Talk:Movement roles/Roles Matrix

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Latest comment: 13 years ago by James Salsman in topic Comments


Make your comments here, or hack away directly at the matrix there.

note: if you make changes to the matrix, it would be great and productive if you link the diff here on the talk page and explain your reasoning behind the change :)


  • "Institutional partnerships" - what sort of institutions? I think chapters can (should) play a big role here, as is currently happening with cultural institutions (GLAM), and that chapters are currently fulfilling this role more than the Foundation (at least with GLAM). Mike Peel 12:02, 18 February 2011 (UTC)Reply
Heh. That was missing from the transcluding of the old to the new matrix. Mistake on my part, I changed that. It was definitely included in the matrix at the beginning. Howver, I've also expanded the explanation to make the whole thing clearer [1]. Does that actually answer your concern? My take being, the Foundation may come into institutional partnerships, especially with GLAMS etc. if there are no local representation by way of a chapter or other group, but it is definitely not something the WMF engages in a priori. notafish }<';> 08:39, 21 February 2011 (UTC)Reply
And see below for the explanation of "institutional" I can come up with. Any other ideas? notafish }<';> 08:57, 21 February 2011 (UTC)Reply
Ah ok, good point, changing this into this. Does that reflect it? (and btw, Mike, just hack the matrix ;))notafish }<';> 08:39, 21 February 2011 (UTC)Reply
Is there an issue with the fact that the UK Chapter is not yet a recognized charity and might not become one until Foundation content is combined "with teaching or education"? James Salsman 16:48, 24 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
Yeah. In the original version (the colored one) it was with "Some chapters". So I'll add that back in. notafish }<';> 08:48, 21 February 2011 (UTC)Reply


Is it just me, or is this so abbreviated that it makes almost no sense and conveys almost no informational value whatsoever.

  • Institutional partnerships/Foundation = "Country-dependent".
  • Business partnerships/Foundation = "Globally".

Does this explain to anyone what "institutional partnerships" are covered, and what the foundation or other groups' role would be in creating and maintaining them? Saying "Foundation's role varies by country" or "globally" is pretty unhelpful. Discussion may require a bit more elaboration. Can we expand this chart as a first step, to make clear what it's supposed to be saying, for those who don't read Perl? FT2 (Talk | email) 12:48, 18 February 2011 (UTC)Reply

Hey, thanks for the encouraging words!
How about you take a crack at explaining what institutional partnerships may be, or what "globally" may mean? As for "country-dependent, I've already changed it thanks to Mike's constructive comment above. Here is an idea:
  • Institutional partnerships: may include governements, local governements, State/Federal-owned institutions, cultural institutions (GLAM), locally owned institutions.
  • globally could mean: WMF owns the trademark, so any business having to do with the trademark, for example will have to go (one way or another) through WMF, whichever country it affects. WMF manages a global overview of business development and may develop partnerships of a commercial/business nature even in countries where chapters exist.
notafish }<';> 08:46, 21 February 2011 (UTC)Reply

Another approach[edit]

Originally proposed by Goma on the article page; moved here to avoid confusion. Austin Hair 20:40, 28 February 2011 (UTC)Reply

Here you have my 5 cents (in Catalan we give 5 cents not 2).

I am aware that this proposal for movement roles contains huge changes to actual situation but I think it can encourage more creativity than juts trying to map and clarify just what we have now and making slight changes.

Behind this proposal there is a basic idea: Power to the communities of authors. Somebody may agree or not with this basic Idea. If not, I think it is better not to reshape this framework and draw another based on another idea like: Power to the chapters. Or: Power to WMF.

I am also aware that in case we agree with a movement roles charter (this or another) that contains meaningful changes to current situation we will need a non traumatic transition process to reach the new drawing.

I am interested in how you see this transition happening, since basically, this proposal gets rid of existing chapters. So I'd be grateful if you could give an idea of how this could work. notafish }<';> 08:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for considering this "a proposal". My intention was providing another approach or another point of view just to help raising new ideas and creativity. It seems to me that to end up with a proposal many things are to be analyzed like this one you are commenting. I don't agree that this point of view suggest the convenience of getting rid of all existing chapters. The first glimpse suggest to me that there are a lot of roles that has to be played at language level more than at geographic level and others that has to be played in intimate cooperation between chapters and communities of editors. So it seems convenient finding a better matching and relationship between chapters and the communities of authors of the projects. I think an interesting exercise would be comparing the geographic base of the existing chapters and the effective geographic base of the projects (theoretically every project reaches the entire world but in practice we could se where the 95% of the editors are working from). I suppose that many chapters already match projects.--Gomà 11:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
Also, it is not very clear to me where the "legal entities" exactly are? Are language organizations "legal entities"? If that is the case, where do you choose to base the "French language organization" for example? Paris, Montréal, Brussels, Dakar? What happens to languages that have such a reach that they work across several countries (French is a small thing compared to Spanish, for example). I understand this would be addressed through "local language organisations", but how are those structured? Do they decide collectively what the "global language organisation" does, how it is run etc? Following which criteria? notafish }<';> 08:46, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
I don't have "the" answers. I prefer to add more questions. How can we take advantage of the economies of scale we can get by actuating at language level? For example in designing, printing and producing material for outreach or teaching. For example in organizing courses to professionalize members of the movement. How can we achieve the communities working in the projects see the chapters as "their" offline arms to put in practice strategic plans and actions defined collaboratively at project level?
I dare to suggest some possible answers but I am sure there can be others. 1) Federation of organizations, 2) Multinational organization with affiliates in several regions/countries 3)A matrix organization. And perhaps the best answer is not the same for every case.--Gomà 11:29, 17 March 2011 (UTC)Reply


  • Communities of authors.
  • Language organizations.
  • For those languages spread among a huge geography: Local organizations
  • WMF

Colour code for the roles to be played by:  Online communities of authors, Online communities + WMF, Online communities + Language Organizations, Language Organizations, WMF, Language Organizations + WMF.





  • Media wiki development
  • Global software tools: Interwikies maintenance, statistical data...
  • Research on: motivation to contribute, mechanisms to improve quality…
  • Global sstrategy definition
  • Innovation in projects
  • Global coordination of  press and public relations
  • Assure all relevant information is translated to all languages.



  • Centralized Database Hardware infrastructure.
  • Tool server.
  • Securing and managing trademarks
  • Global aids and grants
  • Global merchandising agreements


 Local Geography


  • Lobby and advocacy.
  • Author rights defense
  • Geography related projects: Like Wikiloves monuments.
  • Local merchandising agreements
  • Offline fundraising
  • Local aids and grants.

 Local Language

  • Creation and improvements of contents for the projects.
  • Project management.
  • Language-related software tools: Automatic translators, vandalism detectors.
  • Local language fundraising
  • Project strategy definition
  • Research on language and cultural related motivations and tools.



  • Outreach materials.
  • Offline editing courses
  • Universities projects
  • Schools
  • Language related aids and grants
  • Community support: Provide facilities for meetings, press passes, access to museums and libraries …
  • Partnership to free works or to develop works together
  • Press and public relations

Governance structure

 Global online communities decide on

  • Global software tools to be developed
  • Innovation in creation of new projects
  • Global strategy
  • 6 of the 10 WMF board members


Local Language projects communities decide on:

  • Projects content.
  • Projects strategy
  • Granting the chapter status to Language offline organizations.
  • Define the services to be provided by them.
  • Approve their plan of activities
  • Set mechanisms of transparency and control.


Language offline organizations decide on:

  • Granting local geographic organizations if needed.
  • 2 of the 10 WMF board members


WMF board decides on:

  • Appointing 2 of 10 board members
  • WMF staff activities transparency and control

 Money flow[edit]



 Collects money from:

Global aids and grants, global merchandising agreements, Fundraising campaigns.


Spend money in:

Centralized hardware infrastructure complementing activities not fully covered by volunteers in global software development, research, translations, and coordination. Global meetings like Wikimania.

Fund local organizations according to workprograms and the will of the donors.


Local Language organizations.

Collect money from:

Local aids and grants

Local merchandising agreements

Off line fundraising campaigns


Spend money in:

Creating outreach materials: leaflets, books, videos.

Creating educational material to learn editing Wikipedia, applying Wikipedia at schools, at universities…

Expenses to travel and sustenance while lecturing offline courses, negotiating agreements, applying for grants…

Language related research and development not fully covered by volunteers.

Models for shared responsibility[edit]

drawn from the other organizations investigated so far

Allocation priorities  :  consistent v. varying
Global decision making :    fast v. drawn-out     
Global messaging       :  consistent v. varying

+ extreme cases:  when does a decision need to be made quickly?  
+ messaging : 
+ priorities: 

=== 1. Federation of national orgs ===
Ex: Scouting movement, YMCA, CocaCola Bottling
---> localized independence, varying resource allocation plans

====> like the current Chapters network
semi-public priority discussions and project prioritization
currently each chapter looks only to itself, and may disagree with the work of others.  
how could this work be more transparent?
how are global Chapter decisions made?

=== 2. Centralized trunk w/branches ===
Ex: Human Rights Watch, FIFA World, Nature Conservancy, Large banks
---> fast decision-making, consistent resource allocation plan

====> like current Foundation planning/prioritization
how could this work be more transparent?

=== 3. Combining both ===
Ex:  MSF, Save the Children, WorldVision, Proctor & Gamble, World Bank?, IOC?
---> combining fast decisions and localization. 
---> costly in overhead to ensure swift decisions and responses to change
---> risks incoherence - the whole is understood differently by different groups

====> one potential future for Wikimedia. 
decision-making by a representative group (with WMF engagement)
how do you do this efficiently (in time), punctually, and legitimately. 


  • Olympic Committee: pretty decentralized, universal, but v. tight brand control (IOC)
  • Red Cross has special treaty law. Geneva Canton / Swiss RC / Int'l RCRC | ICRC
  • World Bank - permanent tension b/t decentralized goal and effective resource allocation.

Draft matrix[edit]

This is the version of the matrix we developed in our meeting in January 2011. It is slightly altered from the one that came out of the group meeting:

  • more context has been added
  • colors were removed at first, to try and reintroduce them with more input.
  • a few roles are introduced that did not come out of the brainstorming
Please do not edit this version of the matrix, but rather the one on the main page, so this can serve as a point of comparison
  Fully engaged in this role, responsible for it.   Partly engaged in part of this role, supporting.   Engaged in this role only in specific cases.   Not engaged in this role.
Foundation All chapters Some chapters Groups Individuals Comments
Increase participation Research Broadly shared. (Footnote on groups of editors)
Editing community support Systems and tools that enable editors; research/learning about community dynamics; design support programs Organize social activites/meetups/conferences; provide access to resources (e.g., books) that help editors This is support for individuals and groups. (Footnote on groups of editors)
Trademark/brand use (excluding business partnerships) Set global standards for use of marks and brand dev; global merchandise; defend marks Merchandise design, manufacture and distribution limited use (i.e. for events) Q: should commercial usages be permitted more within the movement?
Reader relations Set standards worldwide; create tools; support as needed Set local standards, support volunteers as needed Maintain, participate in OTRS Q: is this an indiv/group issue as with OTRS? (Footnote on groups of editors)
Legal issues Defend content; protect WMF; prosecute copyright/trademark vios. Global legal strategy Most legal issues within their country; Protect community/chapter members. National/ regional legal strategy. Provide support on legal issues Copyright enforcement Q: can we make this more specific?
Institutional partnerships Country-dependent Yes Q: what is the overlap b/t WMF and chapters?
Business partnerships Globally Q: what is the overlap b/t WMF and chapters? (as above)
Technical infrastructure primary responsibility Via partnerships at many levels?
Strategic and organizational development Support global strategy development, programs with global value Drive local strategy/org dev; participate in global Design and execute initiatives that support global/regional development/capacity building Active role in strategy dev wherever it happens Q: What are the roles of individuals + groups? Historically strategy has been driven by individuals and groups. (Footnote on groups of editors)
Advocacy/Lobbying Some advocacy, not lobbying All can, some choose not to Support groups? As above: revisit meaning of groups and individuals here.
Events (meetups, conferences) funding? Meetups, conferences Mania, meetups, conferences Meetups Q: What is the role of the foundation? Different views proposed. (Footnote on groups of editors)
Fundraising Global Regional Support Support
Public Relations In coordination with local groups In coordination globally When the focus of a story; as with individuals Active contributors by region (esp with no active PR group) Q: How should global/local coordination work?
Software development Primary responsibility? Yes Much innovation starts with groups... ...and individuals Q: How does everyone collaborate? (Footnote on groups of editors)
Supporting innovation and research Research, data provision, funding new initiatives As above, diversity As with software development much innovation starts here
Decisions on allocation of money Broadly shared. More specifics needed.
Language/translation Broadly shared. More specifics needed
Volunteer skill building Develop global understanding; Design programs that can be implemented globally Support as above (by region) This is support for individuals and groups. (Footnote on groups of editors)
Quality of content Q: Is this an organizational role? Isn't there an entire separate infrastructure with 'editing role' of community members? (Footnote on groups of editors)
Project atmosphere/ community health Broadly shared. More specifics needed.

Let's take this matrix as a starting point and develop it, make sure that it reflects all roles and responsibilities, as well as tries to capture in the best possible way what we (collectively, as a movement) think is the best way to assign those roles and responsibilities among the different actors in the movement.