Summary of the discussion (after the presentation)
The session was divided into two parts: The presentation by Lila and the Q&A part. After Lila having talked for around 40 min, she opened the stage for questions. Luis Villa, Siko Bouterse and Katherine Maher joined her for answering certain questions.
A participant voiced the concern that "Global South" was not mentioned in the talk and that he fears it might have lost its priority for the movement. He also asked how the movement could measure impact and leadership in Africa. Luis answered that while Global South is still a priority, the categories "North" and "South" weren't adequate titles. Many of Luis' team's activities focus on Global South, too, but without calling it that name and without trying to find isolated solutions for each region. Siko added that this was a very prominent issue in her team, too, and that they have been interviewing different Global South communities to find more answers to these questions.
One person complained that there are metrics that cause high costs to measure and asked whether the WMF plans to develop tools that make measuring easier and better. Luis answered that the Engineering department is working on tools to tackle this issue.
Communication between WMF and affiliates
One person asked how the communication between the WMF and its affiliates could be improved. S/he is missing an interface between these two. Luis, Lila and Siko stated that they are eager to listen what the communities are saying, acknowledging diversity of the movement. However, Luis said, that they cannot promise miracles overnight. One question that Lila showed on her last slide asked whether the affiliates feel the need for a community consultation about the future roles of affiliates and WMF. Being asked what opinion the WMF has in this regards, Luis replied that he would like everyone to think as “one”, as going into the same direction, since at the end of the day everyone [in the Movement] shared the same mission.
One person expressed his/her confusion about the words “partner” and “impact” and asked the WMF to define what it means using these words. Luis and Lila defined partner in a broad way, as in everybody who is not the WMF but an organization that works towards our mission. Luis said that there were many things to say about “impact”, that impact is about community health and content quality and asked for a cautious use of the word. Siko referred to the WMF’s Grantmaking Impact session (on Sunday). She said the movement needs to start a conversation about it and expressed her wish for input.
One participant worried that most people might have heard of Wikipedia, but only few knew about the Wikimedia movement itself and asked what the WMF can do about it. Lila answered that this might be a branding issue and the movement needed more research to understand what people know about Wikipedia and Wikimedia. Katherine, who joined the stage for this question, acknowledged that and expressed her wish for support by the affiliates to explore the issue, as they know their countries much better than the WMF. This, she said, comes with raising awareness for users, readers, and in the broader world what we stand for.
Another participant, who said to be an English speaker and long-time Wikipedian, claimed to have problems with finding things on meta, outreach, etc. Luis replied that different teams were working on the improvement of the sources for information and reminded the audience that many of the conference participants might have forgotten what it means to be a newbie. Lila expressed her wish to have some sort of “fundamental index” for proposals and the like.
Someone asked which the biggest public policy issue were and how the coordination with national governments vs WMF/affiliates should work. Luis, who is a lawyer by profession, said he had worked with Dimitar Dimitrov, the “Wikimedia in Brussels” and said that he was doing awesome work. However, Luis added that the the movement should focus not only on the topics it loves, but also on the topics where it could have impact.