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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Follow-up events/Cluster D

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Video summaries from the follow-up event discussions
Summary of room A (session 1): Regional Hubs
Summary of room B+C (session 1): Language Hubs + Thematic / Cross-Cutting Hubs
Summary of room A (session 2): Regional Hubs
Summary of room B (session 2): Language Hubs
Summary of room C (session 2): Thematic / Cross-Cutting Hubs
Lightning talks from the follow-up event
Minority language hub proposal: Wikimedia Norway
ESEAP hub proposal
WikiFranca hub proposal
Thematic hub proposal: Wikimedia Sweden

This page contains raw minutes from the discussion of the initiative cluster D: Hubs, which took place on 30 January 2021. The minutes were cleaned up and merged from across different documents by the Strategy Support Team, and a summary of them can be found in the follow-up events report. The discussion followed a structured template (as shown below), which was also created by the Support Team.

Key indicator and objectives (WHAT)[edit]

What are the objectives of this initiative for the next 18 months?[edit]

  • Define what hubs are and how they are different from “non-hubs”[1][2][3]
  • Define hubs relationships with other structures in the Wikimedia movement[4]
  • Mapping of existing hub-like structures in the Wikimedia movement along with what they have done well and what challenges they had.[1]
  • Good coherence and coordination between groups[3]
  • Alignment on the objectives and purpose of the hubs[4]

What will success look like in 18 months?[edit]

  • Creating hubs for the 10 most talked languages in the world (or a similar number)[3]
  • Implementing a number of pilot hubs and evaluating the experiments[2]
  • Increased engagement:[2] measured by the ratio of engaged participants to the total population of a region/language[3]
  • Engagement with movement peripheries (countries with little, dormant or active communities[2]
  • Documenting the knowledge learned: lessons, failures, best practices. It will help others start in the next round.[3]
  • To understand / map what the communities want to achieve - sharing resources, best practices[4] and avoiding past mistakes[1]
  • Full cooperation from all the communities and affiliates that are part of a regional hub[4]
  • Structures, governance, funding, etc. will be different from hub to another - success will be different among the entities[4]
  • Continuous communication[4]
  • Safe-to-fail environment - the hubs would need to be able also to fail so we can truly experiment.[1]
  • Retain the goal of decentralization (for example, no single group should lead all GLAM activities).[1]
  • There is an active way to share the learning from hubs - support those who are interested already[2]

What are some anticipated obstacles or barriers to a successful implementation?[edit]

  • People and communities are reluctant to join the discussions because of the language barrier[4][1][5]
    • Risk of giving more momentum to major languages and less to the marginalized ones.[3]
  • Competition between existing affiliates to “own” the hubs[2][3]
    • Going too fast with setting up new structures could create friction with existing ones[1]
    • Risk of manipulation or control of the hubs by smaller groups[2][3]
  • Political and cultural differences in the region[4][2][5]
    • Should be discussed early on[4]
    • Can impact transfer of funds[4]
    • English is a relatively common language in the region and support is easy to find in the region[4]
      • It wouldn’t be a hindrance, rather a learning experience - can bring more cooperation into the region[4]
  • For some regions working with a US-based entity is a barrier, hence the need for hubs[4]
    • Wikimedia Foundation seems to be a barrier as they take the partnerships that they want and give affiliates the work that they don’t want[1]
  • Risk of centralization: any structure can centralize issues and not provide access for everyone.[5]
    • We should not lost the decentralization goal of the hubs[1]
    • Hubs should not only exist to make the movement more structured and have a new centralized entity for work. It rather needs to be a tool to connect the communities in their particular context.[4]
  • If a small affiliate gets a mandate for hosting a service for the movement, but they don’t have resources to make sure that the whole movement has access to that service.[5]
  • Who is the decision maker? Is it WMF? Will they decide unilateral for our language?[3]
  • Lack of purpose and intention – Hubs are only set up for the sake of setting up a hub[2]
  • Lack of funding and support[2]
  • A hub being too big to represent its target region properly (for example all of Africa as a single hub)[2]
  • Lack of accountability for the hubs if they do not act in-line of movement values[2]

Implementation steps (HOW)[edit]

  • Map out existing and successful regional groups[3]
    • Hubs is no longer an idea - it is either happening experientially or informally[4][1]
    • Conduct research on what existing “hub-like” entities that are already in the movement:[5] what they do well and what are the challenges they are having[1] (for example, political differences and ways to overcome them).[4]
    • Support these existing structures to hold staff members and later figure out how to expand among the members of the cooperation, share resources.[4]
  • Identify the needs of the community[4][2][3][5]
    • Define the affiliates interested in the different models and themes of the hubs.[1][5]
    • Proactively reach out to marginalized communities that may need hubs.[3]
    • Identify capacity needs for each community.[2][3]
    • The purpose of a hub in NA might be very different from ESEAP based on needs and different capacities.[4]
    • Ensure the needs are resolved at the lowest possible level, while defining  what functions need support on a “higher level”, i.e. hub level.[5]
    • Hubs should be as flexible as possible and as contextualized as possible.[2][5]
    • Establish rules to ensure equal representation and communication among larger/smaller affiliates.[2][5]
  • Define what affiliates can provide to the community, regarding their contexts, current capacities[5]
    • Hubs must be clearly defined as something different from existing structures[4]
    • Prioritise the topics and areas for thematic hubs - an indicator would be no of studies and level of acceptance of the end result in our movement[5]
  • Define the “hubs” model[1][3][2]
  • We will likely end up with different hub concepts and functions, e.g. a Capacity Building hub, which wouldn’t need to be affiliated, rather readily provide the needed support.[4]
  • There could be an association between existing affiliates (e.g. Europe) where the structures already exist and there isn’t need to duplicate structures or create bureaucracy.[4]
  • Consider different options for the affiliate status and process:[3]
    • Some groups would like the hubs to have an affiliate status recognized by the AffComm and supported by the Foundation through a clear application process or step to set up a hub.[2][3]
      • Some groups are in a waiting mode for a hub formation process.[3]
    • Other groups would like hubs to be informal structures and more of an umbrella for affiliates and not create additional hierarchy.[2]
      • Possible issues with trademark and funding without official status.[2]
      • Hubs need to be loose, organic, community specific and connect existing groups rather than replace/interfere with them.[4][2]
  • Define relationship to other structures[5]
    • Define how the hubs will be related to existing affiliates.[5]
      • Hubs should be more of umbrella organizations and create connections between the affiliates.[5]
    • Define how the hubs will coordinate with the Interim Global Council and the Global Council[1][4]
      • The roles and responsibilities of hubs will be decided by the Movement Charter.[4]
    • Define what would be the role of the Wikimedia Foundation in running the hubs.[4]
  • Decentralization: Balance out global themes (in thematic hubs) with working in context and avoiding unnecessary competition.[1]
    • Hubs shouldn’t just exist to make the movement more structured and centralized around particular entities in “hub form”, but to be a tool for empowering the local communities depending on their local context.[4]
    • All of these hub activities/minutes have to be properly documented for everyone to see back anytime.[4]
  • Determine a clear purpose and objectives for the hubs with an “added value”[1][2][3][5]
    • To work towards the future (like Movement Strategy), rather than solely “improving” on what we have today.[4]
    • To make it easier to coordinate between the affiliates and regions on a peer level.[4][5] (for example, to bridge & geographical differences and to support knowledge sharing).[4]
    • To include underrepresented communities.[3]
    • To share the resources and best practices.[4]
    • To connect with cultural institutions or governments.[4]
  • Set up functioning guidelines[5]
    • Define the roles and responsibilities[2]
    • Define a funding policy[4][2]
      • The structure is important, especially for financial distribution, like an incorporated model (select a neutral location)[4]
    • Define how would affiliates reach agreements[4]
  • Use the first 18 months as a pilot period.[4][2][3]
    • Connect pilot experiments together to ensure the exchange of knowledge.[2]
    • Pilots should emerge from existing collaborations and not be imposed.[2]
  • There is trust and confidence to let the hub concept emerge. We don’t have to get it perfect from the beginning.[4][2]

People (WHO)[edit]

Who would like to take part  in this initiative’s working group?[edit]

  • Active community members expressing their interest, and already starting this work[3]
  • Existing regional collaborations or affiliate networks[2]
    • Wikimedia Indonesia is committed to take the ESEAP concept forward[4]
    • There is interest in the CEE region as well[4]
    • Informal groups in the US / North America with monthly calls and WikiCon North America -- these countries didn’t really fit the chapter model originally and people are interested to define and develop this.[4]
  • The Wikimedia Foundation for support [2][3]
  • Wikimedia Deutschland is interested in contributing to and investing in implementation[2]
  • There are a few things to consider for a functional hub. There are primary and secondary influencers.[4]
    • Primary: Volunteers, activity, scope, engagement, capacity.[4]
    • Secondary: Funding for activities, office space, meet up space,  tools, iterative evaluation practices and documentation.[4]
  • Close coordination with the Interim Global Council by liaising , so the implementation is resilient and the concepts are connected.[4]
  • Profile:
    • Leadership skills are needed, especially in the ESEAP region with so many different cultures and contexts[4]
    • Knowledge and understanding of the different cultures in the region AND the whole Wikimedia movement[4]
    • The presence of the Wikimedia Foundation is essential so the connection remains strong.[4]
  • Include people who are already working in a “semi-hub” model. We need to use the skills and expertise that is already around us.[1]
    • There is a real danger in missing people who are not yet here. We need to accommodate and resource that so we are not overloading the same people all the time[1]
  • Groups within the open movement with aligned goals (Open Knowledge, Creative Commons, OSMap, FSF, Framasoft)[5]
  • Movement partners (Wiki Education, GLAM)[3][5]

Who is/are interested in having additional responsibilities to coordinate this working group?[edit]

  • Regional initiatives already in place.[2][3]


  • Funding 1-3 pilot hubs, possibly in the form of “seed funding”[2]
  • Support for capacity building and sharing knowledge[3]
  • Legal support for hub governance and ensuring equity[2]
  • Functioning staff - start with one at first, then expand per need[4]
    • Can be a facilitator, based on needs of the group[4]
    • Evaluation & Success Measurement experts[2]
    • A constant facilitator to engage with communications with members (affiliates, communities). He/she can be the travelling salesperson to pitch the idea (like a regional charter, strategic direction, priorities)[2]
  • There is a need of at least 1 staff member to ensure that the regional work can move forward.[4]
  • Provide global / regional support for communities who are struggling with establishing GLAM or education connections or need to develop their capacities to do the work.[1]



  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Session 1, Room B+C
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj Session 2, Room A
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Session 2, Room B
  4. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay Session 1, Room A
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Session 2, Room C