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Wikimedia Summit 2024/Documentation/Day 1

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What happened at the Summit?
Day 1
Opening · Gallery Walk · Understand the Charter · Discuss initial feedback
Day 2
Draft initial outputs · Improved Outputs · Future of Affiliates gatherings I
Day 3
Finalize & agree on outputs · Future of Affiliate gatherings II · Open space

Day 1 (Friday, 19 April)


The first day was dedicated to welcoming and onboarding participants into the Summit’s workflow, and conducting a first deep dive into the current version of the Movement Charter.

Opening Ceremony: 10:00 - 11:40 CEST


Welcoming and inspiring attendees of the Wikimedia Summit about the context, aims, and program of the event.

Link to session slides

Welcoming words


Welcome from Wikimedia Deutschland

Franziska Heine, Executive Director of Wikimedia Deutschland

“The future of the Movement is in our hands.”

Opening speech from Franziska Heine during the Wikimedia Summit 2024

Franziska Heine warmly greeted the crowd and outlined the key moments of the Summit. She emphasised its uniqueness for being the last of its kind, and the culmination of years of transformative work. She thanked the Movement Charter Drafting Committee for their dedication. Highlighting the importance of adapting to a changing world, she underscored the mission of providing free access to knowledge and the need for internal strength and equity. Grateful for the Wikimedia Foundation's support over 12 years, she passed the torch to affiliates, urging them to engage in discussions about future affiliate gatherings.

Welcome from the German Foreign Office

Dr. Tobias Lindner, Minister of State, German Federal Foreign Office

“You have knowledge… but also power. And with great power, comes great responsibility.”

Opening speech from Dr Lindner during the Wikimedia Summit 2024

Tobias Lindner welcomed Wikimedians and underlined how the Summit delves into key contexts that are shaping the future of the movement: climate change, AI emergence, and elections in India, the US, and the European Union. With 49% of the world's population set to hold elections, ensuring access to trustworthy information is paramount amidst a flood of attacks on facts and the proliferation of hate speech. While AI presents risks like disinformation and election interference, it also offers an immense potential but demands effective management.

A globally accessible and free knowledge base is crucial for disseminating accurate data. Initiatives like the upcoming United Nations' Summit aim for a safe, inclusive digital future. Priorities include monitoring AI development, advocating for regulation, and ensuring access to accurate data in election contexts. Tobias Lindner congratulated Wikimedia, home to Wikipedia, for embodying a grassroots digital temple of knowledge and for being the 5th most visited resource on the internet. On that note, he emphasized the responsibility that comes with holding such knowledge and power and warned the audience against three core challenges:

  • Ensuring reliable, fact-checked information
  • Balancing data sourcing and representation and promoting diversity
  • Countering Big Tech influence and ensuring accessibility

The Minister continued with a call to action for Wikimedians: “We must proffer facts, not fake news. We must protect those who collect and disseminate knowledge and contribute to open societies.” He concluded by saying: “You have opened the gates to this new global library. Let everyone in, and make sure the temple of knowledge is a place of diversity, equality and truth.”

Keynote by Amitabh Behar

Amitabh Behar, Executive Director of Oxfam International

“What you are doing is remarkable. Being custodians of public knowledge in a time of privatisation of pretty much everything.”

Keynote from Amitabh Behar at the Wikimedia Summit 2024 (without Q&A session)
Amitabh at Wikimedia Summit 2024

Amitabh expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to address Wikimedians at the Summit, acknowledging their remarkable role as custodians of public knowledge in an era dominated by the privatisation of resources. He commended their resilience in disseminating credible information amidst challenges such as fabricated facts and the influence of AI. “You are doing this in difficult times”, said Amitabh highlighting the importance of countering efforts by big tech companies to privatise knowledge, and stressing the need to ensure democratic access to information.

He urged attendees to “turn their gaze inward” over the three-day event and grapple with fundamental questions about organisational structure, purpose and process.

Amitahb continued by talking about Oxfam International through its role in Davos Economic Forum. At Davos, Oxfam presents its annual economic report, which garners widespread attention for highlighting inequality. “I’ve been doing this report for 6 years. Everytime I present it, I feel angry and frustrated” said Amitahb, as he highlighted some of the difficult facts.

“We are entering a decade of division.”

In the past two years, income for the top 5 richest has doubled. 80% of the world’s profits enrich shareholders, while workers struggle to make ends meet and overcome inflation. The net worth evaluation of the top 10 corporations is more than the combined GDP of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean regions together.

Drawing parallels with India's National Movement, he emphasised the significance of personal and collective transformation in Oxfam's journey towards a more just and equal future. Reflecting on Oxfam's evolution, Amitabh differentiated four areas of organisational change: structures, culture, resources and narrative (knowledge). He talked about advances and shortcomings in embodying solidarity, and advocated for an internal democratisation of power, focusing on diversity, feminist principles, resource allocation, and knowledge representation.

Amitabh urged a shift towards viewing resources as belonging to the communities they serve rather than to the organisations raising them. He emphasised the importance of challenging dominant narratives and articulating knowledge in ways that empower communities, rather than reducing them to data points or case studies.

In conclusion, Amitabh shared a quote about international organisations which he found pertinent for the Summit: “International NGOs have three options today: Either we die peacefully, we die ugly, or we transform.” He concluded by saying: “I have hope you chose the transformation path.”

Below are the summarised insights stemming from the question and answer session:

(1) What would transformation look like?

The idea of transformation requires structural changes, acknowledging the political nature of structures. Change is essential for democratisation, despite resistance, often well-intentioned. To change the external world, internal change is necessary.

(2) How to convince those with financial power to let go?

Financial power holders must recognize that resources should belong to those they aim to help. Also, reversing narratives is crucial in shifting power dynamics. For example: Africa is often regarded as a “recipient” country, but the sum of money it receives is not even a tenth of the money it sends out.

(3) What can we learn from your failures?

Learning from failure involves understanding the constant struggle for power and the need to build alliances. He said: “I am sure there are enough allies that would support democratisation of power. You cannot make it on your own, it’s about making alliances. Alliances win. [Alliances] of different actors, with other kinds of power.”

(4) What can help us keep power sharing equitable?

Effective power sharing requires collaboration between different models of representation, such as affiliates and committees. We need to look into what other international organisations are doing, for instance, in funding collective functions. A more democratic approach could challenge existing power structures dominated by a few individuals or locations.

(5) What would be a Southeast Asian relevant perspective on dealing with money?

In regions like Southeast Asia, sensitive topics like money require listening to frontline managers rather than auditors or committees. Embracing risk-taking over risk aversion is vital for addressing global challenges effectively. “Let’s take risk for saving the world,” Amitabh concluded.

Key elements of the Summit


The Charter and the Movement Charter Drafting Committee

Movement Charter Drafting Committee

“You are invited to bring an idea, an improvement”

Opening statement from the MCDC at the Wikimedia Summit 2024

On behalf of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC), George Fodouop welcomed attendees to the final Summit. He also thanked Wikimedia Deutschland for hosting the Summit, and for keeping its neutrality in relation to all activities taking place during the event.

Reflecting on the journey since 2022, George described how abstract discussions evolved into a tangible Charter, thanks to advisors, ambassadors, and the community. Concrete proposals and opposing viewpoints were most helpful, for they gave the committee a sense of the existing perspectives and the opportunities. His gratitude is extended for contributions, and also criticisms, for they have strengthened the committee’s motivation and reaffirmed their commitment. This moment serves as a heartfelt thank you to all involved.

Anne Clin (User:Risker) took the floor to talk about the role of the MCDC at the Summit. She invited attendees to contribute ideas, innovations, and improvements to the Charter, essential for the world's free knowledge infrastructure. While the Charter evolved in words, its spirit remained unchanged: aligned with the Movement Strategy, aiming for conciseness and inclusivity of local realities.

Attendees are encouraged to assess the Charter against the 2030 strategy, identifying areas for improvement or addressing blockers. Acknowledging diverse perspectives, the MCDC values feedback from attendants both as affiliate representatives and as individuals with their own experience and knowledge. Their aim is to strengthen the Wikimedia movement as a whole, not only specific parts.

The MCDC recognised its evolving composition and paid tribute to Richard Nosebag's contributions. Richard passed away shortly after Wikimania 2030. Risker closed by inviting attendees to engage in dialogue with the MCDC wherever they find them during the event.

The Facilitation Team

Facilitation and documentation team at the Wikimedia Summit 2024

As MC, Wolfgang introduced the facilitation and documentation team: Linda Doyle, Lucas de Koning, and Wolfgang Wopperer from the Movement Ecology Collective, responsible for design and facilitation of the Summit. Luís Manuel Pinto, responsible for documentation.

The facilitation team also included a group of freelance facilitators who guided the work in each of the parallel topic groups in the Movement Governance track: Steffen, Jana, Sepi, Alex, Jonathan, Simon and Pia, as well as Claire, and Alan from WMDE.

The Participants


In an activity called “Spectrum Lines”, participants showed through their position along a line, where they stood in relation to a range of questions meant to cultivate the mindset required for the event. As they negotiated their spot along the line, attendees got to discover something about each other. The questions were:

  • How far did you travel to come here?
  • How many Wikimedia Conferences and Summits have you attended before?
  • How familiar are you with governance?
  • How comfortable are you to give gratitude and appreciation to others?
  • How easy is it for you to trust others and let go of control when things are important to you?

Summit Programme


What is this Summit about?


“A space for you to fill in.”

Presentation of the program design and participant journey for the Wikimedia Summit 2024

Wolfgang explained the two key purposes of the Summit:

  1. Discussing Movement Governance, and the Charter.
  2. Discussing the future of Affiliate Gatherings

He showed how the Summit is a point in the history of the Movement Strategy towards 2030. And also, in the development of the Charter to be ratified in 2025.

Participant’s Journey

Wikimedia Summit 2024 Participant Journey

The diagram below describes the participant’s journey at the Summit, and the different milestones of track 1 (in pink) on Movement Governance, and track 2 (in green) on the Future of Affiliate Gatherings.

The process is described in different moments (Gallery Walks and Work Sessions), and group sizes. In the plenary everyone listens, shares and decides. The topic groups harvest feedback, structure it and prepare it for sharing. Within these, the smaller working groups do the detailed analysis, discussion and proposal.

All plenary sessions were streamed through the event’s platform. All outputs presented for feedback in each of the three Gallery Walks were made available to online participants who submitted their comments through a Conceptboard put together for the session.

Working Principles


Wolfgang highlighted some of the restrains participants might experience while working during the Summit:

  • FOMO: We want to discuss everything! But you will miss out, because you can’t be everyone.
  • Aiming for completeness: We want to think things through to the end, in all detail!
  • But – Time: It's gonna be tight, so we can’t do everything – we need to prioritise and keep our focus!
  • Results and convergence: We need to develop something concrete and shareable to make it useful for the MCDC and to have a real impact!

One idea to keep in mind and help deal with all these constraints: Good enough is perfect!

Which means: we need to let go of the idea that we can do everything in these 3 days. We can't do everything. There will be times when we need to trust others to do some work and bring it back to us. Let's follow the rule that "good enough is perfect!"

Everybody helps steer this Summit to success!

Below are the working principles shared in the plenary that were meant to help attendees deal with the restraints of the event.

(1) Create a vibe of contributing and letting go

It will be up to the affiliates what feedback actually emerges. We’re opening a space that you can fill! Maybe you all think the Charter is perfect as it is and we can talk about something else, but we want to give you time and space to voice the positions that you have. The process is orientated towards not just critiquing but making contributions in order to improve the Charter.

(2) Think about the movement

We want people to hold the perspective and the best interests of the whole movement – that includes representing your affiliate, but leaving personal preferences behind.

(3) Trust collective intelligence

And trust your collective intelligence! If everyone is focusing on the stuff they care and are knowledgeable about, then everything is being taken care of – because we are enough people with diverse perspectives and knowledge!

(4) Trust the process

This is one step in a process – work has been done before (appreciate it!), we will do lots of work here (dive in and focus!), there will be work afterwards – MCDC's iteration, ratification, implementation (be patient!) It's also an iterative process – things don't have to be exactly right from the beginning! We start with something, collect feedback, improve – trust the process!

Participant placing sticky note feedback on charter topic during Gallery Walk I

Discussion Topics


In this first Gallery Walk, participants were presented with posters from the last version of the Movement Charter with a layout made for the Summit, and 8 other posters with content organised around selected topics of the Movement Charter. The topical posters were created by the programme team to facilitate discussions about the Movement Charter in the parallel Topic Groups.

Click on each line to view the poster with the content about the topic. You can also download the whole bundle here.

Sticky Note Feedback


Participants were invited to give feedback using sticky notes in four different colours illustrating the four categories of comments below. These categories run across all working session at the Summit:

  • Ideas beyond the Charter - Input into implementation, for supplementary documentation, or things not entirely covered by charter
  • Potential Dealbreaker - …and alternative language. Things that would keep us from ratifying the charter
  • Celebration - Great! We like it!
  • Suggestions for improvements - Would like for this to be changed but can live with it, if it’s not; something to consider.

Click on the links to consult the feedback given during the first Gallery Walk (onsite and online):

Feedback on the Charter itself (onsite participants)
Feedback on the Charter Topics (onsite participants)
Feedback on the Charter Topics (online participants)

Work Session 1: Understanding the Charter (14:30-15:45 CEST)

Link to session slides

Participants divided into pre-selected Topic groups to start imagining the Movement Charter’s implications through a role playing exercise.

Topic Group during first work session

Through a “fishbowl” setting and imaginative interaction, participants played roles within two different scenarios of what implementing the Charter might look like in practice. This activity was meant to create a shared understanding of the Charter fundamentals, and have a better sense of what working in this framework means for each affiliate. The role-play is a different way of getting everybody on the same page around the Topic, creating more clarity, but also generating open questions and feedback on the Charter.

Have fun reading the two scenarios, and respective roles, prepared by the Movement Charter Drafting Committee:

SCENARIO 1 - Turmoil in Antarctica
SCENARIO 2 - Tough decisions for future resource distribution

Work Session 2: Discussing Charter Feedback (16:15-18:00 CEST)

Participants discuss budget in smaller working groups

Based on the feedback gathered from Gallery Walk 1, participants in topic groups formed smaller working groups to discuss the content in depth and start formulating insights.

Thematic Clusters


The first step of the topic groups was to gather the sticky note feedback associated with their respective topic, and start forming smaller thematic clusters. Based on the clusters, participants then formed smaller working groups (2-3 people) to engage in further in-depth analysis and discussion, and make recommendations for the Movement Charter development. These would then be consolidated by the whole topic group before presenting at the next Gallery Walk for feedback.

Below are the results of the clustering exercise in each topic group, and the resulting themes. You can download the whole bundle of here.

Global Council: Purpose & Resource

  • Global Council Staff
  • Diversity
  • Internal Movement Connection
  • Budgeting

Global Council: Global Council and WMF

  • Composition of the Global Council
  • Decision-making & Power
  • Scope
  • Procedures

Global Council: Representation and Composition

  • Representation & Gender Equity
  • Composition
  • Money Matters

Affiliates and Hubs: Purpose

  • Budget & Resource Management
  • Community Representation
  • Definitions (clarity)
  • Mandate

Affiliates and Hubs: Rights, responsibilities, roles and types

  • Overlap
  • Hub Definition
  • Rights & Responsibilities
  • Diversity

Affiliates and Hubs: Collaborations and Capacity Building

  • Inbound Support
  • Peer Support
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Alignment on External Partners

Financial resources: Resource development (fundraising)

  • Invest in Capacity Building
  • Access to Donor Data
  • Member Fees to Affiliates
  • Messaging Improvement
  • Increase Transparency
  • Reconfigure Banner Fundraising

Financial resources: Resource distribution (grant making)

  • Transparency & Processes
  • Fair Distribution of Funds
  • Who decides?