This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their results to date. For progress reports, the time period for this report will the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). For impact reports, the time period for this report will be the full 12 months of this grant, including the period already reported on in the progress report (e.g. 1 January - 31 December of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing global metrics, program stories, financial information, and compliance. Please contact APG/FDC staff if you have questions about this form, or concerns submitting it by the deadline. After submitting the form, organizations will also meet with APG staff to discuss their progress.
We are trying to understand the overall outcomes of the work being funded across our grantees' programs. Please use the table below to let us know how your programs contributed to the Global Metrics. We understand not all Global Metrics will be relevant for all programs, so feel free to put "0" where necessary.
For each program include the following table and
Next to each required metric, list the outcome achieved for all of your programs included in your proposal.
Where necessary, explain the context behind your outcome.
In addition to the Global Metrics as measures of success for your programs, there is another table format in which you may report on any OTHER relevant measures of your programs success
Overall, 2018 was a year with multiple facets. On one hand, Wikimedia CH saw significant progress towards strategic alignment and continued its efforts to become more efficient in all aspects of the organisation. While on the other hand, several road-blocks needed to be circumvented and solutions found, which meant that progress could not be achieved as quickly as initially intended.
As mentioned in our last progress report, the unforeseen resignation of two precious staff members before the summer necessitated a timely and adequate response, which for a small organisation like WMCH, meant not only a huge investment of time for recruiting and onboarding new members of staff, but also a certain amount of destabilisation within the team. Whereas Communications (with Andy Treichler working 90%) and Admin/Fundraising (with Oliver Rölli working 60%) were partly staffed, the decision was made to outsource important parts of Accounting to prepare a switch to analytical accounting in 2019. The transition period after the departure of our Finance and HR Manager was definitely not an easy one, as many processes and workflows had to be revisited and delegated externally. On top of that, time was crucial, as everything needed to be ready for the banner fundraising period at the end of the year, which always necessitates full attention from a variety of functions and staff members.
In terms of HR, WMCH paved the way for the future by drafting and implementing mindful HR policies, thereby moving towards GDPR compliance and transparent rules for everyone. Clear processes were established, and already existing guidelines overhauled, but even more importantly, especially for a virtual organisation like WMCH, clear rules now outline the annualization of working time, establishing a “traffic light system” for the management of extra work and overtime. In addition, ranges of salaries have been fixed in a comprehensive grid according to functions and years of experience/expertise, thus clearly putting a compensation concept in place. And finally, staff regulations were overhauled and adapted to the association’s current needs. WMCH is now a small matrix organisation with clear values and structures whereby some staff members have a more thematic and programmatic workstream, others work on regions supporting the thematic workstreams, and functions like Administration, Communication, HR, Accounting or Leadership affect all of the other areas.
After 2018’s GA and the election of two new Board members, plus a new President (who already was a Board member before but nevertheless took on new responsibilities), WMCH quickly regained its balance. The Board Governance workshop, which was envisaged for the end of 2018, had to be postponed to 2019 (if possible) due to the workload connected with the organisation of WMCH’s first online extraordinary General Assembly on the 10th of December. The reason behind this extraordinary Assembly was mostly to present budgets and programmes for the coming year (instead of waiting for the physical General Assembly, which always takes place late in Q1 of the new year), but also to approve and discuss the bylaw changes which were proposed at the regular GA but weren’t approved back then as the members asked for more time to review the changes. This first trial was definitely a success and WMCH is now looking into the possibility of repeating this format.
In terms of GDPR, WMCH worked alongside specialised lawyers to enable the organisation to meet the various standards even before the new rules will come into effect in Switzerland. The GDPR standards not only have an impact on Marketing, Communication and HR, but also affect the way in which contracts are signed and agreements put forward, thus the organisation as a whole. Finally looking at fundraising, through the various “friendraising” events, a number of new contacts and partners could be generated, which will need to be followed up and nurtured in the years to come. A major aspect that will require all efforts in 2019, however, is the IT infrastructure allowing for professional campaigning and fundraising. Unfortunately, the company that was selected in the past had to be called off the project: a major learning for WMCH who lost both money and substantial amounts of time with the choice of the wrong partner. Several processes still need to be streamlined and rendered more automatic and effective, which is key to the creation of a sustainable organisational base.
All programmes moved forward a great deal in 2018. The GLAM programme area equipped itself with a hands-on strategy and plan, which allowed WMCH to approach not only new partners but also to extend existing activities and events to the various regions of Switzerland. The organisation was able to build its reputation by delivering timely and quality output while still learning a lot from other Chapters, colleagues and stakeholders.
In terms of Education, the strategy and action plan are now consolidated, reviewed and accessible both in a long version and one-page format. This was necessary to reflect on both the changes within the new WMF strategy, as well as those within several Swiss cantons. The latter necessitated an adaptation of the programmes addressing, in particular, the challenges connected with the recent digital revolution. On top of that, important contacts have been made to be able to start implementing projects in 2019. The close collaboration between not only the GLAM and the Education Programme Managers, but also the linguistic and regional Community Officers, allows for coherent, Swiss-wide initiatives.
As already pointed out in previous reports, WMCH made a particular effort in 2018 to go out and meet its counterparts in the other Chapters that have the same languages to exchange, learn, share and possibly collaborate on future projects. For our Community approach, this proved very helpful, helping establish a concrete way forward together with an action plan. On top of that, WMCH not only attended and actively participated in the French and Italian speaking WikiCons, but also helped the outstanding organising Committee in Switzerland with its leading partner from Germany to hold a successful German-speaking WikiCon in St. Gallen. The achieved media coverage for the latter was exceptional, and all of the positive feedback mirrored the dedication of the voluntary organising Committee. WMCH would like to again thank them for their relentless efforts and motivation.
Finally, concerning Partnership & Outreach, the strategic decision to collaborate with ParlDigi bore numerous fruits in 2018. WMCH was, for example, able to participate in important discussions around copyright issues during an open hearing meeting with National Council members in Bern, where Dimitar Dimitrov from Brussels held a panel seat. The association also secured a speaking slot for Katherine Maher, CEO of the Wikimedia Foundation at the DINACon (Conference for Digital Sustainability) who also took time to meet with Swiss Community members after the event. What is more, as a result of engaging at various events and activities throughout 2018, WMCH can now reach out to several new potential contacts and partners, such as, the UN and the Olympic Studies Centre.
As already mentioned above, WMCH continues to move along a path of automation, ensuring that its various databases and programmes are linked. This will help WMCH become more professional and effective, not only in budgetary matters, but also in terms of servicing its members, donors and other stakeholders by delivering timely information, updates, donation receipts, etc., with a specific attention to data security. Significant efforts have been put in place to allow for a system change in 2019, including exchanges with WMDE and other important partners, and we are confident that we are now moving along the right path.
Finally, all servers have been migrated into one place. WMCH now has the possibility to share programmes and documents, which tremendously facilitates the daily work-flow in a secure virtual environment.
The GLAM program of 2018 focused to a large extend on implementing an action plan that is aligned to WMCH's strategy. As outlined in the GLAM strategy, it is of utmost importance to first consolidate the GLAM organisation and processes before proceeding. One of WMCH's major objectives is to build a healthy and sustainable project environment for GLAM projects in the coming years.
While WMCH aims for consolidation of processes in the GLAM area, the association also needs to mindfully pursue the building of partnerships with museums, which hold an impressive amount of collections to be valorised and made accessible across Wikimedia projects and across borders. Therefore, the GLAM program of 2018 was shaped by the two keywords of 'continuity' and 'diversity'.
Continuity happens in the context of strengthening existing GLAM partnerships, as well as building on and professionalising GLAM formats which worked in the past. It also means to expand GLAM formats to different language regions of Switzerland. Diversity goes more into starting new collaborations with museums, as well as integrating memory institutions in the areas of film and cinema, sound, contemporary art and economic archives. Last but not least, diversity also means experimenting with new formats and campaigns.
Additionally, the trends outlined in the GLAM strategy around digital transformation are impacting GLAM institutions. Especially museums are facing a digital transformation process and seek to use technology to respond to changing customer demographics and offer a more engaging visitor journey. Whereas archives are more focused on reliable preservation of documents and historical artefacts. Digitalising miles of archival documents is time-, resources- and cost-intense. It is WMCH's mission to better understand the needs of the different GLAM institutions in the area of digital transformation, digital technology and open culture to further create space for an open dialogue and exchange of knowledge and ideas around these developments. Ultimately, this will help WMCH to develop a GLAM program that goes into the right direction.
Last but not least, GLAM are actively working on their digital strategies and the interest in semantic web and the potential of Wikidata projects is increasing among Swiss memory institutions. The challenge for WMCH is to build up competence in respect to Wikidata, design new formats to serve needs and higher demand in this area. In short, there are exciting times ahead for GLAM and Wikimedia.
Sustainable development of GLAM requires an environment that is based on regular exchange and communication between WMCH, its community and the GLAM institutions. It goes without saying that it also requires an active GLAM volunteer community in all regions of Switzerland. One that is motivated to work with GLAM institutions, accumulates experience with GLAM Wikimedia projects and builds up Wikidata knowledge, project management skills and digital competency.
The GLAM strategy and underlying action plan build upon these findings. The GLAM goal therefore remains unchanged:
"Organising and participating in national as well as international GLAM gatherings of the Wikimedia movement and actively reaching out to Swiss GLAM heritage institutions to support them in sharing their curatorial knowledge, collections and resources in a digital manner, and enrich Wikipedia and its sister projects, thus making Swiss cultural heritage and its diversity discoverable to the world".
2018 was a decisive year for GLAM. After the elaboration of WMCH’s first GLAM strategy in 2017 and the recruitment of a GLAM Programme & Partnership Manager, WMCH used 2018 to start consolidating, reviewing and aligning actions with its strategic objectives. This also happened through a dedicated GLAM action plan.
It goes without saying that working following a GLAM strategy is a new way of operating. WMCH is aware of the fact that there are still many things to learn. Crafting and executing strategies remains an iterative process, especially in WMCH’s case, where there are different stakeholders involved. Due to ongoing discussions and dialogues, WMCH is learning and actively seeks inspiration from within the Wikiverse.
The mid-term objectives
GLAM Organisations: Focus on consolidation and start building a sustainable environment for GLAM projects in all three language regions
GLAM Partnerships: Reach out to museums and approach GLAM associations to establish a HUB organisation and facilitate future larger scale projects
GLAM Digital Competence: Build-up knowledge related to cutting-edge global technology and solution development, providing added value on all levels of digital change in Swiss heritage institutions, in order to move towards becoming a digital mentor and enabler
One of the major challenges includes developing GLAM partnerships to generate mass-content, as it has been done in the past. Big institutions on the federal level, like the Federal Archive or the Swiss National Library are meanwhile partners of WMCH for many years. There is not many bigger GLAM institutions left in the country, that could contribute in that extent to our content. Therefore, WMCH would like to reviews this specific GLAM metric for the future. Unless mass images would be released under a free license from an additional federal institution like the Swiss National Museum in Zurich, keeping this metric up is not realistic. To receive a larger donation from an institution like the Swiss National Museum, would require the museum to change its way of operating, in regards to the cultural heritage that is already in public domain. Many times cultural institutions have revenue streams attached to borrowing material that is in public domain. WMCH proactively engages in this topic to move memory institutions towards open culture.
Another challenge, as mentioned above, is that GLAM projects can only be implemented all across Switzerland, if all language regions have an active GLAM community. In that regard WMCH's Community Managers are challenged and developed a Community Strategy that will hopefully lead to success in the years to come.
Remains the challenge of building digital competence and digital solutions, which ultimately translate into projects that serve both GLAM institutions in their transformation process and WMCH's mission of free access to culture across borders.
With all this, it also got clear that WMCH still needs to step up its communication plan to be better able to engage and create awareness for the association and its higher purpose. On a regular basis, WMCH needs to review its GLAM strategy and action plan, based on the gained experiences and continously learn by being in exchange with the GLAM Network. This doesn’t mean to radically change strategies or actions, but to make sure WMCH is still on the right path and that actions still fit the strategy and serve the defined objectives.
Growing a sustainable partnership with the Archives Cantonales Vaudoises (ACV)
The Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud and WMCH collaborate with the aim of making memories and knowledge available to the public while digitally conserving archival gems. In the first half of 2018, this collaboration translated into uploading archaeological photographs taken by Albert Naef to Wikimedia Commons. Consequently, these photographs are now in the Public Domain.
In October, on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the canton’s first heritage protection law, a follow-up event with about 30 participants, took place at the Archives Cantonal Vaudoises. A roundtable discussion, saw the participation of important personalities from the cultural landscape of the French-speaking region. A monument historian and very active Wikipedian, an archivist, the director of an archaeological museum and an art history teacher explored heritage conservation and promotion from 1898 to modern times, including the advantages of using Wikimedia projects for the distribution of knowledge.
The preceding workshop led by WMCH, taught participants, archivists and people interested in the topic how to use pictures from Wikimedia Commons on Wikipedia. The workshop attracted several employees from museums and archives and led to the improvement of articles, concerning, for example, their municipalities of employment, on the French language Wikipedia. The advantage of such a Wikimedia Commons related workshop is that in a very short timeframe, knowledge can be transmitted on how to improve the content and quality of a Wikipedia articles by integrating images.
As by our overall strategy, we need to build awareness. WMCH thus used the day to produce two short films with the objective of receiving testimonials and providing an overview of our work. We also had the possibility to interview the director of the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud on aspects of the collaboration with WMCH and the challenges that archives are facing in today’s world of digital transformation. Additionally, we received the permission to film the archive and some precious pieces, such as the oldest document held by the archive, which dates from 970 A.D., which represents more than thousand years of written history.
When it comes to the future of this collaboration, WMCH is happy to announce that the Archives Cantonal Vaudoises are now part of the GLAM Network, which guarantees regular exchange and fosters the long-standing collaboration between the ACV and WMCH. The next meeting of the GLAM Network will take place at the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud in Lausanne, and will be the first one in the French-speaking region. WMCH is happy about these developments. Nevertheless, there will be a major change at the archive in 2019. A new director will be nominated. Therefore, the contribution to our projects will most likely be postponed.
2018 was an interesting year for WMCH's work with libraries. A new partnership in the French-speaking part of Switzerland has been established and a recent partnership has been strengthened and could be developed to host one of WMCH's GLAM on Tour events in 2019. Last but not least, the National Library is bringing in a new aspect to its collaboration with WMCH and envisages sustainably integrating Wikimedia projects into its professional archiving routine. Through the different kinds of libraries and projects, WMCH focused on continuity and diversity.
New: Bibliothèque de la Cité in Geneva
The “City Library” is part of the municipal institutions of Geneva and is a cultural project that aims to modify the way people access knowledge and information. Ever since its renovation in 2015, it offers a transversal organisation of its collections and invites visitors to learn, discover, create or entertain themselves in regard to their areas of interest.
With its concept and collection, the “City Library” is indeed a great new partner and offers a nice location for Wikipedia workshops. WMCH had the possibility to to organize a series of events from October 2018 onward.
The first three half-day workshops, where organised on October 20, November 3 and December 1 and served to introduce people interested in Geneva’s districts and institutions to the use of Wikipedia. Their goal was to improve and increase Geneva’s presence on the encyclopaedia.
With approximately 5 participants, the workshop series has so far led to 5 newly-created articles and the revision and improvement of 47 existing articles. The workshops will continue into 2019. Planned is a workshop on January 26, 2019 including a Wikipedia training session, followed by working on a specific topic.
WMCH hopes that this series of beginner-workshops leads to a longer-term collaboration with the library. Even though the workshops themselves are small, a handful of very motivated participants manage to make a difference on a specific and in this context locally related topic (the districts and institutions of Geneva). It is our aim and a challenge to expand the community, attract more participants and accompany new editors adequately.
Continued: Iron Library in Schaffhausen
After the Swiss Archives Day in June 2017, and the exhibition “100 years of GF (Georg Fischer) at Klostergut Paradies” in Schaffhausen, combined with a Wikipedia writing workshops, the partnership with the Iron Library has been continuously strengthened. 2018 thus saw the continuation of workshops and other activities as outlined below.
The Wikipedia workshop organised in the first half of 2018, allowed the Wikipedia community to access the library’s vast collection of literature in order to improve and create articles covering the entire production cycle, ranging from the extraction of raw ore to the processing of metals into finished goods. The library also hosts material concerning chemistry, geology, technology and plastics.
Due to the good collaboration so far, WMCH is happy to announce that the Iron Library also joined the GLAM Network. Furthermore, we will continue our work in 2019 by organising a GLAM on Tour event in collaboration with the Iron Library. The event will take place at the historical location of ‘Klostergut Paradies’, in Schaffhausen.
Long-standing: Swiss National Library in Bern & ETH Library Zurich
An example of a successful long-standing collaboration is the one with the Swiss National Library. It is not only the most important Library of Switzerland (Library of the Swiss Confederation), but also an institution that has been supporting WMCH's mission for years. The same is valid for the ETH Library in Zurich, which is the Library of the world-known Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. WMCH is very grateful, for the possibility to collaborate and receiving the support of these two Federal institutions.
Just to give an idea of the numbers, the ETH Library contributed with over 50'000 images to Wikimedia Commons. The Swiss National Library contributed with 14'000 images and over 20'000 global edits to Wikimedia Commons, has run more than 57 projects and currently is starting to explore Wikidata and evaluating the possibility of long-term archiving of Wikipedia articles with reference to Switzerland.
Staff members of these memory institutions, as well as people who are professionally involved with the library, regularly exchange with WMCH employees and give highly-appreciated feedback on different projects of the association.
Long-standing: Swiss Foundation Public Domain
WMCH has been an official sponsor of the Swiss Foundation Public Domain for years. The Swiss Foundation Public Domain holds an important collection of more than 85’000 gramophone records and 2’000 phonograph cylinders and is specialised in the conservation and utilisation of public domain music and film material.
Its mission is to rescue recordings from past decades by digitising content from sensitive and easily damageable materials – such as gramophone records and motion pictures – and transforming those artefacts into long-term readable and usable files. The Foundation also investigates on copyright status, catalogues the descriptions of the works in its database and uploads the files to Wikimedia Commons. 2018 was a busy year for the Foundation. After having moved the store of shellac records to a new location, the second half of 2018 was used to consolidate and regain momentum.
The board decided that a complete inventory of the Foundation's stocks had utmost priority, thus a basic workflow for inventory and digitisation was conceived and executed. Archive boxes and sleeves were bought and paid for by Enter AG, while Hartwig Thomas developed a software that allows for printing and analysing barcodes, as well as editing and managing meta data in PNG and FLAC files. Through these actions, about 100 record labels were photographed and transcribed by October, when the Swiss Foundation Public Domain welcomed Paolo Meglio as a new team member. Paolo is a sound engineer with his own music studio and by December, he had managed to photograph and transcribe about 2'500 record labels.
Based on this inventory and more than 600 digitised sound tracks, the Swiss Foundation Public domain launched a website, which reflects the Foundation's work through the end of 2018. The website will be continuously updated with new files. Last but not least, the whole process— from inventory through digitisation to publication— is now supported by software that automatically generates thumbnails from photographs, turns them into rotating GIFs and transmits them to a bilingual web site that communicates with a database of searchable meta data and the repository.
The Foundation also uploaded about 208 FLAC files to Wikimedia Commons. WMCH is looking forward to its contributions in the years to come.
WMCH has been working with archives for several years. Nevertheless, 2018 saw a successful year in developing new partnerships with archives and strengthening existing ones. A first important event was the GLAM on Tour that took place at the Migros Archive in Zurich. In the 2nd half of the year, the collaboration with the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud has been continued (see highlight section of the GLAM report), while workshop series with the PTT-Archive and SBB Historic were started. In order to promote events and for better outreach to archives, WMCH has become a member of the Association of Swiss Archivists (VSA-AAS).
New: National Film Archive - Cinemathèque Suisse in Lausanne
The Cinemathèqe Suisse is ranked sixth among the world’s most important film archives. With about 80’000 film titles, 600’000 film reels, several hundred film archives, 2.8 million photographs, one million posters and 26’000 books, their stocks are known for their size and variety.
The archive primarily collects media that meet the criteria of “Helvetica” and strives for the distribution of Swiss film and film heritage. Parts of its holdings have been made accessible through an online inventory.
In the second half of 2018, archivists from the Cinemathèque Suisse approached WMCH to learn how to contribute to Wikipedia. Their aim is to use the online encyclopaedia to give more visibility to their archives on Swiss cinema. On September 5, with the support of one of our most active volunteer, had the opportunity to introduce archivists and Wikpedians interested in archives, on how to use Wikipedia as a means of sharing and conserving archival holdings. The National Film Archive also created two accounts - Cinemathèque Suisse CT and Cinemathèque Suisse CM - which will be used to share parts of its holdings.
WMCH is looking forward to the contributions of the archive and an eventually further collaboration in the coming years.
New: GLAM on Tour @Migros Archive in Zurich
On April 12-15, the GLAM on Tour took place in collaboration with ‘Migros Kulturprozent' (a program for supporting cultural activities in Switzerland). Approximately a dozen Wikipedians had the chance to catch a glimpse into the archive of Switzerland’s biggest food retailer in Zurich. The company archive normally is inaccessible to the public and therefore participants obtained very exclusive insights into the company’s history and the life of its founder.
Despite initial concerns (more detail in the Progress Report), the GLAM on Tour with Migros was very successful. What is missing for the moment are follow-up events with the Gottlieb-Duttweiler Institute or the Migros Archive. But, before actively reaching out for future collaboration, WMCH needs to reflect about the goals and desired outcomes of such a collaboration and above all needs to invest into building an active self-organised GLAM community in the German-speaking area, which has become a real challenge nowadays. This aim and activity, therefore is part of the Community Strategy.
When it comes to GLAM on Tour, WMCH is aiming again for continuity and diversity. While the format remains the same, the locations and types of cultural institutions will differ. After a GLAM on Tour event with the Migros Archive (Switzerland's biggest food retailer) in the German-speaking part of Switzerland, and the MAMCO (Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art) in the Romandie, WMCH is in talks with a Library (of an industrial company) in the German-speaking part and the Federal Sound Archive in the Italian-speaking part.
The GLAM program, budget and resources allow a maximum of two GLAM on Tour events per year.
Continued: PTT Archive and SBB Historic
The PTT Archive (Archive of Swiss Postal, Telephone and Telegraph Operations) and SBB Historic (Historical Archive of the Swiss Federal Railways) are memory institutions holding important Swiss cultural heritage. Both are part of the GLAM Network and interested in a longer-term collaboration with WMCH.
Following discussions within the GLAM Network, each of these two institutions hosted one writing-workshop under the theme of “Landesstreik und Grippewelle” (land strike and flu outbreak). Both archives keep holdings about those events, which took place in 1918 and had far-reaching consequences within Swiss society and both PTT and SBB.
The “Landesstreik" was a general strike in Switzerland, which lasted from November 12 to 14, 1918. Around 250'000 workers and trade unionists took part. The strike has ever since been regarded as the most important socio-political confrontation in Swiss contemporary history and formed the prelude to numerous social and political changes. Documents in both the PTT Archive and SBB Historic depict the special significance of telegraphy, telephone and rail-infrastructure in this crisis situation while also highlighting the consequences for the companies and staff. In many cases, the latter had to expect drastic punitive measures for participating in the strike.
Meanwhile, the Spanish flu was a pandemic that occurred at the end of WWI. In Switzerland, the effects of the flu were felt throughout the entire workforce, causing severe staff shortage and very restrictive preventive measures to avoid further contamination of employees. It goes without saying that it also highly impacted public transport and therefore the SBB.
On August 25, the first workshop was held at the PTT Archive. Around 7 Wikimedians, plus employees of the PTT Archive, used the documents on site to improve and complete existing articles concerning the “Landesstreik" and the Spanish flu. They also uploaded some of the documents to Wikimedia Commons.
On September 8, the second workshop was held at SBB Historic. With the help of around 5 Wikimedians, SBB articles relating to the “Landesstreik” or the Spanish flu were improved and completed. In addition, many archival documents concerning the “Landesstreik” were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
Workshops in collaboration with SBB Historic and the PTT Archive will be continued in 2019 and will cover topics related to the professional environment of these institutions, which stretch into a multitude of aspects about Swiss society. The abundance of relevant documents on site will provide context for participating archivists, hopefully sparking interest among volunteers.
Long-standing: Swiss Federal Archive in Bern
WMCH collaborates for many years with the Swiss Federal Archive in Bern. The collaboration started with a Wikipedian in Residence project. The Swiss Federal Archive is also a member of the GLAM Network and a Federal memory institution actively supporting WMCH's mission. The Swiss Federal Archive has contributed with over 24'000 edits to WMCH projects so far.
Switzerland counts over 1'100 museums, which are holding impressive collections around Swiss cultural heritage and more. But, WMCH's history of collaborating with museums is a young one. In the past, there were few single events with museums, such as the Kirchner Museum in Davos or the Gutenberg Museum in Fribourg. At the time, these events were mostly organised by the volunteer community, without any follow-up activity. The GLAM Strategy, which is gradually implemented since the beginning of 2018, clearly envisages the active collaboration with Swiss museums to further enrich projects and fulfil WMCH's mission of disseminating free knowledge in the area of history and culture. Collaborations with museums thus can take diverse forms and WMCH used 2018 to actively experiment and reach out to museums across Switzerland.
New: Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO) in Geneva
From June 22 to 24, after more than a year of awareness work and contact with the museum, the collaboration between the MAMCO and WMCH led to the first GLAM on Tour event in the Romandie region. Around 15 participants had the chance to discover Switzerland’s biggest and most influential museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art based in Geneva and learn about the history, the building and collections of the MAMCO.
The programme was a good mix of presentations, guided tours and edit-a-thons to enrich Wikimedia projects. It also led to the donation of 40 iconographic images under free license to be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
In addition, in collaboration with the MAMCO, WMCH had the chance to organise a ‘friendraising’ event. Through an introductory presentation, between 20-30 people learned more about the hosting institution and about WMCH’s vision and mission. Attendees also got special insights into the programme and current exhibition of the MAMCO and had the chance to get to know each other during a subsequent “Networking Apéro” with finger food and appetisers.
After these first events, both the French-speaking GLAM community and the MAMCO wished to continue collaborating, which translated into regular workshops, namely the ‘WikiMercrediMamco’ (WikiWednesdayMamco), organised by “les sans pagEs”, a very active group of volunteers, mainly interested in the area of women artists in contemporary art. For them, the MAMCO opens its library and give access to documents about their topic of interest. These workshops started in autumn 2018 and will continue in 2019.
With the aim of improving and creating articles concerning the history of contemporary art and the representation of women in art, a first workshop was organised on October 17 and attracted four new Wikipedians, who started to improve their editing skills under guidance the founder of “les sans pagEs” and WMCH. To support participants in their work, the MAMCO grants access to its library and archives. For this first workshop, the MAMCO provided the group with the bibliographies of its five women artists. This led to the creation of French articles on Elizabeth Murray, Cosima von Bonin and Christiane Lovay, and the improvement of another 35 articles.
Prior to the workshop that starts at 1pm, participants at the ‘WikiMercrediMamco’ also have the possibility to get to know each other and have lunch together.
New: International Museums Day 2018
As outlined in the GLAM Strategy, WMCH aims at developing partnerships with Swiss museums. Consequently, a first nation-wide outreach to museums and the ‘Association of Swiss Museums’ took place on “International Museums Day 2018” on May 13. The motto of the day “Tag, share, like - the hyperconnected museum” highlighted the fact that many museums are currently in the middle of a digital transformation process.
WMCH therefore used the occasion to reach out to more than 200 participating museums. The awareness campaign not only included the museums participating in the International Museums Day 2018, but also the volunteer community and aimed to improve the presence of Swiss museums on Wikipedia.
A statistical analysis, which was carried out before WMCH decided to take action on the International Museums Day 2018, looked into the coverage of museum content on Wikipedia. With less than 50% of Swiss museums present on Wikipedia and very few having a multi-lingual presence (important in Switzerland's multi-lingual context), there was and still is quite some catching up to do. Also, the relevance criteria for being present in an online encyclopaedia is given for memory institutions such as museums. That is why WMCH used the International Museums Day 2018 for a first nation-wide outreach and created an interactive map of museums present on Wikimedia projects. Ever since the launch of the campaign, this map continues to fill up.
WMCH learned through the campaign that participating at such a big and national event needs good planning, preparation and timely communication. If the goal of such an event is also to form a starting point for sustainable and continuous collaboration, it is also necessary to establish closer and more personal communication with selected institutions. This provides the space for museums to ask questions and provides WMCH with the possibility to better highlight benefits of working with Wikimedia projects.
From the side of the Association of Swiss Museums, the motto and respective brochure for Switzerland was released very late in time, which challenged WMCH to prepare the multi-level campaign in four languages (print and online), including programming of the map and injection of museums meta-data, in 4 weeks only. The work done in 2018 can be reused more effectively in 2019. The program for the International Museums Day can also be shared with other chapters and eventually enriched with additional activities.
Outreach: Swiss Year of Cultural Heritage
As mentioned in the Progress Report, the #CulturalHeritage2018 campaign was one that covered all of Switzerland. The Federal Office of Culture (Bundesamt für Kultur / BAK) was the main partner of #CulturalHeritage2018, which was a joint campaign of more than 30 organisations representing civic engagement for the preservation, maintenance and further development of cultural heritage in Switzerland. Numerous other partners and stakeholders supported this project. Consequently, national and regional associations of architecture, archives, monuments, archeology, museums and other institutions, which are actively involved in the preservation of Swiss Cultural Heritage, got together under a common roof with a shared mission.
After the opening ceremony in December 2017, WMCH used its status as a partner to the campaign to raise awareness through the promotion of projects that fell under the theme of Cultural Heritage. In that regard, the GLAM on Tour event in Zurich and the International Museums Day were both actively promoted through the agenda on the #CulturalHeritage2018 website. Events also were included in the weekly newsletter, providing additional awareness and outreach to culturally interested people, partners and sponsors.
Summarised, the experience in itself was a positive one and a good opportunity to experiment and test. National campaigns, such as the #CulturalHeritage2018 campaign, can indeed serve to raise awareness, do active outreach and promote specific events, as it can be used for communication to donors. But WMCH also learned that the participation in such a campaign should be part of a bigger and multi-faceted communications plan and needs specific measures such as the integration of the campaign and message (being partner to the campaign and contributing to the dissemination of free knowledge on Swiss cultural heritage) in the different communication channels like social media, mail signatures, letters and other marketing material. Due to Marketing & Communication staff turnover, as well as other priorities highlighted above, this was not done.
Outreach: Library Day 2018 in Thun
The Library Commission and Office of Culture of the Canton of Bern organised the Library Day on November 6. The programme was shaped by the motto “#library #information #media - mediation of competencies through libraries.” Accordingly, the library day also covered the field of education of professional librarians on how to use information and media in their daily environment.
The event also highlighted that it is an important task of schools AND libraries to guarantee the competent use of information and media. This is why the different presentations and workshops aimed at providing valuable and up-to-date knowledge around the use of media in the digital age.
The day started with an opening ceremony and welcome speech by Roman Gimmel, Head of the Directorate of Education, Sport & Culture of the City of Thun and Hans Ulrich Glarner, Head of the Cultural Office of the Canton of Berne. Another major point on the agenda were the five parallel workshops, which were held in the morning and afternoon and provided participants with the possibility to learn about different topics such as “Information competence in the curricula 21 and the role of libraries."
WMCH in that regard was invited by the Library Commission of the Canton of Bern to contribute through a workshop that provided "A glimpse behind the scenes of Wikipedia." The objective of the workshop was to provide participants with a deeper view on how Wikipedia works, its community of volunteers and values that Wikipedia stands up for. Also, questions on 'how Wikipedia become so popular', and 'how the volunteer based concept actually can survive without marketing and advertising' have been treated. Consequently, the workshop covered many topics, ranging from technical aspects of Wikipedia to the interaction with the community. Furthermore, the important aspects about the principles of relevance, principles of neutrality, compulsory documentation, free access and licensing, have also been discussed. Last but not least, the practical part of the workshop allowed professional librarians to learn more on how to use and integrate Wikipedia in their daily work.
The participation of WMCH in this regard was very interesting, not only in terms of outreach, but also to learn about these new links that emerge between schools and libraries, as well as the technology and skills that come along with the digital change the world is facing.
Outreach: Association of Swiss Archivists (VSA-AAS)
In 2018 WMCH became a member of the Association of Swiss Archivists. This membership goes along with the possibility of doing better outreach within the archival landscape in Switzerland, making new connections and promoting events through the communication platform of the Association of Swiss Archivists. Moreover, for 2019, the Board of the Association of Swiss Archivists has decided to donate their meta data of archival institutions in Switzerland to WMCH. The aim of this donation is the creation of a geographical map that illustrates Switzerland's archival landscape. The map will be similar to the map of the museums landscape, which WMCH has created last year as part of the International Museum's Day awareness campaign.
As outlined in the Progress Report, the GLAM network is a group of representatives of Swiss memory institutions meeting quarterly in the aim of knowledge-sharing and coordinating Wikimedia-related activities in Switzerland. It also serves as a platform for regular exchange on the matter and allows WMCH to constantly receive feedback and learn about the needs of Swiss GLAM. So far, the GLAM Network was mainly composed of cultural institutions located in the German speaking region of Switzerland. In the 1st half of 2018 the meetings took place in the Swiss National Library and the PTT Archive in Bern.
With the expansion of the GLAM Network, more and more long-term partnerships with cultural institutions of other language regions are envisaged. For the future, the GLAM Network aims at acting nation-wide. WMCH is happy to announce that these efforts led to a first national and multilingual-lingual meeting on December 4, in the Historical Museum in Basel. Due to the interest of Swiss memory institutions in the possibilities of Wikidata, Beat Estermann and Baptiste de Cullon gave two presentations on the topic. With the first presentation being a general one about Wikidata, its structure and technical background, the second presentation covered the experience of an archivist in working with Wikidata and the potential of Wikidata for cultural institutions. With approx. 20 participants, the first swiss-wide GLAM Network meeting was a success. The next swiss-wide one is planned for March 2019, together with a new partner, the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud and will take place at their venue in Lausanne, in the French-speaking region of Switzerland.
By the end of 2018 the group consisted of the following members:
Swiss National Library, Bern
Swiss Federal Archives, Bern
PTT Archive, Bern
Swiss Social Archives, Zurich
Swiss Economic Archives and University Library of Basel
The GLAM DACH group aims for joining forces and sharing knowledge, as well as consolidating GLAM formats and processes that are applicable for the German-speaking region. Thus, GLAM representatives from the Swiss, German and Austrian Wikimedia chapters started to actively work together on a regular basis. Activities started cover, among others, finding a common concept, processes and agreements around the 'Wikipedian in Residence program' as well as joint campaigns for the next International Museums Day. WMCH also seeks to learn more about WMDE's "Kulturbotschafter" (Cultural Ambassador) initiative, a project that aims at training and certifying volunteers, who then will act as cultural ambassadors. The program has been developed by WMDE together with the German UNESCO Commission. WMCH and WMAT are evaluating the possibilities to cooperate in this initiative.
In addition to these projects and regular exchanges, a first common appearance of the GLAM DACH group took place during WikiCon in St. Gallen, Switzerland. With a booth and GLAM representatives from DE, AT and CH onsite, the aim was to raise awareness about common GLAM projects, formats, resources and further cross-border activities. To that end, two presentations have been given. The first one covered the topic of GLAM projects and formats in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Participants learned what kind of GLAM events exist in the DACH region and received information about how to participate in such events. It also included a FAQ session and discussion with the volunteer community.
Besides the joint GLAM DACH presentation, WMCH performed an additional presentation in the afternoon and presented the GLAM Statistical Tool to the volunteer community.
Past experiences and projects have shown that regular exchange among chapters are fundamental for learning and successfully growing GLAM in a national and international context. WMCH appreciates this development and is looking forward to follow-up meetings and projects in 2019. The next GLAM DACH meeting together with the German speaking volunteer community will take place beginning of February, 2019 in Berlin.
GLAM Wiki TelAviv
The GLAM Wiki Conference took place November 3-5 in Tel Aviv, Israel. With approximately 150 participants from all around the world, the Conference is a community event dedicated to people directly or indirectly involved with cultural institutions, open data and/or open knowledge. The rich program included lightning talks, keynote lectures, workshops, thematic meet-ups and social events. The aim was to share experiences and tools, as well as to learn and discover.
WMCH was represented by Debora Lopomo (GLAM Programme & Partnership Manager) and Ilario Valdelli (Education Programme Manager), who gave a presentation about the GLAM Statistical Tool, which was developed by the Laboratory of Visual Culture at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Synapta, a spin-off of the Politechnic of Turin (IT) and Wikimedia CH.
The presentation and tool triggered lots of interest from other Wikimedia Chapters, such as Spain, Central & South America, Ireland and also from the side of representatives of other cultural institutions, participating in the event. WMCH therefore decided to focus on developing some functionalities, which will allow to share the GLAM Statistical Tool with other Chapters allowing an autonomous use.
Besides the presentation of the GLAM Statistical Tool, WMCH used the time in Tel Aviv to touch base with GLAM responsible of other Chapters, knowledge sharing and learn from other Chapters how to handle challenges in the GLAM area.
GLAM Statistical Tool & Open Cultural Data Hackathon
GLAM Statistical Tool
In 2018, WMCH's collaboration with Synapta and SUPSI led to a new release of the GLAM Statistical Tool at the end of June. By request, the Statistical Tool was extended with a personal login for each participating GLAM institution in the GLAM network group who wanted to actively and continuously use the tool. Over the summer, WMCH further collected feedback. Requirements and change requests were discussed during the September meeting, with the objective of allocating budget for the further development of the tool according to the needs of the GLAM Network.
On an international level and through regular exchange with other chapters and cultural institutions, the GLAM Statistical Tool continues to raise interest. After discussions with Alex Stinson and the presentation of the tool at the GLAM Wiki Conference in TelAviv, the aim right now is to evaluate and develop the tool in a way that allows it to be shared with other Wikimedia Chapters. Currently, the cost of adding one new partner institution to the GLAM Statistical Tool is high. Every Wikimedia Chapter would have to carry the financial costs right now. Therefore, WMCH decided to develop the GLAM Statistical Tool to a level of independence that allows adding new institutions easily and at minimum to no cost. Moreover, a stress test will be performed with the data of 10 larger cultural institutions to identify the feasibility of a larger deployment and the required server capacity.
Open Cultural Data Hackathon
From October 26-28, the 4th Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon took place at the Swiss National Museum in Zurich. It was organised by OpenGLAM.ch in collaboration with the ETH Library, the Central Library of Zürich, the Swiss Social Archives, the State Archives of the Canton of Zurich, the Basel Historical Museum, infoclio.ch, the members of the Friends of OpenGLAM Network and WMCH.
Many GLAM institutions release parts of their holdings online, which allows people to search and consult them on their personal computers. However, the potential of databases goes way beyond these queries. Today's computational power allows us to link data from different sources to present it as instructive graphics or to use it for interactive games. It’s exactly this kind of data use that is explored at the Open Cultural Data Hackathon. The GLAMhack event aims at bringing together cultural institutions such as museums, libraries and archives with software developers, researchers, Wikipedians and artists to collectively explore the potential of digital heritage and open cultural data.
The focus of the #GLAMhack2018 lay on the creation of software or artefacts that aimed at engaging an audience. Therefore, the use of virtual-reality equipment was very welcome. After a two-day hackathon, the third day was used to publicly present the different projects. Visitors then had the possibility to test products and engage with their developers. For the first time, symbolic prizes were awarded during the "Swiss GLAMhack Awards" on Sunday afternoon. The four categories and their winners were:
Perfectly made (greatest gain in knowledge): Ask the Artist
Stunningly beautiful (best highlights open cultural dataset(s)): Zurich Historical Photo Tours
Brand new (most innovative or original): Walking Around the Globe - 3D Picture Exhibition
Biggest round of applause (audience prize): Ask the Artist
WMCH has a longstanding relationship with GLAM all over Switzerland. But collaboration in the past mostly happened with Archives and Libraries, was concentrated in the German-speaking part of Switzerland and, above all, didn't follow any specific plan. The need for a GLAM strategy and underlying action plan therefore became urgent in 2017. This is when Debora Lopomo, as an external consultant, was hired to draft a GLAM strategy. Thorough research of the national and international GLAM sector as well as global trends and an alignment of these to WMCH's vision and goals shaped WMCH's direction for its GLAM program. By the end of 2017, WMCH looked into hiring a GLAM Programme & Partnership Manager to execute the GLAM strategy and make sure actions taken serve the vision and goal defined.
2018 was therefore the first year with the GLAM Strategy and a GLAM Programme & Partnership Manager in place. This entailed a shift in perspective: WMCH moved away from doing what it thought was right and started to focus more on the different needs of Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums and serve them accordingly. Deeper research of the different institutions also highlighted the fact that different GLAM do need different approaches.
Museums, on the other hand, are actively looking into new technologies and innovations for a more immersive visitor experience and higher visibility. And, Wikimedia projects can indeed be an effective means to increase the visibility of museums world-wide. To raise awareness about WMCH as a potential partner, an outreach campaign was carried out on the 'International Museum's Day' which took place under the motto of "tag, share, like - the hyperconnected museum". The campaign targeted museums and the WMCH community alike and aimed at improving the presence of Swiss museums on Wikipedia. In that regard, a first contact with the "Verband Schweizer Museums" took place and WMCH also used the occasion to stimulate participation in the Wiki Loves Monuments contest, which took place in early autumn. The collaboration with the MAMCO in Geneva led to a first GLAM on Tour event in the Romandie. Following this event, the museum now also hosts a series of Wikipedia workshops in collaboration with les sans pagEs.
Another aim, highlighted in the Proposal, was to open up more internationally and also better connect on a European level. WMCH was therefore happy to increase its cross-border engagement by visiting neighbouring chapters, participating in different GLAM-related events and sharing insights into its work with GLAM in Switzerland and the GLAM Statistical Tool, which draws interest from the Foundation and other chapters across the globe. Regular exchange also happened with the GLAM DACH group, which used the WikiCon in St. Gallen for a first joint appearance and presentation about GLAM formats and events in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. On a national level, WMCH was part of the #CulturalHeritage2018 campaign and used this prominent platform to promote events and raise awareness for the association.
The GLAM Network also came to the fore again, as WMCH wished to tighten its collaboration with the members of the group for better feedback and exchange in order to learn more about their needs and concerns. It was and still is an aim to extend the group to diverse linguistic areas, as right now it is concentrated in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Thus, a first nation-wide meeting was organised at the end of 2018. The Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud (French-speaking part of Switzerland) joined the group and will host the first meeting in 2019. In 2018, and in addition to the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud, the Iron Library in Schaffhausen and the Museum for Communication in Bern, also became members of the GLAM Network.
When it comes to increasing the quantity and quality of content uploaded to Wikimedia projects, the GLAM on Tour Events and the participation in different GLAM-related Editathons was a first step into the right direction. Through the participation of WMCH staff in such events, they received valuable feedback about the needs and interests of GLAM institutions and how WMCH could possibly help those institutions to be more efficient in their work with Wikimedia projects. Here, there is still some work to be done, but constant exchange on different levels and a stronger collaboration aiming at mutual benefit and based on trust is a solid basis to build upon.
Lagging behind is the technological aspect and planned microsite, which will highlight WMCH's GLAM vision, mission and value proposition. The GLAM Microsite will be realised in 2019. Due to the size of the GLAM program and the challenge to consolidate, align and expand it, there were not enough resources and budget available to be allocated to additional GLAM related technologies or research for the development of digital solutions.
Last but not least, WMCH learned that communication in GLAM is multi-faceted and goes many ways between the association, its community and the GLAM institutions. This is also true for Education, so WMCH also used 2018 to fill the position of the Communications Manager who will work on a dedicated Communications Strategy. This strategy will take into account WMCH's vision and programs and help create impact for WMCH's participation in different campaigns and events. It will therefore help build the basis for the outreach work and awareness creation.
WMCH has a long-standing relationship with GLAM across Switzerland. Events organised with GLAM were often tied to Wikipedia workshops that uploaded archival documents to Wikimedia Commons, and thus successfully contributed to the enrichment of Wikimedia projects. Through the efforts and connections of different community members, some partnerships strengthened over time and led to recurring events and workshops. These ties and the exchange with the community have been at the core of WMCH's work and efforts ever since. The association therefore aims to further connect its community to GLAM institutions and help open doors in the aim of disseminating free knowledge.
What was missing, though, was a red thread that clearly outlined the intended goal and vision, as well as the mission of WMCH's work with GLAM. The need for consolidation and a solid framework that would allow for higher impact, a focused approach and meaningful context was clearly lacking. This context also includes fully exploring possibilities with GLAM and covering different kinds of institutions, including Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums alike. It goes without saying that this 'diversification' should happen in the context of 'continuity' provided through a strategic framework dedicated to GLAM.
A first step was to draft a GLAM strategy that needed to take a holistic approach towards Swiss GLAM. This strategy also had to fill knowledge gaps of WMCH's staff around the Swiss GLAM landscape. The summer of 2017 therefore was dedicated to drafting this strategic document with the help of Debora Lopomo as an external consultant. She thoroughly researched the Swiss GLAM landscape, provided an outlook into the international GLAM scene and highlighted challenges that GLAM are facing, as well as opportunities that come along with these challenges. Based on these findings, the vision, mission and goal for WMCH's GLAM programme were developed, providing for the first time context and clear guidelines for the work with cultural institutions in Switzerland.
To be able to put the strategy to execution and maintain an overview of partnerships, projects and events, it was important to WMCH to hire a GLAM manager. Debora Lopomo, who wrote the GLAM strategy, proved to be the right person for this position and thus started working for WMCH in December 2017 on a 60% basis. 2018 was therefore the first year with her acting as central contact person for all Swiss GLAM and actively reaching out to GLAM to diversify WMCH's work, forge new partnerships and continuously exchange to learn more about the needs and expectations of the different cultural institutions in Switzerland. 2018 was also a year of experimenting with new ways of reaching out to and connecting with new GLAM through national campaigns. Additionally, WMCH's implication in the GLAM DACH group increased and cross-border exchange happened on regular occasions in the context of WMCH's strategy.
The outcome & learnings
Needs and expectations differ between Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums, therefore the different institutions need to be approached differently. WMCH is engaged in a learning process that not only touches its work with GLAM but also influences its impact directions of Community and Education, as well as Partnerships & Outreach, which are naturally all intertwined.
Outreach and new partnerships in this context should ensure continuity while providing a more diverse palette of institutions and possibilities to the community. This is also something that has proven to be successful when looking at the GLAM on Tour events, which were well-received by the community and encompassed an archive, think-tank and museum alike. The latter also led to a new series of workshops aiming at filling the gender gap.
It is important to further give power to the GLAM Network and the community in order to steer and shape WMCH's vision and goal for GLAM. That said, the work with GLAM hasn’t changed per se and will not be radically revolutionised in the near future. It is simply important to do inventory, consolidate, provide meaningful context and have a red thread to make sure partnerships serve WMCH's goal and vision.
WMCH also learned that engagement in big national campaigns needs better, longer-term project management and a dedicated communication plan, as well as a clear follow-up process that allows for sustainable partnerships to emerge. Also, better up-front communication to the community and a better use of communication channels at hand are prerequisite to keeping the community engaged and informed about the intentions and characteristics of new partnerships and events. Such a communication would have helped to proactively address initial concerns of the community in regards to the GLAM on Tour events.
But, after the learnings and experiences made in 2018, it got clear that the main challenge is not the building or strengthening of partnerships with Swiss memory institutions, but the long-term creation and engagement of an active GLAM volunteer community to work with our GLAM partners all across Switzerland. This needs close collaboration between WMCH's 'Community Managers' and 'GLAM Program & Partnership Manager', in order to take action and effectively proceed with the work for Wikimedia's GLAM mission. Looking back at 2018, WMCH is happy about the learnings and progress made and is also looking forward to continuing on this path in 2019.
Exploring Wikimedia’s possibilities and scope with the introduction of technology
When talking about education, we often tend to reduce the topic to schools and universities, as well as to classical schedules. However, digitisation and underlying fast-paced societal changes increasingly impact our ways of learning as they define our private life and working environment. Education in this context extends beyond classical schooling and academia and is to be seen as a multifaceted, lifelong process.
This is also something that Swiss educational institutions and cantons acknowledge through the “Curricula 21.” As of 2018, 21 cantons of Switzerland accepted the introduction of “Media and Informatics” as mandatory lessons in schools. The aim is to lead students to a deep reflection on their digital experiences, which influence their personality development and cultural identity, as well as their acquisition of personal and social competences. According to “Curricula 21,” knowledge of underlying technologies and computational concepts is a prerequisite for the responsible use of media.
This is why WMCH joined forces or is establishing relationships with players on different levels to gather or to share experiences in the secondary and tertiary sector, as well as lifelong education, to present Wikimedia projects as go-to resources for digital education. Through past and ongoing projects, WMCH experienced that context-based learning and positive connotation of STEM foster apprenticeship and ultimately the development of 21st century skills. These findings impact WMCH’s programme and lesson development.
The approach through different stakeholders might be the only valid one, because, and as reported by the Swiss Confederation, we cannot possibly speak about a 'Ministry of education' in Switzerland but more about “ministers of education” better known as “directors of education”, as every canton is independent when it comes to schooling programmes and curricula. This granularity of responsibilities gives a lot of opportunities but, at the same time, slows down the evolution of WMCH's education program.
With WMCH’s strategic framework for education and an initial action plan, 2018 focused heavily on bringing words to life, thus experimenting with being better able to evaluate its actions and impact. When bringing technology and Wikimedia projects to schools, the selection and introduction of tools and methodologies has proven to be especially successful when aiming for gamification. WMCH therefore continued experimenting with this form of learning as a first touchpoint with Wikimedia projects.
Ultimately the aim is to establish Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects as go-to resources for objective information and skills such as the 4C’s of 21st centuries learning. WMCH’s overarching educational goal therefore remains unchanged and reads as follows:
"Accompany students through their entire schooling career and beyond, not only to further anchor Wikipedia and its sister projects as broadly accepted go-to resources for education, but also to highlight the technical aspects and benefits that come with exploring, using and contributing to the Wikiverse".
Process & Innovation
With a strategic framework and initial action plan in place, WMCH focused on critically evaluating past and ongoing projects and collaborations. The aim was not only to make sure the actions taken serve defined objectives, but also to re-evaluate the scope of lifelong learning and reorganise open education and associated material. The latter is currently being developed by WMCH in collaboration with three teachers.
When it comes to innovation itself, WMCH aims to create new and foster existing partnerships with players in the digital field. These initiatives allow WMCH to be part of innovative and technology-centred learning environments such as coding classes or hackathons.
WMCH also understands that as an association itself, it is in the middle of a process of transformation and needs to build digital knowledge, platforms and tools in order to strengthen its position as pioneer of 21st century education and to be a partner of choice for schools, universities and players of the digital field. These changes are also prerequisite for the creation of hives, the certification path and the train the trainers model as outlined in WMCH’s strategic framework.
Connect different stakeholders from the technical sphere to create synergies and better penetrate the educational field
Accompany students as a go-to resource throughout their schooling career, kindling interest for contribution
Becoming a renowned entity for digital education and building a tech-literate Swiss workforce
Create platforms that are needed to proceed with hives, the train the trainers model and the certification path
Within Switzerland’s heterogeneous educational field, finding scalable solutions is still a challenge, but not one that is impossible to overcome. WMCH is currently accumulating experiences with similar formats in different kinds of schools and different parts of Switzerland. Initial results are encouraging. For the association itself, the major challenge in 2018 was to streamline its own digital transformation process and to finally get things moving. There, the association and all people involved had lots to learn and still learn on a daily basis.
Being in a transformation process and experimental phase also means that a regular and critical reflection of actions and projects has to be done to ensure that WMCH is working towards its goal and that the impact generated justifies the resources deployed. This is certainly not yet always a 100% ideal, but something people are aware of and use to progressively review ongoing partnerships and projects, as well as to evaluate new ones.
On September 8, after three Wikidata meet-ups and a first Wikidata Zurich Datathon in June, WMCH, in collaboration with the University of Zurich, City and Canton of Zurich, Open Data Zurich and Open Data CH, organised the Wikidata Zurich Hackathon. The Wikidata development team also supported the event and contributed with suggestions and gadgets. Computer science students, open source developers, private companies, developers, Hackzurich enthusiasts, graphic designers and people generally interested in technology, metadata and coding gathered at the University of Zurich.
The event aimed to encourage participants to put their knowledge into practice and to simply have fun coding for and with Wikidata. The format thus is based on challenges proposed by all organisers to the teams. The participants aggregate themselves around a challenge and at the end of the day they then present their solutions.
The day started at 8:30 with coffee for the early birds. At 09:00 the Hackathon started with a short introduction and was followed by a presentation of the Hacking Challenges. People then built groups around the different coding challenges, such as visualisations of Wikidata’s data, Zurich applications that use Wikidata and open data sets from the statistical offices of the city and the canton of Zurich, and tools that support the Wikidata ecosystem. Developing a specific idea or bringing new ideas was also welcome. The team hacks lasted from about 10:00 to 16:00. And during the breaks, participants had the chance to discuss the challenges and get to know each other. In the late afternoon, the teams presented their results. The atmosphere at the common dinner was inspiring and people used the time to submit code, document and network until 22:00.
The event attracted several new people interested in Wikidata and mainly from private companies interested to learn more about open data.
The Hackathon can be seen as a highlight of a series of Wikidata events, which were marked by consistency and built upon one another, while allowing new data enthusiasts to join whenever they wanted. Thus, 2018’s Wikidata events were very much aligned with WMCH’s goal, which is installing Wikimedia projects sustainably and showcasing their benefits to specific audiences, allowing these groups to connect to WMCH’s community.
As a first result, Wikimedia CH has supported and participated to the Swiss Digital Day where we had another Hackathon following the same format. The Hackathon will be repeated in 2019 and this time we will also have some members of the Wikidata development team to join to the event.
Remains to be said that the way these events were set up and how they brought people together gives an idea about how a “hive” might work and encourage further use of Wikimedia projects. Led by Wikidata experts and providing support, the events served to showcase how Wikidata might support professionals and students in their work or studies.
Certainly, this is still fresh. WMCH has to compile and evaluate feedback gathered and iterate whenever necessary. Also, before a first “established hive” is possible, some elements need to still be set up and streamlined, such as the train-the-trainers model or the digital repositories and material needed to be able to replicate these experiences with other universities or educational institutions.
WMCH is in the lucky position of collaborating with different players in Digital Education. The aim of these collaborations is to introduce Wikimedia projects and their benefits to young people and schools under the “Curricula 21” framework. Here, WMCH is still experimenting with different formats and ways of participation to generate impact.
Above all, 2018 served to re-evaluate the scope of Open Education and to start developing the support needed to approach schools and associations. Through regular exchange with stakeholders of Swiss and Open Education, it became clear that a sustainable solution for WMCH is not to directly approach schools, but instead develop didactical resources and communication materials that facilitate the introduction of Wikimedia projects and highlight their didactical benefits and alignment to the curricula. For this reason, materials are currently being prepared in collaboration with a selection of education experts and stakeholders such as the Faculty of Pedagogy of Locarno, which ensure the applicability and didactical value of proposed lessons.
In this section, activities should be considered as pilot projects to experiment methodologies and didactical units that support teachers during the lessons. This happens in alignment with this statement of Wikipedia Education Program:
"Rather than fruitlessly trying to convert students to become editors, WMCH instead wishes to recruit the instructors to sustainably use 'Wikipedia as a teaching tool'. Theoretically, the recruitment and retention of one instructor, might teach and encourage the use of Wikipedia among 20–30 students twice a year.
WMCH has also started to establish partnerships with key players in STEM to learn and to set new combinations for teachers and for schools.
In addition, CH-Open — the Swiss association for the promotion of open software and open standards — suggested that WMCH position itself as a key player for open content. In that regard, CH-Open was very clear that to do so, it’s necessary to have models and material that clearly showcase ways of working with Wikimedia Projects while highlighting the benefits and didactical implementation.
In general, teaching staff is older, which means that the use of modern technologies will only be successful if the proposal is made with simpler and easier tools. There are indeed schools that already use Wikimedia projects, but they are few in comparison to the potential number that could be reached.
Introducing Wikimedia Projects to digital and media education
Wikimedia CH has been combining STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and Digital Humanities to present solutions with a focus on pedagogy that allow students to acquire competencies all in integrating Wikimedia projects into a set of tools to be used as part of the programs at schools.
The first ever ‘Open Education Day’ took place in April at FHNW Brugg-Windisch. Upon an invitation from CH-Open, WMCH joined the event that covered the topics of Open Data and Open Education through a rich programme ranging from workshops to presentations and panel discussions. Participants also had the chance to discover different programming languages and learn more about “Wikipedia in school: using instead of banning.” While the event was well-attended and provided a good place to connect and raise awareness for WMCH, the workshop itself had a small number of attendees and therefore low impact. The learning for WMCH was that participation in such events needs to be better prepared. This includes having a clear aim for the event itself, knowing the audience and delivering a compelling, well-targeted message.
Shortly after 'Open Education Day’, WMCH took part in Devoxx4kids on May 5. The event aims to bring new technologies to students between 11 and 15 years old. Participants had the possibility to actively immerse themselves in new technology while learning about programming, robotics and 3D printing. WMCH gave insights into databases and SPARQL through Wikidata. To provide context and positive connotation, WMCH used gamification. This translated into a quiz with the aim of teaching how to interrogate one of the internet’s biggest data sources, to show how a machine thinks, to find solutions to puzzles and to ultimately to teach "talking to the database" using computational language. With a focus on the active use of Wikimedia projects, the impact of such events is generally very good and definitively something to continue.
On June 9, WMCH and Devoxx4kids were present at the ‘Robot Street Challenge’ a timed race of autonomous robots. Teams of ‘Seniors’ and ‘Juniors’ (8 years+) assembled and programmed robots, which then competed against one another. Through the central placement in between two highly frequented shopping centres, lots of people were attracted and consequently informed about Devoxx4kids and WMCH. Even though WMCH had no active role in this event, the participation nourished the partnership with Devoxx and helped associate WMCH with the technical sphere and education. The aim above all was to inform and raise awareness for Devoxx4kids and WMCH.
Like Devoxx4kids, Media in Piazza is an event that successfully contributes to digital education, particularly the critical and responsible use of media. As such, WMCH was happy to be part of this year’s edition in September. Media in Piazza is organised by a network of players from technology and media education and backed up by a multitude of associations such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, the Cantonal Police, Radixx and the Faculty of Pedagogy of Locarno, to name a few.
With a focus on digital skills, the event offers students the opportunity to experiment with digital media and the web as tools for work. It also invites reflection about our daily use of technology.
Consequently, around 200 students from 3rd and 4th grade gathered at the Covered Market in Mendrisio on September 27-28. They participated in different workshops to learn about fake news and information literacy. Participants thus had the opportunity to look critically at our relationship with the ocean of information and news that a multitude of media deliver on a daily basis. In the fast-paced web and social networks in particular, it is often hard to distinguish true from fake, which is exactly what the event aimed to address.
Under the motto “#but is it true?” participants learned what it means to being able to find information on the internet, how to identify fake news by avoiding traps and how much news is really worth today. They were also provided with insights into the work of information professionals.
The event was organised like a “market,” where students visited different booths without the presence of teachers. However, students were accompanied by a pedagogical team to guarantee the didactical value of the event and exercises.
WMCH decided to go again for the well-received “Treasure Hunt,” whereby students were given statements which they had to evaluate as being true or false. This was done in a programming language style through the use of the logical connectors of AND/OR. At the beginning, this kind of statement was tricky for some, but ultimately it added another layer of information about computing languages, which many found intriguing. The exercise went very much into “Computational Thinking,” which is part of different digital education curricula in Europe.
WMCH’s participation in Media in Piazza is something that showcases very well, where Wikimedia projects can kick in and jump onto the emerging awareness and introduction of media and computer science education that starts as early as primary school.
On October 2, shortly after “Media in Piazza,” WMCH, the Faculty of Pedagogy of Locarno and Wikimedia CH were invited to the rural school of Mesocco (canton of Graubünden). There, an entire day was dedicated to learning about Wikimedia projects and OpenStreetMap. Students thus learned how to map and how to use and write on Wikipedia.
The special thing about this day was that it’s been a pilot day in an alpine school. Classes are characterised by a limited number of pupils of different age and the school itself disposes only of few technological tools. This is also something that was highlighted in the wake of “Curricula 21”. Not all Swiss schools are right now adequately equipped and not all teachers adequately trained to being able to provide in depth digital education. But, Wikimedia CH, through its partners, is in the position of providing tools, equipment and knowledge to carry out tech days and provide guidance for the introduction of technology to schools.
The day in itself went very well and tech days in this format or any other can be transferred to this kind of schools. But, in order for being able to better support schools and teachers and to make sure such events are sustainable, provide didactical value and are in alignment with the curricula there is still some preliminary work, e.g the creation of supporting material, to be done.
SCI Wiki4Peace camp and specific communities
While the Wiki4Peace camp took place in the first semester and did not have any further impact on the 2nd half of 2018, there was discussion around an eventual repetition of the event in 2019 within education programme.
After discussion, it was determined that the camp was a success for several reasons:
It focused on a specific group of people
It treated a specific topic
It was international
The above-mentioned characteristics shape to a large extent the success of workshops in Switzerland. WMCH experienced this through the numerous workshops that have been carried out in the past and this example highlighted it perfectly. Connecting people who are passionate about a specific topic, or at least share a common interest, leads to more and better contributions and ultimately may also facilitate long-term contribution.
This can also be seen in the Feminist movement and community that is relentlessly working towards a more equal representation of history and knowledge on Wikipedia by adding women-focused articles ranging from female artists and scientists to “witches.” The Wikidata community is also very specific and is flourishing. These workshops, depending on their location, often attract people from neighbouring chapters or from all over Switzerland. The Wikidata workshops, due to their technological focus, are easily held in English.
The SCI Wiki4Peace camp overcame language barriers due to the fact that it was an international, targeted event. While English was the language for discussion, the event generated multilingual content tied to the local context of the participants.
While Switzerland’s community might never be considered huge (due to the number of inhabitants and the geographical and cultural context), it is clear that there is potential to connect to the different communities on a national and international level to help diversify and disseminate specific, valuable knowledge to the world.
Through the increasing popularity of Wikidata and WMCH’s collaboration with the University of Zurich, the Tertiary Sector activity is currently the most advanced. Through Wikidata, WMCH saw a first Wikimedia Project turn into a recognised tool for digital education. Meanwhile, through different events, it was possible to highlight fields of application while connecting people to organise activities.
It was also easy to see impact in terms of number of participants, results of the workshops and awareness raised for Wikimedia and Wikidata. In this positive context, WMCH is now set out to compile and evaluate its collaboration and events, which would allow for a successful transfer to other universities. Here of course, WMCH must establish closer ties and develop and grant support to guarantee continuity and sustainability.
Wikidata meet-ups and Hackathons
In 2018, and as mentioned above, the Tertiary Sector was definitively shaped to a large extent by Wikidata. Through collaborations with the University of Zurich and other relevant partners (i.e. Opendata Zurich, City and Canton of Zurich), WMCH was finally able to respond to the increasing demands. Consequently, serval Wikidata-related workshops and Hackathons took place throughout the year.
On April 25, WMCH organised a first Wikidata kick-off meet-up with Cristina Sarasua from the University of Zurich at the Impact Hub Zurich. The meet-up attracted people interested in Wikidata, coding and open data in general. The aim of the meet-up was to share latest developments in the Wikidata community, to edit, code or query Wikidata and to listen to questions, ideas and suggestions from the participants. The event began with a short overview and introduction to Wikidata from Jens Ohlig (WMDE), followed by an after-work meet-up, which served to discuss, brainstorm, experiment with code or simply to ask questions. With 15 people, among them 5 archivists, the event was a good starting point and served to spread the word.
The 2nd Wikidata Zurich meet-up took place on September 5, again at the ImpactHub Zurich. The event targeted people who are new to coding Wikidata or would like to start hacking and/or join the Wikidata Zurich Hackathon on September 8. Thus, about 14 people gathered to learn more about how to use Wikidata’s SPARQL query service and Wikidata’s API to retrieve and add information from/to the knowledge base. With hands-on Wikidata sessions given by Cristina Sarasua and Leon Kastler, participants became well-prepared for the following Hackathon.
The 3rd Wikidata meet-up on October 29 took place at the University of Zurich and celebrated Wikidata’s 6th birthday. Anyone interested in editing, querying, linking and coding Wikidata was invited. The aim of the meet-up was to discuss and brainstorm the value of Wikidata. The event started with an introductory talk by Manuel Sahli (User:Fundriver), an experienced Wikipedian. It continued with a panel discussion with Laura Hale (User:LauraHale), Matthias Mazenauer (Statistik Kanton Zürich), Marco Sieber (Statistik Stadt Zürich), Oleg Lavrovsky (Open Data CH, School of Data) and Manuel Sahli. The panel discussion was then followed by a collective brainstorming. Last but not least, participants concluded the evening through networking and blowing out Wikidata’s birthday candles.
From April 27 to 29, the 4th edition of Southern Switzerland's Hackathon, “Hack the City,” was held at the University of Lugano with the participation of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland and the Franklin University of Lugano.
The 48-hour-long event and hackathon is a gathering of developers, designers, makers and people simply passionate about technology and innovation. During the event, 14 teams code and collaborate intensively on different projects and ideas. They compete not only to showcase their talents and find creative solutions to everyday problems, but also to win a prize and maybe see their project take shape as a real-world business. WMCH supported and sponsored the event for the use of open source code and the use of open content software, two aspects that were highly valuable in defining the final ranking.
In Zurich, a Wikidata-related Hackathon/Datathon took place on June 16 at the University of Zurich. The Wikidata Zurich Datathon targeted data providers who wished to publish their own data in a Wikidata-friendly way. During the event, eight participants learned how to contribute to Wikidata and how to import data to the database. They were supported by mentors and experts of Wikidata, who came from as far as Italy and the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. WMCH promoted the event on its webpage and social media channels.
Swiss Digital Day on Oct 25
The Swiss Digital Day is an event organised by digitalswitzerland, which is a joint initiative between industry, government and science that aims at making Switzerland one of world’s leading digital innovation hubs. As an association, digitalswitzerland convenes more than 130 companies and organisations from all over Switzerland.
The event itself was carried out in 12 cities across Switzerland. It aimed to find answers to the questions of how digitalisation can change the way we view our world and how it will influence our daily lives. With approximately 70 partner organisations involved, the day was used to encourage explorations, experimentations, conversations and discussions around the themes of education, health, mobility, lifestyle, work 4.0, media & news and ‘my data’.
WMCH teamed up with the Digital Society Initiative from the University of Zurich, the City and Canton of Zurich to organise a 12-hour Hackathon under the theme of “Crowdsourcing Data Analysis.” The event was part of the 100 Ways of Thinking Festival by UZH, so the Hackathon took place at the Kunsthalle in Zurich.
The Hackathon aimed to encourage participants to take action around crowdsourced data analysis. While it featured ‘lightning talks’ by two local citizen science initiatives, the Citizen Science Centre Zurich and CrowdWater, the vast majority of the day was used for actually hacking and coding.
The three working directions consisted of (1) coding tools that help to execute collaborative data analysis with crowds, (2) extending and preparing existing data sets, and (3) answering data questions collectively. Participants were then given eight challenges to get an idea of what they can work on in teams. Among these eight challenges, WMCH was present with a Wikidata query task.
Challenge 1: Crowd sourced Open Data from «Züri wie neu»
Challenge 2: Extracting individual trees from LIDAR
Challenge 3: OpenStreetMap POI Completeness
Challenge 4: Online Search Behaviour and Government Information
Challenge 5: Automatic Detection of Colour for Water Quality Strip Tests
Challenge 6: Adding and Correcting Entities in Executive Minutes
Challenge 7: The RefBank Challenge - Cleaning and De-duplicating Bibliographic References
Challenge 8: Looking for the WOW Wikidata query
The aim of WMCH’s participation was to encourage further use of Wikidata by showcasing its increasing popularity and how to make the best use of the data. The challenge was split into sub-tasks such as finding out what kind of queries people run, what the characteristics of WOW queries are, manually picking and describing some WOW queries, and ultimately coding a tool that smartly picks queries and asks people to rate it.
Participants therefore analysed a query log released by WMDE and the University of Dresden to find WOW queries that could be used to showcase the power of Wikidata and teach others how to use it. To facilitate the task and to support participants, teams received a 101 introduction to SPARQL.
The breaks were used to discuss the different themes and findings. At the end of the day, each team presented the outcome of the challenge they took on.
For many of the participants, it was their first detailed introduction to Wikidata and the possibilities it offers. Employees at private companies and students alike learned how to potentially use Wikidata for their job.
The Swiss Digital Day perfectly fit in the above-mentioned series of Wikidata events and allowed WMCH to talk to new people within this very specific audience of data-enthusiasts. Another advantage was that the event was organised nationwide, raising awareness on a much larger scale through its partners and collaborations. WMCH is looking forward to the 2019 edition.
Around 200 participants as reported by the organizers
Around 20 new users created (half participants to Hackthons were new participants)
Around 50'000 people reached
University Teaching and Presentation
Student Training at the University of Fribourg - Plamatsu
Plamatsu stands for “Plant-Inspired Materials and Surfaces.” It is an innovative training network to develop synthetic materials inspired from plants. It received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The network allows nine PhD students from the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, the University of Freiburg in Germany and the University of Cambridge in the UK to work in the field of bio-inspired materials. Plamatsu is strengthened by industry partners like BASF and two communications partners, among which is WMCH.
In this context, Flor from WMCH, helped by Tommy and Alessandro, trained doctoral students to edit the English language Wikipedia. The workshop took place on September 25 and 26 at the University of Fribourg. Participants learned how to use an encyclopaedic tone and discuss with the community of authors, and ultimately made valuable contributions to articles related to their field of speciality. As an example, the highly-visited article concerning “Biomimetics” was extensively revised during these two days. Further results of this intensive edit-a-thon can be consulted on the outreach dashboard.
WikiNeoComensia - learning about and preserving heritage while writing for Wikipedia
WikiNeoComensia is a project that aims to show GLAM personnel and students of history/historical sciences, archaeology and art history at the University of Neuchâtel how to edit Wikipedia. It also engages them to actively reflect on how contributing makes sense for their studies or their professional activities. Ultimately, the project has proven to lead to new and improved high-quality articles and photographs about the cultural heritage of Neuchâtel.
The project was kicked-off in 2017 by the two archivists Gilliane Kern and Amandine Cabrio. After a handful of workshops and a panel discussion in the first half of 2018, the project saw a successful continuation through workshops held in the Laténium, an archaeology museum in the canton of Neuchâtel.
On November 16, GLAM personnel and people interested in the local cultural heritage gathered at the Laténium to learn how to contribute to Wikimedia Commons and get answers to questions concerning rights and licences. Amandine Cabrio and Flor from WMCH gave an introduction to Wikimedia Commons. After lunch, the museum’s assistant director, Géraldine Delley, presented the photographic workshop and then participants were free to take pictures of the museum and its extensive exhibition park.
Just a week later, on November 23, the Laténium once again opened its doors to host a follow-up event. Under the guidance of Rama, an avid Wikimedia contributor, participants got an introduction to uploading and categorising pictures on Wikimedia Commons. Supported by Rama and Flor Méchain, they then had the chance to practice, ideally with pictures taken the week before or by using pictures depicting the cultural heritage of Neuchâtel. After the workshop was the opportunity to exchange and ask questions. The day then concluded with an “apéritif dînatoire” and lively conversations.
WMCH is grateful for the devotion and input of the people involved in WikiNeoComensia and is looking forward to similar events in the future. The project is certainly not the biggest in scale, but it is a good example of a targeted project that addresses a specific audience and connects this audience to the Wikiverse, all while enriching Wikimedia projects with high-quality content. Additionally, it highlights and preserves local cultural heritage and history, which are both relevant beyond the borders of Switzerland.
Framework of certification
As highlighted in the Progress Report 2018, it is an open secret that working with Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects goes along with the development and strengthening of different hard and soft skills, such as the Four C’s of learning. These skills are increasingly in demand in today’s professional environment and therefore are increasingly considered in modern school curricula.
Wikimedia’s— and above all, Wikipedia’s— presence in schools and universities is far-reaching, as it has become an indispensable resource for quick research and self-teaching. Nevertheless, the use of Wikimedia projects is mostly privative and passive (consuming knowledge). Stimulating active contribution and a better penetration of the educational field, from primary schools to life-long learning, requires a solid framework that allows for official recognition of know-how, skills and expertise gained through the contribution to Wikimedia projects.
2018 was used to evaluate the scope, partnerships and other necessities that would allow for the creation of a certification path. In that regard, exchange happened with Vahir from the Wikimedia Foundation, who started working on a similar project on a more global scale. The aim was to regularly exchange and make use of the global process in order to avoid overlap and leverage learnings. The discussions and process came to halt when Vahir left the Wikimedia Foundation. WMCH therefore decided to proceed within the given setting, with constant exchange with other chapters to accumulate experiences and create synergies for higher impact with the aim of a common model that is shared worldwide and adapted to national settings.
The long-term goal for WMCH’s certification is to be accepted by universities or even validated for an official Swiss recognition like ECTS credit, as especially in Switzerland, certificates and certified skills are greatly valued.
First concrete actions are the selection and evaluation of MOOC’s in collaboration with WMIT, the creation of Open Education Material and a related repository, which were kicked off at the end of 2018.
WMCH’s Education Programme is still young and struggles at times to get up to speed. This is why 2018 was mainly used to refine possibilities, consolidate and define the scope of different building blocks that are prerequisite and essential for the programme to function and be sustainable in the long run.
Regardless of the early-phase problems, WMCH continuously and increasingly receives demands tied to Lifelong Learning. Above all, Wikidata is a project that appeals to professionals in different areas, especially GLAM. WMCH, through the help of Cristina Sarasua and the University of Zurich, used 2018 to respond to these demands. Consequently, several workshops were held and WMCH was part of different hack-a-thons that showcased the multitude of possible uses of the database.
In retrospective, it is actually a good thing that these demands and events run in parallel to the process of building a solid education programme. As a result, WMCH receives constant feedback that allows for iteration whenever necessary, which is great when considering that the collaboration with the University of Zurich comes close to the planned hive approach.
These first practical experiences also confirm that the format of "lifelong" is a more extensive concept than "continuous training” and indeed goes beyond traditional "brick and mortar" schooling. In covering themes such as 'learning to learn' or 'knowledge work,’ it is an ongoing, self-motivated and voluntary pursuit of knowledge, which is also propelled by emerging technologies such as MOOCs.
WMCH is therefore eager to pursue with its strategy and actions to come up with concrete examples that may give a better idea of where its education programme is headed.
On October 28, WMCH was part of the Wiki-Aktionstag. Under the Hashtag #WikipediavorOrt, local Wikipedia-Communities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland opened their doors to the public. Thus, everyone interested in Wikipedia had the chance to get to know people behind the encyclopaedia and discover how to contribute to it.
In Switzerland, WMCH opened its doors in Zurich and despite the fact that neither a specific location was booked, nor volunteers were on spot, the date luckily coincided with the 4th Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon. Consequently, the Hackathon location was used and WMCH employees ran the Wiki-Aktionstag.
Initially, WMCH planned for about 20 participants, but starting from 9am people began rushing in and soon the room was not big enough for the number of people present. Thanks to the management and flexibility of the Swiss National Museum, the organisers quickly found a solution and the 60 or so participants received a visitor’s badge, allowing them to subsequently visit the museum. With the location, the programme was quickly adapted and finally, with a little delay, the day started with a first introduction to Wikipedia, followed by a presentation from Cristina Sarasua about Wikidata in English. Despite the initial problems, feedback received at the end of the day, was very good.
All in one it was a positive first experience with Wiki-Aktionstag. However, WMCH underestimated the interest in this event and definitively needs to work on it. Not only does it need communication towards the community to motivate volunteers and contributors to Wikipedia to actively meet and exchange with the public, it also does need proactive communication to the different local communities and the public, a dedicated location and supporting material to help people getting started. It also got clear that this kind of event only makes sense, when connected to a follow-up process that accompanies people throughout their process of becoming an avid and recognised Wikipedia-contributor. Otherwise the impact of such wide-ranging and all-in events risks being close to zero in terms of recruiting new, long-term Wikipedia contributors.
Cross border exchange
Regular exchange with other chapters has always been of value for WMCH. With German, French and Italian as national languages, the different language communities of Switzerland have naturally been close to the neighbouring communities. Exchange and collaboration not only happened and happens among the communities, but also through staff members, who exchange about programs and share experiences.
For WMCH, 2018 served to increase these exchanges and to go about it in a more structured and results-oriented way. Especially for Education, which in Switzerland is still a quite recent programme that faces early stage problems, exchange and knowledge-sharing remain fundamental.
With the Education programme manager located in Italian-speaking Switzerland, the collaboration with Wikimedia Italia came naturally. After a few dedicated in-person meetings and general staff meetings, both WMIT and WMCH are jointly looking into finding a MOOC solution. MOOCs and underlying systems are complex, and it makes sense teaming up to look for a solution that meets common requirements. With it comes rich exchange about the introduction of new technologies, innovation and inclusivity in schools, topics that gain more and more weight within both the Italian and Swiss educational landscapes.
Tools for schools
At the core of educational projects are the tools that make up an approach to teaching, but also an innovative programme for learning. Specifically, WMCH made the Wiki2map tool that is used to extract mind maps from Wikipedia articles.
Vikidia and Wikimini, two other solutions facilitating the use of Wikis in school settings, might very likely undergo similar processes to ensure clear vision and underlying actions.
Knowledge equity: a voice to visually impaired people
Over the past years, awareness around knowledge equity grew within the movement. Inequity is not only about underrepresentation of certain groups on Wikipedia (for example, the gender gap), but also comprises barriers of access to knowledge, which may be due to geographical inequalities, language barriers or disabilities such as visual impairments.
The movement’s transition towards its Strategy 2030 highlights this accordingly. The two dimensions of “knowledge equity” and “knowledge as a service” serve as global guidelines for the work as a chapter.
Through different projects and events, WMCH has experienced that equity is also an important topic when it comes to education. Many students — especially those with disabilities — experience major hurdles in their access to knowledge. Additionally, gender bias still exists in education and is reflected in the generally low enrolment rates to STEM disciplines among women.
WMCH is therefore happy to be able to highlight different projects that are mostly born out of and maintained by its community, such as the “les sans pagEs” and other feminist groups that successfully and steadily improve the representation of women on Wikipedia. Efforts are also made to conserve locally-important minority languages. Last but not least, the recent collaboration with Albinit is providing precious insights into the daily struggles of visually impaired students. For more details concerning these projects, please refer to 'Diversify communities in CH'.
Wikimedia projects and technology can leverage equity in school and facilitate access to knowledge for children with disabilities and learning difficulties, which makes it an indispensable part of WMCH’s education strategy.
Education has for a long time been considered part of other activities rather than being a programme in itself. This changed in 2017 with the creation of the Impact Direction of Education. Therefore, and in regard to our proposal, 2018 served to consolidate, experiment and, above all, evaluate how to best shape the programme in a way that sustainably serves WMCH's vision and mission.
It was also of utmost importance to create and further iterate strategic documents that aim to bring knowledge about Switzerland’s educational system to the association and outline a path and goal for the work within the different segments. Following these documents, and thanks to regular exchange with partners, community and other chapters, initial actions have been taken and re-evaluated for Secondary and Tertiary Education, Life-long Learning, the Certification Path and Digital Innovation.
WMCH's presence in Secondary Education was marked by events such as Media in Piazza and Devoxx4kids and the introduction of coding and technology, which proved to be well-received by students and teachers alike while raising awareness for WMCH and its potential role in Swiss education. In that regard, Wikipedia and its sister projects have been used to work on media literacy in evaluating information given, as well as providing insights into 'machine thinking' and databases. Gamified lessons brought the fun factor while conveying knowledge and skills such as critical thinking or collaboration. This is a clear shift from a "Wikipedia writing only workshop" to a use of Wikimedia projects in a topical and much-needed context that prepares students for the society and work of the future (4 C's of 21st century learning). This not only aimed to raise interest in Wikimedia projects but also highlighted the need for a secure environment that allows students to train before being able to contribute quality content to Wikimedia projects. This is why WMCH works with WikiToLearn and Kiwix to provide a secure training platform and material needed to experiment.
WMCH also used 2018 to re-evaluate the Scope of Open Education and started preparing material for the Education repository in collaboration with teachers. This repository is planned to provide tools and information on how to integrate Wikipedia and sister projects meaningfully into lessons and how these can help develop much demanded skills.
In Tertiary Education, Wikidata has been successfully used as a door-opener. Through regular Wikidata meet-ups and WMCH's participation in different Hackathons, the association accumulated valuable insights about the value of the database for— and application in — the different settings and was able to better connect within Switzerland's 'Open Society' (Open GLAM, Open Data, etc.) It also gave a first idea about how a hub structure might work, as well as how a mentor group could be a valuable tool to further anchor Wikimedia projects in universities and connect the use of the tools to the professional environment of participants (e.g. archivists, data scientists, PlaMatSu project, etc.)
WMCH also strengthened ties with the Universities of Neuchâtel, Fribourg and Zurich and was part of different projects such as WikiNeoComensia or PlaMatSu. Thanks to Cristina Sarasua, from the University of Zurich, WMCH was able to organise different Wikidata workshops, was part of Hackathons, and had the possibility to highlight these actions during DINAcon, Switzerland's Conference on Digital Sustainability. Hack the City, Southern Switzerland's Hackathon, with its focus on Open Data, assured WMCH's presence in the Italian-speaking region.
When it comes to the Certification path, WMCH has significant delay that has been outlined in the specific section. This project aims to create a stable community of well-prepared users who are not only able to contribute high-quality content to Wikimedia projects, but who also are able to convey know-how and have their skills certified and, ideally, officially acknowledged. This community is much demanded by partners from Education and GLAM and would guarantee continuity, credibility and motivation on different levels. But it goes without saying that this is a big project that needs a good deal of research, feasibility studies, and partners at the right places and time. This is why WMCH will strengthen its efforts in 2019 and is right now, together with WMIT, looking into MOOC solutions.
Technology in that regard is an enabler for all aspects of the Education programme, as it is for GLAM and Community or Outreach. It encompasses the different tools needed to set up a secure and safe training environment to experiment and learn. It also covers the planned repositories and micro-sites that serve to inform, connect and allow for the easy access of documents and materials needed to implement and actively use Wikimedia projects. This is what it takes to become a trusted and recognised partner for 21st century learning in Swiss education.
Topics that are still on the table and need to be looked into again in 2019 are not only the Certification Path, but also the education committee, the collaboration with GLAM and schools for content production and the adaption of WikiToLearn to high schools (see Wiki To Learn Status Quo). Also, a clear communication plan for further outreach to universities still needs to be explored.
WMCH is looking forward to 2019 to see the use of Wikimedia tools put in a didactic context that serves the needs of Swiss schools and universities that are currently implementing technology in their curricula. This is aimed to happen in alignment with the plan that allows the association to pursue its strategic vision and goal. In short, 2019 will be an exciting year full of challenges to overcome and learning opportunities.
WMCH's Education Strategy Revision - Technology in Swiss Schools
The need and current frame
The ongoing digitisation deeply influences and shapes today’s society, including how people access knowledge and learn. Switzerland acknowledges these changes and will soon provide space for digital education in the different curricula. The below quote from educa.ch (the specialist agency from the Confederation and cantons involved in the quality development for ICT in compulsory and upper secondary education), highlights this accordingly:
"For Switzerland to take advantage of the opportunities presented by digitisation, it needs the required skills. Teaching Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills via the education system is therefore of paramount importance. Ongoing digitisation is transforming the context in which teaching, and learning takes place. The anytime, anywhere availability of knowledge is leading to an adjustment of learning processes and changes in the roles of teachers and students."
The aim is the development of a knowledge-based society, allowing everyone in Switzerland to use ICT to competently take part in multiple aspects of life, including political, social, economic and cultural spheres alike. In that regard, the challenge for schools is to accompany students from the very beginning and prepare them for lifelong learning in a more complex and fast-paced society, which includes a constantly changing work environment.
To make sure the Swiss education system can adapt to the digital evolution and convey the different skill-sets necessary to prepare young people for the future, the Confederation and Cantons are working closely together. An in-depth study on the challenges that education and research face in the digital age has been carried out and has helped to define an action plan and measures for the education system during the period of 2019-2020. The defined fields of action are the following:
Improvement of digital competencies at school level
Making use of ICT in general and vocational education
Rapid adaptation of the education system to the requirements of the market
Coordination and communication of cooperation in the field of education
As an association devoted to a more open and knowledgeable society, WMCH has a long-standing relationship with schools and universities. However, this relationship was, until recently, usually limited to different Wikipedia workshops and the everyday use of Wikipedia by students for homework or studying in general. When introducing its Education Program, WMCH found itself confronted with a very heterogenous context and heavy decentralisation, which are a result of the strong federalism in Switzerland's Educational System. Additionally, WMCH's presence did not happen in the context of an educational strategy and failed to convey benefits that come along with the active use of Wikimedia projects.
The above findings led to the development of a strategic framework dedicated to education, which highlights the different fields of action, requirements and processes that WMCH as an association has to go through or fulfil in order to reach its goal:
"Accompany students throughout their entire schooling career and beyond, not only to further anchor Wikipedia and its sister projects as broadly accepted go-to resources for education, but also to highlight the technical aspects and benefits that come along in exploring, using and contributing to the Wikiverse".
2018 was therefore used to experiment in order to finally be able to revise and adapt its strategy to reconcile it with new strategic lines of the Wikimedia Foundation, all while keeping the Swiss context in mind. The plan has therefore been adapted to the actual needs of Swiss educational institutions while taking into account different cantonal levels and types of schools. The revision was originally planned for 2020, but due to experiences and learnings made in 2018, the need to do it earlier became pressing and ultimately allows to better respond to current changes.
High schools, for instance, have been integrated into the programme for universities, as both worlds are close and the preparation of students for the future of work starts at the high school level.
Consequently, WMCH was present at different events geared towards high- and middle schools to showcase the more technical aspects of Wikimedia projects and how these can contribute to preparing young people for a future shaped by digitisation. The year was also used to review the scope of Open Education and aimed to kick-start the creation of communications material targeting young people. Addressing the lack of awareness around Wikimedia projects and how these can be easily introduced into education in a meaningful way that helps to further the development of ICT skills is important to WMCH and pre-requisite for the success of its education programme.
When it comes to universities, WMCH was finally able to respond to increasing demand for Wikidata. Here it was the partnership with the University of Zurich (among others) and, above all, the outstanding engagement of Cristina Sarasua that led to regular meet-ups and the successful involvement of WMCH at different Hackathons. This also helped WMCH get a clearer idea about the form the planned hives can take and how to possibly go about Open Science in Switzerland.
Consequently, WMCH was present at different events, geared towards high- and middle schools, to showcase the more technical aspects of Wikimedia projects and how these can contribute to preparing the young for a future shaped by digitisation. But the year was also used to review the scope of Open Education and aimed at kick-starting the creation of communications material targeting young people. Filling the lack of awareness around Wikimedia projects and how these can be easily introduced to education in a meaningful way that helps to further the development of ICT skills, it is of importance to WMCH and pre-requisite for its education program to succeed.
For Lifelong Learning and for different reasons, things went on a littler slower than intended. But this gave WMCH the time necessary to iterate and continue exchanging on different levels about the projects for the Certification Path, the Train the Trainers model and the MOOC.
Through the different events, projects and participations WMCH also learned that it would need a section dedicated to organisation and partnerships, which has been also added to the revised plan.
The outcome & learnings
Becoming a go-to resource for education in Switzerland is a complex process that demands high flexibility and good connections on numerous levels. With education in the hands of the cantons, outreach and projects may be realised quicker on a local level. However, to reach a coherent national presence, it appears to be a tedious process. It is therefore even more important to partner up with different associations and official bodies involved in Switzerland’s educational system.
Through different partnerships, WMCH also learned that in order to be able to approach these organisations, it is indispensable to the association to have a sound technical framework itself, as well as a solid stock of communications materials, case studies and guides that build-up knowledge around Wikimedia, allow for easy implementation of its projects in schools and clearly highlight the benefits of doing so.
WMCH is aware that in this early stage phase of introducing, framing and executing a strategic framework, as well as significant experimentation and iteration, things sometimes run seemingly unconnected. Due to feedback about this point and in the aim of clarifying and connecting the dots, WMCH will continue working towards a coherent and more easily-understood programme with actions clearly aligned to its goal, vision and mission. A first step in that regard was the development of the Annual Plan 2019 that is summarised in the infographic shown to the right.
Switzerland is home to a small but very heterogenous community, one that finds itself in a setting that is favourable to the dissemination of knowledge. Education is free and open to everyone, the density of cultural institutions is high, freedom of speech is given and internet penetration among adults is as high as 90% (https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/en/home.assetdetail.3782202.html).
But, when it comes to the access to and balanced representation in free knowledge, even in this privileged environment, inequalities do emerge on different levels. Be it the gender gap on Wikimedia projects, the lack of information available in minority languages or the hurdles that visually impaired people face, there is catching up to do. WMCH and its community therefore pursue the vision of an inclusive environment that allows for an equal representation of knowledge.
On a national level, the association strives to support its community in efforts to share in the sum of all knowledge and make sure this knowledge is equitable. On a more international scale, WMCH is well aware of the fact that many things are still in transition. 2018 nevertheless was a year that served to connect more and better within the Wikiverse. Ultimately the ongoing processes and the newly created ties will help WMCH find its place within the movement. WMCH’s overarching goal therefore remains unchanged and reads as follows:
Increase the engagement, diversity, retention and satisfaction of WMCH's community. Represent the interest of the communities in Switzerland to open doors and bring people together with the aim of disseminating free knowledge. Also enable the community to share knowledge and connect it to the various stakeholders of the Wikimedia universe.
2018 served to actively engage with WMCH’s community. This has been done not only through workshops or edit-a-thons, but also through active outreach to and exchange with different groups and members of the community. The year started with the traditional, locally-organised New Year’s Brunch, has seen many different workshops, two General Assemblies, two GLAM on Tour events and the German WikiCon in St. Gallen, which definitively was a highlight. Through WMCH’s annual Community Survey, the association also actively collected feedback and learned about the concerns, wishes and perception of WMCH from its community.
Through different projects, such as Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, WMCH also had the chance to approach and connect with new user groups, such as archivists and data-enthusiasts (Hackathons). WMCH also was and is happy to help open doors and connect its community to different GLAM in the aim of nourishing Wikimedia projects. To work towards equity, the association also laid focus on supporting different groups that are working towards a better representation of women on Wikimedia projects, minority languages and people with visual impairments.
On a more strategic level, the three community liaisons met in the summer to work on better internal communication and outlined a first, rough strategic framework that aims to provide context and guidance for the work with the community. It was also the place to start an ongoing and conscious discussion about community health, involvement, retention and recruitment.
Reaching out and listening to our community to learn more about needs and wishes in order to ultimately increase community satisfaction, retention and engagement
Serving and supporting the community at our best (events, technological needs, scholarships, micro-grants…)
Increase and diversify WMCH’s community
Connecting our community to stakeholders of the Wikiverse for future collaboration and projects
WMCH is undergoing many changes (strategic directions, staff, technological changes). It is therefore of utmost importance to the association to go about these changes in the most transparent way possible and to make sure the community understands and agrees to the importance and overall goal of these changes. Regular communication with the community and garnering feedback are therefore crucial.
Through experimenting with different ways of outreach to the community it became clear that not all communication channels at hand are used in the best way possible. There is clearly room for improvement, so WMCH is also focusing on technology to best reach and serve its community. A web presence and communication channels that allow for user-friendly retrieval of information and easy exchange are deemed crucial for building, growing and nurturing a healthy community. The Communication Strategy, which is currently being developed, should provide some guidance in that regard.
Last but not least, a challenge that many chapters are facing is the on-boarding of new and especially long-term editors. Here too, WMCH is experimenting with different formats of workshops, ways of connecting to new potential user-groups and exchanges on a regular basis with other chapters.
The highlight event for the Swiss community in 2018 was the WikiConference in St. Gallen. For the first time, the annual gathering of active members of the German-speaking Wikipedia, its sister projects and all those interested in Free Knowledge, took place in Switzerland.
From October 5 to 7, 309 Wikipedians met at the ‘Kantonsschule am Graben’ to discuss the future of free knowledge. The conference offered a varied programme with around 70 lectures, workshops and discussions. At the ‘Forum des Freien Wissens’ (forum of free knowledge), different projects, organisations and initiatives were presented to the participants and interested public.
Volunteers of WMCH’s community and staff worked alongside WMDE to organise and promote the event. Media interest in Switzerland and beyond was high and led to good coverage on local, as well as national media outlets before and during the WikiCon, including radio stations, print, web, and local and national TV channels. Several volunteers and WMCH staff were interviewed to talk about Wikipedia, Wikidata and other topics in relation to the WikiCon.
The opening Keynote speech on Friday evening was held by Cristina Sarasua from the University of Zurich. Cristina stands behind many of 2018’s workshops and hack-a-thons that were connected to Wikidata. Consequently, the Keynote treated the topic of ‘Wikidata and challenges as well as opportunities in community- and data-management’. The speech was then followed by a panel discussion about ‘how does data become knowledge’. After the welcome session and dinner, the official programme started. People had the choice among six different, parallel workshops that went on until 10pm. Over the following two days and until Sunday noon, the programme was just as dense, and participants were spoilt for choice.
Feedback received during the event was very positive. A survey, which was sent just after the event and answered by 61% of participants, highlighted a generally high satisfaction with the agenda and organisation of the event, the speakers and the location.
On the other hand, criticisms varied widely. Some of the participants wished to focus more on Wikipedia and current challenges, while others strived for a greater presence of sister projects and more experts from outside the Wikiverse. Still others highlighted the need for more space for discussion in the single sessions and workshops, as well as more and better organised offers for newcomers to the Wikiverse.
All in all, the WikiCon 2018 was very well rated, which is a clear indication of the high level of organisation of the conference and the fact that with every new WikiCon, new learnings and insights are accumulated.
For WMCH and the volunteers involved it was very insightful to work along with WMDE to set up an event this big. Wikimedia DE on the other hand certainly learned a lot about the bureaucratic hurdles and the Swiss mindset ;-). At the end of the day, the efforts paid off and WMCH and its community want to again thank WMDE for making this event possible. We are all looking forward to next year’s event, wherever it might take place.
The "gender gap" on Wikipedia is not a new topic, but it’s one that has not lost any of its relevance. Through the lack of women editors and the under-representation of women in Wikipedia content, the representation of knowledge and history on the world's most solicited encyclopaedia is biased. This is why many national and international groups have formed in the aim of closing the gender gap.
2018 luckily saw regular introductions to Wikipedia, writing workshops and presentations that, little by little, continuously improve women's representation on the world’s largest online encyclopaedia. These events took shape thanks to the efforts of different national and international groups such as 'Art + Feminism', 'Love Machine', 'Women in Red', 'Who writes his_tory?' and 'les sans pagEs'.
In its 5th year of existence, 'Art + Feminism' organised numerous events all over the globe. In Switzerland, different workshops were held in the German- and French-speaking parts with the aim of improving coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary folks, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. Some of these events were organised in collaboration with 'les sans pagEs', a group that works on Wikipedia topics related to women, feminism and other underrepresented topics. 'les sans pagEs' is based in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and also animates the 'wikimidis' every Friday at the University of Geneva. 2018 also saw a new series of workshops taking shape after the GLAM-on-Tour event at the MAMCO Geneva. As a result, one Wednesday a month 'les sans pagEs' hosts the 'WikiMercrediMAMCO' in the aim of improving Wikipedia content on women artists and the like.
Meanwhile, the collaborative project of 'Who writes his_tory' questions the reproduction of knowledge and the structural discrimination against women on the internet and especially on Wikipedia. Through regular edit-a-thons that are organised in collaboration with 'Art + Feminism', the project is very active in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Switzerland by consequence saw the organisation of dedicated edit-a-thons in March, August and November in Basel, as well as one in June at the College of Arts in Zurich. In the first half of 2018, 'Love Machine' was equally involved in workshops in Romandie and Basel. Some of the workshops and edit-a-thons such as the 'Feministisches Improvisatorium' in August took place in the 'The Cascade Condenser', which is, through its thematic focus and literature on site, an ideal place for the organisation of such events.
WMCH is happy to see that 2019's agenda is already rich with new events aimed at filling the gender gap and will continuously support efforts made towards a more equal representation of knowledge and history on Wikipedia.
Switzerland and its population are marked by significant language heterogeneity. The four officially-spoken languages are also tied to cultural differences, which are often reflected in national voting results. German is spoken by about 63% of the population, French by about 22%, Italian by about 8% and Romansh by about 0,5%. Even though the distribution of the languages is uneven and tied to geographical regions, the awareness about these languages, their heritage and cultural richness is something that is omnipresent in the everyday life of Swiss people.
For WMCH as small association, which is relatively at the beginning of building up its reputation and finding its place within Switzerland's dense landscape of non-profit organisations, this heterogeneity brings advantages as well as disadvantages. Due to the lack of a lingua-franca, the different languages as well as local limitations make it sometimes hard to scale, especially when it comes to workshops that are tied to reading and writing in a specific language. On the other hand, WMCH's community shares languages and ties with its neighbouring countries and chapters of Germany, Austria, France and Italy. This makes it easier to exchange or join forces and reach over borders to commonly organise events. Good examples in that regard are the WikiConferences. In 2018, the German WikiCon was organised for the first time in Switzerland and community members from Switzerland actively participated in the Italian and French WikiCons.
This contribution has been relevant for all communities involved, because Swiss Wkipedians are by themselves a smaller group within the bigger communities of the German, French or Italian speaking areas. As an example: Although the Italian Wikipedia is one of the biggest Wikimedia projects, Italian is an officially recognised minority language in Switzerland, with only 8% of Swiss citizens speaking the language.
It goes without saying that WMCH pays close attention to serving its different language communities. The three community liaisons in place speak the different languages and are constantly communicating with the local communities and with each other in the aim to exchange and learn. On a more technical level, WMCH is also closely following and promoting Wikidata and the Lexicographical data which is very interesting for the Swiss context.
The focus in the first half of 2018 lay on the project of Natural Language Processing, which came with a setback when digging into the possibility of receiving funds. With a mandatory registration at the Chamber of Commerce, WMCH still needs to look into ways of processing this registration and evaluate obligations in case of such a registration. When it comes to Ladin languages (those spoke in the Romansch areas of Switzerland), the project is currently paused. After the massive uploads of the past years, WMCH needs to define how to proceed before rushing into any new action and/or project tied to it. Different possibilities will be evaluated and if one is deemed to be a fit and matches the context of WMCH's strategy and goal, WMCH will decide on how to proceed.
This said, in the 2nd half of 2018, resources were allocated differently and projects such as the work with visually impaired people, the organisation of the WikiCon and the support of locally-organised workshops were given priority. This also gave community liaisons the possibility to consolidate, reflect and exchange more about different experiences. They were also able to think about how to use those findings when working on the digital communication with the community and what place and shape language should take in their future work with the community.
Visually impaired and blind people
Over the past years and months diversity and equity have become lampposts when it comes to a balanced representation of knowledge. This is not only a core matter of the 2030 movement strategy, but also to be found within the efforts of local chapters.
WMCH therefore is happy to have teamed up with Albinit, an international association for people with albinism. The aim of the collaboration is to test and improve the accessibility and usability of Wikimedia projects for visually impaired people. Wikimedia projects in that regard might be very helpful tools for visually impaired students, who otherwise have to overcome significant hurdles to access knowledge.
After a first batch of tests that was carried out in the first semester, students are now shaping the parameters of evaluation for the 2nd batch. Thus, the criteria concerning accessibility of information has been critically reviewed. What’s more, students suggested alternative criteria that are more relevant to them, such as the level of exhaustion/ energy invested to be able to read texts. As a result, the accessibility concept (perceive, understand, contribute) of websites has been extended to include usability (use to achieve specific goals). After final evaluation and consideration, these new criteria should be fit for use.
To be more specific about the challenges visually impaired students are still facing today, two students with visual impairments talked about their experiences with knowledge equity during WikiCon IT and first results will be presented at Wikipedia+Education conference.
Simone, a computer science student, and Agnèse, a languages student, both faced demoralising situations frequently, which even led Simone to abandon his studies. While Agnèse is close to completing her masters, she at times has been close to quitting too. The main challenge in both cases was that the access to knowledge necessary for studying was constantly peppered with hurdles. To being able to use books, Agnèse explained that she would need open PDFs, but when approaching publishers, the outcome was usually a refusal. In this context and without going into details, she also briefly highlighted the Marrakech VIP Treaty, which demands for such copyright exceptions. A last resort for Agnèse was the use of associations for blind people, which scan and digitise books. But this process may take up to 2 weeks, which in many cases was problematic.
Even though Wikimedia projects are not a solution to replace books with copyright, it is clear that the encyclopaedia has high value especially for visually impaired students and that accessibility (both for consuming and contributing) and usability are something to keep in mind when working with schools, ensuring inclusivity and equity. In that regard, Wikimedia projects may also be of help to dyslexic students.
The collaboration with Albinit is highly valuable for WMCH’s work with students and therefore the introduction of technology through Wikimedia projects in schools and universities.
In 2018, WMCH organised for the first time two General Assemblies. The first took place on March 24 at the Pädagogische Hochschule Bern, with more than 20 participants including board members and staff. The agenda covered the activity reports, budgetary items, motions and bylaws, as well as the election of the new board.
Following the General Assembly, two workshops were held. Open to the public, they targeted professors and students and covered the topics of:
WikiToLearn: from open knowledge to collaborative textbooks.
From consumers to active players: technology in the classroom.
The second General Assembly was organised online and held on December 10. People had to register and then received personal login credentials to participate. This extraordinary assembly aimed to continue and finalise the discussion around the proposed bylaw changes, which, as a result, have been adopted. Another point was 2019's budget, which was adopted unanimously. Last but not least, the discussion around WMCH's membership model was resumed, since with the current 'no fixed cost' model, about 100 new member requests have been received. But, before starting to gain more members, the association wishes to define its membership goal and strategy.
Call for Projects and Microgrants
After nationally-organised "Idea workshops," where people brought up the topic of the language barriers that sometimes hindered them from participating in discussions, locally-organised workshops were considered in 2019. However, due to lack of participation, these did not take place. Instead the "call for projects" page was re-launched. This online page allowed members to shape the association’s Annual Plan. Submitted projects had to fit one of the programs of GLAM, Education or Community. Submissions that targeted diversity or technology/know-how building were given priority. Deadline for the submission was on September 1 and projects submitted are being selected depending on their fit to WMCH's plans.
It remains to be seen how to go about next year's idea workshop, as personal exchange and discussions, even when complicated with language barriers, are more inspiring and productive than a simple online form and eventual email exchange with the association.
This year the microgrants have been used also to support some affiliates like Wikimedia Portugal.
Regular Community Meetups
WMCH deems it important to regularly meet face to face with members of the community in the aim to connect and exchange. But it is equally important to support the community to meet outside of the virtual space to get to know the faces and people behind the usernames. Face to face meetings and conversations are generally beneficial to community health and contribute to respectful behaviour online. 2018 was a year rich in social gatherings and meetings. Besides the big events like WikiCon and GLAM on Tour, several smaller gatherings took place.
The year started with the locally organised New Year's Brunch, which is not only a social gathering but is also used to contribute to Wikimedia projects. In the German-speaking part of Switzerland, the community gathered again on February 24. In the cosy atmosphere of the restaurant 'Huusmaa' in Zurich, participants debriefed the visit of the 'Käpfnach' mine in December and discussed the upcoming GLAM on Tour event at the 'Migros-Archive'. This meet-up was part of the 'Züritreff', which attracts Wikipedians from all over German-speaking Switzerland every two months. In 2018, meet-ups included the visit of the museum of the 'pipe and walking stick factory' in Kleinlützel, an introduction to Wikidata in Berne and two meetings that mainly were dedicated to the WikiCon St. Gallen (pre and post meetings). Other important gatherings were the writing workshops with SBB Historic and the PTT Archive, as well as the Wikidata workshops.
In the French-speaking part of Switzerland, the year also started with the New Year's Brunch, followed by a Commons Upload Party at the University of Geneva. Many different events and workshops were then held in the month of March during the 'Art + Feminism' campaign and the 'Mois de la Contribution'. The 'WikiNeoComensia' project also had several meetings throughout the entire year. During the summer there was the Wiknic in Geneva, aimed at enriching Wikimedia Commons with photos taken during a visit of the Museum of Art and History. However, despite an agreement in place for antique objects, the museum objected to uploading the pictures taken, making it clear that there is still some work to do to convince GLAM to open their collections. In that regard, WMCH is currently being supported by Mr. Olivier Deslarzes - Head of Digital Communication of the City of Geneva - to promote the opening of collections among cultural institutions of Geneva. Regular meetings also took place in the context of the 'WikiMercrediMAMCO' and the workshop series in Geneva's City Library. Last but not least, there were workshops in the Cantonal Archives of the State of Vaud and the Swiss Film Archive.
In the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the New Year's Brunch was used to actively exchange about the upcoming Italian WikiCon. The year was marked by a total of seven meet-ups of the local Insubria group and the Italian WikiCon, an event sponsored by WMCH which saw the participation of Swiss Wikipedians.
In short, 2018 was a year rich in meetings that were inspiring through the diversity of locations chosen and topics treated. WMCH is looking forward to further connecting to and supporting its community in the years to come. It’s clear that fostering the health and satisfaction of the community, as well as the retention and onboarding of new editors cannot be accomplished only through virtual communication. There must be personal contact and a social network that ensures support and conveys feelings of belonging and appreciation from others.
Raising Awareness - Ticino Online
Ticino Online is part of 20minutes, one of the widest-read free newspapers in France, Spain and Switzerland. The free newspaper, which is available in German, French and Italian, also has a well-visited website and information channels treating a variety of topics.
In the 2nd half of 2018, WMCH booked one of those channels to experiment with general outreach in the aim of forging its reputation as an expert of open content and open knowledge. Articles published on the channel therefore covered mostly the topics of Open Content and Funny Wikipedia Articles.
The experiment has only recently started and it’s on purpose that the articles published on the Channel are not promoted to the existing community. The aim is rather to generate new, organic traffic and spark interest among people who are not yet aware of WMCH, its role and values. Right now, around 200 readers (who come from Ticino Online) are reached per article, while the average life-span of an article on Ticino Online is around two days.
As this is quite a new experiment, it will take some time to find out what kind of articles attract more readers and/or trigger interaction like comments. It also remains to be seen if the time invested is worth the output. Another challenge to keep in mind is that with the goal being a qualitative one, impact is hard to measure. WMCH therefore must critically re-evaluate this experiment through measurable, quantitative values such as visits, reactions, etc. to make conclusions about the desired impact.
In addition to the WikiCon DE in St. Gallen, which was definitely a highlight event of WMCH's community in 2018, WMCH is also actively engaged in the national WikiConferences of the neighbouring chapters of France and Italy. WMCH sponsors these events and provides scholarships to support community members who wish to participate.
The WikiCon for the French-speaking community took place in Grenoble from October 5 to 7. Even though the date overlapped with the German-speaking WikiCon, interest in the event from WMCH's French-speaking community was high. Consequently, six scholarships were granted to active members of WMCH to attend and participate in the event. Galahmm, Nattes à chat, GastelEtzwane, Moumou82, Gilliane and 2le2im-bdc actively participated in the event through various speeches, which covered the following topics: "Gender gap and harassment: an update on Francophone projects,” "5 years of distributing Kiwix in West Africa - provisional balance," "Art+Féminisme in francophonie," "How to survive 10 years as Wikipedian," "GLAM & Wikimedia: review of ongoing projects in Switzerland and perspectives with Wikidata.” Following this last presentation related to GLAM and Wikidata, a curator from the Louvre will come to Berne on March 28 to further engage in the discussion about opportunities for GLAM with Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons.
The itWikiCon was organised in Como and welcomed the Italian-speaking community from November 16 to 18. In addition to the rich and varied programme for community members and people interested in free knowledge, the Conference also hosted "The Open Day of itWikiCon," which was dedicated to young people (4th elementary to 3rd middle school) who wanted to learn more about the world of Wikipedia and OpenStreet Map. Two visually impaired students, who are involved in WMCH's work with Albinit, were also part of the itWikiCon, giving participants insight into the daily struggles that visually impaired students face to access knowledge. Further agenda items ranged from Wikimedia Commons and photography presentations over Wikidata- and MediaWiki-related lectures, to Wikisource sessions.
WMCH is happy to see staff and community members being part of and contributing to WikiConferences of close chapters and 2018 was certainly a year marked by more exchange and higher involvement in events. Mutual learnings and higher impact are only two of the benefits WMCH draws from such events and regular exchange. The association is therefore looking forward to continuing on this path one step at a time.
WMCH is lucky to have great coverage of Swiss monuments and natural sites (90%+) on Wikimedia projects. The association therefore shifted from quantitative to quality coverage, which is also reflected within the community of contributors to Wikimedia Commons. These are specialised in the production of photos and are to a large extent semi-professional photographers or people passionate about photography. Support to this specialised group of contributors is provided through press accreditations or micro-grants, while there is also additional budget for very active and high-quality photographers.
In past years, WMCH participated in the highly popular Wiki Loves Earth contest. Pictures submitted were of high quality and presented a clear gain for Switzerland’s coverage on Wikimedia Commons.
However, after 3 years, it was again time to stimulate fresh contributions and renewal of Swiss monuments on Wikimedia Commons. WMCH therefore opted to participate in Wiki Loves Monuments 2018. With a focus on cultural heritage monuments ranging from individual buildings, such as museums, to entire historic city centres, as well as a first call to action during International Museums Day, the contest was a success and clearly followed the idea of having quality rather than quantity in terms of coverage.
For the first time, WMCH also decided to create dedicated “Wiki Loves Switzerland” social media channels to raise awareness, highlight contributions and contributors, and connect to stakeholders and specific audiences. Consequently, some pictures were re-used by official cantonal tourism boards. Not surprisingly, best results were achieved over Instagram, the social network dedicated to visual (photographic and video) content and highly popular among photographers, travellers and tourism professionals.
The selection of winners was made, with the winning photo being taken and submitted by last year’s national Wiki Loves Earth winner Samuel Ferrara. It shows the Kappel Bridge in Lucerne. The winning photo and other great submissions can be seen below.
As briefly highlighted in the Progress Report, the aim of introducing 'digital innovation' to the impact direction of 'Community' is to provide support to community activities and to WMCH activities that address the community. This also means offering user-friendly ways for online information retrieval and exchange with other members or the association. Online communication channels will also be investigated to make best use of them and to better reach and involve WMCH's community. WMCH also thinks that it is important to be able to better identify contributors to better cater to their needs.
WMCH continues to look into technical and innovative solutions that might help overcome language barriers, which community members highlighted during national in-person meetings.
Digital innovation is also a priority for the introduction of Wikimedia projects to schools and GLAM alike. This encompasses enhancing WMCH's own degree of digital know-how as an association, as well as building a tech-literate community that is able and willing to teach and integrate Wikimedia solutions. And last but not least, it also has to take into account the different needs and models that have to be explored and adapted to educational as well as GLAM institutions.
WMCH is still at the beginning of its work, and is looking forward to upcoming discussions, results and learnings.
When looking at our Proposal, the Impact Direction of Community successfully built up on some successes from 2017, but is also lagging behind on a few points.
When it comes to the diversification of WMCH's Community in Switzerland and its different linguistic regions, the association was finally equipped with three community liaisons. These were able to serve and empower the German, French and Italian-speaking communities and connect with different groups and members on a regular basis. New groups and members were approached through different introductory and thematic workshops. Even though the size of Switzerland’s community might never be astonishingly big, the association managed to approach and connect new user groups (data scientists, students, archivists, etc.) to the existing community and raise awareness on different levels. The hiring of a communications manager was also a first step towards a better and more efficient use of communication channels at hand.
The heterogeneity of WMCH's community is marked by great linguistic and cultural diversity. This is sometimes an obstacle, for example when organising face-to-face meetings, but over all, it is very inspiring and encourages the association to work towards a more inclusive environment. This includes not only the work on filling the gender gap on Wikipedia, but also encompasses linguistic inequalities, as well as breaking down barriers for people with handicaps. WMCH thus pays close attention to servicing its community while establishing equity. In that regard, WMCH successfully continued to support the feminist movement and content contributions covering women through sponsorship of Art & Feminism events and the support of les sans pagEs, which also managed to onboard new women editors. It also continued working with minority languages and, above all, successfully built upon its recent collaboration with Albinit to assess the accessibility and usability of Wikimedia projects for blind people.
What’s more, as Switzerland’s Italian-speaking community is part of the Insubria group, which was created in 2018, WMCH now has a platform to actively encourage content creation about Switzerland in Italian. Some language projects, however, didn't reach their target as planned. After having tried to locate and engage with contributors in the Rhaeto Romansh area, it became clear that there is a tremendous lack of contributors and activity for this language. WMCH would first need to create awareness and better locate contributors in Switzerland to be able to involve enough people able to create content for this very specific project.
When it comes to engaging and supporting the community, 2018 was a year rich in learnings, with some success as well as setbacks. WMCH was happy to see the Wikidata community grow and successfully engage in well-organised and targeted events. The different language communities also met personally on several occasions throughout the year. The Wiki Loves Monuments participation of WMCH was successful with high-quality content submitted and after three years, it also allowed to refresh the depiction of Switzerland's monuments on Commons.
The New Year's Brunch was carried out locally and simultaneously in all language regions. Other events, such as the 'Mois de la Contribution' and some feminist events are harder to replicate in all linguistic regions. The events should therefore be reviewed critically to ensure it is worth the investment of time to replicate them and how to go about it in order to make sure the impact justifies the efforts. Nevertheless, the different offline meetings and the presence of the community liaisons, when possible, served to strengthen the existing community and foster exchange with WMCH. Whenever requested, WMCH was also happy to grant scholarships and micro grants as well as legal support. WMCH also was happy to see community members actively participate in different Wikimedia events nationally and internationally. This allowed for transferring know-how back to the local communities.
After feedback from 2017, WMCH tried to change the format of the 'idea creation workshop'. The aim was to avoid language barriers that hampered participation of some members by aiming for locally-organised workshops. However, due to a lack of participation, these local workshops had to be cancelled. People then had the possibility to submit ideas and projects through the 'Call for projects' page. This is certainly not ideal and WMCH has to look deeper into ways of better including its community in strategic and project-related discussions. This is also why there is space for discussion in the annually-conducted 'Community Survey', which is still collecting answers. Results will be made available as soon as possible and included in 2019's Progress Report.
Another important point was to stimulate the creation and upload of photographic material to Commons. This was guaranteed through the ongoing support of active photographers who upload their material under the 'Supported by WMCH' category and through participation in the 'Wiki Loves Monuments' contest. Contributors to Commons are specialised in the creation of visual content and only reach out to the association in case of specific requests. This is when WMCH helps with press accreditations or allocates budget for new equipment. As the majority of very active contributors are semi-professionals or passionate about photography, training courses covered the better and more efficient use of Commons. Due to other priorities and lack of time, WMCH did not put efforts into the Wiki Loves Cheese or Wiki Loves Food Contests.
Last but not least, the Digital Innovation part, which aims to help the community in their activities and support WMCH’s initiatives that address the community, was also marked by ups and downs. For instance, the Natural Language Processing Project came to a halt after having looked into the details of how to access funds from the Swiss Confederation. The situation is still under evaluation and WMCH needs to gain momentum on this to reach a conclusion. The entire digital transformation process was marked by hurdles and it took some time to reorganise internally and externally to better tackle this project. Things are now moving and WMCH will soon reach a solid IT basis that would allow to build upon and provide the support for community activities and activities from the community liaisons and association alike.
The aim of building a tech community tied to the tertiary educations sector has seen huge success. Wikidata workshops and participation in Hackathons has brought great results and raised further interest for the database and its possibilities. New user groups, such as data and computer scientists, archivists and specific groups of students, have successfully used and integrated Wikidata in their projects. WMCH is looking forward to further events and the evolution of these in the year to come.
Communication also was a big topic in 2018. WMCH started looking into its ways of communicating with the community and aims at a more efficient use of communication channels to better connect with and involve its online community. The communications manager, in collaboration with the community liaisons, started looking into this topic, which will be part of a holistic communications strategy. Due to the entirely virtual setup of the association, internal communication was not always running smoothly between the community liaisons. This was, among others, a challenge that was tackled during a workshop at the beginning of summer.
In short, 2018 was a very successful year on several levels, however it was also very instructive and ignited critical questioning of actions and means, which finally led to fixing some basic elements that WMCH will build upon in the future.
The starting point
The community behind WMCH existed long before the association itself and was for the most part born out of volunteers working towards growing Wikipedia. But with the emergence of more ego-centric social media platforms and a fast-changing society, Wikipedia has a hard time attracting and retaining contributors. General workshops that simply aim to introduce random people that show some interest in Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons very often end in one-time contributions.
Contributing to Wikipedia means adhering to a certain mindset and set of rules, which for newcomers are not always easy to grasp. Writing an article takes time and demands time researching and finding the right references to maintain a neutral stance. In contrast to popular social media, authors hide behind 'pseudonyms', generally do not expose their lives visually and publicly, and most of the time find themselves involved in tough, topic-related discussions with other authors. All these facts hamper to some degree the onboarding of new contributors.
But things are somewhat different when it comes to specific projects and series of workshops that target certain groups of people. When organising targeted workshops that highlight benefits tied to the academic or professional lives of participants, Wikipedia and sister projects had more success, especially Wikidata-related workshops that involved students or archivists. Other groups that successfully contribute for years and stand behind many topic-related workshops are to be found in the feminism movement aiming at filling the gender gap on Wikipedia.
The classical onboarding process thus shifts from a general onboarding process to the connection of new user-groups (archivists, data scientists, photographers, students, women, etc.) to the community. This of course doesn't mean that there are no more general introductions, but when such introductory workshops and lectures are held, they now very often happen in the context of awareness creation around Wikipedia and its sister projects, the association and the values and vision it stands for.
To be able to convey messages clearly and to assure proper support for the recruitment, retention, health and involvement of its community, WMCH has a lot to do. Not only does it need clear and tailored messages and communications material, but also a technical framework that allows for a user-friendly retrieval and an efficient and effective distribution of information, messages and material. This framework is also planned to allow for the introduction of different projects such as the certification path, the hives and train the trainers model that will serve Education, GLAM and Community alike.
It is also important to WMCH that the existing community has a word to say when it comes to projects and innovations. This is why it reaches out on several occasions, using different communication channels at hand. In addition to the regular meet-ups and the participation of WMCH staff, there is an annual 'Call for projects', an idea workshop (which unfortunately didn't take place this year) and, above all, the Community Survey. The latter aims at learning more about the expectations and wishes of the community, including their satisfaction and interests. It also provides space to comment on the different strategies and to submit any other feedback to the association. The community survey that covers 2018 is still in the phase of collecting data and results will be included in the Progress Report 2019.
The outcome & learnings
A first step in 2018 was the recruitment of an 'Outreach & Programme Communication Manager' to take care of WMCH's internal and external communication, messages and systems as well as channels used. In relation to the community, three community liaisons are serving the different language communities and make sure information and feedback flows both ways. WMCH also started building up technical know-how and will investigate ways of connecting to its community and better support and accompany newcomers.
The association learned a lot when it comes to the management of projects and had to make some tough decisions that included finding a new contractor and a change of project managers dedicated to the digital innovation process. All this delayed not only the project itself, but also other processes that depend upon this solid technical framework, such as the planned creation of repositories. It is clear that tough decisions should have been taken earlier and that project management must be bound to timelines, two key learnings for the association.
It goes without saying that continuous, pro-active and inclusive communication to and exchange with the community and different groups within the community needs to become more routine and put in the context of the association’s strategy. A communications strategy serving and supporting WMCH's programs is in development, while taking into account different voices and learnings from the Wikiverse and WMCH's community. In that regard, WMCH is looking forward to the learnings and results to be shared for 2019.
WMCH is in the advantageous situation of being located in a country that is home to many national and international NGOs. The section of "Partnerships & Outreach" aims to make the best use of this situation and to align actions taken in this field to WMCH's overall strategy. As such, 'Outreach & Partnerships' is also intended to support the three Impact Directions of GLAM, Education and Community, as newly established and strengthened ties lead to collaborations in these areas.
That said, a high density of NGOs in the area also comes with high competition. This is why WMCH is paying close attention to forging a unique and easily-understood message. Striving for a more open and knowledgeable society, in the light of digitalisation, has high topicality, so the Wikipedia brand arouses curiosity and serves as door-opener, however general knowledge around the organisation behind Wikipedia is still low. WMCH is therefore working to build up a reputation as well as gain visibility.
On a European level, WMCH focuses on collaborating with other chapters and exchanges with representatives at Brussels to bring knowledge of European processes to Switzerland. Only recently, it began first outreach to international bodies located in Geneva. These first attempts serve to better learn more about and sound out possibilities for collaboration and partnerships. The aim is not to rush into ill-considered actions, but to create sustainable ties and to join forces whenever it makes sense, serves WMCH's vision and generates higher impact for both parties involved.
On a national level, WMCH is seeking to build up a solid reputation and connect to cultural as well as educational institutions in order to promote Wikimedia projects and connect its community to these stakeholders to ultimately disseminate free knowledge.
The 'Outreach & Partnerships' section is in an early stage and 2018 was a year of firsts and, above all, major learnings. WMCH was able to connect to national campaigns such as the #CulturalHeritage2018, as well as Parldigi and DINAcon to create awareness around its vision and mission. It also gained first insights into the process of copyright revision on the European and Swiss level and a first idea on ways of bringing the Wikimedia vision to such processes. In addition to the national campaigns, the association also used newly established ties to institutions such as the Vögele Kultur Zentrum, the MAMCO or the Lausanne-based Olympic Studies Centre for first ‘Friendraising events’ to get involved and establish new partnerships on a more local level. With Switzerland as a small country, very often one connection leads to another and local as well as national networks are tightly intertwined.
Objectives remain unchanged and read as follows:
Sustainably establish Wikimedia as a top copyright expert in Europe and engage more volunteers in public policy work to better influence policy in favour of an open, fair and safe internet* Team up and collaborate with international bodies/organisations and within the wider Wikiverse to join forces and create synergies
Team up and collaborate with international bodies/organisations and within the wider Wikiverse to join forces and create synergies
Become a recognised, strong partner and reference for questions concerning Swiss copyright and the future of the Internet
Continue collaborating with like-minded associations to leverage joint efforts in terms of outreach and public influence
WMCH is in the process of building up its reputation and getting involved in different networks, thus it is paying close attention to the consistency as well as content of messages delivered. It is also working to ultimately find its voice and form a clear message that appeals both to partners and the public. With different opportunities emerging, it is important to stay focused on what matters and to mindfully team up with partners that allow for impact and help build WMCH's reputation. This all happens in alignment and in the context of a global movement that defining its path and way of working for the years to come and which WMCH is proudly part of.
At the beginning of 2018, WMCH became an official sponsorship member of Parldigi, the parliamentarian group for digital sustainability. This partnership soon translated into an invitation to a parliamentarian dinner in Bern and the participation of Dimitar Dimitrov at an Open Hearing at the Parliament. The latter kick-started a continuous exchange about "Public Domain Safeguarding," which might be taken up again in 2019.
Parldigi is also the organiser of DINAcon, Switzerland’s conference on digital sustainability. After a first timid participation in 2017, WMCH used 2018's conference for a strong presence through different presentations. Thus, on October 19, Catrin Vimercati and Ilario Valdelli gave a presentation about "Wikipedia and Wikidata at school: advantages and disadvantages.” The presentation introduced participants to the idea of education in the Wikiverse of Wikimedia, highlighted specific cases from around the world and put Swiss cases in the context of WMCH's strategy. After the presentation of a specific Wikidata at school example, people had the opportunity to ask questions and openly discuss with the presenters.
Diego Hättenschwiler, an active and long-standing Wikipedian and community member, provided practical tips about how to get started with and edit Wikipedia. Insider tips and general background information as well as information about the community, decision-making processes and finances were also part of this lecture and workshop.
Cristina Sarasua, from the university of Zurich and the woman behind many Wikidata events in Switzerland, was part of a presentation about "Linked Data Experience." Together with representatives from the Swiss Federal Archives, the statistical offices of the city and canton of Zurich and Swisstopo, she referred to how 'linked data' is changing the way data is linked and shared on the Internet. The speakers provided insights in their fields of activity and provided specific examples of how 'linked data' is used and what benefits come with the use of it. Furthermore, Cristina also gave a Lightning Talk about Wikidata.
Last but not Least, Catherine Maher was invited as a special guest to the DINAcon in Bern in her role as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation and was one out of two Keynote Speakers. She talked about Wikimedia in general, its values and vision, as well as the role as beholder and provider of Free Knowledge. In the Q&A session of the event, she answered questions from the audience and addressed problems the Movement is facing in supporting and providing open knowledge, education, GLAM and open data in general. Leading up to the event, WMCH was in constant exchange with Catherine and her team to prepare the keynote and to work on upcoming interviews as well as the online chat with the community. In addition to the interview in the course of the DINAcon, other interviews were done with Mathias Born for the 'TagesAnzeiger' and with Peter Buchmann from 'SRF Digital'. Catherine’s presence in Switzerland was also used for an online conversation with members of WMCH's community. Whoever wished to do so had the possibility to ask questions and learn more about WMF's vision and priorities.
Other important aspects of the DINAcon were certainly a Hacknight suitable for coding beginners and experts alike, a Scratch workshop for kids, and the DINAcon awards. The latter were awarded to Collabora, Public Domain Project, Openki, Home Assistant and André Golliez for opendata.ch. For WMCH, the DINAcon is also a great opportunity to network and reach out to likeminded associations. Through the speaker's dinner that took place the evening before the event or the manifold discussions going on during the event, WMCH was happy to see many familiar faces (Open Street Map, Open Data ...) and got to know many new ones.
EU Outreach / Free Knowledge Advocacy Group (FKAGEU) and Swiss Copyright Revision (URG Reform)
Even though Switzerland is not a member of the European Union, law making and especially decisions on copyright taken on a European level do influence the ongoing copyright revision in Switzerland. These votes and decisions also heavily shape and influence Wikimedia projects that WMCH depends on. This is why the association regularly exchanges with representatives at Brussels to learn about activities on the European level and to connect them with bodies and people involved in the copyright revision in Switzerland. This is also the reason why WMCH, as a sponsorship member of Parldigi (the parliamentarian group for digital sustainability), invited Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov to Switzerland, where he had the chance to bring his expertise to an Open Hearing that took place in the Swiss Parliament in Bern (more about the Open Hearing here).
An important topic that has been brought up in the course of this exchange touched the "Public Domain Safeguard" that has been proposed to Swiss lawmakers. Discussions and exchange about this topic were ongoing between WMCH, Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov, Parldigi and the lawyer Simon Schlauri through the end of 2018 and should be revived in 2019. While the first run the proposition about the "Public Domain Safeguard" article was not taken into account in its original form, the discussion around it took place and reached people involved in the process.
In October, the Legal Commission finalised the detailed consultation on the revision of the Copyright Act and adopted the draft that complied largely with the compromise that was originally proposed by AGUR12 (the working group charged with the URG revision / copyright law revision). A setback in that regard was the fact that the commission supports the protection of photos even without individual character. It thus rejected the application from the Commission for Science, Education and Culture (in alignment with Digitale Allmend and WMCH) that requested the removal of the intended photo protection in the draft. Contrary to the draft, however, the Commission intends to change the systematic integration of the corresponding provision in the law.
As this was a first vote and the discussion about the revision of the copyright law in Switzerland is a lengthy process, it is even more important for WMCH to be kept in the loop and be part of current and upcoming discussions to bring in Wikimedia's stance. It’s even more critical, as WMCH wishes to establish itself as an expert on copyright in Switzerland and stand up for a safe and faire future of the internet.
On a European level, the FKAGEU was busy with campaigning against article 11 and 13 of the European copyright law draft. A first success was the rejection of the revision in the vote from July 5. On September 12 however, and despite over a million signatures for the "Save the Internet" campaign (now close to 5 million), thousands of letters to parliamentarians, protests, flyers, calls and social media education, the EU parliamentarians adopted the paper with the proposed changes and thus passed it to the 'trilogue'. In the 'trilogue' the Copyright Directive will be negotiated between the European Parliament and the Council (governments of EU member states) during January and February 2019. Once the 'trilogue' is concluded, the final text will be submitted to a plenary vote to all members of the European Parliament. This then will be the last chance to intervene and it goes without saying that the FKAGEU has some busy times ahead and will need support from all local chapters and community to help work against the "Censorship Machine".
Switzerland is home to many international NGOs. WMCH seeks to make use of this geographically-advantageous situation by establishing partnerships and collaborations for higher impact. In that regard, 2018 served to strengthen existing ties and continue exchanging with different international bodies such as the Olympic Committee, the United Nations and WIPO.
After a first active outreach to the United Nations in Geneva in late spring, Jenny Ebermann and a board member, who wishes to help better connect WMCH within the international NGO scene in Geneva, went to the UN headquarters to introduce themselves and find connecting points for an eventual collaboration. A first touchpoint was found in the topic of a knowledge management platform for global impact and outreach. This is something the UN needs and WMCH potentially could become a competent partner for.
Since this first meeting in May, both sides - the UN's Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) and WMCH - continued to reflect upon this eventual project and have kept exchanging via email. To be able to make a decision about whether to continue pursuing the idea of a knowledge management platform or to look for other possible connections, a critical evaluation and feasibility study have to be carried out on both sides. In the meantime, discussions also evolved around articles tied to the United Nations and the JIU on Wikipedia. By December, a last email between WMCH's board member involved in the discussions and the JIU brought up the possibility to set up a meeting between potential UN writers interested in editing Wikipedia articles and members of the Wikimedia movement to coach them in order to getting started editing on Wikipedia. News in that regard are hopefully to be awaited in 2019.
Through WMUK, WMCH was also introduced to key people from WIPO, who showed a major interest in collaboration. First meetings took place at the GLAM on Tour at the MAMCO in Geneva as well as at the subsequent 'Friendraising' event. Here too, discussions need to be resumed and steered towards joining forces for specific projects and providing mutual support whenever needed and rational.
International Olympic Committee
After a first contact with the IOC last year, the partnership moved to the next level in 2018. On September 13, the Olympic Studies Centre (OSC, part of IOC) and WMCH invited a select group of partners, donors, and stakeholders to a common 'Friendraising' event with the aim of building awareness for the OSC and WMCH, as well as providing people with exclusive insights into the OSC's private archival holdings. Participants therefore learned about the OSC and WMCH, and also had the chance to discover OSC's most precious and normally inaccessible archival documents during a private guided tour. Even though the event itself was a little smaller than the two proceeding ones, the connections made are meaningful and highlight again the importance of face to face events. For example, lawyers indirectly and directly connected to Parldigi were part of the event, as were people involved with other NGOs. Discussions in general were inspiring and people were intrigued about the role Wikimedia has and could have within Switzerland’s society.
Further first contacts have been established between WMCH and IPO as well as the IFRC. For both, more is to be awaited in 2019.
Collaboration with wider Wikiverse: WMF & chapters
WMCH is part of a puzzle of chapters that emerged out of local communities and proudly form the Wikimedia Movement. For the most of it, these local chapters and WMCH are tied to the national context and concentrate mainly on this 'local reality'. Nevertheless, and especially recently, things are evolving and through the different cross-border and international gatherings, one can sense the increased longing for better connectivity, exchange and collaboration between chapters. There is clearly the wish to join forces in order to create higher impact on different levels. At times, daring questions are being raised about the very essence of the organisation of the Movement and the current Movement Strategy Process provides space to address them.
WMCH in that regard is happy to be part of the discussions and bring in the Swiss point of view while putting it in a global context and challenge its own vision of the future.
With WMCH's Executive Director in her second year of leading the association, it was important to be part of ED Meetings that took place in 2018. The exchange in this group goes beyond the national focus and allows to highlight common issues and exchange about learnings. In light of the Movement Strategy Process, many things and ways of working are being questioned and even though there is still some uncertainty about ongoing developments, the general attitude is very positive. What’s more, through presence of WMF staff, exchange is taking place in the realm of the global vision and both sides - local chapters and the Foundation - are being heard and provided space to make themselves clear. This was important when e.g. talking about different aims as well as the framework and vision in which the 2030 Movement Strategy is taking place. Knowledge as a service and knowledge equity are also keywords that have been present in the work of the Foundation and local chapters for a while, but by putting them upfront and naming them explicitly, they help shape the local efforts by putting them in a global context and common vision. That said, WMCH is keen on putting words to action and follow-up on the discussions started in 2018.
WikiConventions and WikiConferences
WMCH's Executive Director and part of the staff attended the WikiConference in Berlin from April 22 to 24. Consequently, the association was part of several meetings and discussions touching a variety of topics on different levels. WMCH participated not only in the Strategy Track and different workshops and lectures on the agenda, but also used the time for extraordinary meetings and exchange with other chapters, including the meet-up of Communications Managers the day before the kick-off of the Conference, exchange with the Foundation about the reports and funding, a meeting of the Francophonie, and a topic-related exchange with WMDE about fundraising. The agenda was tight and WMCH returned to Switzerland with lots of learnings and an update about the global direction and vision of the Movement. This global vision is also a kind of an umbrella that influences and shapes local strategies and the work of national chapters.
Like every chapter, WMCH is basically a movement of volunteers in Switzerland and the association's staff is there to open doors, connect the community to stakeholders of the different spheres and provide guidance whenever requested. Participation of community members at events such as the different WikiConventions or Wikimania are encouraged and supported through scholarships. A new level of work was added through the creation of WMCH's strategy, explicitly phrasing a common vision and mission for the association’s work in Switzerland. Also, the GLAM strategy, the strategic framework for Education or Community are all aiming to provide a common understanding of the association, its vision and goals, or more commonly speaking, its 'raison d'être'. These new documents are not only shared with the community, but also influenced and shaped by it and aim to provide context to single actions and steer towards the outlined vision and goals.
Cross border exchange and close chapters
In addition to the ongoing and regular exchange of WMCH's community and staff through different international events or thematic groups, WMCH is part of 'cross-border clusters', to give it a name. Thanks to geographical proximity and shared language and cultural traits, the community and staff of WMCH regularly exchange and team up with the chapters of Germany, Austria, Italy and France. These efforts were strengthened in 2018 through in-person visits at WMIT and WMFR and the organisation of the German-speaking WikiCon in St. Gallen, as well as regular calls and a joint appearance of GLAM DACH at the WikiCon.
WMIT and WMCH are also trying to step up their efforts when it comes to joint projects and exchange about Education and GLAM. The community of Northern Italy is naturally close to the one from the Canton of Ticino, which is also reflected through the participation in different events in Ticino and Northern Italy.
The French-speaking part of Switzerland, on the other hand, has long-standing ties with the community of WMFR and the exchange that has happened for the most on the community level is now also starting to intensify between staff. Not only did WMCH visit WMFR in Paris, but staff of WMFR came to the GLAM on Tour event at the MAMCO in Geneva to learn about this kind of event and evaluate if and how it would suit the French community. The French-speaking WikiCon in Grenoble also saw the participation of six community members of WMCH, who actively took part in the event through presentations and workshops.
As briefly outlined in the section about 'European and Swiss Copyright', WMCH strives to become a renowned expert in the field of copyright and a defender of a fair and safe future of the internet. These are deemed to be prerequisite for pursuing our vision of a more open and knowledgeable Swiss society. With the European Copyright Revision that will likely soon come to a final vote and influences law-making in Switzerland, it was important for WMCH to establish and strengthen new connections in order to become part of the national discussions concerning copyright.
Parldigi and DINAcon
WMCH's newly established partnership with Parldigi, which also organises the DINAcon, was a highlight activity of 2018. This is due to the fact that the partnership allows WMCH to participate in different discussions around copyright in Switzerland and that through WMCH's and Catherine Maher's presence at the DINAcon, outreach and awareness-raising worked very well. For detailed information about Parldigi and the DINAcon, please refer to the 'Highlight Activity'.
2018 was a year rich of firsts, and in that regard WMCH started to organise 'Friendraising' events that aimed to establish new ties and reach out to potential donors. With partner institutions such as the Vögele Kultur Zentrum, the MAMCO and the Olympic Studies Centre, WMCH invited well-connected people and organisations to learn more about the hosting institutions as well as WMCH. The events clearly aimed to provide participants and organisers with opportunities to connect and network, while receiving exclusive insights in new exhibitions or archival gems.
The first event of this kind took place on June 7 at the Vögele Kultur Zentrum in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. After a welcome message by a member of the National Council and a short presentation of the VKZ and WMCH, the 20 attendees had the chance to discover the newly-opened exhibition on the topic of 'self-optimisation' and to get to know each other during the networking aperitif that concluded the evening.
The second event took place at the MAMCO, Switzerland's biggest museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, and followed the same logic. An introduction to the organisers and a private tour of the museum’s exhibition 'Retrospective' devoted to Rahseed Araeen preceded the networking aperitif where people had the chance to connect to M. Bovier (director of MAMCO), Jenny Ebermann (ED of WMCH) or other people present.
The third and last event of this kind in 2018 was held in the Olympic Studies Centre on September 13. This event, as did the two others, resulted out of continuous exchange with the hosting institutions and the joint wish to start collaborating. People invited to the OSC had the chance to learn about the visions and missions of the OSC and WMCH and were given exclusive insights into archival gems of the OSC that are inaccessible to the public. Discussions and connections made during the subsequent networking aperitif again were inspiring and people clearly were intrigued about the role of WMCH.
These events are to be seen in the wider context and efforts made to strengthen WMCH's position within Switzerland’s dense NGO landscape and do outreach with the aim of creating awareness and forging WMCH's reputation. In 2019, WMCH will continue to actively reach out and connect to institutions and people to become a renowned association standing up for a more open and knowledgeable Swiss society.
Other contacts that were established and will be followed up with in 2019 are the EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne) and the Cantonal Police of Zurich. For the latter and following a presentation of WMCH at the Rotary Club Üetliberg, a member of the Rotary Club reached out to WMCH to ask for a short introductory presentation about Wikipedia and WMCH at the 'year-end apéro' of the Cantonal Police in Zurich. Both sides envisioned organising an event for the WMCH community as the place might be quite unusual and appealing to the volunteers.
ATED is the organisation behind events such as Devoxx4kids and Robot Street Challenge. WMCH was part of both events and supported the organisation financially. When it comes to opendata.ch, the ties are given through the adherence of both opendata.ch and WMCH to Parldigi and their active participation in the DINAcon. Paths also crossed again through the Open Cultural Hackathon, showing that exchange is constant and ongoing. WMCH is looking forward to the events in 2019 where both associations will stand up again for open knowledge and the vision of an open society.
Kiwix is the open-source software that brings internet content to people, who - for whatever reason - do not have access to the internet. WMCH has been supporting Kiwix right from the beginning and is happy to see it progressing and growing ever since. Since 2017 and the setup of Kiwix as an independent entity, funding of technical developments is left to the Wikimedia Foundation alone through their New Readers programme. WMCH focuses its support on capacity- building (mostly fundraising), and both associations regularly exchange communications materials and opportunities. Also, WMCH's Executive Director is a member of the board to Kiwix.
Kiwix’ global user base, meaning individuals but also organisations around the world which are using Kiwix for their own purpose, such as the Orange Foundation in West Africa or the Yachay Tech University in Ecuador, is estimated to be more than three million people across all platforms. In 2018, the app saw several releases that were financed by the Wikimedia Foundation. These releases included new versions for Android, Desktop and WikiFundi (for offline editing). Another release touched the Hotspot installer (with a utilisation guide that was realised partially because of WMCH). The Hotspot is used in classrooms in a dozen different countries to provide both Wikipedia and WikiFundi. Kiwix also managed to attract some publicity through an article on the blog of the Wikimedia Foundation, an article in the 'Tribune the Genève' and a TedXTalk Annecy given by Kiwix Founder Stéphane Coillet-Matillon.
WMCH is looking forward to seeing Kiwix continue to grow and is happy to share knowledge and experiences whenever necessary and helpful.
WikiChallenge African Schools is a Wikipedia writing contest among students in different parts of Africa, where access to internet and technology is rare. The contest, which has been developed in close collaboration with “Fondation Orange,” therefore serves to promote the use of WikiFundi, a tool that allows editing Wikipedia without an internet connection.
After a first public release of WikiFundi in January 2017, the first WikiChallenge was launched in October 2017 and involved 30 primary schools in Mali, Madagascar, Guinea and Tunisia. WMCH acted as fiscal sponsor for the project and has accompanied it since its beginning. The Wikimedia Foundation also endorsed and communicated about the project in 2017.
The first months of 2018 were used to select, announce and honour the winners of the Challenge. Altogether, six prizes were awarded: four national prizes worth € 2’000 each and two ‘coup de coeur’ prizes for € 1’000 each. They were distributed in the form of useful school-based gifts, such as notebooks, pens, schoolbags, photo cameras, etc. The details of the Challenge and the winning articles can be found on the project page.
2018 was also used to develop a Poster to outline WikiChallenge, present its outcomes and raise awareness. Consequently, it was used to present the contest during WikIndaba in Tunisia, WikiMania in Cape Town and WikiConvention FR in Grenoble. 2018 then concluded with the trainings of the Digital Mediators and the registration of schools to WikiChallenge 2019.
While WMCH is no longer actively involved in the project, it is happy to see that it has found partners that are better suited to help pursue the development of WikiFundi and WikiChallenge.
Migros Kulturprozent and Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI)
The Migros Kulturprozent (translated: Migros Culture-Percentage), as the charitable commitment of Migros (Switzerland’s largest retail company) to the areas of culture, society, education, leisure and business, teamed up with WMCH in 2018 to organise the GLAM on Tour event at the Migros Archive in Zurich.
The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute is Switzerland's oldest Think Tank and also part of Migros Kulturprozent. Part of the GLAM on Tour event took place at the GDI. Additionally, WMCH staff member and long-term Wikipedian Lantus participated in a study that was carried out by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute and dealt with the topic of the future of volunteerism.
Dominik Landwehr, who is head of the Science & Future department of 'Migros Kulturprozent', was also during WikiCon in St. Gallen, and WMCH is looking into a possible continued collaboration in 2019.
As outlined in the Proposal, the aim of 'International and National (Public) Relations' is to build a strong and viable organisation and to advocate for a fair and safe future of the internet. Efforts made not only support the three programs of GLAM, Education and Community, but also are crucial for pursuing our vision of a smart and open Swiss society.
Making new, meaningful contacts, and nurturing and developing them takes time, and WMCH is happy to see that things have moved forward in 2018.
In international outreach matters, it was important to continue supporting and exchanging with FKAGEU in Brussels. The aim was not only to support the work in Brussels but also to build upon past efforts to shape policy-making at the European level, especially as discussions and decisions made in the EU do impact the ongoing processes in Switzerland. Emphasis in that regard was on Safeguarding the Public Domain and Freedom of Panorama. WMCH engaged in campaigns whenever possible and tried to raise awareness for the topic in Switzerland.
Another important part was the outreach to international bodies in Switzerland. Partnering with and connecting to renowned international organisations that share WMCH’s values makes sense and brings WMCH forward as an association and movement. 2018 therefore was used to build upon first contacts with the IOC and the UN (JIU). These connections led to a first common event (the friendraising event) with the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne and initial discussions with the Joint Inspections Unit of the United Nations about a potential common project. In 2019, WMCH wishes to follow up on these discussions and events to further strengthen these emerging partnerships. Whenever it makes sense, WMCH wishes to engage in projects and programs with international bodies and organisations, as long as these serve our vision and are not beyond the association’s scope.
When it comes to collaboration within the Wikiverse, WMCH was happy to see its staff and community members participating in international events. WMCH was also part of the strategic discussions in the Executive Directors meetings, visited for the first time the neighbouring chapters of WMFR and WMIT, and in general aimed at higher cross-border engagement and involvement. Regular calls between WMDE, WMAT and WMCH took place and the DACH GLAM group used the WikiCon St. Gallen for a first common appearance and presentation.
In particular, the different WikiCons were a highlight in 2018. Not only was the German-speaking WikiCon organised in Switzerland, but WMCH also supported the French and Italian WikiCons and actively participated in both. Last but not least, the Wikidata project really gained momentum and WMCH is looking forward to projects and events in 2019 to further learn and share experiences.
On a national level, it was of importance to WMCH to become a recognised player in the discussions around copyright in Switzerland. Being able to take on more responsibility and stand up for a safe and fair future of the internet in Switzerland happened through the ties with Parldigi. As an active partner of this parliamentarian group for a digital sustainability, WMCH was invited to different events, including an Open Hearing about the Swiss copyright reform in the parliament in Bern, as well as the DINAcon with the presence of Catherine Maher. This helped bring in Wikimedia's point of view and ignited discussions about different aspects of the Public Domain and the future of the Internet. WMCH also aimed to learn more about policy shaping in the educational field, and there is still work to be done to be part of those discussions and become a viable partner for digital and media education.
When it comes to WMCH's collaboration with like-minded associations, much happened through participation in bigger, national events such as Hackathons, Devoxx4kids, Media in Piazza and Open GLAM. These events allowed WMCH to further connect to associations such as ATED, opendata.ch and Digitale Allmend, who are players in the field of open data and open education. The collaboration with SCI Switzerland led to the Wkipedia4Peace camp, which was well-received and will be continued in 2019. In short, joining efforts with different organisations has greater impact in terms of outreach and public influence.
To support WMCH’s increased outreach and fundraising efforts in 2018, a fundraising flyer was created and distributed at different friendraising events in collaboration with the Vögele Kultur Zentrum, the MAMCO and Olympic Studies Centre. These events were generally well received and aimed at better connecting WMCH within the very local settings.
In short, efforts in 2018 happened on international, national and local levels and all aimed to connect the dots within Switzerland’s dense landscape of associations and organisations in order to raise awareness and establish WMCH as a strong and viable partner with a unique value proposition worth supporting.
Connecting the dots - Partnerships for Impact and Sustainability
The frame and initial situation
It might sound strange and is certainly a bit cliché, but doing outreach in Switzerland sometimes feels like working in a small village where everybody knows everybody. This seems to be particularly true when working in the different language regions and trying to connect to a set of organisations working for the promotion of open knowledge, open education and open data. With WMCH being a small association that only recently started striving for professionalisation and for the first time drafted dedicated strategies, it is even the more important to find its place among Switzerland's dense landscape of NGOs and to use this special setting to build partnerships that allow for mutual benefit and greater impact.
For years, due to its history, development and small size, WMCH focused on the enrichment of Wikipedia projects through partnerships with GLAM. Additionally, it always was, is and will be of utmost importance to the association to support its community, open doors and connect members and groups with the different stakeholders to further the dissemination of free knowledge. This said, the Wikipedia brand very often serves as a door-opener, but knowledge around sister projects, WMCH as an association or the Wikiverse per se is generally very low.
The participation in different events and campaigns such as the National Heritage campaign, as well as the development of communications material such as a fundraising flyer and a 'Case for Support' were first steps in filling the knowledge gaps around Wikimedia, its presence in Switzerland and its vision, mission and goal. Furthermore, the association used first connections to local, national and international bodies to organise so-called 'friendraising' events that aimed to raise awareness for WMCH and better connect within these local networks.
These events were preceded by the development of WMCH's strategy and its three programs (GLAM, Education and Community) that are intertwined and follow a clear path, serving the vision and overall goal while being equipped with a strategic framework themselves. While developing the association’s strategy and outlining the programs, it quickly became clear that a vital piece to support and further the different programs was missing. That is why WMCH summarised these efforts under the section of 'Outreach & Partnerships'.
The aim is not only the dissemination of free knowledge, but also the guarantee that the societal, political, cultural and economic settings allow and will continue to allow it. Therefore, it is important to connect the association within the Wikiverse, on an international, national and local level to be part of discussions around copyright and bring the Wikimedia view and vision into these discussions, to stand up for a safe and fair internet, to promote open knowledge and to pursue the vision of a more open and knowledgeable society.
First results that followed continuous exchange with different international, national and local organisations can be seen in the 'friendraising' event in collaboration with the OSC or the initial discussions with the United Nations, and especially JIU, around possible future collaboration. All in all, things are moving forward.
In connecting the dots on different levels using the Wikipedia brand, its reputation and unique message as a door opener and kindling curiosity of people for the Wikiverse, WMCH was able to promote its values and ideas while slowly but surely starting to find its place within the network of NGOs in Switzerland. Through these new connections and partnerships, WMCH was also able to further connect its community and lay groundwork for GLAM, Education and Community.
In the future, WMCH seeks to better bring in its expertise and is stepping up efforts to forge its reputation and become a partner of choice for different technical aspects. The aim is to further join forces and leverage impact for partners and the association itself. Here, efforts still have to be made to further streamline internal processes and build a more solid technical know-how as well as the framework that allows for a more professional presentation of the association. Last but not least, it goes without saying that all of this has to happen in the aim of supporting WMCH's vision and mission, which demands for targeted, well-planned projects. This is something the association certainly needs to improve.
Revenues received during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)
Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.
In 2018, WMCH has had to deal with the termination of contract of one of its first employees who in her role as finance and admin. manager had set up all the systems and processes in that regard. Parts of WMCH's finance operations have now been outsourced externally and many systems were revisited in order to make things more coherent. On top of that effort WMCH looked into analytical accounting in order to portray more adequately from 2019 onwards how much staff and operational efforts actually goes into the programs directly. Currently these do not reflect the human resources involved and other costs going into these budget lines. Compared to last year's impact report, the attentive reader might thus see some differences which are the result of what has been explained above. WMCH is doing a major effort to become self-sustaining, aligned with the 2030 WMF strategy, sustainable and at the same time GDPR compliant on all levels. It also has to be noted that 150.000 CHF originally foreseen from the WMF had to be cut out off the existing budget as WMCH only received half of the requested grant.
Table 2Please 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.
Explanation of variances from plan
Membership fees (3000)
Since last GA, a new membership policy has been put in place whereby members don't have to pay any fees if they don't wish to do so. This means less income.
APG (Annual Plan Grant)
WMF Fundraising Costs (3402)
As agreed upon during the first half of 2018, WMCH's fundraising target has been increased by 25% compared to 2017, which already led to higher fundraising costs in total compared to the originally foreseen amount. On top of that at the end of 2018, WMCH decided to make a major effort by exceeding its original target and thus increasing the fundraised amount by 90% compared to 2017. This explains the fund-raising costs, which are much higher than originally foreseen.
Donations WMCH (3410)
The clear separation between Donations WMCH and External fundraising cannot be made within WMCH because of technical issues. It has therefore been decided to merge these two revenue streams into one from 2019 onwards to be clearer. Our own fundraising campaigns as well as other donations from foundations or partners are included under these headings.
Pro Bono / In-kind donations (3420)
We are very proud to have managed to increase our pro bono donations from 2017 onwards. We are not at our originally foreseen target yet but are slowly increasing year after year. Clear forecasts are difficult in this area as it always depends on the realised programs and contracts signed.
External fundraising (3430)
The clear separation between Donations WMCH and External fundraising cannot be made within WMCH because of technical issues. It has therefore been decided to merge these two revenue streams into one from 2019 onwards to be clearer. Our own fundraising campaigns as well as other donations from foundations or partners are included under these headings.
Income of courses (Conferences, Trainings) (3610)
Fiscal Sponsorship WLM (3652)
* Provide estimates in US Dollars
Spending during this period (6 month for progress report, 12 months for impact report)
Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.
Table 3Please 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.)
Percentage spent to date
Explanation of variances from plan
Fiscal Sponsorship WikiPack Africa
exchange rate difference
Fiscal Sponsorship WLM
exchange rate difference (absorbed by WMCH) and reduction of total grant amount as budgeted amount not reached
PROGRAM 1 - GLAM
In terms of GLAM, our Program Manager only joined when the annual plan for 2018 was already in place with little room for adjustment. As she refined the existing plan and drafted a realistic strategy, we noticed that some foreseen program items could not be realised in 2018 or the relevant community members/partners were not able to put these into practice directly. We are nevertheless very happy that the budget target was nearly met as it shows a more precise forecast.
PROGRAM 2 - Education
This year, the whole Education strategy has been reviewed in order to reflect on one hand the 2030 strategy of the WMF and on the other to allow WMCH to keep aligned with the changes currently happening in Switzerland regarding the digitalisation of schools. The priorities therefore had to be shifted, some programs have been cancelled and others postponed to 2020 (i.e. certification) to maximise the impact. Therefore, the money not spent under Education has been used for the purpose of HR consolidation and GDPR alignment (please also see explanations under "staff wages and expenses").
PROGRAM 3 - Community
Several programs for which money was reserved for in 2018, were actually not carried out because on one hand the community groups responsible for it used money from other sources or did not move forward with their project; on the other hand, WMCH again saw a large drop in requests for scholarships and micro grants. Because of this reason, the whole community sector has been revisited during the last months of 2018 and a new strategy as well as an action plan has been set up by WMCH's community managers to better reflect community needs in 2019 and beyond. Unspent money has been used for the organisation of the local language WikiCons as well as for the purpose of HR consolidation/GDPR alignment (please also see explanations under "staff wages and expenses").
PROGRAM 4 - International and National (Public) Relations
Our International and National (Public) Relations Program has been hugely successful in 2018. The overspent is a direct result of large amounts of the foreseen local language WikiCon (D, F, I) budgeted under this section rather than under Community. On top of that, as the German speaking WikiCon has been organized in St. Gallen, Switzerland in 2018, WMCH decided to support its active volunteers even more to ensure the success of the gathering.
Staff Wages & Expenses
WMCH worked alongside a number of Consultants in 2018 to draft mindful HR policies, thereby moving towards GDPR compliance and transparent rules for everyone. Although GDPR is not yet a “must” in Switzerland, WMCH’s legal experts deemed it important to already move into the right direction by not only aligning its marketing/fundraising measures and strategies but also its HR operations. As WMCH is an organisation in which on one hand, no staff member has a full-time contract and on the other whereby due to WMCH's new strategic approach, all projects and programs have expanded and their quality augmented, a lot of overtime and un-used holidays were accumulated over the years. Following legal advice and aligning to GDPR, WMCH took the decision to pay its staff members for the justified accumulations, so that 2019 could be a fresh start with clean books in that regard.
What is more, whereas Q1 and Q2 were perfectly in line, WMCH had to hire two new staff members in Q3 (one to replace the Communications Manager who resigned, and one specifically to help with Admin. and some fundraising tasks as the second person who left took care of everything at once). Unexpected departure and hiring fees, as well as overlapping working periods for hand-overs are thus also included in the figures. This explains the large overspent in this area.
Operations (excludes staff and programs)
In order to be compliant with GDPR and with the departure of our Finance Manager, plus not having a physical office, WMCH had to ensure to rent some storing space which would be easily reachable for everyone in Switzerland. On top of this, new accountants had to be found and trained and new phone lines acquired. This explains the overspent in this area, which was completely unforeseen.
Our total foreseen budget has been stretched because of the reasons explained above.
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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.
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Global metrics are an important starting point for grantees when it comes to measuring programmatic impact (Learning Patterns and Tutorial) but don’t stop there.
Logic Models provide a framework for mapping your pathway to impact through the cause and effect chain from inputs to outputs to outcomes. Develop a logic model to map out your theory of change and determine the metrics and measures for your programs.