Wikimedia Conference 2018/Program/13

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13. Sustainability: Nirvana or Myth when working with partners? (The Partnerships Playbook: Chapter III)[edit]


Julia Kirchner (Wikimedia Deutschland), Ravi Ayyakkannu (WMF)

Length (min)

120 min

Audience / Target group

Anyone interested in the long-term aspects of strategic partnerships and partner initiatives

Session Format

Workshop with a focus on sharing experiences and learnings from participants.


The third in a series of three workshops will address the many questions that arise when partnerships mature, or fail to do so:

  • How do we achieve sustainable and long-lasting partnerships?
  • How do we get to long-term impact projects that are self sustaining?
  • How do we think strategically, beyond projects?
  • How do we make partners independent contributors?
  • How to end a partnership?

Participants will engage in discussion and will be able to share their experiences of creating sustainable partnerships.

The workshop is part three of a three part series called The Partnerships Playbook. The three chapters of the playbook will covered all three phases of the partnerships process: (1) how to establish a new partnership, (2) how to manage this partnership and (3) how to sustain it.

Desired Outcome

Participants will walk out of this session with a new views and an increased, critical understanding of the dimensions of sustainability.

Next Steps and Milestones

Participants can apply the new knowledge in their own settings.


The session included presentation of possible scenarios of partnership life, with participants working in groups and presenting their findings (see more in slides).

  1. Looking at sustainability
    When does a partnership become sustainable?
  2. Decision-making: how to continue from here
    There are different scenarios on what could happen to a partnership: continue and stabilize, continue and scale, end the partnership; and the decision has to be made.
  3. Identifying factors that help or hinder the next phase - group work
    Participants worked in groups on defining what helped and what hindered them in making a decision. Tips on how to conclude a partnership were discussed.
See also

Chapter I, Chapter II