Following the Wikimedia Summit 2019, the working groups continued researching their thematic area, and integrating the input they had received on the scoping documents. From March to August, they gathered input and data, engaged in discussions with the Movement, and reviewed the feedback coming in via the community conversations. Some of the groups worked with external experts and/or commissioned research. This was used to support their thinking and their work as they drafted recommendations for change within their thematic area.
Screengrab from Butch's computer 1
Many working groups had requested in-person meetings to help them advance their work. Capacity Building met in Singapore in June; Roles and Responsibilities met in Utrecht in July; Resource Allocation met in Madrid in July; and Community Health met in Amman in July to work on their draft recommendations. The desire of the working groups and the core team was to hold in-person meetings in a variety of places, not just the usual gathering spaces in Europe and North America. A commitment was made across the working groups to be mindful and inclusive regarding the diversity of voices and to enable as many group members as possible to participate. The meetings proved effective for dedicating time to drafting recommendations and deepening members’ connection as a team. However, they are not without their challenges. The meetings were held in English, which presented a language barrier for some. In instances where people were unable to participate in the meeting due to visa or entry issues, the core team tried to implement alternative solutions such as virtual participation or catch up meetings.
During this time, the Movement continued to participate in community conversations and provide feedback around each thematic area. In addition to discussions on Meta-Wiki, social media, and other online spaces, in-person meetings also took place around the world. The core team launched a strategy salon grant application program that enabled affiliates to apply for funds to host small strategy events on their own with their community. Three regional strategy summits and meetings were also held during this period in Thailand, Armenia, and Estonia, gathering the ESEAP, Armenian and Farsi, and Baltic and Russian communities respectively to discuss ideas for the Movement’s future. A fourth meeting for communities in East Africa was held in Kampala in September.
Thinking big and beyond limits
Rethinking how the Movement operates and developing ideas that will foster equity is an inspiring and challenging task. How do we transform structures that privilege some and exclude others? What are the most effective approaches for moving towards shared decision-making models? How do we include the future hopes of those who are yet to join the Movement? These are the kinds of questions the working groups discussed when drafting recommendations.
This is where feedback from communities and organizations was particularly useful: it helped frame the big structural questions in each thematic area through a localized lens. The insights and perspectives provided from across the Movement meant that, over the course of the recommendations drafting period, recommendations could be continuously adapted to Movement needs.
Personal insights: Daria Cybulska, Resource Allocation working group member:
In our recommendations, we struggled to let go of top-down control of grants. While we made deliberate efforts to get away from the current power structure with power centre in the North, we were still taking it back to the centre as an overseeing and signing-off authority for grants. This didn’t seem enough to truly embody equity - instead we wanted to move to an accountability system that is co-created and cross-checked with all the stakeholders across the world. It was a significant mental leap for us.