WIKIMOVE/Podcast/Transcript Episode 4

Nicole: Welcome to episode four of our podcast, WIKIMOVE. Welcome back after our summer break. Wikimove is a podcast in audio and video where we discuss the future of the Wikimedia movement. I'm Nicole Ebber and with me is Nikki Zeuner. We are both working in Wikimedia Deutschland's movement strategy and global relations team.

Nikki: This episode was recorded on August 8th, 2022. Things definitely will have changed since we recorded this show, but what we still know…

Nicole: …is that by 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge. And anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

Nikki: So, WIKIMOVE is a podcast for frank conversations about Movement strategy. It's not about having all the answers, but about exploring questions together, about thinking together. The topics come from the strategic direction, the recommendations, the principles, the initiatives, or they come from larger issues in this world and in the knowledge ecosystem that are relevant to how we transform as a Movement. We hope this space will create opportunities for exchange and we hope to spread ideas and to dream together about our future. Our home base is not only the audio and video cast, but we also have a meta page, of course, and a web page and all the relevant links to that and about what we talked to today are in the show notes.

Nicole: And on today's show, we talk about bridging content gaps with marginalized communities in the context of recommendation number eight, which is identify topics for impact.

Nikki: But first news from the Movement! For this month's episode, we decided to focus on one particularly great happy piece of news. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Wikidata! Wikidata is turning 10 in October. 10? Lydia, can you believe it? So with us today is Lydia to talk about what's happening for the 10th birthday of Wikidata. That's amazing. You've been doing this for 10 years. Wow. Hey, awesome.

Nicole: So Lydia, what are you inviting people to do? How can folks get involved in the celebration?

Lydia: Yeah, okay. Of course, 10 years, as you said, Lydia, is pretty amazing. And that calls for a celebration. So we are going to have a proper celebration. And since Wikidata is a global project, we're going to have lots of parties, get togethers, edit-a-thons around the world. There are already nine lined up and I hope we'll have a lot more people organizing events in their local groups.

Nikki: And I also hear that people can get support and funding. Is that true?

Lydia: Yes, there will be funding available that you can apply for from the Wikimedia Foundation's funding team. Do apply for it and for example have some nice food and t -shirts and similar for your local event.

Nikki: Speaking of merch, are there going to be presents? Will there be presents?

Lydia: Come on, it can't be a birthday without presents. Of course there will be presents. Like every year for Wikidata's birthday, we will have a session to open birthday presents. And if you want to have something cool to gift to the Wikidata community, that's your chance. That can be anything, a cool editing project, a cool new tool, a cool event, whatever it is. Even artwork, for example, would be really cool. Yeah, come and join us on the 29th of October for uncovering the birthday presents from all around the world.

Nicole: How can people stay informed and guests of that celebration? How can they be up to date?

Lydia: So if you want to get news about the Wikidata birthday, you can go to Wikidata. There's a special page called Wikidata Column 10th birthday. Where you will find everything. All the news about the local events all across the world. There's info about how to submit a birthday present and much more.

Nikki: That's awesome. Thank you, Lydia, so much for coming in and telling us how to be partying for Wikidata's 10th birthday. See you soon. Thank you. Ciao. And now we start with our interview. Today, we're talking about initiatives arising from recommendation eight, topics for impact. This recommendation has a variety of different aspects, which are all going to be crucial for the future of the movement. It encourages us to find ways to assure that the content on our projects is also the content that will have impact on people's lives. And also aligned with the strategic direction, it moves us to make sure that we provide speakers of marginalized languages and underrepresented voices to contribute to the projects and take advantage of free knowledge in their languages. Joining us for this conversation today are Lucy Crompton-Reid, Daniel Bögre Udell, and Kiril Simeonovski.

Nicole: Lucy Crompton-Reid joined Wikimedia UK as chief executive in October 2015. Lucy has worked in the UK's voluntary sector for over 20 years, with an emphasis on developing participatory practice and promoting marginalized voices. She's on the British Library Advisory Council and sits on the board of the Audience Agency and Visible Theatre.

Nikki: Daniel Bögre Udell is a co -founder and the executive director of Wikitongues, which supports language revitalization projects on every continent. He has an MA in historical studies and a BFA in design and technology, and he speaks English, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, and he's learning Hebrew. He is calling us today from Jersey City, USA. And then Kiril Simeonovski is president of Shared Knowledge and a leading Wikimedian from the region of Central and Eastern Europe. Carol has been actively contributing to Wikimedia projects since 2008, and he has been part of the implementation of various programs and projects aimed at supporting the Wikimedia Movement. So guys, thank you for being there. And we're looking forward to this conversation about topics for impact and underrepresented voices. So I want to start with introduction to each of your initiatives. So you're all doing stuff that's related to topics for impact and content and knowledge gaps. So maybe starting with Kiril, tell us a little bit about the project or the initiative that you've been starting and also sort of how it resonates with stuff that you were doing before.

Kiril: First of all, I'd like to thank you for inviting me to do this podcast. I'm really excited to talk about the project that we started a couple of months ago. So the main goal of the project is to support underrepresented communities, which are not only language communities in the traditional sense, but also a community of disabled persons who use a sign language to communicate with each other. So our project covers three communities. The first one is the community of speakers of the Romanian language, which is an endangered language in the world. We also picked the community of Romanian speakers, which is also a language that is not official in any country in the world. And the third one is the community of users of the Macedonian sign language, which is used for from the members of the DEAF community to communicate with each other. So the principal idea of the project is to identify these communities and their needs, to get them involved in the Wikimedia movement and also to generate content about their communities, their languages and cultures.

Thanks, Kiril. Daniel, you want to go next and give us a brief overview of what you're planning?

Daniel: Sure. So 7000 languages are spoken or signed today, but as many as 3000 could disappear in a generation, which would erase half of all cultural, historical, or ecological knowledge. But language extinction is not inevitable, and language revitalization is possible. With the right resources, anyone can learn the language of their ancestors, teach their children, and keep their culture alive. So at Wikitongues, we help people get started with language revitalization. We give micro grants and training to people who are asking that question, how do I save my language in my community? And I'm really excited to say that starting next year, we're gonna have a special track for people who want to use Wikimedia tools, most commonly Wikipedia, but also Wikicommons, Wikisource, Wiktionary for their language revitalization projects. So starting in November, we're gonna have an open application process for anyone who wants to launch a Wikimedia -driven language revitalization project. We're gonna select 10 people. Each of them is gonna get a grant of $2000 US dollars and a year of training and technical support as they start bringing their language to the Wikimedia movement. And what we hope to gain from this aside from just helping 10 communities get their languages on Wikimedia is to identify bottlenecks and pressure points for mother tongue contribution. Because as global as Wikimedia is, only about 5 % of the world's languages are recognized across the ecosystem of, or represented rather across the ecosystem of Wiki projects. So we all have a lot of work to do to make it more culturally accessible on a global level.

Nikki: Wow. Yeah, I read that. I read that percentage in your, in your, um, grand proposal. And it's really, yeah, stunning, stunning number. Amazing. We think of ourselves as such a big Movement and to be that non -inclusive.

Daniel: Well, it's it's a low glow. It's a low bar globally, right? Like Wikimedia is very inclusive. It's just that there's so many languages that typically, uh, are, uh, just completely underserved. So how can we make it better? That's the question.

Nicole: That is indeed the question. And Lucy, do you also want to introduce what you're working on at Wikimedia UK?

Lucy: I will. Yeah, thank you. I mean, just to preface it by saying that Wikimedia UK were interested in this part of the Movement strategy recommendations and cluster looking at initiatives around content gaps and topics for impact, because for us, it really is at the heart of the movement strategy and in particular the strategies, commitment to knowledge equity. Ultimately, we are about content, we are about knowledge and information. So for us, this is really critical and really key. And it also resonated a lot with work that we've been doing over the past six years, which I might come on to talk about a little bit later in the interview. But in a nutshell, we got a small grant last year from the foundation and added some of our own resources to work with an external consultant really to help us become a bit unstuck around this cluster. There'd been a lot of really rich, really interesting conversations, but we were struggling a little bit with how to move forward for various reasons. So we worked with an external consultant who was nonetheless familiar with the movement strategy process to synthesize some of the work today and also to give us some recommendations of how to take this forward. And the main recommendation that she made was to stop thinking about how we define what those content gaps are, how do we get a list of the topics for impact, and think more about how creating a toolkit that can be used in different Wikimedia, in different Wikipedias, different projects, different communities, language, and other communities, to enable them to identify and then start to fill in those gaps. So the next phase of the work for us will be to bring together a very, hopefully, a very diverse and representative group of people to co-create this toolkit over a series of sessions and to pilot, to evaluate, to reiterate, and to hopefully come up with something that can then be used in very different contexts and be an applicable tool that's really helpful for people to go, okay, how can we make a bit of the wiki, how can we make that better? How can we make it more inclusive, more representative and so on.

Nicole: I would like to ask Lucy, what particularly resonated with you when you heard the recommendation number eight or the initiatives that you based your work on? Why did you focus on that?

Lucy: Yeah, thank you. So I'd say this goes back to the work that Wikimedia UK has been doing since we developed a new strategy in 2015. And right at the heart of that was the idea of trying to combat inequality and bias on Wikipedia and the other projects. And so over the past six years, that work has coalesced around four key themes. One of those is underrepresented cultural heritage. Another is diversifying contributors. Gender gap has been one of those themes and also minority and indigenous languages. And then actually over the last couple of years, we've increasingly had a focus on decolonization, both in relation to the cultural sector, but also education. So for us, there was a really obvious fit with the content gaps aspect of the strategy, but also thinking about topics for impact. In our new strategy for 2022 to 2025, we've got a new theme based on the work we've been developing over the past few years, but with more of a focus now around climate and environment. And I think, you know, for very obvious reasons, that's a high impact topic, I think, for most of us. And we've also within this CUSTAH, as it's so sort of compellingly titled, there is the piece around misinformation. And actually that's something we've been working on over the past six years as well in particular, trying to develop information literacy skills to help combat the impact and the effects of misinformation, but also working with civil society in the UK and beyond to address misinformation and disinformation. So it really felt like this area of the movement strategy just resonated so clearly and so strongly with our own work for the past six years. So it felt like a really obvious fit. And then for us, it's about thinking, okay, so how can we bring knowledge that we've got and the experience that we've developed, but recognising that that's in a UK specific context and that there is, you know, it's quite the work for us around knowledge equity and decolonisation is quite loaded because of us being in the UK, working with the institutions who have, whose collections have been built on colonialism and, you know, and pillage and conflict and all of those things. So it's a loaded question for us, but one that we're trying not to shy away from and sort of lead into. Okay, so we have as a relatively large chapter, we've got some resource, we've got some experience. How can we work with the global community to take this work forward? And I'm hopeful that the co-creation of the toolkit, which will be a very inclusive and multilingual process, will get a lot of people who've been interested in this work and who are probably doing things in their own projects and in their own communities and languages. We'll get people interested again and thinking, okay, collectively, what can we do that's greater than the sum of our individual parts on this really important area?

Nikki: It sounds great. So it sounds like you're all developing something that then also can be replicated or adapted, evaluated or adapted by other communities. I think that's what makes its strategy rather than everyone doing their own little thing. So let's get a little more into details on exactly what are you planning to do. Maybe we'll start with Daniel. So one of the interesting things I read in your proposal was that the word translatathon and recordathon. And I thought, oh, that's interesting because one of the questions we've asked is, are these traditional engagement formats that we've had for privileged communities really necessarily the best ones for when working with marginalized communities. So talk a little bit about what you're thinking there and what you're planning.

Daniel: Sure. So editathons are obviously the oldest kind of engagement model for contributing to Wikipedia. It's where you get a group of people together and incentivize them to make a certain number of edits to Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Commons or another wiki project. And translatathons are not as old, but they've been around for a while. We certainly didn't innovate them. Because there are still so many language versions of Wikipedia, I mean, you know, 5 % of the world's languages is still more than 300 languages. Sometimes you want to get a group of people together to just translate a bunch of content from another Wikipedia, right? Like an example that I would be personally interested in is that if you're in Catalan Wikipedia or Spanish Wikipedia, there's gonna be a lot more detail in articles about places in Spain, right? In the Iberian peninsula. And a translatathon might encourage a bunch of bilingual people to translate all those articles into English to make the English Wikipedia more well-rounded about Spain. And so like translated, translatathons can be a really interesting way of ensuring that culturally specific knowledge and certain language additions of Wikipedia make it to others, right? And so that's actually a really great model. The challenge, I guess, with editathons is they adhere to the traditional rules of Wikipedia, right? And that is that we have a kind of very rigorous, citation methodology, which emphasizes written sources rather than oral testimony. That's obviously not like that can be complicated a little bit because if there is a kind of scholarly elicitation of an oral history somewhere that was done by an anthropologist or a sociologist or whatever, that could be considered a valid citation on Wikipedia, but what happens if you're trying to create a mother tongue version of Wikipedia, you know, in a language that's not traditionally written and doesn't have a lot of academic or scholarly sources in that language, right? All of a sudden, what that means is that your citations are mostly going to have to be to sources in a different language, which is probably a roadblock for some communities.So one solution for this, we think, could be streamlining a process in which communities can elicit their own oral histories about their own local knowledge, get that up on Wikicommons or Wikisource, and then those could be citations in their mother tongue version of Wikipedia. There is a challenge, of course, is that oral testimony is not always reliable, not that written testimony is either, but there are ways to rigorously elicit oral histories that are accurate. But how to do that is not a can of worms that we've begun unraveling. But what we did do a couple of years ago is we organized an event with Who's Knowledge and AfroCrowd, which are two other Wikimedia user groups, and developed a spin on the editathon and translateathon called a recordathon. And that was basically a model for getting people together and incentivizing oral histories, which could then go on Wikisource or Wikicommons. And we've only done one or two of these. I did one as well at one of the Wikimania events, I think in Cape Town, but I can't really remember. And apparently there's a record-a-thon that happened in Finland recently that neither Wikitongue's AfroCrowd or Who's Knowledge helped organize. So I guess the format is gaining some kind of steam and might be here to stay, which would be very cool. And then we can work on improving it.

Nicole: Yeah, I have an additional question for you, Lucy. So how are you planning to do the outreach to the community members that you want to work with to create the toolkit? Like what are your plans? Because this is something that we always ask ourselves. I bet many organizations and communities ask this question themselves, like how do we reach people and motivate them to contribute and join in creating these kinds of toolkits?

Lucy: Yeah, I think that's a really good question. I think that at a very basic level, quite a lot of people over the past couple of years have expressed an interest in this topic and they've signed up to various lists or meta. And at the moment, nothing's happening with those lists, not a criticism of anyone, but that's going to be the key starting point. Somewhere in the last past few years, you said that you were interested in this. Is that still the case and how can we best engage with you? But obviously, we want to reach beyond the people who've been engaged in the movement strategy process over the past few years. So we'll have to give that some thought. And I think this is where the consultant that we worked with previously has a lot of really rich experience in developing participatory processes. So talking to her about what insights she may have. And then of course, in terms of the criteria for being part of this group, we want to make sure that it is representative, that it is a diverse group, but there'll also be an issue around availability. And one of the reasons that we want to apply for another grant from the foundation is that we can support people financially to participate in that process where that's appropriate. I mean, obviously I work for an affiliate and I'm in a paid role, but there are plenty of people who've got expertise, but actually, you know, we, we, they're not always able to volunteer their time or they do, but there's a limit to that volunteering, right? And we have to respect that and recognize that and see how we can support people to be involved in an equitable way.

Nicole: I have kind of a similar question to Kiril as well. How do you pick the communities and languages that you are working with and what have you found out about these communities already during the research phase that you initiated and is there anything that you can already share? I know that's very early probably, but some insights might be available already.

Kiril: Yeah, thanks for the question. That's an excellent question at this stage of the project. I have to say that the main rationale that we used in picking the communities was the status of the languages. So of the all languages spoken in Macedonia, only Romanian and Romanian don't have official status in any other country in the world, which means that they don't have state-sponsored support in any country. That means that the body of literature in these languages is also scarce and they really need someone to step up and support the preservation of their languages. As regards the research phase, what we have found is that every language community is unique. So you can use some kind of standardized questions to serve your language community, but you also have to bear in mind that there are also some other things that you need to learn in advance before approaching these language communities. For that purpose, we decided to contact NGOs which work on supporting these language communities. We managed to conduct a couple of interviews with them in order to get familiar with their needs and the status of their languages. Then we drafted the service that was shared with members of the language communities in order to get some knowledge about what they might need from us in the future phases of the project. And what we learned so far is that most speakers of minority languages don't have the same knowledge of the language in written form. That's mostly because they're not used to write in the language as much as they speak. They also don't have many materials in the languages like books or any other printed copies that they can use to learn the language. And this is also a very good opportunity for us because Wikipedia is something in written form. So getting these people involved in the language editions of Wikipedia might be also a very good opportunity for them to learn the language in written form. When it comes to the uses of the Macedonian sign language, the main learning is that most members of the diff community don't speak Macedonian, I mean the traditional Macedonian language fluently. This is mostly because they have never had the chance to hear the language, so they may have learned the language from reading it, but still they don't have the capacity to speak and write it fluently. And in this case, we found out that it might be more practical to get these people involved in some other spheres of the Wikimedia Movement, not only to contribute to Wikipedia, but also to get some other engagements like uploading photos to Wikimedia Commons or editing Wikidata items, which is also some important way of contributing to the Wikimedia Movement, even though it's not like traditionally writing articles on Wikipedia or any other projects. So in a sum, I have to say that working with members of the Romanian and Romanian language communities would be to support the language editions of Wikipedia or to say to develop capacities that would enable them to sustain their future growth in the next couple of years. While with regard to the community of the Macedonian Sign Language, it would be to involve these people to contribute primarily to Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata and make a few exceptions to those people who really understand the Macedonian language very well and can contribute to the Macedonian language.

Nikki: That sounds great. I want to come back to Daniel because it's sort of some of the things that you've talked about, Daniel, about recordathons and oral knowledge sort of connect with to or might already be solutions to the problems that Carol was describing around there's not a lot of written heritage and not a lot of, and then the speakers of these languages don't have a lot of written knowledge of their language. I'm a little interested in sort of the origin story also, but that Lucy was telling her origin story a minute ago. So how did you arrive at this focus for underrepresented languages? What did you do before Movement Strategy that led to this work? And then I want to ask another question about how you guys work with underrepresented communities, but come to that later.

Daniel: Sure. So Wikitongues is outside of our user group, an independent nonprofit. We've been in operation since, I mean, it's kind of fuzzy to say like 2014 to 2016, depending on like when you peg our start date. I started it mainly because I wanted to get involved with language revitalization, but I wasn't a linguist and I wanted to see if there were ways to make it more possible for lay people to get involved. Not to replace linguists, of course, linguists are indispensable in this work. But you know, this is, um, a global problem affecting half the world's cultures. And we need all hands on deck. The reason I started Wikitongues, I suppose, is because, well, first of all, on my father's side, I have an underrepresented language in my family, which is Yiddish. And as Jewish languages go, it's far and away the best supported. It's technically not even endangered because there are some communities that continue to pass it on. But only about 10 % of the world's Ashkenazi population speaks Yiddish natively, whereas before World War II, it was the mother tongue of the majority of the Ashkenazi Jewish population. So for many of us, it is a language that needs revitalization. And it's one that I grew up with only in kind of fragments because my father didn't learn it. His parents were the last ones to speak it. So that's very important to me. And I think I became a little more actively aware of that when I was living in Spain and learning to speak Catalan, which is the language that was persecuted during the Franco dictatorship, officially marginalized by the state until 1978, but has since been very, very well revitalized. And living in, although I'm sure there are some Catalan speakers who would disagree with that assessment, but it's a language that's growing again, not shrinking. And living in that environment and seeing how important that language is to Catalan identity and Catalan culture is something that got me interested in my own experience with this stuff. And it got me asking questions about how to get involved. We started supporting revitalization directly in 2019 when people reached out to us asking, how do I save my language? Before that, we were just collecting videos of different languages. And that's a wonderful question. How do I save my language? Because it's not an easy thing to launch a generational process which is language revitalization. And so we started thinking about are there ways to standardize an approach to thinking about how to save your language? And is there a way to make the whole process more accessible to people? And that's where we are today.

Nikki: Lucy, you look like you might want to react to this.

Lucy: Oh, just, yeah, I just found that really fascinating. I mean, I was also, I guess, I was sort of thinking about the journey of the Welsh language, you know, and the way in which that was the English sought to suppress the Welsh language and how that is starting to, you know, that's really transforming. You know, when I was at school, I mean, I didn't grow up in Wales, but the vast majority of kids growing up in Wales were learning in English and that's changing. And, you know, some of the work that we're doing, we've got a Wales program coordinator and a lot of his work is working on Welsh language initiative. So it's just it was just resonating with me really. So yeah, so I was being expressive in my in my face. It sounds no, it sounds great.

Daniel: I read an article recently, because the Welsh language is you know, they're mounting a really vigorous revitalization project. I remember reading they're kind of on track for a million Welsh speakers by like 2040 or something like that. I don't remember the exact date. But but one thing that's been really cool is they've been so kind of determined in their institutional effort to save their language that it's inspired more activism across the channel in Brittany. Because Breton is a Celtic language and a cousin of Welsh. And France is one of the, shall we say, least supportive countries in Europe when it comes to this kind of work. And so there's a lot of work to be done there. But I remember seeing that the success of Welsh is starting to inspire more activism in Brittany. And that's really cool.

Lucy: That's great. And actually, just also just saying, hearing your that sort of thing about the origin story and hearing about how central somebody's language is to their sense of self and their sense of identity and their sense of history and family and belonging and all of those things. That's why one of our core themes has been around indigenous and minority languages. But I just thought you articulated that really beautifully.

Daniel: Thank you for a dunk.

Nikki: I love how you guys think about utilizing the Wikimedia projects for a separate purpose, which we're always thinking about, oh, how can we implement Movement strategy? How we can fill these recommendations with life. But in this case, I love how you guys are thinking it from the other end. We want to help people save their languages. We want to help people preserve their heritage, preserve their culture. And hey, let's use the Wikimedia projects for that. And we might have to tweak them a little bit here and there, like we talked about the formats earlier. Yeah, but I think it's wonderful. And to me, that's how we get rooted in the world. That's how we have impact is by not having free knowledge just its own purpose for itself, you know, but having impact on people's lives in the ways that you've just described. One of the things that also I picked up from what both of you said earlier is how you're utilizing, or in your case, Lucy, potentially utilizing the Movement Strategy Implementation Grants. And I think that's a super important little thing that I want to surface, which, you know, you're sub-granting, if I understand that correctly, Daniel, you're sub-granting your MSIG grant to the members of the communities that you're working with. And you haven't called it that, Lucy, but you said you want to use some of those funds to reimburse people for their time. So I think that's also something to be modeled. Do you want to talk about that more? Or is it enough if I just surface that?

Lucy: Yeah, just to say, I mean, for us, a grant would be just used for people's time. Some of that might be an external facilitator, but otherwise it would be for participation of other folks. Wikimedia UK wouldn't be looking to, e receive an annual plan, so we wouldn't be looking to support our own contribution to it. It would be about trying to ensure the equity of participation. But Daniel's probably got a more interesting answer to the question.

Nikki: Daniel, have you turned it into a competition, so to speak, so into a competitive sub-granting process, or how are you structuring?

Daniel: Well, we're structuring it the same way we structure our existing grant making, which is that once a year, people who want to start or accelerate a language revitalization project in their community apply to Wikitongues. And they get a grant, and they get a year of training and other kinds of in -kind support to move their project forward. And this of course isn't in of itself something that revitalizes a language. That's a generational process. But starting or fortifying a project to that end is kind of the first step. So now what we're doing is we're saying, okay, next year we're going to support 25 projects and 10 of those projects are going to be projects that are specifically using Wiki tools and Wiki platforms to support their language revitalization initiative. And you think about it, it's a great way, right? Like we're trying to save our culture, we're trying to keep our culture and language alive. So let's build a mother tongue encyclopedia about our own cultural knowledge. And that also translates other knowledge from around the world. What a great exercise for any community. But I suppose it's competitive in that people have to apply. But once you're part of the cohort, you're not pitted in competition against the other recipients. And I think it's super necessary, right? Because, you know, obviously, Wikimedia relies on a volunteering model, but volunteering requires a certain amount of privilege, right? And sometimes people might even have free time, but they just don't have like solid internet or like a laptop, you know, a lot of people in the world's only computer is a phone, right? And so these kinds of funds can be really, really helpful to get stuff off the ground. And I think the foundation, if it wants to be more inclusive on a global level, needs to rethink a little bit the volunteer only model. I understand that that opens up like that presents a lot of different challenges. But if you want more people from every country, underrepresented cultures, like you can expect only volunteering. It's just not going to work.

Nikki: With you there. And in fact, we're planning a whole episode of the WIKIMOVE on volunteerism and how we might have to question our Western Northern definition of volunteerism in order to to grow in other parts of the world.

Daniel: Yeah. Or just industrialized, right? It's not just a Western thing. There's wealthy countries outside the West with high standards of living and where you can expect people to volunteer. And then there's communities in the West that don't have a lot of money and time to do this work.

Nikki: It's not a geographic thing. It's an income thing, definitely. So let's move on. We have very little time left for an interview. Let's move on to a little bit sort of the strategic level. So you're all going to produce some materials that I'm hoping will benefit others in the Movement. You want to ask a question about that?

Nicole: Maybe it would be good to hear from each of you in a very short summarized way. What do you hope to produce as a result of your work and materials that, as Niki said, other communities and organizations could use as well? Maybe we start with Kiril and then Lucy and then Daniel.

Kiril: We plan to produce different materials that can be reused by other communities. First of all, we plan to report on each stage of implementing our project. So on the research phase, the implementation and the evaluation phase. We also plan to share some tips and learning from the implementation of our project, not only with regards to the main idea of the project, but also with specifics from each of the communities that we get involved in the project. We also consider writing learning patterns. I know that this is a very good form of sharing knowledge with the other communities, but it has been abandoned in the last couple of years, even though we prefer using it. And I have written a couple of learning patterns recently myself. And we also, I think that it might be useful to organize a couple of talks and meetings with communities willing to replicate this project. We know that it's a bit difficult to find a good way on how to do what has been done in the past. We acknowledge that the main problem is that every community is different. So even though you can find a common language, you have to research the differences and you have to find your own way on how to deal with them. I know that there have been a couple of African communities willing to work something similar with the underrepresented languages in Africa. And even though it's possible to replicate this model, we have to have a meeting with them in order to discuss what are the main similarities and differences so that we can mutually find a way on how to proceed with these communities. But at the end, I have to say that still it's a very good basis for future efforts in this direction. And I forgot to mention about the sign language. To my memory, this is the first such efforts in the Wikimedia Movement. I haven't heard about any other community working with users of a sign language or getting the members of the deaf community involved in the Wikimedia Movement. So this is also something which would lay the ground for further efforts in the world of communities in other countries willing to get users of other sign languages involved in the Wikimedia Movement. Because there is no universal sign language, this is a very good learning that we learned in the research phase of this community. There are some efforts to create one, but still the sign languages around the world differ as the other traditional languages. And the learning that we will get in the end of this project will definitely be of huge value for all other communities willing to work with these communities in the future.

Nicole: Thank you Kirill. And also thanks for the reminder of learning, that learning patterns still exist. I recommend everyone to go on Meta and search for learning patterns because there's a huge variety and it's really a treasure of everything our Movement learned and somehow we seem to have forgotten that they exist. So, let's revive that trend. And now Lucy, maybe what are you going to produce or hoping to produce?

Lucy: So in essence, we're looking to produce a practical toolkit through a participatory process that can be used by Wikimedia affiliates and communities around the world to implement cluster initiatives. And, you know, as this listening to Kiril, I mean, of course, one of the things we'll want to do once we've got the toolkit is to support the use of that, is to identify some pilot projects, which may come from some of the people involved in the creation of the toolkit, but also from beyond that, you know, to keep that alive document that is being improved, evaluated, adapted and so on in response to feedback. But essentially, the next stage of the process for us is the creation of that toolkit. We'd also want to document the process. And of course, the toolkit itself will need to be available in multiple languages. But the bottom line is, you know, something that's really practical that people can take and apply to their own particular situation and context and hopefully find that it works for them.

Daniel: I'm very excited. I would love to, if you guys have write-ups about your projects, I'd love to read more about them because it sounds like we're working on all very aligned things that would complement each other in a later phase of this work. So Wikitongues maintains one document that is what we call language sustainability toolkit, and that is just kind of a broad introduction to language revitalization, thinking about how to save your language. That includes a protocol for listening oral histories that we think is pretty culturally and linguistically well-rounded. If you actually go through the interview questions, you can get several hours of content in your language that talks about different cultural practices and things like that. And that got rolled into another toolkit, which I think is called the Oral Knowledge Transcription Toolkit that is being worked on by a Wikimedian from India named Amrit Sufi. And I think she's actually testing that toolkit at the end of this month or in early September. What we hope to produce, I guess, in addition to these two things is a report based on this first year where we support these 10 wiki-based revitalization projects to get an understanding of the technical and kind of cultural and structural bottlenecks for contributing to the Wikimedia Movement that we hope could serve two purposes. One, being a foundation for having another kind of guide to getting your mother tongue on Wikipedia in general or Wikimedia in general, right? And also perhaps it could end up being a series of recommendations for the foundation. So they have a kind clear list of items to work on if they want to make it more everything more linguistically inclusive.

Nicole: Thank you. So we are already at time, but we have one bonus question that I would like love us to ask. I'm going to ask it and then maybe we can see if we will use the answers and if we can make time for them. So because there has been this suggestion by Jan Einarly to say, because the recommendation is called Identify Topics for Impact, and he said they have already been identified because there are the SDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals, and they basically represent what the world needs to know and what kind of knowledge humanity needs to preserve humanity, basically. And I would love to hear from you if any of you has some thoughts about this or what do you think about using the SDGs actually as an identification for topics that create impact?

Lucy: So yeah, the sustainable development goals were identified through the global conversations over the past few years as being a really important sort of North Star really in terms of identifying those topics for impact. And there's also the Knowledge Gaps Index. I think I've got the right name, which is a tool that the research team at the Wikimedia Foundation have produced and have been working on. Both of those could be incredibly helpful. But I think I have two caveats to that. One is that for us, what's really important in this initiative cluster, cluster initiative, sorry, is not just about the high impact topics and topics for impact, but it's also about the content gaps and underrepresented knowledge. Because actually, what is a big splashy impactful topic, important as that is, it's not actually the same as ensuring representation, equity, and the summable knowledge. So I don't want the, personally, I don't want the high impact topics to completely eclipse the fact that we still have massive gaps in areas which will be important to a particular community or language community or LGBT+ community and will be incredibly important for them and will be, you know, we should be working to get a wiki but isn't necessarily covered by the SDGs. And I think that was one caveat. And I think, I mean, the other caveat is just to say that, you know, context is everything. So even within the SDGs, you know, what might be relevant to, you know, a UK audience is going to be different from an audience, you know, reader in, you know, in Ghana or in Sweden or whatever. But fundamentally, I completely agree, we should be looking to the SDGs as an important sort of point from which to go, okay, so these are some really essential, big, basic things that, as you say, at Nikki that humanity needs. And these are really, really good starting point.

Nikki: Thank you. Thanks. So thank you all so much for your time today. We're really looking forward to hearing more about about your projects because you're in different phases right now. And maybe you can all come back in a year or two and report back on what's been happening and what you've been finding out. That'd be really cool. And now for a segment that we call Don't Look Up! One of the big topics of Movement strategy and the topics in the Charter and also at the Wikimedia Summit is, was and will be how is money generated and distributed in our movement. The strategy emphasizes financial independence of affiliates, subsidiarity of decision making and equitable distribution of resources between Global North and Global South. So those are all important topics. And in looking up, we can figure out how other movements do this, because we're not the only movement in the world. You can find out how other movements do this by reading the Money Paper, which is a summary of empirical research that we've done here at Wikimedia Germany for the Movement through our Movement Strategy and Global Relations team. And you can find that paper on the WMD Meta page. And we'll put that in the show notes too. So for this paper, we have looked at eight global confederated movements and asked them, do you have centralized fundraising? Spoiler, the answer is no, they don't. Who can fundraise? Spoiler, most cases all affiliates. How do affiliates contribute to the movement? How are affiliates supported that come from areas with economic challenges? How is the international entity funded, the Secretariat? What are its functions? Is grant making one of them? Spoiler in very few cases. So the answers to all these questions you will find in our report, in our paper. None of these international movements have found the holy grail of resource distribution. None of them have figured this out completely well. But we do look at standards, at variables, and at practices. And we hope that what's in this report will help create a joint language when we discuss these issues, when we discuss how we want to organize money flows in the Movement to help us move towards our strategic direction.

Nicole: Thank you, Nikki. I look very much forward to this paper and for sharing it with the movement.

Nikki: So that's a wrap of the fourth episode of WIKIMOVE. Thanks everybody for listening.

Nicole: WIKIMOVE is a production of Wikimedia Deutschland and its movement strategy and global relations team. Eva Martin pulls all the strings in the background, she makes sure that the technology runs smoothly and she also thinks with us to create excellent content. Our music was composed and produced by Rory Gregory and is of course available under a Creative Commons license CC BY SA on Wikimedia Commons.

And thank you to our wonderful guests, Lucy, Kiril and Daniel. It's been a great pleasure talking to you. We try our best to release new episodes every month. We did take a little summer break. We hope that new ideas are born from the conversations in Wikimove and collaborations are kickstarted. Please visit our Wikimove meta page to react to our podcast, connect with other listeners and subscribe to always be notified of our new episode releases.

If you missed the previous episode, check it out on our Meta page. You can also contact us at to continue discussions and share your suggestions for next episodes. Ciao for now and Tschüssi! Bye, see you soon!