Grants:Programs/Wikimedia Alliances Fund/Supporting an Open Climate movement-Increasing the knowledge commons and collaborative communities of practice
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A. Organization type
- Mission-aligned organization
B. Organization name
- Open Environmental Data Inc
E. Do you have an account on a Wikimedia project?
E1. Please provide the main Wikimedia Username (required) and Usernames of people related to this proposal.
- Evelin (User:Scann)
G. Have you received grants from the Wikimedia Foundation before?
- Did not apply previously
H. Have you received grants from any non-wiki organization before?
- H1. Which organization(s) did you receive grants from?
- Shuttleworth Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation
- H2. Please state the size of these grants from the following options.
- Above 50,000 USD
- H3. What type of organization (s) did you receive grants from?
- H4. What percentage of your program budget do other funders contribute to?
- More than 75%
1. Do you have a fiscal sponsor?
1a. Fiscal organization name.
2. Are you legally registered?
3. What type of organization are you?
- Non profit organisation
4. What is your organization or group's mission and how does it align with the Wikimedia movement?
- Open Environmental Data Project builds inclusive systems for people to share and use environmental information; we value multiple forms of data (e.g., local experience, geographic, quantitative) to address environmental and climate injustices that impact the health of communities. Through the Open Climate project, we build bridges between the open and climate movements to highlight local solutions and innovations that can contribute to free knowledge production.
5. If you would like, please share any websites or social media accounts that your group or organization has. (optional)
6. Please state the title of your proposal.
- Supporting an Open Climate movement: Increasing the knowledge commons and collaborative communities of practice
9. Where will this proposal be implemented?
- United States of America
10. Indicate if it is a local, international, or regional proposal and if it involves several countries?
10a. If you have answered international, please write the country names and any other information that is useful for understanding your proposal.
- The organizing team of Open Climate is located across the United States, Uruguay, El Salvador, Germany and Brazil. The Open Climate community is organized virtually and participants coming from numerous countries and regions.
10b. Are there any specific sub-regions or areas where your proposal will be implemented?
- We have strong networks in Europe, North America, and Latin America. However, especially through the Wikimedia movement, we will use the engagement plan to increase participation from African and South Asian communities as critical areas to engage in Open Climate.
11. What is the challenge or problem you are addressing and why is this important?
- The challenge Open Climate seeks to address is there has not been sufficient space or opportunity for climate action and sustainability movement leaders to fully connect open movement approaches and tools to their work. We are facing a critical planetary emergency. Yet we are not being able to harness the power of science, information and data, or existing local solutions and strategies for climate change because there has not been a coordinated space for the open and climate movements to come together and collaboratively work towards these ends.
Open Climate seeks to identify and establish links between the planetary and digital commons in order to understand ways that the open movement – through data, science, policy, hardware, free knowledge production – can better support climate actions. Thus far, the Open Climate community has been a generative space to understand how the free knowledge commons can better serve the goals of climate justice. But what if we could use the power of open to better connect communities across languages, geographies and impacts of climate change to create better access to information and solutions?
Until we recognize the value of locally situated, cultural, ecological and historical information paired next to science, policy and other “hard” forms of data, we will continue to do a planetary disservice in our ability to harness the knowledge commons to collectively tackle one of, if not, the most pressing issue of our time – climate change. As we wrote in our article, Open Climate Now, “We can collaborate with the 230 million Bangla speakers most of whom live in one of the most at-risk spaces in the world for sea-level rise; or the aging 30% of the population of the Philippines working in agricultural areas sensitive to sea-level rise, extreme weather and cyclones, and speak only Bikol, Tagalog, Cebuano or 100+ other languages…” but to do so, we must create space for the tools of open to be put to use.
The creation of the Open Climate space has also opened up opportunities to connect with broader digital rights groups interested in working at the intersection between climate justice and digital rights. In particular, Open Environmental Data Project produced two issue briefs with funding recommendations for Ford Foundation, Mozilla and Ariadne Network. Among the five recommendations, we identified at least three that we believe are core to the Wikimedia movement. This proposal particularly focuses on recommendation three, “Connect open knowledge production tools and projects with digital rights and climate justice.”
We believe that core to this work is developing a stronger cohort of “movement organizers” (per the Movement organizers report). With this grant we want to solve the challenge that we’ve identified and create and expand the Open Climate space for these leaders to workshop their ideas: how can their collaborative tools and methodologies be relevant to the sustainability and climate movements?
12. What is the main objective of your proposal? Please state why you think partnering with Wikimedia Movement helps to achieve this objective?
- We will build an engagement path for Movement Organizers from the open tech community to engage with climate action movements. Through free culture, open tools, and community building, we will promote a collaborative in which information, solutions and strategies to address climate change are publicly accessible. The work of Wikimedia communities will benefit from dialogue with other organizers, and our stakeholders will benefit from the “hands-on” solutions of Wikimedia communities.
13. Describe your main strategies to achieve this objective?
- There are four main activities that we will create:
A fellowship program: The fellowship program will provide funding for an initial cohort of Open Climate organizers and seed funding to build projects based on their communities and areas of interest with the premise of including one community event and contributing to the Appropedia platform a final multimedia (written, audio, video) product centered on Open Climate. From a cohort of ~20, we plan to include at least 5 people from the Wikimedia movement (likely from Wikimedians for Sustainable Development). However, the main value of our cohorts will be their mixed-background and networks, as we do not want to overbalance the cohort with the Wikimedia perspective.
Needs assessment: We will conduct a set of interviews with emerging leaders from the environmental and climate movement to understand their knowledge needs and how these needs can be solved through the deployment of open tactics.
A “hands-on” forum: Using the Appropedia publication space, we’ll bring together people from the open and climate movements to actively workshop open tools and techniques to advance open knowledge production and sharing. Resulting projects will be built into the product listed in point one. We are choosing Appropedia rather than Wikimedia platforms because Appropedia is a “how to” Wiki designed for transmitting skills and best practices to different sustainability, development and climate change practitioners.
Coordinate the creation of a “curriculum builder” for knowledge on the environment and climate change: The builder will include free tools, including elements of open data, open knowledge and science, free licenses and free software to address knowledge management on sustainability and climate change. The objective of this set of tools will be to show how local actors seeking knowledge for climate and environmental justice can be active in solving problems through free and open tools. The hands-on tools will be documented in Appropedia, an open-licensed wiki focused on creating adaptation knowledge for sustainable futures. Appropedia has different alliances with strategic partners (such as UNDP) to help their broader allies document sustainability practices, making content for a more targeted audience.
Multilingual access points in this project are important and will be prioritized. Though we expect Fellows will be able to actively follow a conversation in English, we will accept and encourage work products in a language of their choosing, provided they are in a format that we can put through a language translation service (i.e. if it is a video, we will also require a written script). Evelin Heidel and the Community Coordinator (see Q22 for role descriptions) will act as liaisons, incentivizing people to translate relevant materials into their own language after the Fellowship pilot has concluded. We aim to work alongside Wikimedia communities to leverage our efforts around multilingual access.
14. Are you running any in-person events or activities?
15. Please state if your proposal aims to work to bridge any of the identified content knowledge gaps?
- Geography, Language, Important Topics (topics considered to be of impact or important in the specific context)
16. Please state if your proposal includes any of these areas or thematic focus.
- Advocacy, Human Rights, Climate Change and sustainability, Public Policy, Open Technology, Diversity
17. Will your work focus on involving participants from any underrepresented communities? Select all categories that apply.
- Geographic , Ethnic/racial/religious or cultural background, Linguistic / Language
18. Please tell us more about your target participants.
- We are interested in making direct connections between communities who are creating solutions, such as community-based knowledge producers, civil society, government, and researchers who can benefit from the open knowledge commons to address climate change. While many of the participants in our Open Climate community calls have thus far been from the open movement, we aim to increase the number of people from environmental and climate spaces, especially those that are directly affected by the most visible effects of climate change (natural/human-made disasters, food insecurity, desertification, climate migration). Within each of our organizations, Open Climate organizers have extensive networks – with communities, civil society, government and researchers – that we will work with to increase representation in the Open Climate space.
Part of the goal of the Fellows program is to integrate more diversity of voices and build new organizers in our ongoing community of practice. By creating a skill exchange and community building environment, we plan to grow our organizer community beyond the key meta-organizers currently on our team. Our core group has a history of starting and maintaining open initiatives, but we are looking to cultivate and support that next generation of thought leaders and conveners.
A core aim of our work with Open Climate is to grow and increase long-term engagement. To do so, after the initial implementation phase of the proposed project, we will invite fellows and other participants to host Open Climate community calls and become engaged in coordinating the Open Climate community as next generation leaders. We believe that there is an increasing demand in the climate space for people with the unique skills that the open movement can provide. Professionalization is key to what we would like to achieve as part of a long-term path for more openness to exist in the environmental and climate movement. Through creating work opportunities and having “open champions” inside institutions, we will be able to clearly articulate the connections of open and climate. Pragmatically, in the short term, Fellows will be provided a certificate of participation and a letter of recommendation that they can use in professional portfolios and may functionally encourage continued engagement.
19. Do you have plans to work with other Wikimedia communities, groups or affiliates in your country, or in other countries, to implement this proposal?
19a. If yes, please tell us about these connections online and offline and how you have let Wikimedia communities know about this proposal.
- Wikimedia communities have been innovating tactically around engaging environmental and sustainability audiences. Wikimedia is an ideal community to work with because there is still a potential for growth through integrating their work in the broader climate movement. We plan to work with Wikimedians for Sustainable Development User Group and other affiliates, particularly in Latin American and African regions, that are implementing tactics to help cover knowledge gaps related to climate change, sustainability and environment. We will involve their input in building the fellowship, curriculum and needs assessment.
The Wikimedia community will be an important part of continued integration of Open Climate into hands-on practice. Like the OpenGLAM community we expect the mix of Wikimedia and non-Wikimedia perspectives to amplify the work of the Wikimedia movement, while also introducing new perspectives on the tactics of the Wikimedia movement.
19b. If no, please tell us the reasons why it has not been possible to make these connections.
20. Will you be working with other external non-Wikimedian partners to implement this proposal?
20a. If yes, please describe these partnerships.
- The Open Climate initiative is led by a collective of people representing different organizations – Open Environmental Data Project (OEDP), Appropedia, Mozilla and the Green Web Foundation, University of Notre Dame, Gathering for Open Science Hardware, and Wikimedia. Each organization brings our own networks to this work. For instance, OEDP works across all levels of government through our work on envisioning environmental data system transformations and builds new policy ideas around environmental data through our “brain trusts”, which bring together government, NGO, academic, community partners to articulate opportunities in the environmental and climate spaces.
20a. If yes, indicate sharing of resources from these partners (in kind support, grants, donations, payments).
- OEDP financially supports a limited contract for the current Open Climate community coordinator. Appropedia has provided time and web infrastructure to host our work. Team members from Mozilla/Green Web Foundation, University of Notre Dame, Gathering for Open Science Hardware, and Wikimedia have provided their time pro bono as a resource to launch the Open Climate community. OEDP will provide financial support to cover a percentage of the time and resources of OEDP’s Communications Manager.
21. Please tell us how your organization is structured.
- OEDP is governed by a board of directors and has five full-time staff members who focus on policy and research, data inclusion, and content and communities. The current limited-scope Open Climate community coordinator is contracted by OEDP. Shannon Dosemagen, OEDP Director, is a key collaborator in the Open Climate coordinating group alongside: Michelle Thorne (Mozilla and Green Web Foundation), Evelin Heidel (Wikimedistas de Uruguay), Emilio Velis (Appropedia), Luis Felipe R. Murillo (U. of Notre Dame), and Alex Stinson (Wikimedia). We aim to increase the capacity for supporting Open Climate activities through hiring a team member to coordinate the proposed work.
22. Do you have the team that is needed to implement this proposal?
- Shannon Dosemagen, OEDP Director, will be responsible for fiscal management, evaluation and co-coordinating and project managing activities alongside Evelin Heidel. Shannon has almost two decades of experience creating, growing and maintaining open scientific and environmental communities and organizations as the founder of OEDP and co-founder of the Gathering for Open Science Hardware and Public Lab (ED from 2010-20). Across these projects, Shannon has received and managed ~$15 million USD. Evelin, as the current Open Climate coordinator, will be project managing the activities and working with the Community Coordinator to ensure the goals of this project are met. Evelin has a long history working at the intersection of digital rights, digital heritage and copyright in Latin America and revitalized the internationally-focused OpenGLAM initiative at Creative Commons.
We will have a Core Organizing Team (COT) composed of Shannon, Luis Felipe R. Murillo, Emilio Velis, Evelin Heidel, Michelle Thorne, and Alex Stinson. This COT will support and advise design, content creation, convening and assessment of the program. In addition, Emilio will be responsible for integration of Appropedia and Evelin will support reporting activities on Meta and in other community spaces. The OEDP Communications and Content Manager will work alongside the Open Climate community and fellowships to create engaging and compelling materials (i.e. working with Fellows to refine outputs, outreach materials, and design of the curriculum builder) that demonstrates the power of open in addressing the climate crisis.
We will hire an Open Climate Coordinator who will work alongside Shannon, Evelin and the COT to build the fellowship program and do outreach and community building. We expect that the Coordinator will additionally work alongside Fellows to support them in completing portions of the fellowship work. Luis Felipe and Alex will provide mentorship for the fellows.
23. Please state if your organization or group has a Strategic Plan that can help us further understand your proposal. You can also upload it here.
Learning, Sharing, and Evaluation
24. What do you hope to learn from this proposal?
- To ensure the long-term impact of Open Climate efforts and prepare for strengthening future activities, prior to project launch the organizing team will prepare 1) a summative evaluation for implementation at the close of the Fellowship program, and 2) a short survey for attendees to complete after each community call. The needs assessment will use qualitative methods to understand the current landscape of people, projects and available tools in the Open Climate movement. The overall evaluation plan will include both quantitative and qualitative components, helping us to capture details from Fellows and other participants on the quality and value of different modules and content. Summaries of quantitative and qualitative indicators will be reported upon completion of the grant term in the final report and will be used to help the core organizing team identify future opportunities or changes that will be required. Questions that will help guide evaluation include:
- How can open practices and processes better connect communities and organizers with policymakers, government and researchers that could benefit from local knowledge on climate change? And vice versa?
- What is the potential for a community of practice (through the forum, curriculum builder, needs assessment, fellowship) to create long-term and sustained engagement in the cross-sector Open Climate movement?
- How do the activities in the proposed project increase workable solutions in the Open Climate space?
25. Enter a description of the metric and a number in the target field. If the metric does not apply to you, enter N/A for not applicable.
- Environmental and climate activists interviewed as part of the needs assessment: 20 new participants
- General audiences engaged in public activities: 250-500
- Speakers: 10
- Community coordinator: 1-2
- Supporting roles by OEDP: Communication and Content Development
|Number of participants|
|Number of editors|
|Number of organizers|
25a. If for some reason your proposal will not measure these core metrics please provide an explanation. (optional)
- This proposal plans on collaborating with the Wikimedia movement in extending their impact. Our focus is on documenting best practices for the open movement to interact with the climate and sustainability movements on the Wikimedia-aligned Appropedia platform. We will be using Wikimedia platforms for some specific content (i.e. to upload multimedia) but it won’t be a core participation metric, since these products will be done as part of the research. All the content produced in the context of this project will be openly licensed and usable in all contexts that the Wikimedia movement may want to use. We expect impact to be similar to the impact of past collaborations by the Open Data, Open Science and Open GLAM communities, where the documentation and practices we develop make it easier for Wikimedia communities to work with the climate movement. The focus here is on capacity building and modeling of best practices rather than on creating content on Wikimedia platforms.
26. What other information will you be collecting to learn about the impact of your work? (optional)
- We will make sure to collect information and feedback from the fellowship participants, participants in community calls, and people we speak with during the needs assessment interviews in order to learn what worked and what didn’t and improve upon their feedback.
27. What tools would you use to measure each metric selected?
- We will count participants manually and use spreadsheets to make sure we reach our targets for growth and audience retention.
28. How do you hope to share these results so that others can learn from them?
- Create a video of our experience, Make a short presentation of the experience, Create a training workshop to show others what we learned, Share results on social media, Share results with our communities, Participate in one on one peer sharing session with other grantees, Develop learning material for other users, Share it on Meta-Wiki
29. What is the amount you are requesting from WMF? Please provide this amount in your local currency.
- 100000 USD
30. What is this amount in US Currency (to the best of your knowledge)?
- 100000 USD
31. & 32. Please provide a budget for the amount of funding requested.
- Link to budget and budget justification: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mduYqcd60xgBZOYDzIpFV0PgONA0kkgypZkBeCr_HPE/edit
33. What do you do to make sure there is a good management of funds?
- OEDP maintains board approved financial policies and procedures and has both a CPA and bookkeeper that we work with. We close books monthly and review them on a quarterly basis with our CPA and board of directors. We are required to complete a US 990 tax filing and our accounts are then reviewed by an independent CPA firm.
34. How will you contribute towards creating a supportive environment for participants using the UCOC and Friendly Space Policy?
- We will abide by Wikimedia’s Friendly Space Policy and the UCOC in any activities directly funded by the Wikimedia Foundation, and make sure to spell it out or display it prominently at the beginning of any activity. We will have a point of contact that knows how the policy works and can handle problematic situations to provide help to any person that might feel they are in an uncomfortable or potentially harmful situation. OEDP reserves the right to expel or apply other measures to any person that doesn’t abide by the Friendly Space Policy.
35. Please use this optional space to upload any documents that you feel are important for further understanding your proposal.
- Other public document(s):
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