Talk:Wikimedia Deutschland/Dialogue on organizational values 2021-2022/Proposal: Wikimedia Deutschland – Our values

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This discussion ran from February 1-28, 2022 and is now closed. Feedback will be taken into account in the final formulation of the values. Thank you for your participation! Christoph Jackel (WMDE) 13:06, 2 March 2022 (UTC)

The texts describing the values should be generally valid and abstract. Different interest groups such as members, communities, or the employees should be able to identify with them. At the same time, the values will only be binding for the work of Wikimedia Deutschland, i.e. the employees and the board.

In this discussion, we are interested in your perspective as community members. We have pre-structured the discussion to better summarize it later. Please feel free to comment in the individual sections, in all or selected ones.

Enabling participationEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Practicing diversityEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Providing free and open accessEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Attaining equityEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Effecting sustainabilityEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Facilitating respectful collaborationEdit

On the value in general, how well does this value fit with WMDE?Edit

How can this be practically implemented in WMDE's work?Edit

Where do you see areas of tension, contradictions or points of connection?Edit

Overall, how well does the proposal fit with WMDE?Edit

  • Clarify: Do these values apply to Germany and Germany speakers, or will WMDE seek to apply them globally? It is not clear to me from reading these values how much attention and resource investment WMDE intends to make in Germany itself versus globally. As I understand, WMDE is bigger than all other Wikimedia community affiliates in terms of money and membership, so more than any other organization, WMDE has global options. Where do these values apply, and to what extent? Bluerasberry (talk) 01:14, 8 February 2022 (UTC)
    • Thank you for your question, Bluerasberry . Julia Kirchner might add some additional thoughts, but here on deWP the same question was raised and Julia expressed that the team deliberately has not decided whether to only talk about structures in Germany or global structures, too. These are her further thoughts: These are concrete strategic decisions that have to be made at WMDE when it comes to the programs for the next few years. And from what I have heard so far in the Values Dialogue, there are also very different opinions on this within Wikimedia Deutschland. In concrete terms, this means that in our cooperation with museums and archives, we are addressing the issue of how to deal with objects from the colonial past. WMDE generally advocates for the inventory, indexing, digitization and publication of objects in collections and repositories under free licenses. But what does that mean when things were forcibly looted from a country during the colonial era, for example? One colleagues put it well in a blog article: "Who owns the digitized object? For this, not only the origin and ownership of the respective object must be clarified, but first and foremost the relationship between the digital copy and its material original. Can a decision be made about the digital copy independently of the object? Or would the question of whether to digitize at all have to be directly tied to the question of sovereignty over the object?"[1]. So this concerns both the knowledge about an object per se and the people in the societies of origin who do not have access to parts of their cultural heritage, which is stored in German collections. And this example also makes it clear: this does not only refer to Germany, but automatically has a global component. Even if we are talking about German museums and archives first. Best regards, thanks again and we would love to hear more thoughts from you! Christoph Jackel (WMDE) 11:30, 8 February 2022 (UTC)
    • Hey there, Bluerasberry . In addition, I also wanted to highlight that certain aspects of WMDE's work have always been global from the very beginning of certain projects. Everything around Wikidata and Wikibase has always touched a global user base. So in that aspect, we have never limited our work to Germany or German-speaking users exclusively. At this point, nothing drastically will change in our current attention and resource investment regarding our programs. We will be thinking more about the implentation of the values once it is finalized in May 2022 after which changes might be made. But we cannot foresee what those might be at this point. This is important to note thought: This values framework applies to the organization Wikimedia Deutschland only. As such, it is binding only for WMDE staff and Board, it will therefore guide the work of those people in all the areas that they are working in. Nothing more, but also nothing less. Hope, our comments have helped to clarify?!Julia Kirchner (WMDE) (talk) 12:13, 11 February 2022 (UTC)
@Julia Kirchner (WMDE) and Christoph Jackel (WMDE): Thanks for replying. This all works, and nothing here is wrong or incorrect. However here are my further thoughts:
  • This is a good statement of values which applies to many Wikimedia organizations I first wondered why you were stating these things because these points seem to be what many Wikimedia community organizations believe. Then I realized that perhaps it is good for some organization to state these things explicitly, because other organizations may want to see and also values will change over time. I am with Wikimedia New York City, and I feel like we could adopt these values exactly. Perhaps any Wikimedia affiliate organization could.
  • If any of these values communicate anything special about WMDE, then I am unable to recognize what is unique. You do not need to communicate what is unique, but when I read this, I thought that I might find something culturally special or different. Maybe WMDE is so aligned with the global Wikimedia community that everything it does is normal and agreeable. You do not need to change anything, but just as feedback, I expected to learn something special about WMDE from reading this and I do not think that I did.
  • WMDE can actually enact these values; most Wikimedia community organizations cannot When I was reading these I began to realize that while many Wikimedia community organizations would like to practice these values, practicing diversity, equity, and sustainability is difficult for the majority of Wikimedia affiliate organizations which have zero budget. I do not expect WMDE to fix the challenges of the global movement, but when I read these, I started thinking that even if another community organization were to adopt these values, they would not have the power to implement them. I was thinking that adopting these values has a financial cost, and that WMDE has the administration to run programs to practice these values. Smaller Wikimedia community organizations really do not have enough resources to promote diversity, etc., so these values are about administrative power as well.
  • Why is WMDE so often absent from global discussions about values and ethics? With some regularly there are conflicts between the values of the Wikimedia Foundation and the Wikimedia community. Maybe 2-4 times a year there are major conflicts. When other Wikimedia community organizations do organize an ethical or social discussion about Wikimedia Movement or Wikimedia Foundation strategy, I feel like WMDE is usually absent. As a Wikimedia organizer in the United States, I have often talked with other Americans and asked who is WMDE and what are they doing? For example in the Wikimedia community protest or discussion Community open letter on renaming, almost every Wikimedia community organization signed, but WMDE did not. There have been a series of other major discussions in English language which which draw participation from non-English language groups, but WMDE seems to either value neutrality and non-participation. Or is it the case that WMDE just find it difficult to publish organizational position statements which apply values to practical situations? In 2014 Germany Wikipedia organized against superprotect so I know that there are some kinds of values and ethics which make German editors passionate.
I think that I have a request. Can WMDE make a commitment that if there is a public discussion on any matter of diversity, equity, sustainability, or some other issue in your values, that WMDE will publicly publish a position statement? I know there has to be a line. How about if 300 individual Wikipedians and more than 20 Wikimedia community affiliate organizations sign a statement or publish opinions, then Wikimedia DE should publish an organizational statement. If those numbers are too low then raise them, but I feel like if you publish values, then there should be some defined commitment to protect the values. This is not about any past discussion, but just because I feel like WMDE does take sides in values-based discussions. If you have values, then when there is a conflict and the Wikimedia community is organized to take opposing sides, then I wish that you would apply these values and take a position.
Thank you for taking my comment. Bluerasberry (talk) 19:19, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

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