Wiki Movement Brazil User Group/Report/2023/CALIBRA

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Report of activities for 2023 - CALIBRA

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First quarter report (Jan-Mar)

CALIBRA team meetings

in-person meeting of the CALIBRA team in São Paulo in march
In-person meeting of the CALIBRA team in São Paulo

In 2022, WMB applied for a grant to develop leadership skills in Brazil as part of a Movement Strategy Implementation Grant[1], which focused on the 6th recommendation "Invest in Skills and Leadership", and on the 33rd initiative "Leadership Development Plan". The project involved several people and counted multiple community activities and presentations at events and conferences in addition to monthly meetings. The project's activities are intimately connected to WMB's strategy, specifically the axis 2 "Coordinate the Brazilian Wikimedia agencies", transforming its intentionality, "to contextualize autonomous Brazilian protagonisms in networks, participatory governance and safe spaces", into actions.

On March 16, 2023, the CALIBRA team met with the WMB professional team in São Paulo to discuss how would the project impact the user group and the wider community and to develop new organization and team management methods.[2] This led to CALIBRA becoming part of the Projects area. The next day, the CALIBRA team met again to define what participants would need to deliver and get feedback from the Communities management.[3]

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Second quarter report (Apr-Jun)

Launch of CALIBRA in the Wikiversity in Portuguese

Introduction to the program
Introduction to the CALIBRA program

The first phase of the CALIBRA project ended in May with the publication of the training program in the Wikiversity in Portuguese.[4] The material was built based on requests presented by the lusophone community in a survey process that started in 2021 and ended in 2022, with strategic discussions with the Brazilian community to ensure the implementation of the Movement Strategy 2030 considers the particularities of the community. The first phase of the CALIBRA project ended in May with the publication of the training program on the Wikiversity in Portuguese. The material was constructed from requests submitted by the Portuguese-speaking community in a research process that began in 2021 and ended in 2022, and from strategic discussions with the Brazilian community to ensure that the implementation of the Movement Strategy 2030 in the lusophony considered the particularities of the community.

Some requests CALIBRA aims to address are:

  • Activities aimed at discussing and overcoming the daily challenges faced by Brazilian Wikimedians;
  • Activities that unite theoretical reflection with practical action
  • Development of a work network that allows collaboration with people with different experiences and from different places in Brazil
  • Training focused on educational initiatives and GLAM-Wiki
  • The contextualization of global practices in the Wikimedia Movement to the Brazilian reality

In addition, the initiative also presents itself as a potential space for the formation of an independent network of Wikimedians capable of planning, discussing, implementing and evaluating strategic actions that collaborate with the future and sustainability of Wikimedia as a basic infrastructure of free knowledge in Portuguese. We received a second grant for the implementation of the program - second phase of CALIBRA - with a duration of one year.[5].

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Third quarter report (Jul-Sep)

CALIBRA sessions

Poster about the subscription to CALIBRA
Poster about the subscription to CALIBRA[6]

The second phase of the CALIBRA project began in July, after the publication of the training program in the Wikiversity in Portuguese.[5][4]. During the month of August, the project accepted subscriptions of participants. The first CALIBRA training meeting took place on September 16, in a range of 6 hours, and counted with 18 participants.[7] The initial segment of the meeting aimed to foster integration among the participants. They were at different times divided into Zoom breakout rooms to introduce themselves based on various topics. The second part of the meeting was dedicated to presenting the program, covering the stages leading up to its implementation and providing general instructions on how it functions.

This activity marks the start of the leadership training process for their roles as advocates of the Wikimedia Movement in Brazil. Its implementation addresses several needs identified through a process that involved research into the Movement's strategy within the Lusophone context. It also identified the requirement to engage more Brazilian Wikimedians in strategic topics for the Lusophone community. The program's development was based on consultations and discussions with the Brazilian community, who expressed interest in training, specially focused on GLAM-Wiki initiatives and Education.

The challenge posed by this meeting was to keep the participants engaged throughout the program, ensuring the completion of tasks and collectively defining the upcoming activities of Calibra.

The second CALIBRA training meeting took place on September 23, in a range of 6 hours, and counted with 16 participants.[8] The initial portion of the meeting aimed to introduce and discuss the unique aspects of Wikimedia platforms in contrast to digital platforms managed by Big Tech companies and artificial intelligences. In the latter part of the meeting, participants were grouped according to their focus areas. The GLAM axis engaged in an activity designed to comprehend and deliberate how GLAM-Wiki initiatives originated, are structured, and occur in Brazil, while the education axis focused on discussing the specific utilization of Wikimedia platforms as Open Educational Resources in Brazil.

The first segment promoted collective discussions after a presentation on digital culture and social media issues in which the participants shared their thoughts and ideas on how digital culture and platforms impact daily life. After that, there was an overview of the Wikimedia Movement, its strategic direction, vision, and various stakeholders, aimed at approaching the question "How should Wikimedia be positioned in the context of the functioning of digital platforms and artificial intelligence?".

The discussion was marked by significant interest from the participants who recognized the involvement of the Wikimedia community in shaping its own future as a primary distinction between Wikimedia projects and platforms managed by Big Tech companies. At the same time, there was a critical examination of the proximity of the Wikimedia Foundation to major technology firms.

The third CALIBRA training meeting took place the following weekend, September 30, and was spread over 6 hours.[9] The participants from the GLAM axis had a workshop about GLAM-Wiki initiatives with the GLAM and Culture manager of WMB, Sandra Soster. The participants from the Education axis watched an exposition about the Wikimedia projects and its educational potential. They answered questionnaires to identify data about the digitization, licensing and cataloging of the collections they will be in contact with and data of interest, demands and resources available to professors to plan the educational activities.

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Fourth quarter report (Oct-Dec)

CALIBRA advisory meetings

Icon from CALIBRA Visuals
Icon from CALIBRA Visuals

The CALIBRA advisory meetings are aimed at supporting the development of projects and integrating the program participants. The first collective advisory meeting with the participants took place on October 7, right after the fourth training meeting for the participants.[10] In this meeting, participants from the GLAM and Education axes reported the process of applying the questionnaires with the institutions and teachers with whom they wished to form partnerships.

The meeting continued with a round of presentations in which each participant shared their ideas regarding the partnership and progress in contact with potential partners. During the speeches, it became evident how the different realities faced by the participants and their partners were affecting the progress of filling out the questionnaire. While some people had already made contact and filled out all the questions, others were still deciding which partnerships they intended to pursue or had not received answers. Factors that brought difficulty are linked to the time available to carry out the activity; questions about the best ways to contact potential partners; need to better define the objectives of the project to be developed; and uncertainty in defining which institution or professor would be chosen for the partnership attempt.

After each speech we did the exercise of thinking together about the possibilities to overcome the challenges faced. At that time, the focus of our interactions with the participants was to bring a positive perspective towards the projects, thinking about solutions to shared challenges and opportunities that could be identified according to the profile of each partnership. We also used the moment to identify which questionnaire answers could be answered from institutional websites or information that participants were already aware of.

The second advisory meeting with participants took place on October 16, 2023, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm.[11] The dynamics of this consultancy were quite similar to the first, with the difference that the number of participants was low, due to conflicts in the participants' schedules. While the training meetings have a fixed date, the advisory meetings are scheduled according to each person's possibilities. Because of that, we assisted participants on demand and according to their availability.[12] Despite the setbacks, the consultancies can be considered a success due to the advances made in the participants' projects, which took on more materiality from a practice oriented towards solutions and referrals.

There were 6 more training meetings with a mean of 11 participants per meeting.These meetings were spaces to develop capacity in different wiki abilities.[13][14][15][16][17][18]