Recommendation 5: Define priorities for partnerships so that all key aspects of building the free knowledge ecosystem are covered.
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
The Wikimedia Partnership Model should define priority areas for partnerships, based on a strategic vision of key work that is needed to be done, in order to attain the Strategic Vision and build a sustainable free knowledge ecosystem.
Partnerships that strengthen knowledge equity should be a priority in the initial phase.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
The Partnership Framework for the Free Knowledge Ecosystem should be based on a vision of open collaboration and commons-based peer production. At the same time, the Wikimedia Movement, as a key actor in this ecosystem, should take on the responsibility of securing and supporting key elements of this ecosystem.
It is the role of large actors in this ecosystem to support it with a strategic vision and an understanding that a healthy ecosystem requires work on different aspects and layers of the ecosystem.
Based on a vision of the ecosystem’s health, we need to ensure that we do in partnership work on all key aspects / layers of this ecosystem. We also need to ensure, based on our vision of knowledge equity, that through partnerships we cover knowledge gaps and make access too all knowledge more equitable.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?
We propose that the stack metaphor is used to understand the different, interrelated and necessary elements of this ecosystem. We note that the stack metaphor has been successfully used to define the open internet, which is a key enabler for the free knowledge ecosystem.
Definition of strategic areas for partnerships should also be based on a mapping and evaluation of different partners (both current and potential). For each layer of the stack and the strategic challenge related to it, we need to identify partnerships that will be best at securing the goal.
The partnership framework should define a full stack of partnerships, which secure all strategic goals of building the free knowledge ecosystem. It is also based on an assumption that a sustainable ecosystem will not exist if all these different layers are not addressed.
We provisionally define following layers / levels of this stack
- Advocacy partnerships that support basic values and principles of the free knowledge ecosystem and ensure the well-being of this ecosystem in the broader geopolitical reality
- Partnerships that support use of free knowledge, possibly with a focus on teaching and learning with Wikimedia content - so that the free knowledge ecosystem remains healthy and alive
- Content partnerships that fuel the ecosystem itself; data partnerships are an important sub-category of this layer
- Access partnerships ensure that equity is ensured at the most basic level
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
This recommendation will affect all movement entities engaged in partnership work on the free knowledge ecosystem, by giving them guidance on priority areas. This guidance can also be used by other actors in the ecosystem - a strategic vision for different layers of the free knowledge ecosystem stack should be the basis for distribution of collective impact.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
There is currently no tool that allows Movement entities to make strategic decisions about partnerships. A definition of the free knowledge ecosystem stack, its layers and priority areas will allow for such strategic decisions to be made.