For three days in February, the Wikimedia Deutschland offices in Berlin, Germany, were abuzz with activity. Movement Strategy Process activity to be exact, as over 30 members of the Roles and Responsibilities, Revenue Streams, and Resource Allocation working groups met in person to workshop, discuss, and start finalizing a set of guiding questions that will be used to prompt recommendations for structural change in our movement.
After months of online meetings, this was the first time each group had met face to face. And they did not waste time getting down to business.
Building a pathway to Wikimedia 2030, one Post-It at a time
Anna Rees (WMDE) CC BY-SA 4.0
The overarching goal of the Movement Strategy Process is to lay the groundwork that will help us advance in our Strategic Direction. Nine working groups are currently conceptualizing what our movement could look like in 2030. This big picture thinking about our future is being used to develop a set of guiding questions designed to prompt answers on what changes need to be made structurally within the movement.
The in-person meeting in Berlin provided a space for the members of the three aforementioned groups to formalize their scope of inquiry within their respectives fields.
Post-Its flew, markers drew, and ideas were floated anew. The groups worked at breakneck pace, and many conversations went well past sundown.
Dissecting the movement
Day 1 started off with all three groups getting to know each other, sharing the perspectives that each of them brings to their group, and surfacing some of the difficult questions. These ranged from why are we even doing this to how do we measure success. After lunch, everyone split up into their groups to concentrate on their area and start brainstorming.
Day 2 placed the focus squarely on where the movement is currently at. Conversations centered around:
- movement structures, especially the roles of communities, affiliates, and the Wikimedia Foundation and how these intersect;
- defining “equity”, what this means in an international context, and what knowledge equity actually looks like in concrete terms;
- funding models and revenue streams that will help us achieve our 2030 vision.
Day 3 was when it all started to come together. After deconstructing the movement, working group members began formulating their guiding questions.
Capturing global perspectives on our global movement
One of the biggest challenges of this kind of work is ensuring as many perspectives as possible are being considered. A number of working group members spoke of ensuring their community has representation in the process as being motivation for them to join.
Erina Mukuta (Roles and Responsibilities) from the Wikimedia User Group Uganda summed this up: “I am bringing the opinion of an emerging community, a community that is trying to fit within the box of the movement.”
Sebastian Kersner (Revenue Streams) from Wikimedia Argentina is new to the global movement and talked about the benefit of sharing insight with people who have been involved long-term: “It was very useful to meet in person with people that have a lot experience here. I feel that we are reaching our objective, so I am really happy.”
More questions raised than answered - and that’s a good thing
After three whirlwind days, each group came up with a set of 3 to 10 guiding questions within their area that they will now work on refining in the lead up to the Wikimedia Summit at the end of March. Another outcome? We also discovered that the group had a combined 300 years’ of experience in the Wikimedia-verse. One goal that was laid out on the first day was (thankfully) not achieved: we did not manage to break our Movement Strategy Process Architect, Kaarel Vaidla (we‘ll try harder next time). Thank you to everyone who took part; we hope you have caught up on sleep!
What’s next for the working groups?
All nine working groups are working toward finalizing the set of guiding questions relevant to their particular thematic area by the beginning of March. These questions will then be refined and reworked in the run up to the Wikimedia Summit (March 29 to 31 in Berlin, Germany). At the Summit, each working group will be able to engage with key stakeholders - Affiliates, the Wikimedia Foundation, and Committees - on their work and together start developing recommendations for structural change.
The Movement Strategy Process brings together members of our movement to define how to best support our Strategic Direction. To help us set the best course possible, we are scoping out the movement to identify the structural changes necessary to become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge.
As part of this, the spotlight is on nine thematic areas to gather a 360° view of the current status of the Wikimedia movement: Advocacy, Capacity Building, Community Health, Diversity, Partnerships, Product & Technology, Resource Allocation, Revenue Streams, Roles & Responsibilities.
Over 90 members of our global movement have formed nine working groups, and each working group is focusing on one thematic area to map out a pathway that is built on sustainability, inclusivity, and diversity; and identifies the tools, methods, resources, and input that are needed in order to ensure effective implementation of any recommended changes.
Members of the Roles & Responsibilities, Revenue Streams and Resource Allocation Working Groups. (Martin Kraft CC BY-SA 4.0)