Recommendation 6: Partnerships as part of a Distributed Vision
Q 1 What is your Recommendation?
We recommend a model that sees partnerships as part of a distributed vision, creating nodes (chapters and user groups) who can play the role of regional or thematic leaders. This is based on a vision of decentralized work where all organizations involved are responsible for leading and stewarding partnerships in different areas e.g thematically, regionally, based on area of expertise, etc.
This partnership model, agreed upon by all movement entities, should define roles for key organizations, with the goal of self-sufficiency, sustainability, and be based on a vision of collective impact and support of weaker entities in the movement. Wikimedia partnerships should work towards benefitting the open movement as a whole, not only to benefit specific Wikimedia projects. Key nodes working on partnerships should also support work done by individual volunteers.
Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?
Individuals sustain important partnerships in the movement. The work is often fuelled by their individual passion and sense of purpose. Yet they face multiple challenges, for example related to lack of legal identity (and related to this, they can often be perceived as not serious or significant enough). Cooperation with a designated, other Movement entity that is tasked with supporting Partnerships would make the work of these individuals more sustainable.
Centralised power held within a few is not the best model to help drive impact and sustainability for the less developed entities within the movement. A more distributed, decentralised model should be based on a broader range of strong nodes leading the partnership work.
Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation
The Wikimedia movement, in order to be sustainable, needs to include multiple organizations that are strong and sustainable and have the capacity to act as important nodes in the Wikimedia network. Such nodes can play the role of regional or thematic leaders - ones that understand their role as supportive of other, weaker movement entities.
This partnership model, agreed upon by different movement entities, should define roles for such key organisations, which then should be supported in becoming sufficiently sustainable. At the same time, the model should be based on a vision of collective impact and support of less developed entities in the movement by these core organizations.
Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?
In many regions, partnership work done by individuals in the community. These individuals initiate and sustain important partnerships. The work is often fuelled by their individual passion and sense of purpose. Yet they face multiple challenges, for example related to lack of legal identity (and related to this, they can often be perceived as not serious or significant enough). By taking a more distributed vision for partnerships, and by cooperating with designated entities within the movement who are tasked with supporting partnerships, individuals can work in a more sustainable way
Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?
This recommendation will apply to those organisation within the movement who have the capacity and are able to take on the leadership roles for certain types of partnerships. It will also influence other Movement entities that will be able to receive support in running their own partnerships.
Q 5 How does this Recommendation relate to the current structural reality?
This recommendation builds on existing examples of chapters that are taking on a leading role in partnership work - such as WMDE work on Wikidata or WMSE work on tools and infrastructure for content partnerships in the GLAM area. These examples should be examined and evaluated in order to develop a plan for distributed work on partnerships by different Movement entities.
Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?
This recommendation strongly connects with recommendations that relate to capacity to do Partnerships. This recommendation proposes measures that will help deal with these capacity issues.
Q 6-2 Does this Recommendation connect or relate to your Scoping Questions? If yes, how?
Yes. This will empower people and organization working on partnerships to fulfil their potential. This support will ensure more impactful partnerships in a diverse and sustainable way. Those people or organization with thematic or regional expertise can help in leading partnerships related work for sustainable capacity growth.
Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?
It is connected with Roles & Responsibilities.