The Community Development team at the Wikimedia Foundation works to support resilient and growing communities by helping volunteers build the capacities and skills needed to grow their contributions and communities in the free knowledge movement.
The team builds capacities that help volunteers grow and evolve their contributions in the Wikimedia movement over a long period of time. We aspire to create and build resilience in the movement through accessible and inclusive skill-building programs and resources to grow volunteers' contributions and prepare them for leadership positions in their local communities and the wider movement.
Our team is a part of Community Growth (CG), a division within the Advancement department. The formation of Community Growth took place during the fiscal year 22-23, with the purpose of encompassing all teams focused on community growth: Community Development, Community Programs, Community Resources, and Partnerships.The central objective of the Community Growth team is to establish a direct avenue of assistance for individual volunteers, groups, internal entities, and external organizations. This is achieved by enhancing and establishing pathways for learning, facilitating entry and progression within the movement, offering guidance to emerging communities as they integrate into the broader Wikimedia movement, conducting training to enhance skills and knowledge sharing, and furnishing grants to individuals, groups, and organizations. Community Growth assumes the responsibility of supporting both teams and individuals in their pursuit of the Wikimedia mission to serve as the online encyclopedia for the accumulation of free and global knowledge. This support is extended through the direct implementation of programs and appropriate backing of the initiatives carried out by other departments within the Wikimedia Foundation.
Q: What types of capacities can your team help volunteers build?
A: Our team focuses on building non-technical capacities that will help volunteers/communities grow and thrive in the free knowledge movement. Our past programming has focused the following capacities: program design, training and facilitation, volunteer retention, building partnerships and understanding and addressing harassment.
Our team recently completed the Leadership Development Working Group program which will propel volunteers who are interested in growing capacities that will support impactful leadership in the free knowledge movement.
Q: How do you decide what your team priorities for the year?
A: Our work is directly informed by the 2030 Movement Strategy recommendations. The Community Development team recognizes the importance of “investing in skill and leadership development” as a critical need to ensure that the Wikimedia movement will become the "essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge". Within the large field of skill and leadership development, we try to respond to expressed needs by different communities.
Q: Will the Community Development team provide grants for capacity building projects?
A: At this time, our team does not provide grants for capacity building projects. We encourage you to visit the Community Resources page to learn more about the granting opportunities provided by the Wikimedia Foundation.
Q: How do I get involved in one of the programs you’re creating?
A: We announce all program launches on a variety of community mailing lists including Wikimedia-l and our meta page. If you would like to recommend a mailing list/social media to us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How can our Affiliate/User group work with the Community Development team?
A: We are always happy to connect with groups in the Wikimedia movement. If your group would like to discuss a project your team is working on, please reach out to email@example.com. Please note, we may only be able to provide advisory support/recommendations at this time.
Q: How do you support events like Wikimania or regional events?
A: We support events in a variety of ways. Traditionally, our team has led the Learning Days program at Wikimania and other regional events. During Wikimania 2021, our team developed the Speaker Training Series prior to the event and developed the Wikimania 2021 Speaker Guidebook.
Q: Do you have online programming?
A: Developing online programming is a core priority for our team. In early 2021, our team launched the WikiLearn Pilot, a 8-week pilot project that delivered two courses focused on partnership building and addressing harassment in the movement. The goal of the project was to understand how to design and deliver online programming permanently.
We are happy to announce that our team is currently working on an online learning platform that will support year round learning to the movement. We will be announcing the launch of the platform and courses in the near future. Please continue to check our meta page for updates.
Q: I would like to set up a meeting with the team to discuss a project in my community, how can I do that?
A: We are always happy to connect with volunteers in the movement, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. to set up a time to connect. While we strive to respond to emails as soon as possible, there may be a short delay in receiving a response. If you do not receive an email response in 72 hours, please contact Cassie Casares at email@example.com.
Who's on the team?
|Simona Ramkisson (Talk) - Senior Manager of Community Development
|Simona leads the Foundation's Community Development team. Her main priorities focus on team management and ensuring the team has the resources and capacities to help volunteers grow critical skills across the movement.
|Asaf Bartov (Talk) - Lead Program Officer, Emerging Wikimedia Communities
|Asaf leads the building of Wikimedia online learning tools for Community Development, develops curricula and leads Learning Day trainings at the Foundation. His longstanding work as a movement volunteer first and then a staff member has impacted the work of movement volunteers for more than 12 years.
|Beverly Jiang (Talk) - Learning & Development Strategist
|Beverly leads the team’s learning and leadership project portfolios. She partners with movement groups to understand, co-create, and support their learning needs and her work often involves research, learning design and facilitation.
|Jessica Stephenson (Talk) -Lead Learning and Evaluation Officer, Let's Connect
|Jessica's supports peer learning in the Movement through Let's Connect a joint community-Wikimedia Foundation led program, as well as other forms of knowledge sharing and skills building within the Movement.
|Melissa supports the implementation of a strategic vision for learning and capacity building within the Wikimedia movement to grow users and content contributors around the world.
|Cassie Casares (Talk) - Program Support Associate
|Cassie ensures the team is organized and supports administrative work in all parts of project processes and programs. She also leads outreach and prepares communications on Diff, Meta, wiki spaces etc, with project lead oversight.