Movement roles project/Initial Questions/Responses/Slashme

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Responses by David Richfield - First draft[edit]

Vision and Mission[edit]

  • Are you familiar and comfortable with the vision and mission of the Wikimedia Foundation?
    • Yes.
  • Do you and your organization share this vision and mission?
    • The South African Chapter (in development) is still developing its vision and mission, but they are aligned to the WMF aims.

Strategic Goals[edit]

The strategic planning project framed the following goals for the movement:

  • Secure the infrastructure
  • Increase global participation
  • Improve quality
  • Expand reach
  • Support innovation

With that in mind:

  • How applicable do you think these goals are to your role in the movement?
    • My particular interests and activities are around increasing global participation and improving quality.
  • How can the Wikimedia movement best meet these goals?
    • By supporting and motivating people who share the vision.
  • Should the movement spend its resources on goals/activities of groups that are not wholly aligned with the strategic goals?
    • To the extent that the groups in question are not inimical to the movement in some way, I would say we could. Consider the hypothetical example of a heritage society of a rural village in South Africa that wants to record oral histories. Their goals are local, geographically and politically, and might include certain aims in which we have no interest at all, but if they agree to provide the collected oral history under a free license to us, we would do very well to provide them with hardware and technical support.

Roles in the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • What role do you see for you and your organization in achieving the vision, mission and strategic goals?
    • I see the South African chapter as a local interface between the global Wikimedia Foundation and the South African community, allowing influence, information and awareness to flow in both directions.
  • What role should other groups play in achieving our movement priorities?
    • I'm not quite clear on this question and the ones below it.
  • What do these groups need to fulfil this role?
  • What do they need from others to fulfil this role?
  • What do they need to provide others to fulfil their roles?
  • Which interactions with other groups in this movement are critical for each group to play their part?

Entities in the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • What should be the core tasks and roles of the Wikimedia Foundation in the movement?
    • I see the movement as
      • a virtual activity
      • carried on by individuals
      • with compatible goals.
The Foundation can act as
      • an interface between the virtual and the real world, allowing the virtual activities to be reified (in servers, books etc.)
      • an interface between the individuals doing the work, by formalising communication and organising meetings in meatspace
      • a forum to align on what goals are compatible (i.e. meta)
      • a container for the physical and legal ownership of the things needed to achieve those goals.
  • What do you think should be the core tasks and roles of a chapter in the movement?
      • A national chapter should be a local interface between the global Wikimedia Foundation and the South African community, allowing influence, information and awareness to flow in both directions.
  • How should the role of a sub-national chapter differ from a national chapter?
      • The same as a national chapter, but working at a more local level, to serve a specific geographical, language or cultural group within the country.
  • What do you see the core tasks and roles of the chapters committee to be?
      • I just read the Chapcom page, and I agree with the tasks and roles outlined there.
  • Are there core movement tasks or roles that are not now adequately served, or that might need to be served in the future?
      • I'll probably be in a better position to answer this in a year's time.
  • What should other and new Wikimedia entities (groups that don’t fall within the current definition of a 'chapter', but share many attributes and goals) do?
      • I'll need to see examples of such groups to make an informed comment.

Relationships among entities within the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • What should be the minimum standards of transparency among Wikimedia entities – the Wikimedia Foundation, chapters, etc.?
    • As much as is feasible. We have absolutely nothing to hide, and we have communication tools that allow full visibility (like this one). The only exception is the protection of the identities of people whose involvement in the movement would put them at personal risk due to intolerant societies.
  • What safeguards should be in place between entities to protect the integrity and reputation of the movement?
    • Full transparency will allow us to protect our integrity - if we did something wrong, our reputation should rightly suffer, and if someone did something inimical to our aims in our name, transparency will show that it wasn't an institutional failing.
  • To whom are the Wikimedia entities accountable? (e.g. their members, other entities in the movement, etc.)
    • Directly to our own members, and indirectly (at a moral and policy level) to our peers (other entities in the movement) and to our users (content creators and content consumers).
  • What is the right way to include various movement groups in the overall governance of the Wikimedia movement?
    • I'm not as well educated in the ways of global organisations to answer for a "right way", but so far the things I've seen the WMF doing have seemed sensible: organising meetings, conferences, scholarships etc., and helping local chapters to set themselves up properly.

Resources for entities within the Wikimedia movement[edit]

  • How should resources be secured to support the growth of the Wikimedia movement and fulfilling of the mission?
    • Basically: no-strings-attached donations (from individuals and companies).
  • How best to ensure that each Wikimedia entity has the funds it needs to a) survive and b) fulfil its mission?
    • Survival should be cheap wherever there is sufficient interest. Where an entity has specific goals that it cannot achieve on its own, it should outline a plan (including people, actions, time and cost) to the foundation as a whole, so that where the goals are aligned to the WMF's goals, global funding and/or support can be given (for example connecting the entity to a wider donor pool, directly funding key projects, etc.)
  • How best to ensure that money is distributed to ensure that the Wikimedia movement achieves its goals in the best way?
    • Program management: put all projects on a time-plan, and prioritise them according to their importance, cost and urgency. Then see whether the resulting program is balanced according to geography and confirm that it ties in with our strategy.


  • To support the growth and sustainability of the Wikimedia movement, what is the one, most important change we need to make?
  • What change could most help you now in your role in the Wikimedia movement?
    • I need to engage more with the global structure to answer these questions. In a year or so I should be in a better position to answer.


  • How would you describe your affiliation with Wikimedia?
  • Would you consider yourself to be affiliated with:
    • The Wikimedia Foundation?
      • Yes, because I'm involved in setting up a local chapter, because I vote for the board, and take a certain degree of interest in policy.
    • A chapter? (If so, which one?)
      • The nascent South African chapter.
    • A project? (If so, which one?)
      • Wikipedia and Wiktionary (mostly en, some af and de)
    • Another group? (If so, which one?)
      • Does OpenStreetMap count? If so, yes.
    • None at all? (If so, feel free to elaborate.)

Anyone else?[edit]

  • Is there anybody else you would specifically recommend we ask for their views?