Wikimedia Summit 2019/Documentation/Day 3

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Summit 2019
Program Fringe Events Registration & Participants
Reports, Reviews

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» Structure of this report
 » The Process: Step-by-Step!
Day 1 – Downloading
 » Re-Connecting
» Onboarding Working Groups…
and everyone else.
Day 2 – Processing
» Changing Movement Structures
 » Progress Check-In
Day 3 – Uploading
» Your Agenda
 » Looking Ahead
 » Closing & Wrapping Up
» Working Groups' Highs & Lows
 » Questions about the process
 » Next steps for Affiliates and Communities

Session 7 Working Groups &... Your Agenda

Working Groups planning for the months ahead and working towards the final recommendations.

7A. Working Group Time III

7A.1  Recommendations Process

Wikimedia Summit 2019 – 258.jpg

Before presenting the suggested timeline to complete recommendations, Katherine Maher addressed the Working Group members holding a “throwable” microphone. “Isn’t technology wonderful?” she said.

She then invited the group to take 3 deep breaths and take the opportunity to acknowledge all the hard work done on day 3. Katherine recognised there had been a lot of frustration. She recalled a piece of research that stated that people bond more on what they don’t like than what they like. People identify more strongly through disagreement and disharmony. Also, that people are 7 times more likely to complain than give a compliment. With this said, Katherine reminded the group that they are in such situation together, and that they like and respect each other fundamentally. She suggested that anyone feeling frustrated can take a deep breath before returning to their conversation, and asked each person to say ‘thanks’ to the person next to them, for everything such person took on.

Nicole followed by reminding the participants of the Strategic Direction – as the reason why they are doing all the work. She reminded the audience that becoming “the essential infrastructure of all knowledge” will ask of the movement to get its structures right, meaning governance, decision-making, support structures, etc. The process should guide us, but specially, unite us, she said.

Timeline and Recommendations Output

Bhavesh Patel introduced what is expected as output and timeline towards completing the recommendations: The expected output is coherent recommendations, drafted with the support of affiliates, community, externals and the Core Team. He also presented a suggested recommendation template, which implied there will be one document per recommendation, therefore multiple recommendations per thematic area. A few clarifying points emerged from the discussion with the participants:

  • In past events, there were numbered recommendations. The present form also asks for recommendation number, but this will be a new numbering of recommendations.
  • On the question about ‘who needs to make decisions on the implementation of recommendation’, groups might not know how to answer (e.g. diversity working group). There is a mechanism in place to complete that information, or this will be worked out together with the Core Team.
  • Template repeated “short and brief” many times. A participant requested that the form allows for longer explanations, so the word ‘brief’ was removed from the form.
  • The form already contains a field to explore interdependencies with other themes.
  • In terms of language and style, many of the Scoping Documents are quite ‘dry’. There was a question whether there is a compelling case for change. Since some of the documents propose radical changes, passionate discourse has been case required another approach. As response, Bhavesh added a nuance to “future scenarios” box, where the compelling case can be made.
  • Participants were concerned with the process of incorporating the discussions aimed at improving the Scoping Document, and making the transition to create recommendations. It was suggested that the groups would follow a 3 step process: (1) Deciding what to look at by defining the scope as the exploring ground; (2) While starting to move towards recommendations, still make adaptations to the questions; (3) developing the recommendations on a solid ground.
  • Participants also expressed their wish to honour all the information they have received from other affiliates, while recognising that at some point the work must be concluded. A participant said: “you could keep polishing all day, but someone is coming for dinner.”
  • The group pointed out the need to indicate when the recommendations should start being implemented since some of them depended on background work to be accomplished beforehand.

Bhavesh then presented the suggested timeline, represented in the slide below. Questions and comments on the timeline:

Suggested timeline

Support structures

There are support structures already in place for the drafting of the recommendations, and a document that outlines such structures. It offers a frame to make request.

Commissioning research

There was suggestion that at some point groups might need to commission research, but the timeline does not support that. Research would take a month or two. What is the thought of how research fits in the process?

Nicole answered it can be done any time before the recommendations are finalised, since all analysis does not have to happen before first draft. There are several streams that fit into different drafts. The first version of recommendations will be more focused on direction and assumptions held by the group rather than evidence. Any further analysis and conversations will be fed to following drafts. The final document is due in September / October, when all the data is collected. Nicole also expressed her need to make sure Working Groups did not feel frustrated because of not delivering.

Bringing in views beyond events

A participant noted that during the Summit they had contributions and reviews from a selected group of affiliates. At Wikimania the group is even more selected (and self-selected). How to involve the views of those not attending such events?

Kelsi expressed this was a high concern, and an underpinning intention of Community Conversations. The conversations’ design will be based on what was learned during the Summit. Kelsi also highlighted the importance of Strategy Liaisons in bringing the discussion back to their organisations. There is a team of hired Strategy Liaisons to have conversations with the top language-based projects through different modalities, and there will be additional prompt to get even broader feedback.

Wikimedia Foundation support

One participant said that a source of stress in the process had been the requests for support from Working Groups that had to be submitted to WMF procurement process – which is quite long and slow. The participant asked if there was a way to streamline this process.

Jaime Villagomez, the Chief of Finance of the Wikimedia Foundation, happened to be seated right next to the participant who raised the point about the Foundation’s support. He answered that this process was a unique opportunity to understand and anticipate the emerging needs, stating that the process is not linear and that the Foundation needed to provide opportunity for working in cycles (agility).

Managing workload

Acknowledging the financial constraints in implementing the Movement Strategy process, a participant pointed out that having 1 or 2 people at Wikimania responding to all expectations might drain them. The participant asked how the movement could support those working groups, so that they are not exhausted with the process considering how hard they are working, and the amount of hours.

Nicole brought the topic to a larger scope and asked the how to better support the working groups. She acknowledged how hard it was the role of listening, taking the feedback in, and balancing all the requests and expectations coming from different sides.

Kelsi added the need to design feedback mechanisms (maybe digital) that could balance the scenario where people have to “take it all in” at Wikimania. Using video, polls, engaging people that are not at the event digitally.

Possibility to adapt

Participants wanted to know whether they would have an opportunity to change the timeline based on feedback, or whether it was non-negotiable. Nicole responded that the success of the process depends on the groups’ feedback and invited everyone to help the Core Team make the necessary changes.

Some comments from the audience followed. A participant felt the participants are firmly stating they need the recommendations with the suggested timeline, although in some groups’ case, they have been focusing on how to do a good linear process, leading to the recommendations. The iterative process made some feel uncomfortable, since by April the results from communities were not yet available. Finally, participants pointed out the Core Team might receive feedback that recommendations are not based on research, which was dropped because it was not feasible.

As orientation for the rest of the day, it was suggested that Working Groups make their own timeline of implementation and compare it to what was suggested in order to identify where problems might exist, and what might be the associate trade offs.

Role of Working Groups in implementation

Participants asked the Core Team about the role of Working Groups in the implementation. Nicole answered that Working Groups are listening and sense-making bodies. The implementation will require different mechanisms and entities to work on that. Another participant made the comment that “we have the tendency to do things perfectly” and encouraged others to start from what they think is true, as long as they have the humility to continue the search.

7A.2 Working Groups Status Update

Reflecting back on the journey of the Summit: the process, the milestones and the aspirations.

The summaries below were produced by members of the Working Groups themselves, for the purpose of giving the wider movement a glimpse of their experience during the Summit.

1. Advocacy


The process at the Wikimedia Summit has been both challenging and fruitful. Hearing perspectives from community members, affiliate representatives, key observers, and Whose Knowledge? have given the Advocacy Working Group a better understanding of the strengths, weaknesses, understandings, and misunderstandings of our Scoping Document. On Saturday, we held two formal feedback sessions on our Scoping Document, which were attended by around 20 Wikimedia Summit participants. We have also been passively collecting feedback on the questions of “What does advocacy mean to you?” and “What do we advocate for?” on a posterboard throughout the Summit. Additionally, we have engaged in several informal conversations at meetups, over coffee, and during breaks which have enriched our understanding of the view of advocacy in the Wikimedia movement. From our feedback session on Saturday, we have developed 9 keys insights. These do not represent the entirety of the feedback shared during those sessions or that we will be considering moving forward. These insights are:

  • We need a clearly defined set of values.
  • Both contributors and advocates help advance are movements and are valuable.
  • We need to find ways to turn frustration into positive energy.
  • Advocacy needs resources.
  • If knowledge is a right, the focus should be on users (as people) not consumers or products.
  • WE need an understanding of what an acceptable political involvement is.
  • Advocacy done in the wrong way can endanger civil society.
  • Make sure accusations of bias are untrue.
  • We need more clarity around where advocacy decision are made and by whom!

We also had a meeting with Whose Knowledge?, where we discussed how making our scoping questions and vision more human-focused could help individuals to see themselves in those document. One of our immediate next steps is (hopefully!) onboarding a new member. In our next meeting, we plan to reflect on our impressions from the Wikimedia Summit, determine what research and further input is necessary to developing our recommendations, and brainstorming initial recommendations based on the experience and input we have thus far.

2. Partnerships


Our most important goal at the Wikimedia Summit was to obtain feedback about the proposed scope of our work and exchange opinions with other Working Groups. Thanks to the feedback sessions, we received useful advice on how to adjust our proposed scope. We heard that the term “open” is problematic for many partners, we discussed whether partnerships are a goal or just means towards an end, and received feedback on the importance of distinguishing different types of partnerships. We also identified important crossovers with advocacy, roles and responsibilities and capacity teams.

In the second part of the meeting, we focused on creating a realistic plan for research and recommendation writing, with a deadline set for Wikimania in Stockholm. We decided to use the “Cynefin framework” in order to rank our research questions based on their complexity. Some of the issues we want to analyse are relatively simple, and we will have solid answers by the deadline. For other, more complex ones, we hope to frame a conversation that will need to continue later. We often heard at the Wikimedia Summit that the crucial task with regard to partnerships is choosing which ones are important, and which ones are not; which ones are good, and which ones are bad. Movement members clearly want partnerships to be strategically differentiated. We are not yet sure that it is our role to make these decisions – but we will certainly address this issue, and propose how these decisions can be made by the Movement.

3. Revenue Streams

Revenue Streams

The Revenue Streams had a productive working session during the Wikimedia Summit.

All of the Working Group got together and got acquainted, we had a session outlining the scoping questions put forward for the community, and received useful feedback from Summit attendees (documented here) and provided feedback for other Working Groups around areas of potential overlap. We will use this feedback as a guidance for our next phase of research and recommendation drafting. The main results from the Summit besides feedback from the community around our scope are:

  • Getting more energized and more clear about the overall process
  • Outlining the way we’ll work together towards the draft recommendations, and
  • Starting to work on the structures and tasks we’ll need to perform in order to provide recommendations

Starting next week, we will meet on a bi-weekly basis, and start narrowing down the ideas we have into recommendations, while performing desk research and perhaps sparking conversations with other Working Groups, other organizations and additional participants in the Movement.

4. Community Health

Community Health

The Wikimedia Summit provided the Community Health Working Group with the first opportunity to work together ‘in real life’. It gave us a chance to discuss topics in depth, exchange ideas and reach consensus on the way forward. it also strengthened our sense of being a team and our shared ownership of the process.

We used the Summit to:

  • Work out a time table and identify next steps
  • Have 51 personal interviews with Wikimedians, structured around our scoping questions. This provided us with new perspectives and brought to light gaps in our approach.
  • Also we had conversations with representatives of other Working Groups and agreed arrangements for coordinating and synergising our work.

Our next steps will be to set up a survey and a series of interviews to fill knowledge gaps and reality check our preliminary findings. (April-mid May). We plan to start first drafting of our preliminary recommendations late May - June.

5. Roles & Responsibilities

Roles & Responsibilities

The roles and responsibility group decided to spend part of the time at the Wikimedia Summit in two separate groups: One group was working on a design for the next steps of the process towards the recommendations, and the other group spent time with other participants to gather their feedback on our scoping questions. The last day, we all spent together, giving each other updates on what we did and deciding on the timeline for the next weeks. We also had a very helpful meeting with Who’s Knowledge?, who helped us to find ways to build equity more effectively into our work, by putting the human experience into the center of our considerations and by being more aware of why we need to disrupt existing structures of power and privilege.

Feedback Group We spent Saturday in two discussion rounds with interested Summit participants. We asked them for general feedback on our Scoping Document (identifying potential gaps, etc.), before we split up into smaller groups to discuss the various questions of their choice in more detail and learn more about their experiences and ideas. The average sub-group consisted of 3-5 people and over the day we gathered feedback for all of our questions, a summary of all the discussions can be found here. As most of the participants are part of the so-called “organized part” of our movement, this is also the dominant perspective in these discussions, we are aware that this is not a universal sample of movement perspectives and look forward to more feedback on Meta and via the survey.

Process Design Group We developed a framework for describing and evaluating potential alternative governance models. We probed different parameters into them like susceptibility to conflict, adaptability, responsiveness, fragility, centralization, participation and predictability taking into account transparency, accountability, inclusion, effectiveness and trustworthiness as the key principles. Using this framework the team compared the current governance model with the models of several other global organisations, as well as historical and theoretical models. These models were built to test different, sometimes extreme scenarios to check how they fit our movement. The framework will be used in the development and description of the proposed recommendations.

6. Resource Allocation

Resource Allocation

The journey of the working group on “Resource Allocation” during the Summit was very multidimensional in terms of feelings, but brought out important insight. The amount of individuals representing affiliates that visited the working group over the course of the Summit was rather small (approximately 12) so the insights presented in this summary require further validation through community conversations and reaching out to specific voices. Many of those who did interact with the group on the scoping questions were interested in the allocation of professional or legal resources, not just financial. This constituted important insight for the working group. They were also interested in building their own capacity and acquiring expertise.

The working group explored with the Summit participants how to obtain resources outside the movement as an ecosystem for free knowledge. While they received recurring feedback that this is desirable, this came paired with concern with sharing values, not only resources, with potential partners outside the movement. In other words, partnerships should based on values, not merely effectiveness.

The group’s consultation with Whose Knowledge? made its members’ reflect on language used to describe emerging Wikimedia communities, and how the concept of “resource allocation” carries a paradigm around where the locus of power is situated. The idea that “we allocate into people” implicitly assumes that the “recipients” are might have nothing to start with. The group wondered about changing from “allocation” to “movement of resources”.

Still considering the importance of inclusion and fairness, the group felt affiliates with whom they interacted were concerned with identifying who was being left out, and from where: From existing Wikimedia movement? From knowledge systems? For example, how to address people with visual impairments that can’t access software versus kurdish communities that spread across many countries? There is no specific focus on these communities, and we know they are marginalised. Diversity, along with other values, must however be translatable into actions and not remain at the level of principles.

Key ideas surfacing included striving for developing long-term stability. People interested and involved with resource allocation must think about building stable structures with a focus on longer timeframes than one year or single-events. This included addressing the need to developed distributed capacity not only centralised momentary distribution. An interaction with the working group on “Roles and Responsibilities” also stimulated a reflection on the source of revenues, and the communities it should be serving, with an emphasis on representation: who and where? The role of communities triggered another critical insight around impact: who defines what impact is, and how to measure it? Conversations highlighted that there should not be one-size-fits-all approach. Impact measurement and benchmarks should be tailored to each community needs, and not be defined by the Wikimedia Foundation.

The group explored overlap with other Working Groups, but the priority remained continuing the thread of inquiry stimulated by the scoping questions. Members of the group hope they will be able to work further on interconnections in the future.

To help with focusing the work, the group has created a work plan until Wikimania.

7. Diversity


Process (How has it been to work here at the Summit)
  • We thought the work here at the Summit was very well organized. As a working group, the structure allowed us to be extremely efficient, and we feel we got A LOT done.
  • It was fantastic to have working group time in a separate room, instead of Working Group time in the same room with other Working Groups. This was the first time our Working Group worked in person together and not only was it productive, but it was also a good opportunity for team building and bonding.
  • Would have been good to have every member of the Working Group here, based on the above. Although we know that the idea of the Wikimedia Summit was not to be a Working Group gathering exclusive event, we got a lot of value of being together.
  • It was good to allow flexibility in the schedule (i.e. the survey on day 2 asking what we wanted to do with the time, for example).
  • Overall, our Working Group was very satisfied with the work done here at the Summit.

Outcome (Any insights that have emerged in your work)

  • We're in a good spot when comparing with others. We realized that the work we're doing is going well.
  • Our language is getting too complex and we need to simplify it. It constantly emerged a need to explain our Scoping Document language.
  • Morale is high at this point, and we're ready to get back on track on the next steps.
  • ‘Diversity’ is a highly complex topic that in the beginning we felt would be way too challenging. Today, we're actually grateful with the topic we got, realizing that we can go deep and complex quickly, without the need for controversial discussions or pushback.

Intention for the future (What are your immediate next steps)

  • We will revise the Scoping Document in the month of April, to incorporate all the feedback received during Wikimedia Summit, Whose Knowledge?, and the other Working Groups. We want to have a 2.0 version of the Scoping Document by mid-April and share it with Whose Knowledge? for their full review and input.
  • Simultaneously, we will start pulling recommendations as we incorporate feedback (at any level, short, long, high level, concrete, etc) as an initial brainstorming to have a basis for the recommendation phase.
  • We have agreed in switching calls back to every 3 weeks (for now, as we were doing weekly to get the scoping document ready), while still maintaining the asynchronous work we've been doing successfully.
  • Our next call was confirmed for Saturday, April 20 at 14 GMT.

8. Capacity Building

Capacity Building


The main takeaways from the summit included (these are both new points and things we had already incorporated):

  1. Language diversity is a barrier to capacity building, and we need to address possible solutions in our recommendations
  2. One size does not fit all – regionalize capacity building activities and networks
  3. Capacity building should be about people, in the first place, then about systems and structures. Everybody in the Movement has something to offer.
  4. Training is not enough. We have to build continuous engagement and support.
  5. Tap into the knowledge of the people of the movement and figure out how to transfer.
  6. Consider safety of contributors (online and offline) as a capacity building issue.
  7. Most other Working Groups have thought about Capacity Building, and of capacities that are related to their recommendations (Resource allocation, Advocacy, Partnerships). ( Other have thought less about it, surprisingly.)
  8. Opportunities for direct contact (in-person or live webinars) is important for human communication, respect, and engagement, as our Movement is made of people who need to interact beyond text alone to really make the encyclopedia come alive.

Insights gathered from affiliate conversations

  • We can’t do capacity building without addressing language issue(s).
    • Through more, better, and more timely translation.
    • Through moving Capacity-Building activities and networks to local and regional levels.
  • We will need a searchable, findable knowledge base of best practices when they are needed.
  • We need internal librarian or content curation support to help members of the community locate resources – including people, ideas, connections, answers, materials, and training (to avoid tagging all pages or expecting users to know exactly how to ask for help). This will allow us to do internally what we encourage others around the world to do.
  • Most potential for lasting impact and change: systematic and continuous engagement between people (post-workshop)
  • Contextualization - not one size fits all but learnings will have to be applied to local context.
  • Embedded or hidden capacities within the movement – individuals working as informational and knowledge nodes (over email and personal contacts), which remains outwardly invisible.
  • Creating space for finding knowledge experts in the wider community through a knowledge exchange – facilitating peer-to-peer learning (something akin to Meta Connect) moving away from vertical pedagogy of “expert” to “learner”
  • We need to better explore the distinction between those active in the Movement and those active within WikiProjects -- they are not always the same people and do not always have the same needs.

Insights gathered from conversations with other Working Groups

  • Focus on people (rather than institutions) is a bit lacking from the scope.
  • The focus is on working within existing structures, and it is wondered if Working Groups members are struggling with considering options outside what they have already seen.
  • Some capacities will remain local and are not transferable
  • Community Health is a necessary foundation for Capacity Building, as without people feeling safe we cannot build capacity
  • Safe technology is needed for editors and communities that are blocked from editing. Creating a safe net (support and help) for those people so their can be part of the Wikimedia Movement. protecting advocates.
  • Advocacy
    • They are also considering diversity, safety (as we are).
    • Also important: training formats, transfer of knowledge, and knowledge management.
  • Community Health
    • Stronger focus on leadership development should be surfaced.
    • Conflict resolution needs to be mentioned.
    • Mention of collective capacity development.
    • Need concrete statements about learning and training infrastructure, not about product scope.
    • Connection on and offline, cohort development not mentioned.
  • Resource Allocation
    • Consider what capacities are needed for the resource allocation process itself, this is a connection between the groups.
    • The Resource Allocation working group is thinking about the ecosystem of free knowledge beyond Wikimedia, and our role in resourcing that. Resources for capacity building in the broader free knowledge ecosystem should also be considered.
  • Partnerships
    • Best practices ….are you coming up with case studies that could help with developing best practices?
    • Are you thinking about developing capacities of individuals, and making that forefront?
    • Assure that recommendations have funding attached
    • Include self-learning, peer support, as method to build leadership and other capacities?
    • Partnership Working Groups decides to focus on “affiliate towards external organizations”, and the Capacity Building Working Group couöd include collaboration, is that okay?
  • Product and Technology
    • Focused on internal technologies and process within technology streams within the Movement
    • They did NOT focus on usability nor on user engagement (e.g., WYSIWYG, mobile, or things that engage users to WANT to edit).

9. Product & Technology

Product & Technology

During the event we received feedback on our scoping questions which we distilled into specific changes to our Scoping Document as well as how to guide our work moving forward.

The feedback covered various topics, but some common themes arose which included:

  • Confusion about the scope of our group. Much of the feedback we received was “programmatic” meaning specific features and solutions to problem we have in Product and Technology. While this will be helpful during the implementation phase, we are currently focused on the structures and process which will help us gather and act upon that feedback.
  • Our scoping question didn’t touch on our Movement’s confusion about how we interact with business users of our technology, and should we be supporting and leveraging them more explicitly.
  • We didn’t talk about how to lower our learning curve to bring in new people to our movement, and technology.
  • We didn’t specifically mention how we will make changes to foster innovation in our technology through our structures and processes.
  • Terminology was a constant confusion. Some things like technology and how we classify users, are things we need to work on. But some like diversity, inclusion, and equity would benefit from common definitions among our Working Groups.

Based on the above feedback we used our time on Sunday afternoon to revise and clarify the Scoping Document. We still have some work to do, but we now have a good sense of what our final scope will look like. We also generated a list of areas for research and potential consultations with experts and communities. Finally we generated a list of key terms for our work that need clearer definition and began building a glossary we can share with other Working Groups and the wider community (inspired by capacity building). We also hope that we can come together across groups to create a shared glossary for us to have productive discussions across groups.

7B. Your Agenda (Open Space)

A chance for participants to discuss and share about whatever is relevant for them.

Facilitators began the session by noting that the first 2 days of the Summit had been centered around the Movement Strategy. In the afternoon there would be one more chance to address questions that needed more clarity or guidance in this process, but the current session was a space were affiliates and other members could address and discuss any questions that are relevant for them (beyond the Movement Strategy). “What are the issues and opportunity that you want to explore with the people in this room today?” was the motto of the session.

Open Space Technology was the method used to address the diversity of topics. Once participants identified what topic they would like to discuss, they were invited to come to the middle of the room, write the title of their topic on A4 paper and find a time slot and space for their conversation. There was no limitation on the number of themes. Two time slots were offered for the conversation that were taking place in parallel.

To navigate this process, the main principles of Open Space were explained:

  • Whoever comes is the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could happen.
  • Wherever it happens is the right place
  • Whenever it starts is the right time
  • When it's over, its over.

Another important reminder was “the rule of two feet”: every individual has two feet and must be prepared to use them. Responsibility for the successful outcome of the Open Space resides with each participant.

If no one joined the conversation it might mean that either it was not important, or it was exceptionally important, or that you you are the only person who can work with this theme at this point in time within this group.

Facilitators offered templates to make optional notes. Below are the themes that have been hosted within two time slots. Where the hosts made it possible, there is also a link to their written reports.

7B.1 Session 11:30 - 12:15

1 How can we better engage other Wikimedia in governance strategy? How do you manage with all this governance info and share with user group? How to explain the strategy to our community?
2 How wikiversity functions?
3 How is Wikidata being used?
4 What if we need/want to start from scratch with something?
5 Russia is open to the world - the fact that everyone should know.
6 Small languages (less than 1 million).
7 Protect users and projects against organised bullying, educate communities to self-defend. LINK
8 How to attract more people to user group or Wikipedia?
9 How do we welcome women and people of other genders? What do we need to change? LINK
10 Audiovisual content: what opportunities does it offer? What issues could it resolve?
11 Better Asian cultural partnerships!
12 How to become a chapter? LINK
13 How to create better funding opportunities?

7B.2 Session 12:15 - 13:00

1 Community growth LINK
2 Outreach in Academia: what could and should be done?
3 Wikimedia interface 2030. LINK
4 Wikimedia/Wikipedia: a discussion of branding?
5 How to help emerging communities to keep their own projects without any funding?
6 AI + machine learning in the movement
7 How wikilivres works?
8 Connecting our technological ecosphere to partners

Session 8 What happens next?

Understanding what happens after the Wikimedia Summit and how everyone can be involved.

This session was initially planned for all the participants of the Summit, but as Working Group members needed more time to finalise their next steps, the session objective was then geared towards the next steps in bringing learnings of this Summit back to affiliate representatives and communities.

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Nicole Ebber summarised the process and timeline of the Movement Strategy for the upcoming months: Working Groups are still working on the recommendation in each of the 9 thematic areas; feedback generated through Community Conversations in the next three months will be included in the draft of recommendations that is going to be presented at the Wikimania in August 2019. Finalised version of the recommendations is expected to be ready by October 2019.

Kelsi emphasized that input of the wider community is really important and people who are part of the Summit can be true leaders in guiding their communities in this process. Following this introduction, participants have been invited to join 3 rounds of the conversation, where they had a chance to talk with different people on how to take forward strategy process in their communities. Each round had a guiding question:

  1. What discussions have you been part of at the Summit? What have you learned?
  2. How do the scoping questions relate to your context, to user group, to your community?
  3. Which thematic area (advocacy, partnerships, etc.) could your community contributed most effectively too?

Following this conversations affiliates could address question that they still have to the Working Groups, using Mentimeter platform.

  1. Why is it difficult for the Foundation to understand that paying staff of emerging communities is not possible?
  2. Functional calendars for regional and international meeting?
  3. Is it really possible to join a Working Group? Because I see that they are pretty closed right now.
  4. How are the members of the Working Groups elected?
  5. What is the plan to not rely on volunteer translators in the future, while producing high-quality documents across ALL languages in our movement, not just the major ones?
  6. Who does implementation of the last version of the API? This is for the technology and product team.
  7. How to avoid having parallel discussions on the 9 Working Group topics instead of one common discussion?
  8. After a group discussion we thought it would be good to try to summarize focus of different Working Groups in two lines, as a first step for approaching it to further members of the community.
  9. How to lower the burden of translation? Can complex things be expressed in simpler terms?
  10. For the benefit of translation and promoting effective communication – make a glossary of key terms in that focus area and use simpler language for all the final documents
  11. Meta is a sea of knowledge, how do we make it easy to find information there. #CapacityBuilding.
  12. English will continue to be a requirement to attend decision-making conferences or we will take seriously language diversity inside the movement?
  13. It seems like a lot of work needs to be done between now and Wikimania, what is your plan to avoid burnout?
  14. How do you address the disenfranchisement non-working group members are feeling?
  15. How are you planning to make the recommendations cohesive in the next four months?

Collected questions were not discussed in the bigger group and have been sent directly to the Core Team.

Meanwhile, affiliate representatives shared few impressions form their conversations in smaller groups and identified areas in which they can contribute (e.g., Partnerships, Resource Allocation, Diversity).

Another affiliate representative shared his feedback, suggesting to make easier and clearer communication channels, as sometimes it is not clear whom to address. Whom to transfer the knowledge and good practices? And how to provide infrastructure for small chapters, user groups?

Building up on the last question, Kelsi suggested choosing those channels that fit best for the purpose of the conversation and type of engaged community, including:

  • Wiki
  • Social media channels
  • Personal meetups
  • Video calls

To turn insights from this sessions into concrete next steps, facilitators asked each participant to take A5 post-it note, to write there name of the user group/chapter/community and to answer the following questions:

  1. Whom will you engage in the first conversations [after this Summit]?
  2. What channels are you going to use?
  3. What support might be needed from Kelsi?

Summary of these next steps can be found in the Annex.

Session 9 Closing

Let's celebrate and go home!

9.1 Looking back

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The session started with the invitation to capture on the post-it notes: What message would you like to give someone else as they leave the summit? Participants wrote their messages and stuck them on the back of a Wikimedia Summit postcard. These messages were brought to the middle of the room.

Anna Lena presented emerging visual narrative, reviewing each day and session and how it was represented in the panel she worked on throughout the Summit. Anna Lena invited participants to signal their feelings of the moments, messages that should be captured in the visual story. She was drawing it, but it's the story of everyone who has been at the event.

Kaarel continued by saying that Wikimedia Sumit was a milestone not only for the Movement Strategy process, but for the movement overall. He had heard of a lot of appreciation for the level of discussions that took place. Kaarel also showed his appreciation for the fact that participants stepped out of their day-to-day work to invest valuable time in the Movement Strategy process. Smiling, he said he personally also stepped out of his comfort zone by not wearing a tie that day.

Nicole also said goodbye with words of engagement. “We are Wikimedia, we have the confidence to build our future together” she said. Nicole then invited all participants to connect with their peers, networks, communities and other people within the Movement, and share their vision for the future, and explore how to work and own the process together. She ended by thanking all participants and reminding them that the impact was not only for those in the room, but also for those outside.

Katherine also said ‘goodbye’ and thanked the Summit participants for all the energy they brought into the work.

9.2 Feedback from Key Listeners

Three ‘key listeners’ were invited to attend the Summit and share their impressions with the Summit at the closing session. These were Emna Mizouni, a Wikimedian from Tunisia, Sunil Abraham, CEO of the Centre for Internet and Society in India, and Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons.

Emna Mizouni, Wikimedian from Tunisia
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“We drove the Middle East into a chaos, and it was a good chaos actually.”

Emna talked about her pride in being a Wikimedian, and felt blessed to be able to talk about her ‘a-ha’, ‘wow’ and ‘ooooh’ moments. Emna stated she was chosen for her Tunisian origins, and the fact that Tunisia led the Arab world into chaos. A good chaos, that led to a democracy...or an aspiring democracy. She drew parallels between chaos in the Arab countries and the one in the Movement Strategy process in terms of the tensions, and interactions. Emna stated everyone was there to showcase the diversity of this complex and challenging movement, and asked the group to keep in mind how this movement is important. Aspiring to collect the sum of all knowledge might be overwhelming to some. She saw days pass by leaving some more weary and others more optimistic. She warned that there is a danger that our diversity and values might be lost. She urged the participants not to forget the integrity of the movement, and that we are a very powerful movement because of our diversity. She thanked the organizer’s and everyone’s strength to bring each other together from different parts of the world.

Sunil Abraham, CEO of the Centre for Internet and Society
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“Let's all work on the hardest problems.”

Sunil addressed the audience through video. He opened by saying what stood out for him was the financial capacity of Wikimedia, which at the moment could save the global open access just by allocating $1 million for this movement. What concerned Sunil was the harmonization of processes and recommendations, while keeping the Working Groups with the feeling they can forge the process. Speaking about his learning journey working with lawyers for the last 10 years, he presented a few ‘tests’ that will help evaluate the strategy process’ ability to increase or decrease diversity, risk capital and motivation. Looking ahead, he recommended to focus on developing processes that solve problems systematically. He suggested closing the loop on the community consultation process to prevent frustration, offering explanation on why reflections are accepted or rejected. Reflecting upon his current wishes, Sunil stated it was important not lose our useful idealism, inviting everyone to work on the hardest problems instead of choosing lower problems. He completed by apologising for missing the end of the Summit, and ended by saying: “All of you, you are my superheroes, so let me thank you my onward and upward superheroes.”

Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons
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“We are crazy enough to change the world, because we already have.”

Ryan presented himself as being part of different movements, like many of those in the audience. He thanked everyone for the openness and for the work on strategy, which he considered a hopeful act of leadership and ambition. “We are crazy enough to change the world, because we already have,” he said. Ryan described the phase of the strategy development as the “the dark middle act”, and he warned: “ it’s getting worse.” “You know you are doing strategy when you are starting to feel sad,” he said, but explained that the reason why you feel sad is because you’ll be doing prioritization, which means making the choice between two perfectly worthy ideas. He continued by stating how rare, weird, and amazing everyone (not just consultants and managers) that were involved in creating strategy. “The reason why we do it it’s because it’s better. It’s good to remind ourselves why, because the last three days had been hard. Impatience is also good because that eagerness to accomplish is equally needed.” Ryan recalled the amazing conversations and stated “If this works, it’s not for the movement… It’s for the world.” The CEO of Creative Commons thanked the Summit for the patience and leap of faith in doing the work, for it requires the ability to receive hard feedback. He finalised by saying: “We are not done yet… we are just getting to the good sad part.”

9.3 Insights from people in the room

Participants were asked to share their own concluding reflections with the Summit.

  • “Hello, my name is Bobby. Sawubona! This means ‘how are you’ in my mother tongue. A few words are coming to my mind. Exclusivity, and happiness.”
  • “I am Phillip from Austria. So, lots of you have been here for the last three years and had questions probably. But the great difference this time is that people are really listening to you and this time counts and next year we definitely will not have the same questions. Sorry for my voice, it is because of the party last night. So, I think if we raise the same questions next year, we will really be in trouble. But I am looking forward to see you here next year.”
  • “I am Chris from England. I first started to go to Wikimedia Conferences in 2012. Virtually every one before this, that I have been to the event was really upbeat, loving, really enthusiastic. And then you walked away thinking: actually, these very big questions that swept under the carpet. But this time it is the opposite. The event has had its moments of emotion, but this time the emotion is there, because we are finally grappling with these big issues that have been no one's job or have been put off, because they have been too difficult. So, there is a big chunk of difficult work that has to be done. I walk away from this event more happy, more confident that we go into the right place, that I had in any previous Wikimedia event.”
  • “Hi, I'm Youssef. I will keep it short and precise: Whatever happens, just keep going forward.”
  • “Hi, I am Alice and what I take with me leaving the conference is a strong belief that we are able and willing and motivated to really make a change. I was split when I joined the conference on Friday, it was challenging getting out of bed. But I do believe in us, in you and in all of us to really get this thing done with joy and pleasure. Thanks.”
  • “I'm Sarah and I came from my group and here are so many of the groups and I think we are proud of being part of them.”
  • “Hi I'm Shani and I am from Israel and I just want to have a moment to say a huge thank you to our architect Kaarel. He has been given an almost impossible task, I think. Inventing something that didn't exist in a scale that never existed before and I want to acknowledge. I am taking the power to speak for all of you saying a huge thank you for the effort.”
  • “What I noticed were the lasting questions, I'm not as sure as Philip, that they will be answered next year, but they would be discussed on so many more different and exciting levels. I think, that this is what we need to keep doing. Talking about these questions on very different levels and coming up with answers to them again and again and again.”

9.4 See you in Stockholm? A word from Wikimania 2019 hosts

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Wikimedia Summit 2019 - 332.jpg Thanking the opportunity to have the mic, Eric Luth and John Anderson, together with Liam Wyatt introduced themselves as the core group responsible for what they called “the piecemeal task” of organizing Wikimania 2019.

They were amazed by intensity, energy and commitment they witnessed throughout the conversations at the Summit, and expressed their hope to bring the same qualities to Wikimania. The process will be similar to the days being planned for Wikimania: Several parallel spaces with workshops, training… trying to answer some of the questions Wikimedians are asking themselves.

“If you want to continue the amazing conversations, I think all of you should try to come to Wikimania,” said Eric. The theme will be “Stronger Together: Wikimedia, free knowledge and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.” Their argument is that Wikimedia is doing incredible work, but some people don’t realize, so connecting the UN SDGs to the movement can take their work to the next level, by partnering with others.

Another small reason of why Wikimedians must come to Stockholm: this movement is nothing without having fun, the relationships and making really good friends. The timing of the conference coincides with something very important for Swedes which is the festival of Surströmming, which is sour fermented herring. Eric did want to bring some to the Wikimedia Summit (as gift for the sweets table) but was not allowed to be carried on the plane. He believes it might be because it smells so bad, and might be explosive... so it’s left in Sweden for Wikimedians to come and taste for themselves.

9.5 Thank You...and Goodbye!

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Cornelius and Daniela addressed the participants one last time to say goodbye and thank everyone that contributed to the making the Wikimedia Summit happen. They encouraged everyone to give feedback through the evaluation form, as it represents a way to continuously evolve and learn whether experiments like live captioning were useful.

The hosts thanked:

  • The team of facilitators and harvesters: Bhav, Rob, Luis, Olha, Szymon, Anna Lena, Gabor.
  • Studio Amore, for the haptic facilitation done through the frames, flags, and signage.
  • The Wikimedia Deutschland staff for hosting dinner in their offices.
  • Michelle for arranging all travels and visas before and at the conference. She supported every visa applicant with tremendous passion.
  • Event support staff helping in preparation and on site, especially visiting Wikimedian Afek for creating the Wikimedia effect through little details like the party game or the conference guide.
  • Eric for accompanying the team over the previous weeks to learn what could be transferred to Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm.
  • The technicians for the sound and internet access.
  • The live captioning, in spite of everyone’s accents.
  • Jason, for jumping around and taking photos from everyone.
  • Aida for taking portraits of most of the participants - all photos are now uploaded.

Closing the Summit, everyone was asked to pick a random message of goodwill from the center of the room, and take it with them, as token of their experience.

See you next year?