The following people took participation in this year's Skopje Strategy Salon:
- Violetova - liaison, Chair person
- MB - responsible for taking notes, Board member
- Raso mk - Board member
- Wikimk - Board member
- Gordi - Board member
- Vla stoj
- Margarita Gliguroska
- Tatjana Loškoska
- Tatjana Gogoska
- Tatjana Josimovska
- Julija Kalaputi
- Frosinа Andonovska
- Biljana Ǵorǵevska-Stojanoska
- Goran Donevski
Skopje Strategy Salon was organised by the active members of GLAM Macedonia. This is the first strategy salon even organised in Macedonia (North Macedonia) and the member's excitement was evident. Twenty persons come from all over Macedonia. The salon started at 7 pm on 27 July 2019 in Taftalidže, Skopje. As soon as all planned participants arrived, this working meeting began by showing a video, recommended by the ToolKit, regarding the Wikimedia Strategy. The participants of the Salon were provided a detailed explanation of the Movement's goals and visions. The video presentation was followed by formal introduction of the participants, their experience and contribution to the Wikimedia Movement and their professional engagements. The warm-up activity turned out quite beneficiary, especially regarding the following activity. The president of GLAM Macedonia called the participants to share a story of a successful partnership and collaboration of an organisation they are members of. Even to the organiser's surprise, the participants shared a good number of stories and experiences, that is, sharing ideas and visions. As soon as this activity ended, the participants were divided into small working groups, made of two or three people and they were given two sets of questions or discussion topics. One was about Partnership and the other one about Capacity Building. The end of the Strategy Salon was marked by nice, and well-deserved, food and refreshment event.
The organizer’s requirement from the participants was to group themselves into small working groups of two or three people. Having done that, the working groups received two sets of questions. The first part of the questions, or discussion topics, was about capacity building, while the second one was about partnership.
- 1. How to include new members, so that it can be done fairly (for instance, in relations to the existing members)?
The majority of the participants, that is the working groups, agreed that new members and volunteers can be included by larger public presentation of the organization’s activities, giving special attention to Wiki Camps and Clubs. In other words, the general public should be informed, via media and social networks, about the plans and activities of the organisation so they may be involved in some of the projects. Besides that, the participants pointed out the need for inviting new members and collaboration with other organizations so the word can be spread more effectively. Furthermore, the participants enlisted the need for creative projects in order to get the young population’s attention and future possible involvement. At the end, the participants proposed creating a ranking list of success during certain (editing) activities in order to motivate the volunteers competitive spirit and appreciate the volunteering efforts.
- 2. What target groups should be part of our movement, and how to include them?
After the analysis of the discussion results and their written answers, the general opinion of the participants was that the young population should be undoubtedly among the most important target groups. In particular, the participants emphasized the importance of the students (university, high school and middle school students) and their engagement in the projects. They are a potential for spreading out the visions and the goals of the Wikimedia Movement and that potential can be used for the further development of Wikimedia projects. Additionally, a strong positive attitude could be noted towards educators, teachers and professors. They are also considered as a crucial elements or contributors for the developments of the Wikimedia movement, particularly in regions where Wikimedia movement is not strongly present in the social existence of the country. The participants also confirmed that the collaboration with the public institutions and the volunteers of different areas, such as Amateur clubs (sports, arts, etc) can be quite beneficiary for our organization and the movement, but also for the other third parties. Finally, the participants of the strategy salon noted that there is a need for deeper collaboration with the marginalized social groups in the country and they see a potential for mutual benefit.
- 3. How to be diverse and how to include various groups of people (diversity by geography, intellect, sex, age, nationality)?
Diversity is the key component of the movement’s success. This is something that was seen as true by almost all Strategy Salon participants. There were huge number of proposals about the manner of diversifying the organization and the movement itself. Among the most elaborated ideas regarding this issue were the need for organizing seminars and meetings for sharing ideas and knowledge, more camps and media coverage of the events and activities, detailed elaboration of Wikipedia and how to use Wikipedia in everyday life, training sessions and projects with specific target groups.
- 4. What groups of people we could, but we didn’t include in the movement?
As this question was tightly connected to the previous one, the participants here exemplified their ideas presented in the previous question. Since the young population was referred to in the questions above, the participants here expressed their expectations to see projects involving retired elderly people. This target group is not sufficiently involved in the social activities of Macedonia, but the potential is great. Moreover, the participants expressed their will to collaborate with marginalized target groups. LGBT community and the representatives of the small ethnic communities in Macedonia.
- 1. What is the best way to collaborate among each other and with our partners?
The answers and the ideas that were shared between the participants of the Salon regarding this topic were varied. Among the most exemplified ideas shared by the participants was the need of increase of usage of the modern IT technology to reach GLAM Members and interested non-member activists. In addition to that, the emphasise was also given to mutual respect and appreciation of the volunteers’ efforts and engagement. With the help of workshops, meetings and seminars, the future expansion of the organisation and the movement itself is expected. A good PR and media coverage of the projects and activities will result with better establishment of the movement in the social life of the country. Involvement of the young population for these purposes was seen as one of the key factors for success.
- 2. Ideas for future partnerships?
This was one of the most elaborated topic among the participants. There were various different proposals for future new collaboration with new partners and expansion of the existing collaborations with current GLAM Macedonia partners. The participants’ proposals included collaboration with schools and universities, museums, archives, local government, the communities of the small ethnic minorities in Macedonia and deeper collaboration with other NGOs. An excellent proposal for collaboration was given during the Salon, that is, Kulart expressed willingness to start partnership with GLAM Macedonia.
- 3.What is needed in order to have more partners?
Without doubt, the most elaborated idea regarding this topic of discussion or question was the need for larger media coverage of the organization and the movement. The participants expressed their view on this issue and they stated that the general Macedonian public should be better informed about the vision and goals of the Wikimedia Movement and the organization’s activities. Furthermore, they emphasised the need for more printed and electronic materials and also larger number of volunteers, i.e. human resources.
- 4. Is there any need to work more with corporations and companies (profit organisations)? If YES, what are the challenges regarding that?
Regarding this question, the participant’s answers were more homogeneous in comparison to the previous ones. Almost half of the participants stated that there is no need of collaboration with companies and profit-oriented organizations. However, the second half of the participants noted that there is such need, especially in terms of sponsorship for organising meeting, workshops and bigger projects like Wiki Camps or Wiki Clubs.
- 5. What can be done differently so we can be more successful?
As it was the case with the previous answers, again the participants emphasised the need for bigger media coverage of the projects and ideas of the Movement. Moreover, the participants proposed forming special groups of activists that would be working on specific topics. Additionally, it was stated that there is a need for more training and workshops and acknowledgement of the effort of the students. The transparency was also placed high among the movement’s priorities.
Almost all of the participants of the Skopje Strategy Salon had positive attitude towards this kind of meeting. Their view on the Strategy Salon was excellent and they stated that it is very useful since it gathers activists from different regions of Macedonia in order to share ideas and experience. They found this very useful and the knowledge and ideas they came up with will be certainly implemented in the upcoming projects and activities. The board of ideas that was present on the spot listed the participants views on the topics and that served as a guideline for the development course of the organisation and the movement itself.
- In media:
Full photos in this category on Commons.