Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017/Diversity conversation
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We, the Wikimedians at the 2017 Diversity Conference, identified that different communities have different needs, and currently face uneven resources and distribution of support. The following statement gains meaning for each community, in its own context.
Our progress is blocked primarily by lack of resources in terms of infrastructure, access, capacity and people, and perceptions of Wikimedia as a closed community. We understand that other forms of knowledge that challenge the conception of traditional encyclopaedic knowledge should be embraced.
Diversity initiatives should be a key priority across Wikimedia groups when allocating resources in the form of funding, professional expertise, time and space. Additionally, allocating resources for translation must become the norm. There is a need to have more outward facing communication in the form of education, outreach and advocacy.
In order to move in this direction, we must collaborate to support the different needs of our communities. We need to change our culture and our priorities in order to achieve knowledge equity through critical self-reflection. We should critically examine the present group norms and hierarchies.
How to use the statement
Looking at the statement above, please answer the following questions:
|1. Defining diversity - what does diversity mean in your context?
Diversity takes meaning in context. While in Western Europe it may mean working with refugee communities, in Latin America it may translate to working with indigenous language communities. What does working for diversity mean in your context?
|2. Define what are the needs that should be addressed in order to work for diversity in your context.
Tell us more about the specific needs to advance your work.
|3. What resources are relevant to tend to those needs? |
Thinking about the needs you defined on the previous question, what specific resources would address those needs?
What the draft is based on
The draft statement is based on the results from the WikiCafé activity held at Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017. It is based on questions with regards to the strategic direction.
Summary and statements
- The ability to volunteer is a privilege (“I also want to eat”) - Recruiting new volunteers from diverse/under-represented groups (non-binary, LGBT, indigenous people) How do we include people that don’t have free time? How to reach those who under-represented? [4 mentions]
- With broad direction we have lack of focus. Flexible Direction: It’s up to us to adapt the direction to the local needs. However, The wording of the direction didn’t invite to discuss in some cultures (direction=no discussion) [3 mentions]
- Should we incorporate initiatives together? Several different local groups? A combination of both.
- Make diversity priority
- Incorporating education trends
- Accessible language use→ education level diversity
- Folks still struggling with language of the strategy planning, seeing a lot of their work as translating it into meaningful calls to action
- 2 stakeholders: Existing communities/Newcomers
- For Existing communities: we will inform them in advance that there will be newcomers and encourage them to engage or provide constructive opinions towards them.
- For newcomers: we will help them to learn the community culture and invite them to contribute their field of expertise through a whole journey of user. (e.g. not only provide English training module, but also create the whole package of training, such as Train the trainer camps)
- Scale of needed change in some cases is huge + will take a lot of time and support
- Embrace new communities and new knowledge
- Gap in starting point - some have further to grow.
- Transformation as an ongoing process
- Communities can have different problems and require different/unique solutions
- Scale of the direction if too big? Direction of Foundation versus direction of local communities
- Machine translation versus new information (English as a power structure) +1
- Why is it that women don’t edit Wikipedia? How can we help? Share this knowledge.
- We need to be proactive instead of responsive/reactive
- Wikimedia needs new models, new tools - adapt to survive
- Many discussion were still much centred around Wikipedia
- Language as a challenge/barrier in terms of content (On projects and communication)
- Not having women in the conversation but talking about them
- Learn from other open knowledge communities. Working across different groups→ collaboration between people who work with different diversity issues and make it matter to people who don’t get it. Collaboration and communication. Solidity networks (provide help, support, emotional backup, soft skills)
- Promoting language diversity both inside and outside the project
- Putting marginalized group in the centre
- Having everyone in the conversation on diversity adds “noise”
- What is the connection between diversity and equity?
- Really strong ownership - still as WMF for infrastructure
- Less seeing own role - is this being imposed? Is this a foundation thing?
- Setting the frame for the conversation use. More context, more resource, bring people’s conversation to a strategic level
- Get people to think outside of the box. Think bigger! Not more of the same, but for where no one have ever gone before.
- How can everyone/every group/community provide and piece in the puzzle towards knowledge equity?
- Local knowledge that does not get to Wikimedia
- Fail early and often → create a better culture for failure. Reframe concept of failure
- Equity: we don’t practice what we preach (Power structure)
- Validation of existing work/programs initiatives in the strategic direction framework (backlash)
- Smaller, focused recruitment (training)
- Equity is our governance structure
Most critical next steps
Q:What is the most critical next step in order to move in this direction?
Identified clusters and themes
Here are themes identified from the submitted responses, and the table displays which theme is detected in the responses.
|Collaborate to support the different needs of different communities (e.g language), by sharing resources in an equitable way.||Change can happen in the local communities.||Change our culture and priorities if we want to achieve knowledge equity.||Establish new ways to contribute and connect between non-Wikimedia and Wikimedia.||Form partnerships||Build technology|
|More modes to socially connect people, facilitated by suitable by networking, technologies (probably not wiki pages ;))||1||1||1||1|
|When inviting in a new group, actively prioritize understanding what underlying assumptions might be in place that work against inclusion.||1||1||1|
|Collaboration between people who work in different diversity issues, and make it matter to people who don't... yet.||1||1|
|To learn from other open knowledge communities||1||1||1|
|Bring more people to the movement, not just editing Wikipedia||1|
|Learning from each other-> from community to community and increasing confidence||1||1||1|
|Cultivate an environment where failure is acceptable.||1|
|Encourage everyone to participate.||1|
|Isolation is a problem. Before we can build for the strategic direction, we need to first be connected with the WMF and with each other.||1||1||1|
|1. Common ground and systematic, light weight solutions that require minimal budget - allow flexibility 2. Video/Audio support for reach||1||1|
|Do self-reflective work on how we are part of the problem and what we can change||1||1|
|Overcoming hierarchical cultural norms||1|
|Any direction affecting technology and policies change must continue under consensus model but include all existing diverse profiles.||1||1|
|Create connections between different groups.||1|
|Decipher what the strategy means for each community and support each one||1||1|
|Divide the strategy into sections that are relevant to different audience groups, in order to make it more accessible.||1||1|
|Secure sustainability for emerging communities, ex funding.||1|
|Share and transmit the knowledge from the conference to our local communities||1||1|
|1. Language of direction is problematic 2. Support translation of strategy to ensure participation in phase two. 3. Infrastructure is key :)||1|
|Bring the strategies to the communities||1|
|Bring the strategies to the strategies, while bringing communities to the communities.||1|
|Educate people & governments about open culture, Wikipedia, Wikimedia.||1|
|get clear on what is needed and then make clear what is available (from WMF & affiliates & others)||1|
|Implement Wikimedia School||1||1|
|Understand local communities and include them in the strategic vision.||1||1|
|WMF to partner with UNESCO or govt bodies to promote cooperation with education system (schools)||1||1|
|we need more coffee|
Other discussion sessions at the conference
- The Way Forward session -- In this session, we broke into groups to discuss how to continue working for diversity in different areas of work.