This form is for organizations receiving Annual Plan Grants to report on their progress after completing the first 6 months of their grants. The time period covered in this form will be the first 6 months of each grant (e.g. 1 January - 30 June of the current year). This form includes four sections, addressing grant 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.
This is the executive summary of the progress report
The first six months of the year have seen significant progress towards strategic alignment and living up to expectations from WMCH’s partners and stakeholders compared to the last years. However, as with any organization, progress has been accompanied with various set-backs. The following provides a highlight over the various aspects:
Although it was not foreseen to undergo staff changes in 2018, we are in the process of saying our good-byes to two precious staff members who unfortunately leave us for personal reasons: Sabine Ray who build up our finance and administration systems for many years and also took care of HR as well as Carina Laqbayli who only recently started in communications but quickly became a well-respected and full-fledged member of the team.
Again, for a small organization like ours, it costs a huge time effort to source and hire new candidates as well as to re-organize processes in this case, as admin/finance and HR are at the core of any association. Whereas Communications and in particular fundraising will be staffed, we are currently revisiting our set-up in terms of administration, analyzing what could potentially be outsourced looking at HR or particularly at accounting in a view to become as effective as possible.
However great progress is being made in terms of setting up mindful HR policies and guidelines thus paving the way for the future. Currently WMCH is collaborating with consultants in order to not only review what WMCH stands for as an organization but also to re-define its policies, standards and guidelines which are either not complete or in need to be overhauled. Special focus needs to be directed to the fact that WMCH is a virtual organization with all this entails. It is also about to transform into a matrix organization, 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.
A big thank you in this regard to WMFR for sharing its templates and procedures and to other Chapters who also shared what they have!
This year’s GA was not as turbulent as in 2017 but progress still remains to be made in terms of organizing and leading an effective meeting. Unfortunately, proposed bylaw changes did not pass this time and thought has to be given how to guide this process smoothly. With two resignations to the Board and two new Board members in 2018 plus a new President (who already was Board member before but nevertheless takes on new responsibilities right now), the organization has to find its balance again. A Board Governance workshop is envisaged for later in 2018, looking into tasks, coherence and work distribution. Already now, Board members are working closely alongside WMCH staff in order to define finance and administration processes and needs.
The mediation, that WMCH offered to concerned parties, without playing an active role in the process was successfully terminated in 2018. The positive feedback and ‘thank you’ received by one of the parties during the GA was very well received and WMCH is happy to have been able to play a guiding role in that regard.
In terms of fundraising, we are slowly moving forward on a path of aligning and streamlining our efforts. This year has seen the implementation of our first ‘Friend-raising’ events, whereby important influencers and stakeholders are invited to an exclusive location in order to network and to learn more about Wikimedia and its projects. Obviously, such efforts take time, but in a small country like Switzerland, where everybody knows everyone it is absolutely crucial to go out, meet people and be present – not only for fundraising purposes but also to generate new partnerships and motivate new volunteers.
All programs moved forward a great deal this year; with the arrival of our new GLAM Program Manager, we were not only able to strategically align our activities but also to start reaching out proactively to potentially interesting stakeholders. For the first time, museums were targeted with a campaign in an attempt to build awareness and set the basis for future collaboration. WMCH starts to be recognized as an important partner in the field of GLAM in Switzerland also furthering the dialogue between the various actors.
In terms of Education, the draft strategy was further elaborated as more insights had to be sought from other Chapters, like-minded organizations and partners. Important pilot projects are in the pipeline and great initiatives already took place in the first half of the year. The close collaboration between not only the GLAM and the Education Program Managers but also the linguistic and regional Community Officers allows for Swiss-wide, coherent initiatives.
Regarding Community, we clearly noticed this year that there is a definite need to concretely look into a Community approach for Switzerland as a whole as well as for concrete strategies for the various language regions. WMCH has made a particular effort this year to go out and meet its counterparts in the other Chapters sharing the same languages. The aim clearly was to exchange, to learn, to share and to possibly collaborate in future projects. For our community approach, this proved very helpful and strategic meetings in August will kick-off brainstormings around that subject. Being able to rely on active authors and volunteers is indeed key to the success of all of WMCH’s other impact directions!
WMCH is also very happy to host this year’s German speaking WikiCon in St. Gallen; this is a major undertaking for a small Chapter and therefore a heartfelt and major thanks to our wonderful volunteers who give a lot of their time and effort to this project and without whom this would not be possible!
Finally, concerning Partnership & Outreach a major step forward has been made through the decision to collaborate with the association ParlDigi. WMCH now has access to parliamentarians, influencers and other organizations in CH following the same or a similar mission and can present itself as a competent actor on the scene of free knowledge, copyright and related topics.
WMCH continues to move along a path of automatization, ensuring that its various databases and programs are linked in order to become more professional and effective not only in budgetary matters but also in terms of servicing its members, donors and other interested parties by delivering timely information, updates, donation receipts etc. including a specific attention in terms of the security of data. Unfortunately, this year, WMCH came to realize that it is working with the wrong partner in terms of technical solutions as the association is still not able to rely on an automatized system. In addition, the new General Data Protection Regulation delayed consistently the implementation of the new systems. All efforts are currently put in place to shift strategy - exchanges with WMDE and others also happened - and we are confident that we are now moving along the right path. The IT strategy still sits very high on our priority list but due to the importance of finding solutions and embarking on a new path, WMCH has not been able to work on it for the moment.
The first half of 2018 saw a continuation of the efforts poured into the GLAM strategy. With a first active outreach to new GLAM institutions and the development of an action plan, WMCH started to walk the talk.
When working with GLAM in the past, the association focused very much on Libraries and Archives. This led to successful and sustainable partnerships with big and small institutions such as the Swiss National Library, the Association of Swiss Archivists, or more recently, the “Eisenbibliothek” (iron library). What was missing, though, was a clear directive and frame that defines what WMCH actually wants to achieve when collaborating with GLAM.
The GLAM strategy does exactly this. Partnerships and efforts made have been consolidated, evaluated and put into the wider frame and context of WMCH as an association that supports the dissemination of free knowledge. Analysing the international and national GLAM sector, putting into question past efforts and aligning the impact direction of GLAM with WMCH’s overall strategy have been crucial for sustainable future collaboration with GLAM.
Consequently, the first half of 2018 served above all to define and realise first actions to achieve WMCH’s overarching GLAM goal, which reads as follows:
"Organizing 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."
The Process Action plan and first projects
Following our objectives and actions defined in WMCH’s Proposal and in alignment with a first version of the action plan, WMCH furthered existing partnerships and actively approached Swiss museums. The aim of these efforts was to facilitate the process of digitisation of Swiss cultural heritage and provide solutions and tools to help protect and disseminate Swiss culture and history through the Wikimedia Projects.
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 to 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
WMCH's aims focus very much on consolidating what has been done and finding out what might inspire and help Libraries and Archives most when collaborating with WMCH. Seeking mutual benefit, we carried out the first projects and became increasingly aware of the challenges WMCH is and will be facing. Above all, there is a huge lack of awareness concerning Wikimedia CH among GLAM institutions. Using the Wikipedia brand as a door opener, we faced curiosity as well as cautiousness in regard to being part of a global movement and an association located in the United States, raising the question about the "what is in it for WMCH" as an association.
As a consequence, the association needs to work on creating awareness around Wikimedia, developing a more focused approach and building up closer, long-standing contact with selected museums. Last but not least, it needs clear communication about key messages to use when approaching different GLAM in order to make first contacts easier.
After successful cooperation during the Swiss Archives Day in June 2017, the partnership with the Iron Library stretched into 2018. On June 23, as part of the exhibition "100 years of GF at Klostergut Paradies", the Iron Library and the GF Corporate Archive organised an introductory Wikipedia Writing Workshop aiming at introducing potential new writers to Wikipedia and Wikipedia writers to the history of iron and steel in Switzerland. Articles created covered the history of Georg Fischer Ltd in Schaffhausen, the Klostergut Paradies (convent), as well as the history of technology, mining, metallurgy, etc.
Furthermore, and in addition to its Scholar-in-Residence program, the library is offering two grants for a period of two weeks during summer 2018 to experienced Wikimedians in the aim of creating freely-licensed content on Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia or Wikimedia Commons. Based on the holdings of the Iron Library and the Georg Fischer archive, the goal is to create new articles and to extend, enhance, translate or illustrate existing articles within the thematic specialisation of the Iron Library. The Iron Library has been collecting literature on the history of iron and steel from the beginning of time until today. The range of the collection is extensive and covers the entire production cycle, from the extraction of raw ore to the processing of metals into finished products, for example, by casting technology. This thematic focus is enriched by topics such as chemistry, geology and plastics, as well as holdings from the fields of technology.
After two GLAM on Tour events in 2017, the first half of 2018 saw the successful continuation of the GLAM on Tour format with two dedicated events that brought together WMCH’s multilingual community in the German- and French-speaking part of Switzerland. With the discovery of the privately held archive of Switzerland’s largest retail company, as well as an important museum for modern and contemporary art, inspiration for new contributions to Wikimedia projects was abundant.
The first event from April 12-15 was organised and carried out in collaboration with ‘Migros Kulturprozent’. A dozen Wikipedians had the unique chance to catch a glimpse into the archive of Switzerland’s biggest food retailer (Migros AG) in Zurich. The archive, which is not open to the public, hosts an abundance of precious documents, dossiers and photographs connected to the impressive history of the retailer and its founder, who influenced the idea of collectiveness and a sharing society coupled with the philosophy of providing free common spaces for people of all ages to meet, discuss and discover. A visit to the archive rooms also provided participants with insights into the influential personality of Gottlieb Duttweiler, his
philosophy and his contribution to society, as well as into the diversity of the tasks of the employees.
Further agenda items covered the visit of the Migros Museum and a drive to Rüschlikon, where participants visited Switzerland’s oldest think-tank, the ‘Gottlieb Duttweiler Institut’ and the 'Orange Garden' close to the ‘Park im Grüene’.
Two panel discussions, which were open to the public, dealt with the “openness of Swiss company archives” and "How Wikipedia works”. With a Hackathon and Edit-a-thons that stretched over the entire weekend, participants diligently enriched Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Altogether, participants uploaded about 200 photos to Commons, while Wikipedia saw the creation of 21 new articles and the improvement of 14 existing articles.
Learning: As Migros is a very well-known cooperative, known above all for its food stores all over Switzerland, the community was sceptical about the collaboration with a cooperative of this dimension and influence. Concerns quickly vanished for those who participated and learned more about the founder of Migros and his social values as well as his philosophy, which matched with those WMCH and its community stand up for. Ultimately, participants were enthused by the event and the special insights they gained. 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. For future events, WMCH will have to better investigate to what extent advance information should be given to the community about the decision-making process for choosing GLAM-on-Tour partners. It was also made clear to the association that sometimes being bold and having the guts to face criticism pays off and helps forge and strengthen ties between GLAM institutions, WMCH and the Community.
The "Archives Cantonales Vaudoises" consider themselves to be a place of memories and knowledge. As part of the State of Vaud, they are building the bridge between the administration and the citizen, as well as between heritage and historical research.
Wikimedia CH collaborates with the archives in order to disseminate archival holdings to Wikimedia projects such as Wikimedia Commons. In the first half of 2018, this continued collaboration translated into the upload of archaeological photographic documents to Commons. The full collection of the uploaded virtual versions of a collection of photographs taken by early archaeologists, such as Albert Naef, is thus now available to the public over Commons.
This upload also led to further reflection concerning Wikimedia projects and archives. In that regard, a roundtable will be organised on October 11, treating the topic of heritage conservation throughout recent history. The roundtable will be preceded by a Wikipedia workshop to teach new contributors how to use images from Commons to illustrate Wikipedia articles.
WMCH used the International Museums Day on May 13 for a first active outreach to the 'Association of Swiss museums (Museumsverband)' and to Swiss museums themselves. Under the motto "tag, share, like - the hyperconnected museum”, more than 150 Swiss museums opened their doors to the public and discussed the topic of hyper connectivity in museums with their visitors.
On this occasion, Wikimedia CH examined the presence of participating Swiss museums on Wikipedia and found out that there is a lot of catching up to do, as only half of the participating museums were present on Wikimedia projects and very few had of a multilingual presence.
Therefore, WMCH decided to launch an awareness campaign to improve the presence of Swiss museums on Wikipedia. The campaign included the community and museums alike. On the community side, an interactive map gave an idea about content to be created or translated. To make the community aware of this project, Wikimedia CH launched a banner on Wikipedia, highlighting the International Museums Day as event and linking it to the project page.
On the museums side, WMCH made a first communication to the museums with a physical mailing. The mailing included an awareness letter concerning Wikimedia projects and the current situation of the museums’ presence, a fact-sheet about WMCH and our work for cultural institutions, graphs depicting the actual situation on the coverage vs. page views and a printed QR-Code to be used for their exhibition to facilitate the thematic discussion with the visitors. The QR-Code was either leading to the museum’s Wikipedia article (if available) or to WMCH’s project page explaining the situation and inciting people to get involved.
The project page included the interactive museums map that visualised the coverage of Swiss Museums on Wikipedia. The map was developed in collaboration with Synapta and is based on Wikidata records, which is continuously kept up to date.
In this regard, the campaign can be seen as a starting point for further collaboration and the map as an instrument to encourage the creation of Wikimedia content tied to Swiss museums. The evolution of the map can therefore also be seen as a reflection of the community working towards better coverage of articles in this area.
At the end of June, a GLAM on Tour event was organized for the first time in the Romandie region. In collaboration with the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MAMCO), participants had the chance to discover Switzerland’s biggest and most influential museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, based in Geneva.
From June 22-24, more than 15 participants of WMCH’s community, including members and staff, gathered to learn more about the history, building and collections of the MAMCO. They did so through a very well-prepared reference library, which took into consideration the expressed thematic focus of the participants, such as information about and biographies of women contemporary artists. Additionally, two speeches of well-known personalities, Françoise Ninghetto and Bénédict Frommel (historian) enriched our stay at MAMCO and helped the group of participants learn and receive knowledge about contemporary art history, the history of the museum itself and the history of the facilities, which were previously the headquarters of Société Genevoise d'Instruments Physiques (SIP), a pioneer in its field.
Furthermore, the chief curator of MAMCO led an impressive tour through both the permanent and current temporary exhibition, a retrospective of the work of Rasheed Araeen. The museum’s director, Lionel Bovier, also gave an exclusive presentation about the topic of decentralization in contemporary art, closely linked to the exhibition devoted to Rasheed Araeen, as well as about the challenges of a contemporary art museum in today's world.
To show its appreciation for the work of our volunteer community, MAMCO gave us the rights to use all of its photos, thanks to their contractual set-up with its artists, and donated 40 iconographic images under a free license to be uploaded in Wikimedia Commons. All impressions and new learnings were processed in different edit-a-thons that took place over the weekend. The topic and visits also sparked interesting discussions during the Saturday evening boat tour with dinner on Lake Geneva.
As with the first GLAM on Tour at the Migros Archive, the collaboration with MAMCO also faced initial criticism. This time, concerns were raised about the rights regarding contemporary and modern art exhibits, as these usually do not fall under public domain. But fears were unfounded, and photos taken during the event can very well be used on Wikimedia projects, as the museum has agreements with the artists and is very well organised in that regard. Both the community and MAMCO wish to continue collaborating. Again, the association needs better communication in advance from WMCH to the community and the continued courage to sometimes take new, unconventional paths.
After the opening ceremony in December 2017, WMCH continued to use its partner status to the country-wide #CulturalHeritage2018 campaign to raise awareness for WMCH through the promotion of projects that fell under the theme of Cultural Heritage. The GLAM on Tour event in Zurich and the International Museums Day were both actively promoted over the 'Agenda' of the #CulturalHeritage2018 website. Events also get included in the weekly newsletter, providing people with a condensed view of projects and activities from all partners and sponsors.
Although the #CulturalHeritage2018 campaign is a prominent one, the outcome of the event promotion is hard to evaluate. For the second half of the year, as far as time allows it, it might be useful to think about a more integrated approach and active outreach to other partners and sponsors of the campaign to eventually join forces. Some cultural institutions have already approached Wikimedia CH with a specific thematic topic related to the Swiss Year of Cultural Heritage.
around 100'000 people reached (as reported by the organizers)
GLAM cross border exchange and meetings with close chapters
WMCH is in the advantageous situation of being located in a language-heterogeneous country. With German, French and Italian as the three main languages in our community, we naturally have been close to our neighbouring and same-language chapters, including Germany, France, Italy and Austria. In that regard, regular calls between WMDE, WMAT and WMCH take place every two months to exchange about ongoing events and projects as well as to kick-start common actions. The first common appearance of the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) GLAM region will take place during WikiCon in St. Gallen. With a booth and different GLAM representatives onsite, the aim is to raise awareness about GLAM, its role and upcoming events and projects.
The first common projects include the re-design of the Wikipedia in Residence Program, something that the German-speaking chapters see as a necessity, as in the current state the program is characterised by uncertainties and a lack of controlled processes. WMDE, WMAT and WMCH will therefore work on a common concept and communication. Another interesting project is "Erbstücke" from the Goethe-Institute. WMCH wishes to be part of it and in collaboration with WMDE and WMFR, two of WMCH's three community liaisons will be in involved in the project starting in the 2nd half of this year.
Besides the virtual meetings and calls, WMCH decided to use 2018 to go beyond the usual ties and start actively meeting with close chapters in order to discuss possible joint projects that go beyond the support and sponsorship of national WikiCons.
Exchanging about best practices, as well as sharing knowledge and information on different topics, were part of the meeting between WMCH's GLAM Program & Partnership Manager and her French counterpart. With GLAM on Tour as a part of the discussion, two members of WMFR then visited WMCH for the GLAM on Tour @MAMCO in June. The aim for WMFR was to learn more about the organisation and running of a GLAM on Tour event to be better able to evaluate whether the format could be a good fit for French GLAM institutions as well. Further discussions covered the topic of strategy-building and the GLAM Statistical Tool that WMFR wishes to introduce to GLAM in France.
After the meeting with WMFR, WMCH travelled to Milan to meet with WMIT. The Italian chapter recently started the process for implementing a HUB approach on all strategic pillars, including GLAM, trying to set up national and regional coordinators acting in their own field of competency and region on a voluntary basis. Sharing information on the process and requirements on how to set up a HUB organization was helpful. WMCH also learned more about the GLAM-Hubs in Italy and their way of working. The exchange also touched lightly on the topic of how these Hubs might be introduced and adapted to the Swiss environment, which is very different to the Italian one. There are different concepts to be applied in Switzerland and the next step is to elaborate the Swiss approach.
GLAM are longing for new technology and requests for technical innovations and solutions are steadily increasing (e.g. Wikidata projects). The GLAM network and our GLAM statistical tool are first steps in the direction of supporting GLAM in their digital transformation process. Being in a technological transformation process ourselves, WMCH is well aware of the complexity these processes entail. We are also aware of the fact that we can only serve GLAM well once our own process has been successfully completed, providing WMCH with a solid basis to build upon.
The GLAM network is a group of GLAM institutions, which was originally created in 2015 in collaboration with the Swiss Federal Archives, the Swiss National Library and Wikimedia CH. The aim is to coordinate Wikimedia-related activities of GLAM institutions in Switzerland. The group meets quarterly for a continuous exchange among GLAM institutions who contribute to Wikimedia projects. In March 2018, the group met in the National Library of Bern and in June 2018 in the PTT Archive (Postal Service Archives) in Bern-Köniz, to discuss continued collaboration and projects. It consists of the following members:
Swiss National Library
Swiss Federal Archives
Cantonal Library of Thurgau
Central Library of Solothurn
Cantonal Library of Vaud (BCUL)
University Library of Basel and Swiss Economic Archives
Swiss Social Archives
ETH Library Zurich
Historic Museum Basel
Diplomatic Documents of Switzerland (DODIS)
Archives Cantonal Jurassiennes
Fonoteca nazionale svizzera
Although the group is composed of GLAM institutions from all over Switzerland, meetings and exchange until now mainly focussed on the German-speaking part of the country. This is something that WMCH, as a chapter striving for inclusivity and equity, wishes and needs to change in the future. A first step in that direction is a national GLAM meet-up that will re-unite GLAM from all three major language regions on December 4. In this cross-lingual meet up, WMCH aims to have workshops and presentations concerning Wikidata for GLAM and cover the topic of "how does Wikidata serve GLAM institutions." In that regard, several WMCH-supported speeches are planned, comprising the technical and practical perspective. For this purpose, we will try to also invite an archivist who has already implemented Wikidata in her/his work to hold the presentation and/or lead a workshop. Ultimately, the aim is to create a common project for participants, such as for example a Wikidata-Datathon or series of workshops. To being able to proceed, it remains clear that WMCH needs to further the Swiss-wide and multi-lingual extension of the group, which is a real challenge.
Further partnerships - GLAM Statistical Tool
Synapta and Kiwix are two partners with precious technology and know-how that we are teaming up with. Even though Kiwix technology in museums is still a point of discussion, the collaboration with Synapta and SUPSI led to the release of the GLAM Statistical Tool at the end of June 2018. For this release, the GLAM 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 will collect feedback. Requirements and change requests will then be discussed during the September meeting, with the objective of allocating budget for the further development of the GLAM statistical tool, according to the needs of the GLAM network group.
What is more, the GLAM Statistical Tool also arouses interest among other chapters and the Foundation. Discussions between WMCH and Alex Stinson took place and it is intended to carry out an international pilot project involving 10 international GLAM institutions. The aim of the pilot is to gain knowledge about the capacity needed to run more and bigger institutions, and to then develop a common action plan to make it available for other Wikimedia Chapters.
Looking back at our proposal and considering our strategy and action plan, which go hand-in-hand and serve the same purpose, we think that WMCH as an association is slowly but surely moving in the right direction.
For the first time, WMCH addressed the imbalance between its work with Archives and Libraries vs. Galleries and Museums. Consequently, it was important to consolidate the work done with Archives and Libraries, as well as to better research Galleries and Museums. Also, it was important to actually do a first active outreach to new institutions in the framework of a Swiss-wide event such as the Swiss Museums Day. This outreach is the first step of a market entry strategy for museums, allowing WMCH to further build upon and make new connections within the museums sector.
While better researching Galleries and Museums, it was clear that they cannot be put into the same basket and need to be approached in different ways. Being small in size and aware of the fact that we need to better bundle and focus efforts, priority was given to museums. Galleries will therefore remain in the background until WMCH has accumulated more knowledge about how to approach them and also has a better idea of the form that partnerships with galleries could take.
WMCH is pleased to see its GLAM program moving forward and is confident about the direction it is taking. That said, the ongoing IT transformation process is a bottle neck that prevents WMCH from moving forward at the initially planned pace. Being a viable partner for GLAM to support their development with innovative technology solutions cannot be seriously tackled when WMCH itself still struggles to rebuild its own information technology system. This is why technology support still focuses on introductions of Archives, Libraries and Museums to Wikidata or other Wikimedia projects, especially when Wikidata continuously receives requests. WMCH is happy to respond to these requests by supporting different meet-ups and workshops carried out by volunteers.
Over the last six months, much has happened in regard to WMCH's in-house IT transformation process. The association was obliged to replace the main project manager, who was an external contractor, and to find new ways to finally move forward. Since the beginning of July, there has been more staff and time dedicated to this process and first concrete results, such as the new database and a first more secure version of WMCH's website, are near to being released. This is the starting point for the next steps, allowing us to build a sustainable foundation for our planned GLAM repository and micro-site, among others.
When working with GLAM, museums and galleries have somewhat been left aside in the past years, except for a few projects, namely GLAM on Tour and the “small GLAM” project, which were not framed by a strategy at that point. With the Museums and Gallery sector having high potential for disseminating free knowledge and raising funds, WMCH aims to intensify its collaboration with GLAM institutions across Switzerland. While drafting the GLAM strategy and action plan, it became obvious that museums and galleries operate in completely different ways and therefore need a different approach. The privately-owned gallery sector in particular needs more research before being able to make connections. It is still unknown whether this area might be of interest for our type of work.
For museums on the other hand, WMCH was able to move ahead. In light of the GLAM strategy, which is based on thorough research and the newly-revised action plan, it was clear that museums find themselves confronted with a technical transformation process. They aim to use and integrate technology to open up collections and holdings to a broader and international audience, to alter and enhance visitor experiences onsite and to gather data to measure, quantify and steer impact. In this setting, with museums that are increasingly integrating emerging technologies and embracing innovations, Wikimedia CH can provide guidance and assistance around the use of Wikimedia projects.
As a small association, WMCH is aware of the fact that it should not do too much at once. To have greater impact, time and resources have to be better used and targeted, and a solid basis is needed to be able to serve GLAM institutions. As such, we must complete our own technological transformation process and establish a clear communication and outreach plan. Part of this plan should be a GLAM micro-site and repository providing information material about WMCH, depicting possibilities for collaboration, and informing museums, community and interested people alike. Key messages and communication objectives for the different audiences have to be defined.
As an association that is part of a wider movement, WMCH also recognises that other Wikimedia organisations and groups might want to be kept in the loop about findings and learnings in this sector, just as WMCH actively reaches out to close chapters to learn from best practices and challenges in other countries. A first attempt of sharing learnings from 2018 is the Case Study concerning WMCH's participation in the International Museums Day.
On the occasion of the International Museums Day on May 13, museums all over Switzerland opened their doors to the public. The theme "tag, share, like - the hyperconnected museum" perfectly fit WMCH's vision and mission and showcased the desire of Swiss museums to go digital, or at least make better use of technology at hand.
Museums therefore used the 'International Museums Day' to reconnect exhibits in very different ways, including:
Giving people the possibility to name display items and tag them online;
Creating links between different items and recategorizing them;
Organising a QR-Code scavenger hunt to promote interactive learning and discovery;
Creating an active exchange with visitors over Social Media (#AskACurator);
Organising a WhatsApp museums tour where people were part of a special WhatsApp Group Chat to share thoughts and images during the guided tour;
Providing thumbs up symbols or emojis to let visitors designate favourite items.
Wikimedia CH decided to actively reach out to museums with the aim of increasing awareness about Swiss museums on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. The project started with a first contact to the 'Association of Swiss Museums', which stands behind the event in Switzerland and communicates regularly with its members. With the list of participating museums at hand, WMCH did an initial situation analysis, which showed that about half of the museums in Switzerland are not present on Wikipedia and that among those who are present, only a few have a multilingual presence covering the 3 major languages in Switzerland. The results stood in stark contrast to the Swiss readership of Wikipedia. To visualise the situation, an interactive map was created in collaboration with Synapta. The map shows museums all over Switzerland and points out existing or missing articles and content.
With these facts and figures at hand, we clarified the message to convey and defined the different audiences. WMCH aimed at creating awareness about the poor coverage among:
Communication Museums: A personalised letter, a fact sheet and personalised QR-Code were part of a mailing sent to museums. The letter informed about the situation, highlighted the benefit of being present on Wikipedia, and invited museums to use the QR-Code during the event. The fact sheet gave a quick presentation of Wikimedia CH as an association and used charts and graphs to visualise the museums’ presence on Wikipedia. The printed QR-Codes were designed to be used in the museums and brought people to the Wikipedia article (if available) or to the project page inviting people (above all Wikipedians) to create the missing article.
Wikipedians/Wikimedians: With museums all over Switzerland being part of the event, Wikimedia CH invited its community over different communication channels to participate in the event and help fill the gaps.
Press: Based on the facts and figures, a short press release was sent to press contacts from different board members. With this very first contact, the aim was not to spread the message widely, but to explore the interest level of journalists.
Outcome and Learnings Museums: Very few museums responding to the mailing, but those that did gave positive feedback and led the museums to participate. Regardless of low response rates, a first contact was established and the message delivered. As creating relationships with museums takes time, this was the very first touch point and the start of a longer-standing campaign in the aim of improving the presence of museums on Wikipedia and its sister projects.
Wikipedians/Wikimedians: As an association, WMCH is not yet at a point where we have an ongoing exchange with our community, which should be considered when developing the Community Strategy, as well as the Communication Strategy. Messages were delivered, but again, it is hard to measure their effectiveness, as just a few people actively reacted. It is also hard to say to what degree community members participated in the event as a result of WMCH's awareness campaign. What we do know is that a lot of new information was uploaded and added in Wikidata, since the interactive map grew impressively within a month after the campaign and continues to develop.
Press: With only a handful of journalists contacted, the feedback received was positive. Using Wikipedia as a door opener, we were able to secure general interest in the involvement with museums. Thanks to a journalist from NZZ, we got valuable insights for future campaigns that involve press. Museums are highly local institutions and journalists covering these topics are bound to the local context, meaning that messages have to be very targeted. According to feedback, it might be better to focus on the local situation, e.g. museums in and around Zurich and their presence on Wikipedia, instead of talking about Swiss museums as a whole.
Generally speaking, the interest in Wikimedia CH / Wikipedia and the role it can play for museums is there, which is a good starting point. Even though the International Museums Day was an event on a given day, the campaign needs to be designed for a longer period, especially as it aims at improving the presence of Swiss museums on Wikipedia and its sister projects. This cannot be done in one day or two. In that regard, the International Museums Day was a starting point for a longer-running campaign.
Specifically tied to the project, WMCH decided at the last minute to contribute to the International Museums Day. One of the reasons for the late decision was that the Association of Swiss Museums itself released the thematic focus of this year's International Museums Day very late. As the campaign had to be implemented in four languages, this added to the workload that WMCH faced in the few weeks available to organise its participation.
WMCH learned that it is of utmost importance to start and communicate as early as possible, as museums need more time to think about the integration of our program (such as Wikipedia QR-Codes) and Wikipedians might need more time to do research about museums in the forerun of an event. Furthermore, as museums are often tied to the local context, after a first broad and general contact, it is critical to follow up with a specific and one-to-one communication to cultural institutions that interest us. Taking that into consideration, it would be impossible to contact every single cultural institution participating in this event.
Since the museum day is an annual international event, we suggest that WMCH cooperates with other chapters for next year's International Museums Day to launch a common project and campaign in order to have a bigger impact as a movement.
The strategic framework: Establishing Wikimedia projects as important technological tools to acquire important skills.
Switzerland is a confederation of cantons and every canton is an indipendent entity. The constitution of Switzerland delegates the authority over schools to the cantons. As a result, the system of education in Switzerland is fragmented yet efficient because of limited and fast-paced bureaucratic processes. Without a single entity to speak to, but instead several smaller entities, some of which interested in introducing technology at school, introducing Wikimedia projects or other technologically innovative projects and relationships might be easier. On the other hand, this means that negotiations have to take place on several levels and with many different institutions, which risks slowing down the process.
Above all, the first half of 2018 was dedicated to further developing and refining WMCH’s strategy for its impact direction of Education. These efforts had to start from scratch, as the education program was only recently established for the first time in WMCH. The starting point was to rationalize activities, define a framework and select tools and methodologies to introduce at school.
The 2017 community survey, which was conducted at the beginning of the year, showed that Education is a topic of foremost importance to the association’s community. Active collaboration with different stakeholders in the education sector, establishing a train the trainers model and recognised certification path, creating a repository for teachers and students alike are only some of the objectives. While these will take time to set up, they are all aligned with our strategy and ultimately translate into WMCH’s overarching educational goal that reads as follows:
"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".
The strategic framework also gives an idea of how schools might teach essential digital skills in order to prepare young people for the challenges of the future. Wikimedia CH’s goal is to raise visibility and engagement in educational institutions so that Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects become go-to resources for objective information and learning. We also aim to help students build skills such as using digital tools, managing information and developing critical analysis by encouraging them to write their own history using or contributing to Wikimedia projects.
Being up-to-date with and a driving force in the field of technical innovation remains crucial to generating interest at school. Swiss schools require a high-qualitative offer, which is why Wikimedia CH continues to focus on innovation, working closely with initiatives that cover coding lessons, such as hackathons. In this regard, WMCH was already part of several events such as Devoxx4kids, Robot Street Challenge, Hack the City and, at the beginning of autumn, we will be part of Media in Piazza.
Innovation also means providing the platforms and tools needed to implement hives, a train the trainers model and a certification path. These are part of the Education Strategy and essential to building a sustainable network for teaching and learning in an innovative and trailblazing way.
Establish a train the trainers model for teaching about Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects
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
The challenges in the first half of 2018 were similar to those faced in 2017. In Switzerland, we are confronted with a very heterogenous educational system, meaning that solutions developed for one part of the country might not be applicable to another one. This is why WMCH is mainly working on finding scalable solutions to build bridges between the different regions and to make sure that the solutions developed will fit to all of Switzerland, or at least only need minor adaptions. In addition to these mainly bureaucratic hurdles, WMCH faces early stage project challenges, such as getting the right partners on board, building strategically upon existing partnerships and finding the right messages to convince different partners. Last but not least, WMCH is limited in terms of time available and needs to better plan, bundle resources and finish smaller projects to be able to focus going forward. This is why a well-defined and focused action plan is critical.
On May 5, an entire day was dedicated to bringing new technologies to students between 11 and 15 years old. Girls and boys alike had the possibility to experiment with and get closer to the world of technology in a fun way.
In addition to the possibility to attend the presentation “Nothing is impossible” from Valeria Cagnina, a young teacher of technology for schools, the day gave students the opportunity to actively immerse themselves in new technology. The different classes available covered a wide range of technological topics. Students had the choice between learning the programming language
“Scratch”, programming with Minecraft, experimenting robotics or 3D printing programming, creating a videogame, getting an introduction to the programming language of “Python” and last but not least, playing with data and databases using Wikidata.
In this context, Wikimedia CH organised for the first time a session for Devoxx4kids in Lugano. The session was dedicated to Wikidata to introduce children to the databases and SPARQL, using gamification to spark interest among participants. The course was organised as a challenge in the form of a quiz with the aim of teaching how to interrogate the biggest data source, to show how a machine thinks, to find solutions to puzzles and to ultimately teach "talking to the database" using machine language.
The format was very well received, as was a similar Wikidata training session for Devoxx4kids with a smaller group of attendees in Zurich last year. In Lugano, with a total of 120 young participants enthusiastic about new technologies, the event was a success. WMCH is looking forward to being part of it again in future editions.
On June 9 there was the open air follow up of the ‘Robot Street Challenge’, a robotic-event targeting people of different ages, starting from 8 years old. The event was held in one of the biggest commercial centres of Southern Switzerland and it was basically a timed race of autonomous robots assembled by the teams, which were separated into the two categories ‘Seniors’ and ‘Juniors’. All mentors of Devoxx4kids were present to support the event and to also inform attendees about the future activities of Devoxx4kids.
Upcoming Event: At the end of September, Wikimedia CH will be part of the 4th edition of Media in Piazza. The event gathers young people to learn about digital media and the Web as a tool for work and reflection to better understand humanity’s daily digital experience. It also is a day of immersion into new technologies. This year's topic covers "fake news" and how to identify wrongs from rights in today's digital information streams. The same topic will be proposed during a week in October to schools in a valley of the Grisons.
On April 28, the Open Education Day was held at the FHNW Brugg-Windisch (University of Applied Sciences).
The day offered a rich program ranging from presentations to workshops and panel discussions. Topics covered: “How schools in Finland use and manage Open Source,” “How to use and create Open Educational Resources,” “CS Unplugged - Programming without a computer,” “CS First, Scratch learning environment from Google,” and “Launch of the Open Data Project Flauna,” among others.
Wikimedia CH was present through an introductory workshop “Wikipedia in school: using instead of banning,” which was given by Hadi, a Wikipedian and long-standing, active member of the association. When reaching out to the workshop leader to get feedback, we learned that - even though the event in itself was well visited - this was not the case for the workshop. With less than 5 people attending, we clearly recognised that being part of a big event itself is not sufficient. Wikimedia and Wikipedia need active promotion and communication in the run-up to an event in order to attract people and spark interest.
We need to consider a clear model and best practice for workshop organisation, regardless whether it’s standalone or part of a bigger event. We also need supporting material for trainers and participants. The latter is something we are putting in place, starting with the very basics, such as new notepads and pencils for offline reunions and meet-ups.
Around 200 attendees as reported by the organizers
Over the last few years, Wikimedia CH has experienced continuous interest in Wikidata and now faces an increased demand for learning about the database. In response to the growing interest and community, several Wikidata workshops took place in the first half of the year and more will take place in the months to come.
Wikimedia CH therefore collaborates with the University of Zurich and other relevant partners in the Zurich area (i.e. Opendata Zurich, City of Zurich and Canton of Zurich) to build a local community of Wikidata enthusiasts, starting with universities. The group is growing, which has prompted recurrent meetups. The first meetup took place in Zurich on April 25. Editors, open data hackers, data scientists, data providers and general data enthusiasts gathered at the after-work meetup to discuss ideas around Wikidata. In this very open format and in a friendly and informal atmosphere, people found a space to ask questions, report learnings, brainstorm new ideas and even experiment with code.
In addition to these informal events, other bigger events took place. The year started with a Wikidata initiation workshop, organised by user Harmonia Amanda and supported by WMCH. With 15 people attending, including five very motivated Archivist-Wikipedians, it quickly became clear that these events should be continued. Even though the workshop itself was targeted towards beginners and not geared towards directly editing the database, participants clearly expressed their interest in being part of follow-up events in the Romandie region.
Another major event took place on June 16 with the Wikidata Zurich Datathon at the University of Zurich. The event targeted data providers who wished to publish their own data in a Wikidata-friendly way. During this event, participants learned how to contribute to Wikidata and how to import data with the help of mentors and Wikidata experts, who came from as far as Italy and the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. The event was promoted on WMCH’s webpage and social media channels and saw the participation of eight data providers.
Outlook: In anticipation of Wikidata’s 6th birthday in October 2018, several local events will take place on September 8, including the Wikidata Zurich Hackathon and regular Wikidata meetups in the region around Zurich.
WMCH maintains a well-functioning relationship with the University of Berne. This year, the department "Forum für Universität und Gesellschaft" hosted a colloquium called "Digitalisierung im Spannungsfeld zwischen Transparenz und Privatsphäre (Digitisation in the field of tension between transparency and private sphere)" where we were invited to give a lecture about the intentions and the motivation of our volunteers and discuss why Wikipedia works. The audience consisted of 271 registered attendees. After the 35-minute lecture (online video) tthere were many interesting questions followed by a panel discussion where the speakers answered follow-up questions. The session was held on February 24 (Themenheft).
Cultural Studies and European Ethnology at the University of Basel
Following an invitation by the "Department of European Ethnology in Basel (Seminar für Kulturwissenschaft und Europäische Ethnologie der Universität Basel)", WMCH was given the chance to present for 45 minutes Wikipedia's way of functioning. The presentation included topics such as the credibility of articles and the traceability of changes, as well as the history of transforming, the structure of authors, links to articles and many other features. Afterwards, the audience asked numerous questions. In particular the question of reputation raised interest, as this is an important topic in science and scientific education. The event, which was held in May, was intended as an introduction to the highly-interested faculty in the hope of follow-up collaboration. As part of the planning for 2019, we will establish a follow-up contact immediately after the summer break. In contrast to usual events of this kind, the students here were less interested than the teachers (professors and their assistants).
Learning: A strong partner such as the University of Bern, which attracts many interested people, invited WMCH to give a lecture. These cases are becoming frequent, but until now, WMCH has not implemented a targeted framework for continuity and providing support to these institutions. Contacts therefore happen occasionally and without any further structure and support. We should definitely address this in order to provide continuity to these partnerships.
From April 27 to 29, the 4th edition of Southern Switzerland's Hackathon has been 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.
Wikimedia CH 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.
Since fall 2017, the University of Neuchâtel has offered a Master's degree in historical sciences combining the disciplines of history, art history and archaeology. Introductory courses in digital humanities are planned, as well as a quick introduction to Wikipedia. Under this framework, the project Wiki NeoComensia was started by two volunteers, BV_AmandineC et Gilliane, who are also archivists. The aim of the project was to show students and GLAM personnel how to edit Wikipedia, engage them into thinking about how contributing makes sense for their studies or their professional activities and ultimately helping preserve the cultural heritage of Neuchâtel.
The first three sessions were progressive, well-structured edition workshops led by Amandine during which the six participants contributed on topics related to the heritage of Neuchâtel. The last session was an animated panel discussion led by a doctoral-assistant in history. It involved a historian of cultural heritage, an archivist, an assistant director of an archaeological museum, and a PhD researcher in history. The discussion showed an interest for engaging further with Wikipedia, as it is a commonly-used tool for students, and also raised the issue of authorship. A Wikipedian, Hadi, who attended the panel discussion, suggested the dual activity of publishing on Open Source journals and editing Wikipedia to reconcile scholars' need for publication with their desire to edit Wikipedia.
Working with Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects goes along with the development and strengthening of different hard and soft skills that are increasingly in demand in today’s professional environment. For instance, it covers the Four C’s of learning: critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration - even in virtual environments.
What was missing until now was an official recognition of this know-how and expertise. This is why WMCH is aiming to create a certification path, which will consist of continuous training and integrate with what is already available. To be able to create the certification path and aim for an official recognition, the trainings will have to be structured and follow a curriculum. We are also considering the possibility of an exam at the end of each module.
There are different models out there, such as the PMI, which can serve as inspiration. Wikimedia CH’s certification path will very likely be divided in different sections, including technology. MOOCs or structured training will be more efficient and valued — and more attractive to others — when associated with an official certification. The long-term goal is for WMCH certification to be accepted by universities or even as validation for an official Swiss recognition like ECTS credit. This is even more important when considering the fact that in Switzerland, certificates and certified skills in general are of great interest to recruiters when selecting candidates.
In the first half of 2018, the WMCH team, other chapters and the Foundation discussed these ideas. The aim is to exchange and find out what other chapters are planning in order to accumulate experiences and see if we can create synergies. It is also a priority to consult community members to learn about reservations and expectations concerning the creation of a certification path. Once these preliminary steps have been completed and WMCH's IT framework is solid enough to build upon, the project can be launched. First concrete actions are expected for the end of the year.
At the moment, WMCH is working with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Education Program to identify how to better implement this certification model in Switzerland while using a common model that is shared worldwide.
Despite being at the starting block of a certification path and concrete implementation of its Education Strategy, WMCH is already receiving requests tied to Lifelong Learning that are connected above all to Wikimedia projects like Wikidata.
In this case "lifelong" is a more extensive concept than "continuous training" because it goes beyond traditional "brick and mortar" schooling and also covers themes such as 'learning to learn' or 'knowledge work'. Lifelong learning is an ongoing, self-motivated and voluntary pursuit of knowledge, which is also propelled by emerging technologies such as MOOCs. The European Commission launched a Lifelong Learning Programme, which had a budget of € 7 billion and is now continuing under the Erasmus+ programme (the European programme for education, training, youth and sport).
As a concrete example and after several requests from WMCH's community members in the French-speaking area, a Wikidata workshop was organised in Lausanne on February 24. The workshop itself mostly addressed complete beginners and therefore remained a bit theoretical; however, it is a starting point and will be followed by further workshops to allow for more hands-on editing. As some of the participants were archivists, they subsequently launched a specific project on Wikidata with the aim of "creating the world’s most comprehensive high-quality database of archival funds and heritage collections, to represent archival structures within Wikidata where this is deemed useful and to ensure the interlinking between archival finding aids and Wikidata".
At the end of June, a 'Stammtisch' reunion in Berne succeeded the Wikidata and Wikipedia Workshop. After a short introduction into Wikidata, its usefulness and way of functioning, an overview of Wikidata + GLAM and a discussion about Wikidata and Wikipedia, participants were introduced to the use of Wikidata and learned how to edit it by themselves. The 'Stammtisch' then gave the occasion to discuss the newly acquired skills in a cosy atmosphere.
Technical innovation does not necessarily mean looking for completely new and 'never seen before' solutions. For WMCH, technical innovation happens as a continuous process in a context that enables productively teaming up with different stakeholders in digital education. WikiToLearn and Kiwix are two of the tools that can play a role for making technical innovation in Swiss schools happen.
This technological innovation can, for instance, serve to design lessons that actually get the attention of children and effectively convey knowledge. Entering schools by merely offering classical Wikipedia editing workshops therefore is not a good approach for the majority of students and teachers.
In order to introduce innovation at schools, we need not only the tools but also the right framework and support. As it has for GLAM and Community, WMCH plans to create an education-specific web-presence that is tailored to the needs of learners and teachers alike. The platform would include giving information about trainings, the certification path and classes available, and providing educational material and case studies.
Once again, building on a solid IT foundation is crucial. With the IT project recently progressing, the revamp can now start.
Wikipedia itself is not a platform designed for experimentation. Schools are therefore asking for a more secure Wiki training environment for writing and collaborating. This is where WMCH is collaborating with and supporting the WikiToLearn community, which would open up their solution to universities and high schools alike and adapt workflows according to the requirements of schools (i.e. teacher's approval before publishing). As WikiToLearn is foremost a solution to create textbooks and not a hypertext, it might also be easier for teachers to work on topics related to the school's curricula. Once a classroom is sufficiently mature, Wikimedia projects could be promoted. In that regard, WMCH participated in WikiToLearn's workshop on July 6 to actively discuss the future of the tool, the ongoing collaboration and future steps.
WMCH is also discussing with the Wikimini and Vikidia communities to provide them with technical and financial support to assure a long term plan for those two projects, which are used frequently at school, but rely on a small group
Knowledge equity: a voice to visually impaired people
Being part of the Wikimedia movement and the transition towards its Strategy 2030, which builds around the themes "knowledge as a service" and "knowledge equity," brings up a new, global dimension to the local work of a chapter and provides a new framework to efforts made.
In that regard, WMCH wants to highlight its first steps towards more inclusive Wikimedia projects that specifically target visually impaired people. As many projects, this one is multi-dimensional: it not only touches 'Education' but also the impact direction of 'Community' and therefore is explained in greater detail under 'Diversify communities in CH'.
To make technology in schools a reality, having the technology itself is not sufficient. Educational institutions need additional values like 'technology for everyone', easy to use and secure. Wikimedia projects that can facilitate inclusivity and access to knowledge for children with difficulties would leverage the introduction of Wikimedia technology at schools.
What we wish to briefly highlight here is that through collaboration with Albinit, an international association for people with albinism, schools provided the safe space and frame needed to being able to carry out first tests to evaluate the accessibility of Wikimedia projects in terms of knowledge consumption. Subsequent to this first successful round of tests, the upcoming second batch will use this setting again. The second tests will be visually impaired students who - in a close and monitored setting – will evaluate the accessibility of Wikimedia projects, this time in terms of contribution.
Results and insights gained through these tests carried out by students can then be used to improve the accessibility of Wikimedia projects as a whole and target all people facing visual impairments, ultimately allowing those people to freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
Another interesting project that WMCH is exploring is the WikiMindMap Project that aims at helping children with difficulties. Mind Maps are very often used by teachers to help children structure information, but the production of these maps is time consuming. The project therefore comprises the development of a tool that automatically generates Mind Maps out of Wikipedia articles. Translating the hierarchy of a Wikipedia article into a Mind Map helps students to better visualise and understand vast articles/topics and could support teachers in designing Wikipedia classes around specific topics.
Cross border exchange and meetings with close chapters: the MOOC
Education has a big impact on the linguistic versions of the Wikimedia projects, with new editors and new content generated in languages which are spoken outside Switzerland. This is the reason why Wikimedia Switzerland collaborates closely with nearby chapters (mainly with Wikimédia France and Wikimedia Italia) to share experiences and programs.
As WMCH started the education program recently, knowledge sharing is fundamental.
Specifically, with Wikimedia Italia, it's started the evaluation to work together around a MOOC and to evaluate together the possibilities and the experiences already present in the Wikiverse. Considering the costs and the complexity of such a system, a joint effort may produce better results. Additionally, in Italy the educational programs at schools are very innovative and stress inclusivity of the students and the introduction of the new technologies. It's not by chance that the group of albinos selected for the first phase of the accessibility test is of Italian origin.
With Wikimedia France, we are considering their approach to accessing their community and being present within their linguistic community, which is a good example to replicate.
The in-person meetings were held in Paris and Milan, and created a foundation of collaboration.
Looking back at our plan for 2018, WMCH definitely made progress within its Education program. Through constant exchange with different education stakeholders, the strategy saw some improvement and is in the middle of a successful iterative process. A first concrete action plan allowed for a more structured approach and planning of events and projects. And, with a first pilot project taking place this summer related to the certification path and train the trainers model, things are moving forward.
Wikimedia CH also pursued its presence in the secondary and tertiary sectors. For secondary schools, the aim was to create supportive material for teachers and students, to collect and review past experiences and to reconnect with previous successes. The experimental student trainings in collaboration with Devoxx4kids followed this path as well. At the university level, the program is already mature and the majority of the initial objectives have been achieved. A datathon was held in Zurich and with it, a first hive was started. Another potential hive is in discussion with the University of Neuchâtel (this last one focuses on Digital Humanities).
The certification path is still in its planning phase and significant exchange with different parties is ongoing. It needs a clearer framework and very precise objectives that will allow us to bring the certification path project to life and ultimately build a foundation that would enable success. Feedback from the ongoing teachers pilot project and first life-long trainings will help to better shape this project.
In terms of technological innovation, Education is more or less at the same stage as GLAM. This means that efforts are above all poured into WMCH's own technical revamp, especially as the Education program manager is also deeply involved in this in-house technological transformation. Having a solid and professional IT framework ourselves is a prerequisite for being a reliable partner for educational institutions. WMCH is also building its partnerships with other players in the technological field. At the beginning of July, a first brainstorming and workshop with WikiToLearn took place to discuss further development and adjustment of the tool to the needs of schools. WMCH also asked other partners and communities to share long-term plans, which would allow for better planning and alignment from our side.
In addition to the proposal, the project for the visually impaired should be highlighted. As we unexpectedly found a good partner to carry out such a project, it was not in the initial plan, but it absolutely fits and supports our global direction. It also led to the other project for Mind Maps, where we are curious to see and share first results soon.
Having said all this, it is clear that WMCH still has a long way to go to become a strong, viable and renowned player in modern education. We are aware of the fact that right now, the picture might sometimes appear to be fragmented as some projects go faster than planned and others are still at the very beginning. But, in having our vision, mission, strategy and action plan in mind, we are looking forward to the point when the pieces will start falling into place.
Introducing Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects at schools
While approaching and integrating schools, WMCH above all learned that it is of utmost importance to get first-hand insights about the way schools and administration around the schooling system are working.
Not only is the willingness of the school itself necessary to successfully introduce Wikimedia projects, but insights and honest feedback from teachers about how to successfully design classes that target students of different ages and educational backgrounds are essential. Having a teacher who happens to also be Wikipedian in its team, WMCH learned a lot about how to introduce Wikimedia projects. The classical way of giving frontal lessons for instance does not show to be effective, especially for technical topics that demand a great of deal of concentration. Basically, we experienced that sitting in a classroom and listening to what is said or being given a presentation (even a very visual one), does not translate into learning or acquiring new skills, as it does not at all motivate students to refer to Wikimedia projects in the future.
The format we found to be the most successful is one that uses gamification, encourages active participation in solving puzzles or facing challenges to overcome, and consequently, awakens competitive spirit among students. To be able to introduce these kinds of classes, the right tools are needed. This means that students need a safe space where they can experiment and make mistakes. By learning by doing and training on WikiToLearn, for example, classrooms are becoming more mature to finally and ultimately transfer knowledge onto Wikipedia and/or Wikimedia projects.
WMCH also experienced that the interest of students in Wikipedia is low when compared to more entertaining social media. This situation changes somewhat when students experience using Wikipedia and seeing the benefits that come along. This means that simply having a teacher who is passionate about Wikipedia and tries to pass this passion on to students to use Wikipedia/Wikimedia projects does not work. On the other hand, trying to pull students in by proposing gamified lessons and connecting those to the wider tech and coding sphere proved to spark interest. More precisely, from the standpoint of a student, getting an introduction to Wikidata is boring, while being given SPARQL and playing around with the code is way better. Using virtual maps to identify towns and airports in a virtual treasure hunt with openstreetmaps also received good feedback.
These learnings are now being collected and will directly influence WMCH's proceedings when working with schools. With regular reviews of its strategy, the association also collects feedback from the community and teachers to make sure its plan and actions are heading in the right direction.
Wikipedia's presence in Swiss schools goes way back and went from a "Wikipedia-ban" to a "Wikipedia-acceptance" in most cases, to an "active and sustainable Wikipedia-integration" into the school's curricula in the very ideal case.
In the past, WMCH's role in that regard consisted mostly of connecting volunteers with schools to give introductory classes, when requested. But, with its first steps in educational institutions and first partnerships taking shape, the association found itself increasingly implicated in the technical transformation of schools. With a community that is aware of the importance of modern education and gives it a certain priority within the association’s impact directions (see Community Survey), WMCH strongly felt the need for a more strategic approach and started the development of its Educational Strategy in 2017.
The aim of the strategy is to move away from loose, unconnected workshops to a more coherent and long-term way of learning about Wikimedia projects. Above all, the goal of the strategy is to raise visibility and engagement in educational institutions, allowing for WMCH and Wikimedia projects to become a recognised go-to resource for objective information and learning. Through the use of Wikimedia projects, students not only acquire hard skills such as the flexible use of digital tools or managing information flows, but also so-called soft-skills, which include critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity (see 4 Cs of 21st century learning).
Building an education strategy is not a one-man job, but a participative and iterative process that, as in WMCH's case, takes into account different voices from the community, teachers, students or administration, as well as on ongoing exchange with other chapters and the Foundation. Thanks to input received, WMCH's education strategy is steadily evolving and finds itself right now in its 5th revision that brings improvements to the different projects planned. It must be mentioned that these voices not only shape the strategy, but also directly influence the yearly action plans, which break down the theoretical constructs into realistic executable actions. The role of the strategy therefore also is to make sure that actions taken are aligned and serve the defined overall vision.
Two big chapters of the Strategy are the "Certification Path" and the "Creation of Hives" which go hand in hand. Establishing "Knowledge-Hives" that allow for regular exchange, support and training are of utmost importance for the sustainability of the education program and therefore the success of it in the long-run. The certification path comes as a consequence of continued, life-long Wikimedia training and also plays a big motivational role, as it gives credibility to the program on a national or even international level (more information here: Framework of certification).
One of the first actions includes a signed statement between WMCH and the canton of Ticino for a pilot project that will run in July and August. The project involves teachers who will collaboratively write content on a Moodle-Wiki with the end goal of moving this content to Wikimedia projects. This pilot above all serves to test a group environment and uses free licenses to virtually and collaboratively create content while acquiring specific skills. The pilot project is financed by the 'department of education, culture and sports' of the canton of Ticino. With the group leader being a teacher himself, the aim is also to onboard other teachers to the project and to further raise awareness about Wikimedia projects among teachers.
While WMCH is enthusiastic about the future of education, in which Wikimedia projects definitively should have their place, it is also aware of the fact that there is still a long way to go before being a recognised player and go-to resource in today’s education. Being able to focus on what matters, the ability to scale while remaining flexible to adapt solutions to local Swiss settings, continuous exchange with the different stakeholders, and faster-paced and better-focused in-house technical transformation are threats and opportunities alike. Taking this into account, it is clear that there is need for regular evaluation and iteration that can only happen in the framework of a solid strategy.
Wikimedia CH's community is diverse, rich in languages and cultures. Members of the community come from various backgrounds and countries all over the world. Talking to and exchanging with the community is as instructive as it is enriching. Collecting ideas, hearing the demands and expectations and, by consequence, supporting and empowering the community are of utmost importance to WMCH. Our community is also very well-educated, knowing that in Switzerland access to cultural institutions, education and general knowledge is taken for granted, as is the freedom to freely express one’s opinion. Nevertheless, and even in this very privileged context, inequality does exist concerning gender issues, language minorities and disabled persons alike.
On a national level, WMCH as an association therefore focuses on diminishing and ultimately abolishing inequalities that prevent people from accessing and/or being part of the sum of all knowledge. WMCH and its community strive for an inclusive environment to achieve a more equal representation of the world's history and knowledge. On an international level, this translates into finding its place within the movement to serve the common vision and mission and to connect the association as well as its community to the stakeholders of the wider Wikiverse. WMCH's overarching goal thus 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.
In the first half of 2018, WMCH further engaged its community not only with edit-a-thons and hackathons, but also through active discussions regarding the future of Wikimedia Switzerland as an association. The year started with a friendly gathering for the annual New Year's Brunch in all 3 major language regions, saw the General Assembly, two GLAM on Tour events, as well as many other projects and events taking shape. At the moment, a good part of the community is actively preparing the WikiCon in St. Gallen, which will take place in October and welcomes mainly German-speaking volunteers and Wikipedians from across Europe. At the beginning of the year, WMCH also carried out its annual Community Survey, which enables us to understand how WMCH is perceived by its community. Ideas, concerns and wishes are shared and there's also space to discuss the strategic direction.
Similar to our impact directions of GLAM and Education, we also want to use technology to best serve our Community. As a large part of the communication happens online, WMCH will better investigate the different communication channels at hand and analyse the needs of the community. Innovation therefore goes very much into building tools and a web presence that allows existing members and those who want to become actively engaged to get information in a user-friendly way. WMCH also seeks to address everyday problems that existing members are facing through innovative solutions, without having to re-invent the wheel. It is also important to look into ways of how to build, grow and nurture a healthy community. With these points in mind, it became clear that WMCH will start working on a dedicated Community Strategy.
Reach out and listening to our community, to learn more about needs and wishes, and ultimately increase community satisfaction, retention and engagement
Doing our best to serve and support the community (events, technological needs, scholarships, micro-grants… )
Increase and diversify Wikimedia CH’s community
Connect our community to stakeholders of the Wikiverse for future collaboration and projects
As briefly mentioned, the challenges for WMCH's community include getting new editors on board and especially going beyond a one-time edit to finally "recruit" long-term editors and contributors. Besides finding and retaining contributors, the involvement of the community in various events and projects also remains critical. Through the different languages used and the fact that there is no common "lingua-franca", WMCH very often is talking to quite small groups, making it difficult to set up larger events. Therefore, it is even more important to strengthen the links between the association and existing members and to actively think about innovative ways to engage new people. Having three devoted community liaisons speaking the different languages and being well integrated in the community is a first important step in the right direction. These liaisons work to understand the needs of the community and translate these into solutions that serve our common vision.
Gender diversity is not only an important topic within Switzerland's community, but is one of concern to the entire Wikimedia movement. With a lack of women editors there is also tremendous catching up to do when it comes to the representation of women in Wikipedia content.
Different international and Swiss-based groups have formed to fill the gender gap on Wikipedia. Movements such as 'Art + Feminism', 'Love Machine', 'Women in Red', 'Who writes his_tory?' or 'Les sans pagEs' stand behind many events that took shape in these past years and months. More specifically, over the first half of 2018, writing workshops, presentations and Wikipedia introductory classes were held across Switzerland.
Every year the collectives of Art + Feminism team up to publish articles regarding women artists on Wikipedia. Under this framework and with different partners, a series of events was organised in Geneva between March 3 to 8. With the overall aim of making inequalities visible, the thematic focus lay on Charlotte Salomon, Shamsia Hassani, clothing standards and witches. In addition to different edit-a-thons, a guided exhibition tour and a roundtable were on the agenda. The Library of Art and History also held an edit-a-thon on March 2, while another one was held by the collective Love Machine in Lausanne on March 10. Love Machine also reached over the 'Röstigraben,' and collaborated with the collective ‘Who writes his_tory?’, to organize edit-a-thons in Basel at the end of March. ‘Who writes his_tory?’ also met again at the beginning of June at the Zurich University of Arts.
The Cascade Condenser (short: Kasko) is a self-governing cultural institution for contemporary art in Basel. The group has the goal of improving the visibility of female artists by putting their biographies in Wikipedia. Individual members of this group have already participated in workshops in the past and are now able to lead such workshops for newbies. Nevertheless, they are always very happy if a member of the WMCH team is there to answer any questions and help with larger groups.
Kasko is an ideal place, with space for artistic development and for the creative realization of existing performances of the artists in new articles. Appropriate literature is always available, as there is an art library on the premises. WMCH is looking forward to the continuation of this project next year.
Switzerland is in the special position of being a country with four officially-spoken languages. These languages go hand in hand with cultural differences and are tied to well-defined geographical regions. When talking for instance about the 'Röstigraben', Swiss people are addressing the cultural and language 'border' between the French and German-speaking parts of Switzerland. Due to the lack of a lingua-franca, this language diversity sometimes complicates tasks such as offline meet-ups and discussions, or simply makes scaling more difficult. But it also leads to a richness that is inspiring and facilitates creating cross-border ties within the community and same-language chapters.
At the moment there is not a single main language of contribution for Swiss Wikipedians. Even German, spoken by more than 60% of the population, has a local linguistic version that is under the Alemannic German Wikipedia. Being in this special situation, Wikimedia CH pays close attention to serve its different language communities and to regroup them as often as possible with the aim of exchange and mutual learning and understanding. What was missing until now is a clear plan about how to best support our national communities and how to extend cross-border activities and strengthen ties with close chapters. Language diversity thus will be an important part of the Community Strategy that will be kicked off in the 2nd half of 2018.
In this case, Wikimedia CH is closely following the recent features of Wikidata and specifically the Lexicographical data which is very interesting for the Swiss context.
The first half of 2018 also came with a few setbacks, such as the project concerning Natural Language Processing (NLP) to support the review of texts in Wikisource and extract lexemes. Wikimedia CH considered accessing Federal funds for research and innovation. But the lesson learned is that in order to receive funds, an entity would have to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce which is not mandatory for non-profit associations. In this case, Wikimedia CH is looking into processing this registration and evaluating the obligations for a not-for-profit association in case of a registration.
Due to a lack of time, and as priority was given to other projects, such as WMCH's internal technical transformation process, WMCH was not part of this year's Celtic Knot Conference dedicated to minority languages. With Retho-Romansh as one of Switzerland's four officially recognised languages, spoken by only 0.6% of its population, the topic of language diversity is of importance to WMCH. Accordingly, WMCH is still working with Ladin languages and is defining how to proceed after the significant uploads of past years.
Currently participants to the project are evaluating if it is possible to upload a dictionary of Ladin languages to Wikisource and to Wikidata, following recently-added features which now allow it to process lexemes. Even though these languages are rooted in their very limited local context and sometimes are of little interest to the general community, WMCH thinks that knowledge equity also is based on the inclusion of minority languages.
Accordingly, the incubation of the Ladin Wikipedia was started by the local community of volunteers.
WMCH not only strives for equality but also lays focus on the inclusiveness of Wikimedia projects. Especially when using Wikipedia at school, it is important to stress gender equality, language diversity and to also consider people with disabilities (see ‘a voice to the visual impaired’ in the Education section). With Albinit, an international association for people with albinism, WMCH has found a partner to test and improve the accessibility of Wikimedia projects for visually impaired people.
A first batch of tests was carried out to evaluate the readability of information on Wikimedia projects. At large, these tests showed that in using screen-readers or adjusting settings, information on Wikipedia and its sister projects was well accessible to visually impaired people. However, accessibility of Wikimedia projects doesn't stop at allowing people to consume information. WMCH thinks that it is important to shift the view from 'passive consumers' to 'active players' and that is where this new project jumps in.
Through the collaboration with Albinit, WMCH wants to test the accessibility of Wikimedia projects in terms of contribution. The aim is to find out whether visually impaired people will face difficulties when writing, modifying, translating, publishing or uploading content. Accessibility thus means allowing people with disabilities to retrieve the same information as everyone else, to gain the same benefits and to be able to actively share in the sum of all knowledge.
The structure for the second series of tests, which should be carried out in the next 6 months, remains unchanged. Wikimedia projects will initially be suggested to students with disabilities, in this way it is possible to introduce them in a closed and supervised environment, to install a feedback circle and to verify the difficulties they will encounter in writing articles about "albino" artists.
WMCH's General Assembly took place on Saturday, March 24 at the Pädagogische Hochschule Bern. With a little more than 20 participants, including board members and WMCH staff, the schedule was tight. Starting as early as 9 a.m. the activity reports, budgetary items, motions and bylaws were discussed, while the election of the new board was carried out. The atmosphere was in general a productive and friendly one. Only the board-suggested bylaw changes were not discussed to the extent necessary to take a decision about whether to adopt or reject them, which was mainly due to a lack of time. The board welcomes two new members with Rama and Matthias Heck, who were already tightly involved in WMCH's activities. With those new members and with Bagawathram Maheswaran as the new and active president of the board, things are moving forward.
The afternoon program was marked by two workshops, which were open to the public and targeted university professors and students. The topics chosen were therefore geared towards educational topics:
WikiToLearn. From open knowledge to collaborative textbooks.
From consumers to active players. Technology in the classroom.
Call for Projects and microgrant
Once a year, Wikimedia CH tries to gather its community all over Switzerland to talk about the future of the association, which way to go and which actions to take. This year's Idea Workshop was planned to take place at the end of May. WMCH aimed for local meet-ups in order to facilitate exchange with community members in their respective languages. Due to a lack of participation, the workshops did not take place, so WMCH started a 'Call for projects'. On the dedicated Meta page, members can now submit projects and ideas that will directly influence WMCH's annual plan and, to some extent, its strategic direction.
The fact that not enough community members were available to join for the in-person workshop shows the need for better communication by WMCH beforehand, as well as a general strategy and guidelines about how to successfully engage with members of the community. This will be part of the discussion about the 'Community Strategy' that will be kicked-off during the staff meeting on August 9.
Wikimedia CH's community gathers regularly in locally organised face-to-face meet ups and reunions. These take various forms and can range from a picnic to a writing workshop to a museum tour. Community members use these friendly meetings to contribute to Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata etc., to exchange about projects, learn new things and to actually get to know the people behind the pseudonyms. The examples below are not exhaustive but give an idea about the meetings that happen throughout the year.
2018 started with the New Year's Brunch that was organised in all three major language regions and served to reflect about the year gone by and to have an active start into the new year. In Geneva, for instance, the lunch was followed by a Commons Upload Party at the University of Geneva. In Chiasso, the event was organized with the group of volunteers in charge of the Italian Wikicon 2018.
In the German-speaking part, members of the community met again in February. 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'. In April, the community reunited again on the occasion of a quite extraordinary visit to the museum of the 'pipe and walking stick factory' in Kleinlützel in the canton of Solothurn.
Participants learned about the history of pipes and walking sticks in Switzerland and had the occasion to follow in live the production of a pipe and walking stick. The impressions were recorded in text and pictures on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons.
In the French-speaking part, different workshops took place during the month of March during the course of the 'Art + Feminism' campaign and the 'Mois de la Contribution'. In April, people met for the 'WikiNeocomensia' project at the University of Neuchâtel, where introductory Wikipedia classes took place (see WikiNeoComensia's section). At the beginning of April, community members passionate about photography had the opportunity to visit the 'Museum of Science History' in Geneva to depict exhibits of the museum in order to upload these to Wikimedia Commons. Another highlight was GLAM on Tour @MAMCO in June (see the related section).
In the Italian-speaking area, a local group of Insubria was established and had their first meeting on April 27. Since then, the group regularly organises events and meetups to collaborate on transnational projects.
Last but not least, the group of Wikidata Zurich, described in the Education section, has regular meet-ups and several planned activities for 2018.
For the first time and in cooperation with Service Civil International, WMCH conducted the event Wikimedia for Peace. At an old, remote farm building situated on Mont Soleil (Swiss Jura Mountains) and in the middle of deep snow, 11 young participants from all over the world met to discover writing Wikipedia articles together. There also were lessons on how to connect media (pictures) and the WikiData database. In one week, 75 new articles were published in German, Greek, English, Vietnamese, Azerbaijan, Vietnamese, Ukrainian, Dutch, Spanish, Turkish, Italian and Serbo-Croat. These were mostly translations of existing articles, in addition a new Dutch article was written and eight existing articles significantly improved.
The participants lived and cooked together. Due to heavy snow fall, expeditions were possible only on one day. All participants were highly motivated and went home with deep impressions and awareness to have done a lot for the community, but also a lot for themselves.
Learning: True to the motto "If I cannot do it myself, I will seek help and/or delegate," this workshop worked well. The young participants were highly motivated and what had already worked in former Wiki4Peace camps in Germany and Austria also worked well here in Switzerland. Unfortunately, and as was the case before, only very few continued editing after the camp by using their account again. However, the results of the camp are astounding, and perhaps some of the participants will come back to us in a few years. In any case, Switzerland will happily carry out Wiki4Peace camps again in the future.
The Wiki Alpenforum (WAF) is a group of German, Austrian, Italian and Swiss Wikipedians/Wikimedians dedicated to creating content in relation to the Alps on different Wikimedia projects. With their common geographical and cultural-spatial background, they create and improve content about the alpine flora and fauna, the history of transport over the alps, geology, mining, mountaineering, cuisine and alpine culture, to name a few.
From June 1 to 3, Wikimedia CH had the pleasure to invite participants of Wiki Alpenforum to the first multi-day event in Bern. The varied program focused on sociology and nature and included a tour of the parliament, writing workshops, a discussion about the strategy of the WAF on how to proceed with different languages and regions, a visit of the BKW-Museum, a guided tour of the hydroelectric power station in Mühleberg and last but not least, a visit of the Alpine-Museum. A total of 15 participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland created new articles, improved existing ones and uploaded hundreds of photos to Wikimedia Commons.
Wikimedia CH is looking forward to co-organising the German WikiConvention in St. Gallen. From October 5 to 7, Wikipedians and Wikimedians from the German speaking chapters will be welcomed at the Kantonsschule am Burggraben to learn and exchange about Free Knowledge. Part of the Convention will be open to the public, such as the "Forum des Freien Wissens."
In addition to hosting the German WikiCon in Switzerland, WMCH is also looking forward to again supporting the WikiConventions from our neighbouring chapters Italy and France.
The 2nd edition of the Italian WikiCon will take place from November 16 to 18 in Como. Italian Wikipedians and Wikimedians will meet at the University of Insubria of Como and Wikimedia Switzerland will support the event together with Wikimedia Italy. Due to the proximity of this year's location to the Swiss border, WMCH considers that the event will also generate relevant impact in Switzerland.
The 3rd edition of the French WikiCon will take place from October 5 to 7 in Grenoble. Unfortunately, this date coincides with the German WikiCon in St. Gallen. But, with Grenoble being not that far from the Swiss border, the event will certainly see the participation of Switzerland's French-speaking community members as well. In any case, French-speaking Wikipedians and Wikimedians will gather in the museum of Grenoble to exchange about themes related to Africa, editing and community, education and learning, technical belonging as well as Wikimedia and close projects, among others.
WMCH’s long-standing support to photography resulted in a high amount of material submitted to Commons. Thanks to a good coverage of natural sites and monuments, WMCH decided to favour quality over quantity. This decision was also facilitated by the observation that in Switzerland, contributors to Commons are mostly specialised in the production of photos and are to a large extent semi-professional photographers and/or people passionate about photography. These contributors do also need specific and targeted support, which is provided through help with press accreditations, micro-grants accessible to every photographer, additional budget for very active and high quality photographers, participation in photo contests and training classes.
The photographers within WMCH's community are very independent and refer to the association only in case they have specific requests. This is also why WMCH has a budget allocated to photography and is therefore able to help buy photo equipment for the most active users, who in exchange upload photos using the category "Supported by WMCH". In 2018, it was planned to also organise training and better support for specific projects, however this has not yet been done and might come with participation in the Wiki Loves Monuments contest.
Wiki Loves Monuments
Wikimedia Commons is among the most popular Wikimedia projects in Switzerland. Thanks to various Wiki Loves X contests, coverage of Swiss natural parks, monuments etc. is way above 90%, allowing WMCH to now strive for quality rather than quantity of pictures uploaded. After participation in Wiki Loves Earth 2017, this year WMCH will be part of Wiki Loves Monuments. The focus therefore will lay on cultural heritage monuments ranging from individual buildings such as museums to entire historic city centres.
A first call to action was done during the International Museums Day. Photographers or contributors to Wikimedia Commons who decided to participate in the International Museums Day were reminded that pictures taken that day could be submitted during the Wiki Loves Monuments contest in September. WMCH is looking forward to the contest and the wonderful pictures that will be submitted.
The aim in introducing 'Digital Innovation' to the impact direction of 'Community' is to provide support to community activities and to WMCH activities that address the community. It also serves to identify contributors and in particular users interested in specific topics to better cater to their needs and ultimately increase the online community.
During the Idea Workshop in 2017, members of the community pointed out that the linguistic diversity is a major challenge still and needs to be overcome in order to increase the involvement of members during offline meetings. This is why WMCH is also looking into technical and innovative solutions that might help overcome the language barrier. Furthermore, the development of NLP to support the Wikisource community is another topic that falls under the theme of digital innovation. For the later, WMCH is looking into the possibility of receiving funds from the Confederation. Here some barriers are still to be surmounted, which needs more time than initially thought. WMCH needs to better plan or at least plan time to tackle these kinds of potential issues.
Last but not least, digital innovation is also a priority when introducing Wikimedia projects to schools and GLAM alike and when building a tech community that reaches across all activities of WMCH and its members. This is therefore another point to be addressed.
WMCH's community remains centre stage and even though all 4 projects within the impact direction of Community have leapt forward, there is still tremendous room for improvement when it comes to community building and a more strategic approach, two points that WMCH will make a start on by August this year.
When it comes to diversifying communities, significant progress has been made. Awareness within WMCH for the different groups has become greater, while we’ve made great efforts to serve all groups. Thanks to several very active community members, the gender gap issue especially sparked interest among different groups and media. And, thanks to several thematic workshops (e.g. artists, witches...) held all over Switzerland, women are becoming continuously better represented on Wikimedia projects.
Concerning people with visual impairments, the initial project in collaboration with Simone Mignami came to a halt, but WMCH found a new partner in Albinit, an association for people with albinism. Through this new partnership, we carried out first tests to learn more about the accessibility of Wikimedia projects and further tests are to come.
In regard to our language communities, we are still struggling when it comes to organising meetups that involve people from different language regions. The use of English or 3-4 different languages within one meeting is unloved and over-complicated as constant translation is needed, making communication tedious. WMCH therefore opted for more local meetups with representatives of the association, who then share the outcomes and do the consolidation work. We will continue to look into alternative approaches to hopefully come up with new solutions.
Through the Community Survey, different local workshops, the support of thematic groups (WikiAlpenforum, etc.) and its three dedicated Community Liaisons, WMCH did further engage with and support its community. Wikidata and Wiki Loves contests remain very popular and are projects that cross language borders, thus are furthered accordingly. WMCH chose to be part of Wiki Loves Monuments 2018 and is looking forward to the contest. What is more, WMCH has different communication channels at hand and uses them frequently to inform its community and to ask for feedback. What is still needed here is a consolidation and review of what has been done, what went well and what did not. This will be part of the strategic directions, which will be kicked-off in September.
In all matters of Digital Innovation, WMCH still is looking into NLP to better support the Wikisource community. The current situation and framework conditions tied to the project are outlined in the specific section of this report. Creating tech communities related to Wikidata has also started, but it is too early yet to share first experiences or learnings. WMCH also has to look into the tools and metrics that would support Community Liaisons in their work, allowing to better target contributors interested in specific topics and ultimately help build and increase the online community.
In summary, many projects have been kicked off and WMCH is looking forward to sharing first results and learnings in our Impact Report 2018.
Communication with and engagement of the community
Wikimedia CH, like most of the Wikimedia chapters and user groups around the world, would not exist without the community of authors and contributors, who were the first ambassadors of Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects in their national settings. Chapters, no matter their size, still and always will rely on volunteers and volunteer work. For WMCH, it is therefore of utmost importance to support its community and to regularly exchange with and encourage members to speak up.
This also means that communication has to happen both ways and that a chapter needs to find a way and even provide tools to facilitate communication with different members of its community. In WMCH's case, different channels are used to inform and collect feedback, but these have never been analysed in detail or been put in the context of a Communications Strategy. The status quo of WMCH's communication comprises communication via email (lists, newsletters or one-to-one emails), the meta community pages, the members wiki and social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. But, even with a multitude of channels at hand, WMCH discovered that there still is uncertainty within its team of how to reach whom, how to best motivate community members to actively take part in discussions, convey the feeling of belonging and let people know that every opinion counts and is taken seriously.
This is why for the 2nd half of 2018, communication will be a major point that will get tackled from different angles. To start with, a common calendar will be put in place by beginning of July. The calendar is open to members of the community and staff alike and serves to better plan workshops and avoid overlapping that has happened in the past.
On a more strategic level, Community Liaisons will meet on August 9 to kick-off the creation of a Community Strategy, which will become a central piece for the association and will, among other things, look into community building and communication. While one could say that WMCH could have started such a process earlier, given the importance of the strategy, WMCH wanted to accumulate experience in drafting other strategies first and put in place Community Liaisons who are well connected in the different language communities and therefore cover the whole of Switzerland.
What is more, the Communication Managers of WMCH will start work on a more general Communications Strategy that will cover communication and exchange with the association’s different stakeholders and its community. Here the focus will also lay on identifying different groups, their expectations and ways of communicating. Social Media will also be discussed in detail through a separate workshop, which should take place in the fall. It is planned to invite an external Social Media expert to learn about engaging communities online.
Proceeding with its strategic development, WMCH is aware that besides the regular exchange with its community and given the virtual structure of the chapter, it will be equally important that staff members, who are involved in the Community as well as the Communications strategy development, regularly meet in person to exchange, align and learn from each other. And, of course, seek to learn from experiences within the wider movement and other chapters.
The starting point
In Switzerland, Wikimedia Commons has long been among the most popular Wikimedia projects after Wikipedia. With its multi-lingual background, WMCH noticed that contributions to Commons or even Wikidata are much less impacted by language barriers and thus are projects that easily reunite users from different language regions. In particular, the WikiLoves contests are attractive to people passionate about photography as they can showcase their work, compete and eventually win a prize, all while helping to visually record and thus preserve Swiss heritage.
As a result, WMCH has participated to several WikiLoves contests in the past. The participation in these contests led to a high coverage of Swiss natural parks and monuments. More precisely, over five years, more than 18'700 photos related to Swiss Cultural Heritage and more than 2 million pictures world-wide were uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, leading to a 98% coverage of Swiss monuments and natural sites.
The decision for quality over quantity
However, with the popularity of Wikimedia Commons and the millions of amateur smart phone photographers, the quality of images uploaded was often unsatisfactory. Wikimedia CH therefore made efforts to identify steadily active and (semi-)professional photographers, who in general contributed high quality work. With the coverage of Swiss heritage that high and a continuous inflow of pictures on Commons, Wikimedia CH made the decision to start giving more priority to high quality instead of high quantity contributions. This ultimately translated into a more targeted support of these few, but very specialised and active photographers. Budget allocated to support photography therefore goes into photo contests, specific projects about identified/relevant topics, trainings and the purchase of photographic equipment or press accreditations for selected photographers.
The risks and opportunities
WMCH is well aware that relying on few photographers can also pose a risk, as it needs constant communication and motivation for these photographers to continue contributing. Additionally, it can also quickly and negatively influence the metrics. Therefore, it is important to Wikimedia CH to attract new photographers willing to upload their work to Commons, while continuing to focus on quality contributors. On the other hand, being able to focus on few, but active photographers facilitates communication and spares WMCH's resources in terms of time and staff allocated to this project. Also, and with a probably biased point of view, contributions during the last Wiki Loves contests did increase in quality and do indeed better showcase Switzerland's heritage.
To win new photographers and to further stress the quality of images, WMCH decided to switch contests this year and will participate in Wiki Loves Monuments instead of Wiki Loves Earth. Even though WMCH is very happy about the results that Wiki Loves Earth 2017 produced, landscapes do in general attract more and less professionalised photographers. As WMCH hasn’t been part of Wiki Loves Monuments for the last 4 years, there is space for improvement and, above all, time for refreshment when it comes to the presence of Swiss monuments on Wikimedia Commons. Depending on the results of participation, we will look at making necessary adjustments to this decision in coming years. In any case, we are looking forward to the contribution of Switzerland's community to Wiki Loves Monuments 2018.
In addition to the three impact directions, which are outlined above and are the pillars of WMCH's 2017-2020 strategy, Wikimedia CH summarised activities tied to outreach and public relations on a local and global level under the theme of 'International and National (Public) Relations'. The aim is to align efforts in this area to WMCH's overall strategy, allowing for a more structured approach and greater impact. 'International and National (Public) Relations' bears great potential for raising awareness for WMCH as an association, as well as to establish and strengthen its position as opinion-leader in the field of open and free knowledge and topics tied to it.
Being able to stand up for free knowledge and build a strong, viable organisation able to do so also means finding strong allies. Switzerland, as a home to many NGOs, offers opportunities to find these like-minded associations willing to collaborate. It goes without saying that WMCH cannot do this alone and therefore actively seeks to reach out and team up with other chapters and the Foundation.
On a European level WMCH finds it important to better collaborate with other European chapters and our representatives at Brussels to influence policy-making and ensure a future in which Wikimedia projects still are to be used freely by everyone and remain the lampposts of an open, safe and fair Internet.
On a national level, it is clear that Switzerland depends strongly on the European context and decisions. Thus, WMCH is working towards being a recognised partner and reference when it comes to policy-making and discussions regarding the future of the Internet in Switzerland.
Wikimedia CH is still at the beginning of becoming a renowned entity and establishing sustainable partnerships in the socio-economic, cultural and educational sectors. However, first actions have been put in place and promising new ties established, be it a first contact and tentative first talks about possible collaboration at the United Nations, a concrete and upcoming joint event with the Olympic Studies Centre or past networking events at the MAMCO in Geneva or the Vögele Kultur Zentrum in Pfäffikon, WMCH's presence at a parliamentarian dinner under the patronage of Parldigi (the parliamentarian group for digital sustainability), or the association's official partnership with the Swiss Year of Cultural Heritage. Step-by-step, Wikimedia CH is creating new partnerships and forging its reputation as beholder of a fair, safe and open Internet. With the Wikipedia brand as a door opener, newly crafted supporting material and first experiences in high-level events, WMCH is looking forward to follow-up on these first contacts and gaining momentum.
Sustainably establish Wikimedia as a top copyright expert in Europe and engage more volunteers in public policy work to better influence policy making 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
Become a renowned, strong partner and reference for questions concerning Swiss copyright, free knowledge and the future of the Internet
Continue collaborating with like-minded associations to leverage joint efforts in terms of outreach and public influence
Things move forward quickly and WMCH as an association is aware of the fact that this is the first year with concrete actions happening. This also implies that at the moment, WMCH is building the basis to build upon in the future. It is therefore even more important to build in a mindful way in order for the basis to serve as a solid starting point for sustainable, long-term partnerships. WMCH also tries not to disperse its efforts into a multitude of loose new connections but instead aims to channel and concentrate. In that regard, the association also needs to regularly re-evaluate efforts and connections made, to ensure these go in the right direction and serve Wikimedia CH's strategy.
EU Outreach / Free Knowledge Advocacy Group (FKAGEU)
In the first half of 2018, the Free Knowledge Advocacy Group EU was very busy with the upcoming vote on the European Copyright Reform that also posed and still might pose a threat to free knowledge projects such as Wikipedia. It was also again part of the 5th edition of the Big Fat Brussels Meeting.
WMCH continuously exchanges with representatives at Brussels to learn about activities concerning the Copyright discussions on a European level and 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. With Switzerland itself in the process of a Copyright reform, this exchange is currently even more important to WMCH, who wishes to establish itself as an expert of Copyright and the future of the Internet in Switzerland. An important topic raised was the "Public Domain Safeguard" which WMCH was able to propose to Swiss lawmakers with a view to integrate a relevant paragraph into the current text.
The European and Swiss copyright reform: Open Hearing Bern
The day started with a meeting and open exchange between WMCH, Dimitar, a manager of Parldigi (the parliamentarian group for digital sustainability) and four National Councillors who are also part of Parldigi. Dimitar was then part of the Open Hearing that gathered more than 30 people in the Parliament.
The input speech given by Catherine Chammartin, Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property, shed light on the
origins and content of the proposed law. At the subsequent discussion, Anna Mäder-Garamvölgyi (President SUISSIMAGE) and Lorenz Haas (Managing Director IFPI Switzerland) advocated for the interests of management companies, Andreas von Gunten (entrepreneur and member of Digital Allmend) and Dimitar Dimitrov (EU Policy Director Wikimedia) for the demands of digital sustainability. Dimitar also stressed the importance of safeguarding public domain and protecting projects such as Wikipedia. The closing words were then given by Thomas Weibel, one of the above mentioned National Councillors, who happened to also be part of the Friendraising Event at the Vögele Kultur Zentrum, at the beginning of June.
According to feedback from the National Councillors present, the hearing was very valuable. The debate around the copyright reform will be continued in autumn or winter in the National Council. Furthermore, Parldigi with Dimitar and a National Councillor, wants to table a motion for bringing "Safeguard the Public Domain" into the debate.
Being located in Switzerland, home to many international NGO's, Wikimedia CH seeks to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing ones in order to collaborate and create higher impact. The contact with the Olympic Committee has been continuously furthered and ties have also been established with the United Nations in Geneva (around knowledge management) and the WIPO.
A first active outreach to the United Nations in Geneva took place in late spring. WMCH's executive director and a board member working towards a better connection of WMCH within the international NGO scene in Geneva, went to the UN headquarters to introduce themselves and find connecting points for future collaboration. A first loose discussion brought up the topic of a knowledge management platform for global impact and outreach, something that the UN needs and for which Wikimedia could potentially be a competent partner to put in place. This topic of course needs a follow-up discussion and more input to evaluate its feasibility and impact for WMCH.
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 'Friend-raising' event.
International Olympic Committee
After a first contact with the IOC last year, the partnership moved to the next level in 2018. WMCH is very much looking forward to a first joint event. On September 13, the Olympic Studies Centre (OSC, part of IOC) and WMCH will invite a select group of partners, donors, stakeholders to a common 'Friend-raising' 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 will not only learn about the OSC and WMCH, but also be part of a private guided tour of the OSC’s most precious and normally inaccessible archival documents.
Collaboration with wider Wikiverse: WMF & chapters
Wiki Conference Berlin
From April 20 to 22, WMCH was part of the Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. Staff used its time to participate in the Movement Strategy track as well as attend speeches and workshops to learn from and exchange about experiences from other chapters. In addition to the official program, many side meetings took place with the aim of exchanging about strategy, specific projects and further collaboration. Very instructive meetings took place with WMDE and served to discuss the strategic directions in general, to share experiences from fundraising and exchange about technical innovation within the chapter, such as, for example, a new website and implementation of a CRM.
The day before the official kick-off of the conference, communication managers from several chapters met in the offices of WMDE to learn about new projects and successes related to external and internal communication across the different chapters and discuss challenges the movement is facing. The aim was also to develop more joint and cross chapter projects in the future, something everyone was very enthusiastic about.
For Wikimedia CH, another objective of the WMCon was to create starting points for further and tighter collaboration with close chapters like WMIT and WMFR. Following these first meetings during the Wikimedia Conference, WMCH visited WMFR and WMIT to continue the discussions started in Berlin. WMCH will also again financially support the Wiki Conventions of WMFR and WMIT and provide scholarships to community members who wish to participate in these events.
This year's highlight though will certainly be the German WikiCon that is taking place for the first time in Switzerland. Several Community members all over Switzerland are currently involved in the organisation of the event and therefore keep close ties to different staff members of WMDE and WMCH.
Regular exchange and collaboration between the German-speaking chapters has been happening for quite some time, however it was often related to community events. What is changing in 2018 and hopefully beyond is how the chapters as a whole might better work together in order to join forces and create greater impact. In that regard, regular calls between WMDE, WMAT and WMCH are taking place to exchange about ongoing projects and explore the possibility of doing common projects. A good example will be the joint GLAM presentation at this year's German-speaking WikiCon in St. Gallen.
Finally, WMCH is also looking into various possibilities to partner with WMDE on fundraising and technical topics.
Visiting WMIT & WMFR
Following first meetings with peers from Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia Italy and Wikimedia France during the WikiConference in Berlin, the team of WMCH visited for the first time the teams of WMFR and WMIT in their respective headquarters.
In May, the WMCH team went to Paris to meet WMFR and learn more about successful projects and events across the border. After a common meeting to talk about general challenges, opportunities and learnings, the teams then split to talk about more concrete plans and actions in the different sections of Education, GLAM, HR, Communications and Community. Many common projects were identified and both organisations shared a lot of learning materials and templates with each other. Following this successful and very motivating meeting, team members of WMFR also visited the GLAM on Tour event in Geneva to find out more about the organisation and running of such an event and to evaluate if this format could be of interest to the French community as well.
At the beginning of June, it was time to travel to Milan to meet with staff from WMIT. Team members exchanged about general projects, challenges and best practices and also went into more detailed discussions when meeting face-to-face with their counterparts of GLAM, Education and Community. Discussions ranged from the organisation of common events to the development of dedicated strategies to community involvement and engagement, not forgetting the possibility to collaborate in projects such as Open Street Map. Thanks to the Italian-speaking Community in Switzerland and the engagement of our Community liaison and Education program manager, ties to the Italian community have always been strong and are continuing to strengthen through specific cross-border collaborations.
In the light of the Movement Strategy, Executive Directors of Wikimedia chapters around the globe began meeting more often to discuss and help shape Wikimedia's Movement Strategy 2030. With voices of the different chapters and communities in one room and the global vision in mind, talks are very instructive. Participants not only bring their experiences and local context to the group, but also take plenty of information with them back home. Feedback during the meetings ranged from being grateful for having such a place to share and learn, to feeling useful to the movement, to gaining confidence for the work accomplished on a local level.
In the first half of 2018, EDs met three times. In the first trimester, a meeting was held in Utrecht and clearly focused on the Movement Strategy, as did the discussion in Berlin during the WikiCon, which - thanks to the Movement Strategy Track and lots of face-to-face discussions - also brought new inputs to the group. Unfortunately, WMCH could not be present in Utrecht as the meetings coincided with the parliamentarian dinner, which WMCH could not miss, being now an official partner of these events.
At the end of June, EDs met again in Vienna. During this two-day meeting, the focus first lay on shaping the future vision of the ED-group itself. On the 2nd day, in presence of WMF staff, many points related to the Movement Strategy Process got clarified and a dive into the Working Groups took place. The idea behind the Working Group session was to get an update about the 'Status Quo' concerning the groups and to critically examine them in order to being able to proceed in the right direction. With input from the team behind the Strategy, WMF staff and Catherine, many questions were answered, and people seemed to be looking forward to further shaping the strategy through their participation in the working groups over the next 9 months.
Wikimedia CH aims to become a recognised partner in the field of open knowledge, open data and open education, among others. In short, it strives for a more open and knowledgeable Swiss society. In Switzerland, as in the European Union, a copyright reform is on its way. WMCH sees a need for being part of the discussion and decision to guarantee a safe and fair future of the Internet. In that regard, existing ties to Parldigi and collaborations with different stakeholders (outlined in the next section) have been strengthened.
Parldigi and DINAcon
By the end of 2017, WMCH officially became a partner of Parldigi, the parliamentarian group for digital sustainability. The aim of this partnership is to become part of the ongoing discussions about Swiss copyright and the future of the Swiss internet, which of course heavily depends on the global and European context. In the first half of 2018, some staff members went to the parliamentarian dinner in Berne to get to know other partners of the association and to raise awareness for WMCH. As a result, a member of the National Council and co-chairmanship of the group, as well as the management of Parldigi, took part in our first 'Friend-raising' event at the Vögele Kulturzentrum in June.
Another highlight this year will be the DINAcon, the conference for digital sustainability organised by Parldigi. One of the two keynotes will be given by Catherine Maher, while WMCH staff members will lead a session about "Wikipedia and Wikidata at school: advantages and disadvantages." The conference is also a great opportunity to reach out to known and yet unknown like-minded partners.
In a first attempt to establish new ties, reach out to and potentially motivate new donors, WMCH started to plan and to organise so-called 'Friend-raising' events. WMCH and partners invite well-connected people and organisations to learn more about both the hosting institutions as well as WMCH. Whereas networking and awareness-raising are the main aims and purposes of these events, permitting an exclusive insight into the hosting institution is also part of the evening.
Vögele Kultur Zentrum: The first event of this kind took place on June 7 at the Vögele Kultur Zentrum in Pfäffikon. The centre features multidisciplinary exhibitions on socially-relevant topics on the basis of contemporary art, media exhibits, scientific contributions and everyday culture. With roughly 20 people attending, the evening started with a welcome message by a member of the National Council and a short introduction of the Vögele Kultur Zentrum by Monica Vögele herself and of Wikimedia CH by Jenny Ebermann. Attendees then got special insights into the centre’s new exhibition on the topic of 'self-optimisation' before having a chance to network and get to know each other during an aperitif in this unique setting.
MAMCO: After the first success in Pfäffikon, the concept of the 'Friend-raising' event was applied again in Geneva on June 25. In collaboration with the MAMCO, Switzerland’s biggest museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, more than 20 people gathered to learn about the MAMCO and WMCH, and to attend a special, guided tour led by Lionel Bovier, Director of the MAMCO, of the centre’s exhibition 'Retrospective,' devoted to Rasheed Araeen. The evening concluded with an aperitif and networking event, where people had the chance to connect to M. Bovier, and Jenny Ebermann, ED of WMCH. As with the first event, feedback received was excellent and people enjoyed the evening. Wikimedia CH is looking forward to the next such event at the Olympic Studies Centre on September 13, which covers the region around Lausanne (in the French-speaking part of Switzerland) and above all, helps strengthening the existing ties between the IOC and WMCH.
ATED is the organisation behind many events that WMCH is part of, such as Devoxx4kids. In the first semester 2018, WMCH continued its collaboration with ATED and supported the organisation financially. With WMCH’s first successful participation at the DINAcon in Bern last year, WMCH is looking forward to the upcoming edition in October 2018, where Catherine Maher will give one of the two keynote speeches. What is more, Wikimedia CH will give a presentation about Wikipedia in schools. Opendata.ch, another local partner of WMCH, will also be present at the Conference. We are looking forward to meeting our partners personally during this event, as time constraints have kept us from actively engaging with Opendata.ch over the last 6 months.
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 program. WMCH focuses its support on capacity building (mostly fundraising), and both associations regularly exchange communications materials and opportunities.
Kiwix’ global user base, meaning individuals but also organisations around the world, which are using Kiwix for their own purpose, e.g. the Orange Foundation in West Africa or the Yachay Tech University in Ecuador, is estimated to around 3 million people across all platforms. There have been no new custom apps or content releases so far this year, but Kiwix is currently working on an Italian version of the Wikimed app.
Migros Kulturprozent and Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute (GDI)
The Migros Kulturprozent (translated: Migros Culture-Percentage) is a voluntary commitment of Migros (Switzerland’s largest retail company) to the areas of culture, society, education, leisure and business. Through its institutions, projects and activities, it gives broad access to cultural and social services to the general public. The idea behind this initiative goes back to Migros founder Gottlieb Duttweiler. The Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, Switzerland’s oldest Think Tank, is part of Migros Kulturprozent.
Thanks to the collaboration between Migros Kulturprozent and WMCH, the GLAM on Tour event at the Migros Archive in Zurich was made possible. In addition, staff member and long-term Wikipedian Lantus participated in a new study carried out by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. The study dealt with the topic of the future of volunteerism and its title is "The new volunteers. The future of civil society participation." In this study, Wikipedia is cited as one of the new volunteer engagements: flexible, self-driven and digital. Press summarised the study accordingly with "Wikipedia instead of male choir."
Looking back at the proposal, WMCH used the first half of 2018 to continue building a strong, viable organisation. Many new contacts have been made and existing ones strengthened.
On a national level, being an official partner of Parldigi allowed WMCH to join policy talks concerning the upcoming Swiss copyright reform. As a result, Dimitar Parvanov Dimitrov shared experiences from the European point of view and was able to make a case for open domain and free knowledge projects during an Open Hearing at the Swiss Parliament. WMCH was also invited to a parliamentarian dinner to get to know other members of Parldigi. Furthermore, a National Council and member of Parldigi was present at WMCH's networking event at the Vögele Kultur Zentrum. Last but not least, we are looking forward to welcoming Catherine Maher as keynote speaker at the DINAcon, the annual conference on digital sustainability organised by Parldigi.
WMCH also began better using its geographic proximity to international bodies and organisations. First actions included a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva and an upcoming event at the Olympic Studies Centre in Lausanne. These ties are still very new and need to be followed up closely.
As part of a wider movement that is currently going through a transformative process itself, WMCH also engaged more in cross-chapter activities and collaborations within the movement, with the aim of better exchange, mutual learning and creating synergies. WMCH therefore participated at the WikiConference Berlin, was part of regular ED-meetups, went to Paris and Milan to visit and exchange with its neighbouring chapters WMIT and WMFR, is happy to co-organise this year's WikiCon DE in St. Gallen and will support national WikiConventions in Italy and France.
As these efforts are all relatively new, they can only be seen as first steps into becoming a renowned copyright expert and partner of choice for associations and institutions in Switzerland. A regular and critical review of actions and partnerships is necessary. WMCH also needs to gain more knowledge about how policies for education are shaped and might be influenced. This demands more active outreach to the relevant cantonal structures. But, with limited resources at hand, WMCH is mindful of not dispersing itself and tries to channel efforts for greater impact one step at a time.
As an association, WMCH is forging its reputation and becoming a viable, strong partner of choice for discussions and projects related to copyright and digital sustainability as a whole. We are still at the beginning of building bridges and connections to important partners of choice in the different socio-economic, cultural and educational spheres. First learnings are that, even though building sustainable partnerships takes time, it does pay off and one successful connection often leads to another. Switzerland is small, and the network of people and organisations is tight.
Even with many international and non-profit organisations close by, people are very open to discussions. Often not knowing at first that there is an association behind Wikipedia, they are intrigued by the role that Wikimedia plays, and above all, the place it can take within Swiss society. With every event and meeting, we are learning and equipping ourselves to step up efforts and resources to build up our voice and strengthen our image.
It remains clear though that we still have a long way to go. We need to professionalise many aspects of our presence in terms of communication and back- as well as front-office. The new website and data management are still in the making. With only a Fundraising brochure and Case for Support, we are still far from the ideal presence and strong brand image we need to carry to the world. Having a well-known brand such as Wikipedia goes along with expectations that we have to live up to. The Communications Strategy that WMCH will soon kick off will hopefully bring answers to some of the questions we are facing, as well as structure and a strong, clear brand image.
The initial situation
"Everyone knows something" is also true when talking about knowing people and subsequently translated for WMCH into "Everyone knows someone." But, as is very often the case, contacts remain in the address books of individuals and are reached out to only when needed. People also have the tendency not to think about personal contacts as potential partners for an association they are part of. This is something WMCH wanted to change.
WMCH used the principle of "Everyone knows someone" as a starting
point to actively start reaching out to well-connected people in different geographical regions all over Switzerland. Through locally-organised "Friend-raising events," WMCH aimed to thank donors, get to know other associations and influence people. WMCH's board, staff and other people close to the association therefore opened their address books to invite people to these networking events with a special program in uncommon locations.
At the Vögele Kultur Zentrum in Pfäffikon and MAMCO in Geneva, the events started with a short presentation of WMCH and the hosting institution. Between 20 to 30 people learned about Wikimedia CH's mission and vision, got special insights into the program and current exhibitions of the hosts, and had the chance get to know each other during a subsequent "Networking Apéro."
Feedback received already for invitations and even more after the event, was very positive. People enjoyed learning about WMCH and partner institutions, as they enjoyed special insights into exhibitions and the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Discussion during the events were very interesting and led to several new contacts and follow-up meetings. WMCH is looking forward to a 3rd event in September, which will take place at the OSC in Lausanne and again aims to connect WMCH with strong allies to forge its reputation and place within Switzerland’s associative landscape.
Building up sustainable partnerships takes a long time and furthering contacts through such events proves to be very helpful.
Revenues received during this six-month period
Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.
Explanation of variances from plan
Exchange Rate (CHF to USD)
as per email dd. September 1st,2017 16:34h
reminders to be sent
APG (Annual Plan Grant)
second part of APG (62'500.00) expected for after progress report delivery (August 2018)
WMF Fundraising Costs
1st half 2018: amount in June covers Jan-June 2018 and depends on funds received
Due to technical problems, we are currently not able to do the separation between Donations WMCH and External fundraising but taken the two together we are missing 21'000.00 to reach in total 440'000.- budgeted
Pro Bono / In-kind donations
Migros (GLAM on tour); ID est avocats (legal advice); TranslatMe (translations); Itheka (IT services); La Fourchette (dinner); Uni Bern (room rental)
Due to technical problems, we are currently not able to do the separation between Donations WMCH and External fundraising but taken the two together we are missing 21'000.00 to reach in total 440'000.- budgeted
Income of courses (Conferences, Trainings)
Invoices have been submitted but no funds received yet. On track.
Please use the exchange rate in your APG proposal.
Percentage spent to date
Explanation of variances from plan
Exchange Rate (CHF to USD)
as per email dd. September 1st,2017 16:34h
exchange rate difference (in favor of WMCH)
WikiLovesMonuments Int. 2017
exchange rate difference (absorbed by WMCH) and reduction of total grant amount as budgeted amount not reached
PROGRAM 1 - GLAM
The activities concerning the GLAM statistic tool are planned for the end of the year as this is usually the time when the technical developer team is available. Other IT related items such as microsite etc. could not yet be implemented as our own website has not yet been migrated and we encountered delays in our IT development. Some projects were carried out but the invoices are not in yet. Other projects were put on hold or are not yet carried out; a concrete analysis will be conducted in August to ensure adequate spent in the remaining quarters.
PROGRAM 2 - Education
For several projects that we agreed to fund, we are still waiting for strategic input from the partners; the money will be spent in Q3 or Q4. Other projects have not been able to move forward as fast as we would have liked to as our resources were bound towards finding solutions to our technical problems. Other projects were put on hold or are not yet carried out; a concrete analysis will be conducted in August to ensure adequate spent in the remaining quarters.
PROGRAM 3 - Community
The three major items impacting the budget are the WikiCons (French, German, Italian). All of these happen in Q4. Other activities have already been conducted but invoices are not yet in; a concrete community strategy will be developed in order for the budget items to reflect more adequately the reality in future.
PROGRAM 4 - Partnerships & Outreach
Everything is on track in this regard!
Staff Wages & Expenses
Q1+Q2: perfectly in line with plan
Operations (excludes staff and programs)
- all invoices for third party services (translation, legal advice etc.) were for and therefore have been allocated to programs;
- planned rental cost did not occur as everybody worked from home instead of renting a co-working space;
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