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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Cycle 2/Wikimedia Deutschland (staff)

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What group or community is this source coming from?

name of group Wikimedia Deutschland staff
virtual location (page-link) or physical location (city/state/country) on-wiki discussion (internal office wiki)
Location type (e.g. local wiki, Facebook, in-person discussion, telephone conference) local wiki
# of participants in this discussion (a rough count) 11


Theme key
  1. Healthy, inclusive communities
  2. The augmented age
  3. A truly global movement
  4. The most trusted source of knowledge
  5. Engaging in the knowledge ecosystem
Questions key
  1. What impact would we have on the world if we follow this theme?
  2. How important is this theme relative to the other 4 themes? Why?
  3. Focus requires tradeoffs. If we increase our effort in this area in the next 15 years, is there anything we’re doing today that we would need to stop doing?
  4. What else is important to add to this theme to make it stronger?
  5. Who else will be working in this area and how might we partner with them?
Line Theme (refer to key) Question (refer to key) Summary Statement Keywords
1 A 1 If this secures the existence of Wikipedia as community-driven project, then people all over the world would have free access to knowledge that could change their lives, make them smarter, hopefully make them give back to others, and eventually make the world a more equal, creative, peaceful and resourceful place. free access to knowledge, equality, peace, creativity, resources
2 A 1 A healthy and inclusive community is the basis for all the work we do in the movement and guarantees a diversity of people and perspectives to be included in the knowledge that we co-create. As a result, the world would have access to a greater depth and breadth of knowledge in our projects. basis for everything, diversity, access to knowledge
3 A 1 Achieving that would deeply change the movement towards a true community. movement, community
4 A 1 The Wikimedia movement would make clear that communication culture is paramount which would set an example for other online-communities on the internet. communication culture, exemplary
5 A 1 We would have an important impact on how people perceive the internet as something they can co-create, as a place for sharing knowledge, as something that can empower communities. perspective on the internet, empowerment, co-creation
6 A 1 The impact would be a motivated and diverse community, enabling newbies an easy start and leading to more editors. motivation, diversity, empowerment, more editors
7 A 2 This is the most important theme because the human factor is always more relevant than technology or processes. Thus, “Augmented age” (technology/means to an end) and “knowledge ecosystem” (process/how, working with others) are not as important, by definition. human factor
8 A 2 This theme is very important: If it is taken by its words, then the other two themes of acting globally and being respected for content follow logically from this first theme. impact on other themes, fundamental for our work
9 A 2 It’s an underlying theme for all the other themes and a main asset for all of what Wikimedia can do to advance free knowledge in the world. It makes us unique, human-based, diverse and sustainable, thus it’s the most important among these five themes. impact on other themes, constitutive for Wikimedia
10 A 2 This one is the most important theme. A positive communication culture on the internet is currently at stake and the Wikimedia spirit (which represents the description above) is the core of the idea of Free Knowledge. Both aspects must be actively nourished to keep up motivation of the volunteers. communication culture, Wikimedia spirit, motivation
11 A 2 This theme is very important. importance
12 A 4 The claim that people first and foremost contribute to free knowledge projects because they are looking for relations and networking, has been challenged in the past and should be dropped. Take a recent focus group analysis of newbie editors that has been commissioned by Wikimedia Deutschland: It strongly suggests that potential and actual new contributors are not “in it” for the community aspect. In fact, being part of a community is rather off-putting to them and leading to self-doubt or hesitation to contribute. community aversion, solo action, relationships, motivation, self-doubt, hesitation
13 A 4 Include (and differentiate between) the perspectives of online and offline. online, offline
14 A 4 Include a definition of “community health” aspects that does not focus primarily on fun but on being motivating, appreciative, inclusive, rewarding, non-discriminatory, non-racist, a positive experience. community health, definition, appreciation, rewarding
15 A 4 People start to contribute out of different reasons (intrinsic and extrinsic). The community experience rarely is one of them. But it is a strong reason that people keep on volunteering. motivation, intrinsic, extrinsic, community, relations
16 A 4 Replace "healthy" with a better word. wording
17 A 5 Who else will be working in this field: All the major online communities. major online communitys
18 A 5 How to partner: Exploratory talks. exploratory talks
19 A 5 Build bridges and collaboration with other activists and communities in the free knowledge ecosystem like Open Knowledge International (OKI), Mozilla etc. activists and communities in the free knowledge ecosystem, Open Knowledge International, Mozilla
20 A 5 Partner with institutions that aim to promote civil society and collaborate on strengthening people’s participation in civil society in all different forms, working to create free knowledge and education. institutions, civil society, free knoweldge, education
21 A 5 Do not focus on all online communities, but focus on the the self-organized ones. Wikimedia chapters are no community managers, rather community enablers. That is the difference to communities like the Giga community with a centralized governance structure. For sure it may help to have an exchange with Facebook & co. but much more interesting would be the FOSS community, Mozilla, OKI, Creative Commons open data community etc. online communities, self-organized, FOSS, FLOSS, Mozilla, Creative Commons, Open Knowledge International, Open Data
22 A 5 Cooperate with universities to better understand problems and to find effective solutions. universities, academia
23 A 5 Also consider institutional partners in education, science and culture as gateways to new groups and demographies that will increase diversity and quality of content. institutions, diversity, quality
24 B 1 None that wouldn’t be covered by the first of the major themes. Also, this is more of a HOW proposal, less a WHAT proposal, meaning that it describes the means necessary to achieve an end. And the end here is “more creative and productive volunteers” – which is in line with theme 1’s claim that a healthy community will lead to flourishing projects under collective care. means to an end
25 B 1 "Augmented age" is unnecessarily narrow compared to the more general theme of "advancing with technology". The latter is rather close to what we already do. wording, too narrow, technologically more open
26 B 1 Currently, advancing in technologies as AI and machine learning might boost quality and accessibility of content significantly and ease online contributions. At the same time it will also be important to become more adaptive to still unknown upcoming technological developments. quality, accessibility of content, unknown technological developments
27 B 1 New target groups, keeping the traffic of Wikipedia high, good user experience. traffic, user experience, new contributors
28 B 1 We will never be technological innovators. Crowd decision processes are far too slow for that. But we can be innovative in the use of technology for free knowledge and digital social processes. innovations, use of technology, crowd as an issue, slowness, innovative use of technology, digital social processes
29 B 2 Technological developments are tremendously important to the future of this movement. technological developments, future
30 B 2 Technological developments in the Wikimedia movement will have to take into account the people/community factor, it needs partnering with innovators in technology and a thoughtful handling of our resources. community, community factor, social factor, partnering with innovators, partners, resources
31 B 2 Advancement in technology should be means to an end and help us achieve our vision in the other four themes. means to an end
32 B 2 Not as important as the other themes but still crucial and should be part of the strategy to have a focus for technological developments. technology, development, focus, crucial
33 B 2 Learn from the recent experience with the Wikimedia Foundation leadership crisis - technology is a way and a path and a set of tools, and it influences culture, community and function. It is not a reason for being. So it is important, but only in context and in service to everything else. means to an end, technology as a tool, community as the focus
34 B 4 Let's abandon any explicit or implicit depiction of volunteers as “optimizable assets”. People do not need help to be creative. It will not be wise to make a 10-15 year prediction of what we think editors will need to be more productive. As a movement, we may be of service by providing ever more options to pick from or better invitations to contribute, but that’s about usability and service – not about getting more and better results from people. Optimizing people’s output is what the Matrix is about, not Wikipedia. productivity, creativity, service, respect
35 B 4 If we want to be truly innovative, we need to think beyond the technological options that are already present today (machine learning, browser, apps, technical devices) as technology will look radically different in 15 years time. For this, our movement needs to be open to adapting to these technological changes, and willing to make changes to our current technological infrastructure as well as our general technological strategies. adaptiveness, flexibility, agile, radical change
36 B 4 We need to establish an 'agile crowd thinking and decision process' to cope with constantly changing environments. adaptiveness, flexibility, agile, agile processes, agile community processes, community processes
37 B 4 It needs a discussion if the system has to be absolutely intuitive or if volunteers need to learn new skills or both. intuitive, training
38 B 5 Who else will be working in this area: Everyone targeted in major theme 5. knowledge ecosystem, free knowledge alliance, partners, partnerships
39 B 5 We need to proactively convince partners to bring their technological developments into our movement and make them available free and open for all. technological developments, free, open
40 B 5 Partnerships should be built with other organisations of the Free- and Open-Movement and start-ups. Cooperation with big players should be handled very carefully and, if possible, avoided. Free Movement, Open Movement, Open Knowledge, Mozilla, Creative Commons, Start-Ups, big players
41 B 5 Mozilla is much better equipped to succeed in this theme. They are an interesting partner. But also initiatives and even companies who are working with big data and artificial intelligence like Google. Mozilla, big data initiatives, big data companies, AI, Google
42 C 1 Great impact, because the listed regions of the world are currently at a disadvantage when it comes to freely accessible knowledge. freely accessible knowledge, disavantage, emerging communities, impactful
43 C 1 This would be a theme with great impact, if the Wikimedia movement would understand itself and act like one, increasing collaboration and dialogue. collaboration, dialogue, teamwork, impactful, emerging communities, understanding, acting
44 C 1 Openness to a broader variety of contributions and new forms of knowledge is essential to come closer to our vision as a movement and not limited to currently ‘not well served’ regions. If we follow this theme for all regions of the world, we might be able to increase the diversity and depth of knowledge available to all, everywhere. diverse contributions, forms of knowledge, diversity, depth, openness
45 C 1 Following this theme would increase our impact a lot, reinforcing our political stance and bringing together all our different skills and resources. political work, public policy, resources, innovation, skills
46 C 1 In the best version of this scenario we would encourage emancipation of these regions from the Western world. emancipation, independence
47 C 2 Quite important. important, impactful
48 C 2 It is an important theme – being truly global and working together will be always better than a fragment chart of national organizations. working together, better together, globalism
49 C 2 Very important, if being expanded to collaborative actions and mutual learning across the world, south and north, west and east. mutual learning, collaboration, collaborative actions, impactful
50 C 2 Very important. important, impactful
51 C 4 It might benefit the argument if it was backed with strong data/evidence. Is there evidence for the claim that people in the above-mentioned regions of the world need different products than people in the rest of the world? If so, please explain. skepticism, need of different products, need of alternative solutions, usefulness, intuitiveness, usuability
52 C 4 It is not only about connecting existing communities with emerging communities, but also working together as readers, contributors, affiliates and partners from all regions of the world we would improve existing and develop new forms of contributions. network of ideas, network of skills, network of knowledge, bridging communities, connecting all kinds of stakeholders, readers, contributors, affiliates, partners
53 C 4 I would suggest to not start every sentence with "we". This sounds more like "us" and "them" than like a truly global movement. separation, divisiveness
54 C 4 This theme should focus more on public policy and change of legislation, as just working on awareness would be a bit weak. public policy, change of legislation, political change
55 C 4 It will be a huge challenge for the movement, as we're currently phrasing the current identify of the movement. These regions will / might have a different understanding of it, so we might end up just repeating a "digital colonization" process. digital colonization, repeating old narratives, separation, divisiveness, digital gap, technological gap
56 C 5 Governments, Open Knowledge, humanitarian aid organizations. Governements, Open Knowlege, humanitarian aid organizations
57 C 5 Different communities within the movement should be partnering with each other and the internal capacities for sharing and learning from each other should be greatly increased. communities, communities within the movement, partnerships
58 C 5 Instead of focusing on external partners, we should focus on the need of appropriate internal structures. need of internal structures, lack of structures
59 C 5 United Nations, Mozilla (who's already active in some of these regions). United Nations, Mozilla
60 D 1 This theme, together with theme 3, is dependent and follows for theme 1. healty communities, inclusive communities, dependance, interdependance, empored civil society
61 D 1 If ‘we’ or rather ‘we together with the wider knowledge ecosystem’ have to be most respected and trusted, remains an open question. If we could provide the most high-quality content and increase the depth of knowledge together with partners as part of a knowledge ecosystem, then the impact would be limitless. knowledge ecosystem, knowledge partners, partners, limitless impact, hugely impactful
62 D 2 In my opinion, we have already achieved this – at best this theme is a "preserving status quo"-thing. status quo, preserving status quo, unambitious
63 D 2 If it’s mainly about the image of Wikimedia’s sources, it is of inferior importance. If it’s about the real usefulness and accessibility of Wikimedia’s content, it’s of high importance. usefulness, accessibility, image, marketing
64 D 2 This theme is the less important one. not important, less important
65 D 4 The volunteer aspect in “working toward more accuracy and verifiability” is missing in this theme. volunteerism, importance of volunteers
66 D 4 The focus should be on the high-quality content being useful for people, even despite being a respected or relevant source. Wikimedia projects should not just been seen as the most relevant source of knowledge, but actually contain the most high-quality and neutral knowledge there is. Wikipedia is not a goal, free knowledge as a goal, high quality, neutral source of knowledge
67 D 4 We should work towards free knowledge. Wikipedia and the other projects are (currently) the way to achieve that, not the end goal. Wikipedia is not a goal, free knowledge as a goal, free knowledge in general
68 D 5 This theme is strongly related to theme 5, as the wider knowledge network will be our natural partner. All together providing the highest quality knowledge and content for everyone to access should be our goal. knowledge ecosystem, knowledge partners, partners, knowledge alliance, access to everyone
69 D 5 In the future, data providers will be the most important ones, therefore governmental institutions/agencies should be a natural partner. open data, government, governmental institutions, governmental agencies, data providers
70 E 1 We are always stronger together than alone. Having impact would be easier and faster if we partner with “leading institutions/orgs”. togetherness, strength through partnerships
71 E 1 We need to work together with partners in crime to strengthen our work, to learn from others and to complete our ideas. Very Important! strengthen, learn, build upon
72 E 1 Working together with partners is the most effective way to create systemic change and have a large, long-lasting impact. This theme should be a natural aspect of our work and incorporated in absolutely everything that we do. systemic change, sustainability, fundamental for our work
73 E 2 This theme is more of a HOW proposition, about how to best achieve something, in this case becoming a central part of worldwide education. Education would be a if not the most important WHAT theme. But as is, this theme is about the framework and not abput the objective, and as such not very important relative to the others. means to an end, how instead of what, fundamental for our work
74 E 2 Pretty important: We need to collaborate within our Movement but also with Partners in Crime to be stronger and engage e.g. in politics. We need the exchange to widen our view of the world and to learn lessons from others. We need to support those who are innovative, even if they might fail. advocacy, learning, supporting, innovation
75 E 2 This aspect has the highest potential to take Wikimedia’s impact in the world to the next level. highest potential for impact
76 E 4 Stress the ultimate goal, education. education first
77 E 4 Already quite strong, but maybe we all will work with allies we did not know we had instead of just “the communities”. new allies
78 E 4 Movement players need to practice and learn working with our communities and with institutions and 'external' partners at the same time, and to navigate the diversity in cultures and resulting tensions towards collective impact. collective impact, diversity in cultures, practice, learning
79 E 5 The Open Source Movement or the Movement for wireless community network (freifunk). Open Source, Freifunk



  • The five major themes presented above are high-level strategic directions. They appear to be something between genuine vision statements and strategic goals, and rightfully so. If you are looking for a tradeoff here, it must surely be connected to resources, as in time and money. The themes are bordering on values, and I'm not aware of any values that would threaten or counter these 5 themes. 

Abandon the "free knowledge" claim (for "free minds" or other people-centric wording like "free people")

  • The term "free knowledge" has never helped connecting an intangible value to people's emotions. It makes our mission more difficult to explain, because knowledge is abstract. Knowledge isn't just there, but only comes into existence when people put information into context. Wikimedia's vision is not about creating a different world for knowledge. It is about creating a different world for human beings. If we want our vision to prevail, we must shift our rhetoric from knowledge to people and make Wikimedia about people's rights. Let's re-brand this movement and work for better conditions for people, not better conditions for knowledge. Knowledge doesn't suffer, people do. Knowledge will never experience the joy of having an idea, solving a problem, understanding an issue and exploring one's own capabilities. People do.

Connection of the themes

  • 'Healthy communities', 'Augmented age' and 'The knowledge ecosystem' are the fundamental themes which form the pillars of our movement. 'Global movement' and 'source of knowledge' feel more like missions which will (hopefully) be accomplished at a certain point.

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