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Minimalist charter[edit]

A simplified charter, focusing on coordination and making specific collective decisions. Outline + original text drawn from the 1-pg draft
This is a wiki, edit at will! See also: this list of global decisions we can make right now


The Wikimedia movement is a global collaboration, empowering communities around the world to organize and share the sum of all knowledge. Our movement includes individuals, organizations, and knowledge projects working in a wide range of languages, geographies, and scales. The movement charter provides a framework for collective decision-making to coordinate and harmonize that work, in a flexible and collaborative format befitting our normal modes of collaboration. In a moment where knowledge is increasingly mediated by corporations and opaque algorithms, we are building a way for the spirit of transparent wiki collaboration to last for generations, stewarded by a robust and resilient global structure that embodies this same spirit.

Purpose of this document[edit]

This document is meant as a community charter. It is built upon and reflects the existing rules and procedures formulated and established by the community, based on community discussion and consensus. As such, the procedures and rules reflected herein can change, based upon any changes to the procedures which this charter reflects.

Please note that the charter itself is not binding in any way, except to whichever degree the existing policies herein have been established as binding by the community as a whole.

In essence, this charter serves as a community instrument and document. It will be beneficial as:

a) a guidebook for anyone new who wishes to acquaint themselves with the overall functioning of Wikipedia, both as an encyclopedia and as a community,

b) a synthesis of all existing rules and procedures to help the community as a whole find some helpful overview of current conditions, as the charter itself and as the core policies evolve and develop.

c) This charter can be a starting point for new ideas and new efforts to expand existing community efforts, resources, and groups, as the community may wish to discuss and develop.

A core committee of coordinators and facilitators to help promote and foster open collaboration and to facilitate a helpful, beneficial and equitable discussion process, may be developed. This committee shall rest upon the community air of open collaboration and discussion, as the basis for its existence and its effectiveness.


for details, see /Values.

Our work is an intrinsically collaborative endeavor, guided by shared values including a commitment to free knowledge, multilingual collaboration, and autonomous self-organization.

↑ Drawn in part from the 10 principles of the latest movement strategy.


Wikimedia communities contribute online and offline to build and advance the Wikimedia mission, organized by volunteers around the world in over 300 languages. These are self-governing and open to participation by anyone, within the framework of global policies. A meta-community sets and updates global policies, through processes including global RfCs and Wikimedia Foundation resolutions.

↑ Policy examples include the Terms of Use, the Privacy, Licensing, and Non-free Content policies, and the Code of Conduct.


  • As we want better ways to make certain global community decisions :: We are forming a Global Council that can make certain decisions that were previously not made, or made by RFC and by the WMF. <example decisions; draft proposal for a Council>
  • As we want a way to have discussions and reach decisions that involve all communities :: We are exploring models for a larger representative assembly, with participants from every major project and part of the movement. <link to examples of such decisions; to past proposed models>
  • As we want coordinated priorities that are responsive to a changing environment and unite the strategic work of wikiprojects, the WMF, and affiliates :: The Council will explore ways to produce a strategic overview each year that addresses the work and plans of each part of the movement. <current strategy docs: affiliates, technical roadmaps, Project roadmaps>
  • As we want robust regional engagement in fundraising and funds dissemination :: The Council will publish annual guidance on funds dissemination, and we will explore new ways to federate grantmaking and to help larger affiliates build their own fundraising capacity and connect directly with donors. These approaches build on the past work of the FDC and the current work of regional grantmaking committees.
  • As we want effective community input into technical changes and deployments :: The Council will have a technical advisory body to facilitate and streamline community input into technical rollouts. This will complement and reduce scattered discussions across village pumps, tickets, and other forums. <MW stakeholders, annual plans, wishlists, incremental rollouts proposal, technical committees [2005, 2006, 2014, 2017], technical forum>
  • As we have unresolved conflicts in the movement :: We will form a dispute resolution process to mediate and arbitrate conflicts that are not effectively resolved through existing mechanisms. <RfCs, stewards, WMF actions>

Wikimedia Movement Organizations[edit]

Wikimedians form a diverse range of organizations to support and coordinate their activities. These include WikiProjects coordinating work on wikis, movement affiliates, and global organizations such as the Wikimedia Foundation and a future Global Council. <link to longer list of examples>

On-wiki organizations[edit]

On the Projects, contributors organize to manage everything from contributions and contests, to tools and workflows, to partnerships and conflict resolution. These wiki organizations can take a range of forms, and work transparently in Project namespaces and task trackers. <link to examples>


Affiliates form partnerships and maintain activities over time, and may receive funds and employ staff who support and amplify the work of volunteers. The composition and governance of an organization is open for the body itself to decide, depending on its context and needs. Affiliates include hubs which coordinate and support the development of other smaller affiliates. Offline organizations are responsible for making their work and activities visible. <Ex: annual reports>

Global Council[edit]

for details, see /Council

The Global Council (GC) is the representative strategic body of the movement, with members selected by and from communities across the movement. It empowers community participation in decisions about movement structure, priorities, resource allocation, and conflict resolution.

The Council establishes guidelines for the equitable distribution of funds within the movement, including annual input into the proportion of global funds earmarked for affiliates, and support for affiliates in developing their own fundraising and partnerships.

It provides an annual overview of strategic plans across the movement, which may include feedback on the plans of large movement entities.

It will oversee the work of the Affiliations Committee, establish a Technical Committee to advise on major technical rollouts, and otherwise help maintain a collaborative and harmonious relationship among parts of the movement.

possible provisions[edit]
  • the global council is mainly intended as a deliberative body, made up of cross-section of all groups and entities within the community, including multiple wikipedias from various languages.
  • its actions do not create binding rules or regulations; rather, it formulates ideas for community discussion, and seeks to foster a process of evolution where community consensus is what enables proposals from the global council to be fully adopted.
  • proposals are discussed by the community; the discussion itself would be closed by an uninvolved admin, much like numerous other proposals submitted to the community.
  • the global council initiates, cultivates and maintains immense resources and processes under its umbrella which are meant to facilitate greater collaboration, problem-solving, discourse and decision-making throughout the community as a whole, for possible full adoption.
  • hence the global council exercises a major role and major influence, without actually reaching any role that would be classified as being actually formally legislative in nature.

Wikimedia Foundation[edit]

for details, see /WMF

The Wikimedia Foundation (“the WMF”) serves as the main steward of the Movement’s free knowledge platforms and software, its fundraising infrastructure, and its trademarks. It aligns its work with the global strategy.


↑ "Strategy" includes any major changes to the Wikimedia brand.

↑ The Global Council determines all aspects related to these responsibilities, in coordination with the Wikimedia Foundation. Such responsibilities can include i) setting funds dissemination policies, strategy, and standards for the movement, ii) setting regional, thematic, and other funding allocations, iii) determining movement-wide goals and metrics, and iv) reviewing global programmatic outcomes



This charter is a work in progress, and expected to change as we form a global council and develop a regular cycle of global decision-making.

A working version of the charter and associated guidelines and policies will be available for edits and comments on Meta, with snapshots posted for public RfC every [4 months].

When the charter text is stable, a more formal ratification will be held to confirm it has global consensus, at which point this process section will be updated to describe its amendment and ratification process.


The Charter will be considered ratified once it has a supermajority (75%) of support from affiliates and community members.

possible provisions[edit]

  • consensus may be reached gradually, by fostering community consultation and consensus.
    • hence, in effect, the 75% ratification will be reached by hearing any community concerns, and molding and evolving the current draft to accommodate the community's points as widely as possible.


Translations of this Charter will be provided in many languages.

A translation tool will be provided to translate feedback and suggestions to the Charter into those languages.

Supplementary documents[edit]

Relevant operational and related documents, which may change rapidly as events warrant:

  • Glossary
  • Guiding principles for movement organization policies (membership, transparency)
  • Future affiliate landscape
  • Decision-making style guide
  • Mediation process
  • Hubs details (scope, pilots, financial aspects)
  • Global Council + supplement
  • Ratification options for a future stable Charter
  • Implementation options for a Charter

Outline (reviewed state)

  • Introduction ✔
  • Values (why + how) //
  • Community (who) //
  • Coordination (what) ✔
  • Process (when + how) ✔