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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/2019 Community Conversations/Strategy Salons/Reports/VVIT WikiConnect Youth Salon

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Date and place[edit]

  • Day : 8 September 2019
  • Time : 9 am - 5 pm
  • Place : The Capital Hotel, Guntur
  • Organised by: VVIT WikiConnect (on behalf of Wikipedia & Education User Group)


S.No Name Organization / Institute Position Notes
1 S Naga Sai Sravanth VVIT WikiConnect Lead Coordinator Lead Organizer
2 Asrija Konduri VVIT WikiConnect Coordinator Organizer
3 Suswetha Kolluru VVIT WikiConnect Past Coordinator Organizer
4 Pavan Santhosh Telugu Wikipedia Facilitator
5 Manavpreet Kaur Affiliation Committee Member Facilitator
6 Tanveer Hasan Wikimedia Foundation Information & Knowledge Liasion Remote Presence
7 Krishna Chaitanya Velaga Wikipedia & Education User Group Secretary Remote Presence
Program support
8 Irfan Shaik VVIT WikiConnect Coordinator Organizer
9 Srilekha Pathakamuri VVIT WikiConnect Member Note Maker
10 Eswar Naga Mahesh VVIT WikiConnect Member
11 Haindavi Ghanta VVIT WikiConnect Member
12 Bhashyam Tharun Kumar VVIT WikiConnect Member Note Maker
13 Nivas Ramisetty VVIT WikiConnect Past Coordinator Note Maker
14 Harika Mekala VVIT WikiConnect Coordinator Note maker
15 Hemanth Challa Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology University Innovation Fellow
16 Navya Sri Kalli Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology University Innovation Fellow
17 Mazumdar Anirudh Vasireddy Venkatadri Institute of Technology University Innovation Fellow
18 Jagadeesh Student Activity Council, VVIT Treasurer
19 Ravindranath Kumar We Are With You Charitable Trust Member
20 Eswara Prabhat We Are With You Charitable Trust Member
21 Shaik Jaffar Shariff We Are With You Charitable Trust Member
22 Jaya Krishna District 98, Toastmasters International Member
23 Yasaswini District 98, Toastmasters International Past Vice President
24 Eswar ISB - TEP Member
25 Praveen Make a Difference Past Ed Support Volunteer

General Overview[edit]

On 8 September 2019, VVIT WikiConnect on behalf of the Wikipedia & Education User Group organised a “Youth Salon”, as a part of the community conversations for Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy, in Guntur titled “Let us discuss Capacity Building - The Wikimedia’s Perspective” on 8 September 2019. Participants represented different capacity building organisations working with youth, along with the student editors from VVIT WikiConnect.

Morning session[edit]

As the participants had both Wikimedians and non Wikimedians, they were first given a general overview of Wikimedia movement. Following that, Tanveer Hasan remotely spoke to the participants for thirty minutes, explaining about Movement Strategy 2030. Later on, Pavan Santhosh explained the participants about all the working groups in brief, and followed by Manavpreet Kaur explaining about Capacity Building with related examples. Later the participants were divided into 4 groups, with each group having a student Wikimedian as notemaker. Each group was given with a recommendation from the Capacity Building and were asked to discuss about them for an hour before breaking them for lunch.

Post Lunch Session[edit]

Participants during activity after lunch

Post-lunch Pavan Santhosh conducted an activity on diversity - this helped the participants to understand diversity of a participants and how diverse Wiki-users can be. After the activity all the groups started discussing the recommendations. Later, participants from each group moved to different groups to know learn the discussion that happened in other groups. While the participants moved from one group to another, they not only learnt about the other group’s discussions, but also collected feedback on their own discussion. After the groups had their original members back, this helped them to rework on their ideas based on feedback received from other groups, and eventually present their final ideas/comments.

Group 1[edit]

Recommendation: Resources for Capacity Building

Participants from Group 1
  • Capacity Building should be considered as the foundation for sustainability of leadership in the Wikimedia movement.
  • Not only monetary support, but also support in terms of training and mentoring are also to be considered as resources. Support from experts (such as staff from WMF or affiliates, or community leaders) should not be limited to funding, but working closely with organisers to design effective programs by keeping in view of previous failures and institutional knowledge.
  • Allocation and managing of resources for capacity building should be mirco-managed i.e. at the ground level. Simultaneously, there must organisational support to the person micromanaging things. This will not only help people to run effective program, build the capacity of the trainees, and will help to build the capacity of organisers, and thereby leading to development of leadership in the movement.
  • This recommendation will only work if the selection process is fair and effective. To ensure this there needs to be standardized guidelines on selection processes various kinds of activities - though this can be a small set to begin with, it can be built upon as we move forward.

Group 2[edit]

Recommendation: Provide Capacity Building for Organizational Development/Supporting communities in achieving their organizational development goals

Participants from group 2
  • We should have more volunteer-based organisations and user-generated platforms as our partners. When this happens at organisational level, sharing of capacities between different volunteer communities can be easy. For example, Toastmasters International’s clubs can help Wikimedians to improve public speaking skills, which contributes to leadership, and we can share our knowledge about digital literacy with them.
  • Depending entirely upon individual contributors makes the future of our movement uncertain. This is because contributors keep coming and going dormant in the movement, to make ourselves sustainable we should be looking for organisational partnerships to get content at mass to our projects.

Group 3[edit]

Recommendation: Mentoring and Leadership Development

Participants from group 3
  • There should be a robust mentoring system to guide new leaders to design effective programs. Focus should not only be limited to program, but there should be procedures where we can develop the capacity of the organisers as well so that they come better movement organisers, and move up the scale.
  • One of the participants mentioned that in their organisation all newbies were alloted with a personal mentor who helps them whenever they face problems. Considering the amount of user registrations we have in a day, providing mentorship may not be practically possible. There can be a pattern to identify where a user is being highly active in the initial stages (say 3 months of account registration) and then there is drastic decline in activity - if we can identify such users and provide mentorship to at least some them initially, it will help us to have consistent inflow of new contributors.
  • Mentorship at certain levels need not be a volunteer activity if we don’t have enough volunteers. There can be some kind of a contractual arrangement where people can dedicate a fixed amount of time for mentorship. To make this sustainable, each person receiving mentorship will be obliged to guide to another user later when time comes.
  • There should also proactive practices to help first time organisers/grantees to continue to scale up their initiatives. For example, if someone worked on rapid grant that had excellent results and there is a great potential to scale it up to something very effective, then there must be an attempt from WMF or affiliates to reach out to such individuals to continue their projects, and if needed provide necessary support.

Group 4[edit]

Recommendation: Evaluating Capacity Building

Participants from group 4
  • There needs to be new metrics when we talk about evaluating capacity building. The regular metrics used for general edit-a-thons aren’t suitable here. Parameters of an individual’s personal traits should also be considered.
  • A training event can also be evaluated in terms of how much of existing resources, such as learning patterns and reports, have been used in designing the event, and what is something new that happened in this event where people can learn from in the future. The overall idea is to see how much of a program, a project, or an event is contributing to the movement's collective knowledge.