Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/8

8 Chapters dialogue II

tl;dr: Project is now on hold, Kira will leave at the end of April. Report & video will be published soon. Garfield & Anasuya express that aspects like money should be talked seperately. There are wishes to continue the project and to make up recommendations [solutions]. Pavel expresses that WMDE can't continue, because they don't have the mandate to do so. No further decisions were taken.



Follow-up of the session yesterday. There was no structured discussion, only different opinions expressed.

Introduction by Nicole Ebber

  • Framing of how Questions will be talked about (Nicole Ebber):
  • What do we need to answer the questions we voted
    • important issues that need to be addressed in a professional and carefully way, it needs empathy
  • success factors:
    • not to do it the wiki way (mailing list or page on meta)
    • instead created a structure (professional methodology) and created roles for dedicated persons (ownership)
    • "just did it"--because the issues were important to tackle.
  • Quick update: Project is now on hold and Kira will leave at the end of April.
    • There was no official mandate to do this. Important Q to do this together. Who will take responsibility this project? This is the only way we can work on developing the next steps together.
    • Roles and Goals of chapters in the movement need to be figured out.
    • Who can take responsbility of this? Who can take ownership? We must have a decision on this.
  • Open question: What are your thoughts? Who should take ownership?
  • If this project is to continue, someone has to take ownership of it?
  • Who, where, how can it happen?
    • Ad: surprised that the project is on hold?
    • Nicole: Missunderstanding, of course there will be a report in May with words, images, and video. It's just that's done for now,. we don'project was initially designed to only take place for 6 months. We need to figure out how to continue.
    • [unknown]: Thanks for the project. About the future I hope the project will continue in terms of thematic organisations and user groups and chapters-to-be, and not-active groups.
    • Itzik: it was an amazing job. I suggest a small committee dedicated to answer the questions. Staff members of chapters, board members of foundation, and people from affiliations.

Next steps

    • Garfield Byrd: It's hard to look at next steps, as long as we keep bundling things together. To think of WMF as a monolith is a mistake. There's FDC, GAC, staff and other aspects of the organization. need to disaggregate the foundation as appropriate to the issues we need to address. having a committee or point of dialogue is important, but let's understand that there are different parts to this. Large chapters are very different from small chapters as well as the roles they play within the movement. thematic organizations and affiliations play different roles as well. In other words, take the six big questions and apply them to each of the entities and organizations
    • Frans (WMNL): Let's try to find recommendations, not more questions.
    • Alice (BoT): I like the idea to look into recommendations. Who has the mandate such a recommendation? Who is the one, who picks that up? What kind of recommendation we should all agree on?
    • Mike (FDC): involve the part of the movement that hasn't been involved in it so far, including the online community.

Lack of trust

  • Is the sense of calmness in the room because of we've made up our minds? do we want to keep it to ourselves?
    • Ad (WMNL): There is apparently a lack of trust between all of us. My believe is online conversation will not help directly in building more trust. My belief is that being here and talking face-to-face might help much more in building mutual trust. When Ad prepared to come here, he thought about the current state of the movement and the current issues that the movement is facing. Every part of the movement is working hard for free knowledge - we have (to?) become a family. we're not only working with the movement, we're also human beings with private lives, and private feelings, and sometimes we don't know it all. we only know how hard we work for the movement, how many edits we've done. we don't know if someone has a family at home or how to reach their families if we need to. We need each other, have to move forward and we need ourselves held and if you need my help you can reach me any time.
  • Phobe (BoT): also interested in hearing the successes and things that people do like. See our end goal as trying to figure out what we want, what a good structure would look like? what the ideal would be? what we want to work towards? It's a little easier often to imagine what a very good Wikipedia would look like. It's a little harder to imagine what a very good wikipedia will look like, but that's what we need to do - That's what the board of trustees at WMF talk about. Is it hard to find out, what a good Wikimedia Movement will look like.
  • Andrea (WMIT): We have different roles in the community. Some do in freetime, some work for - we have different perspectives. We played a rolegame on Wikimania? That was really good, we changed the roles and learned more each other.. It was succesful and I want to this wide spread.

the story that she told, the narrative she built was absolutely true. Okay, you are talking to me, about me, about us. Maybe the Round 2 of this work, could be do the same work and interviewing chapters about what things could be. What could be the answers. Think outside the box. What would you like to see? It will be anonymous, so people will be happy to talk, and share. It's very difficult to do it here, in a face-to-face meeting in unstructured interviews, it could be better. The english language is not everyone's best way to communicate.

Can't identify myself with that

  • Bengt (WMSE): Heard the results of the project once before in London a month ago, the problem is I don't recognize the landscape that painted at all. To me, this is a very healthy moment today. participated in a number of events with participants from different countries in the last few months, and is very impressed... On the chapter side, he could see that the neighboring countries are really on the offensive, increasing its activities and reorganizing them in a way that make them it possible to fulfill their visions. the european chapters are little by little trying to reorganized the corporation, than the one that failed by obvious reasons. they are now organizing in brussels for a way of having advocacy or lobbying towards the European Union, Free Knowledge areas... ? Bottom line: Can't really see what they are talking about.
  • Eduardo (WMCL): I feel identified. connecting the dots of everything is not so easy. The graphics are good way to identify ouselfes, to have a view from outside and realise what we are doing.
  • Jon (WMUK): The most important thing thing was the for me the human interface. I would much happier it they continued to ask this questions. We need to continue to talk about this Wikimania is a good bridging point to be face to face togther. Kira should come to Wikimania and gives us the change to get more clearer and finde the words to descibe.
  • Charles (WMCH):We need to do this things, we have to go on. Its like a landscape we walk through. How do we move on practically from here?
  • Anasuya: I find it hard to identify herself in this. because so long as it feels like it continues to be a kind of singular set of identies and roles, each of us occupies only one kind of space and one kind of position. All the best in this room, know that that's not true. If that's all we're hearing, that's not useful. Making sure we are self aware and honest about our roles within the movement.We need to be open to talking to community editors who are unaffiliated with organizations. They are a huge slice of our movement. Need to be honest about our omission of that.
  • Mike: This is not complete, that's true. We need to include the communities.

Money, money?

  • Garfield Byrd: It feels like a conversation about money. We don't like how money is distributed within the movement. if that's the conversation we're having, let's have the conversation about that and then have a separate conversation about the future of the movement.
  • Really different opinions. Anna & Andreas can't wrap up.
  • Asaf: Who in this room is ready to commit to spend time on whatever continuation of this pack of discussions comes next? The number of people who raised their hands as being interested in participating in the discussion was a small portion of the room. This is reflective of the dedication for sustained commitment to the (thorny) issues involved.
  • Nicole: We can make room to coninue and find ways on this conference to think and speak further...

No mandate to continue

  • Garfield: Is there a possibility to continue the team, Pavel?
  • Pavel : part of the mandate to lead this process. Nicole pointed out that what happened was that we decided to do it because it was a good thing to do. This was only the easy part. the problem defining part. the solution defining part will be a lot tougher and the implementing solutions part will be a tough part as well. Does not know if WMDE has the mandate to be able to find the solutions or implement possible solutions. Finding a mandate to work on these issues needs to be solved before they could continue working on it.