The Movement Charter Drafting Committee organized two sessions in Wikimania 2022, titled: “Meet the members that are drafting the Wikimedia Movement Charter”. Both sessions had the same content but different times to accommodate participants from different regions.
The sessions were not recorded in order to allow participants to freely share their input and discuss with the Committee. The questions and discussion from the session is anonymously recorded in the notes below.
Responses are written from the “Movement Charter Drafting Committee” (MCDC) perspective, so the word “we” refers to the Committee.
- Question: What will be the consultative process MCDC will perform with the communities present at conferences such as ESEAP, WikiArabia, and others?
- Response: The MCDC hasn’t directly engaged in any specific conferences yet. Communities in some regions, though, are already reaching out to MCDC members individually. MCDC members are happy to show up and present at those events, and will also be present at the upcoming Wikimedia Summit (9-11 September).
- Question: How advanced is the Movement Charter document? Almost ready? Still only rough ideas?
- Response: “Progress” is a subjective matter. We have completed essential agreements, like the Charter’s main sections and how they will be written. The scope of the Movement Charter, though, is ever changing, and we are committed to get it done but it’s an iterative process.
- Question: Is the process of the Drafting Committee going too slow regarding that process Hub's creation was started very actively?
- Response: While it might be going slower than some uf have hoped, the Movement Charter’s process covers many large governance topics in the movement, of which Hubs are only one. This is a long process that is about the global governance of the entire movement, all its stakeholders and building a common understanding between them. The Hubs also had a much longer head-start. Chapters in the CEE region, for example, have been slowly building connections ever since 2011, so it’s only formalizing what has already existed for a long time.
- Follow up: A little bit worried because of the pace issue considering that the Committee lost two members already. So that is an issue in the integrity of the organization.
- Question: Are you thinking about updating the Movement Charter document continually? How do you keep it reflective of the current needs?
- Response: There is a communications subcommittee in the MCDC that is specifically working on a stakeholder engagement plan. The engagement process is currently being defined and discussed as part of this plan, and has not started yet.
- Question: Are there already discussions about the Movement Charter not related to governance?
- Response: Yes! Everyone’s definition of “governance” is slightly different. There are currently two drafting groups defining what we agree on in the movement (Preamble, and Values & Principles). Those will help guide the other drafting groups when working on their content.
- Question: Are there conflicting wishes in the MCDC? Like some want only x and others never x?
- Response: We have published our decision-making process publicly. This was our first step to ensure that we can work together and take into consideration the perspectives from all MCDC members. We are also sharing our decisions and work on Meta publicly. Sometimes, though, the decisions can be difficult. For example, there were many different opinions in the Committee about including Board of Trustees liaisons in our calls. This delayed the process significantly, but we did eventually come to an agreement.
- Comment: So the members drafting the Wikimedia movement Charter are like the members of the “legislative arm” in a government, or should I say “representatives”?
- Response: We do not work on governance or “legislature” ourselves, but our responsibilities are more about designing the future governance of the movement. Our closest analogy isn’t that of “legislature of government”, but of a “group writing the constitution”.
- Question: What do you all think about the UCOC ratification process, in terms of how it impacts your plans for the MCDC ratification process?
- Response: Time is a very important factor. The UCOC ratification was designed towards the end of the UCOC creation process. In the MCDC, however, we intend to plan ratification ahead of time, and we would like to receive feedback early on regarding this topic. .
- Question: Is there anything being done or kept in mind in drafting to try and prioritize affiliate/movement work that connects more directly with editing communities? As in, editing drives, new editor resource creation and mentorship, etc. vs. disparate edit-a-thons.
- Response: The Movement Charter is intended to be a short and high-level document. It wouldn’t be a manual about running Wikimedia activities, like edit-a-thon (this is already documented in other places). It will be more like a set of rules to tell you where to go if you need money, how you make decisions in the movement, etc. The Movement Charter will also help ensure there’s space for new and emerging communities.
- Question: Medium to small wikis' contributors are feeling a lot of "global strategy fatigue" after Wikimedia 2030 and UCoC already, and have little appetite to participate. What is MCDC's strategy to include them?
- The response was provided after the session due to the limitation of time.