For 16 years, Wikimedians have worked together to build the largest free knowledge resource in human history. During this time, we've grown from a small group of editors to a diverse network of editors, developers, affiliates, readers, donors, and partners. Today, we are more than a group of websites. We are a global movement rooted in values and a powerful vision: a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge.
As a movement, we are working together to decide on how best to realize our vision over the coming years, and how to increase our effectiveness in doing so. This has three phases:
Phase 1: Strategic direction. As a movement, we will explore potential themes to develop a cohesive, inspiring strategic direction for the next 10-15 years. The existing Wikimedia community of editors, developers, affiliates, and contributors will collaborate on this direction, with input from research into the needs of our readers, donors, partners, and those who are not yet aware of or engaged with the Wikimedia projects. This work will include the definition of strategic focus areas and their implications.
Phase 2: Movement priorities and responsibilities. We, the movement contributors and organizational entities, will collaborate to determine what priorities we should engage with over the coming 3-5 years in order to make progress toward this strategic direction. We will consider the priorities, possible programs and actions, appropriate metrics, the roles and resources of the entities, and our overall movement structure and governance. This collaboration will be developed collaboratively and in the open, for feedback and general consensus. We will also begin connecting with external parties who have similar visions and are part of the bigger "free knowledge” movement.
Phase 3: Strategic planning / annual planning. Each of the movement players will build its own organizational strategy and annual plan to guide its part toward achieving the 3-5-year strategic priorities. Any major shifts in structure identified in phase 2 will be further defined and implemented in an appropriate timeline.
Develop a unifying strategic direction, gain alignment on roles and resourcing, and increase our ability as a collaborative network. This includes understanding how each organized group best supports the movement, building relationships and reducing the current barriers, and being more responsive to the evolving global knowledge needs. We will also look beyond our own people to partner with other groups with similar values and missions.
Outcome 1: All organized groups - including the Foundation and affiliates – have a clear understanding of the shared strategic direction to inspire the movement for the next 15 years.
Outcome 2: We have participated in a legitimate, transparent, open process based on shared power, not hierarchy, which allows us all to trust and adopt the decisions made during the process.
Outcome 3: We are better able to make informed decisions using the new research on the movement ecosystem and the needs of readers.
Objective 1: Hold the cycle 3 online community discussion between July 24 and August 10 to build agreement and support for the final strategic direction and focus areas.
Objective 2: Share all work in a transparent, open process and complete final documentation of the findings and process.
Objective 3: Discuss the final strategic direction at Wikimania (August 2017), where we more deeply unpack the potential implications and evaluate how the research on trends and our readers should influence our prioritization.
Milestone 1: Complete the three cycles of community discussions by July 15, 2017 in an open, transparent manner.
Milestone 2: Post the final strategic direction, focus areas, and focus area descriptions by July 20, 2017 for comment, incorporating outside research and interviews.
Milestone 3: Discuss the final strategic direction and focus areas at Wikimania in August 2017 and gain general acceptance.
Milestone 4: Complete the brochure/presentation of Strategic direction and focus area for donors and potential partners.
Milestone 5: Submit final research reports by September 30, 2017:
Future trends regarding population, demographics, education, knowledge, and technology
New and existing readers globally (Europe, US, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia)
New and existing partners globally, with focus on those in Europe, US, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, and India
Segment 2: Movement framework [roles, responsibilities, resources, and structure] (phase 2)
Lead Team: Community Engagement, Advancement, Communications, Nicole Ebber (WMDE, Guillaume Paumier (Product), Suzie Nussel (consultant)
Outcome 1: Organized groups, in consultation with the community, have developed a clear movement framework for its entities: roles, responsibilities, resources, governance structure, and processes.
Outcome 2: Organized groups clearly understand the mutually agreed-upon priorities for the next 3-5 years and how their work fits into the whole movement. The focus area implications of the strategic direction are defined for short-term.
Outcome 3: The movement’s structure is defined and accepted, including structure and roles of all major entities (including the Foundation and affiliates) and a fair and shared governance.
Objective 1: Prepare for Wikimedia sessions of organized groups and some representatives from our contributors, partners, and experts. The Foundation, in conjunction with organized groups, work together to:
Map movement-wide skills, processes, and structures
Give recommendation on prioritization of 3-5-year goals, based on research
Coordinate task forces to design prototypes of key opportunity/challenge areas to present during the sessions (e.g., funding models, affiliate structure, governance structure, division of product work, etc.)
Establish consensus on how decisions will be made during the working sessions
Objective 2: Host the Wikimedia sessions to gain consensus on key opportunities/challenges and to prioritize the 3-5-year goals. (target November 2017)
Discuss the recommendations and prioritize the 3-5-year goals
Present prototypes and work together to improve ideas and vote on each topic
Define how the organized groups (including Foundation and affiliates) will be structured and work together
Discuss and vote on a plan to initiate a fair and shared governance structure
Objective 3: Conduct a community-wide consultation to gain feedback and refine the work completed by organized groups. (target January-February 2018)
Milestone 1: Complete preparation for the working sessions (September through November):
Map the resources of the skills, processes, and structures of the major movement entities by September, 2017.
Establish and support task forces
Secure facilitators session support
Milestone 2: Conduct sessions in November 2017 that lead to consensus on goals, structures, funding model, and governance structure.
Milestone 3: Complete a community-wide consultation (by end of February 2018) that helps refine the recommendations from the sessions and generates acceptance.
Segment 3: Strategic planning and annual planning (phase 3)
Lead team: Finance, Communications, Community Engagement, Advancement, Product
Outcome 1: Organized groups prepare organizational strategies that are aligned to the strategic direction and support the 3-5-year goals. They have a functional set of metrics to measure progress against these goals over time. They have the tools to make adjustments to the strategy as needed.
Outcome 2: We now have a network of partners and connections that form the “bigger WE” of the movement. Together, we accelerate the accessibility and scope of free knowledge to all people.
Objective 1: Build strategic plans and annual plans to implement the strategic direction and accurately measure progress against its goals.
Objective 2: Form partnerships or alliances to create a "bigger WE" and accelerate our ability to meet our vision.
Milestone 1: Foundation uses the strategic direction, session agreements, and refined 3-5-year goals to build its 3-5-year organizational strategy, establish metrics, and develop its 18-month product and programs roadmaps. (Once completed, this will drive annual planning and budgeting for the Foundation.)
Milestone 2: Foundation strategy is set by early March 2018, so that it is able to complete its Annual planning and budgeting process (March through June 2018).
Milestone 3: The Wikimedia movement has new partners or alliances, which allows us to accelerate growth. (Note - this will be further defined once strategic direction is identified in August, 2017).
Milestone 4: Movement-wide metrics are built with ongoing measurement of performance against the movement’s 3-5-year goals.
Milestone 5: Foundation prepares to host the first-ever “free knowledge” Symposium in the next fiscal year, bringing people with similar values and missions together with our movement.