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Wikimedia Summit 2024/Documentation/Day 2

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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 2 (Saturday, 20 April)


On Saturday, participants began by working directly in their topic groups to develop initial outputs for Charter development. These outputs were then shared during a second Gallery Walk for feedback from all other attendees, refined within the topic groups, and subsequently shared again during a third Gallery Walk. Concurrently, participants initiated discussions on the Future of Affiliate Gatherings.

Opening (10:00-10:15 CEST)

Participants wait for oppening session to start
Link to session slides

Wolfgang welcomed the Summit attendees and reassured them that some degree of hesitation and confusion is normal in a process where so much information is being processed.

Insights from Day 1


Based on feedback from the previous day, Wolfgang shared two reflection points with the aim of supporting participant’s work throughout the day.

  • “Which discussion goes on which topic?”

We are doing information processing. In order to cover the whole ground and allow everyone to work in parallel, in manageable groups, we created this topic division as a heuristic device. You might be asking questions that may transcend topic boundaries. Utilise topics as tools but abandon them when no longer beneficial. Make sure you talk about what you really want, but trust that there are many opportunities to consolidate and check overlaps across groups.

  • “Are we doing the right thing?”

Trying to understand someone else’s sticky note initiates convergence. When you connect with the author's intent, overlaps emerge, and you create a connection. Focus on questions that resonate deeply with you; they guide your journey. Explore overlaps and connections between topics iteratively, refining your understanding as you progress. Making it your own is part of the process.

Participants produce initial outputs

Overview of Day 2


Session 3 will focus on drafting and integrating initial output that will be shared in a second Gallery Walk for another round of feedback from all Summit attendants.
Session 4 uses that feedback to improve the output statements, to share it again in a third and final Gallery Walk for feedback. During this session, up to half of the participants in each topic group are allowed to visit other topic groups to share their views and make connections across topics.

Work Session 3: Draft Initial Summit Outputs (10:15-11:55 CEST)


Below are the initial outputs produced by each of the topic groups. Click on each thumbnail to access the photo in Wikimedia Commons. You can also see them here in a PDF bundle.

Overview of the 2nd Gallery Walk

Below are PDF bundles containing the feedback given by the Summit attendants to the initial outputs coming out from the topic groups.

Feedback from the onsite participants
Feedback from the online participants

Work Session 4: Discussing Feedback on the Initial Outputs (14:00-15:15 CEST)

Topic Groups discuss feedback received from plenary

Back in their topic groups, participants were divided once more in smaller working groups to process the feedback they received on the first round of suggested recommendations. To support the sense-making process and convergence within and across topic groups towards final outputs, two measures were put in place:

(1) Special roles within the group.
Two volunteer roles were established within each topic group.

  • The Topic Coherer is responsible for maintaining coherence on the topic level and standing next to the topic poster during the Gallery Walk to explain the rationale behind the statements.
  • The Connection Spotter is looking out for connections or tensions across all the topics, to help the group either discern or consolidate outputs. The people playing these roles will join a smaller Coherence Team on Sunday. This team will gather all the statements from all the topics, revise them, adjust them for clarity, and submit them for appraisal in the last plenary session.

(2) Moving across topic groups
Only during Session 4, the Connection Spotter and other interested participants were allowed to join other topic groups. The intentions with this measure were to allow participants a chance to contribute to more than one topic, to cross-pollinate insights, to remove or integrate overlap, and ensure coherence across topics.

Affiliate Gatherings 1: Prioritising Purposes & Learning (14:00-15:15 CEST)

Link to session slides

Passing the Baton

Nicole Ebber (WMDE) at the Wikimedia Summit 2024

Nicole kicked off the Future of Affiliate Gatherings track by answering the question: “Why is this Summit the last of this kind?”

“You don’t have to start from scratch.”

WMDE has hosted 12 of these events since 2009, with Nicole joining in 2010 for 11 of them. The organisation is dedicated to creating a welcoming space in Berlin for affiliates to engage in discussions and fun. Collaborating with WMF, they co-funded and co-created each event, making all decisions on program structure based on their judgement of what was best for affiliates.

WMDE recognize the significant power in designing these gatherings and shaping how affiliates come together. They now aim to transfer this power to a group of affiliates, with the aspiration to conclude this Summit by committing to develop a new concept for future gatherings. WMDE is committed to offering the necessary support to kickstart this initiative, aligned with the movement strategy’s intention to make Wikimedia events equitable, accessible, and participatory.

Results from Affiliate Survey on Future Gatherings

Slide deck presenting the results of the survey on the future of affiliate gatherings

Nikki shared the highlights from a survey conducted with affiliates in 2023 on the Future of Affiliate Gatherings. The detailed survey report is available online.

The survey was sent to all affiliates, but most of the respondents were Summit participants. This means affiliates with more than one year of affiliation, who are compliant. 72 affiliates responded (less than half of the total amount of existing affiliates). About half were user groups; the other half, other affiliates including chapters and projects. Many respondents had previously attended some form of gathering. However, there are obstacles preventing people from attending. While some did not encounter these obstacles, a significant portion faced challenges such as visa restrictions (25%) and financial constraints. Despite this, the majority expressed a need for affiliate gatherings separate from Wikimania or as part of other events. Additionally, most indicated they would send a representative.

Recent Summits have predominantly focused on the Movement Strategy, leading to some "strategy tiredness" among participants. Informal discussions in the hallways highlighted the desire for peer learning, sharing experiences, networking, which were indicated as key motivations for attendance.

Looking ahead, characteristics of future events should prioritise inclusivity (geographic representation), capacity building, and accessibility to ensure every affiliate can participate. Considerations such as reducing carbon footprint, or the relationship with a potential Global Assembly are noteworthy, even if they were of lesser priority. Regarding format, there has been improvement in creating hybrid events, with a significant majority viewing hybrid formats as important. As for frequency, 61% of respondents supported the idea of an annual event.

Sharing learnings from previous events

Work session on the future of affiliate gatherings

Wikimedia Summit — Eva, Wikimedia Deutschland


The steering committee is responsible for making high-level decisions regarding strategy and participant profiles. It consists of key figures such as the Executive Director of Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE), representatives from Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), board members and senior staff from both organisations, and members of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC).

In terms of programmatic direction, Nikki and Eva, staff members from WMDE, were tasked with creating a programme based on perceived needs within the movement, drawn from surveys and conversations.

Organising an international event involves the collaboration of numerous professionals. Typically, 2-3 staff members work exclusively on the event for about six months. An external facilitation team, along with catering, technical support, a photographer, and reporting staff are also involved, with most personnel coming from WMDE. Regarding funding, Patricia inquired about the source of funds—whether they originate from WMDE, a combination of sources, or special external funds. Eva clarified that the majority of funding comes from WMF, with WMDE contributing 100K and staff time for the current year. In previous editions, the event has been primarily funded by WMF movement funds.

The essential question is determining what is the desired approach. Patricia emphasised the importance of understanding the organisational burden of hosting such an event for chapters like theirs to decide whether to organise it. Transparency and accountability towards other affiliates are crucial, including making all information concerning planning, implementation and evaluation available for other affiliates.

Wiki-Indaba Conference — Dumisani, Wikimedia Foundation

Participants attending the Future Affiliate Gatherings track

WISCom stands for Wiki Indaba Steering Committee, and is the body responsible for organising the Wiki-Indaba Conferences.

A rotation model for the conference was proposed, coinciding with the celebration of seven years of Wiki-Indaba. Notably, all functions are managed by volunteers. The steering committee identified three critical aspects:

  • (1) Visa Issues: Particularly affecting individuals from the African region, the need to fly out and then back in presents logistical challenges. Addressing this involves coordinating with sending countries to prevent visa declines, including direct communication with foreign offices and providing a list of attendees.
  • (2) Programme: The programming sub-committee of WISCom oversees this aspect, determining the thematic focus. Submissions are aligned with the themes, and resolutions can be later discussed with members who were unable to attend the event.
  • (3) Venue & Accommodation: Costs associated with hosting are significant. Questions arise regarding shared accommodation, with some expressing concerns about this arrangement. However, accommodating everyone represents a financial challenge beyond what organisers can feasibly request.

Once these factors are successfully managed, the question arises: who will host the next event? A regional rotation model is proposed, wherein the previous and penultimate hosts join the committee alongside the current host. This is mirroring the Wikimania model.

Wikimedia CEE Meeting — Barbara, CEE Hub Coordinator

Participants discussing the learnings shared from previous events

CEE stands for Central Eastern European, a Hub encompassing around 40 affiliates, which organises the Wikimedia CEE Meetings. The Hub already hosted 12 in-person conferences and 2 online gatherings (during the pandemic).

Initially, the process of selecting the next event coordinator was informal. However, with the establishment of a hub, the process was formalised. A Meta page was created outlining a bidding process, allowing any affiliate from the region to express interest by providing relevant information such as visa requirements, hosting capacity, and overall goals. Last year, two affiliates, Turkish and Albanian user groups, expressed interest in hosting. A selection committee comprising six members was formed to choose between the candidates, considering factors like capacity, ability to grow the affiliate. Turkey was ultimately selected.

Upon selection, the host affiliate must establish organisational structures, including an organising committee, programming committee, and a bidding process for financial resources. Funding, typically provided by WMF, requires a detailed budget proposal submitted in February, with responses received by April. Once funding is secured, the organising team, consisting of representatives from five chapters, CEE Hub representatives, and WMF representatives, is assembled. A programme committee, composed of volunteers and members of the organising team, ensures knowledge transfer and regional coordination.

Visa issues remain a concern, and requires careful planning. The usual format of the event includes parallel sessions with multiple tracks under a unifying theme. This year's theme is "Bridges to Knowledge." The grant typically amounts to about $100,000, covering expenses for approximately 100 participants, including catering and travel, spanning around four days. Over time, a Meta page has been established detailing the event organisation process.

Key Insights


Participants made the following comments in response to the three shared experiences:

  1. It’s not just a question of how easy it is to get a visa in a particular country. It is also whether the host organisation has the capacity to support the visa application process.
  2. Early preparation impacts the ability to obtain a visa. Last year, the Summit’s participant list was completed 3 months before the Summit and there were many declines. This year, it was completed 6 months before, and it had the highest rate of accepted visa applications.
  3. Every country has its geopolitical issues that impact possibilities to obtain and process visas. One must always explore the best practices within each country for dealing with applications.
  4. Sometimes Wikimedians don’t follow recommendations in applying for visas and contribute negatively to the process.
  5. Knowledge transfer from past to current and future event organisers is very important.
  6. Based on the lessons learned from organising Wikimania, Yael (WMF) offered logistical support (travel and accommodation) for events organised by affiliates

The group then engaged in a brainstorm on the main issues concerning the hosting of Affiliate Gatherings, and clustered them thematically. Below are the results:

Clustering main insights from the lessons shared by event organizers

1. Logistics & Support

  • WMF offers logistic support (i.e. travel & accommodation management)
  • Hybridity and translation are expensive
  • Event hosting requires ahead planning
  • Need to clarify what resources are available / can be obtained

2. Location

  • Co-locating with other events expands possibilities for more affiliate attendance
  • Location should rotate
  • Decentralise the affiliate gatherings

3. Organisers

  • Identifying the host country is challenging.
  • Which affiliates are eligible? What criteria?
  • Next edition’s host should “shadow” current edition’s host
  • Committee needs to work closer together

4. Clear division of duties

  • Multiple affiliates from the same region should come together to organise
  • Hosting is very demanding; requires professional capacity, not (just) volunteers
  • No affiliate alone can organise this event (money and time)

5. Knowledge Transfer / Capacity Building

  • Sharing knowledge and experience between affiliates
  • Sharing knowledge between past/present/future organisers
  • Prepare young communities to organise this kind of event
  • New summit team does not need to start anew - there is lots of experience
  • Consider establish a “Summit Committee”
  • How to share “hosting skills”?

6. Purpose & Programme

  • Primary purpose should be clearly defined
  • Relationship with other Wikimedia gatherings: make sure it’s different from others, but also, it could be combined with others (e.g. Wikimania)
  • Place the Summit out of Wikimedia movement, closer to local realities
  • Talk about the whole knowledge ecosystem, not only Wikimedia
  • Share failures

7. Inclusion & Representation

  • Consider the ease of Visa application and the capacity of host to support visa application process
  • Involve previous event organisers
  • Include non-affiliates and future volunteers
  • Regional rotation (for representation)
  • Ensure diversity in participant selection
  • Chose LGBT+ friendly destinations
  • Well established hybrid conferences

Work Session 5: Integrating Feedback to improve the Outputs (15:45-16:45 CEST)

Participant presenting recommendations in Topic Group

Below are the improved outputs from each topic group, which are the result of integrating and refining all the proposals from the smaller working groups. These were meant to be shared in the next Gallery Walk for feedback from the plenary. Click on each thumbnail to access the photo in Wikimedia Commons. You can also see them here in a PDF bundle.

Affiliate Gatherings 2: Vision & Key Features (14:00-15:15 CEST)


Envisioning the future of affiliate gatherings. What could they look like?



Envisioning is often the result of a deep connection to something: a community, Nature, values. The way through which we will get to a vision, is through connection with ourselves.

Lucas guided participants through a visualisation process that started with a couple of deep breaths, and tuning into the senses. Listening. Sensing. Embodying.

From that place of connection: What do you see when you think about a future gathering? Who is there? What are they talking about? Are they serious? Are they laughing? What does the building look like? Is it inside? Outside? What are we having for lunch? What does the party look like? Is there one? After the envisioning exercise, participants took some individual notes on what they saw in their imagination using the prompt: “At the next affiliate gathering I see/feel/hear…” They then gathered in small groups to consolidate their ideas, to then share them with the whole group.

Key Features

Participants of the future of affiliate gatherings session

Lucas introduced the “Tennis Court exercise” in which arguments are first given only in support for one proposal, then given only for opposing proposals. This dynamic mimics a tennis game in which balls move in one direction of the court, and then in the opposite direction.

After sharing opposing arguments, the group voted on their preference using a Slido survey (30 respondents). Below are the arguments and survey results on location, frequency, and hybridity.

1. Location


Same location

  • Accumulate experience
  • Easier to plan and budget (expect)
  • Easier to rotate affiliate representatives, edition to edition
  • Can be one location for several consecutive years before rotating again
  • Facilitates visa process
  • Reduces planning time (no choice of next location)
  • Optimising and standardising processes
  • More time invested in programme, less time invested in logistics
  • Does not have to be the same organisation hosting in same location

Rotating location

  • Attendants might have preference for different places; greater accessibility
  • Opportunity to learn about the hosting context
  • Avoids burnout from repeated hosting responsibility
  • Harnesses more collaboration and mutual support
  • Gives different affiliates an opportunity showcase and be proud of what they do in the reason
  • More affiliates grow their skill in hosting such kind of gatherings; and prove their capable
  • Variable travel times and ease to reach destinations
  • Allows affiliates to give their “personal touch” and enrich the event

⇨ Slido survey results: Same location: 5 / Rotating location: 24 / 1 non-response

2. Frequency


Every year

  • Since Wikimania takes place every year, we could have fixed seats for connected
  • Opportunity to build capacity year to year
  • Keeps the movement alive
  • Co-locate with Global Council’s annual assembly that could have many thematic crossovers with affiliate gatherings - cross-pollinate; separate tracks
  • Important for the professional development of Executive Directors (newcomers don’t have to wait 2 years for the next international event)
  • Motivate national affiliates to send their report in time
  • Allows alignment with contemporary issues for the movement.

Every 2, 3 years or more

  • Two years is an adequate amount of time for preparation of such a demanding event.
  • Two years allow better budgeting and optimisation of costs of a very expensive event.
  • There’s power in the combined energy of a group of people that comes together. This energy takes time and process - event could be coordinated with Wikimania and other events.
  • Less pressure on the system. Allows more resilience and prevents depletion of resources.
  • We will have more affiliate meetings in the future (GLAM, Global Council, ED, etc.). First we need to figure out what we want from the conference before deciding when.
  • People outside will think “they do a lot of meetings, and spend a lot of money”

⇨ Slido survey results: Every year: 19 / Every 2 years: 10 / Every 3 years: 1

3. Hybridity


Fully hybrid — all activities are onsite and online

  • Give opportunities to those that cannot travel; need to evaluate the amount of resources this requires and/or saves.
  • A chance for those who do not the mobility to attend (accessibility)
  • Possibility to use digital/AI assisted language support; specially if fully online.

Only onsite — no online participation

  • It’s impossible to do an event that works equally well for online and onsite participants. Hybrid introduces “second class participants”, so better to keep it just in-person.
  • Online components always bring technical difficulties; in spite of facilitators engagement there are always obstacles.
  • Need to research/evaluate added value of hybrid events before making this decision.
  • Online participants are in a passive mode. There is no way to support interaction in a functional way.
  • Online participants are in different time zones, and have to make an effort to attend.

⇨ Slido survey results: Hybrid: 5 / With livestream: 15 / No hybrid, only onsite: 10

Participants giving feedback during the third and last Gallery Walk

Last Gallery Walk, giving feedback to the improved outputs produced by the topic groups.

Below are PDF bundles of the feedback given by the Summit attendants to the initial outputs coming out from the topic groups.

Feedback from the onsite participants
Feedback from the online participants