Volunteer Supporters Network/Online Meeting 2022/Report

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Volunteer Supporters Network Annual Meeting Report
3rd and 4th of November 2022

Organizing team: Wikimedia Argentina, Wikimedia Chile, Wikimedia Colombia, Wikimedia España, Wikimedia México, Wikimedistas de Uruguay.

Participants[edit]

Members

  • Ana Maria Gutiérrez Monsalve (Wikimedia Colombia)
  • Anisa Kuci (Wikimedia Italia)
  • Carla Toro (Wikimedia Chile)
  • Christoph Jackel (Wikimedia Deutschland)
  • Claude Beier (Wikimedia Deutschland)
  • Sandro Halank (Wikimedia Deutschland)
  • Constanza Verón (Wikimedia Argentina)
  • Vic Sfriso (Wikimedia Argentina)
  • Esma Gjertsen (Wikimedia UK)
  • Ivana Madžarević (Wikimedia Serbia)
  • Natalia Szelachowska (Wikimedia Czech Republic)
  • Paula Domínguez Font (Wikimedistas de Uruguay)
  • Paulina Anna Studniczka (Wikimedia Polska)
  • Raimund Liebert (Wikimedia Österreich)
  • Rubén Ojeda (Wikimedia España)
  • Tania Solá (Wikimedia México)

Liaisons

  • Ngangaesther (Wikimedia community user group Kenya)
  • Stephen Dakyi (Organizer from Ghana)
  • Jessica Stephenson (Wikimedia Foundation)
  • Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska (Wikimedia Foundation)
  • Nick Wilson (Wikimedia Foundation)


VSN-Annual Meeting 2022 02.pngVSN-Annual Meeting 2022 01.png

Overview[edit]

The Volunteer Supporters online Meeting 2022 was the fifth of its kind after previous meetings in Berlin (2017) and Vienna (2018), Switzerland (2019), Online organized by Wikimedia Polska with the support of Wikimedia Deutschland (2022). Hosted by WMAR, WMCL, WMCO, WMES, WMMX and Wikimedistas from Uruguay, the meeting took place online on the 3rd and 4th of November. During the first day, 16 members of the network from 13 different chapters participated and during the second day 15 members from 13 chapters and 5 liaison from 2 user groups and WMF.

During the meeting, the participation of 5 Latin American chapters, representatives of two African user groups and 3 people from the Wikimedia Foundation, in addition to the 10 European participants, was remarkable.

We met for 5 hours each day on the 3rd and 4th of November, and a social gathering on the 4th. The two days were moderated by Christine Oymann.

The goals of the meeting were:

  • strengthening and broadening the collaboration and connections within the VS network
  • exchanging knowledge and skills needed in our work
  • gaining and giving support to each other
  • talking about challenges related to our work
  • decision making within the network

For the second time the annual meeting was held online, which presented the challenge of coordinating our face-to-face work with online participation. While being online facilitated the participation of people from different countries, the number of hours dedicated to the event as well as the choice of time zone was a challenge. At the same time, the meeting was conducted in English, which is also a barrier to participation that we are aware of.

Activities[edit]

The first day, the event opened with a get-to-know-you dynamic among those of us who are part of the network, followed by a presentation by Raimund Liebert about the history of the network and where we are today. In the second block we discussed the current structure of the network and a vote was held about the internal regulations of the network and our plan for 2023. Finally we had our (traditional) space where we shared advice and experiences of the network members.

The second day we welcomed the liaisons, followed by a skill transfer cafe, where we shared conversations around tools and insights that could help our daily work. In the second block Christine Oymann held the workshop “Tools to dynamize (and generate engagement) meetings". To finalize our meeting we had our online social gathering.

Voting results[edit]

Organization and planning of activities 2023.

In accordance with our mission to enhance volunteer support in the Wikimedia movement, the Volunteer Supporters Network agrees on investments in skills and leadership development and funding for underrepresented communities as our key programmatic activities in 2023. We invite our members, liaisons and allies to implement these activities. We welcome and support the allocation of movement resources by the Wikimedia Foundation (1) through a project grant paid to Wikimedia UK and/or Wikimedia Argentina for the coordination of our regular skillshare meetings, our membership management and the financial management of our annual meeting and (2) through the annual budget of Wikimedia Österreich for prizes of the International Museum Day Wikidata Competition in May 2023. We thank Wikimedia Deutschland and Wikimedia Foundation staff members for their intentions to contribute to our activities related to community leaders and peer support.

15 members present, 13 members with voting rights

100 % YES, 0 % NO

The proposal is accepted.


Update section “Members” of the Volunteer Supporters Network’s internal regulations

15 members present, 13 members with voting rights

69% YES, 31% NO

The proposal is accepted.

Evaluation[edit]

  • 90% of participants believed that the VSN annual meeting contributed to their professional practice.
  • 90% of participants agree that the meeting satisfied their expectations
  • 100% of participants consider that the moderation was very good

It was highlighted[edit]

  • The quality of the content presented and the dynamics
  • The possibility of sharing skills and acquiring others among participants.
  • The quality and engagement of the moderator.
  • The opportunity to see each other and connect, to know that we share the same concerns and challenges.
  • The friendly atmosphere

Learnings[edit]

  • Although the network began its work in 2014, it has grown considerably in recent years. This meant that many of the people who participated in the meeting did so for the first time in the group's activities. In this sense, we need to continue working on strengthening our bonds internally.
  • While it was great to have the opportunity to meet online, it is not always easy to dedicate the time and attention for long hours in front of the computer. In this sense, face-to-face meetings allow us to not only dedicate ourselves to the meeting, but also to establish more meaningful relationships between participants.
  • Once again we met and shared our experiences, challenges and tools to face our work. Creating this kind of space where we meet from the specifics of our work from the diversity of our territories, allows us to have a broader view on the challenges and opportunities of working with Wikimedia communities in order to enhance our work and contribute to the growth of the Wikimedia movement.