Movement roles project/Notes from Wikimania discussion

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On 9 July at Wikimania 2010 in Gdańsk, a group of Wikimedians gathered to discuss the movement roles project recently commissioned by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. Jon Hugget, a consultant for the Foundation, helped facilitate the discussion and took the following notes:

Wikimedia Movement Roles Meeting 2010-7-9

In attendance

  • Arne Klempert, board sponsor
  • Bishaka Datta, board
  • Sue Gardner, executive director
  • Barry Newstead, global development officer
  • Pawel Richter, Wikimedia Germany chief executive
  • Richard Kniple, Wikimedia NYC
  • Casey Brown, volunteer
  • Arjun Rojalva, Telegu Wikipedia
  • Bence Damokos, Wikimedia Hungary
  • Lodewijk Gelauff, Wikimedia Netherlands
  • Austin Hair, chapters committee
  • James Owen, assistant to ED


  • SJ Klein, board
  • Phoebe Ayers, board
  • Arun Ram

Deliverable for next Wikimania at Haifa 2011-8 is a recommendation for a charter for the roles of the entities of Wikimedia which should:

  • enable Wikimedia movement to scale its impact and order of magnitude (more than to deliver a consensus among current stakeholders).
    • allow the development of Wikimedia structures not just in the current settings, but also investigate other models that allow a strong global network including currently underrepresented regions
  • build on fundamental best principles, not incremental changes from

current structures and systems

  • be clear and endorsable by anyone in Wikimedia movement
  • need no revision for at least 3-5 years
  • define shared principles for all entities in movement
    • common statements of mission and intended impact
    • shared values, including shared values of Wikimedia reputation
    • operating rules for accountability, transparency, etc.
    • minimum standards for entities to join, stay, or be asked to leave
    • minimum standards for legitimacy or “representativeness”: membership, membership fees, time commitments, election of board and officers, etc.
  • define roles and responsibilities for each type of entity in Wikimedia

movement, including:

    • Wikimedia Foundation
    • chapters: national, sub-national
    • other groups, new types of entities
    • future governing bodies (chapter committee, chapter/volunteer council etc.)
  • define scope of activities for each entity
    • at a minimum, what must each entity do - what is negligence of duty
    • at a maximum, what must each entity not do - what is over-reach
    • which activities are its choice but not obligation
  • specific roles and responsibilities for entities with regards to:
    • fundraising (e.g. 50:50 split between foundation and chapters, etc.)
    • reporting, transparency, accountability
    • contractual: license fees, trademarks, use of brand
    • mutual support among Wikimedia movement entities: how is each responsible for enabling others
    • life cycle of chapters: where is the responsibility for potential, new, nascent, dormant, moribund or defunct chapters
    • relations with volunteers otherwise unaffiliated within the Wikimedia movement
    • relations with entities beyond Wikimedia movement
    • oversight: who is responsible for monitoring, auditing and ensuring compliance
  • define where key decisions for the movement are made (e.g. for money, resources, use of name, new initiatives):
  • by Wikimedia Foundation
  • by Wikimedia Foundation with other entities
  • by other entities (chapters committee, new gov bodies)

Future meetings

  • On-Wiki / Phone between now and October
  • Foundation board meeting in SF in October or early November
  • Possible meeting of working group in January
  • Board meeting and chapters committee in Berlin 2011-3-25/26
  • Wikimania in Haifa 2011-8

Deliverables for October

  • Formal proposal to the board (and other stakeholders)
  • refined version of scope/deliverables
  • Initial findings of needs of Wikimedia movement - Skype interviews
  • Quick scan of best demonstrated practices

Initial research to be completed by October

  • Interviews and discussions with stakeholders (live + wiki) (50-60%)
  • scan of external best practices where applicable (20%)
  • preparation of materials (memos, presentations, etc.) (20-30%)

Core working team of 6-8 people TBD (anybody else can participate)

Action steps (suggested person responsible)

  • Finalize working group (Arne, Sue)
  • Establish meeting times (Arne, Barry, Jon)
  • Create private wiki and private mailing list (James)
  • Initiate page on strategy wiki via Philippe Beaudette (James)
  • Establish resources for research and analysis: (Sue)