|“||You have to really mean it.
You have to see the value in bringing
more people into the conversation.
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?
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
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
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.