In mid 2018, nine thematic areas were identified as foundational to the strategy itself. Working groups for each theme, comprised of volunteers and staff, embarked on a year and a half long journey to produce this document.
We came from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and areas of expertise, and represented a broad cross-section of characteristics—abilities, genders, ethnicities, ages, beliefs, and contexts. Some of us had a long involvement with the Movement, others were new. Some of us were from affiliates communities, others were staff of the Wikimedia Foundation and partners, others had participated mainly online and as part of editing communities. We began as disparate participants, often unknown to each other, members of the global Wikimedia community, who have since cohered into a team that has a singular, shared focus, namely that of building upon the feedback from across the Movement over our 18 months developing this work. We weren’t alone in our journey, and have immense gratitude for the support we received from the whole Core Team, the community liaisons, and facilitators.
Over this time, forming the strategy has not been comfortable. It consisted of both learning about the problems that we often saw in the Movement but could not address, understanding their importance, and proposing solutions about which we did not initially reach consensus. Writing strategy as a group has required testing ideas and trying to walk the limits to envision a better future — respectful of who we are today, but embracing what we can become.
Each of the ideas presented in these recommendations has been discussed, written and sometimes redrawn several times. Similar to many other projects of the Movement, we have dedicated a lot of volunteering efforts to endless calls, in-person meetings, and asynchronous conversations over the different documents we have worked on. Working on both weekends and holidays, we strove to find a unified way to present the ideas in 13 recommendations. In our diversity, each of us committed to deliver the best for the Movement we love and believe in.
We concentrated efforts into creating this document, and firmly believe it will result in valuable changes for our Movement in as inclusive and expansive ways as possible for all who embrace free knowledge and our vision for what Wikimedia can be in the future. These recommendations are not just what we want for the Movement in general, but as they have been created through all the community feedback and conversations, these comprise our vision for all of us.
We believe both cultural and structural changes are necessary to protect all of us participating across our Movement, increase our diversity, improve our technology, make contributing easier and more representative of global knowledge, more equitably distribute decision-making power and resources throughout the Movement, and overall improve our ability to work and communicate together.