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Wikimedia Deutschland/Dialogue on organizational values 2021-2022

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Wikimedia Deutschland – Our values

Proposal & Feedback

Get involved

Links & Contact

Where are we coming from and where do we want to go?

In the last decade, various values statements and guiding principles have provided guidance to Wikimedia Deutschland as an organization. In these statements one finds references to partnership, transparency, openness, free knowledge and many other ideas. The people in our organization and our communities live out many of these principles every day in their work and in their commitment to a shared vision. In the last few years, some important, new principles and strategies were created: as a movement, we now have a shared Strategic Direction and Movement Principles. For Wikimedia Deutschland, this means we need to reflect upon our organizational values, taking into account these new principles. To do exactly that, we organized a dialogue on organizational values (ran until May 2022).

In this dialogue we set out to create framework of values for WMDE as an organization - a framework that codifies the central values for the organization. This framework should reflect our organization’s identity. It should support the Board of Directors and employees in making strategic decisions and in tackling difficult questions. It should help us in communicating to the outside world what’s important to our organization. These values come into play when, for example, we work with political actors or make decisions about the conditions under which we will accept financial support -- or when we wish to inspire others with our core messages about the issues we consider most important.

In this dialogue on organizational values, we did not start from scratch; rather we built on the abundance of material that already exists. Many meetings, proceedings and workshops of recent years yielded important fundamentals for this process. And so we conceived this values dialogue as a relatively lightweight process, which enabled us to offer the Board a formal recommendation for WMDE’s framework of values in March of 2022.

In collaboration with such stakeholders as WMDE members, the Board, WMDE employees and various Wikimedia communities, an artifact emerged from this process that takes into account not only the values that our organization has lived out for years but also the most recent developments in our movement strategy.

Process design
The dialogue on organizational values was organized and managed by a team of Wikimedia Deutschland employees. The process aimed to incorporate perspectives from active members, the WMDE Board, WMDE employees as well as people from various Wikimedia Communities that are connected to WMDE.

Step 1 Synthesis - October 2021

In the first step of the synthesis process, a group of editors (composed of WMDE employees) reviewed a collection of materials relating to organizational values. Based on these materials, they composed a first draft of organizational values for WMDE.

Step 2 First feedback round - November/December 2021

In several workshops the first draft of organizational values was discussed and expanded. The goal here was to highlight different perspectives on possible values and document these well. In this first feedback round, we focused on inviting active WMDE members, the WMDE Board, and WMDE employees into the discussion.

Step 3 Synthesis - January 2022

The group of editors reviewed the results of the workshops and adapted the draft of WMDE values based on this feedback.

Step 4 Second feedback round - February 2022.

A second draft of WMDE values was published on-wiki with the goal of soliciting further feedback and engaging in discussion with community members. A German version of the draft was published in the German language Wikipedia and an English version on this meta page.

Step 5 Synthesis - March 2022

The editorial group incorporated the feedback received into the draft values recommendation and created a final revision.

Step 6 Decision - April/May 2022

The Board of Directors made the decision to submit the final values framework for approval to the General Assembly in May of 2022. This framework will be binding chiefly for the Board and employees.

Getting involved
We, the project team managing the dialogue on organizational values, invited people to discuss the draft of a new values framework for Wikimedia Deutschland with us. As this process has now come to a close and the values are approved, comments on this draft are closed.

People were invited to contribute in English:

People were invited to contribute in German:

  • On-wiki discussion: We published the German draft of WMDE organizational values on this project page in the Wikipedia of German language. The discussion is now closed as the General Assembly already approved the final set of values.
  • Community Forum on Tuesday, February 15 2022: We organized a virtual Community Forum, where people could provide us with feedback on the draft and discuss their feedback with others. You can find more information for this event on the project page of the Community Forum (German only).

Who to contact

During the values dialogue, the following people were part of the project team: