Wikimedia Conference 2018/Documentation/Movement Strategy track/Day 2
|WMCON 2018||Core Conference Program||Fringe Events||Registration & Participants
Saturday, April 21st
D2.04 / The Way Forward
The Way Forward session explored how to address the challenges outlined in the previous session, and move towards the possibilities raised before that. In small groups, participants indicated what practical actions need to be taken, then grouped these actions under proposed key themes.
01 . Review of the first day
Photo: After reviewing the process and outcomes of the first days, using visuals produced by Anna-Lena, the facilitators invited participants in the Movement Strategy track to share insights or concerns about their experience so far. Below is a tentative capture of the points raised by participants.
Comments from participants
- It is difficult to focus on the big picture without dealing with issues related to community health, funding… but the big picture cannot be too big. It’s the role of affiliates to take it and make it their own.
- Why did no one ask for hard questions? Why do we still have the empty seat? Questions like do we need affiliates like chapters? Why is there no US chapter?
- Focused on organisational collaboration - come back to original vision of meeting multilingual needs. Please make this happen, in the way it should happen, but I am not quite sure how yet…
- I want to know how we involve the community more directly in (agile) software development and try to dig in on how to tag commons data, etc - and have people collaborate on that. Partnering with companies and members of the community that can help making that happen…
- I am big fan of the process but I’m still concerned with things that are really important but might be chopped up in different categories. Such as the bias towards visual or multimedia knowledge - really important things might be lost. How do you counter things like this?
- I was not here until now but was reading the results like de-centralisation, and the lack of communication. One of the critical gaps missing from info was the lack of mention to community health, compared to last year’s conversation, where there might have been more diversity of profiles in the group
- I feel that some of the conversations that we are having are starting from scratch and not building on the process we have previously built. This might be wasting time or not helping us move forward - with the understanding of those that have not been here last year, that might feel like they have to rush to catch the train.
- The outcomes / inputs are very precise on some points, and they might get lost in the process. We also talked about the external factors we cannot change such as the internet infrastructures - but we can still imagine ways to address them — practical realities.
- I would not like see the “consensus culture” associated with “challenges”. I would like to connect it with the wish for decentralization. This is a contradiction that we need to address moving forward.
- Now it’s time to get more specific, and deal with all of the issues we have surfaced.
Christophe (Wikimedia Board of Trustees) encouraged everyone to “really go for the hard questions”.
02 . Practical actions to address Challenges
About 51 people distributed themselves in groups according to the challenge they felt more connected to, or had the feeling they could help address. Within the smaller groups, they re-read the information collected, and shared their own experiences in relation to the challenge to then discuss practical actions or solutions addressing the challenge at hand, and move towards the possibilities and Wikimedia’s strategic direction.
|CHALLENGE CLUSTER||DOT VOTES||PEOPLE IN GROUP|
|(1) #internet-infrastructure #technology||24||12|
|(2) #power #centralization||7||10|
|(3) #fragmentation #communication||0||0|
|(4) #turnover #institutional-memory||1||3|
|(6) #political #censorship||2||0|
|(8) #governance #decision-making||2||4|
|(11) #insular-mindset #self-centeredness||15||0|
|TOTAL||86 dots||51 participants|
03 . Key themes / areas of focus
Kaarel Vaidla introduced 11 key themes to be used as framework for organising the practical actions produced in the previous session. These key themes emerged from previous reflections within the Wikimedia movement (e.g. Chapter’s dialogue, discussion sessions at conferences, work from various interest groups) and the analysis of these diverse discussions by the Strategy Core team. The themes can be seen as critical areas of work within Wikimedia that can act as enablers for change towards alignment with the current strategic direction. Key themes 1-7 are more at structural level, while themes 8-11 are more on a programmatic level and can be carried by each organization. Room was left for new themes to emerge, or non-relevant themes to be removed.
|1||Roles||Is about: The affiliate model, the role of WMF, purpose and internal dynamics of these structures|
|2||Responsibilities||Is about: Movement wide decision making processes and leadership|
|3||Resource Allocation||Is about: Movement funding structures (the use and distribution of money) that support becoming the essential infrastructure for the ecosystem of the free knowledge.|
|4||Revenue Streams||Is about: Collecting and raising money for the movement on global, regional and local levels|
|5||Diversity / Inclusion||Is about: Including missing voices and bridging the gaps in terms of access and contribution|
|6||Partnerships||Is about: How we choose and work together with partners from our movement and beyond|
|7||Capacity Building||Is about: Transfer/Sharing of knowledge and peer mentorship, sustainably developing the skills and competences in communities and movement organizations|
|8||Community Health||Is about: Supporting (a culture of) trust and collaboration in our on- and offline communities, including being open to newcomers|
|9||Technology||Is about: Collaboratively developing, and maintaining the technological infrastructure for the ecosystem of free knowledge- making sure it’s up to date, relevant, and creating new possibilities for both current and new users|
|10||Events||Is about: Effective use of events to meet our goals, the strategic direction as a frame for all Wikimedia events|
|11||Advocacy||Is about: Influencing legal framework and public agendas to better accommodate free knowledge and access to knowledge|
All the produced practical actions were distributed along the key themes - also called ‘buckets’. Each practical action indicates a letter representing the Challenge (Ch) they aim to tackle, and a number representing the Possibilities (Po) they can help grasp.
|Acknowledge the existing power struggles||2||K|
|Acknowledge the polarity: centralization <> decentralization||2||G|
|Collective impact model, or fungi networks||2||A;G|
|Rethink the affiliate model||2||G;H;K|
|Encourage different growth paths for organizations that are just as legitimate||2||G;I;K|
|Dissolve the Wikimedia Foundation||2||G|
|Recognize different forms of leadership that don’t manifest as edits or titles||2||B;D;K;T|
|Create a U.S. Chapter||2||D;G;H|
|Respect different opinions in the community||6||I;F;K|
|Admins work in a different way|
|Create a MediaWiki Foundation||2||G;H;|
|Move away from a mindset of risk aversion to one of trust||2||I;G;H|
|Manifestations of power: money, staff, influence, knowledge, relationships, decision-making||2||B;K|
|Power = Gestaltungsmacht (creative power) - needs to be more evenly distributed. Create spaces for this.||2||A;G;K|
|Every organization focuses on just one goal||2||G|
|Create a Movement council||2||D;I;H;K|
|Those in leadership positions must reflect the global population||2||B;G;K|
|NOT Cathedral, but a Bazaar||2||G|
|Use ‘change management’ to facilitate change||7||C;D;I;H|
|Have regional hubs of authority (resourced and with ability to make decisions)||7||B;G;J;K|
|Use consensus to delegate authority to different groups;||7||B;G;H;J;K;I|
|Allow small scale experiments to encourage new ideas||7||B;C;H;I|
|Create a representative body with authority to make decisions||7||D;G;H;J;K|
|Distributed model of fund dissemination (e.g. multiple grant-making bodies)||2||D;G;H;K|
|Abolish the FDC||2||A|
|Commission multimedia content on ‘how to’ for use in multilingual||5||A;C;K|
|Control of money closer to where the people are.||9|
Diversity and Inclusion
|Change Wikipedia content policies. Change how editor’s worth is judged||9|
|A task force specifically for attracting users under 30 years old to Wikipedia. How do we ensure future pipeline?||1||B;E;H|
|Different way of recognizing efforts of new editors (but need to keep existing community)||9|
|WikiData as a multilingual and more inclusive representative, accurate picture of knowledge||5||C|
|The Western philosophical concept of ‘category’ is very fundamental in the current Wikimedia projects, but it isn’t easy for all cultures to work with. We must not force everything into categories.||5||K|
|Every humankind means every one. We have to show different versions of Wikipedia / Wikimedia for different readers (i.e. children wikipedia, Txikipedia - Basque, visual wiki, multimedia, elderly)||5||E; K;|
|Movement Strategy / Strategic Direction: Do the same process in different regions and languages > come together to reconcile||7||B;G;H;J;K|
|Different scholarship process (multilingual)||9|
|Automatic translation to all languages (so more people get involved)|
|Partnerships - Comp. For e.g. use Google for oral input to text||1|
|Service input available for third party app.||1|
|A partnership task force that will come up the framework and key ground rules for engaging with third parties||1||C;E;G;H;K|
|Have a welcoming culture and highlight the benefits of partnerships in order for us to grow in areas we didn’t know existed||3||B;G;I;K|
|Ask the consumers of our content what change they want to see||1||J;K|
|Speech to text capabilities to cater for non-Latin alphabet languages and make content input way easier (see partner Mycroft and Mozilla)||1|
|Build a governance model that encourages organizations to become more effective at governing their organization||4||D;H;I;G|
|We need to make articles in English (and other languages) not only easy to read for people who speak the language but also easy to translate||5||E;K|
|More UX designers (hard to engaged with the community; hard to fit into the flawed code)||1|
|Supply the capacity to engage in partnerships in a meaningful way, be it staff, time or knowledged resources||3||A;G;J|
|Incentivise knowledge sharing, talking more about problems and failure so that others can learn, in a fashion that doesn’t have to be text-based||4||D;G;F;I|
|We need to move away from R+L-based [ilegible] making towards a more equitable and rational decision-making model.||1||C;D;E|
|Build a positive environment that encourages collaboration and appreciates the work of volunteers and staff > community health||4||I;K;G|
|Nurture interaction between projects to build trust and cooperation between them||3||B;C;E;G;I;K|
|Foster proactive culture discourage reactive culture||7|
|Universal code of conduct. Reward good behaviour (not punish bad behaviour) to protect newcomers. Administrators need to agree.||9|
|Modern, friendly communications for new users (all users) — Not talk pace wikitext editing with ~ñnnw — New communities usually use Facebook instead||1||E;K|
|Contents: How many new editors can you keep? How many new articles can you keep (speedy deletion)?||9|
|Is our SD taking into account the notion of one internet is fragile and devolving? Can we go to where users are than still want to bring them to Wikipedia.||1||K;H;G;E;B|
|How do we create a sustainable “help desk” that is not just text based for new users and contributors.||1||E;C;B|
|Possible to embed audio into Wikipedia articles||1|
|How does it feel, smell, sound, multimedia experiences in articles is a way/link of global knowledge.||5||H;K|
|Foolproof wiki procedures (just button clicks) tool design origined from the base and experience and in training people in wiki (tools that support equity in participation)||1|
|Drop backwards, compatibility of mediawiki software - abandon unused features cluttering up the code and making it hard to maintain?||1|
|Fix core mediawiki||1|
|Open up Wikidata, commons, etc., via world class restful APIs to support partners, ourselves||1||H|
|Video-oriented production workflow by funding and leading open source video software movement||1,5,7,8||E|
|See drawing (link to post-it)|
|Develop/provide professional conference organizers to support regional conferences||7||A;B;G;H;K|
|Gain a voice in politics||6||F;J|
|Abandon the “WMF is not political” narrative||6||F;J|
|Free wifi all around the world|
|What happened to the new voices strand in SD 1? It was very useful||g|
|Respect personality rights||6||F;K|
|Know our values and frame the debate. Foundational values (Don’t think of an elephant)||7||B;D;K|
|See drawing (insert link to post-it)||5||H;K|
D2.05 / Preparing to Work
This session presented the model for working groups whose responsibility is to develop recommendations on how to overcome challenges and grasp opportunities, within the suggested key themes, and propose a process for their implementation. After the Wikimedia Conference 2018, there will be an open call to participate in the Working Groups, and continue the work that was initiated at the conference.
01 . Framing of the Working Groups
The Working Groups will: (a) focus on a key theme; (b) develop recommendations for the movement; (c) develop a process for decision making in the Working Group; and (d) make sure there is enough exchange and coordination between all the Working Groups.
Each Working Group will consist of volunteers, staff and experts from within and outside of the Movement. Diversity in terms of language, geography, and social identity is mandatory. All groups will be supported by the Information & Knowledge Manager, part of the core team which will the backbone support of the Movement Strategy development.
Each working group in the Strategy Track produced an input document, structured around the guiding questions below. This input document integrates the results from the previous steps in the Strategy Track, and will be used after the event to refine the format and working process of the Working Groups that will be established through the open call in May 2018.
Why an input document? Because the official Working Groups need to include a broader range of stakeholders involved in the movement, beyond those who could be present at the Wikimedia Conference. The conference was an opportunity for the conference participants to shape the way the Working Groups will function.
After the Wikimedia Conference 2018
There will be an open call for others to join in, as those present in the strategy track are only a fraction of the Movement. This will be a public open call, spread through different channels, to recruit the necessary diversity of perspectives and profiles to carry forward the mission of each Working Group. Participants who joined the preliminary working groups in the Strategy Track were encouraged to apply, and suggest others whom they believe should be involved.
02 . Instructions given to the Working Groups
The following instructions concerning the Working Groups were given to the Strategy Track participants:
|ROLES for each conference Working Group:
A suggestion for roles that could support your discussions/work:
QUESTIONS to be answered Saturday (Round 1):
QUESTIONS to be answered Sunday (Round 2):
Comments from participants
Below are comments made by participants on the suggested approach and process of the Working Groups, with responses from facilitation and strategy team:
- Normally work groups come together to address a task from multiple perspectives - I am concerned that the key themes which structure the workgroups will create internal competition (the technology people, diversity people, etc) and strengthen silos.
- Nicole agreed that we must not create redundant structures. Working groups should be seen as temporary task forces, to address an issue, but not as another structure. Maybe working groups are not always necessary as a format, but we have important questions for which there is no group addressing them.
- I appreciated focus on action - something people will make a press release on, connected to a sense of accomplishment - I am not seeing the connection between what we need to achieve and the suggested headings for working groups.
- Kaarel commented that working groups are an efficiency question. We are setting up clusters to have focused conversations, and then we use events and other structures to synchronise and align with the whole movement. They will tackle the tough questions within a thematic area, and identify the actions that need to be taken on board by different stakeholders within the movement. Some actions are carried by chapters, others by Wikimedia Foundation, others require external partners, and others a collaboration between several. The aim is to release energy that is contained in obstacles.
- We are looking for a time-line of about 2 years. Phase 2 is about agreeing with the movement on what needs change, and Phase 3 is about implementation.
- The Phases in strategic process are not necessarily linear. Some areas might be tackled in a shorter amount of time, and some areas might be more complex and require more time to get the necessary clarity and agreement. The work needs to be synchronised, and have more movement check-ins along the way.
- I’m not convinced this [the process in Movement Strategy track] is the right way, or the wrong way. All key themes seem very generic and not different than any other NGO in the world. I am looking at the questions that are specific to Wikimedia. The critical insufferable questions related to our movement. I don’t see in the category how we are actually addressing them.
- Bhavesh commented that there might be a conceptual misunderstanding in relation to the purpose and place of the conference. The next year  is the year of transition. We want to work on content, but we need to look at what needs to be sorted out in terms of structure, in order to address the content. Without addressing the structures, we are not able to deal with the content because of the underlying tensions that prevent us.
- We are asked to be bold - but the key themes are not bold;
- Christophe commented that we are exactly where we were 10 years ago… We have tried organically, but never dealt with the hard questions. He went on inviting the group to tackle the hard questions about the structures, and then the way to address the innovation in projects can also be tackled;
- As a participant in this simulation, one of the things that is paralyzing me is if there is an area I want to work (e.g. Education) which has deep implications for partnerships, capacity building, etc… how do you advise we organise ourselves?
- Responses to this comment asked to consider which one has more energy or leverage personally?
- The key themes are enablers or disablers of any goal we might have in terms of projects, education, history… there are constraints in each of those enablers that need addressing in order to achieve what we feel stuck. I would ask myself, in which one is the greatest stuck that I feel will be greater enablers for the work you want to do.
- I am worried that those that have already spent a lot of energy in the previous day (and before) might not find themselves on the wall. How do we make sure we harness the energy that was already been brought in? And when others will join in, will the intention dissolve? Are there people feeling that their idea is not covered by these enablers? Can we talk about it to understand what needs to be done?
- Kaarel commented that after taking into consideration previous workstreams, conversations will continue on the internet making sure that that all voices are brought in: “We understand we clustered things in a way, and if you feel your input belongs to a different key theme, we can create another to address it and make sure.”
03 . Participant distribution in Working Groups
|WORKING GROUPS||ROUND 1 (SAT)||ROUND 2+3 (SUN)|
|1+2 Roles & Responsibilities (merged)||10||11|
|3 Resource Allocation||6||9|
|4 Revenue Streams**||0||0|
|6+7 Partnerships & Capacity Building (merged)*||4||5|
|TOTAL||44 participants||43 participants|
*Partnerships and Capacity Building were not merged as thematic areas, but there was an overlap between the (relatively few) participants who chose to participate in these discussions.
**No participants chose to join the discussion on the suggested thematic areas of Revenue Streams and Events.
D2.06 / Thematic Inputs and Conversations
All participants in the conference were invited to attend a session where a series of thematic inputs were presented, from different initiatives and entities within the Wikimedia Movement. The presentations were followed by small group discussions with the presenters.
The purpose of these thematic inputs was to offer conference participants an overview of current work streams, and the possibility to become involved. Specifically for the Strategy track, it also aimed at connecting existing work with the emerging thematic Working Groups.
The session started with replies from the Wikimedia Board of Trustees response to the questions sent by participants.
01 . Questions to the Board of Trustees
The questions can be consulted on meta. Below, you can see the key theme and order of the question, followed by a capture of the main points presented by the Board of Trustees.
- Overlap between Chapters and User Groups: Answering the question is part of the movement strategy process we are in. The regions and groups that are mostly concerned with this issue (e.g. India, and some places in Europe) know how to live with the overlap. We must join the “roles and responsibilities” working group to make sure the issue is raised.
- Blazegraph: Wikimedia Foundation did not choose blazegraph, this was a decision made by WikiData / Wikimedia Deutschland (WMD). Lydia from WMDE let the audience know that the research team is monitoring it, and at this point, she did not really feel worried about it.
- Validity of the affiliate model: One of the core questions to address in the Movement Strategy process - when we introduced user groups model for those who wanted to collaborate, the affiliate model was successful, but the question is: do they still serve the needs and the future of our movement? There are no clear answers, but the strategy process is an opportunity to answer.
- Growth of affiliates: We might agree about the organic way the number of affiliates has grown, but it’s clear we want to be more intentional. Do we want to be in every region? How do they relate? This is not a decision to be done by the Board of Trustees. We need to develop a sustainable affiliate strategy, and this will be a long conversation in which we must involve external partners and those who have not yet joined us. We are having this conversation now, we will continue? Maybe it’s not an either/or question… there has been a thorough consultation with the Movement, the staff in Wikimedia will work for a whole year to understand what should be the best
- Relationship with Google: complex because it’s an organisation with many silos, very global. We need to reach the right part. We sometimes would like them to think about us more. It has nevertheless been a supportive relationship, in light of the value exchange. We’d like to see them step up. YouTube decision was surprising... There is an exciting project called “Tiger” in India - working with Google to address creation of locally relevant content in Indian languages.
- Changing “Wikimedia Conference” name: Should we rethink the name of this conference? We could - but not really a decision of the board of trustee
- Knowledge as Free Service: “Freedom” is embedded in Wikimedia’s values. The statement is kept short on purpose for others to build on it.
- Preventing advertising: Highly unlikely that there will ever be advertising, but we never know with US administration (The board member highlighted this was joke and not a “board approved” comment). We are building an endowment, and doing the best to make sure that advertising will be highly improbable
- Question to new board members: How are they experiencing their first time in the board?
- Ability of this group to deal with complexity, and the community, is very impressive. In spite of the messiness, things get done - there is steep learning curve - and I have been very impressed.
- Commitment to prioritizing helping new voices being represented, or addressing censorship from governments and the communities in those countries doing everything they can to unblock wikipedia or repeating the info.
02. Key points from Thematic Inputs
Representatives from different initiatives and work streams within the Wikimedia Movement presented the focus of their work, and some of the key questions they would like to share with participants for further reflection. Everyone was invited to then join the presenters and engage in a conversation around the questions they shared. The purpose of this session was to offer the conference participants an overview of the ongoing development work in different areas of Wikimedia, and link it with the forming Working Groups in the Movement Strategy track. Below is a rough capture of the points made by the presenters:
1. Partnerships Statement
Claudia Garád (Executive Director, Wikimedia Österreich) & Daria Cybulska (Head of programmes and evaluation, Wikimedia UK)
2. Funding strategy
Katy Love (Director of Community Resources, WMF) & Sati Houston (Community Resources, Senior Strategist, WMF)
Kacie Harold (Community Resources, Grants Program Officer, WMF) & Katy Love (Director of Community Resources, WMF)
|We need a global event strategy — we appreciate the value of spending time together. Face-to-face connection matters to building movement and community. Every year we fund about 15 events - but so far no clear strategy of who should be there, and what each event is best oriented to achieve.
Vision: an ecosystem of events
There is a lot of data about the impact of events, but we need to know more from participants about events:
4. Future of WMCON
Cornelius Kibelka (Program and Engagement Coordinator, Wikimedia Deutschland)
5. Technology directions for supporting our strategy
Deborah Tankersley (Technology, Engineering Program Manager, WMF), Rachel Farrand (Developer Relations, Events Program Manager, WMF)
6. Diversity Statement
Netha Hussain (Wikimedian, expert)
7. Wikidata: What it means for service and equity
Lydia Pintscher (Wikidata Product Manager, Wikimedia Deutschland)
8. Chapters Dialogue
Nicole Ebber (wearing her Wikimedia Deutschland hat: Advisor, International Relations, Wikimedia Deutschland)
|The Chapters Dialogue was a research project initiated by Wikimedia Deutschland, that was started in 2013 to understand the challenges and needs of Wikimedia Chapters, their relationships and the relationship with the Wikimedia Foundation and its committees. In 2014, we presented the insights of the project and ended with 6 tough questions that we called on the movement to answer in order to strive for free knowledge at its full potential:
9. Development of Wikimedia organisations
Lukas Mezger (Board Member, Wikimedia Deutschland)