Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Transition/Follow-up events/Cluster C

This page contains raw minutes from the discussion of the initiative cluster C: Skills and leadership development, which took place on 6 February 2021. The minutes were cleaned up and merged from across different documents by the Strategy Support Team, and a summary of them can be found in the follow-up events report. The discussion followed a structured template (as shown below), which was also created by the Support Team.

Video summaries from the follow-up event discussions
Summary of room 1: Leadership development in the movement
Summary of room 2: Local capacity assessment
Summary of room 3: Global Coordination

Key indicator and objectives (WHAT) edit

What are the objectives of this initiative for the next 18 months? edit

  • Survey communities to identify the existing skills and resources throughout the Wikimedia movement[1][2][3]
    • Conduct a  “Global Resources Census“[2] with a wide-scale outreach across the movement[1]
    • Steps to define: 1. Who needs what, 2. Who is capable of doing what, 3.Scale up the results to other language variations[3]
  • Conduct a scan of the resources (training materials, templates, etc.) we already have, and where there are gaps[3]
    • Tap into, adjust and consolidate existing resources and learning materials from different Chapters: build on existing initiatives and resources[3]
    • Define what the minimum viable product is[3]
  • Identify regional priorities and contextual needs[1][2]
    • The Foundation’s Capacity Map provides a full assessment map with a number of different scales.[1]
    • Identify areas where we need to develop volunteer leadership.[1]
  • Develop a true community-edited encyclopedia of the movement[2]
    • Documenting past projects and activities: for example, all the edit-a-thons across the movement[2]
    • Meta does not suffice - Not only do we have a wide variety of offers of skill training, services and resources, but these also need to be “findable” in an easy to use database[3]
  • This platform should not get lost “in the matrix” - it should be channeled in a guided approach[3]
  • Networking to develop peer learning and mentoring programs within the regions[1][2]
    • The human connection is key and should be emphasized as an indicator of success[3]
      • Dedicate people to support and respond to help desk questions (examples: WMDC, WMUK)[3]
      • Focus on connecting to underrepresented communities[2]
    • Supporting the growth is key for the growth of the movement and connects with other recommendations - financial resources are important[3]
    • Create a Mutual Aid model capacity exchange marketplace[3]
      • Make a match-making app / website/ tool extension where development training can be matched by the ones looking for it[3]
      • Create a mentoring program to help connect those who have things to share and the desire to share them, with those who most need those knowledge and skills.[3]
      • We recognise that it is not a matter of large affiliates helping smaller affiliates but the fact that everyone has something to offer.[3]
      • Develop a way to reward participants for sharing what they know or have developed. Knowledge management does not happen on its own, and for people to have knowledge and skills available to learn, we need to find a way to invite participants who already have those things to share them.[3]
      • Provide opportunities for different levels of leadership, including opportunities for newbies[3]
  • Develop training and capacity-resources using different platforms and languages[3]
    • Provide leadership and skill development courses[3]
    • Participants can share their learnings afterwards to encourage others to join[3]
    • Use new technologies and formats (video) for learning platform and resources[3]
  • Define and understand what “leadership” is[1][3]
    • Agree on metrics to evaluate leadership success and good-governance practices in a given community[1]
      • Research already done to identify what we are looking for in leadership: Movement Learning and Leadership Development.[1] Conclusion: "leadership is not any one definitive thing, action, or role but instead is a continuous demonstration of certain qualities that are valued across the movement."--source[1]
      • These qualities are not necessarily exclusive. They are the most-sought after ones.[1]
    • Leadership qualities can change. For example, leaders under the pandemic have more challenges than before.[1]
    • Identify which skills are teachable and those which are not[1]
    • Separate skills into different categories: technical, interpersonal, etc.[1]
    • Leadership as an individual or a collective skill[1]
      • Frame leadership skills within a group context, rather than focusing on single individuals and trying to train them into “knowing everything”.[1]
      • Do we wish to develop leadership at a group level or at an individual level?[1]
    • Everyone can be a leader in a specific context.[1]
    • Leaders should have the ability to communicate, mentor, motivate people and convince them of Wikimedia values.[1]
    • Do we need to train volunteers to become better leaders in their local community, or in the Wikimedia movement at large?[1]
    • Some small Wikipedias may have technically knowledgeable contributors, but lack necessary transformative leadership skills to respond to the present community needs.[1]
    • Remove elements of the administrative overhead for ‘leadership’ roles. This excludes many from the conversation.[3]
  • Design elaborate ways to develop and sustain volunteers[1]
    • Volunteer categories could be seen as: Online projects, Local volunteers, Global volunteers (at least 3 fields of volunteers with a bit different needs and interest)[1]
    • Develop or adopt tools/methods (like to mediate decision-making in the community to help achieve consensus, as opposed to individually-based leader decisions or decisions only by (few) most active[1]
  • Indicators of success in 18 months
    • Different “starting points” and pathways to skills development in different languages[3]
    • If someone has a question about something, they can find the resource and/or the person with the answer.[3]
    • 10 people who learn 1 skill through the platform. (10 is a small number, but this stage is a ramp up stage and things will be smaller in this stage.)[3]

What are some anticipated obstacles or barriers to a successful implementation? edit

  • Ensure different cultural contexts share an understanding of terms such as leadership, capacity building, peer-to-peer, and that each communities finds a value in participating[2]
  • Reassure underrepresented communities with the idea that all individuals and communities have knowledge and expertise that is unique and valuable for the Movement[2]
  • Reaching underrepresented groups to share resources and training spaces, and to translate or explain about the resources[2]
  • Being aware that many groups are already burdened with a lot of reporting and other management, so any additional work should not further strain smaller or less well-resourced groups.[2]
  • “Leadership” is often perceived as hierarchical control vs “Servant Leadership” (Servant leadership) which is more clearly about support structures for the people working to solve problems within their own domains. Conceptual diagram.  One of our greatest current challenges is in the frequency with which we are told “No” instead of helped to find paths forward. We cannot grow if the people trying to build have their efforts ignored or rejected.[3]
    • Getting away from capitalist notions of leadership and the importance of scalability (as opposed to sustainability). Perhaps we can be more like mushrooms.[3]
  • Finding an entity or group of people taking the lead. Having access to financial resources.[3]
  • Create culturally sensitive guidelines for global coordination[3]
    • Time & time zones.[3]
    • Language barriers[3]
    • Assuring contextualization  and cultural competency[3]
  • User friendliness of training materials[3]
    • Much of all this is already available, but it is not structured, tagged, or searchable in a way real people can actually locate them so this effort will be successful only if some people try to organize and structure this to make it useful.[3]
  • Assuring Sustained, long-term resources for capacity building, and ways to connect multiple initiatives, rather than serial pilots.[3]
  • Capacity Building only works if the group/person/affiliate also has the resources (human and financial) to implement and sustain the capacity steps. Combine funds for the global structure with funds for participants, both types:  those who give and those who receive skills and services.[3]
  • Establishing funding and assessment schemes to ensure activities in affiliates[1]
  • Providing curricula (skills to train) for particular types of Wikimedians[1]
  • Recruitment[1]
  • Leadership differs from region to region, so what might work for countries in America might not work for countries in Africa[1]

Implementation steps (HOW) edit

Step / Action / Milestone By When? Notes, details, ...
Global Resources Census ++++[2] April 2021 Amount of community funding, staff size, and volunteer organizing scale in every country/region

Important thing that is missing - there is no list of budget per country, size of affiliates per country, neither staff of affiliates and WMF

Currently it takes a long time browsing on meta, but it seems that it would be small investment that will have important outcome

Create a platform or platforms (better than meta) to find resources, training and people (tentatively: Barnstarpedia)[2][3] June 2021 Develop a true community-edited encyclopedia of the movement, building on existing platforms, not new ones.

There have been attempts in the past that have been really specialized. Include for example all the edit-a-thons across the movement[2]

Survey community needs+[2] To identify what people want the most and how needs vary by region or by group
Identify existing skills/resources +++++[2] July 2021 Gather existing skills and resources across the movement. Find resources that already exist that we can use to avoid duplication of effort and starting from scratch.

Translate the found resources/materials

Give a general revision of the existing materials to consider updatings

Prioritize the needs identified to develop training spaces +[2] After July Develop a training plan according to the needs identified
Identify regional priorities and define contextual needs+++[2] Each country has different realities and challenges for the Wikimedia mission. A good approach can be regional, with countries that share the same challenges.
Design clear  and user-friendly paths of skills & leadership capacities to provide a structured offer of the resources available. +[2] After July Offer flexibility and encouragement so participants feel compelled by the training opportunities at their own pace and based on their own needs.
Networking+[1][2] August
  • Connecting groups with similar themes, activities or interests.  
  • Peer-to-peer learning, capacity sharing, or mentoring. [2]
  • Provide peer-2-peer consultations and leadership training courses for the community[1]
  • No need for careful planning. It can roll out organically and grow by “snowballing”, otherwise its growth might be hindered by too much structuring.[1]
Develop fellowships or mentoring programs within the regions. Reach out underrepresented communities to participate.[1][2] Connect with groups outside of Wikimedia movement. Develop working alliances to incorporate new voices into the movement.[2]
Develop training and capacity-resources using different platforms and languages (i. video, podcasts, webpages, etc)[2]
Assessments: [3]
  • at the Affiliate/community level: who needs/seeks what?
  • at the trainer level: who would be best-suited?
  • at the tech level: how will we deliver the training?
Complete within 6 months.
Make sure our platforms and technical infrastructure  and funding allows for ways to build capacity other than and beyond training.  Such as (post-Covid) internships, hospitations, circuit riders, mentoring, coaching[3]
Create modules for online sessions. Start with only a few languages. Deliver the alpha version of the initial training. Learn from the experience. Update the materials. Roll out more language versions. Repeat with updating as we learn what works best in what context/culture.[3] Complete within 6 months
  • In the future, create modules for in- person sessions.
Start the training as the sessions become available. Repeat often. Different times; different languages; different cultural context.[2] Forever.
Develop Organizational Chart models and leadership role descriptions that use inverted pyramid structures instead of traditional top down structures. We need to clearly frame the development of leadership as creating leadership supporting from bottom up, no longer controlling from top down[2] as soon as possible - to embed within the rest of our conversations
Review existing practices like eye catching / enticing tutorials in YouTube and customize their techniques/ methods to Wikimedia community[2] 6 to 12 months
Develop a global capacities map and skills framework for proposed adoption by the movement/GC[1] End of 18-month phase Build on work of Community Development team ( and other research/synthesize other models
Provide resources for pilot programs (affiliates/hubs) to decentralize the work[1] Some existing affiliates already work in leadership / capacity building. We can leverage and develop there. Local groups understand local context, may provide decentralization.

People (WHO) edit

Who would like to take part  in this initiative’s working group? edit

Community, group, affiliate, Foundation team Optional: Skills / expertise / interest
  • Individual community members[2]
  • Skills would depend on the affiliate in-context, and cannot be generalized for everyone. Some suggestions:
    • Conflict resolution
    • Community engagement
    • Communication skills
    • Project management/coordination
    • Partnership
  • Community fostering, organizing regional initiatives, activism, lobbying and legislation advocacy
  • Should be closely involved in supporting the global movement to grow and in creating a proper environment to share knowledge with volunteers and train them.
  • Initiative teams (Working Groups)
  • AffComm
  • Wikimedia Education: should get involved to develop a leadership pathway/programs for new affiliates representatives or key members of affiliates or groups. Based on the major activities of affiliates.
    • Community Development team
    • Community Programs team
  • Coordinating on skills/leadership development in GLAM, education, and campaign organizing
  • Helping to pilot/evaluate online learning platforms
  • Partnering with professional development orgs/networks in these areas (e.g.)
  • Wikimedia Argentina[3]
Working on mapping the organizations of the WM and their expertise to favor networking + a pilot mentoring program.

We have also created a platform that centralizes all the resources - communication, tutorials etc- in Spanish along with all the regional affiliates.

  • European Affiliates[3]
We are working on a Capacity Exchange experiment where members of the movement can find and offer skills training/Services or Resources

This is NOT a platform to store the actual content

Would be very happy to work with Affiliates across the movement to learn, share, and implement best practices.
Wikimedians of the Caribbean[3] Would love to help in refining the defining/refinement especially with regard to often-overlooked regions within the Global South.
Iberocoop / Wikimedia Mexico[3] Summarize experiences that affiliates have faced at the local level
WikiBlind[3] to bring members of blind, visually impaired, disabled *and allies* around the world into participation in the movement, not just recipients of the content.
  • User:Pharos (individual)
  • User:ProtoplasmaKid (Iberocoop)

Who is/are interested in having additional responsibilities to coordinate this working group? edit

  • The Global Council
  • Hubs (or regional collaboratives, thematic collaboratives)[3][2]
  • Local working groups (as a connection to the Global Council)[2]

Is anyone missing who should be part of implementation? edit

  • Movement Communications Team (promotion, information dissemination)[3]
  • OpenStreetMaps, FreeSoftwareFoundation, people with expertise in civil-society movement organising[1]

Sources edit

References edit

  1. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai Room 1: Leadership development in the movement
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af Room 2: Local capacity assessment
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av Room 3: Global Coordination