Wikimedia Conference 2017/Documentation/Movement Strategy track
|WMCON 2017||Core Conference Program||Fringe Events||Registration & Participants
This is a report for the Movement Strategy track at the Wikimedia Conference 2017. It is written in a narrative way, following the day-by-day flow of activities, to offer the reader an illustration of the process participants went through and the associated outcomes. The report was written by Luís Manuel Pinto, but several people made it possible by contributing with facilitation, creating infrastructure for documentation, clustering, analysing and transcribing inputs from participants, and photographing activities.
People who have contributed directly to this report:
- Bhavesh Patel and Rob Lancaster (Facilitators of the Movement Strategy track)
- Suzie Nussel (Wikimedia Foundation)
- Ed Bland and Sara Johnson (Williamsworks)
- Eleonore Harmel, Hişar Ersöz, Johanna Schlauß and Mathias Burke (studio amore)
- Jason Krüger and Beko (photography)
Should you have any comments or questions concerning this report, please contact Luís by email (luismanuepintogmail.com) or, alternatively, Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE).
This whole report is available unter Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike Version 4.0 International.
The conference opened by inviting several ‘faces’ of the movement to come on stage and welcome all participants. Below is the list of speakers and a few highlights from their messages.
Abraham Taherivand (Executive Director) and Tim Moritz Hector (Chair), Wikimedia Deutschland
Reminded the group of the shared one passion and belief: that everyone have access to the sum of all knowledge. They introduced this year’s conference as one that has grown and learned from past experiences. Each event now builds the previous one to create a continuous story, reflecting on what our collective future will look like, and how Wikimedians will work and learn together in the future.
Christophe Henner (Chair of Board of Trustees), Wikimedia Foundation
Becoming a movement implies living successes and failures. The timing of this conference is critical in the strategy process. Everyone is invited to participate: the conversation is happening in 19 languages online. We are encouraged to express ourselves in any form - as the whole group, in small groups, or in private.
Katherine Maher (Executive Director), Wikimedia Foundation
Found herself emotional after seeing people she’s only seen at last year’s event - coming from so far. Katherine reminded us of the previous year’s conference which felt very different: half the number of people, coming out of 15 years of existence, holding grasp of values, history. The Foundation went through a rough time, but is in a better place because of the support from all the people in the room. A better place to serve the movement. Katherine appealed to all participants as “stewards of free knowledge.” To consider: There is so much opportunity, so what do we want to do with that responsibility?
Nicole Ebber (Adviser on International Relations/Movement Strategy Track Lead: Organized Groups) and Cornelius Kibelka (Program and Engagement Coordinator), Wikimedia Deutschland
Mentioned the amount of Wiki-love they were already feeling in the room and online. They encouraged everyone to think about the result of this conference as something to be taken to Wikimania in Montreal this year. The three tracks were briefly described by Bhavesh Patel (Movement Strategy Track), Anna Lena Schiller (Movement Partnerships Track) and Cornelius (Capacity-Building & Learning Track).
The Movement Strategy Track
The flow of the Movement Strategy track over the course of the three days of the conference was designed to explore the key question: Where does Wikimedia want to be by 2030? The facilitators of the track – Bhavesh Patel and Rob Lancaster – used a metaphor to emphasise the importance remaining engaged with the Strategy track: rather than as a series of episodes, the track was to be thought of like a movie, in which one image builds on the previous one.
The facilitators offered a little background around the principles that underpinned the approach and the activities chosen for the Movement Strategy track. This included a statement of the ‘design biases’ (the assumptions that guided the choice of activities), as well as some recommendations for participants to make the most of their experience.
- Participation: “If you want to go faster go alone, but if you want to go further, go together”
- Ownership: “People own what they create (together)”
- ‘Organised Messiness’: Diverge to explore as many views as possible, to then converge, and focus on concrete outcomes.
Suggestions for optimal engagement
- You are in charge of your own LEARNING RESOURCEFULNESS
- Please use your DEVICES and laptops appropriately
- Use or abuse your TIME like any adult would!
- Care for YOURSELF and OTHERS – especially in conversations
- All VIEWPOINTS are VALID
- This is a SAFE ENVIRONMENT to explore and experiment
- For COMPLAINTS, tell the person who can do something about it
- For APPRECIATION, tell the person who’s done it!
Flow of Activities (explained)
Below is the summary of the key steps of the track, with their main purpose and activities. All the slides used to guide the process are available to download.
This session proposed a series of activities using body and space to gain a sense of the diversity of participants attending, create connections among them and start exploring the complex characteristics of a ‘movement’ through images and metaphors associated with Wikimedia. The session ended with an opportunity to express any hopes and fears participants might have in relation to the conference.
This session framed the context in which the Strategy track of the conference takes place and how it feeds into the iterative process of developing a strategy for the Wikimedia movement. Presenters shared important insights about where Wikimedia is today, and then highlighted internal (Wikimedia) and external (world) trends that might illuminate answers to the question ‘who do we want to become?’ The presentation was followed by questions and comments from participants.
Building on the input from the previous session, participants were invited to expand the understanding of the present situation and surface the landscape of issues and opportunities that must be considered when reflecting on the future of Wikimedia. The process used a trends analysis model inspired by the metaphor of a wave which differentiates what is emerging, established, and ending; it also sought to uncover some undercurrents that might not be visible at first. The model was applied to both internal trends related to Wikimedia, and external trends related to the world.
This session deepened the reflection on some of the points brought out by the trends analysis exercise and created a ‘useful mess’ of issues and opportunities. Through the method of Open Space Technology, participants proposed, facilitated and reported conversations about themes they felt passionate about, within the frame of an overarching question: What do we want to build or achieve together by 2030? This session started at the end of the first day and remained open to all conference attendees the following day.
From the ‘useful mess’ brought out by the Open Space session, the facilitators began the process of convergence by identifying emerging key points. These points later became the ‘bricks’ with which different thematic statements were built. To give an added impetus and encouragement for the last sprint of the strategy track, Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons, addressed the audience with his own learning from going through a comparable movement strategy development process in his own organization.
This session asked participants to form small groups to develop thematic statements based on their interests and aspirations. Through iterative rounds of critique and appreciation, the thematic statements took form and were posted on the walls so that all conference attendees could read, comment, and vote.
The conference ended with an update from the core strategy team on how the outcomes of the Strategy track will feed into the overall process, followed by ‘thank yous’ and a special way of saying goodbye.