Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/Movement Strategy Playbook/Inspire and align

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Inspire and align
Participants posting sticky notes on a whiteboard
East Africa Strategy Summit 2019 in Kampala, Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy

Any open, participatory process runs on the collective enthusiasm and energy of its participants -- so it’s vital to understand participants’ deeper motivation and reasons for participating. These are often varied, surprising, and wrapped in different language and assumptions than your own.

What motivates people to participate?[edit]

Some of the diverse reasons for participating we heard from Movement Strategy participants:

  • Relationships. “To work with amazing people who are all so committed to Wikimedia."
  • Learning. “To get new inspiration and to learn."
  • Gathering diverse perspectives. “Bringing together people from different modes of Wikimedia activity and locations.”
  • Empowering others. “Rewarding hard-working volunteers, by transitioning to a career in the Movement or other forms of empowerment.”
  • Preparing for the future. “In 2030, who knows what the internet will look like, or if Wikipedia will still be as relevant as it is today?”
  • Addressing safety and harassment issues. “I was motivated by the experience of harassment from other Wikipedians/ Wikimedians.”
  • Empowering emerging communities. “It feels like small / emerging African communities are often left behind in the Wikimedia Foundation in areas like decision making and policy-making.”
  • Career development. "I became involved because of the opportunity to build myself professionally. I started off as an editor, and the user group gave me the opportunity to learn fast."
  • Voice and belonging. "In Tanzania, [movement strategy was a chance to] participate and give our own opinions about how we want things to be. Our voice can be heard."
  • Tackling specific challenges. “There are a lot of things not covered in the mainstream papers — in LGBTQ communities, for example, or African-American issues. Things that would not qualify for current English rules for eligibility on Wikipedia. I want to find ways to navigate around that.”
  • Democratizing information. “[Wikipedia] is one of the most democratized platforms for information in the world right now.”

The desire to create a true movement, versus disconnected parts[edit]

Many participants spoke to the opportunity of making Wikimedia a true “movement” in a meaningful sense, rather than just a loose collection of parts.

  • “We call ourselves a movement, but really right now we're a hodgepodge or collection of communities. We share a similar mission, but are not super connected across countries and languages and projects."
  • “Having a common strategy and structural reforms could move us towards connecting globally, sharing capacities and supporting peers across the globe. To me that was such a fascinating vision.”

Tools and examples for inspiring and aligning[edit]

Do you have tools, methods or ideas that you, your community or organization use for this? Add them to this section for others to see.