The salon started with a video call and interaction with Gereon Kalkuhl, Strategy Salon liaison assigned to our usergroup. He highlighted our thematic areas Diversity and Partnerships; encouraging participants to be open and share their thoughts and wishes about the future of our movement and extending his best wishes for the salon.
We then watched videos from Wikimedia Summit in relation to Wikimedia 2030. After This was followed by Strategy Salon’s opening presentation delivered by Justice setting the tone for the day’s discussions.
We further divided into 2 groups based on counting of 1s and 2s. There were breakout session focusing on each theme lasting for about 60 minutes. We then converged together to share and discuss findings from the various sessions together.
What is the best way to collaborate among each other and with our partners?
There must be a mutual agreement between ourselves and other partners. This should be based on our shared goals and open understanding with no hidden benefits. We should also do well to involve the partners at every stage of our activities.
Ideas for future partnerships?
Partnerships shouldn’t always be a big one. Partnership can be among affiliates for exchange of cultures and capacity building. Say an administrator from a well established chapter or community could build the capacity of interested persons from other groups within the movement. Partnerships with institutions can sometimes be difficult. It is recommended that knowing a network or staff which has been trained or understands our principles is one working solution. An example is our Wikipedia Education Program program and partnership at GIMPA made possible by a staff was once part of the WEP during his Masters studies.
What is needed in order to have more partners?
Evaluating existing and past partnerships for what we did right or wrong. Making sure locals are made aware of status or progress of partnerships that are led directly from or by the Wikimedia Foundation. An example raised was the termination of Wikipedia Zero program without local user group’s knowledge and partners prior knowledge.
Is there any need to work more with corporations and companies (profit organisations)? If YES, what are the challenges regarding that?
We had a mixed decision on collaborations with for profit organizations as this could sometimes lead to the unforeseen. If the partnership is in line with the aims and mission of the Wikimedia movement we should. The purpose and goal of the collaborations should also be clearly stated.
What can be done differently so we can more successful?
Maintaining good track record and past successful activities was one pillar suggested for. Also having a good working relations with governments and related institutions. Partnerships should not only be monetary or goods. We can always find something in common to us and the partner. Example: Wikimedia Ghana User Groups partnership with Impact Hub Accra which allows us to use the space some of our meet-ups for free.
Can we establish that every community must have a code of conduct which provides for inclusion of diversity? How does a commitment to diversity also manifest itself in the governance structures of our movement’s organizations, in our public relations, and social media representation?
Yes, it was agreed that code of conduct should be established to make room for more diverse groups which in one way or the other can’t participate due the fear of others. It is however recommended that these code of conduct must be subjective to the laws of the territories they fall within. For example LGBT is not allowed in Ghana hence shouldn’t be exhibited in public if you are one since all other laws are subjective to the constitution of Ghana.
How do we increase awareness in low awareness regions, in order to ensure adequate representation, both inlevel of volunteer participation and amount of time?
We considered the northern sector of Ghana and universities in Ghana to low awareness regions. This is due to most activities revolving around Accra. Collaborating and engaging with existing institutions (schools, government & private sector) for increased participation and awareness creation. It was also agreed that for us to have a fair and non-discriminatory movement we need to promote non-abusive content to and related to these regions both in country and globally, allowing their freedom of access to information and expression. Providing platforms and tools that these regions can easily relate to and connect with in terms of access to information and contribution is important. Example: A space or location where they have access to both hardware, software and internet access as an enabler to their participation.
As volunteering is essentially a role for the privileged, should Wikimedia Foundation start giving monetary incentives and honorarium for people who volunteer a huge amount of their time to movement activities?
As a developing country where most people strive for basic needs, volunteering is not a common practice as compared to outside the continent. Volunteers should expect nothing but however be given honorarium and rewards for their efforts. This can also serve as mode of motivation and creating awareness.