map as an interactive application for open culture data. 50 participants from various communities and several specialist institutions. Volunteers from Wikipedia, scientists and coders joined forces to demonstrate the potential of open culture data. The map still has to be integrated into Wikipedia. We must overcome data protection-related obstacles and set out some general parameters for cooperation with OpenStreetMap. Encounter II GLAM on Tour in Braunschweig community event in cooperation with a local GLAM. The Wikipedia article Battle at the Harzhorn is a key example of how cooperation can reap substantial rewards. WMDE has been responsible for maintaining contact between the GLAM and volunteers to date. This places a particular burden on time resources. In the long run, the GLAM and volunteers should be able to liaise without the intervention of WMDE. Exhibit III Exzellente Partnerschaft: ZDFcheck In line with Wikipedia’s operating principles – cooperative, substantiated and unbiased – this project invited the Internet community to check the accuracy of politicians’ statements during the election campaign. A Wikipedian in Residence paid by ZDF was responsible for keeping the Wikipedia community up to date. In return, ZDF became the first public broadcaster to make content available under a CC BY license. Fewer than 20 Wikipedians (known by name) were involved in the project, yet they managed to ensure exceptionally high standards from all participants. The free licensing of content set a precedent. When organizing projects like this in future, we must communicate the value of these measures more effectively in advance. We must also improve the way we document these measures for expert audiences in order to set an example for future projects. Outreach IV Zugang gestalten (Shaping Access) GLAM symposium with 245 participants from 48 GLAM institutions. The conference is an established format and a good networking platform. Goals for 2014: reduce the workload related to the partnership; boost the presence of Wikimedia projects. Encounter IV GLAM on Tour in Görlitz community event in cooperation with a local GLAM. The event not only helped build good relations with the GLAM, but also resulted in the formation of a group of volunteers in the region who are organizing further measures. WMDE has been responsible for maintaining contact between the GLAM and volunteers to date. This places a particular burden on time resources. In the long run, the GLAM and volunteers should be able to liaise without the intervention of WMDE.
GA detailed overview of GLAM on Tour, as time resources were dedicated mainly to this project.
Parameters Braunschweig Görlitz Coordinating Wikipedian Brunswyk ConnY GLAM institution Braunschweigisches Landesmuseum (Braunschweig State Museum) Oberlausitzische Bibliothek der Wissenschaften (Oberlausitz Library of Sciences) Project page https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Die_R%C3%B6mer_kommen! https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Oberlausitz Duration 3 days 2 days Blog article http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/06/28/braunschweig-wird-zur-romerstadt-wikipedia-ist-dabei/ http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/11/07/goerlitzer-schaetze-hinter-dicken-mauern/ Wikipedians & other members of the Wikimedia Community 15 17 Wikipedia articles (new or edited) 10 22 Considerable improvements and additions were made to the article on the battlefield and it was voted article of the day on 30 September 2 new articles were created; most were significantly expanded and enhanced. Excellent quality photographs were added to the article on the OLB, attracting more visitors to the page. Other contents 227 (photos) 159 (photos) The photos can roughly be divided into two categories: photographed artefacts and pictures of the event. Both categories were included in Wikipedia articles. The OLB boasts a wealth of iconographic architecture. For the first time, a central-point perspective of the library’s historic reading room is available under a free license. The photograph was a featured picture on Wikimedia Commons, allowing it to reach an extremely large audience. Continuation There are plans to hold a writing workshop with museum staff at the end of June 2014 to produce materials for the exhibition on the First World War scheduled for August 2014. There is interest in participating in the project on Umgebinde-Häusern(half-timbered houses) in the region in May 2014.
The Wikidata project celebrated its first anniversary . in October 2013. With 92.5 million edits, 24 million statements, 3,900 active editors and 600 very active editors as the end of 2013 approached, Wikidata ranks as one of the most successful Wikimedia projects of all time and has far more user participation than most Wikipedias. Wikidata is a project of major significance not only for Wikimedia Deutschland, but also for the entire Wikimedia movement. The development of Wikidata has seen Wikimedia Deutschland take a comprehensive and sustainable approach to the creation of a new department dedicated to software development.
The initial development of Wikidata was completed in 2013. Twelve employees, most of whom moved to Berlin for the assignment, worked full time on the project. Large donations from the George and Betty Moore Foundation, the Paul Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence and Google made this possible. Later, the search engine Yandex  and IBM http://blog.wikimedia.de/2013/07/16/ibm-research-spendet-preisgeld-des-aaai-feigenbaum-preises-fur-watson-an-die-wikimedia-foundation/ donated additional funds for the project. Within a year, the Wikidata team had created an infrastructure for structured data in Wikimedia projects. Some 284 Wikipedias received access to the database in March 2013 . The excellent collaboration with the Wikimedia Foundation played a key role in these efforts: the Wikimedia Foundation not only runs Wikidata, but also operates numerous tools that helped with the development. The Foundation also provided us with invaluable advice and support.
Because of the huge success of the large-scale project, WMDE quickly decided to continue work on Wikidata after the initial phase . Our continued support shows that we have confidence in Wikidata and its goals, and also ensures the further development and maintenance of the project.
In the fourth quarter of 2013, we were able to start connecting further projects such as Wikivoyage, Wikimedia Commons and Wikisource to Wikidata. The work done by the development team at WMDE focused on performance, usability and the introduction of data sets. Thanks to the team’s efforts, Wikidata has established itself as an important infrastructure project for Wikimedia projects.
This success story for the Wikimedia movement needs to be continued in the years to come. The further technical development will mainly focus on redesigning the user interface, implementing data queries in Wikidata and integrating Wikimedia Commons. WMDE has set several mid- to long-term goals for the further development of the Wikidata project. First of all, we need to build trust in the data stored in Wikidata. The project is still young, and Wikipedia editors and others are still apprehensive about using large amounts of data from Wikidata. We need to develop tools and processes that make the data more reliable. Another priority will be to improve the user experience of Wikidata. And, last but not least, we have to make Wikidata easier to understand for people who are not as intuitively inclined to use structured data as the project’s tech-oriented community has been so far.
In the future, the development team will continue to concentrate on enhancing and expanding Wikidata in order to give the Wikimedia movement a useful, reliable and pioneering project. As a repository of the world’s knowledge in structured-data format, Wikidata has the potential to become a central infrastructure component for the Wikimedia movement’s knowledge activities in the 21st century.A solid foundation has been laid.
Additional information Media reports:
Weekly status updates:
WMDE seeks to strengthen its expertise and knowledge of free software, especially within the context of developing MediaWiki and large-scale projects such as Wikidata and sister projects of Wikimedia, but also in software projects that deal with other aspects of free knowledge. The make-up of the Software Development department is itself an example of how we are translating these aims into practice. Individual projects like Wikidata and Render prompted us in 2013 to establish a new area that embodies our goal of developing software for free knowledge in an entirely different way while also bringing together activities toward this end under a common focus.
Software development at Wikimedia goes far beyond the large-scale project Wikidata and is relevant for all projects and areas of WMDE – from the creation of in-house solutions to the implementation of open infrastructures and the promotion of the movement’s communities. As the largest Wikimedia organization outside the United States, WMDE is starting from an excellent position through its integration in Berlin’s thriving open-source developer community. At the end of 2013, in the last quarter, not only the Supervisory Board of WMDE, but also the members of the association voiced clear support for the idea of creating a Software Development department as a field of the future and establishing the area as development hub for the Wikimedia movement in the center of Europe.
Software Development projects in 2013
WMDE carried out several projects in Software Development in 2013. With RENDER, an EU-funded project focused on knowledge diversity , we developed tools  for investigating and visualizing the diverse forms of knowledge within Wikipedia. The most important tool here was the Article Monitor , which gives an overview of statistical data und various analyses for a Wikipedia article.
The CatGraph custom graph database is a service for tool developers who need open-source access to a graph infrastructure based on Wikipedia categories for their own applications. CatGraph was initially made available to the community on the Toolserver and has since migrated to Tool Labs.
Within the scope of the [do:index] Digital Openness Index Software Development at WMDE has built a survey application for interviewing government institutions to determine how they measure up in terms of digital openness (use of open source, open date, OER, etc.).
In the future, WMDE seeks to collaborate more closely with the Product and Engineering Teams at the Wikimedia Foundation in order to continuously enhance the innovative capacity for the movement. This particularly concerns, among other areas, the further development of the MediaWiki software, Wikidata and other joint projects. We will focus in 2014 on continuing to build up the department and expanding the present structures according to requirements, tasks and challenges, in order to further promote and establish a competence and development center alongside the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco. WMDE sees itself as a pioneer in this area and can serve an example to other chapters that wish to create decentralized software development projects from scratch parallel to the work of the Wikimedia Foundation.
At the start of 2013, we and WMF decided to tackle the migration from Toolserver to Tool Labs together. This will be particularly challenging as the Toolserver is one of the most active community projects. WMDE has been the communications link within the community for anyone who develops or uses tools. It was, and still is, the aim of WMDE to ensure that the community receives the best support possible during the migration. The project management team at WMDE developed a migration schedule together with WMF.
Various workshops such as the hackathon in Amsterdam assisted the community with technical questions about the migration of tools. Dozens of tools were successfully migrated in 2013; however, in 2014, there are still several tools to migrate and larger projects that will pose a number of challenges. WMDE will continue to give the community support on technical questions and issues related to the migration from Toolserver to Tool Labs.
The fact that WMF and WMDE made a joint commitment to tackle the migration was critical to the successful start and execution of this project in 2013. This was the only way to ensure that priority would be given to making Tool Labs a viable alternative to the Toolserver.
Difficulties: There were times during the year when the roles and responsibilities at WMF for the project were not clearly defined. Changes in responsibilities were not always clearly communicated, which led to communication delays and uncertainties within the community and the project management team at WMDE. Information about the progress being made on Tool Labs was often not furnished with the frequency and level of detail that the community would have liked.
Reasons for deciding not to continue operating the Toolserver:
- The Toolserver grew over the years to such a point that it required a completely different type of resource planning and needed to be made easier to extend. This is much easier to accomplish in a virtualized environment. The Toolserver is also heavily dependent on Solaris, which requires admins with a good grasp of Solaris.
- WMDE does not have direct access to the Toolserver. It is located in Haarlem, the Netherlands, in racks belonging to the WMF. These racks are full, and a shortage of electricity is imminent. Procuring and installing hardware is extremely complicated and time-consuming. Even from a logistics standpoint, it would require a considerable amount of expense and effort to extend the Toolserver.
- The Toolserver project is designed in such a way that only one person is meant to manage its tools. The departure of maintenance staff leaves behind orphaned projects that are not as easy to pass on as is the case with the concept implemented in Tool Labs.
- The Toolserver does not have a staging process for functionalities that will be taken live later by the Wikimedia projects.
- The WMF no longer wants to publish the database dumps that make the Toolserver so special. The Toolserver is therefore not an independent project; it heavily depends on the WMF in this respect.
- The WMF has the resources needed to operate a Toolserver alternative, and it has devised an infrastructure that can respond to the growing requirements better than the current Toolserver. It can provide access to processes that enable tools to be deployed on live systems, and it has data authority over the databases. These are all facts in favor of the WMF also operating the infrastructure on which volunteers can develop software for Wikimedia projects.
Operation of the Toolserver:
WMDE will continue to operate the Toolserver as long as Tool Labs does not represent a full replacement in terms of its range of functionalities. In 2013, WMDE assigned a further part-time system administrator to Toolserver tasks and purchased a minimal amount of replacement hardware. The difficulties involved in procuring hardware for a server located in the Netherlands confirmed our decision to shut down the Toolsever in the medium term. At the end of 2013, the Toolserver’s longtime volunteer system administrator left the project, because he did not back the decision to ultimately shut down the Toolserver. Unfortunately, there were often problems with the Toolserver in 2013, at times with the system itself, and other times with individual tools or with the database replication. This made us realize that the community (those not involved with maintenance) frequently sees the Toolserver as one whole system, although each technical problem in the complex set-up must be viewed individually and cannot necessarily be solved by throwing money at it.
Lessons from the past
A key objective of the funding is to enable the movement as a whole to understand how to achieve shared goals better and faster. An important way of doing this is to identify lessons learned and insights from entities who receive funds, and to share these lessons across the movement. Please answer the following questions in 1–2 paragraphs each.
- 1. What were your in the past year, and how did you help to achieve movement goals?
- One of our successes for 2013 in the area of education actually resulted from a failure during previous years: We had, for a long time, focused on individual workshops at schools or universities. As effective as such projects may be on a small scale, they do not offer long-term transferability to larger stakeholder groups, and they consume a lot of resources. In 2013, we decided that, although we would continue to support model projects (such as Women Edit), we would concentrate our other efforts on laying foundations that can then be used for our own work as well as for the work of other (volunteer and/or paid) stakeholders. The result is our diversity concept, which we hope can be fruitfully mined during continued efforts to increase diversity in all Wikimedia projects worldwide.
- In the GLAM sector, our greatest success is the excellent partnership between the volunteers who are so vital to our collaboration with numerous museums, libraries and archives and the employees in Berlin who support this work organizationally and actively help to improve the conditions under which it is performed. This has only become possible through the long-term involvement of Wikimedia Deutschland.
- We have seen that long-term involvement can pay off organizationally as well: Our fundraising continues to be enormously successful and contributes considerably to the global Wikimedia movement.
- The Statement of Intent of the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU within the Wikimedia Association is also a clear success. Here, for the first time, several chapters have agreed upon a shared political agenda, resulting in specific projects and a shared infrastructure in Brussels.
- The decision to both continue with Wikidata and set up a second hub for MediaWiki Development in Berlin in addition to the one in San Francisco has also turned out to be a success. It’s not just that the continuity of Wikidata is ensured – in the future we will now be able to take on additional major projects that will have a direct influence on all Wikimedia projects. We have successfully created the structures necessary in order to do this.
- There have been successes in the area of communities as well. Just one example: Since 2013, volunteers have been insured through Wikimedia Deutschland while they actively contribute to Wikipedia or other Wikimedia projects.
- The decision not to design the WMDE’s new space as office areas only but instead to also make them into a contact point for communities and to keep the infrastructure open to all individuals and organizations that support our goals is already a resounding success today. For 2014, at the beginning of the year, we have already scheduled about 100 events to be held in our space.
- 2. What were your in the past year (e.g., programs that were not successful)?
- 2013 showed us how important personnel decisions are. The long search for leadership for the Communities Team left the department uncertain and unstructured: This had a particularly negative effect on ongoing volunteer support. Not until Denis Barthel was appointed did this department regain the necessary structure and certainty. However, it will take months before this department gets to where it should be, given the size and role of the German-speaking Wikimedia communities.
- Communications are a second core area in which we were not successful. Firstly, we did not manage to incorporate our topics broadly and deeply into societal debates, and secondly, we failed to do our work well vis-à-vis the communities in particular. We surged ahead in areas where restraint would have been called for. And we held back too much in areas where clear involvement would have been necessary. In 2014, both of these matters will be addressed in the Communications Unit (under new leadership as of late 2013) and together with the Communities Team.
- 3. What (organizational, environmental) enabled your success?
- For political players, GLAM institutions and scientists, a positive and open attitude toward free knowledge is increasingly becoming a matter of course. The Wikimedia projects are successful points of reference in this regard. In this climate, WMDE is able to position itself as a professional partner and as an institutionalized point of contact for the movement’s volunteers.
- Community empowerment or open innovation approaches such as those we have, for example, explored in our work on the Diversity Project, have proven to be successful methods for connecting different players with one another in a professional project context. This approach is suited to mobilizing volunteers as well as to promoting ongoing involvement and exchange of experience. A multi-dimensional methodological approach to project work (round tables, workshops, networks, community organizing methods) helped generate expertise and ensure the transfer of results.
- 4. What did you encounter and how did this affect what you were able to accomplish?
- When the Wikimedia Chapters Association (WCA) “went dead,” the budget that had been allocated to it was not called up, thus impairing the association’s ability to act with regard to the international projects of the movement. It was only in the course of the third quarter, thanks to the start of the Chapters Dialogue, that we were able to invest in movement projects. This step should have been taken much earlier.
- In the area of community-building, we were not in a position in 2013 to set up the structures needed to ensure effective, customer-centered support. Instead of the marked expansion of support that was planned, it was all we could do to maintain the status quo. Here we see how central personnel decisions are to the achievement of goals – and how important it is to invest sufficient time and expertise into the selection of personnel. As a consequence, in 2014 we hired a manager for the Administrative and Personnel Department.
- 5. What are the that other entities can learn from your experience? Consider learning from both the programmatic and institutional (what you have learned about professionalizing your entity, if you have done so) points of view.
- In 2013 WMDE had a key insight in the area of software development: Wikidata was a great start, but in the medium term Wikimedia needed a second development hub in addition to San Francisco. WMDE decided – in consultation with the Wikimedia Foundation – to operate and expand this hub.
- Using the Statement of Intent as an example, it is easy to see the pull that a joint action by several chapters can exert and how important networking with one another is for the achievement of shared goals. In the course of 2013, it became clear that monitoring political events in Brussels appears to address a need that was previously not being met through the movement’s established communication channels.
- Through the measures in the areas of education, science, politics and culture, we have succeeded in becoming accepted as a partner and go-between for the Wikimedia movement and representatives of knowledge-producing institutions. We thereby create greater commitment for the institutions and ease the burden on the volunteers.
- In the course of 2013, it became increasingly clear that for projects with extensive volunteer participation it is absolutely necessary to include the communities in project planning early on so that the relationship between paid and volunteer workers does not suffer. Experiences with the community project budget demonstrated that financial support alone does not guarantee successful community projects. Project planning and implementation support are also crucial.
Lessons for the future
The Wikimedia movement grows as each entity in the movement reflects and adapts its approaches to changing needs and contexts. The questions below encourage you to apply your thinking in the sections above of "how well have we done" and "what have we learned" to the development and execution of future organisational and program strategies. The questions below can be informed both by your own entities' learnings, as well as the learnings of other movement entities (e.g., adding a new program that appears to have caused significant impact in several other countries or communities).
- 1. What organisational or program strategies would you continue?
- In the coming year we will retain our content-related focuses and carry them over into new program lines with operative goals. To do this, we classified all current projects pursuing a shared long-term goal into cross-departmental programs. With methodological guidance from the Evaluation Unit, impact models were created for these programs in each case. These models show how interim goals can be attained in steps that build on one another in a causal fashion. These impact models provide the theoretical foundation for project planning and evaluation and are intended to help improve WMDE’s work in the future.
- On the organizational level, we will concentrate on three approaches: Supporting the communities in Germany, operating a software development location for the worldwide Wikimedia movement and establishing WMDE as a cooperating partner in order to carry out societal, scientific and political initiatives in a targeted way.
- 2. What might you change in organisational and program strategies in order to improve the effectiveness of your entity?
- Further work on and for Wikidata will continue to set the agenda for our Software Development Department for quite a while yet, but we will also move forward gradually with additional important software development for the global Wikimedia movement. In addition to the benefit to the entire movement, this decision also alters the structure and DNA of WMDE: Already today, 25% of our employees are software developers – and, due to the work processes and the particular culture that are involved, this changes our everyday workplace experience as well. While in the other departments we wish to work a lot more using external projects (that is, projects that we carry out together with partners) and thereby grow in a more volatile fashion, the continued expansion of software development will be a key concern for WMDE.
- Wikimedia Deutschland will thus become an organization that will differ clearly from the WMDE of two or three years ago: Supporting the second-largest Wikipedia community in Germany and our contributions to Wikimedia’s global software landscape will be the donation-financed core areas of our work. Influencing the societal framework, working with scientific and historical institutions and disseminating the ideas of free knowledge (collaboration, free licenses, etc.) in society will be approached in a more project-driven way and in close cooperation (including financial cooperation) with partners.
- 3. Please create at least one learning pattern from your entity's experiences this year and link to it here.
Stories of success and challenge
Of all the accomplishments highlighted through this report, please share two detailed stories: one story of a success and one story of a challenge that your entity experienced over the past year in a few paragraphs each. Provide any details that might be helpful to others in the movement on the context, strategy, and impact of this initiative. We suggest you write this as you would tell a story to a friend or colleague. Please refrain from using bullet points or making a list, and rather focus on telling us about your organization's experience.
Case study: success
WMDE promotes free knowledge throughout society. In 2013, WMDE identified the area of Open Educational Resources (OER) as an important area for our work in education. OER means that teaching and learning materials are provided under free licenses to enable participation, access and continued development by everyone. OER is, simply by virtue of the educational sector’s size and the associated potential impact, a significant area for free knowledge work. We believe that what happened thirteen years ago with encyclopedias is about to happen with teaching materials: The dissolution of a traditional system of publishers, editors and multi-year publication cycles in favor of a system of collaboration, continuous improvement and free licenses.
In Germany, the topic of OER was, in contrast to the situation in countries like Poland, USA and Great Britain, not yet a significant part of educational policy discourse in 2013. There were a number of initiatives, but there was no shared platform for bringing together all who were involved. At that time, very little networking had taken place among the key players.
WMDE saw itself as the ideal organization for changing this: With our networking capacity, our methodological expertise, our experience with collaborative structures and our size as an organization, our analysis showed that we had the abilities needed to move the topic of OER forward in a significant way in Germany.
WMDE decided that our most important single undertaking would be to hold a two-day conference on the topic of OER – the OERde13 – in September of 2013. We worked with a number of partners to prepare for the conference. For example, we made decisions together with other organizations about the conference schedule and programming. In this work, our partners included the German UNESCO Commission as sponsor as well as the Medienanstalt (media company) Berlin-Brandenburg, Werkstatt.bpb, Creative Commons Deutschland and Co:llaboratory. The planning of the program of presentations was entrusted to Jöran & Konsorten, a well-networked agency with experience in education; we worked intensively with this agency.
The partners contributed to the planning using their respective content-related and methodological expertise: Creative Commons and Co:llaboratory have been working on OER-related content for years and thus have a large network and experience with these topics. They primarily helped to design the content of the conference. Werkstatt.bpb provided media services during the conference via videos and blog posts. Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (mbb) supported the conference through direct financial and indirect content-related support: In 2013, mbb promoted a number of local initiatives in the area of OER, including OERde14. The conference profited from this directly in a financial sense and indirectly through the network of supported projects and initiatives that came into being. The German UNESCO Commission opened many doors for the conference in the political arena and within institutions.
OERde13 brought many key players together around the topic of Open Educational Resources (OER) and became the largest German conference focusing on that issue. On September 14 and 15, 300 participants spent two days discussing the current situation and the future of free knowledge in the area of education; because at that point little discussion of the topic had been taking place in society as a whole, the original plan had been that only 150 individuals would attend. We could not have foreseen the overwhelming interest in the topic.
OERde13 was a combination of professional conference and BarCamp and thus offered participants the opportunity to help shape the conference themselves. Thirty specialized presentations and project presentations as well as 20 participant-organized workshops took place. The conference helped key players, scientists and decision-makers working in educational policy to expand their networks and make new contacts, and was recognized both nationally and internationally as a significant event in this field. The participants who were asked expressed enthusiasm about the conference’s content and implementation.
The conference was comprehensively documented. An overview with presentations and videos can be found at http://www.wikimedia.de/wiki/OERde13.
The conference could only be held because WMDE worked together professionally as a team and across departments. The Event Team’s and the Communications Unit’s exceptional support during the planning and implementation of major events contributed significantly to the success of OERde13. Another key to success was the delegation of activities to experts like the Jöran & Konsorten agency as well as the collaboration with other organizations. We were able to delegate many activities outside of our core areas of expertise.
As a result of the conference, discussion about OER among the German public has intensified dramatically: The topic is now being discussed in educational policy magazines as well as in the political arena. In February2014, Berlin became the first state in Germany to make OER into a part of its future educational landscape. Several representatives of the Pirate Party, where this initiative originated, had previously attended the conference. In their rationale for the original request, the Pirates referred to the successful OER conference.
From the highly successful conference, we have learned that we are most likely to have an impact when we bring in our special strengths: The ability to network, experiences with collaborative structures and credibility as an organization. In 2014 as well, we want to again work closely with partners to organize a conference on OER and thereby build on the 2013 success.
Case study: challenge
In spring 2013, there was a lot of discussion in the Wikimedia world about the chapters’ roles, relationships, responsibilities and challenges. There is a lot of uncertainty, there is speculation, but many discussions are not conducted publicly and do not involve all affected parties. Decisions are made that just deal with the symptoms and do not address the cause of the current situation.
In our opinion, what is missing in all these discussions is a shared understanding of what chapters want to do, what their wishes, goals, fears and stories are. There is also a lack of clarity as to what relationship and what type of collaboration chapter stakeholders (e.g. Wikimedia Foundation, Affiliations Committee and Funds Dissemination Committee) consider optimal.
To this end, Wikimedia Deutschland designed the Chapters Dialogue project. In this project, we ask all the chapters and their stakeholders, in face-to-face interviews, about their stories. Using the Design Thinking methodology, we create a synthesis of about 100 90-minute interviews and thereby prepare a “map of the Wikimedia world.” In this regard, an ongoing dialogue with broad participation is desirable: The insights can lead to recommendations for action in 2014 and are intended to lay a foundation for various international movement processes and decisions.
In addition to analysis of Wikimedia universe structures, goals and perspectives, the Chapters Dialogue also provides an opportunity for WMDE to network even better with the international organizations and committees. For example, in addition to having access to a large pool of international contacts and having the ability to promote collaboration or partnerships, in the future the International Affairs Unit will be even better able to put WMDE’s work as a whole into an international context.
Another important insight from this process for us was that it can be helpful to approach complex questions concerning joint promotion of the Wikimedia mission pro-actively. We seized this opportunity, planned the project thoroughly and implemented it in a structured fashion, allocated the relevant resources and devoted ourselves to this task with dedication and commitment from beginning to end. These types of movement-related topics cannot be satisfactorily dealt with by setting up a Wiki page and a few emails or isolated conversations.
- 1. What are some of the activities that are happening in your community that are not chapter-led? What are the most successful among these, and why?
- Volunteers organize and carry out all CPB projects, such as Festivalsommer (Festival Summer) or the Landtagsprojekte (State Parliament Projects), as well as regular casual gatherings, editorial meetings and outings.
- The WikiCon is also an essentially “community-driven” event for which the community implements content and, to a large extent, does the organizing as well. After Wikimania, it is the largest regular community event in the Wikiverse.
- Due to the large volume of free content (articles, images) that they generate for Wikimedia projects, Festival Summer and the State Parliament Projects have measurable success and simultaneously increase external recognition of projects. Success factors here include the very active communities and their close cooperation with one another.
- 2. Provide any links to any media coverage, blog posts, more detailed reports, more detailed financial information that you haven't already, as well as at least one photograph or video that captures the impact your entity had this past year.
There are numerous videos on WMDE's vimeo-channel that illustrate our work in 2013. Here are a few examples:
Conference "Zugang gestalten!" (Shaping Access)
Wikimedia Diversity Conference
OER13de – Conference on Open Educational Resources
Is your organization compliant with the terms defined in the grant agreement?
- 1. As required in the grant agreement, please report any deviations from your grant proposal here. Note that, among other things, any changes must be consistent with our WMF mission, must be for charitable purposes as defined in the grant agreement, and must otherwise comply with the grant agreement.
- In the end of Q3 we have adjusted the revenues and spending budget for 2013 ; due to a number of factors (see the previous reports for details) we reduced the budget and have planned to spend the carry over of approx. 500.000 Euro mainly on Software Development in 2014. Another change to the proposal was the cancellation of certain objectives which proved unrealistic to be realized in 2013 ("Taking reader interests into account" and "Improved motivation in the communities").
- 2. Are you in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
- 3. Are you in compliance with provisions of the United States Internal Revenue Code (“Code”), and with relevant tax laws and regulations restricting the use of the Grant funds as outlined in the grant agreement? Please answer "Yes" or "No".
- 1. Report any Grant funds that are unexpended fifteen (15) months after the Effective Date of the Grant Agreement. These funds must be returned to WMF or otherwise transferred or deployed as directed by WMF.
- In 2013 we had an underspending of 500.000€ as compared to the original budget (please note that although the revenues minus spending equation results in 580.000€ the service period for some renovation work of 2013 has been shifted to January 2014). However one should consider the following calculation: our revised revenues budget for 2013 was 4.5 Mio Euros; the FDC allocation was 1.37 Mio or 30% of the overall revenues budget. One could therefore argue that 30% of the unspent 500.000 € came from the FDC allocation. That would mean 152.900€ of the FDC allocation was unspent. We would like to point out that FDC already reduced the entire prognosed underspending amount of 500.000€ from the 2013/14 allocation so in our understanding the funds has been returned already.
- 2. Any interest earned on the Grant funds by Grantee will be used by Grantee to support the Mission and Purposes as set out in this Grant Agreement. Please report any interest earned during the reporting period and cumulatively over the duration of the Grant and Grant Agreement.
- The entire interest of WMDE and WMFG amounted to 25.587€. Since the FDC allocation constituted 30% of the revised revenues budget, the interest earned on the Grant funds amounted to 7.676€ .