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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Discuss/Cluster D

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This page contains a summary of discussions from the Movement Strategy 5-6 December Global Conversations regarding the implementation of the initiatives: 25. Regional & thematic hubs. Feel free to continue the conversation on Meta by adding your thoughts and comments in the talk page.

Join the follow-up event


The Follow up event for discussing the implementation of the Regional and thematic hubs initiative will take place on Saturday, January 30 4:00 to 6:00 UTC *AND* 18:00 to 20:00 UTC. If you would like to join the event, kindly sign your name below. Here's the Zoom link, it is passworded. Please add your name below or write a mail to strategy2030(_AT_)wikimedia.org for receiving the password.

  1. Zblace (talk) 09:00, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  2. --Christoph Jackel (WMDE) 11:12, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  3. -- Tiputini (talk) 17:22, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  4. --Oscar_. (talk) 18:06, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  5. --Ilario (talk) 22:26, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  6. dwf² 14:15, 26 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --PDiazR (WMCL) (talk) 17:39, 26 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --Doctor 17 (talk)
  9. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 21:43, 27 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Frank Schulenburg (talk) 22:45, 27 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Megs (talk) 22:46, 27 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Rosiestep (talk) 23:05, 27 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Tgr (talk) 23:19, 27 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Constanza Verón (WMAR) (talk) 13:14, 28 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  15. -- GiFontenelle (talk) 14:22, 28 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Sigrunespe (talk) 08:05, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Braveheart (talk) 12:35, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Jan-Bart (talk) 14:32, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Pharos (talk) 17:06, 29 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Waltercolor (talk) 17:19, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  21. --NANöR (talk) 18:12, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  22. Yamen (talk) 18:27, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  23. --Camelia (talk) 20:21, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Events summary


5 December

Video summary of the discussion (same as the written points, recorded during the events).

Round 1 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):

  1. Agreeing to a flexible understanding of "hubs". According to discussions, hubs could be based on language, region or theme.
  2. Communicate, the various possible advantages of the hubs. Make people understand the benefits of hubs for their region, for example, and the role it can play as a coordinator across existing structures (such as regional affiliate groups).
  3. Provide resources and support, including information, professional assistance and funding in setting up the hubs.
  4. Answer to the support question ("who need to be involved and what does their involvement look like?"): The Wikimedia Foundation and the larger affiliate to provide simplified access to resources and support. Existing affiliates to consider possible collaboration and coordination opportunities and communicate them. Online communities to discuss the possibility or need for forming hubs.
  5. Answer to the support question ("what we do want to achieve more specifically in the next 18 months?"):
  • Simplified access to resources and information about hubs.
  • All the hubs to receive fundraising and grantmaking system in their own right
  • Discuss whether we want to have a hub formation "agenda" or "hub structure" to prioritize the task of forming hubs, and to ensure that we don't unnecessarily reinvent the wheel when implementing the hubs.
Video summary of the discussion (same as the written points, recorded during the events).

Round 2 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):

  1. Address more questions: How will the hubs be created? Will they be set up through a bottom up process, or would people with common ideas or thoughts convene together and work independently? How will the regional hubs compliment the thematic hubs (for example, in representing regional languages)?
  2. Create shared resources that will be used to support groups within each region, to address the issues that we already know, to evaluate the formal structures and to improve coordination.
  3. Create a space on Metawiki to discuss the proposed hubs with the broader community, and to evaluate their needs.

6 December

Video summary of the discussion (same as the written points, recorded during the events).

Round 1 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):

  1. Create a list of existing hub-like entities, as well as potentially missing entities (that need to be created). Some steps to creating list include: discussing with Phase II working groups, or leading additional community consultations to identify needs.
  2. Analyze existing hub-like experiments, to identify what works well and what doesn't work.
  3. Governance and clarity: Create a shared definition of what hubs are. One way to do this is by creating a charter that outlines the role of hubs - and to define impact criteria for 18-month piloting timeframe.
  4. Identify the different potential types of Hubs
Video summary of the discussion (same as the written points, recorded during the events).

Round 2 Key actions (full notes on Etherpad):

  1. Conduct a wider community consultation to define the scope of the hubs.
  2. Ensure that the hubs aren't limited by a single model. We should think of hubs more loosely: for example, in terms of thematic and regional scopes. The Wikimedia movement has different thematic organizations and different kinds of regions which need different hubs to accommodate them.
  3. Coordinate between smaller groups in a linguistically-diverse communities, so that it’s not difficult for them to collaborate with each other.
  4. Establish structure, or a hierarchy in the hubs.
  5. Extra: Examples of what attendees shared as the “one most important thought regarding hubs”: Hierarchy, neutral, inclusive, accessible, fair, Governance with independent local communities and affiliates, equity, performance, ensure community representation, not a top-down approach, accessibility, diversity, content gaps.

Detailed input


The rich input from the December Global Conversations, in addition to feedback from other discussions has been further organized by the Support Team into a more coherent template. The objective of this template is to clarify the proposals that have already emerged in the discussions, and to serve as a basis to continue the conversation around the implementation of the Movement Strategy recommendations. The eventual goal is to develop it into a “draft implementation plan” that will be presented to the whole movement and the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees in February 2021. The current template is put forward to serve as the baseline for the upcoming follow-up discussions in January.

The information below has been directly taken from the minutes of the Global Conversations and occasionally edited or rephrased for clarity, so it is not necessarily verbatim.

Defining the scope



Concept and scope:

  • Clarity needed regarding flexibility of the definition of hubs (by city/continent/project etc).
    • If someone asks: "can I create a hub for x"?, the answer should be yes, every single time.
    • Could be like the offices of the affiliates, and WMF; or more like informal gatherings of volunteer editors.
    • Need to define the specific agenda for “what do we want them to accomplish?” with hubs.
    • Too broad a scope makes it difficult for people to join; something to keep in mind for other hubs in the movement (e.g.WikiProjects need to be somehow specific).
    • Wikimedia should have a number of centers of excellence -overlapping / competing so the people can choose where they get service from.
  • Ensure that we avoid unnecessarily re-inventing the wheel by deciding whether we want to have a "hub formation agenda" or "hub structure" to prioritise hub formation work.
    • Hold regional meetings to identify if there is interest and need for a regional hub.
  • Have a tool for users to subscribe to a particular hub or to select the best-fit hub.
  • Bottom-up process: reference Servant leadership" models where the leadership in the inner circles like AffCom supports and encourages those on the front lines doing outreach rather than trying to control and constrain them. Become more nurturing instead of negating.
  • The hubs should be smaller entities learning on their own (as a self-governing or a satellite style structure) that can be built up across the region.
    • The hubs should be given greater autonomy to decide what's best for their region (e.g. fundraising method).
  • Standardize the hubs like the Global Council in order to structualize the movement globally, and to ensure a smooth movement between individual, local, national, global communities.
    • Make sure Hubs don't end up reinforcing existing imbalances (global north/south), but on the contrary help share and redistribute resources and power throughout the movement.


  • The hub should be a collaboration bringing affiliates together across a region rather than operating on an individual level.
    • Need to ensure good communication between hubs so they aren't replicating work; we already have challenges communicating what we're doing.
    • Existing structures like IberoCoop, ESEAP could be good examples of hubs, rather than new hubs competing with affiliates where they already exist.
    • Thematic and/or regional hubs should have an intersectional rather than a rigid scope (e.g. WM Germany excels in technology, so limiting Wikimedia Germany’s scope to just regional representation would be a loss).
    • Make sure the hub is not conflicting with existing hubs and its representatives are elected democratically.
  • Hubs as support-structure, skill sharing/capacity building
  • A hub could help find partners and regions to work together.
  • Hubs would help communities to advance their goals need to be the voice of the region.
  • Hubs to help smaller affiliates to move faster, because they need more support than the bigger ones..
  • Useful for knowledge and experience transfer & exchange.

Who should be involved

  • WMF and larger affiliates: to provide simplified access to resources and support (information, professional assistance, funds).
  • Underrepresented groups: supporting community building in indigenous/minority communities.
  • 'Not-yet-organised' communities: to discuss possible hub formations
  • Consultants: to design hub structures, role and help define modalities.
  • Hubs should be inviting, welcoming and including outside visitors, not just locals.

Immediate steps for the next 18 months

  • Create a list with the promises of hubs in the movement (i.e. what could the movement accomplish with hubs that is difficult or impossible now).
  • Increased awareness of a specific topic area and projects on that topic
  • Increased awareness of emerging problems in the hub area
  • Absolutely worthwhile as a resource for newcomers from many regions and areas
  • Governance and clarity: Create a shared definition of what hubs are, maybe by creating a charter that outlines the role of hubs.
  • Wider community consultation, defining the scope of the hub.
    • Identify what isn't being done by anyone but should be done by a hub
    • Identify what currently is done by WMF that *should* be done by a hub
    • Review which areas of online communication are not currently effective and which hubs can help enhance.
  • Use the next 18 months to try things and experiment. Start to learn from real world experience, instead of trying to have everything planned out in-advance.
    • Roll out some prototypes of these hubs, they could help us understand their complexities and to ensure our success in the right direction.
    • Try to figure out what can be done internationally by each affiliate and use movement funds to transition to that different type of organisation. Transition of an organization takes a lot of time and effort. Change is not easy but risky and costly.
    • Removing the financial risks and uncertainties is a good first step.
  • Create a list of existing hub-like entities and potential missing ones that should exist, including by discussing with second phase WGs or leading additional community consultations to identify needs
    • Analyze existing hub-like experiments to identify what works well and what doesn't work.
    • Share the list on Meta that can then be approved, and start collecting feedback from the community for each proposed hub.

Needs for resources and support

  • Simplified access to resources and support (information, professional assistance, funds) for hub formation
    • Allow hubs to become fundraising and grantmaking institutions in their own right
  • Dedicate a budget to ensure inclusion
    • Communities are not equal in funding. Many people have the will to improve free knowledge, but they can't do this because they need to earn money to live.
  • Take into consideration: reimbursement / part-time employment in the positions in regional hubs (governing positions? operational only?) see also a recommendation by the Resource Allocation working group: "do not exploit volunteers".
  • We need to provide support (likely from paid staff) to help with a plan, money, a charter, who can join, partner, etc.
  • Some areas take larger investments to solve, e.g. to develop new software or solutions take a larger team and the thematic hubs should be the vehicle to solve such problems.
  • Oversight of the elections (within bigger hubs?) by the Global Council.

Standing questions

  • Are the previous discussions for decentralisation outside of San Francisco still open?
    • If these are going to be physical spaces for the hubs, it will be important to consider where they are located. Local government can influence how our movement can evolve in the future.
  • Are hubs just a group of affiliates, or does the hub also include individuals not associated with any affiliate?
  • Who will make the decision on creating hubs and where to put the resources?
  • Who should initiate the hubs? Who will create them is it local affiliates? External staff?

Interested communities and affiliates


Based on local, regional, and thematic priorities (please see table and map):

WM Morocco, WMFR, WMDC, ESEAP, WALRUS, WM Sweden, WM Australia, Philippine Community, WMDE - community, WM Norway, West Bengal, WM Indonesia, Iberocoop, WikiMujeres, Uganda UG, Arabic-speaking community, WikiDonne

Interested in implementation


Sign below (in whatever capacity or affiliation you like) if you are interested in contributing to the implementation of this cluster:

  1. Opsylac (talk) 14:55, 17 December 2020 (UTC) (board member at Wikimedia France)[reply]
  2. --Ilario (talk) 10:22, 26 December 2020 (UTC) (Wikimedia CH)[reply]
  3. Em-mustapha User | talk 16:12, 3 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Camelia (talk) 19:27, 10 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Buszmail (talk) 04:34, 15 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Astrid Carlsen (WMNO) (talk) 11:24, 18 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Mali Brødreskift (WMNO) (talk) 11:28, 18 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Pharos (talk) 20:08, 19 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Kirill Lokshin (talk) 21:33, 19 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --LiAnna (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:36, 19 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  11. dwf² 05:42, 20 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  12. --Anna Torres (WMAR) (talk) 11:58, 21 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  13. John Andersson (WMSE) (talk) 07:15, 22 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Ellif (talk)
  15. Tgr (talk) 02:17, 24 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Zblace (talk) 09:00, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Tiputini (talk) 17:14, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Rosiestep (talk) 18:22, 25 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Sigrun Espe (WMNO) (talk) 10:37, 26 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Jon Harald Søby (WMNO) (talk) 10:53, 26 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  21. PDiazR (WMCL) (talk) 17:40, 26 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  22. Suyash Dwivedi (talk) 16:15, 28 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  23. For ESEAP Hubs --Biyanto Rebin (WMID) (talk) 04:20, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  24. Anass Sedrati (talk) 17:15, 30 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  25. Tiputini (talk) 17:30, 31 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  26. Ola (talk)
  27. Exec8 (talk) 17:14, 6 February 2021 (UTC)[reply]