Members of the nine working groups concluded their task of drafting recommendations for structural changes on November 1, 2019.
A first iteration of the draft recommendations was shared in August 2019 for community feedback and reflection. This feedback from online movement stakeholders as well as in-person events prior to, during, and after Wikimania, including many strategy salons and two regional summits, helped the working groups shape the second iteration of their recommendations, which you can access below.
The focus over the next few months will be on synthesizing these 89 recommendations to develop one set, a product that is concise, coherent, and accessible. To do this work, new roles have been discussed and a new working group is currently being formed, composed of thematic area working group members interested and able to continue contributing.
Between November 2019 and March 2020, the main focus of movement strategy will shift to synthesizing the recommendations produced by the nine working groups into one coherent set. Movement perspectives and feasibility assessments will then be gathered as a basis for creating the final and approved product. The immediate next steps will involve working groups ranking and refining their recommendations (if they wish to) and concluding their duty as thematic area groups. A new working/writing group with those members who are keen and available to continue working will help develop the final product.
Writers will do the actual sense-making and synthesis of the recommendations into one coherent set and finalize the end product, taking incoming information from the connectors (like community conversations, research, feasibility assessments) into account. Writers will use the overlaps that have been identified in the recommendations to synthesize multiple recommendations and outline where changes could be made that would address these.
Connectors will help the writers digest, reference, and (where applicable) use existing material, research, input from community conversations (incl. existing material and active participation in upcoming conversations with organized groups and online contributors).
They will go through the material, and bring together the main points to present to the writers. This might be in the form of summaries to the writers or, where necessary, targeted info that might be relevant to a specific recommendation. The goal of this will be to support the writers in integrating the material into the final product.
Reviewers will bring in specific, additional perspectives, expertise, contexts, and advice at different times of the process. This could range from weekly/monthly reviews of specific issues to only one review of the draft before it is finalized.
The goal here would be to ensure that:
the output of the nine working groups is reflected in the final product;
a diverse range of perspectives and contexts are accounted for;
input from phase 1, research and community conversations is well integrated;
the recommendations are relevant and meaningful to the wider movement.
Working Groups timeline
The timeline for the process takes into account movement events (e.g. Wikimania, Wikimedia Summit) as well as general planning procedures in our movement. All Working Groups are expected to tweak the timeline according to their own needs and expectations.
June-July 2018: Call for Working Group members.
August–November 2018: Working Groups set-up, agreement on working mode, definition of support needs, and first steps on content exploration.
By March 2019: Working Groups develop the scope of their work, define guiding questions and engage in community conversations for refinement.
Wikimedia Summit (end of March 2019): The scope of their work is reviewed and revised, bringing many different perspectives in, so that they can then move into analysis.
April-August 2019: Analysis of data, research, and outputs of community conversations; development of recommendations.
Wikimania 2019 (August 2019): First draft of the recommendations is published online and presented during working group sessions at Wikimania. Feedback and input gathered in person and online is used to refine the recommendations.
September–October 2019: Refine draft recommendations using input from research and community conversations. Start identifying and mapping overlaps in each of the nine groups' work. Put finishing touches on recommendations, rank recommendations. Working groups dissolve (by 1 November).
November-December 2019: New working group established to begin synthesizing recommendations and develop one coherent, comprehensive set.
February-May 2020: Synthesized recommendations presented to Board of Trustees. Finalization of recommendations. Working group engagement officially concludes.
2020: Implementation begins; implementation structure and support set-up.
The timeline is subject to change depending on the progress of the conversations and workstreams. Steps in the process will not happen simultaneously for all Working Groups. Some might be faster, and some might need more time, especially if they have strong interdependencies with other groups.
Draft recommendations groups overview
In July 2018, 90 members from our global community formed into nine Working Groups. These Working Groups were at the center of this process; they were the agents of change. Each Working Group had dedicated itself to one of nine key thematic areas of the movement, which members were putting under the microscope, exploring how it could look in 2030 and finalizing a set of guiding questions. The answers to these questions formed the basis of recommendations for structural changes so that we can successfully and strongly advance in our Strategic Direction.
Each Working Group was working on:
Scope - map the present situation of the thematic area, the obstacles and opportunities, using all the data already collected over the years and further research if needed. Identify the changes needed and build a case to explain why these changes help us progress in our Strategic Direction.
Draft recommendations - identify possible strategies for making these changes and develop drafts of concrete recommendations for the movement on how to ratify and implement them.
Implementation - advise on and iterate changes based on the draft recommendations.
Working Groups are there to complement existing movement structures, and not to create redundancies. The groups are not decision-making bodies themselves, but will develop recommendations as a basis for decision-making.
Each group represents the diversity of the movement, as well as the diversity of skills and experience needed to work on the respective thematic area.
Connection and collaboration between Working Groups is essential. Working Group coordinators will identify collaboration needs and opportunities, as well as to actively maintain collaborations across groups via a Steering Group.
The Core Team will be prototyping and improving the Working Group method as we use it, so that it fits the movement’s needs and culture. Feedback is always welcome.
Working Group structures and set-up
In June 2018, a Steering Committee supported the Core Team with selecting the Working Group members, and groups were established in June-September 2018. Members of the Working Groups are expected to act in the interest of the movement, not in the interest of their own organization or community.
Each Working Group decides how to organize their work, and the Core Team provides guidance and support on a process level. The ideal group size is 10-15 members, and those members have to represent diverse perspectives and roles within our movement. We have a mix of staff and board members from Organized Groups as well as Individual Contributors in the groups. Additional members are welcome to apply and can be appointed throughout the process, depending on the changing needs of each group.
Working Groups are supported in communicating with the movement via reports, community conversations, participation at events and meetings, and publication of updates or results of their work on their meta pages. To ensure communication across Working Groups, a Steering Group has been formed.
Working Groups will be supported by the Core Team of the Strategy Process, with the Information and Knowledge Manager being the main point of contact. Support includes logistics such as scheduling calls, note taking and summarizing of meetings, creation of templates and toolkits to be used in structuring and designing the workflow of the Working Groups, as well as management of information flows to enable Working Groups to have informed discussions and make informed decisions. The Information & Knowledge Management team will also ensure that the progress of Working Group discussions will be shared with the wider movement in a timely manner.
In addition to that, support for facilitation, travel, translation, research or training can be arranged with the Core Team according to the needs of each Working Group.
The key thematic areas have evolved from conversations we have had in our movement for years, for example in various Wikimedia Conference sessions and group discussions on governance, resources, diversity, partnerships, etc. For each of these areas, the Core Team has mapped the focus and a couple of core questions that need to be answered to enable us to fulfil the Wikimedia mission and advance us in the Strategic Direction. The key questions these Working Groups are addressing all focus on the structural level, not on programmatic work. Many of those questions have been persistent over the years; they are enduring questions. For the first time, we do not only have a process to answer them, we also have a mandate and the necessary resources. Click on the name of the thematic area to read more:
the organizational and affiliate model of the Wikimedia movement;
the different roles, purposes and relationships of the Foundation, affiliates, and committees;
global, regional, local and thematic responsibilities of movement organizations (existing and prospective);
movement-wide leadership, governance and decision-making processes;
equity within our structures and distribution of responsibilities for crucial functions needed by the movement (legal, fundraising, data protection, software development, communication).
1 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, and the Strategy Core Team decided to keep the original name.
2 At Wikimedia Conference 2018 this Working Group was named "Technology", but after some consideration regarding the extensive scope of the group, the Core Team has decided to rename the group to "Product & Technology".