Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Wikimania Movement Strategy Space report/Day 4

of the Movement Strategy track
Day 1
» Strategic Direction Feedback Session 1,
» Strategic Direction Feedback Session 2
Day 2
» Strategic Direction Feedback Session 3,
 » Affiliates - Perspectives. Endorsement.,
 » Track D “Bringing all the Voices”
Day 3
» New Voices,
 » The Big Open,
 » Track C - What should we know for the future?
Day 4
» Strategy Direction Feedback Session 4,
 » Movement Strategy Q & A,
 » Considerations for Phase 2

Strategy Direction Feedback Session 4Edit


This session was targeted (though not limited) towards Affiliates & Individual Contributors (Track A & Track B)

01 | How did we get here? Insights from Track A & BEdit

The session began with a summary of Track A and B findings:

Nicole Ebber (Track A / Wikimedia Deutschland)

Jaime Anstee (Track B / The Wikimedia Foundation)

Link to presentation

Initial questions / First reactions to the insights summary?

  • Q: How did you weigh the inputs of different types of contributors when there are different types?
    • A: We had discussion coordinators in all of the different languages. They would follow the discussion online or in person and then would summarize the statements and key points. The goal was to collect as much input and then spread it across the team. If you look at the graph of the input (slide 9), the WMF was left off of this graph because they met 5 times for 2 hours each so it was a lot of data. So all of the graph is actual input.
  • Q: You said we should not invent new technologies and that’s also in the Strategic Direction. But also many people have suggested that we shouldn’t just follow trends, but also should be ahead of the game. Plus in Germany when we started WikiData… is this just a different definition of what “technology” means? Otherwise, I think there should be more focus that we should innovate at time.
    • A: these are the findings of the individuals and the groups that were involved. For technology, there was an understanding that AI and some of the other more pressing new tools, but the needs were more around improving what we’re already doing so we can get to the point where we can seamlessly connect our languages and projects that can work. So the focus is on doing that rather than jumping into anything that’s newer. There was also the feedback that we shouldn’t go so far with AI that a volunteer isn’t needed. The technology use should be within the lens of supporting the efforts rather than replacing. More focus on making things easier and removing barriers.
    • CTO of WMF: I have an opinion on this - my understanding is that we shouldn’t innovate for the sake of innovating. Innovate for the sake of the mission. If putting together a semantic content database is consistent in knowledge for everyone, then let’s do it. But if it’s general innovation for the sake of technology, then don’t do it.
    • Comment: One of our goals was technology, but we weren’t really doing it well. We were just innovating for innovating sake and now it’s not there anymore.
  • Q: What are the big differences between Track A/B versus New Voices?
    • A: I went through the 2700 responses in detail. The big thing between tracks: Individual contributors lens is ‘I’m an editor contributor’, whereas organised groups approached things more systematically. The detailed report will have more subtle distinctions. Between New Voices and this group, probably the biggest ones relate to challenges in cycle 3 - eg How do we have accuracy? how do we integrate oral history? How does that work, how do you maintain quality and align with commitment to verification etc?
    • A: How much investment is there in a global change - we know we need it, but how much investment is the right amount?
    • A/B didn’t really deal with ‘access’ question as much. A/B said we need new formats etc, but New Voices have said we need a lot of different formats because they are not the same sort of consumer that we have now.
  • Comment: We want to have a broader conceptual  discussion around whether the implications part of the document is finding the right approach.

02| Discussion in small groupsEdit

  • Strong community focus
  • Open knowledge
  • Positive, good will, inspiring
  • Diversity is included
  • Local communities stressed well
  • Not ambitious enough vs. right level since we aren’t doing this well yet.
  • Too broad vs. Broad - fits everything.
  • Flowery Language / metaphors too vague
  • Accuracy vs. inclusivity
  • Need clearer language on New Voices & how we do this
  • Movement should be more active (leader, partnerships, social/political)

03 | Findings from the group - report backEdit

Groups shared their findings and gradually clustered the results, reflected below. As everyone left the room, they were asked to take ONE post-it and stick it on the suggestion that they felt was the most important to be implemented. Each 🔺 represents a post-it that was placed next to that cluster:

  • Technology - not just for the sake of it, but we do need to keep up to date with the other organizations.
  • Keep open knowledge at the service of the community; not just ephemeral but serving. Knowledge is a universal value but sometimes it can be used for some kind of scientific end; I referred to an organisation in US which works as if it’s a museum - we need to keep the human factor.
  • We had several concerns about “infrastructure for open” - it should contain the word ‘community’.
  • Everything’s just a little bit verbose: ‘brokering’ etc… just use ‘facilitating free knowledge’.
  • Related to considering translate - “strong and sustainable communities” - they mean different things in different groups. We also need to consider how people in other sectors or communities would perceive our language and mission.
  • Consider translation in other languages.
  • About the meaning and the language - exchanging across institutions etc; it’s not very clear what we mean by this. Maybe only using one word - eg sharing. IN Japanese the word brokerage is not very good, we should replace it with something else.
  • Augmented age theme - we have anxiety about living in an increasingly closed / monetary software world.
    • Re the discussion about how we’re meant to be using the technology, not creating it. YET a lot of the new technology like AI will be closed/cost money, so how will we use it? We’ll want to get to the phase where we want to use that technology, but it might be closed to us.
  • It’s all nice to pay lip service to “new voices”, but we need human facilitation in addition to technical support (to support new voices).
  • What’s our unique selling point; comes from this sense of ‘ok, we’re supporting, but what is our specialization?’ Provocative question: should we just be joining other parts of the open movement?
  • The infrastructure doesn’t mention the readers or any proactive activities, it’s should be more active and reach out.
  • Related to how we understand infrastructure; the political and legal aspects of infrastructure are not reflected in the current draft. There are important constraints and they should be reflected.
  • Important that the Infrastructure expands beyond Wikimedia - right now it sounds like WE are just the Infrastructure, even though we’re part of a bigger system.
  • How do we meet the needs of all readers / all level of ability and understanding?
  • I think the “Infrastructure for Open” page doesn’t coordinate well with the strategic direction.
  • We need more emphasis that any tech we create supports human content created - current content needs more emphasis. The role of human content curators as opposed to machine generator
  • Emphasize the partnerships. If we won’t be technological leaders, we’ll need our partners to compensate for this.

Movement Strategy Q & AEdit


This session was designed to bring all the track leads together to receive questions, concerns and ideas in an integrated way. After collecting questions, there was a 30 minute panel discussion before track leads hosted longer conversations in the corners of the room for the following 45 minutes.

Panelists sit at the front of the room facing the audience during the Movement Strategy Q&A session at Wikimania 2017

01 | Participant questionsEdit

Q. After the entire process and the last several day of discussions, what questions do you still have?Edit

  • How do we clarify the political dimension of our strategy?
  • What have we decided to give up or incorporate?
  • What is the understanding of human structures in the movement?
  • Who is the movement in 15 years?
  • Phase 2?
  • How can I help?
  • What if, 5 years from now, we realise we were wrong? Plan B?
  • What is the pathway into the movement for New Voices?
  • How does the direction help us define and understand ‘the movement’?
  • How do we balance the tension between values and neutrality?
  • How are we trying to land on the general-specific spectrum?

02 | Track Headlines in 2 minutesEdit

Track AEdit

  • Nicole - A healthy community is a priority. We want to be a trusted source with high value content - that’s what we bring to the world. The biggest opportunity for change is to be a truly global movement. How do we face these complexities ahead?
  • Israel - 3 meet-ups and 1 salon. Our partners felt part of the movement; we didn’t feel that before.

Track BEdit

  • Jamie - We had several contractors helping with this research. We found bringing our content to them in their own language helped expand our communities.
  • Satdeep - Strategy coordinator for Hindi, Tamil. For each community had to first look for best channel for comments.
  • Samuel - track lead in the French speaking community. Many times the community expressed some strong concerns. But they always managed to separate from their feelings to provide some constructive feedback.

Track C (higher awareness regions of “new voices”)Edit

  • Caitlin - number one takeaway high awareness regions was that people love us, and want us to do things. Some specific suggestions; everybody wants us to help them. We need to tell a better story, a huge brand - they know about us but not what we do. So many people were pleased we were doing this process and wish we had done it sooner.

Track D  (lower awareness regions of “new voices”)Edit

  • Adele - lead of track D new voices. “New voices” is to bring in the voices that aren’t in the movement yet. Partners, readers, users, editors. Lower awareness regions where people not aware of what Wikimedia/Wikipedia is. The big thing is that new voices are going to be part of this movement, but we also have to think of the kind of movement we want to be and how we can adapt to the needs of the new voices. Not just how we get them in, but how we get them to stay. The goal has to be clear for them to be here. And movements are built from a emotional level, so we have to look at that.
  • Wikimedia Chile. Met with experts in education, glam, public policy - important to know what people from this knowledge ecosystem think about our movement, if we want to work with them, for strategic direction and for our chapter.
  • Uzo - worked in Nigeria on what the communities are interested (and sub Saharan Africa). A lot of attention needs to be paid to explain what Wikimedia/Wikipedia are to these people. Then once they do understand what they are, then enthusiasm is profound. People want and understand the value and importance in it. People don’t always see content that is relevant to them - chicken/egg situation - there needs to be more content that’s relevant to them for them to be interested in using it, but they also need to be the people who are contributing this content. The way that people are accessing platforms is different in parts of the world - cost of data, etc - understand the way that people consume.

03 | DiscussionEdit

Q. Have we found this balance between the specific/general and what has been left out and why?Edit

  • What’s been left out so far are the tactics of the actual strategy. We did the process of clustering up the different suggestions into 5 major themes and then figuring out what’s important to be including. Who/what/where has been figured out and we’ve been talking to each other, but how do we now dig down and set the tactical course?
  • That is what Phase 02 is going to be, the Direction is the WHAT and Phase 02 is the HOW. See the feedback from the last 3 days to see if it is a good idea.
  • I think it’s a broad enough statement that you can find yourself within it. Step 2 will be how we can help people become part of the Wikimedia movement?
  • The expectation, who is the movement we want to be, can we connect to that at an emotional level to help us do things differently. Are you going home with more energy and passion to do things differently? Some will feel unhappy and leave, and for those who are staying, they will have the passion.

Q. TRACK C & D - are you seeing any specific pathways for New Voices to be part of this movement?Edit

  • We know how to interact with people in different languages in different places on different projects. We have interacted with these people and they’d like to be able to scale it, but we need to support that. But it’s not a final answer, there’s a lot more work to be and we need more pathways of just how to generally contribute.
  • We want the new voices to be here but we are in a resource constrained environment, so do we have the commitment and foundation?
  • To deepen that - what people see for access in certain environments is restricted, like the cost of data. We have people in US who have unconstrained time & money, but there are places where people do not have disposable time to volunteer. So we need to look at how we can aide people resource-wise so they can contribute to the knowledge base.

Q. Back to A & B, what is ‘movement’? And is ‘the movement’ ready for what C & D are saying?Edit

  • A lot of people feel represented, and others don’t, some say something is missing and affiliates don’t see themselves included because it says “communities”. Others don’t see individuals in there. What is the movement, how to make it inclusive for who is here, and who is not.
  • I would add that we don’t often hear the important part of keeping the human side in it. The AI should be supporting the human side of it, not doing it for them. The movement has a shared sense of people doing something together. Yes, we need technology for tools, but important to keep the human side of it since it’s what has made us who we are.

Q. So are we a political movement?Edit

  • We have done a lot. When we talk about a political agenda for this movement, we’re talking about a social change. Using knowledge - which is so powerful - for confronting the inequalities and power in our environments. This draft does include that, which is great. But what are we trying to achieve with these roads and bridges? What is the problem that we’re specifically trying to solve? That’s what will make this more powerful.
  • There has to be more than one answer and it will change from place to place, changes in resources and their distribution.
  • Some policy makers said that we are one of the most powerful open knowledge movements. So we have to take this strength and use it for the purpose of advocacy in different countries. We have the structure, power, global presence - so we have to use this to push for reforms and advances that aren’t just for us, but for the rest of the open knowledge system.
  • In India the government is pushing for Hindi as the main language, but the Tamil Wiki has the best quality.
  • When I first read the directions, I also wondered where the advocacy was. But the statement “We will be a leading advocate for…” I like the use of the word “a” instead of “the” because we are doing this in partnership. I see that this is represented in the draft but it’s almost like each of the sentences need citations with more information since it’s a lot to explain.
  • People who have the luxury of time feel that OPEN is the pathway to more knowledge. For most people UTILITY/VALUE, that’s their entry to us. How to communicate that our values about open get to the goal of utility.
  • In some of the discussions, we talked about transforming education. In Nigeria, they see just how important this is. The ads in Nigeria really focused on education. Because think of the people who don’t have education, or if they do, it’s not robust. And we have to remember that access to knowledge is key for political movements. We are giving people the ability to transform their communities. Where people don’t see the link is in places where education is taken for granted.

Q. If you step out of your roles as the “track leads” and step into the position of someone within the track that you’re representing. After listening to this discussion, what would be a key point that someone in that position would want to make sure is taken away from this before we move forward?Edit

  • To watch the language, if we want the clarity -  North Star.
  • I would like us to make it clearer so that each sentence doesn’t need more information to explain it. And make the direction more clear - what’s our unique selling point?
  • When people who are not part of all the conversations can read it and connect to it.
  • From my community - we should keep in mind that we need the community at the center of what we do. We should not take what we have achieved for granted. We did it because of the communities and should always keep them in mind.
  • 1. Don’t be afraid to be difficult, the idea of open knowledge is offensive to people. 2. When you think about what is necessary, don’t be afraid of redistribution of resources from communities that have more. It’s not charity, but think of it as making the overall movement stronger.
  • Focus on communities. I thought experts would be focussed on themes, but everyone said the most important thing is community, we are the future as a community.
  • You can’t be everything to everyone.
  • Be bold, choose what we want to do and change, and realise that our resource is everyone.

04 | Track break-out discussionEdit

The session then broke into groups with each Track (A, B, C, D) in a corner and available to answer any questions in an open format. The participants moved around the room as they wished, asking questions and discussing with track teams.

Specific feedback / notes:

  • Ziko Van Dijk (Username: Ziko) from Wikimedia Netherlands had this feedback: We should make more clear what we mean by “including oral citations” and what would their relation be with Wikipedia (included or on separate project). Otherwise, I would not agree with the direction.

Track A Feedback (Submitted by Nicole):

  • We need more translators to cover more languages for the process pages, to ensure involvement of all groups and individuals
  • Use different communication channels to reach all groups and individuals, not only banners, lists and meta
  • Many people felt that 90% of the questions were not relevant to them, they were too philosophical. Get the right questions to the right people. Make the questions more personal.
  • The direction does not make any choices; people cannot relate to it.
  • Distinction of perspective of the movement vs. perspective of the group is important. Movement should come first.
  • Should we focus on innovation and create new things or create the most impact out of what we already have and do? (Direction does not really decide on that.)
  • Make the direction less broad, more directional and prioritize!
  • It has not been communicated clearly in what stage the draft is. The panel sessions and keynotes created the impression that it is final and should be celebrated already, but in the strategy space people reviewed and discussed it and suggested a lot of improvements.
  • Participants: Lodewijk Gelauff, Lukas Mezger, Eileen Hershenov (WMF General Counsel), Bence Damokos, Asen from WM Bulgaria UG); Nicole

Considerations for Phase 2Edit


01 | IntroductionEdit

The session began with what was meant by Phase 02 and any clarification questions.

Nicole Ebber - In phase 1, we talked about what our dreams look like or “what mountain do we want to climb?” And then phase 2, we’ll address “how do we climb this mountain?” This will cover roles, responsibilities, resources. Both within the movement and with our partners. We don’t have to do everything alone, but we have a huge ecosystem of who can help us.

My personal perception is that the level of trust within our movement has increased and we’re in the most positive place that we’ve been in. How can we best share our responsibilities and roles without it becoming a power struggle? Resources - where does the money come from and where does it go? When we imagine the future, we’ve imagined it with the idea of “if we have all the money in the world” but now we have to figure out where the money comes from. Where do we allocate it, how do we have accountability? This phase 2 will start later this year in November.

The goal is to come to a conclusion with all of these questions by the time we go to Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town. In April (20-22), we’ll be hosting Wikimedia Conference in Berlin again and will be using the opportunity for a lot of these conversations. Some of these tough conversations can best be done in person - this will help us gain trust and build relationships. So then by Cape Town, we can celebrate! And then get to work on Phase 3, when the organizations will create their own annual strategic plans. What it means for the local organizations and how they can best contribute to it.

Facilitator - with the timeline and the framework in line for phase 2, let’s step back to phase

1. Let’s look at the things that have gone really well and what needs more work.

02 | Mentimeter PollEdit

03 | DiscussionEdit

Participants took a few minutes in small groups to talk about the questions form the Menti poll regarding Phase 1 and which things were the most significant to them.

Q. What are some of the things that were done well and were clear during the process? (Menti question #1)Edit

  • Clear it was big picture and not fund-raising between chapters.
  • Clear that it had to be as inclusive as possible. We had a mandate that we had to bring in as many voices and in as many languages. Take the time for these conversations and support the groups that need to since there were challenges. It wasn’t perfect, but it was very clear that  it was a commitment.
  • Tight timeline was good, we had to move on at some point.
  • Funnel all of the GLAM related stuff - I thought the process was pretty redundant. National, educational, GLAM. So I wasn’t involved in every step. But I hope that enough people were involved that it brought out the things that I cared about.
    • Phase 2 - if you want to involve a wide perspective, know that people’s resources are limited. Launch smaller discussions on specific topics for people who don’t have 20 hours/week to read everything.
  • Agree on the redundancy. A lot of the discussion wasn’t substantial, but very general. On that level, you can’t really do much about stuff. It gets tiring and you wonder why you are reading it. You’ve wasted your time before you get to the more interesting stuff.
  • To be inclusive you have to bring the margin to the centre, inverse the order, who is not in the conversation.
    • What are the channels for those who don’t have strong representation.
  • Individual contributor from North America - low level awareness. Not member of an affiliate and misses a lot of information.
    • Engaging people more who are somewhere in the system, but not connected. People we *think* we are hitting, but we’re not.

Q.  ResourcesEdit

  • Didn’t have enough time.
  • Do we need a big foundation that gives us millions to do phase 02.
    • Where do the come from and how can they be shared? What are the restrictions and who makes the decisions around resources?
  • The volunteer time is a resource. Make sure that the volunteers and organizations are receiving the content in the way that works with their lives. Not just 20 page memos, but more digestible and compact content that they have time to read.
  • People have to have one page memos of what’s going on, have everything for any level.
  • French author quote “I’m sorry I didn’t have time to write a shorter letter.” - related to not having enough time. Feedback from communities that they didn’t have time to digest it all. So if we can’t adjust the timeline, we need to adjust the delivery of the content.
  • The whole feeling of being integrated, those who are centrally managing the process, do you have enough heterogeneous feedback? Find the balance of people feeling involved and getting heterogeneous info.

Q. Did we have enough time?Edit

  • It’s better to have a very stable time frames rather than shifting. So we can plan our meet ups around it.
  • Set a deadline, we can’t do it, have a one week extension - frugal timelines with extended timelines.
  • How long will translations take? It’s an intricate process with many steps. Test person.

Q. Trust - in general, between community.Edit

  • On the one hand the process was designed that everyone works on it and it was inclusive, Wikimedia Conference 2017 conversation, on the other hand, being tired of being asked questions of how to go on for 15 years, 05 years, etc. Every year volunteers are involved in yearly planning. The reaction is quite resistant to participate, strategy fatigue.
    • Asked if other communities felt this way or just the German communities? (A lot of nodding heads in the circle) - feel like we’ve over asked them.
  • I’m a historian and when I do interviews, I think of what are the most meaningful things they can tell me. So I would suggest thinking of community members and think what they would be experts in and what I should ask them and then can ask other people the other things.

Q. What are the considerations on how the buy in to the process can be improved?Edit

Guillaume asks - how would you do it differently next time?

  • Selecting the questions you are asking and having concise processes, ask 1 or 2 questions.
  • Some people wanted to understand the intentions behind a lot of the choices that I didn’t have the answers to. And I wondered if maybe some of the process didn’t have a clear intention so when there were questions, there weren’t really answers for them.
  • Clear cycles with more time.

Q. Is our group clear on what Phase 2 direction means to us? What considerations do we want to keep in mind?Edit

  • Looking at comparative grant applications - we are built on historical accidents. If we did it again we would have different rules and ways. My feeling of legitimacy can be boiled down to - what are we willing to let go? Best example - fundraising. Will the German chapter and the Foundation let go of fundraising, so that the rest of the movement can also feel ready to let go of whatever benefits the movement.
    • Katherine - what are the resources that we need to be successful and how do we maximize those resources? If we cannot maximize the resources under the current structure, then we should re structure. But if we can maximize the resources, but the issue is equity and distribution - then that’s a different question and a conversation that we should have.
    • Difficult when resources are found in one place for them to be equitable somewhere else.
    • Wikimedia Germany - yes, it is on the table that we would give up fundraising if that’s for the best of the movement. It’s a conversation we’re willing to have.
  • What are the trade-offs?
  • Identify the logic of the change - what order, stages?
  • Identify skills and gaps to see that change.
  • Really important we find a balance between being clear and concrete, and flexible and vague - and that is difficult.
  • What would be the reason I’d be excited? What is your motivation with that question? I’m not sure how much my contribution will really help the process. I’m not really feeling excited, but it’s not anybody’s fault.
  • I am very excited about phase 2 - it’s the stage we’ve been waiting for for years! Some of the questions we’ve tried to answer in the past, but haven’t been able to with trust and open mind. I think it’s going to be tough, but exciting!

04 | Phase 2Edit

At any moment during the discussions, as participants thought of considerations for Phase 2, they left them in the appropriate space on the matrix:

-What are we to feel excited about? What piece is mine? H




-Need adaptable information in memos. -Strategy fatigue. Expecting more. What is the after?

-Trade-offs to be made.

-Bring margins to the center - make that a priority.

-Who makes the decisions about how the money is disseminated and what criteria are these decisions based on?

-How much money do we need, where can it come from, and who is responsible for collecting it?

-Balance: Concrete and inspiring and visionary => too rigid / not flexible enough.

-What are you willing to let go?

-Content should be digestible / compact.

-Redundancy (positive?)

-Find the balance of redundancy / heterogeneity

-Balance clarity + flexibility

-Set clear timeline expectations

-Be more selective and concise with questions.

-Clarify intentions & decision making.

-What to ask experts? Which experts? Trust.

-Gauge the steps & time needed to receive + digest new information.

-I miss good definitions of: Movement, Constituent, Community. Is “everyone” included? Is “good faith” enough to contribute? How can people be proud to belong to the community - when “everyone” is part of it.

-Allowing small scale contributions later in the process.

-Data analysis to identify people likely to contribute to WM2030 - data on # edits by project, language & <document v. talk>  


-Identify the logical order of our systems change.

-Frugal timeline with extended deadlines. E




-Fewer cycles with more time and stable timeline.


-Have longer cycle time frames.

-Set stable timeframes.

-It’s about the big picture free knowledge

-Identify the skills + gaps which are needed & where