Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Toolkit/Discussion Coordinator Role
- See the Outreach List to see who has already signed up to be a Discussion Coordinator for their Organized Group.
Step One: Sign up to be a Discussion Coordinator and prepare for the conversation
To ensure these discussions are inclusive and inspire broad participation, we are calling for volunteer Discussion Coordinators from all organized groups. These may be members of the groups or other enthusiastic community members willing to coordinate discussion. Coordinators oversee all aspects of the discussion, but may delegate certain tasks (for example, leading an in-person discussion session, taking notes, or summarizing key points) to other volunteers as they see fit. Sign up to be a Discussion Coordinator. You will then receive an invitation to a Discussion Coordinator orientation and contact information for someone who you can reach out to with any questions about the process or discussions.
Who can be a Discussion Coordinator?
Anyone can coordinate a discussion. We invite organized groups to work with their stakeholders (staff, volunteers, and individual contributors) to coordinate as many discussions as they like. We are asking for at least one Discussion Coordinator per organized group to organize and initiate the discussion(s). We also invite enthusiastic members of the community to coordinate their own discussions among individual contributors. Types of discussions may include:
- Track A and Track B: The organized group and its volunteer contributors host a joint discussion. We recommend that someone from the organized group volunteers to be the Discussion Coordinator.
- Track A only: The organized group hosts a discussion (or multiple discussions) with its organized group (for example, an affiliate staff and Board only or just members of a specific user group). Each organized group designates a Discussion Coordinator(s) to lead coordination for that group's discussion(s).
- Track B only: Enthusiastic members of organized groups or the broader community volunteer as Discussion Coordinators and host discussions among individual contributors.
What do Discussion Coordinators do?
Discussion Coordinators oversee all of the following tasks to ensure discussions are organized and initiated, but may delegate certain tasks to other volunteers for support:
- Invite community to participate in discussion.
- Encourage participants to pre-read the strategy brief to ensure a rich, informed discussion.
- Host the discussion using the discussion guide. (You may choose to ask for volunteers to help you manage in-person discussions. Supporting roles may include: Facilitator, Timekeeper, and Note taker.)
- Post discussion notes in your local language to your local project, or the platform where your discussion is taking place.
- Summarize major discussion points.
- Post summary in your local language to your local project, or the platform where your discussion is taking place.
- Submit summary using the Form in English. If you cannot translate yourself or find a volunteer who can, submit summary in your local language and a language liaison or volunteer will translate it for you.
What support will be available for Discussion Coordinators?
Discussion support team:
We will be here to help you. When you sign up to coordinate a conversation, you will receive:
- an invitation to a Discussion Coordinator orientation, which will provide more information and guidance on this role
- contact information for someone who you can reach out to with any questions about the process or discussions
Because it is so important that we hear from everyone, we will have up to 17 language specialists and 3 Meta-Wiki liaisons to:
- help translate discussion summaries from local languages to English and post to Meta
- help translate other discussion summaries on Meta from English to local languages so Discussion Coordinator can share with their discussion group (this will allow discussions on your local projects to see what other people in other languages are contributing)
- monitor discussions and help Track Lead, support staff and core strategy team respond to select insightful and leading comments
- other translation support as needed
Can Discussion Coordinators still participate in discussions?
Yes, absolutely. However, remember to not let your personal views too strongly direct the conversation or bias the discussion summaries.
If you are in the role of Facilitator (leading the discussion), your priority is to help move the group through the discussion and ensure the conversation is being captured accurately. You should clearly let the group know when you are stepping out of the Facilitator role and speaking as a participant.
Ideally, if the Coordinator wants to be a more active participant, she/he asks someone else to be the Facilitator for an in-person discussion.
How do I sign up to be a Discussion Coordinator?
If you would like to volunteer as a Discussion Coordinator, please sign up here. This will let us know that you are planning a discussion and will allow us to better support your efforts.
Are there other opportunities to volunteer to help with discussion besides the Discussion Coordinator role?
Yes! While we are asking for a single Discussion Coordinator per discussion with an organized group or community to oversee all required tasks, we know that others may want to help with one or two of the tasks (like inviting others to the discussion, taking notes, or helping translate summaries to and from Meta). We encourage engagement at whatever level is desired (and are sure the Discussion Coordinators will appreciate the extra support). Discussion Coordinators will also be encouraged to either reach out to their local project's language liaisons or engage on-wiki with their local or thematic communities, so anyone interested to contribute can reach out to them and offer their support.