Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Frequently asked questions

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Contents

Basics[edit]

What is Wikimedia 2030?[edit]

When Wikipedia marked 15 years in 2016, we as a movement began to think about the future and what we want to build or achieve by 2030. Out of this, a participatory and adaptive process was brought to life to define what Wikimedia will look like in 2030, and how we want our projects, our communities, and the free knowledge ecosystem to evolve.

The Movement Strategy Process “Wikimedia 2030” started in 2017. The first objective was to create a structure for this process and develop a cohesive direction to guide the movement going forward. Global community discussions were coordinated by a core strategy team and a Community Process Steering Committee to create this shared vision for the future. In October 2017, the movement’s strategic direction was finalized and endorsed: By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us. The strategic direction is driven by two objectives: Knowledge as a service and knowledge equity. Now, in the ongoing process, we are exploring our path to get there.

What is the Movement Strategy Process 2018-20?[edit]

The Movement Strategy Process “Wikimedia 2030” brings together members of our movement to define how to best advance in our strategic direction. To do this, we are assessing where the movement currently stands and where challenges may lie so that we can identify and seize opportunities that support our strategic direction and develop recommendations for change within the movement‘s structures. As part of this, discussions and analysis will take place on a global level to develop a plan for change that:

  • is built on sustainability, inclusivity, and diversity
  • ensures the movement makes the most of all potential opportunities
  • pinpoints existing and possible challenges and best practices to overcome these
  • identifies the tools, methods, resources, and structural changes that are needed in order to ensure effective implementation of recommended changes

What does the Movement Strategy Process involve?[edit]

Our goal is big: Becoming the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge by 2030 requires a deep analysis of where things are at and bold ideas to progress in our strategic direction. How can we adapt our structures to ensure our movement is future ready? What are the biggest opportunities that could drive this evolution? This is what inspires the work of the Movement Strategy Process.

Broadly speaking, the Movement Strategy Process consists of: analyzing the current situation of our movement, developing recommendations for change, and implementing those recommendations.

The process itself rotates around the work of nine working groups, each focused on a specific topic that is essential in the movement structure. The groups facilitate discussion, research, and analysis of their topic to help the movement answer important questions.

The initial focus is to define a scope of inquiry, aka a set of guiding questions, that will act as a framework for identifying the necessary changes at the movement’s structural level. The answers that the scope yields will be used to decide what changes to implement and how to move forward.

The broader community, experts, and key stakeholders will be brought in at particular points to keep these discussions well informed and enriched with diverse perspectives.

The working groups and overall process are supported by a core strategy team that provides guidance for everyone involved and ensures the process is relevant, collaborative, open, and focused on outcomes.

What are the desired outcomes of the Movement Strategy Process?[edit]

The goal is to develop concrete recommendations for how we can evolve and develop structurally in defined thematic areas in order to advance in our strategic direction.

Regular input from communities, movement stakeholders, organized groups, and experts will help ensure that the recommendations are actionable, that they have widespread support, and that the significant legal, financial and structural aspects and implications have all been considered.

What is the Movement Strategy Process timeline?[edit]

The Movement Strategy Process was initiated in 2017. The development of the scope took place from July 2018 until March 2019, and a first draft of recommendations for change was presented in August 2019. Implementation of the changes will likely start by early to mid 2020.

You can find more info on dedicated Timeline page.

Working Groups[edit]

What is the role of the working groups?[edit]

Working groups are the heart and soul of the Movement Strategy Process, and they drive the discussions for structural reform across the movement. Over 90 members of the global Wikimedia community have formed into nine working groups, each one analyzing a specific thematic area within the movement. The results of their analyses will form the basis for developing recommendations for structural change.

Working groups play three important roles:

  1. Identify and monitor trends in their respective thematic area and assess their relevance and impact to the Wikimedia Movement.
  2. Develop structural recommendations for the movement in general and for diverse stakeholders (affiliates, WMF, communities and allies) in particular.
  3. Work closely with a range of community members throughout the process in an effort to develop recommendations and inclusive implementation plans for these recommendations.

The nine thematic areas that the working groups are researching and developing recommendations for are: Advocacy, Capacity Building, Community Health, Diversity, Product and Technology, Partnerships, Resource Allocation, Revenue Streams, and Roles and Responsibilities.

Where can I access the working groups’ work?[edit]

The guiding questions of the scope, final recommendations, analysis and deliberations during the process, research and case studies, reading materials and working group reports will be documented on Meta, available for both analysis and discussion.

The minutes of the meetings, decisions made, and action items will be published with the consent of the working group members on each group’s Meta page.

How often do the working groups meet?[edit]

The frequency of meetings varies from group to group as the working groups determine their own scheduling. The groups rely on an asynchronous workflow, allowing them to meet online, collaborate, and manage common documents and workloads remotely. Each working group member has committed to a time investment of five hours per week.

How were the members of the working groups selected?[edit]

Each working group consists of around 8 to 15 people and features a mix of volunteers, Wikimedia staff, and Board members from different backgrounds and regions. In mid-2018, an open call for applications was put out to the Wikimedia community to join the working groups. 172 applications were evaluated by the core team and a shortlist was created for the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee - assembled by the core team from members of the broader movement who were involved in Phase I of the Movement Strategy Process - finalized the selection of working group members.

For more details and analysis of the overall applications, please refer to the Application process report here.

The application form is still open, and we are looking for new members who can bring in additional perspectives and expertise throughout the process.

What is the proportional makeup of the working groups in terms of the number of volunteers, staff, and Board members?[edit]

The working group membership structure roughly breaks down like so: 30% volunteers, 40% staff, 30% Board members.

The distribution of applications was relatively even between staff, board members, and volunteers. When forming the working groups, other factors were considered in addition to applicant roles, such as expertise, geography and also gender identity, in order to ensure a diverse, well-rounded group makeup and help us strike the right balance in group membership.

Have you considered paying volunteers to contribute to the working groups?[edit]

Requests to pay volunteers for their contributions to the working groups have been brought to the core team’s attention. In line with Wikimedia’s overall model for voluntary contribution, volunteers will not receive payment for their input into the working groups.

What is the Steering Group?[edit]

To facilitate a smooth flow of information between the different working groups, a Steering Group has been set up, featuring select representatives (called coordinators) from each working group. The Steering Group meets on a monthly basis together with with the core team to share experience and discuss updates that are relevant to all working groups. You can find more info on the Steering Group here.

How does implementation of the WG recommendations work? Who will make the decisions about the working group recommendations and when?[edit]

This will depend significantly on the recommendations that come out of this process and will likely vary from recommendation to recommendation. The recommendations will influence the movement on various levels (global, regional, and local), which also implicates different approaches in relation to decision-making. As the working groups themselves are not decision-making bodies, one of their priorities will be putting forward ideas for how we make decisions on these recommendations as a movement.

The Wikimedia Board of Trustees is also active in the working groups (there is one Board member in each group). It has also committed to assisting the decision-making process and, where applicable, the implementation of recommendations. Specifically, the Board of Trustees will:

  • resolve difficult questions as required and adhere to decisions made
  • delegate approval of recommendations to an appropriate community mechanism whenever possible (such as endorsement or consensus)
  • make decisions when there is no other mechanism to make the decisions, accept the recommendations that are consistent with the movement's values, the strategic direction, as well as law and other compliance requirements
  • direct resources, budgets, and capacities for the implementation of approved recommendations.

Read more about the Board of Trustees’ role in the Movement Strategy Process here.

Participants[edit]

How can I participate?[edit]

There are many opportunities to participate. See the Community Conversations section below.

When and how can communities get involved in the Movement Strategy Process?[edit]

Insight and perspectives from across the broader Wikimedia community is a vital element of the Movement Strategy Process. There are a number of ways community members can take part:

Join our Community Conversations: During our Community Conversations, community members can provide direct input into particular aspects of the Movement Strategy Process via multiple formats. Community Conversations are held from April to October 2019.

Members of several language communities will also act as Community Strategy Liaisons, managing the flow of information between their language community and the Movement Strategy Process. Beyond this, materials will also be translated into a further set of languages (over 20), and we will work with community members to initiate and lead conversations here, too. You can connect with them to stay up to date on news and also share your thoughts about the Process.

Do you have other ideas for getting involved in the Movement Strategy Process? Contact the core team!

What role can organized groups (affiliates, Wikimedia Foundation, movement partners, committees) play in the Movement Strategy Process?[edit]

Organized groups are encouraged to actively engage in the Movement Strategy Process. They have been invited to appoint strategy liaisons who will be the point of contact between organized groups and the Movement Strategy Process. The liaisons will facilitate a two-way dialogue that brings the perspective and context of the organized groups into these global discussions.

Community Conversations[edit]

Who participates in Community Conversations?[edit]

The purpose of Community Conversations is for everyone to have a voice in shaping the future of Wikimedia. With this in mind, Community Conversations are for all members of the Wikimedia community. We welcome editors, readers, affiliates, or anyone who spends their time in the broader free knowledge ecosystem. We also encourage external partners and other interested groups to share feedback where they are interested. In short, this is an opportunity for the community at large to play a central role in determining what structural changes will take place in our movement.

What is the difference between “open discussions” and “strategy salons”?[edit]

Open discussions are a period of broad consultation where organized groups of our movement and members of our various language communities (in other words, anyone active on any Wikimedia project, online or offline, in any language) can enrich the conversations with their perspective on what structures and systems they would like to see changed or preserved as we design the next 15 years of our movement. During this period, we encourage you to share thoughts across as many working group themes or areas of interest as you feel comfortable.

Many organized groups and communities will also use this period as a chance to spread awareness about the movement strategy process and help people understand the importance of sharing their perspective. For both of these purposes, open conversations will take place in a variety of formats, including on-wiki, on social media channels, over conference calls, and occasionally in-person. Most open discussion events and conversations will result in notes collected by the organizer and shared back with the Core Team so that they can be summarized together and sent to the working groups.

Strategy salons will build off of our work in open discussions by enabling organized groups and some regional Wikimedia communities the opportunity to meet in person and have more focused discussions around one to three working group themes. Most strategy salons will be 2-5 hour meetings hosted by affiliate groups with their community members and a few external partners. In a few instances, some regional groups will host 1-3 day events bringing in community members from a wider geographic region that otherwise might not have the opportunity to discuss movement strategy together. More information will be released about the structure of strategy salons and how to apply for funding in early May.

How will the Community Conversations feed into the working groups?[edit]

Community Conversations will be monitored throughout the process. On a monthly basis, the Core Team will create summary documents of the notes shared by affiliate representatives and Strategy Liaisons and present them to the working groups. From there, the working groups will review and consider the new inputs as they draft recommendations to be shared with the public. If the working groups have additional questions to the communities, they will reach out with follow-up questions and specifications to fully understand the local context. The aim of the community conversations is to enrich the discussions and inform the recommendations about the local needs and contexts.

When is the survey coming and what will it be used for?[edit]

By mid May, there will be a short survey to enable participants to engage with strategy discussions anonymously and as individuals. A summary of the results will be integrated in the development of the recommendations. The survey will be translated into multiple languages. In the survey one can choose a theme that they find most interesting and it will have approximately 3 questions per thematic area. It  can be completed multiple times depending on the preference of the participant.

How can I or my group participate in Strategy salons?[edit]

Strategy salons will be hosted by affiliate groups and also in partnership with the Core Team in selected regions that have a good representation of active members of  emerging communities. Information about how to apply or participate will be released in May. If you are an affiliate group, we recommend you begin thinking about what theme(s) your group would most like to “deep dive” on, who from your community you would like to invite, and when and where a strategy salon would ideally take place. In parallel, the Core Team will reach out to regional leaders in target areas to organize multi-day strategy salons in select places.

What are the working groups doing, more specifically?[edit]

From April until September, the working groups main focus is taking in external information, primarily from Community Conversations, but also through targeted research, to enrich their thinking and draft recommendations which will be shared publicly for community input. This includes having working group members meet with volunteers at Wikimania (August 14-18, 2019) to receive feedback on early recommendation drafts.

From September until October, working groups will be finalizing their recommendations. During this time, the community will have draft recommendations on which to give their targeted feedback and support or rejection.

In November, the recommendations will be made public and shared with the Wikimedia Board of Trustees, before they are implemented in the beginning of 2020.

What is the role of Strategy Liaisons in all of this?[edit]

Strategy Liaisons act as a bridge between their organized group or language community and the movement strategy process. Their purpose is to help make sure their organized group or language community understands the strategy process and has rich opportunities to discuss and share the changes they would like to see in the structures of our movement in 9 chosen thematic areas.

With this in mind, there are currently two types of Strategy Liaisons. Organizational Strategy Liaisons are volunteers who represent specific organized groups or affiliates, and lead conversations within those groups. Community Strategy Liaisons are part-time hired contractors who lead conversations in target languages (currently Arabic, Mandarin, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, and French) across all Wikimedia projects. The two groups operate in parallel, but also lean on each other for support and ideas in facilitating movement strategy discussions within their constituencies.

Recommendations[edit]

When will recommendations be ready?[edit]

Draft recommendations will be ready in August 2019, prior to Wikimania. A cohesive set of recommendations for all nine thematic areas is expected to be published in November.

The scope of each working group’s analysis was defined and finalized in March, outlining a set of questions that guide research into our movement. The working groups are spending the time following the Wikimedia Summit deep in analysis work and putting recommendations for structural change on paper. An initial draft of recommendations is projected to be ready in August 2019 prior to Wikimania. These will be published on Meta, and communities can do an initial review of them online. There will be an opportunity to discuss the recommendations  with working group representatives during Wikimania 2019 to provide rich input in person.

Following this, the groups will work on refining their recommendations based on input they gather on the drafts, both at Wikimania and online. This input includes both ideas from the communities as well as perspectives from experts beyond the movement who have dealt with change processes or certain aspects of it. Recommendations from each working group will then be published at the beginning of September.

From here, we  will “harmonize” the  recommendations. This means that representatives from all groups will work together with expert support (in an in-person meeting format as well as online) to develop one coherent set of recommendations that encompasses the work of all nine working groups. Final recommendations will then be published in November and presented to the movement as well as the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Can I already get an idea of what the recommendations will be?[edit]

The recommendations are currently still in the making. If you wish to see what kinds of topics are being discussed within the movement strategy, we encourage you to read the scoping documents that each working group published in March 2019. These outline a set of questions that each group is using to analyze the movement and identify which changes may be necessary on a structural level.

If you would like to help shape the recommendations, you can take part in community conversations. Here, you can bring in your perspectives on Meta, via survey, and at regional strategy-focused salons. This will help enrich the content that the working groups gather and analyze and ensure that as many views as possible are taken into account as recommendation drafts are being created.

How will feedback on the recommendations be collected?[edit]

Feedback on the draft recommendations will be collected in a variety of ways.

One of the first opportunities where this will happen is in person at Wikimania in August 2019. Several working group members will be present to engage with the movement about their draft recommendations and get feedback.

Community conversations will also be held throughout August, September, and October with Wikimedia communities, affiliates, and other organized groups. These discussions will take place on a diverse range of platforms (both on- and offline). During this time, the movement will be encouraged to share their views and perspectives on the recommendations and the impact these may have in their local context.

How will feedback be incorporated into the recommendations?[edit]

Feedback will be assessed and, where applicable, integrated into recommendations on an ongoing basis. This will start around the time of Wikimania. Working groups will take the initial feedback received during community conversations and Wikimania in August and use it to refine their recommendations.

Community conversations will then continue throughout September and into October. The feedback this generates will be compiled and consolidated in mid-to-late October so it can be incorporated, where applicable, into the final set of recommendations. During this time, the Information and Knowledge Management team will also collaborate with the working groups to ensure that all impressions, insights, feedback, and data is being made available to the working groups, who will then integrate it as applicable and close feedback loops where necessary.

Please note, while all feedback will be reviewed and considered when refining the recommendations, not all the specifics of all feedback may be taken forward and integrated into the recommendations. Please see the following question for more details.

Will all feedback be incorporated into the recommendations?[edit]

All the feedback will be considered as a whole when finalizing the recommendations to ensure that they reflect the perspectives of the wider movement as much as possible. However, not all the details of all feedback may be taken forward. The reasons for this may vary. Some of the input provided might be contradictory across the diverse range of stakeholders and communities within our movement; it might not be consistent with the movement's values, the strategic direction, law and other compliance requirements, or with the general direction of other recommendations; or it may be inconsistent or lack clarity of rationale. All input, however, will be well documented and made available for the implementation phase.

How will decisions be made about the implementation of recommendations?[edit]

This will depend significantly on the recommendations that come out of this process and will likely vary from recommendation to recommendation. The recommendations will influence the movement on various levels (global, regional, and local), which may also mean different approaches in relation to decision-making. As the working groups themselves are not decision-making bodies, one of their priorities will be putting forward a proposal for how we make decisions on these recommendations as a movement.

The Wikimedia Board of Trustees is also active in the working groups (there is one Board member in each group). It has also committed to assisting the decision-making process and, where applicable, the implementation of recommendations. Specifically, the Board of Trustees will:

  • resolve difficult questions as required and adhere to decisions made
  • delegate approval of recommendations to an appropriate community mechanism whenever possible (such as endorsement or consensus)
  • make decisions when there is no other mechanism to make the decisions, accept the recommendations that are consistent with the movement's values, the strategic direction, as well as law and other compliance requirements
  • direct resources, budgets, and capacities for the implementation of approved recommendations.

Read more about the Board of Trustees’ role in the Movement Strategy Process here.

We will update this section with further information about how decisions will be made.

What steps will take place in the next few months to put a decision-making process in place?[edit]

  • August: Working groups will be asked to deliver their proposal for a decision-making process by the end of August. Parallel to this, the global conversations will start to focus on preparing for the implementation stage of the movement strategy; as part of this, discussions will be held with various stakeholders from across the movement.  They will also provide insight into decision making on recommendations.
  • September and October: community conversations about the recommendations will be held. These will gather input from the community on the working groups’ decision-making proposal.

The feedback collected in the aforementioned three areas (working groups, implementation discussions, and community conversations) will be used to put in place a decision-making process by the time the recommendations are delivered in November.

Is the decision of the Board of Trustees or any other body binding for all?[edit]

Status as of June 2019: The movement strategy core team is working to determine the answer to this question. We will update this section as soon as possible.

To read more about the Board of Trustees’ role in the movement strategy here.  

What are the steps that will take place between recommendations being published and implementation?[edit]

Once the recommendations are delivered to the wider movement, the focus of the movement strategy will start to shift. We will begin envisioning what implementation of the recommendations might look like. As part of this, there will be a number of measures taken to allow time for the community to discuss and provide input into the recommendations and, subsequently, to then design an effective plan for implementing the recommendations.

Community conversations will be held during this time to discuss the recommendations, particularly to see how they might apply in a local or regional context, as well as gather insight on the implementation plan and the suggested process for how decisions will be made about recommendations. While this is happening, an implementation plan for putting the recommendations into action will be developed, drawing on the input that is provided during community conversations. The aim will be to deliver the implementation design by mid-November, and the next steps toward implementation will be based on that plan.

Where can I find the latest news about the Movement Strategy Process?[edit]

The core team will publish regular blog posts (a minimum of one a month) on Meta offering the latest updates and reports or presentations on the process. We will also send monthly community updates via the Wikimedia-l mailing list.

Beyond this, liaisons for both communities and organized groups are in place to help facilitate the flow of information and ensure news is conveyed to each.