Wikimedia Conference 2018/Documentation/Movement Strategy track/Day 1
|WMCON 2018||Core Conference Program||Fringe Events||Registration & Participants
Friday, April 20th
D1.01 / The Big Picture
The opening of the conference brought together all Wikimedia Conference participants. It started with official welcome notes, and was followed by a brief explanation of the strategy development process and the expected outcomes of the conference. The purpose of the session was to offer all participants “the Big Picture” in terms of the work that has been done so far, and the challenges ahead. After this session, participants then headed to the track that they were most interested in contributing to, and learning from.
01 . Welcoming Words
02 . Connecting — to each other and the strategic direction
Following the welcome words, Rob and Bhavesh led a session which mixed discussion and movement in space to help participants connect with themselves, and have more clarity about where they wanted to put their energy during the conference, but also connect to others and to the strategic direction.
The room was emptied of chairs, and a big structure with a flag saying “strategic direction” was placed in the center. Rob invited everyone to look around in silent, recognising all the faces that are completely new, or someone with whom they might have had interesting conversations.
After reading the strategic direction in different languages, everyone was invited to place themselves in relation to the big structure, representing how connected they feel with the current strategy, to then exchange with someone in a different place why they were there.
|By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.
We, the Wikimedia contributors, communities, and organizations, will advance our world by collecting knowledge that fully represents human diversity, and by building the services and structures that enable others to do the same. We will carry on our mission of developing content as we have done in the past, and we will go further.
Knowledge as a service: To serve our users, we will become a platform that serves open knowledge to the world across interfaces and communities. We will build tools for allies and partners to organize and exchange free knowledge beyond Wikimedia. Our infrastructure will enable us and others to collect and use different forms of free, trusted knowledge.
Knowledge equity: As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.
03 . Contextualising the Strategic Direction
In small groups of 3, participants shared their perspective on what “knowledge as a service” and “knowledge equity” means for their respective organisations, groups or communities and how this will impact their future activities. In other words, how they believe the Wikimedia Movement might look in 2030 in their own context.
These are some of the comments shared by participants:
- Criticism that the strategy was too vague - especially the first phase - but its very practical because it gives you purpose (equity) and means (service)
- The very concepts of knowledge equity and service are untranslatable to some languages
- Strategy has a big picture but maybe too big picture - in the context of our community it is a risk.
- We hope in 2030 to have half of our editors being women (WikiWomen).
- That the Wikimedia Movement becomes worldwide, using all our languages and not be so English based
- “Knowledge as service” — if it’s consumed and able to reach the communities that have not had access to Wikimedia
- To achieve the strategic direction, we should reach more diversity in content and participation
- If knowledge is a service, we wonder who is serving, and who is receiving the service.
- We should be all over the government!
- Knowledge as a service: I don’t know exactly where it will take us.
- In the future, with global trends I expect bigger representation of those who are not yet in the movement.
Closing the session, Rob invited all participants to the challenge of producing an “upgraded version” of the mannequin challenge done in 2017. This time mission was to represent the Wikimedia movement towards the Strategic Direction. This is the result:
04. Facilitation Team
- Anna Lena lead the graphic facilitation. Bhavesh called her “the fly with the eye”, because she is the only one that can eavesdrop, as a way to capture visually both the high level statements, but also the more implicit messages.
- Sabeth and Hişar lead the haptic facilitation, by creating and assembling structures that offer the necessary support for the various types of collaboration, and to make sure that the intellectual outputs are always accessible and visible.
- Luís, together with Anne and Olha, lead the “harvesting”, collecting and treating all the knowledge that is produced by the track in a report that will be made available on Meta-wiki.
- Rob and Bhavesh lead the design and facilitation of the movement strategy track. In Bhavesh’s words: “We’re here to make everyone work”.
D1.02 / The Possibilities
After introducing the Big Picture, participants headed to their respective conference tracks. Approximately 60 people remained in the Strategy track and started exploring what possibilities there are for the Wikimedia Movement in 3 to 5 years within the context of the current Strategic Direction. Before getting to work, Nicole gave a brief overview of the status of development of the Movement Strategy, followed by Bhavesh that gave the overview of the Movement Strategy track.
01 . The Strategy Development process: Past, Present, Future
Nicole Ebber explained where the Movement is in the process of developing and implementing the strategy. Phase 1 (2017-2018) was about defining the strategic direction: Understanding where we have been, where the world is going, and where we can go as a movement. Now that we have established where we want to be in 2030, we need time in Phase 2 (2018-2019) to understand what needs change, and what we want to change, so that we can then can start implementing the changes in Phase 3 (2019-2020).
These 3 days of the Wikimedia Conference 2018, and more specifically the Movement Strategy Track, mark the beginning of Phase 2 of the Movement Strategy process. Nicole explained why we should in fact abandon the term “strategy process” but rather call it a change process that operates at several levels. These levels are described below:
- Conceptual: Constant and stable change process for the next two years, guiding the Wikimedia Movement towards becoming the essential infrastructure for free knowledge; a journey towards cultural change, ensuring inclusivity, openness and clarity
- Structural (meta): Discourse around roles, resources and responsibilities - the three big Rs. These raise questions about what we need to move forward, for instance, how to obtain and distribute resources within our ecosystem? The result will be recommendations as well as agreement and a process for implementation
- Programmatic: Contextualizing of the direction and the creation of goals and plans on organizational levels, incl. support, coordination and innovation across the Movement. This is exciting because it might be lived differently by different actors, which generates creativity but also potential conflict. This will require courage to overcome fear of failure, because there is learning in failure.
- Tactical: Project and community oriented processes, and development guided by the key organizations’ departments. These often have a technical nature, and are based on research from phase 1, for which development is already on their way (see product and program recommendations from phase 1).
The focus of the Movement Strategy track is therefore mainly on the Structural level. What needs to change in terms of roles, resources and responsibilities? This will necessarily lead to conversations about power and money within the movement, which are crucial to address as we move forward.
Placing the four levels of change on a time-line, Nicole illustrated the role of the Strategy Core Team in leading the conceptual and structural levels of change, while informing or monitoring the programmatic and tactic levels. The same image also points out how the annual Wikimedia Conference represents important milestones for the Movement in terms of calibrating the different levels and the different phases of change in the process.
02 . Exploring Possibilities within the next 3 to 5 years
In pairs, one person would symbolise the relationship between their current work and the strategy right now; the other person would repeat the same gesture and from there move in a way that represents how that situation might evolve 3 to 5 years into the future. The exercise is about exploring possibilities, in a creative way, with the support of others.
A few comments from comments from participants:
- “Interesting to witness how someone naturally takes over something you have been paying so much attention to. A wonderful way of communicating in physical reality,”
- “I was doing one thing, and the person I was paired with didn’t just provide one solution, but three solutions, and it was kind of expanding the vision, so the person was an excellent partner.”
The process involved an iterative part where small groups would produce a series of possibilities that then got clustered in overarching themes. The participants were invited to imagine how the strategy could change their work in the next 3 years in terms of opportunities that might be grasped. You can access the photos of the handwritten clusters by clicking on each photo thumbnail below. The individual inputs from each participant can be found in Annex B
|A. Economical resources are accessible within the movement|
|B. More diverse and global content|
|C. Accessibility and case of use (technology)|
|D. Movement decisions are widely respected|
|E. Truly user-friendly|
|F. No censorship|
|G. Wikimedia as a Network|
|H. Wikimedia movement is a model for “The Big Open”|
|I. Nurture the Wiki culture|
|J. Wikimedia movement leads global change|
|K. Diversity and Inclusion|
|L. The Rest|
D1.03 / The Challenges
To identify the challenges that might block the Movement from moving forward, about 60 people were divided into 3 facilitated groups, who brainstormed and discussed in which concrete areas change is needed, and what needs to be resolved around roles, resources and responsibilities, in order to move forward. The purpose of discussing challenges, after surfacing possibilities, is to make the make the implementation of the strategy more realistic, and to prepare the ground for defining practical actions.
The results were first clustered and titled within each of the three groups, and then brought all together on a big wall, to be clustered again according to commonality. To complete the process, each participant was given 3 dots to give weight to the challenges they believe deserves particular attention or represent higher leverage for the movement.
The final “challenge clusters” are tagged below with a few keywords. The count of the dot voting is also indicated at the end of each “challenge cluster”. You can see the original photos by clicking on each thumbnail photo below.
(1) #internet-infrastructure #technology
|1||Access to infrastructure limits contribution to the same group of contributors
|1||Current Wikimedia software doesn’t support modern technology thus disallowing wider participation
|1||Lack of modern user experience* discourages new participants (* content quality and diversity, technology)
(2) #power #centralization
|2||Entrenched, concentrated power is blocking innovation and equity
|2||Centralized power + decision-making inhibits robustness + diversity
(3) #fragmentation #communication
|3||Insulation is blocking communication within and outside the movement!
(4) #turnover #institutional-memory
|4||Turnover of volunteers and staff doesn’t allow a proper training on values and strategy blocking transmission of institutional knowledge
|5||Systemic Anglo-centrism prevents diversity + inclusion
|5||Our Western understanding of knowledge prevents us from capturing the sum of all knowledge
(6) #political #censorship
|6||Political restrictions affect/block content
|6||World’s existing power structures (e.g. censorship, gender issues, lack of education) block us in our work towards knowledge equity
|7||Inertia and our culture of consensus slow down decisions and priorities
|7||Too many priorities freeze us from being faster
|7||History and habits reflect aversion to change which limits growth in contributors and of movement in general
(8) #governance #decision-making
|8||Lack of access and clarity of the governance process and short term funding models stifles strategic planning and long term impact!
|9||The movement doesn’t invite, empower, or support people or organisations to participate
|9||Lack of understanding others inhibits their participation / contribution
|9||The existing community have developed systems that make it challenging and confusing for new and diverse people to contribute content and take part in community processes||2|
|9||Structures we have adopted to work at global scale can also limit or exclude participation
|10||Actual gender roles limit women content creation in the project
(11) #insular-mindset #self-centeredness
|11||An insular mindset is preventing us from leveraging influence beyond projects
|11||Insular (isolated/inward) thinking prevents us from having bigger and sustained impact
|11||Self-centeredness and desire for independence consume resources (i.e. energy, human, financial) that could be used for cooperation (and coordination across movement)
- Unreliable communication infrastructure within the Wikimedia Movement
- Accuracy of sourcing (loss of trust)