Grants talk:PEG/Transit Mode

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Comments MADeEdit

Wow, seems an interesting project. I have some questions. Who are you? Previous projects? Link with the Foundation or WM Sweden? Can you provide a more explicit budget and more clear view on the impact for Wikimedia. How will you promote / manage 70 events with on average 15 people?

In my opinion, you'll need to expand the proposal, it's a $50k grant request! MADe (talk) 18:02, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Yes it is very interesting! We'd like to know more, is there a program plan? 10,000 people is surely promising.-- Roel (talk) 11:07, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Comments NLIGuyEdit

Agree with MADe, it seems an interesting idea but it's a lot of money. Could you elaborate a little more? Is there a project plan? Do you have an example of either guides or some initial content? Holding a workshop is fairly easy, developing 70 guides is very hard, especially if you want to create a community of 1,000 people.

Why not start with, say, 5 guides and test your ideas as a pilot?

Please don't be discouraged, this seems highly interesting. Looking forward to corresponding with you! NLIGuy (talk) 14:34, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Comments ZeaForUsEdit

Agree with both GAC-colleagues. An inexpensive pilot in your own country or eventually include Finland and/or Norway (I understood many of them speak Swedish so no need for translation) is necessary. If success there then come back to us.  Klaas|Z4␟V:  20:50, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

Initial thoughtsEdit

This is a lot of money without a lot of obvious direct benefit for the Wikimedia movement. It seems like a cool idea, but for better or for worse, we're not a general funder of cool ideas. Money spent through the Wikimedia Grants program is intended to be spent on projects that directly benefit the Wikimedia movement, and I'm doubtful that the RoI on this project is here for us. That's not to say that it's a bad project, just that we probably are not the best funding source for it. Without more details about what exactly youth action guides are, I would also worry that this would have the potential to cross the line in to political advocacy, something that the Wikimedia Foundation's 501(c)3 status places some additional limitations on. Also, for a grant of this size, I would really hope to see a more detailed plan laid out. Kevin (talk) 22:21, 5 October 2013 (UTC)

+1 Exactly... Maybe if the guides had been developed on relevant Wikibooks projects, instead of establishing many new MediWiki sites, the project would have more sense from Wikimedia POV... Polimerek (talk) 11:57, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

The focus/general aimsEdit

For me it is not obvious what are the general aims for the Tranist Mode project [1]. I mean - OK, you want to teach young people how to make changes - but what kind of changes? Judging from the blog [2] - this is quite political idea. Polimerek (talk) 12:07, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

- What they want to use the guide for are up to them, we want to support active citizenship in general but at all the workshops and lecture we do the focus are on initiatives with "positive impact" on the community. To keep it open and not judge the actual ideas will be essential to empower more people and provide tools for change. Joneyeriksson


Alright then, to sum it up: you are basically requesting money for a general, world-wide(?) action aiming to increase a general non-governmental, civic activity of 13-25 yo people. Your method is a tour of meetings, during which local participants are to write "a guide" on establishing a movement (who is who, funding issues etc.).

Whereas I believe in the civic movement, open collaboration and wikis in general / Wikipedia in specific as the great school of citizenship and co-operation, I have a number of concerns, just to mention:

  • Very broad scope of the campaign, which brings to my mind a huge programme, a big NGO and an adequate budget. Personally I would be more specific.
    • Moreover, there are many institutions addressing this issue already (think of all the European Union / governmental programmes and NGOs working on this problem)
    • Distant and a non-core part of WMF's activity, non-Wikimedia specific, hardly visible in WMF's Mission. You cannot see this goal in WMF's Vision and it is a long shot among other, often more specific Values. While my perspective of Wikimedia movement revolves strongly around civic activism, other people put more stress on the free (as in speech) licenses, accessible content etc.
    • Project description does not explain why Wikimedia Foundation and how it would support our goals.
    • From the WMF's perspective, 13-25 yo target is a disputable idea, as we tend to believe in perpetual education and this cohorts are already well (over)represented in our movement.
  • Lack of specifics: no budget, no assigned participants, no plan of the tour (places, time frame), no metrics for assignment as the tangible goals (guides?) are missing details.
  • Lack of co-operating organizations (local workshops would require a lot of preparations and the knowledge to share on the site).
  • Lack of history of the co-operation with us (except a mentioned membership in WMSE, at least as far as I am aware) and lack of the pilot project. Trials in the local, easiest for you environment and evaluated by e.g. Wikimedia Sverige would be a must.

These are my initial doubts. Certainly I would love to learn more of the project, especially if I were to support a 50k USD request. Moreover, maybe a different form of co-operation could be found, like asking local Chapters.

Kind Regards, aegis maelstrom δ 13:44, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Comments from Transit ModeEdit


Thank you for the support for the idea. You can access the wiki at

I think it's a great idea to do a shorter pilot tour, with about five cities in two weeks, maybe in various sizes to show how it will work on a larger scale. After that we can have a conversation about funding more workshops. It could be a good way to go forward.

My background I'm 31 years old and have been working with NGOs since 2001, often as a project manager or as a part of a team hosting events. During the last four years I've been more and more interested to help young people to go from idea to action and realize their projects that could have a positive effect in their community. I've been mentoring a network of young people in leadership and project development, I've been attending conferences live the World Youth Congress and started to work as the coordinator for the collaboration with solidarity organizations for Peace&Love, the biggest music festival in Sweden ( After that, in June this year, I decided to begin working with Transit Mode, a wiki guide for active citizenship.

You can find my website at It's in Swedish but with a translation tool you will get an idea of who I am.

Marketing I've been traveling to many of the cities planned for the tour before and have local contacts that will be able to help find community groups and NGOs to contact. We have also started to reach out to universities as we see that to be an important channel to find what we call Correspondents, people who will be the Transit Mode contact in their area and help us reach out. We will use posters at the universities and reach out to student radio to invite people to the workshops. We will create a Facebook event for each workshop and make sure our local contacts share it with their network.

General plan for the workshop The workshop will begin with a presentation of Transit Mode and what will happen during the day. After that we begin working to find information and write the pages needed to a local guide. We have developed a template for what headlines should be in a local guide, for example funding, local media and organizations to know about. They will use the template and will be free to add pages they think will be of value for a young active citizen in their community. At the end of the day we launch the local guide by sharing it with our network in the city and talk to the local media.

Political advocacy I will not push any political agenda with Transit Mode, but I'm sure that the toolbox will be used by political campaigns and advocacy groups. That would be the same for other wikis, that are used for advocacy groups to access information.

Evaluation by the GACEdit

GAC Members who read the grant request without commentsEdit

GAC Members who approve this grant requestEdit

GAC Members who oppose this grant requestEdit

  1. The current proposal is much too general and vague. I don't see the direct or indirect link with the projects of the WMF. Evasive answers on our questions. I would propose you to start with a local iniative, and work on this together with the local Sverige chapter. They have local staff who will be happy to help MADe (talk) 18:47, 7 October 2013 (UTC) - Thanks for the advise, I'm a member of the Swedish chapter and they've helped me some before the launch and I'm sure we will collaborate more in the near future. Jonas
  2. This !vote shouldn't be taken as condemning the project idea, but the proposal is nowhere near fleshed out enough currently, and I find it very unlikely that even with a more detailed proposal this grant would represent a worthwhile return on investment for the Wikimedia movement to direct donor funds towards. Kevin (talk) 18:53, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
  3. Not in this shape: lack of details, non-WMF specific, seems to be distant from the core WMF values. aegis maelstrom δ 13:50, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
  4. Out of scope of WMF mission. Polimerek (talk) 08:53, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

GAC Members who abstain from voting/commentEdit

WMF decisionEdit

I agree with Kevin and Polimerek above: this proposal falls outside our mission. Best of luck with the project, but the Wikimedia Foundation will not be funding it. Asaf Bartov (WMF Grants) talk 23:01, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

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