Movement Strategy/Events/Documentation/12-13 June

On 12 and 13 June, 2021 about seventy Wikimedians convened to discuss the next steps for launching the process of the Movement Charter. Throughout two 4-hour conversations, participants discussed, filled a survey and created an outline of the future Charter. The discussion tackled how the Charter’s Drafting Committee will be set up, including the composition of the committee, the method of selection for members and means to ensure transparency and legitimacy. This page contains a summary of the verbal discussion, along with about 30,000 words of working documents, meeting minutes and chat logs.

Online group from the Global Conversations on 13 June.
Online group from the Global Conversations on 12 June.

SummaryEdit

The meeting was divided into two main parts, each focusing on a separate topic:

  1. Scale of the Charter: In the first part of the meeting, participants were asked to imagine how the Movement Charter would look like in practice. The participants split into three groups, discussing three different sections of the Charter on a scale: ranging from the “compass” (direction) to “map” (details), or something in the middle. After the exercise, the participants were able to fill-in a survey to suggest the best level of detail for each section in the Charter. The results showed a tendency towards the “compass/map” (middle option) in most sections.
  2. Drafting Committee of the Charter: In the second part, the Wikimedia Foundation presented a proposal regarding how to move forward with creating the Movement Charter’s Drafting Committee. The presentation was followed by a lengthy group discussion, which included mixed responses to the proposal and, consequently, several alternative proposals. Some of the ideas tackled how to form a representative committee: for example, by including a specific number of members from communities, affiliates and the Foundation (the 7/7/7 model and similar ones). Other ideas tackled how those members can be selected in different combinations of local elections and appointment, in order to ensure diversity, expertise and legitimacy in the group.

The discussion was not wrapped up with a definite conclusion on either topic. The discussion of the Drafting Committee’s composition and selection will be revisited on 26 and 27 June Global Conversations. Meanwhile, feel free to provide your feedback and input on Meta or the relevant discussion space of Movement Strategy in your wiki.

The Scale of the Movement CharterEdit

Video summary of the Charter's scale discussions
12 June Movement Charter scale: Values & principles
12 June Movement Charter scale: Roles & responsibilities
12 June Movement Charter scale: Topical areas
13 June Movement Charter scale: Values & principles
13 June Movement Charter scale: Roles & responsibilities
13 June Movement Charter scale: Topical areas

In the first half of the meeting, participants looked at the topics that the Movement Charter will probably cover, and they discussed  how much detail should be included in each of those topics. For purposes of discussion, the content of the Charter was broadly divided into three sections:#Values and principles

  1. Roles and responsibilities
  2. Topical areas

For each section, the participants created a proposal for how that section may look on three levels of detail: ranging from “compass” (least detailed) to “map” (most detailed), with a middle option in between. Based on these discussions, the following table was created:[1]

Sections of the recommendation Detail Level
1. Compass

High-level direction

2. Compass/Map

Somewhere in between

3. Map

Detailed actions

1. Values and principles

Lay the values, principles and policy basis

* The values belong to the directional compass side - they cannot be too descriptive.
  • The principles should be used as a basis for other areas in the Charter, such as funding, governance, representation, etc.
  • Outline principles, values and ethos to be upheld by all regulatory bodies
  • Includes strong statements from the Strategic Direction.
  • The Charter will include provisions for future amendments and ratification processes for amendments.
  • Reflect clear and actionable mandates as to the respect for individual and collective rights (UNGPs can prove a great reference point)
  • Codify the relationship between movement entities.
  • Free culture principles: Outline general ideals of relevant freedoms
  • Wiki Principles: What is a wiki supposed to be?
* An outline with definitions for values and principles.
  • State the non-negotiable process for changing the Movement Charter
  • Suggestions for processes based on said values and principles.
  • Lay out the different types of entities with an allusion to common values and perhaps some differentiation
  • Set “unbreakable” core rules applying to all organizations and projects
  • Non-negotiable requirements for transparency and inclusiveness in structures
  • Limits on the number of simultaneous consultations with the volunteer community.
  • Factor-in an uncertain future: changes in technology, political, geographic landscape require a flexible Charter.
* An outline with definitions for values and principles.
  • State non-negotiable processes based on said values and principles.
  • Policies that practically support values and principles in an actual context
  • Different sections laying out values as they apply to different movement entities from individuals to organizations
  • Free culture principles: Clearly define the boundaries of requirements regarding use of free licenses, open content, and open source
  • Wiki Principles: What are a project’s rights, that orgs may not interfere with?non-negotiable process for changing the Movement Charter.
  • Clearer definition of transparency with guidelines for reaching that transparency: for example, how movement bodies report back to the community.
2. Roles and responsibilities

Lay the roles and responsibilities of entities…

  • Global Council
  • Regional and Thematic Hubs
  • Existing entities and decision-making bodies
  • Role of staff
Governance structure, relationships and decision-making * Structure & Scope of movement.
  • Definition of each major functional group/actor in the movement
  • Governance Model: High-level overview of each entity’s general responsibilities.
  • Define the process of termination of any entity which might not follow movement charter.
  • Good and regular coordination between all the stakeholders
  • Future amendments: Outline governance roles and structure for amendments
  • Define legal constraints of existing decision making bodies and how that might affect the future responsibilities.
  • Define the grievance redressal system and conflict resolution system hierarchy among these entities in future
* Core details on the movement structures responsibilities.
  • Regular coordination between all the stakeholders
  • Definition of accountability for each movement structure or entity.
  • Clearly establish the relationships between the movement entities and how they interact.
  • Define dispute resolution practices.
* There might be legal challenges that make it difficult to implement the “map” model.
  • Governance playbook that outlines the purpose, role and responsibilities, accountability, size, method of representation and selection, for every entity.
  • Detailed descriptions of governance roles of and power relations between different entities.
  • Recognition and derecognition: How a new entity can become a movement entity, or cease to be.
  • Explain how support will be given for underrepresented communities to participate in decision-making.
Global Council * Structure & Scope of Global Council
  • Ensure extreme transparency and accountability related to power, money etc.
* Definition of the Global Council’s decision-making power on behalf of the movement.
  • Size and composition of the Global Council, including the method of members selection.
  • Support structures and for the Global Council: such as staff, board, etc.
* Clear definition of difference in responsibilities between Wikimedia Board and Global Council.
  • Membership of the Global Council, including: membership types criteria, duties, rights and selection/removal basis of members
Hubs * Define financial relationship between hubs and existing affiliates
  • Define how to sustain the existing affiliates in terms of staff support, office and finance.
  • Empower minority affiliates within the Charter
* Outline the framework of operation for Regional Hubs * Two different (quantitative and qualitative) approaches to recognising and supporting new leadership.
Policies and procedures and other topics * Ensure the autonomy and independence of online project communities
  • Core details on (s)election & structure for new bodies
* Selection processes guidelines : Not necessarily the same for every region or entity.
  • References to policies that further regulate areas not regulated in the Charter
* Implementing Rules & Regulations, including the regulation documents to be created by policy-making bodies.
3. Topical areas

Set requirements and criteria for decisions and processes for...

Justification for each option Collaboration and revenue criterias must be under a compass because of the diverse contexts they apply to across the movement. It is not practical to have a very detailed list or procedures under which collaboration must be done. It can vary a lot by context. The Universal Code of Conduct as of now is a very detailed and separate document. Detailed is good when it comes to Community Health-related issues.
Ensuring safety in collaboration situations and their environments * Reference to the Universal Code of Conduct - without including direct text from the UCOC.
  • Commitment of the movement to maintain safe and collaborative environments.
* Commitment of the movement to maintain safe and collaborative environments with general guidelines * Detailed list of unacceptable behaviour on the movement and a detailed set of procedures to prevent it.
Defining how communities

work together and are accountable to each other

* Definition of collaboration principles * Outline of the expectations for participation and the rights of participants
  • Reduce the barrier of language, increase the willingness to take part in the movement for under-representative language speakers
* Detailed description of the expectations for participation and the rights of participants
Setting expectations for

participation and the rights

of participants

* High level outline of the expectations for participation and the rights of participants. * Definition of collaboration principles and suggestions for procedures. * Definition of collaboration principles and detailed procedures.
Ensuring revenue generation and distribution with appropriate accountability mechanisms * An outline of responsibilities for revenue generation and resource allocation in the movement.
  • General principles for eligibility for using and receiving movement funds
  • Reasoning of why we generate funds
  • All entities in the movement are allowed to raise funds.
  • Creating a Funds Dissemination Committee of the Global Council to allocate resources, possibly with regional committees.
* An outline of the responsibilities and general guidance for revenue generation and resource allocation in the movement
  • General principles and guidance for eligibility for using and receiving movement funds, ensuring equal access from everyone.
  • Collaboration and revenue must be linked. The strong partners and organizations must take responsibility for the smaller ones.
* An outline of the responsibilities and detailed procedures for revenue generation and resource allocation in the movement
  • General principles and detailed criteria for eligibility for using and receiving movement funds
  • Detailed red lines regarding revenue generation and distribution.

Preferences polling and discussionEdit

After completing the table shown above, participants had the chance to express their preference for the level of detail in the Movement Charter for each of the sections above. The results of the polling were the following (the table shows the results of the polling on June 12th and 13th, consecutively):

Movement Charter’s section Subsection Compass Compass/Map Map
Values & principles 13+19 5+14 1+5
Roles and responsibilities of entities... Global Council 2+8 11+16 6+14
Hubs roles 2+7 12+16 4+13
Existing entities 2+10 13+20 3+6
Topical areas Safe collaborative environments 5+18 9+14 5+6
How communities work together
Expectations & rights of participants
Revenue generation and distribution 2+11 13+17 4+11
Resource allocation

The reactions towards the polling results focused on the strong inclination of respondents to choose the “middle option” as a safer or more balanced alternative. Several people suggested using a scale with four options from “strong compass” to “strong map”, thus excluding the neutral or hybrid choice. “If there are consequences [to polling opinions]”, someone said, “you need to take out the middle option”.[2]

Roles and responsibilities was a particular area of interest, for its tendency towards the “map” and “compass/map” options. It was mentioned that it is exceptionally important to describe the details of this area, which may otherwise create conflict or encourage power to be kept “towards the power group”.[2]

The Drafting CommitteeEdit

CompositionEdit

 
Slides presented during the events, including the Wikimedia Foundation's proposal for setting up a Drafting Committee.

The diversity and expertise of the Drafting Committee were major topics for discussion. The Wikimedia Foundation presented a proposal for a diversity and expertise matrix, where the matrix would be used to select the Committee’s members.

While the reactions towards the two matrices were mostly positive, there were also several gaps, additions and comments. One potential gap in diversity is people with disabilities.[3] Language is also a key aspect of diversity: the majority of the community are not fluent English speakers, and many feel like outsiders when trying to join complicated conversations in the English language[3][2] (for instance, this discussion). This could be mitigated by more language support, or by decentralizing the conversation across regions, although that will prevent sharing ideas across different communities.[3][4]

Expertise is also critical for the success of the Drafting Committee. The definition of expertise, however, was not distinctly clear. For example, how can a certain expertise be objectively assessed or demonstrated? Some specific aspects of expertise that were stressed are in the financial and legal fields.[3]

There was less alignment on the exact composition of the Drafting Committee. Since the suggested number of members ranged from 10 to 20 people,[3] it would be impossible to reflect the enormous diversity of the movement in such a small group. Proposals for the composition of the group included the Following:

  • Geographical basis: For example, by selecting two people from each of the “grant committees' regions”,[2] two people from each continent[3] or from each hub.[2] It would be hard to use any more detailed criteria than continents or broad regions.[3]
  • Affiliation basis: Including the 7/7/7 proposal, featuring an equal number of members from online communities, affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation. Alternatively, an adjustment to a 9/3/3 representation, of the same groups in the same order, was suggested.[2]
  • Filling expertise gaps: In either case of the above, gaps in expertise can be filled by recruiting short-term members,[3] or by appointing additional members later.[2]
  • Two groups: Instead of limiting expertise and diversity to a single group, it was also suggested to create two consecutive drafting committees.[3][2] This will reduce concerns about the particular composition of each group, while also giving more people the chance to participate in the process.[2] As a downside, the transition between the first and second committees will lengthen the process.

SelectionEdit

Although the goals for diversity and expertise were, overall, points of agreement, the means to reach them seem to be less so. Even if the criteria are clear, the method of selecting members of the Drafting Committee still matters, with various proposals showing up throughout the event.

Appointment

The Wikimedia Foundation presented a proposal with an expertise focus. In the proposal, interested candidates would self-nominate themselves to join the committee, and will then be appointed in reference to the matrices of diversity and expertise.

The reactions were mixed. Many were concerned about who will be appointing the committee’s members, remarking that no single body or entity should “own the process”, including that of selecting the committee. There were also various concerns about the “legitimacy” of this method. Arguments in favour mentioned that, if the process is well-designed to integrate feedback, it would not be so important “who are the drafters”.[2]

Elections

Open elections were proposed as a selection method that is “in the spirit of the movement”. Many referred to the similar discussion that took place during the January Global Conversations, where there had been a broad support for “supermajority of elected seats” on the Interim Global Council. While there was some support for the proposal, it was pointed out that “Relying only on elections” can ensure neither diversity nor expertise.[2]

The elections do not have to be global: they can take place locally or regionally, with each region electing its own representative (for example: Asian communities electing two representatives on their behalf). A response from that Foundation was that members of the Drafting Committee should be “representing the movement” with everyone in it, rather than individual communities or regions.[2]

Hybrid model

To balance out the need for diversity/expertise with an election process, a hybrid model was suggested. The model includes local on-wiki elections to choose geographically-distributed representatives of the community. Then, the remaining gaps in expertise or diversity can be filled with further appointments.[2]

Other ideas

Other ideas for the selection process:

  • Two-step process: 1. Self-nomination and selection, then 2. Filling-in gaps through outreach or appointments.[3]
  • Self-nomination: While it can apply to all of the selection methods above, self-nomination was broadly supported as a part of the process.[3] Some downsides, however, are that many underrepresented groups may be reluctant to nominate themselves, which means that proactive outreach and support for them to participate.[3][2]
  • Peer-nomination: People can nominate others with the consent of those nominated.[3]
  • Elections from a shortlist: Candidates can nominate themselves, a selection group shortlists the names that have then to pass through a community’s lightweight voting process.[2]
  • Core appointment with elections: A core group is appointed who, independently, proceed to fill-in the gaps of expertise and diversity through both further appointments and organizing local elections.[2]

Decision-makingEdit

“Trust” was a recurring theme in the discussion, often seen as a prerequisite for the entire process which, by itself, requires a “transparent” way to make decisions.[2] “Transparency is not about communicating decisions transparently”, a participant mentioned, “but about a transparent decision-making process”.[3]

Part of this process would be in holding “multiple BROAD feedback rounds” for the Movement Charter, which should include underrepresented communities (even if they have “representatives” on the Drafting Committee). But even if there is extensive feedback, there should still be an overall ratification process which, for some, should be through “Meta-wiki sign-off”, or by having “3 proposals written up” for the community to decide from.[2]

Next stepsEdit

Some proposed next steps were, generally, to come up with a “clear road map” and a “point of action”, possibly by focusing on moving forward with points of agreement. It was mentioned that the proposals should be written up and shared with the wider community, rather than the relatively small group that was present during the discussion.[2]

FeedbackEdit

 
Slides containing a summary of the feedback evaluation from the Global Conversations.

Preparation and presentation documentsEdit

footnotesEdit

  1. Note: The table is a combined version of two different tables created on Saturday (12 June) and Sunday (13 June).
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s 13 June: General notes.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n 12 June: General notes.
  4. A participant shared more thoughts on the issue at: User:Ellif/S2030.

SourcesEdit

Saturday 12 June

Sunday 13 June