|This is a draft or part of the draft of the Wikimedia Movement Charter. These drafts are the result of extensive effort between different entities within the Wikimedia movement and we are delighted to share them with you. Help us improve them by sharing your thoughts on the talk page or at a community consultation event.|
Definition and purpose
Regional and thematic hubs are structures for mutual support. They empower existing and future Wikimedia communities to have the capacity and resources to make and implement their own decisions to meet their differing needs. Hubs form a mutual support structure for the hub members and others within the Wikimedia movement to learn, share knowledge, develop best practices, and provide guidance and assistance to other hub members and communities.
Hubs are a tool to ensure sustainability, resilience, and growth for the whole Movement. Regional hubs allow implementation of activities, tools, and information. Regional hubs empower groups of Wikimedians to collaborate and coordinate, for example on resilience, and growth for the whole Movement. Regional hubs empower groups of Wikimedians to collaborate and coordinate, for example on capacity building and knowledge transfer. Thematic hubs allow for specialization and work across the Movement, where shared objectives benefit from coordinated solutions. Hubs create opportunities for new peer-connections and structures, and the strengthening of existing connections.
Hubs are a vital tool for promoting Wikimedia movement values and principles such as subsidiarity, equity and capacity building.
Set-up and governance process
Hubs can be initiated by a minimum of two Wikimedia affiliates as founding members.
The decision-maker and those accountable within a hub is its steering committee or an equivalent, as described in the hub's decision-making model or bylaws.
Hubs are organized with only these two focuses:
- Regional (geographic) focus.
- Hypothetical membership example: Wikimedia affiliates from the Elvish Continent.
- Thematic/topic focus, including linguistic themed hubs
- Hypothetical membership examples: Wikimedia affiliates whose work focuses on the Elvish language; Wikimedia affiliates, WikiProjects and other external organizations with an interest in developing content related to flowers.
Hubs are distinct from thematic Wikimedia user groups or thematic Wikimedia organizations in that the purpose is to be a mutual support structure for the hub members
A hub must be set up in one of these two ways:
- as a registered non-profit organization or its local equivalent
- hosted by a recognized non-profit organization or its equivalent recognized under local applicable laws.
This Hub Host will act as fiscal sponsor, if the hub itself is not a legally registered non-profit or its local equivalent. It must have structures in place that it is willing to share with the hub to ensure proper resource distribution, in furtherance of the hub’s mission and in compliance with all applicable laws.
- The Hub Host will normally be a Wikimedia Chapter or other legally-registered Wikimedia affiliate, but may in some cases be an external organization.
- The Hub Host must meet requirements decided jointly by the Global Council and the Wikimedia Foundation.
- The Hub Host cannot be the host for more than one hub.
Hubs receive their recognition and authority from a committee appointed by the Global Council, with final approval from the Global Council. Hubs are accountable to the Global Council.
Hubs are expected to model diversity, inclusion, accountability, and equity as per the Movement Charter preamble.
Membership and composition
- A hub requires a minimum of two (2) Wikimedia affiliates as founding members to become a Wikimedia hub. These Wikimedia affiliates must have met all standard requirements for an affiliate of its type over the previous two (2) years.
- Wikimedia Affiliates can be members of more than one hub: members of a hub collaborate in decision-making per the hub's decision-making model, and guarantee mutual support levels.
Community Question: Should there be a limit to how many hubs an affiliate can join? (Please elaborate on your answer.)
- Individuals cannot become a member of a hub, but can receive support from a hub.
The hub must determine their decision-making and membership model, and assign accountability for the hub. For hubs that have chosen to become legal entities, decisions will be made in accordance with their bylaws.
Regional and thematic hubs are mainly focused on coordination and support within their region or topic. Hubs empower existing and future communities to have the capacity and resources to make and implement their own decisions to meet their differing needs. Therefore a hub needs to develop and maintain a high level of knowledge in their area of expertise, and be able to relate it to the mission of the Wikimedia Movement.
This section outlines the guidelines proposed on different levels of a hub. These levels are:
- must – guidelines that every hub needs to follow to ensure accountability, transparency, and be truly a Movement Strategy project;
- should – operational guidelines for improving the projects to make them more sustainable and impactful;
- could – guidelines not strictly related to the project itself yet help to position them better in the overall landscape.
The concrete scope and functionality of the hubs will be decided by communities and organizations based on their contexts and needs. Hubs however must have a clearly described purpose in one or more of the areas below:
- Support cluster
- Service provision, such as coordinating human resources; conducting needs assessments of members; conducting growth assessments for members
- Capacity development, such as fostering the creation of new groups as well as their growth and development; providing trainings and leadership development opportunities
- Knowledge sharing, such as providing expertise and advice to other hub members
- Resourcing support, such as providing fiscal sponsorships and providing fundraising or financial expertise
- Coordination cluster
- Regional coordination around networking and communications opportunities
- Thematic coordination around networking and communications opportunities
Prior to approval of a new hub, the potential hub members should prepare an analysis that demonstrates that a hub would provide added value to the movement. It may mean better in terms of efficiency, but also how it helps others to amplify their voice and tap into new capacities. It is important to design a model of strategy and communication that involves affiliates and individuals, and consults them regularly. Ensuring that diverse opinions are voiced takes time, but it also creates lasting bonds and ensures constructive cooperation.
Hubs should collaborate with other Wikimedia organizations, including other hubs, informal groups, and individuals that seek their advice or ask their support. They are expected to stay informed of the related activities of other hubs and movement organizations, so as to know where they have common interests or goals (example: how to successfully develop a new affiliate, how to organize an editing event).
These structures will work toward standards of diversity, inclusion, accountability, and equity in decision-making as per the Movement Charter.
Optionally, a hub can also organize themselves to do additional event coordination, like organizing events and conferences, initiating activities around fundraising and funds dissemination, networking with external partners and undertaking advocacy activities with legal entities.
Hubs work with both the Global Council and the Wikimedia Foundation as a direct communication channel for involving their respective communities in strategic and other consultations and feedback for the benefit of the global Wikimedia movement.
Fundraising and Funds Dissemination
- Hubs are allowed to fundraise in coordination with WMF and affiliate fundraising programs.
- Regional hubs may fundraise locally.
- Thematic hubs can apply for or receive grants, and they can support others in managing their grants (Fiscal Sponsorship).
- Funds Dissemination
- Hubs can allocate funds to their members.
- Hubs involved in funds dissemination need to have a transparent resource allocation process.
- Hubs involved in funds dissemination need to coordinate with regional fund committees.
- As organized non-profits or their local equivalents, hubs and Hub Hosts must allocate funds to hub members in furtherance of the hub’s mission and in compliance with all applicable laws.
Recognition and derecognition
- The Global Council will establish a process around hubs with overlapping regional or thematic interests, and decide on the safeguards.
- The Wikimedia Foundation, Global Council or an already existing hub cannot set up a hub or act as a Hub Host.
- Hubs must apply the Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) within their membership. Where needed, the UCOC can be expanded to reflect the local context.
- Hubs support conflict resolution within their scope and membership. The Global Council will establish a body to help with conflict resolution between all affiliates, including hubs.
Conflicts of Interest
- The Global Council will develop a conflict of interest policy that applies to all hubs (regional & thematic).
- Hubs and Hub hosts cannot act as fiscal sponsor or support in the grant-application process (assist in drafting, applying, etc.) when they are already involved in the same process in a different capacity (for instance, funds dissemination).
- Hubs do not have a voting right for the Global Council seats because their Affiliate members have direct voting rights.
Relationship to other bodies
As per the mutual support structure, hubs will be open to support all in the movement with requests in relation to the scope of the hub. That means individuals cannot be members of a hub, but they can receive support and benefit from the activities of the hubs.
Affiliates can become Hub Host when they are a legally registered affiliate. The members help prioritize the hub’s activities and all actively engage in mutual support. Non-members may participate in the hub’s activities (for example, if the hub hosts a conference and affiliates want to attend) and have access to its resources (for example, if the hub organizes a training for Board members).
- Wikimedia Foundation
Hubs can work together with the Wikimedia Foundation. Examples include: coordination around fundraising and fund dissemination in order to ensure compliance with applicable fundraising laws; volunteer and staff safety; global advocacy; and skills and capacity building.
- Global Council
Hubs are accountable to the Global Council. The Global Council is to decide on general structures and principles that apply beyond this Charter, and a committee of the Global Council will determine recognition and derecognition.