Movement structures, Governance, Leadership
Wikimedia has changed the way knowledge is created and used, and has been a pioneer in keeping the internet a space for collaboration and learning. In the light of our new strategic direction, we need to reflect whether the structures that got us where we are now will be able to get us into the future – a future where Wikimedia will be the essential infrastructure in the ecosystem of free knowledge. The organizational structures in the Wikimedia movement have often grown randomly, non-strategically, or were developed in contexts that are no longer present or relevant; there has never been a master plan for the distribution of roles and responsibilities of Wikimedia organizations and groups.
The role of the Wikimedia Foundation itself ranges from a grantmaker, platform provider, over a global fundraiser, to a community supporter and coordinator.
If we would start the movement from scratch, how would we structure ourselves and how would we distribute the work that we do to best serve our mission?
These questions are not meant to be answered one-to-one but should help the group frame their own conversations and their consultations with movement stakeholders.
Please take a look at the draft recommendations (September 2019):
During the Wikimedia Conference 2018, the Working Group “Roles & Responsibilities” proposed “Power Dynamics” as a title instead. As power is only a part of the broader conversation around global, regional and local responsibilities and roles, and we wouldn’t want the group to only concentrate on this aspect, the Strategy Core Team decided to keep the original name.
This is an overview of the outputs from the discussion about Roles and Responsibilities at the Wikimedia Conference 2018.
The group discussed: 1. What the scope of this thematic area should be; 2. Who should be in the Working Group; 3. How the Working Group should work.
The main points from the Roles and Responsibility group discussion at the Wikimedia Conference 2018 were:
- It is necessary to see the organisational structure of the Wikimedia Movement in all its complexity and not as a structure with WMF as its center; WMF is one of the agents.
- There is a need to openly consider the current power dynamics in relation to future organisational development.
- Focus on developing into an equitable organisational structure.
If you would like to know more details about the Working Group discussions on this theme, please consult the documentation.