WIKIMOVE/Podcast/Transcript Episode 6

Nicole: Welcome to episode 6 of WIKIMOVE, a podcast where we discuss the future of the Wikimedia Movement. I'm Nicole Ebber and with me is Nikki Zeuner.

Nikki: Hi everybody.

Nicole: We are both working in Wikimedia Deutschland's Movement Strategy and Global relations team.

Nikki: This episode was recorded at 13:00 CEST on 24th of October 2022. Things may 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: In addition to the podcast, we have a meta page and a web page. You can find all the relevant links in the show notes.

Nicole: On today's show, we will talk about hubs. We have two wonderful guests, so stay tuned for that.

Nikki and Nicole: But first, news from the Movement.

Nikki: So we're in the middle of regional events season. Some have already taken place. Some are yet to come. Look out for our sessions on Movement Strategy topics or other people's sessions on movement strategy topics. What's coming is German WikiCon, the CEE meeting, and we will probably hear more about that later on in another show. Upcoming are also WikiArabia, WikiIndaba, Wiki Convention Francophone and EasyUp.

Nicole: I wanted to share some news around Wikimedia Europe. As of today, we have 22 founding members and the organization is actually in the process of registration. They already have a board elected and Claudia Garad is their president. They decided to have their headquarters in Brussels, but their General Assembly in Prague to spread locations across Europe. Their statutes and all the processes that led to the statutes are of course available on Meta, just search for Wikimedia Europe. Their focus is, and it also has been for the last 10 years, advocacy. You can also find a wonderful post on DIF from Anna Masgal about the topic if Wikimedia Europe is a hub or not. And what I find news and impressive is that they were so very fast. The conversations around founding this organization started earlier at the beginning of this year, kind of, and so they are now close to becoming a real organization.

Nikki: Can I ask a question? So you said the focus has been advocacy for the last 10 years, but it wasn't Wikimedia Europe, right? What was it?

Nicole: It was the free knowledge advocacy group EU. That was already like an umbrella organization or group of people who supported Demi and Anna, who were doing public policy work in Brussels and talked to policymakers and so on. And they were supported by a network of affiliates already who were investing in advocacy work.

Nikki: Cool. And now it's sort of formalized.

Nicole: Yeah, it is. So it's form follows function. Yeah.

Nikki: Nice. I like it.

Nikki and Nicole: And now for a segment called Is it hope I am feeling?

Nikki: Nicole, you told me recently that you felt quite hopeful about the MCDC, but I want to first explain what that is because we want to not assume that everybody knows what that means. So what's the MCDC? It stands for Movement Charter Drafting Committee. And in recommendation four, it says, ensure equity and decision-making. That's the title of the recommendation. And it charges us to write a Movement Charter. This Charter will lay the values, principles, and policy basis for Movement structures. This is quote from the recommendation, including the roles and responsibilities of the global council, regional and thematic hubs, which we will talk about in the show as well as other existing and new entities and decision-making bodies. So the MCDC is the Movement Charter Drafting Committee that was established in a pretty complex, lengthy election and selection process and comprises a group of diverse, dedicated Wikimedians who are now going to work on that charter. So tell us more about why you're feeling hopeful.

Nicole: I'm feeling hopeful because I've got the feeling that the MCDC is now actually showing up in conversations and they've been to the Wikimedia Summit in Berlin and had their first public appearance and actually extensive exchange with Wikimedia affiliates. So my hope is that this can be a turning point for them and for their engagement with the broader Movement.

Nikki: So when you say a turning point, a turning point from what? What was the situation before this moment at the Summit?

Nicole: Yeah, until then, I haven't or we haven't seen and heard so much of them aside from some written updates and presentations about their process at meetings like the Swan meeting or the European meeting and also individual conversations. For example, we had Erika here on our show. I can imagine that the open exchange and consultation is a very challenging task for the committee and for the individual members as well. It's for me comparable to what the working groups did in phase two of Movement Strategy. So you need a lot of time and energy and also a lot of nerves for these kinds of consultations. And you're often met with pushback and with critique from various like people or communities or organizations because those who actually support or assume good faith in what you're doing or what you're working on, they often remain invisible behind those very few vocal voices who push back or who don't trust the work of the committee.

Nikki: So what happened at the Summit to break through that?

Nicole: Yeah, so the whole committee with 15 people was present and they were not just present, they were on stage, they were in all the sessions and they listened a lot and asked also a lot of questions to other participants. And I felt they were getting more comfortable with being in the spotlight with each day of the conference. And I also felt it became clearer that their task of writing the charter is a task that they cannot do all alone, that they need the input, the expertise, and also the time of others from across the Movement. So for example, they asked the group of executive directors for input. They also contacted us, the two of us, to take a deeper dive into the papers that we published on governance and participation and money. So it seems their orientation and group forming and storming is done now and they are moving from the norming to the performing stage.

Nikki: That's a lot of -ormings. So what will happen next and how can people sort of be engaged with it?

Nicole: From what I know, they should be publishing their first drafts very soon for the first rounds of community communication. And they also may use the regional events as a stage to engage with the communities and the affiliates and to get a pulse from the Movement and use all these exchanges to guide them in their hard work ahead. So, yeah, there's hope on the horizon and I'm actually feeling it.

Nikki: So we're going to move on to our interview now. And today we are going to be talking about Hubs. So Hubs seem to be the hot topic of the Movement for a while now, especially pursuant to the strategy recommendations where that coin was sort of introduced. And however, even before the strategy process started, many affiliates and volunteers have done hub-like work for a long time, and Hubs now seem to provide a vehicle to formalize and financially sustain that work. The idea of having structures that help people share resources, do fundraising together and make decisions at the regional level reverberates with many. And so today we have two of them. We have Johnny Alegre and Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska to give us updates on hub activities in Asia and Eastern Europe. So this show is not so much about finding a common definition of Hubs or discussing the process of establishing a hub or the rules or the criteria or any of that stuff, but it's more about discussing actual collaborations that are happening in the Movement right now. So Nicole, do you want to introduce our first guest?

Nicole: Yes, I would like to introduce you all to Johnny Alegre. His real name is Juan Bautista Alegre and he is from Manila in the Philippines. He is listed in Wikipedia's 15 Year Society. That means he's been contributing for more than 15 years already to Wikipedia. And he's the president of the Philippines Affiliate Philippine Wikimedia Community User Group or PhilWiki, as many of you will know it. I've known Johnny since 2015 when he attended the Wikimedia conference in Berlin and he also recently attended the Wikimedia Summit. He is working on the ongoing ECEUP Hub workshop team, for example on material to be presented for consensus in the ECEUP conference that's actually coming up in Sydney in November. And I know that also he's like kind of a star. He does music as a jazz musician. And he likes to travel a lot. And that's why I was also very happy to welcome him in Berlin a couple of weeks ago.

Nikki: Our second guest today is Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska. She's a communicator, a project manager, a community supporter and a psychology student. And she has been part of the Wikimedia movement since 2008. And she has been supporting the Polish Wikipedia community as an editor, for example, writing about notable women in early cinema. Oh, I gotta look those up. As an administrator and a Polish Wikipedia arbitration committee member, she works in Wikimedia Poland as community support team manager. In 2021, she conducted the NEETS research for the CEE hub, so Central and Eastern Europe hub, and has been part of the CEE hub interim steering committee. So we have some movers and shakers here today. So we haven't color coded our questions. So we're going to have to figure out who asked what question here. But I'll just keep going. So maybe start with Johnny. Give us an idea of the history of the Hub that you're working on. What was the idea? What opportunities and problems are addressed?

Johnny: OK. Maybe I can give a capsule history. The first idea for a Hub in Southeast Asia started in 2012 in Washington DC. And then it was followed by Wikimania in Hong Kong in 2013. Seems like because Wikimania happens every year, it's a good venue for people from our countries, from our regions to get together and discuss the possibility of a regional cooperation. And then of course, in 2015, during the Wikimedia Conference, we got together. And around that time, the idea of a real name called ECUP surfaced around 2017, also in Berlin at the conference. And then we had our first ECUP conference in 2018. So because of the pandemic, the proponents of ECUP have not been able to meet face to face, but in lieu of that, we have continued meeting online. And I think we've gone past the 36th meeting already. And because of the conversations that we had, at the recent conference in Berlin, it was taken upon us to start a workshop and I am engaged towards creating a map for the program to be presented to the attendees at the workshop, at the conference, at the ECF conference.

Nikki: So beyond just sort of the general idea of collaboration, what are some of the things that you see the Hub doing in the future?

Johnny: Well, foremost is, of course, cooperation and interaction between the different member countries, member country affiliates of the Hub that we're thinking of putting together. We do have certain concerns, particularly about any legal implications of setting up an organization because we do have laws and our laws are not standard. It varies from country to country. So we will have to solve that particular concern if it will be along those lines. And also, it's basically setting up shop we do want to become some kind of a help desk or a resource for affiliates to go to for services like a service bureau for services regarding funding or proper recognition as affiliates. Sky is the limit. We still have to define the rules of engagement as far as...

Nicole: The sky is the limit. Is that also something that goes for CEE and that we can ask Natalia about? To share a little bit about short history of the Hub and why was it founded and what opportunities are you going to address?

Natalia: Well, I really hope that the sky is the limit, but going down, I'd like to start with the foundations because the CEE Hub, actually the foundations for the CEE Hub were created much, much before we as a movement even start talking about hubs, because the CEE region has been cooperating for years, on one hand by organising the CEE meetings, which are the regional conferences in central Eastern Europe, and on the other hand by creating the CEE Spring, which is a beautiful and amazing writing competition, which connects both cooperating on an international level, and adjusting the format to what is local for their communities and to their context. So when the idea of the hubs emerged, it was very natural for the CEE community to want to participate and to use it as an opportunity to collaborate even better. So we knew from the start that we want to create something that is very close to the actual needs of the communities of the region. And in order to know what those needs are, we needed to talk to the communities themselves. So in 2021, we started a research project for the Central Eastern European communities, which was 21 interviews with representatives of different communities and affiliates from the region and a survey. And based on that, we discovered what are the actual needs, what the communities are struggling with, what would be needful for them to thrive. And the whole idea of this particular hub and the research itself was to not to come with ready -made answers and structures, but listen very carefully about what is very specific to those communities, what is the local context, because in the central European region, actually the local context can be very different and can provide very different environments for working on free knowledge. So we wanted to capture that. We wanted to know what is the amazing work the communities are already doing and what will help them to bring it to the next level. So we found out about that through the research. And then we started the CEE Hub by applying for the grant for the first year of the CEE Hub. And we went into the pilot phase, which is now happening and will be happening through the year. And during this pilot phase, we will be working on exactly those things that we discovered in this research.

Nikki: Can you name just a few things that surfaced in the research? Like what are the needs of the communities in your area?

Natalia: So it was very interesting because the needs were very similar between those different affiliates. And we kind of captured them in three areas, which we now call the three pillars of the CEE HUB. The first one is administration. What we found out is that the different communities, especially the smaller ones, are very, very much overburdened with administrative work day to day, which actually prevents them to focus on the programmatic work. So the hub would like to help with that. And this help can be very different. It can be providing a toolbox for the communities to work on their administration things. It can be for example, help them in applying for grants, both in the Movement and outside of the Movement, or just giving them advice and some administrative tasks. So this is one thing. The other thing is programmatic work. And in terms of programmatic work, the hub would like to support especially the smaller affiliates and to connect the big things that happen in the movement, for example, helping them loosening some of the organizational or logistic burden which comes in participating, for example, in Wikilabs monuments, Wikilabs at CEE Spring. And the third one is the communication, which aims to bring closer to bring the community closer to what is happening in the global movement and to help them with communicating with each other.

Nicole: Johnny, I would like to ask you a little bit more about, because you also talked about the different affiliates being involved in the hub. And I know that we also sometimes hear in conversations of the Movement, oh, the hubs might take responsibilities away from the affiliates. I actually think it's a good thing that responsibilities will probably either be more centralized at some point and others probably not. So can you maybe talk about what roles or what functions your hub could potentially take over from the affiliates or some of the affiliates?

Johnny: We have a multitude of communities in our region, other than chapters and user groups, because there are so many islands. We do have so many communities that are in need of assistance, we have to support them as well. And we have to create a pipeline for them in order to be able to function. At the end of the day, similar to what Natalia just mentioned, those are also the items that we want to deliver. However, at this point, because we are beginning and we are gathering consensus. We cannot get ahead of ourselves and it is essential for us to be able first of all to define the geographical footprint of what ECUP stands for. It's East Southeast Asia, East Southeast Asia Pacific. So we have to define the boundaries because we do not want to perhaps spread ourselves thin. So we have to be able to define the context of the services that ECUP, of the hub ECUP, would deliver to our member affiliates, chapters, and communities. Those are our primary concerns. And then we can go further. We can go into the following context, which would be to what particular services would we be able to provide as a hub to these entities. There are even strong contributors who do not belong to any kind of user group or chapter or even a community. They are lone wolves, but they are very, very proficient and very, very productive. And we should be able to acknowledge these individuals who are great contributors in our part of the world. So all of these concerns will have to be discussed. And then moving forward, we can identify the particular items or outreach programs that we would get into as a regional cooperative.

Nikki: Maybe same question back to Natalia, sort of what roles and functions, so you know a little bit about the needs of your communities that you surveyed. Have you thought about what roles and what functions the hub can take over from affiliates to make their lives easier?

Natalia: I don't think like take over is the word. I really like how Johnny called it a help desk. So we think about supporting affiliates in what they are already doing by providing, for example, certain services. One of the things would be, for example, some things are much cheaper if they are done in a group, for example, in terms of ordering some things and buying things. This can be taken by a hub and then redistributed. The other thing is that, as I said, we would like to support them in the administrative role in the way that the communities and the affiliates actually expect it and support some programmatic organization. One thing we would also like to do, and this is something that the affiliates are not yet doing super well, is connecting with each other. Because right now, there are so many affiliates doing amazing things, and sometimes they are at the same time doing very similar amazing things. They don't learn from each other, they don't connect, and there is no synergy. So the hub would perfectly help with that. As for example, a communication and a contact center, if I would have an interesting project, now go to hub and say, hey, is this someone who's doing something similar somewhere in the CEE region? And they would say, hey, talk, for example, to the Austrian people, or for example, talk to Macedonian people, they are doing something like that. We could have a joint project together. So this is also something that the hub can do. And so, as I said, through the first year, we want to focus on the three areas, which is communication, administration, and programmatic work. And this is where we'll be supporting the affiliates in the task.

Nikki: So there's also some other tools being developed in the Movement right now. I don't know if you've heard of the capacity exchange, but that, you know, that's, and then also the, let's connect program that the foundation started. And so, you know, it's, it will also be interesting to see how those can be of service to hubs like yours with the idea of connecting people and creating opportunities for peer connections and peer support.

Natalia: Yeah, I would just like to say that I'm a huge fan of the Let's Connect network. It's been very helpful already, so I'm looking forward to that.

Nicole: I would also like to ask the question, what do you already know or think the hub will not be doing? Because I know that, I don't know, when we talk about what our team is doing or what our organization is doing, it's like all the things. And then at some point you have to say, OK, we are not going to do this because we are, as Johnny also said, at a stretch there and we have to make decisions where we can focus on and what's probably most helpful and valuable. And this might not be a question you can answer already because you need more information to actually give that answer. But if you have a an idea already what your hub will not be what others might consider it doing. And please speak. And Natalia, do you want to start?

Natalia: Oh, no, I don't have an answer to that. There were some there were some ideas that came up during the recent CEE meetings about what the hub might do. For example, there was this ask for a joint accounting for the for the region. And right now, the hub won't be doing that. I'm not sure about the future, but this is a very complicated and expensive probably endeavour. So this is something that we won't be pursuing. But right now we are very focused on what we decided that we will do, which naturally cuts out things that we don't want to do. So we are in this good position of knowing the borders of what we're doing.

Johnny: The first thing we have to surmount really would be the multitude of languages that we have in our region. And we have to find a proper office perhaps, where in anyone who needs any kind of help with their respective way of communicating would be accommodated. The possibilities are endless. That's why I say sky's the limit because we really don't know that the beautiful thing about coming into this area for us is because we haven't established anything yet. Everything is open to discussion. And in that way, we're approaching this with a very open mind. And it's really important for us to reach some kind of a unified consensus on how we really want this hub to be. There have been discussions in the past how the hub should be structured. But still, we have to update the consensus based on a wider base of stakeholders. Primarily, we want to have a place where the communities can be heard. That's the most important thing. And to provide support regardless of what the concerns are. But you know, at the end of the day, it all goes down to projects collaborations and funding of course. It's always funding. And the extent of the outreach that we want to do either locally or regionally. You know there's a saying, everything global is actually local. So we have to approach it that way. Other than the multitude of languages, we do have certain unifying anthropological quote unquote links, you know. So perhaps that would be a point of convergence for the different participating country affiliates and communities.

Nikki: So you just mentioned the effort funding. I want to talk a little bit more about that. Now you go back to Natalia. Do you see the CEE Hub having a role in fundraising or funding distribution in the future? Maybe not right away, but in the future?

Natalia: Well, I think that right now it is not something that we are working on. And I am very open about the future because as Johnny said, we're in this state when everything is open and we need to approach that with openness and curiosity and flexibility. So depending on how the finance things will work in the movement. Maybe there's also a role for the hubs, maybe just a role for the CEE hub. Right now, no one knows.

Nikki: Johnny, do you have something to add to that?

Johnny: I think we more or less summed it all up. Unless there are other things to be concerned with. For example, how are our voices, how will our voices in our region be recognized in the global context? What is our way of influencing policies on a global scale in the Wikimedia movement? This is something that still is unanswered. We have to figure that out.

Nicole: That is a good slide into the next. Into the next question, because you just said it, Johnny, like if we look beyond the horizon of the individual hubs or the hubs that you're working on, what do you think a Movement with a network of different regional hubs could look like? You know, if this new structure is being introduced part of the movement, how can this or how is it an improvement over today?

Natalia: I think that right now, we are all in the Movement wondering about how it will look like. And I think there are a lot of questions around it. And a lot of them were asked during the Wikimedia Summit, for example. And there was a lot of talk, how will the hubs fit in everything and how will the movement change? And there is one sentence I've heard during the recent CEE meeting, which I like very much, is that, and I'm quoting Tophine Menard now, that the hubs will not be something that's above or beyond the certain structures that we have, but they will be this fluid thing that actually fills the cracks and the spaces between them. And I very like how she framed it and I very much like the image. And I think the one important thing is that we are very much used to think about structures in a hierarchical order, something is above, something is beyond, something is making decisions about something. And I think hubs, in a way, change that thinking so that we need to look at it in a more flexible way and see more possibilities that we've seen before. So I'm not really sure how the future will look like for the Movement. I know that the hubs will help us to be closer to what is local, what is unique, what is very special about what the people are doing. They will help to bring information and action about what is happening in different places to other stakeholders in the Movement and they will be the thing that connects everything. So I hope very much for that. And especially the part about unique and local I'm very excited about because there are some things that we reproduced in the Movement. We all do, for example, we all do wiki loves monuments, we all do wikik loves earth and so on. But there are those very special, very unique projects that are very much dive into how the free knowledge can be done on a very local level. And I think hubs will be very good to supporting exactly that.

Nikki: Johnny, what's your vision of a movement of hubs?

Johnny: I would like to see hubs as similar to the way nations get together, I suppose. Like in our part of the world, we have ASEAN, which is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. I would envision ECEUP as something similar, wherein we are not really a treaty based, you know, we're not rules based, but we are actually cooperative based. We would like to help each other. We would like to support each other and perhaps find activities that we would like to share, interests that we have in common. I believe those will be the points of interest for us to actually really converge and do things together. But other than that, it's really very practical. It's on a very practical level that we do need help, we do need support, we do need upscaling. That's very, very important. We do need exposure to larger things because the communities are small or they're in isolated places and they have to be brought to the front of the Movement and be made aware of how things are actually being done. So all of these things are going to be very, very interesting for all of us. And it's important for us to be able to create that kind of a system wherein all of these things, all of these things that we envision could become a reality.

Nikki: Do you all have something to share that you've learned? Maybe that was like a surprise on the way in trying to organize regionally. Natalia, you want to start with what are some of the things you can share to, you know, there's lots of other people in the Movement who are trying to get on the hub train and maybe you can share a little anecdote of what happened.

Natalia: I don't know if I have an anecdote, but one learning that I have is that inclusion is very important and if you want to have inclusion, we also need to have time because the CEE Hub was built in a way that we really wanted to hear the voices of the communities and we really wanted to have different stakeholders engaged. So what we needed to have is also the time of the volunteers because we really wanted to have very different voices from different places. And it is not easy to work as a group in which people need to engage in creating a hub after they come back from their regular work or after they have finished their regular affiliate activity. But we wanted to have also those people. And I think that in that way, it took us a bit more time than expected because we needed to make space for including everyone and I think that this is super important that it is crucial to have the time to actually listen to people and to include them because this builds a really strong foundation. From the initial idea for the CEE Hub there was this thought that there needs to be a very strong sense of inclusion from the communities. They need to know that this thing that is created, it is not something that's external, it is creating for them and with them. So we needed to put a lot of time to listen, to talk, to engage, to invite people. And I think it was worth it. And in planning the hub, I think it is very important to have this amount of time and not to get frustrated that things go not super fast, but to benefit from what we hear from people.

Johnny: There's always something new to learn. Yes. So far, the dynamics of creating the Hub Workshop has been a very rich learning experience for me. Learning the sentiments of the movers and shakers of the Hub itself. We are not always in agreement. All of the time, we do have some points of divergence, but we do share the same goals. And I think it's going to be very exciting for us when we all get together face to face and we can actually decide as a collegial body how things really should be as an operating unit, the Hub itself.

Nicole: Yeah, I would like to touch upon a thing. So what I love about Hubs so much is there's so much energy around it. Like you hear about hubs from all the corners of the Movement. It was a very present topic at the summit as well. And you can see, I mean, I can feel it with you too. It's some, it's really something that grows in the Movement that you help growing and where a lot of people are engaged and care about. And this positive energy is sometimes spoiled by, I don't know, overdoing it, over -structuring it, asking for criteria, asking for creating like strong guardrails that potentially, what's it called, diminish the energy around it or take energy away. You know, you've all put a lot of time, into this and then it doesn't, it's, the organic growth is probably then disturbed or something like this. And yeah, I had a participant of the Wikimedia Summit, hey also wrote some feedback on our evaluation survey and they, for example, said that they were irritated by the negative framing of the Hubs during some parts of the conference actually in closing in the closing session. And that this framing is really causing irritation instead of highlighting all the opportunities and positive energy around it. And okay, there's one particular thing around the two European Hubs, basically Wikimedia, or two European structures or whatever you want to call it, Wikimedia Europe and the CEE Hub and Natalia, you know, I think already what I'm talking about the CEE versus Wikimedia Europe session. I found it quite funny actually, but a lot of people didn't get the joke that it was actually supposed to mean we are not in a fight. We have, we love each other basically. So maybe this is also a good opportunity to set things straight and talk a little bit about how potentially hubs can also compliment each other on this very specific point, but also on the overall point of the positive energy around it and how can we really make sure that this energy stays alive.

Natalia: That's a really big topic. And when I'm thinking about how the Hubs can work together and about Wikimedia Europe and the CEE Hub, I always have this Wikipedia logo in front of me, which is a globe built of many puzzles. And if you connect puzzle pieces and if you like puzzles like that, you know that the most important thing is to look for this one place where they connect. And this is what Wikimedia Europe and the CEE Hub are intended to do. There have been a lot of questions about the risks and the overlaps and how those Hubs can collide. And there was even some questions about a possible conflict, which I understand because there is a genuine care behind that for this to work. But honestly, from the perspective of someone who is engaged in this CEE Hub and he knows people who are engaged in media Europe, right now we are very much working towards synergy and connecting those piece puzzles in a way that they will bring a fuller picture. From the beginning, when the CEE Hub was created, we talked about connecting with Wikimedia Europe. This is also something that is actually written in the grant on which the CEE Hub is found on. So it is something we are dedicated to. The newly created CEE Hub steering committee has a special liaison to Wikimedia Europe with Clara Joklova from Wikimedia Czechia. Wikimedia Europe approached us with an idea that we should actually have very regular meetings to talk about what we are doing to constantly be very mindful about those places when we can do something together and not to lose those opportunities to connect and to collaborate and to create. I think that the idea behind it is something that can be brought to many hubs in different forms that communication is everything and that if we will communicate and look for the places when we connect, we'll find those connections and we will work together. And I'm very, very excited to see what the CEE Hub and Media Europe will do separately and what they will do together. I think this will be amazing. And I really not that there is a fight, there is a lot of love and support and cooperation between those two structures.

Nicole: Johnny, have you been met with like negative energy towards hubs or things that make your life difficult as creators of your hub?

Johnny: That's a good question. But Natalia took the words out of my mouth. We share the same goals and we share the same hurdles, I believe. And, well, now it's really like getting people together even just to discuss is a little bit difficult. We do have our meetings and our meetings have been very productive in that regard. It's really a meeting of the minds. How do I say this? But the actual structure of the hub itself still remains unclear. We do have to have a final decision how we really want to structure the hub. But I believe that in Sydney, we will be able to stretch that out. And then we can move forward with more detail.

Nikki: So I was just thinking as I was listening to you guys and also thinking about how you're still super open to what the hub is going to do that maybe our questions are a little bit even premature because you have to, so it's always that chicken and the egg question, right? You have to create a structure and then you see people come and you will learn about their needs and then you'll respond to those needs rather than saying, here's the seven things we're going to do and here are the tools and then it doesn't respond to what people out there actually need. So I think, whatever this is, is this the egg or the chicken? I don't know. But whatever you're creating is what we need to create to actually learn about hubs and what is their potential? What is it that, you know, where can they move the needle in terms of growing the movement and supporting those lone wolves out there that you're talking about, Johnny, on the islands? I'm imagining this wolf on an island. And you're like, hey, you're not the only lone wolf on an island. Let's get you all connected. So I think I'm super excited. And I hope you don't get bogged down by all these discussions about what are the criteria, where does the money come from, what is, just do it and then but share with the Movement so everyone can learn from it. So it kind of brings me to a last question. Sort of what are the next steps? I know, Johnny, you talked about a workshop. And how can people get involved and how can people support the development, the further development of the hub or contribute to it? Natalia, do you want to start?

Natalia: So in terms of next steps, last week was very exciting for the CEE Hub because we had the CEE meeting, which is the biggest conference of the region and some important things took place. One of them is that the interim steering committee for the CEE Hub turned into a regular steering committee with a very diverse people in it. And one of the things I'm most excited about is that we're able to introduce to people the new CEE Hub coordinator who is Barbara Kled. And she's an amazing person. She's a builder, a creator, someone who is very passionate about creating things from the ground up and who has a great background in management and the NGO context. And recruiting Barbara, who will start at the beginning of December, is actually designed that now the actual work can begin. And now we will be turning those ideas and those needs and those pillars that we talked about into actionable items, and we'll move forward. So this is something that is very good. The CEE Hub aims to remain a very open network. So the fact that some people are not in the steering committee doesn't mean that they are not invited into co-creating the hub. The hub is meeting regularly and people are always open to come and join and talk. And I know that one of the first things our new CEE Hub coordinator wants to do is to talk and listen and connect a lot. So there will be probably a lot of opportunities to do that. And I'm very happy that this is happening. And I don't think that we are actually blocked with questions about structures and findings. There are very important questions that I think we need to repeat to ourselves along as we go and find answers to that. But at the same time, with the spirit of Wikimedians, we are creators, we are builders, we built an encyclopedia, we write things, we work on them, we change them, we are very flexible and curious. And with that spirit, probably we'll be able to move forward. So a lot of good things happening.

Nikki: That sounds great. That moment is always so cool when you get to having paid staff and then, you know, not everything rests on the shoulders of volunteers anymore, but you can actually get some stuff done. That's great. Johnny, what are your next steps and how can people get involved?

Johnny: We've been getting by so far with zero resources. So imagine if we do have a conduit to make things easier for us. It would be a real windfall for everybody in our region. And I could see this as a way to build, for example, diversity, inclusion and upscaling. We can also have like regional cooperation, do projects that are common between our different countries. There's so much that we can actually really do because the potential is still untapped. So in that regard, especially anything, culture, monuments, anything, food. There's so much that we can discuss and we can build on and we can write about and we can take pictures of and we can actually do walks or exchanges and we can actually do all kinds of interactive activities. So in that respect, there's so much potential for advancing the Movement itself and enriching the sum of all human knowledge basically, which is really our mission, right?

Nikki: Yeah, let's not forget. Can you say a few words about what you're going to do at this upcoming workshop?

Johnny: It's a very elaborate, but very focused set of questions that we are putting together. And we want not just the attendees of the workshop in the conference, in the ECF conference that we're holding in November. It's not only intended for those who will be there physically, but we are going to distribute this questionnaire through social media and through other messaging formats, other messaging platforms for us to learn the sentiments. We want to know what our priorities will be. That's very, very important. Like, okay, there's so much to do. The possibilities are so much, but what priorities do we have? What do we want to establish first? What do we want to pursue in the first year or the second year? And after that, it's wide open.

Nikki: Thank you guys so much. Unless there's anything you want to add, I think our questions are answered. We're really excited about your projects and we want to have you back on the show maybe in a year and see how things are going and what you've learned.

Natalia: Thanks and thank you for creating space to discuss all those exciting Movement strategy.

Nicole: Thank you so much for joining us and we hope to reconnect back soon. And now for a segment we call Don't Look Up.

Nikki:L There are almost 400 million podcast listeners globally in this world. And it's predicted that it'll be around 424 million podcast listeners worldwide by the end of this year. There's over 2 .4 million podcasts with over 66 million episodes between them. So why am I reading these statistics to you? Well, apparently podcasts are the big thing and we are in one talking one. So it's a little bit meta right now. But what we wanted to highlight is that. Apparently, Wikimedians have realized this is an important medium. And we're not the only podcast about Wikimedia from Wikimedians about Wikipedia. In one of the last episodes, we also featured Rebecca, who has been running the world according to Wikipedia for quite a while. But there's a bunch of other really interesting podcasts. So if you go to our show notes, we'll list them all with links. There's also a link on Meta that lists a few of them, but it's not complete. Some of the podcasts not listed there are Wiki Africa Hour, that's been operative for a while, Inspiring Women. They're in their second season, if I understand that correctly, and they've had Mariana Iskander, among other people, among other women they featured. There's also one that's been around for a while, Wikipedia Podden from Sweden. And I recently discovered Wiki Update, which is done by Jesse Asiedu Akrofi. He is very productive. He's got 130 -something episodes already. And the last one talks about the upcoming Wiki Indaba, an interview with Derek Alter. So all this to say that these are all podcasts talking about Wikimedia, talking about Wikipedia. So they're more as a tool for connecting people and informing people in our Movement. But as we were thinking about this, we also thought, interesting, we need to pay attention to how technology is used to spread knowledge. And we have talked in this podcast about audio being a new format for knowledge, spoken knowledge, oral history. Those are all things we need to be looking at also as references or as forms of encyclopedic knowledge. So then we thought, encyclopedic podcasts, is that a thing? Is that going to be a thing? Narrated Wikipedia articles, podcasts as references. So we're just throwing out a bunch of thoughts here and I think it's interesting how we as a movement of writers are sort of moving forward into this space. If you have thoughts about this, write to us. Maybe we can have a podcast of the podcast at some point and get all the hosts of podcasts in here. That would be actually so cool.

Nicole: Yeah, but we also will do something that is probably a little bit more boring than inviting all the podcast hosts to our show is actually a traditional evaluation of our own format. So we want to hear from you what you like about the show, what you don't like, what we can improve, how it how basically how we can get better and how we can cater also the needs of the movement of our listeners. And of course, ideally also find new listeners. So we will find the link to the evaluation in the show notes. Please contribute and also share it with your peers.

Nikki: Thank you. So that's a wrap of the sixth episode of Wikimove. Thank you 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 and she makes sure that the technology runs smoothly and also she thinks with us to create excellent content. Our music was composed and produced by Rory Gregory, and is available under CC BY-SA on Wikimedia Commons. And thank you to our wonderful guests Natalia and Johnny, it’s been a pleasure!

Nikki: We release new episodes every month. We hope that new ideas are born from the conversations in WIKIMOVE and collaborations kick-started. 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.

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Bye bye. Bye for now. Tschüssi. Bye.