Talk:Community Development

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s/Volunteers/Community members/ ?[edit]

I'm delighted that this has its own department now; good for movement health. And community development definitely includes support for volunteering.

But a strong volunteer/staff dichotomy, especially when it comes to capacity, leadership, and resilience, can work in the other direction; not so good for movement health.

Unless there's intent behind it, it might be more inclusive and impactful to unify language around community development | community capacity-building | community resilience | community retention. I hope that programs to improve capacity and health and skills would include staff or contractors of various movement entities, or those with similar professional roles for one of our fellow-travelers or movement partners.

Indeed, a healthy model for how community members can pass in and out of staff roles, and build careers advancing the mission, contributes to resilience. This is also one of the promises of an 'open coalition', which we have often talked about but never fully realized -- is a framework for lifelong learning, recognition, and advancement of both vocation and avocation.

Warmly, –SJ talk  21:59, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sj, thank you for your insight on these important topics! It is essential to hear the various perspectives about movement health - these conversations make a sustainable and resilient movement. We hope to see you at the community call this month. If you have any questions you would like us to answer in the call, please feel free to post here, or email us at comdevteam@wikimedia.org kind regards, Cassie Casares (talk) 23:03, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll just add one cluster for consideration for the agenda, along this line: –SJ talk  02:09, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • What does "community development of the broader open knowledge community, including Wikimedia, Mozilla, CC, OKFN, and educational free software communities" look like? How are we currently contributing to that development? How can we plan now to be good ancestors for the next generation of those communities?
This a great question to ask! This is also a question with many different answers depending on what communities answer to this :) Cassie Casares (talk) 21:41, 7 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Building a community–WMF pipeline[edit]

Hi @CCasares (WMF) et. al! It's intriguing to see this new team and I'm looking forward to seeing where it might go. From the on-the-ground editor perspective, I think it's long been clear that disconnects between the community and the foundation are a major impediment to the growth of the Wikimedia movement. Part of that might be attributed to the lack of any solid pipeline between community roles and paid WMF staff positions. I agree with Sj above that we should strive toward a healthy model for how community members can pass in and out of staff roles, and build careers advancing the mission, and I urge you to prioritize that in your work. Like, I've literally never seen anyone from the WMF post at the Village Pump/Administrators Noticeboard "hey, we're forming a new team X, we're looking for positions Y and Z, feel free to apply". I also don't get the sense that Wikipedia editing experience is given strong weight in the WMF hiring process. Those are things that can and should change. Best, {{u|Sdkb}}talk 22:38, 4 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you so much for your input! We hope to see you in the call. We want our community calls this year to be a solid pipeline between our team and the volunteers. We want to hear how to best support you within capacity building and leadership development. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns =] Cassie Casares (talk) 15:27, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thoughts along these lines: models for inviting people to give time-limited help w/ a project, moving in and out of a Foundation-catalyzed project, and spreading support throughout their existing community network (like identifying a community group to help w/ something and appointing someone from that group to a workteam), is essential. (If the only model for this is turning community members into [semi-]permanent staff, that can be a net community drain -- not neutral or positive.) Options:
  • Thinking of funded roles on a team as one-time plumbers / implementers to help connect the working practices of the different parts of the community.
  • Something like 18F for helping people take 1- or 2-year stints to focus on a series of such projects. That could be enough structure to build a really influential pipeline, and interesting enough to recruit world-class folk in our community who might like to do this as a break from other work, but would not apply to a more narrowly focused WMF position.
These things come up as community development (even though they sound like HR) because rapid growth of staff, in contrast to a gradual shrinking of the active global community, is a growing challenge for the community. When there are more fulltime staff than attendees at our annual conference, the role of the staff (as a body) and of individual staffers (in discourse) becomes confusing. We need to break down barriers so that these don't seem like non-overlapping networks, one of which works in public and the other of which works mostly in private. Cheers, –SJ talk  00:42, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
NB: I can't generally join synchronous calls [perhaps I am not alone]; but not because I don't think this is important. I find asynch communication is nicely translatable + accessible + searchable :) –SJ talk  01:00, 1 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]