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Report accepted
This report for a Project and Event grant approved in FY 2011-12 has been reviewed and accepted by the Wikimedia Foundation.
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Report made by: Joan Goma - President of Amical Viquipedia; Mayo Fuster Morell - Member of Amical Viquipedia and Mariana Gavris - Amical Viquipedia Fellow, on behalf of Amical Viquipedia.

International Forum on Digital Commons and Collaborative Communities

Description of actual activities:[edit]

Event celebration: Two days international meeting around aiming to create entrance doors and give projection to collaborative communities building digital commons, encourage the mutual learning and support between digital commons critically following similar values and principles, building bridges between action and research, and address new frontiers and cutting-edge questions. See program of activities during the even, see pictures of the event (selection pictures Digital Commons and pictures Digital Commons), and the video recording of the sessions uploaded in Commons (see them also below).

Action research & Collaborative writing: Resource on digital commons: participation engagement, sustainability formulas and over all digital commons networking

Videos recorded[edit]

  • Session: Facts and research on participation in collaborative communities

Introduction to the Digital Commons Forum, and then (from minute 20) start the firts part of the session on Facts and research on participation in collaborative communities with interventions by Milos Rancic from the Research Committe of the Wikimedia Foundation; Erik Zachte (Wikimedia Foundation – Data Analyst) on evolution of participation in wiki communities; and, Marc Miquel (Amical Viquipedia – Editors Survey) on sociological base of contributors. Facilitation of the session by Eduard Aibar (Open University of Barcelona). (Duration 1h).

  • Session: Economy of the commons: Systematize forms and formulas for individual and collective sustainability of collaborative creation and political economy discussion

Video introducing the session (in Spanish) by Enric Senabre (Goteo) and Olivier Schulbaum (Platoniq) ((30 minutes & then image of small working groups)

Video presenting the reports back of small groups discussion (30 minutes).

  • Session: Promoting the dialogue between the cooperative tradition and digital commons

Cross dialogues between cooperativist and digital commoners: Intervention on cooperative tradition by Jordi Garcia (Xarxa d’economia solidaria), intervention from enterprises of the commons by Ruben Martinez – Yproductions, intervention on insight from new forms of cooperativism Gorka – Cooperativa Intergral: and intervention on free culture and knowledge production by Marco Berlinguer – IGOP. Then closing remakrs by Joan Subirats (2h) (Audio with the English translation)

  • Session: Participation

Collective discussion

What lessons were learned that could help others succeed in similar projects?


To be notice that a group evaluation of the organizers will take place at the Amical Viquipedia Annual Assembly 18 December 2011. Then, we will be able to provide a more elaborated evaluation and systematization of lessons.

What went well:

  • The richness, well balanced and diversity of the group of people participating. The size was also good, not two big not two small. It was a truly diverse group and even very diverse groups could be very challenging in terms of establishing a fruitfully exchange, this was achieved. The atmosphere was of listening to each others and look to others with curiosity. There were a good balance between divers profiles: wikipedians and not wikipedians, a plurality of collaborative experiences (programmers, wireless communities, open access promotors, among others), researchers and practicioners, cooperativist and not, old and young people, internationals and locals, women and men.
  • The conceptualization and methodologies of the program went very well. The program was structured in three blocks that complemented well each other: Participation, commons frame and sustainability. To combine these three perspective favored to mobilize diverse participants profiles and favor the exchange of ideas between these diverse profiles. Each block took place in time periods of half a day. For each thematic block we combined more "ex-positive" sessions of panels (based on presentation of research results) followed by sessions based on smaller working groups discussion. This combination of methodologies went very well.
  • The spaces feed very well with our need with a big nice hall for networking and a large and lightly room for having the panels and the working groups. The food times and allocation went very well. We ate at the place where the event took places and then for dinner we went to a restaurant which a floor for us. This helped to brake the dynamics (work and pleasure) and keep intimacy between the group. In terms of international hosting, instead of hosting them in hotels, we rented an apartment of someone who was out of the city. Internationals were happy with this solution as it was a nice apartment (and less cold atmosphere than a hotel); plus, it was a much cheaper option.
  • The booking and costs distribution went well.
  • In technical terms the event went very well (streaming, wireless connexion, etc). The agreement with a local TV taking care of the recording and streaming went very well. We think that the fact that this local TV follows digital commons community principles (instead of contracting a service from a company) facilitated that our understanding and coordination worked so well. This was not the case with the museam which hosted the event, that was very difficult to communicate with because they did not understand our dynamics.
  • Local press coverage went well (see press coverage).
  • We had a bell and an "official" bell player that was in charge of calling people to come back to the room. Plus we had cooking o'clocks in order to control the time of the speakers. This facilitated the time management.

What did not go that well:

  • The person in charge of coordinating volunteers and assign tasks (called roler) had to cancel her participation two days before the event for a family problem. This create a overwhelming of work to others.
  • The post-event period was difficult because the two main people facilitating the process fall sick. This delayed the documentation of the event.
  • The whole event was organized in five months. This create a bit stressful dynamic. For example, we knew we were going to have the WMF grant few weeks before the event.
  • Even if during the event the conceptualization and methodology went very well and people got the idea of the event very easily; for some members of Amical Viquipedia was difficult to visualize it before the event. Some how it shows there is a lack of experience on meeting "offline" among local viquipedians.
  • The live connexions with presenters from abroad went in some occasions well, but in other didn't work out and we had to cancel them.

What impact did the project have on WMF mission goals of Increased Reach, Increased Quality, Increased Credibility, Increased and Diversified Participation?


Quantificable messurements on impact and success:

  • Number of registered participants (the estimation was between 80 to 150 participants) >>> Total 250 people registered.
  • Number of streaming views >>> A mean of 30 people following the streaming of the sessions.
  • Sustained 5-15% increase in year to date number of active contributors for local wiki projects >>> Two new strong contributors to the local group - Amical Viquipedia.
  • Increase of connexions between wikimedians of different projects and countries >>> Participation of 15 internationals.
  • Increase of connexions with other collaborative communities with similar principles and values:
      • Building of a local alliances for Digital Commons.
      • Achievements of concrete agreements: 1) Image en accion (a association promoting public pictures) did a photo book on the event: furthermore, Amical viquipedia signed an agreement with them in order that they cover future Viquipedia events. 2) Latele.cat did the video recording and streaming. Amical Viquipedia also agreed with them to collaborate in future occasions in terms of spreading viqui news in the TV and participate in Viquipedia events. 3) The wireless community guiffi.net agreed to provide wireless support for future events. 4) Amical Viquipedia established relationships with the museam that hosted the event (Center of contemporary art of Barcelona). 5) Amical Viquipedia agreed with the other organizer Institute of Government and Public Policies - Autonomous University of Barcelona to design and present research projects, plus to collaborate in order to spread Wikipedia in academic circles.
  • Press reporting >>> Major newspapers: Publico. Online media: Vila web, Berkman center blog, Pangea, Manzana Mecanica, Somdigitals.cat. Radio: Catalunya Radio. TV: La Tele.
  • Number of downloads or visits to the outcome "How to manual". >>> First version will be release in January 2012.
  • Number of endorsements to the "How to manual" and the local alliance. (Estimation of 100 endorsements) >>> First version will be release in January 2012. Local alliance is composed by 10 groups.
  • Number of replications of the event >>> Interest to celebrate future

    editions in Catalunya.

The presented ways of impact are related to the Strategic plan in terms of: Increased Reach (though media coverage and mobilization of non-wikipedians), Increased Quality and Increased Credibility (creating connexions with University and researchers as potential alliances for experts contribution to Wikipedia), and Increased and Diversified Participation (see previously presented richness of balance of participants). We would highlight two main lines to support the strategic planning are present in this iniciative: Increase participation and creating connexions with experts and research. A) We consider that the project contributed on increase participation which is one of our main strategic priorities.

Improved the participation strategy for the local community, which might also help other fellow Wikimedia communities and chapters to adopt, brainstorm or replicate those processes. Participation and community engagement, the topic chosen for the event, represented a key objective for Wikimedia Foundation's strategic plan through 2015. Taking in consideration the possible outcomes from the event, we believe that it could help making a difference in the following fields:

  • Community (and user) engagement: Wikipedian participants have the possibility to engage with various other participants and collaborative communities initiatives.
  • Participation strategy: As a result of ideas and best practices we get from the event, define a drive a strategy for increasing the participation at local / global level in Wikipedia.
  • Opening the community /visibility to Wikipedia Community and its projects: Through participatory workshops and wikipedians science fair, groups of peers from Wikipedia community are encouraged to showcase their projects, this way making possible finding further collaborations and common working lines with other community projects.

B) Building relationships between action and research: Research findings have been in the base to know Wikipedia current situation and define the further strategy; Research is a way to contribute to Wikipedia and it is in line with the strategic goal of supporting innovation. Recreating experts and creating relations with Academia is a way to increase community (as pointed in the strategic goals: Increase participation and improve quality) (Reference to this is in page 9 of Strategic Plan).

Detail of expenditures:[edit]

Documentation of expenditures has been received by WMF.

Total expenses coverage: 10232,24

  • WMF grant: 3150 euros % of cost covered by WMF: 30,7%
  • IGOP: 3993,91 euros
  • Amical Viquipedia: 2461,09 euros
  • Mayo Fuster Morell: 627,24 euros

Detail of expenses paid with WMF grant: Total 3150 euros

Documentation (receipts) of expenditures were sent to the WMF (contact wolliff at wikimedia dot org)

Building digital commons financial report

Barcelona, 25th november 2011
Report made by: Mariana Gavris, Amical Viquipedia Fellow






WWF grant


costs in USD *


800,00 €

847,59 €


Video recording and editing

500,00 €

500,00 €


Materials for participants, merchandising and materials for supply

300,00 €

255,54 €


Participation travel grants for Wikipedians




East Europe

150,00 €

227,72 €


West Europe

150,00 €

113,94 €



500,00 €

434,35 €


Participants hosting cost

750,00 €

1.231,92 €



3.150,00 €

3.611,06 €



Expenses paid by IGOP: Total: 3993,91 euros

Human power (organiser and facilitator) (From own human resources on research granted by EAPC – Generalitat of Catalunya & CAC – Generality of Catalunya): 3000 euros.
Space rental: 325 IGOP + 325 CCCB = 650 euros
Photocopies: Estimated cost: 150 euros
Travel costs: Rosa Fernández - ColaBoraBora (Bilbao - Barcelona): 93,91 euros

Expenses paid by Mayo Fuster Morell: Total 627,24 euros
Mayo Fuster Morell fly (Boston-Barcelona): 627,24 euros

Expenses paid by Amical: Total: 2461,09 euros

  • Mariana Gavris Fellowship: 1.000 euros
  • Alina Mierlus Fellowship: 1.000 euros
  • Expenses not covered by WMF grant: 461,09 euros

Some other organizations (such as International Institute and the Open Knowledge Foundation) contributed paying the cost of participants.

Costs in USD: Change ECB 31/10/2011 1.4001

Amount underspent in US Dollars:[edit]

Expenses has been 461.09€ greater than granted. No underspending.

Will you be requesting re-allocation of remaining grant funding?[edit]

Don't apply.

Last comments on next steps[edit]

The event Digital Forums took already place and with this report we wanted to report on the distribution of costs assumed by WMF. However, we don't consider the project finished. The event was an start for the building of a collaborative community around the building of a Resource on digital commons: participation engagement, sustainability formulas and over all digital commons networking. Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the Local catalan Alliances for Digital Commons (emerging from the event) is also proceeding.