Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2019/Programme/Submissions/Future of CEE - strategic approach

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Title of the submission

Future of CEE - strategic approach

Type of submission (lecture, panel, workshop, lightning talk, roundtable, poster)
  • Workshop
Author(s) of the submission

Kaarel Vaidla


KVaidla (WMF)


Wikimedia Foundation (contractor) Wikimedia Eesti (member)

  • Strategy
Abstract (up to 100 words)

Over the years the CEE collab has developed organically. This has worked well in a setting of informal network of peers. However, the regional growth continues with the emergence of new user groups and collaboration ideas, which could benefit from a more systematic and strategic collaboration. As a follow-up to the Movement Strategy discussions around key thematic areas, it would make sense to continue conversations to develop a more strategic approach for the future of CEE. In-person meeting seems to be the best suited platform to initiate and advance these conversations.

How will this session be beneficial for the communities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe?

More systematic and strategic approach in developing the network, including support for new entities and activities.

Special requirements
Slides or further information

Interested attendees[edit]

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  • We have been quite operational, but since the region is growing, and new emerging communities are coming, so we should think about a systematic approach on how to support regional collaboration.
  • Kaarel and Kiril prepared the session together, and Kiril emphasizes that the point is to empower the cee communities.
Existing community strategies
  • Many communities have existing strategic documents. Let's hear some examples:
  1. WMRS strategy was made for 3 years, similar to WMF strategy, expires next year, will develop a new strategy by adapting the current one.
  2. WM-UKRAINE: Instead of just holding edit-a-thons to certain groups, the strategy calls for more focused topics and gathering feedback.
  3. Greece is proposing better preparing early,
  4. New strategy plan Amical community, engaging readers (?), in line with plans of the Wiki strategy
  5. looking into strategies for a wider impact, creating connections, focusing on efforts,
  • Statement by Kaarel: We are not so resourceful, that we can carry on without a strategy
  • Any views why the strategy for CEE might be useful?
  • using the resources that we have within the region
  • start with CEE comm, and go towards the full scale
  • if we intend to build a strategy, it needs to be something we will achieve in 5-10 years.
  • questions and needs survey helps with collecting idea about which we could discuss
  • we haven't managed to use the data we're having
  • We need to have a certain body that will work on it, not like CEE Board, but more like liaisons that will be dedicated to certain fields
  • We need to care about the core community, editors who are active online (content quality, diversity...)
  • It should start from the strategic direction, we are supposed to see how to adapt to str. direction, with what we have
  • Particularities of the region have to be addressed, and it shouldn't be something completely different.
  • If it is too disconnected you lose the work that other people have been doing
  • We need to find a way of how to think strategically, the problem of not having a strategic input, WMF will do the big work, we need to think how we can use it in our case
  • problematic - wide range consultation, how to have meaningful input, hard to facilitate, but still we should have them, even though it is exhausting
  • Kiril thinks we lack empirical evidence, not related to lessons learned, Kaarel disagrees, people are doing good work, recommendations are implicitly strong empirical experiences
  • Kiril said many things don't work in practice.
    • "Strategy is a fantasy world."
    • It needs to persuasive. If stakeholders don't like it, it is not good. Why are people are dissatisfied: Maybe afraid of change, or process is too complicated.
    • The first time that strategy was made in such a collaborative way. Pioneering is prone to mistakes.
  • There will be mistakes and it's taking longer than expected.
  • It is important to listen to concern. This is the way we can engage.
  • Strategy might be more opinionated, how would we measure if the strategy is being improved, when it is made in such a generic way
  • We could measure the success of the strategy in the wrong way,
  • comparing strategy team with an EU representatives
  • Community comments that we should have more involvement since the core editors from each community seems uninterested in the issue
  • Some people don't care about strategy, they just want to contribute when they have free time.
  • user groups might not be willing to get involved, but since they might change their mind in the future, they should have their voice heard
  • "The core communities" are who? negative commenters? the are not the core community, they either don't care, or are very active with workshops, but don't see the big picture.
  • Kirils explains the term "Core community": all the contributors who have managed programs, on any wiki project, who justify the funds they were given. Delivered the most content for a project that was grant-funded. Most benefit for the people that donated money. Given that this is hard to define.
  • WMRS has some community members who don't want to be strategically involved, and we let them do their work, but we still plan our strategy.
  • Working groups are represented in the CEE region, we need to translate strategy recommendations, to get the community involved we have to make a meetup to discuss locally.
  • If people don't care about strategy, we cannot blame them for that! Focus on the ones that want to get involved.
  • Global wiki movement appreciates local voices, the strategy is being developed and it is here to stay.
  • We need to find our own metrics, cross-wiki work has potential as some way of measures.
  • Cornelius: strategy direction on one side, recommendations on the other side, some are global - should be implemented globally, and some are regional and should be implemented regionally
  • everything we do should be connected to strategy,
  • Strategy is about making difficult decisions, choosing one path makes us resign from another equally difficult path
  • Values that are important for our movement,
  • strategic outcome should be a decision Where do we want to go.
  • Time to start to work on this, if it doesn't work, choose three top issues from every community, mix and try to fix
  • Let's think about the needs that we have and let's
  • CEE planned to be a local mini-WMF in Eastern Europe
  • If we say that we don't want to be a part of this strategy, we will stop being relevant in the future
  • Valerie d'Costa - as we talk about the strategic future and goals, a whole new model, capacity building,
  • What are those major things that we want
  1. Conflict between the specific, it makes a constant conflict of the debate, too generic to be useful.
  2. CEE is a possibility to unify our voice to participate in the global dialog.
  3. some smaller communities are not (yet) at the point for strategic thinking to emerge - those may need to be pushed sometimes (up to a point).
  • What are the problems of Kazakh group?
    • B: there is a need to program? Because of the change of script and the local community needs to help with technology to perform that change and they are in the pressure of time
    • We have similar needs but we don't tend to speak up about them, technical, outreach, contests... It could help us find resources within the CEE region in order to be able to find a solution effectively
    • Two years ago CEE newsletter has been launched, in the end the responsiveness was extremely low, same as this conference.