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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Reports/Wikimania Movement Strategy Space

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The process focuses on potential changes on the structural level of our movement in 9 key thematic areas. Discussions about these structures will be facilitated with a Working Group model. The discussions were also an opportunity to seek input and feedback on the process and design. This was done through a series of presentations and facilitated sessions (the full program for the Strategy Space can be consulted here). In addition to the Strategy Space sessions, for two evenings the Core Team hosted a Strategy Bar for more informal activities and discussions around the Movement Strategy. As several movement affiliates are entering their strategic and annual planning processes after Wikimania, conversations around contextualizing the Strategic Direction were held among different groups, but these programmatic conversations were not part of the Strategy Space program.

In general, it can be said that in strategy sessions, there was a good engagement of Wikimania participants who have a natural disposition to participate in strategic discussions. On the other hand, there is a notable gap in reaching out to wider movement and onboarding new people, and engaging new voices continues to propose a challenge that needs to be tackled to make the Strategy Process a success. The Core Team participated in regional and thematic meetups and had many informal discussions (including strategy bar conversations) to make it easier for them to better map the expectations of people who are not yet participating.

The general feedback to the Strategy Process is positive and it seems that people understand the Working Group model rather well. As a result, suggestions evolve around the wider engagement of diverse movement stakeholders. The main points in feedback at Wikimania were:

  • Translation of the essential information and engagement of non-English speaking people in the movement;
  • Outreach to new faces and new voices, including external experts who can provide a valuable perspective;
  • Ways how to use existing regional networks for better engagement of local communities;
  • Communication about the Strategy Process and clarifying the points where it is best for wider community to get involved and provide feedback;
  • Learning from the past;
  • Addressing some of the current hot topics in our movement (e.g. advocacy, complicated affiliation situations in some regions) from a strategic point of view.

The immediate steps the Core Team is taking after the conference are:

  • Continuous support to the Working Groups in their diversification process and set up;
  • Revising Meta-Wiki materials for clarity and developing FAQ to publicly address questions that have been raised in diverse communication channels;
  • Develop a communication plan for engagement of wider spectrum of movement stakeholders in strategic discussions;
  • Evaluate translation needs and move forward in reducing the language barriers in participation.

This report captures the overview of the sessions as well as main discussion points, some comments, feedback and concrete suggestions that were made during the sessions. The data presented as flipcharts is direct and unabridged input from the session participants, other data is captured from open group discussions and is intended as a reference point regarding what was discussed and not a complete and accurate record of things said.

People who have contributed directly to this report: Anna Lena Schiller, Anne Kierkegaard, Bhavesh Patel, Douglas Ssebaggala, Jodi McMurray, Kaarel Vaidla, Nicole Ebber. It is formatted for wiki and edited by Szymon Grabarczuk. Should you have any comments or questions concerning this report, please contact the Information & Knowledge Manager of the Movement Strategy Process, Tanveer Hasan (thasan@wikimedia.org) or leave a comment on the talkpage.

A note about Photo Credits

Photos shown in the Movement Strategy Space were taken during the sessions by the Core Team members: Anne Kierkegaard, Douglas Ssebaggala and Nicole Ebber, unless otherwise specified.

All photos have a CC BY-SA 4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

Day 1[edit]

Session I: Strategy Working Group Members’ Meeting (Closed)[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla, Katherine Maher

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 36

Date & Time: Friday, July 20 (10:30 am - 12:30 pm)

Duration: 120 minutes


The objectives of the Strategy Working Group members’ meeting were to:

  • Build a community of Working Group members, and getting to know each other;
  • Discuss orientation, coordination and roles of the Working Groups in relation to the overall process and structure;
  • Provide inspiration, and increase members’ involvement in the process.

Discussion summary[edit]

On Thursday, July 19, 2018 the members of the Working Groups were officially announced based on the decision made by the Steering Committee. (To consult the lists of members of the nine Working Groups, see the respective pages).

The first in-person gathering of the members of the Working Groups was held for members present at Wikimania 2018 as the first session of the Strategy Space. It consisted of high-level presentation about the process, the vision for the Working Group model, which is designed based on a Collective Impact Working Group Model. The role of Board Members and Wikimedia Foundation staff as participants in the Working Groups, was also discussed and clarified (see also the Board statement).

Following this, a presentation of the application, selection process, and identification of the diversity challenges took place, followed by an interactive question and answer session. The meeting was wrapped up by a short speech from Katherine Maher (the Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation) and a group photo.

Some of the clarifications requested from the Working Group members related to:

  • Modes of communication in the strategy process;
  • Implementation and decision making of the Working Groups’ recommendations;
  • Support structures of the strategy, and the role of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Relation of objectives and model of the Wikimedia Movement Strategy process versus the existing affiliates model and their activities.

You are the inspiration to the strategy

— Quote of the day from Katherine on Working groups

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

The following action items were extracted from the discussions:

  • The first task for the selected members of the Working Groups will be to assess the diversity gaps of the Working Group and propose ways to address the gaps;
  • If needed, there will be a general call for additional members of the Working Groups;
  • Working Groups will identify their needs and the Core Team will provide supporting toolkits, training and resources for those needs;
  • Working Groups will have specific mailing lists created for their communication;
  • In addition to making recommendations, the Working Groups will propose the decision-making process for each recommendation.
  • Provide onboarding to Working Group members not present at Wikimania and participating in sessions there.

Session II: Wikimedia 2030 – Strategy Session (main program)[edit]

Presenters: Katherine Maher, Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla, Christophe Henner

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 21-30

Date & Time: Friday, July 20 (14:00 - 15:30)

Duration: 90 minutes


The objectives of the main program session were to:

  • Share the overview of the Strategy process with a wider audience, and introduce the Working Group model as well as the timeline for this phase of the process;
  • Discuss the importance of the process and its relevance at this point in time;
  • Seek feedback on the process, especially in terms of bridging the gaps.

Discussion summary[edit]

The plenary session started with a look at the first phase of the Strategy process, followed by an overview of the current status, future timelines and the Working Group model. The participation of the Board of Trustees as members of the Working Groups was briefly explained by trustee Christophe Henner (See slides).

The second part of the session focused on discussion about the process through break out sessions in groups of 5-6 people. Groups then shared some of their key points with all attendees. The main points raised related to:

  • Resource allocation needs for the whole process;
  • Legal guidelines for consideration of the Working Groups
  • Ways in which local communities, and affiliates can engage in the process;
  • The need for continuous on-boarding of new people to the Movement Strategy Process,
  • The need for information exchange in an open, inclusive and transparent process, including translation of information

As a response to these points, the Core Team explained that:

  • Working Group members will identify their needs for resource allocation;
  • The Legal team of the Wikimedia Foundation has made a commitment to review recommendations as they are being developed to ensure that they are in accordance with existing legal frameworks;
  • The Working Group members will be in contact with local communities during the process and at the same time the Core Team will endeavour to be present on local, regional, and thematic conferences;
  • Liaisons will be identified for local organisations to serve, as contact points for information exchange in the process;
  • Different forms for information exchange were discussed, including blogs, Meta-Wiki pages, graphics, audio/visual solutions, pictorials and written materials for engagement.

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • Strategy Liaisons will be appointed for movement organizations to act as links to local communities and affiliates.
  • The Core Team wIll work on different flows of information throughout the process, including reports, blogs, translations, visuals, that capture the process to date and going forward, so that (new) people can engage in a variety of ways with the Movement Strategy Process.
  • The Core Team will engage with Working Groups at local, regional and thematic events.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation’s Legal department will be contacted to flag in a timely manner any possible issues related to legal frameworks and legislation.
  • A Conflict of Interest Policy needs to be drafted for Working Group members.

Session III: What are the Strategy Working Groups?[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 3

Date & Time: Friday, July 20 (16:00 - 17:00 )

Duration: 60 minutes


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Provide an understanding of the role of Working Groups in the Strategy process;
  • Discuss strategic planning and implementation practices in other organizations/models.

Discussion summary[edit]

As this session followed the Strategy session in the main program, it became a follow-up discussion to the main program session with deepening conversations centered around:

  • Information and task flow between Working Groups and the Core Team;
  • Involvement of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation in the process, based on their experience and competence on individual level;
  • Strategy process timeline;
  • Adaptability of the process, including goals and deliverables of the process;
  • Selection criteria of the Working Group Members;
  • Risk analysis methodology and general risk management.

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

The following actions were identified from the discussions in the morning Working Group members’ session:

  • More visuals will be developed to improve the flow of information capturing the Strategy process, including its stages and timeline;
  • Board of Trustees members will act in an individual capacity in the Working Groups’ discussions and collectively in the process governance role (see the Board statement);
  • Each Working Group will determine their own schedule, frequency, and approach for undertaking the work according to expectations and needs of their members.

Day 2[edit]

Session I: Come & Tell - what needs to change in our movement?[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 15

Date & Time: Saturday, July 21 (10:30 - 12:30)

Duration: 120 minutes


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Bring participants to an appropriate discussion level with a short introduction to the strategy process and thematic areas.
  • Have a discussion for collecting input for the Thematic Areas:
    • Roles & Responsibilities, Revenue Streams, Resource Allocation.
    • Partnerships, Capacity Building, Advocacy.

Discussion summary[edit]

The session started with a short overview of the Strategy Process with focus on the Thematic Areas to bring everyone to the same page to provide good input to the Working Groups.

  • During the follow-up discussions to the presentation, there were concerns raised regarding the process of approving recommendations from the Working Groups
  • Keeping the Working Groups informed about the developments in other groups throughout the process
  • FIlling the diversity gaps in the Working Groups and in the general Strategy Process.

The conversations of the discussion groups were based on handout materials that provided guiding questions and rationale from the Working Group pages. During this session, discussions around Advocacy, Resource Allocation and Roles & Responsibilities Thematic Areas, were held.

Advocacy discussion group was interested in the intersection of the Strategy Process to the existing institutional advocacy done by various affiliates in regards to rules and regulations in their country. Another important discussion point evolved around the fears that our movement stakeholders have, in relation to becoming more involved in regional and global advocacy work.

Resource Allocation discussion group looked into the problem of having funds dissemination currently centered in and around Wikimedia Foundation, which brings about a need to map opportunities for engaging the whole movement in a better way. This group also mapped out some unclarities in the rationale text for the Working Groups (e.g. definition of leadership or the scope of capacity building).

Revenue Streams discussion group discussed the ethical part of fundraising in the context of staying true to movement values in comparison to the idea of maximization of revenue streams. As an addition, questions were raised regarding transparency of as well as equity in fundraising activities, i.e. there is a need to open discussion regarding fundraising rights in the movement, considering also legal aspects of opportunities.

Roles and Responsibilities discussion group emphasised the fact that the relationships and power dynamics between different stakeholders (WMF, affiliates, project communities) are not always explicitly clear, which also makes the discussions around the roles & responsibilities more difficult. This brings about the need for the differentiation of responsibilities between government, legal frameworks and movement affiliates. Also it was noted that in these discussions, online communities need to be considered.

Transcriptions from flipcharts
  • Does turning into a political movement endanger wikimedians at local/national levels?
  • Some groups e.g in CEE can work safely because they are not perceived as political by the ruling powers in their countries. Will they be at risk if we become more political?
  • What about impact of this work
    • What and how do we learn from experienced advocacy groups?
  • How do we make our issues real/relevant to people’s lives
    • Intersection/cross-fertilisation with institutional advocacy.
  • Resource allocation
    • Different countries allow different levels of lobbying/advocacy using public/charitable revenue. We need to consider this here
    • Currently there’s limits on WMF funds.
Resource Allocation
  • Funding and human resources for user groups
    • Moving their interests forward
    • Paid staff for user groups
  • Regional collaboration grants
    • (e.g European Fund, e.t.c)
  • Accountability towards funders
  • Answer ‘why’ resources were allocated in a specific way
  • How are resources distributed and used?
  • Endowment or endowments
  • Tide $$?
  • Flexibility - how resources are allocated according to contexts/realities
  • Equity and efficiency in resource allocation
    • Focus on existing efficiency
    • Reinforces existing powers
    • Does not help with capacity building
    • Regional and systematic distribution.
Revenue Streams
  • Ethics, do we take any money?
  • How big we want to be, we do need to maximise the revenue
  • Who can fundraise (Equity in the revenue Streams) aka fundraising banners
  • Equity in fundraising, Who shouldn't we hustle for money (donors). More $ from facebook, less from individuals
  • Who does the money belong to + legal framework of fundraising e.g if you raise money through Italian tax system, do you keep it there?
  • Should individual donations be restricted? Donors decide where their money goes
  • Transparency in revenue streams, how much money is fundraised in each country, (and where it’s spent)
Roles and Responsibilities
  • Difference between leadership and power dynamics
  • Inventory of current roles and responsibilities
  • Relation between autonomy and equity.
  • On wiki R&R (Roles and Responsibilities)
  • Developing guiding principles/frame.
  • External expertise/models
  • Do we need a parliament? Who do the members represent?
  • Reaching out and encouraging participation by frontline editors/content contributors.
    • Why is there no Wikimedia U.S.A.?
    • Clarity in requirements and expectations for non-chapter affiliates.
    • Do we need to continue the geographic Chapter model?

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • It needs to be ensured in all the Working Groups that the focus is on the whole movement and not too much centered on the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Scope of the Roles & Responsibilities should include roles and responsibilities that happen online, not just in affiliates
  • We need to define words we are commonly using in strategic discussions to ensure clarity and understanding.

Session II: Come & Tell - what needs to change in our movement?[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla

Facilitator: Anna Lena Schiller

Participants: 15

Date & Time: Saturday, July 21 (14:00 - 15:30)

Duration: 90 minutes


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Bring participants to an appropriate discussion level with a short introduction to the strategy process and thematic areas.
  • Have a discussion for collecting input for the Thematic Areas:
    • Community Health, Diversity, Product & Technology
  • Provide a Summary of all the discussions

Discussion summary[edit]

As the framing for the discussions was already provided during the last session and there were people who were already onboarded during previous strategy sessions at Wikimania, this session jumped right into the discussions.

Partnerships discussion group expressed the need to align activities with core principles and values. of the Wikimedia Movement. They proposed creating a database focusing on external and internal partners, user groups, regional structures and frameworks that support partnerships. The group also brought up a specific example of a partners’ database approach in Bangladesh for coordinating advocacy work. It was also noted that individual volunteer driven partnerships should not be forgotten in discussions of this group.

Diversity group emphasised the fact that diversity gaps are not stagnant which is important aspect to note for for all working groups. There is a need to ease access for different types of minorities such as indigenous groups, old and young generations and also to think about different ways to bridge the gaps (e.g. technology). The group also addressed the specific topic of political advocacy in certain regions (North Korea, Belarus) where timely and adequate global support could enable diverse local groups to better function and increase diversity of the Wikimedia movement and knowledge made freely available.

Community Health group emphasised the need to concentrate on prevention rather than reaction. It needs to be ensured that users know different opportunities for active participation in Wikimedia and that there is a suitable environment for this. For the latter point there was a more specific discussion around tools to support, and retain editors, e.g. to develop flexible redistributable reporting systems such as the report abuse button, and other tools.

Product and Technology discussion emphasised that community relationships need to be considered before features and products are developed and implemented. This ensures that improvements and updates meet the needs and expectations of communities and also get necessary support from them. Also a federative staffing model was proposed to advance localization efforts. In order to meet the aspiration of the Strategic Direction, there also needs to be an understanding of how to relate to discounted audiences as well as how to capitalize on 3rd party uses of our product.

Transcriptions from flipcharts
Capacity Building
  • Capacity where? Affiliates, individuals?
  • Types of capacity building
  • Is capacity building only about the processes?
  • Are you asking the right questions?
  • Spreading organisational knowledge
    • International collaboration, regional conferences?
    • Tools provided to people (from IT and infrastructure to counselling?)
    • What about other resources: brand, physical resources?, partners, research.
Community Health
  • Work on prevention rather than reaction
  • Do users know they can be an active part of our community?
  • All communities (Internal ecosystem is part of the conversation)
    • WMF
    • Affiliates
    • Project Communities
    • Volunteers (not only editors)
    • Informal Groups
    • I.P editors
  • Research to be done in the sister projects
  • Online (Let’s keep in enjoyable) and Offline (Localised recommendations)
    • Our recommendations can be seen as impositions
    • Recruitment, retention (Friendliness and safe spaces)
      • Why do people leave (Community reasons: build protocols, External reasons: conduct research)
      • Think about acknowledgement and recognition
      • Expectation management (What do new users expect to learn, what does the community expect from them?
      • What rules do we already have in communities?
      • New people can’t use talk pages
      • Tackle online harassment (offline meet up consequences)
      • Abuse of power within online communities (rethink role system + training for admins, evaluation or assessment)
      • How we recruit new admins/patrols?
      • How big does a community need to be in order to be healthy?
    • We need a report abuse system
  • Establishing a baseline needs more data than we have now - new metrics for users’ diversity
  • Identify what we can change and what we can’t in terms of access and barriers
    • Who can we work with (organisations, individuals)
  • How can we anticipate new gaps?
  • How can we tell that a gap has been adequately addressed?
  • How political should diversity be?
  • Legal framework
    • How to help in countries with no access to funding
  • How can technology help bridging content and organisational gaps?
  • Involving older and younger generations
  • How do we connect volunteers and partners on diversity globally?
  • Strong focus on internal/external relationships
  • Internal barriers to partnering
  • Formal and informal partnerships can be very different
  • Define success of a partnership - set boundaries
  • Don't forget individual volunteer “partnerships”
Product & Technology

Essential Infrastructure of free knowledge

  • Monolith vs Federation in staffing
  • Means to amend vs part of our sharing - 3rd party use
  • Community relationships in design and deploy(ment)
  • Value proposition for products/features
  • Collect and Action on research
  • Evolution/advance in dominant consumption
  • Expectations by target audience
  • Rise of an unseen/discounted audience
  • How to scale social technology
  • Gamification (Tactic)
  • Encourage growth of community.

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • Documentation from the Strategy Space sessions will be shared with the Working Groups for their scoping work
  • There is a need to work with the definition of diversity across the Working Groups
  • Different groups will be discussing how to support communities from their angle - these discussions need to be synchronized

Day 3[edit]

Session I: Strategy in Regional and Thematic Groups[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 22

Date & Time: Sunday, July 22 (10:30 - 12:30)

Duration: 120 minutes


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Discuss engagement of regional and thematic groups in the Strategy Process.
  • Map existing channels for communication with regional and thematic groups

Discussion summary[edit]

The session composed mainly of discussions on existing regional engagement and communication models. Each regional and thematic group provided their different engagement approaches;

Iberocoop engagement in the Strategy Process started last year in Phase I

  • They suggested that for good continued communication it would make sense to have a liaison or coordinator for the Strategy Process like they had in Phase I. This is someone who can sort through and keep an overview of the ongoing discussions.
  • As Spanish on-wiki discussions have not been productive a Telegram group was started and will continue to be used since, this is a working way to include people who don’t speak English in strategic discussions.
    • The Telegram group is open to everyone who works on projects related to the region and language community, with an approximation of 70 people.
    • This provided flexibility in conversations, taking into account long distances, and different time zones,conversations also taking place on weekends.
    • Last year the discussions were divided by topics focused on specific questions, so people could join conversation on topics of their interest..
  • After WMCON 2018, Iberocoop also started Skype meetings, and talked about who should be in which Working Group.
  • Another important communication channel is having In person conversations about strategy at Inberoconf. It happened in 2017 and is also planned for 2018

ESEAP has internal communication which is currently not really structured. It is mostly based on personal connections.

  • There are multiple chat rooms on different social platforms such as Telegram, Messenger and Facebook Groups. No one is really coordinating these discussions, and there is no follow up to the conversations.
  • The ESEAP 2018 2 days conference with 58 people was important as it created a momentum among group members. Unfortunately there has not been enough follow up.There was an ESEAP discussion at Wikimania 2018.
  • External Communication to the Working Groups also happens at the personal level through personal contacts and exchange of newsletters.

Asian meetup at global conferences takes place in English.This is the only common language in the region, although there are some bigger areas with other common language (e.g. WikiArabia in West Asia and Russian in North Asia). Sometimes discussions take place simultaneously in local languages and community people who are able to translate, are used when possible.

The Javanese Community is still new and growing - there have not been any strategy discussions.

  • Bahasa Indonesian is the second language used, especially when working with wider Indonesian community and people not fluent in Javanese.
  • Community use mainly WhatsApp
  • Telegram and Facebook groups are not very active.

From South Asia Bangla community was represented, but they provided a wider insight on how things work in the region.

  • A regional conference was held in 2016 in India
  • There have been few meetups after that, including at WIkimania 2018 with 12 people
  • There is an idea to start with monthly video meetups

In order to get more knowledge from local communities, it was suggested that maybe people could post to forums in their own language and their messages can then be translated as well as the answers.

In Africa, there was a lack of applications which highlights the need for better communication.Communication channels at the continent level include:

  • the African Mailing-list
  • monthly African Hour video meetings
  • the Meta page
  • WhatsApp in regional groups
  • Hangout on Air is used that also enables recording
  • Usually the same people are speaking up, and some of the participants on the call don’t feel comfortable speaking in the meetings.
  • English is the main language used for regional discussions, although francophone communities are sometimes unhappy with this.
  • A suggestion was made to find ways of making it possible for people to speak in their own languages or if possible to have the same kind of translation support as in Phase I

CEE group has many different communities (size and language), English is the only common language, but not all communities have input to give on all topics.

  • Outreach has been made through usual channels in the movement, including:
    • village pumps
    • mailing lists
    • Skype meetings
    • Facebook groups with 5-10 people per community.
  • The group faces problems with over 30 diverse language communities
    • People burn out in the translation and coordination roles.
    • There is a solution to use more pictograms and less text , although it it might not be possible for the feedback from the community, as pictures can be too ambiguus and many things can be read into them.
  • For Phase I Russian and Polish were translated, but all the other languages were only summarized
  • There is a proposal from Wikimedia RU to hold a 2-day strategy workshop with representatives from minority languages.

During the discussions there was a concern related to involvement of people in the process to ensure that they have a voice and not feel that they were excluded. This was addressed by stressing that there will be efforts made in translation throughout the process and the Core Team looks forward to work together with regional and thematic collaboratives. Also it was noted that the Working Groups were going through a diversification process to include more diverse perspectives, including regional ones.

The session was closed with a group exercise for participants to map out (on flipcharts) communication channels for the Working Groups to be in touch with their regional networks.

Communication channels mapping
Africa ESEAP


  • How to encourage people to
  • Speak up
  • Support any Language
  • Meta page
  • Reuse mailing list for serious discussions
  • Caretakers / moderators for chat (at least one admin per country)
  • Telegram
  • Whatsapp (ESEAP 2018 & ESEAP General)
  • Facebook / Messenger (Asia-Oceania Forum, ESEAP)
  • Mailing List
  • IRC?
CEE MediaWiki Stakeholders’ Group
  • Being informed on what is going on
    • Use Pictures/Diagrams
  • Call for Input/feedback from Working Groups from the local team, discussions in English
    • Local discussion channels already available to translate questions and community input
    • Might need volunteering or paid help for translation
    • Need to identify specific topics that the communities are interested in.
    • Need involvement from both who succeeded and who failed.
  • Sharing Input with Working Group/Core Team might be difficult if many communities participated:
    • Need to translate and aggregate at regional level.
  • Low effort: #mwstake-general:matrix.org
  • Medium effort: mediawiki and mailinglist
  • High effort: monthly wide meeting (mwstake.org)

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • Questions will be sent out to the groups on how to involve the regions and themes that were not present at Wikimania 2018.
  • More people encouraged to join the working groups.

Session II: Working Group members: Clarify next steps, Q&A[edit]

Presenters: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla

Facilitator: Bhavesh Patel

Participants: 27

Date & Time: Sunday, July 22 (14:00-15:30)

Duration: 90 minutes


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Capture and answer questions that the participants and Working Group members have after the first meeting at Wikimania.
  • Determine next steps regarding diversity gaps in the Working Groups, Working Group guide and communication channels.
  • Provide a short summary to Working Group members regarding the Strategy Space discussions at Wikimania

Discussion summary[edit]

The session focused on ensuring clarity about Working Group timelines, milestones and first tasks for the members present at Wikimania. Also the discussion touched upon expectations of the Working Group members and communication in the Strategy Process with the Core Team, between Working Groups and beyond the Wikimedia community.

It was clearly communicated that the first task for the Working Group members is the diversification of the Working Group itself. To better support the Working Groups in this process, a general diversity matrix was provided to map the background and regional representation of Working Group members. It was discussed that there is additional need to map expertise and also there need to be ways how to bring in new people and voices to the Working Groups that could add to the healthy disruptiveness of the groups.

Conversation around the diversification lead to discussion about the process for onboarding new people to the Working Groups. It was said that the process is flexible and will work out in collaboration between the Working Groups and the Core Team. The initial step is defining missing profiles and then moving on to finding the right people to fill the gaps in the Working Groups. These profiles will be different for each groups and as a result suitable outreach channels and methods will be defined case by case.

An important point in discussions around Working Group membership and diversification was the use of applicants who were not appointed to the Working Groups. These are people who have shown interest in the process and can have a supportive role and provide their input.

The importance of good communication around the Strategy Process was noted several times. It was highlighted that it needs to be kept simple as not to overwhelm community representatives with too much information. For better engagement there also needs to be translation support, which can help to make the process be more inclusive, bringing in voices that have not participated in strategic level discussions before.

One of the themes in discussion was support provided to the Core Team. For the sake of diversification it was brought up that written translations can be used for Working Group members that do not speak English. Also it was noted that the Working Groups will be provided a guide that can support them in the process and provide solutions for specific challenges. As a remark it was noted that already in the diversification process, it would be good to have Conflict of Interest policy for Working Groups. This should also serve in the future, highlighting the fact that Working Group members are expected to take the perspective of the movement, bringing their personal experiences and perspectives to the group, but being open and conscious about their own biases and affiliations.

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • There should be a clear Conflict of Interest policy developed for the Working Group members
  • The scoping work can only start once diversity of group membership is ensured and all group members are onboarded.
  • There need to be alternatives for information flow and management to make sure that people have legal access to information regardless of local restrictions (e.g. problems with using Google Docs in China)

Appendice. Movement Strategy Space Bar[edit]

Hosted by: Nicole Ebber, Kaarel Vaidla, Bhavesh Patel, Jodi McMurray, Anne Kierkegaard, Anna Lena Schiller, Douglas Ssebagala

Facilitator: Kaarel Vaidla

Participants: approximately 100

Date & Time: Friday, July 20 (22:00 - 03:30). Saturday, July 21 (22:00 - 04:00)


The objectives of this session were to:

  • Engage Wikimania participants in strategic discussions in informal manner
  • Involve new people and voices who do not participate in strategic discussions during the programmed sessions
  • Make strategy more fun and engaging

Discussion summary[edit]

During the late hours of the conference the formal setting of the Strategy Space was transformed into an informal Strategy Space Bar where people could hang out and have (strategic) conversations. This served as a platform for the Core Team of the Movement Strategy Process to collect further input from a wider range of participants but also an opportunity to involve more people in the process and make strategic discussions more accessible, fun and engaging.

For better facilitation of the conversations some playful approaches were used, namely:

  • Strategy Jeopardy! to familiarize people in a fun way with previous work on building the movement strategy (see image above)
  • Strategy Charades to make people more acquainted with the terminology in the Strategic Direction and the Movement Strategy Process as well as to highlight the difficulties we have with translation of these terms
  • Visualization exercise with topics of #goatification, #dragonization, #unicornification, #trollification where people could draw their favourite ones on respective wall and compare their view with the perspective of others (please consult the gallery below)
  • Make it fail! exercise where people could express their views on the worst possible ways to run the Strategy Process so we can avoid the pitfalls and can actually improve the process.

In general, the participation level in the Strategy Space bar was higher than expected and also the engagement level was good. People were having lively discussions about diverse topics and chosen facilitated approaches helped to get people more involved with the Strategy Process. In general it feels that hosting the bar made the Strategy Space more comfortable and welcoming for people who are not usually contributing to strategic discussions and might be a model to use in future events for informal discussions.

Conclusions and Next steps[edit]

  • Hosting informal discussion space after the end of all the official conference sessions worked well for engaging new people in strategic discussions
  • This format will be used during future events to ensure better engagement of wider range of people in the Strategy Process