Wikimedia Conference 2017/Documentation/Movement Strategy track/Day 2

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WMCON 2017 Core Conference Program Fringe Events Registration & Participants




Reports, Reviews

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of the Movement Strategy track,
 » design principles,
 » flow of activities
Day 1
» The Complexity of a Movement,
» Analysis of the Present Situation,
» Personalising the Present Situation,
 » Issues & Opportunities
Day 2
» Issues & Opportunities,
 » Distilling Key Points,
 » Ryan Merkley
Day 3
» Theme Statements,
 » Next Steps & Closing

Issues & Opportunities: Participant-led discussionsEdit

The first round of the participant-led discussions took place on Friday afternoon. For space and rationality issues, the results of this first round are shown below together with the results of the second and third round that took place on DAY 2.

Introduction to Open Space TechnologyEdit

Open Space Technology is a methodology developed by Harrison Owen when he was seeking feedback from a conference and realized that participants considered the coffee break the best part of the programme -- the one bit that he had not prepared for. What would this mean for designing a conference? What happens in a coffee break? You talk with the people you want to talk to, on your own time, following your own interests. Owen took these principles further and designed Open Space Technology (OST) as a method that has now been used for over 30 years in various conference and meeting settings.

Open Space Technology is based on self-organisation. Participants suggest and host conversations within the frame of given theme, and then share a brief report capturing the main key points and conclusions. The methodology has four guiding principles and one law:

Four Principles[1]

1. Whoever comes is the right people…
2. Whenever it starts is the right time…
3. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have...
4. And when it's over, it's over.

One Law

5. Law of Two Feet: If at any time during our time together you find yourself in any situation where you are neither learning nor contributing, use your two feet, and go someplace else.

Participant-led DiscussionsEdit

Below is a list of topics proposed by participants during the Open Space Technology sessions. The titles were slightly adapted to give a better sense of their focus, based on the announcements made by the discussion host at the beginning of the activity.

The titles are displayed in tables which also indicate the assigned spaces (numbers) in which the conversations took place, the number of session participants indicated in the posted report, and links to reports made by discussion hosts in scanned PDF format of handwritten reports, typed on a word editor or posted on Meta.

Round 1Edit

1 Wikimedia as a free, open knowledge hub The DJ 6 pdf / Google Doc
2 Reader Tools: Bookmark, reading history, etc. WMTH 5 pdf
3 Artificial Intelligence: Detecting vandalism; Recommender systems; Categorizing media; Bias? Ethics? Aaron Halfaker 14 pdf / Google Doc
4 Biomimetics: What can we learn from the evolution of complex systems (super organisms; stigmergy, etc) for the software system and... Shyamal 2 pdf
5 All education systems (understand and) use Wikimedia as an education tool Vahid 9 pdf
6 How does populism and fake news influence Wikipedia, and what can we do? Sabria 8 pdf
7 Becoming a Movement: Very simple...but very difficult. Lukas 18 pdf
8 Long-term, mutually beneficial GLAM partnerships Sara Snyder 10 pdf / Google Doc
9 Create Wikipedia contributors out of 3rd grade elementary school students Manos 5 pdf
10 Science and data: How do we better represent scientific data? (Science; Data; Metadata; Citation; Meta Analysis) Finn 3 pdf / Google Doc
21 Rich interactive media in Wikimedia Brian Bawolff 3 pdf
23 Fighting harassment on the projects Danny H. 6 pdf

Round 02Edit

1 The tools we need to do our work better: (1) Content: protect, improve, add to; (2) Community: morale/projects; editor retention; (3) Outreach: e.g GLAM/Links to other groups, recruitment of new editors Cas Liber 3 pdf
2 GLAM: Tools development for programs (, GLAM-wiki, wikiproject medicine, outreach) Shani 26 pdf
3 Supporting contributions for illegal (persecuted) minorities - e.g. copts, homossexuals, protestors Fae 1 pdf / Google Doc
4 Language diversity and loss: How to pay more attention to minority languages Viktor Semeniuk/Galder Gonzalez 10 pdf
5 Unsourced knowledge: A space in our Wikimedia ecosystem for unpublished, still unsourced, oral... knowledge Sandra 5 pdf / Google Doc
6 Open Access: What is the role of Wikipedia within the larger information ecosystem? Megs 5
7 More content in many more languages Leila 5
8 Building a healthy community culture Nick K 7 pdf
9 Making a global hyperlinked, free wiki digital library. Wikisource, Wikidata, Wikiquote. Aubrey 6 pdf
10 Adapting to the ecosystem of the internet Lukas 6 pdf
11 How do we start communities that don't yet exist? Islahaddow 8 pdf
12 Making MediaWiki more Social: Imagine a user page in which all user-contributions are listed like a timeline Tony Thomas / Florian Schmidt 7 pdf / Google Doc
13 Unintentional bias: What do we not know about systemic bias and its effects on diversity and inclusivity? + Biased topic groups Anasuya / Douglas 20 pdf
14 Is the decline of editors and editor retention a ghost problem? Eduardo 8 pdf
21 Make MediaWiki the number-one tool for sharing all kinds of knowledge Markus 6 pdf
22 Integrate Wikimedia activities with efforts to make the presence of our species on this planet more sustainable Daniel Mietchen 1 pdf
23 Build special sister sub-projects for sharing content and allowing micro-contributions. Geraki
24 Are we a social justice movement? Christophe 10 pdf
25 How will we make sure that our message will be known among General Public? People know Wikipedia, but not the Movement or its goals/people/setting. ?
26 Partnerships: Growing the Community with sense of partnership Olushola 7 pdf
27 Gender gap in Wikimedia Wikidonne / Wikimujeres 9 pdf
29 Making community consultation more effective and less resource intensive (and more fun?) Lodewijk 7 pdf
30 How to reach out to people in rural areas (in developed countries) John Sadowski 8 pdf
31 Uniting communities on the common language ground Behrus Mond

Round 03Edit

1 Integrating Wikimedia workflows with research workflows Daniel Mietchen 2 pdf
2 Build things that are not Wikipedia: Not all knowledge is encyclopaedic. Coren 11 pdf
3 Wikipedia and Libraries: How can Wikipedians/medians become better informed about what libraries have to offer (more than books). How can we invite our librarian colleagues to join? Merrilee 11 pdf / Google Doc
4 Experts: Our allies, partners, collaborators, co-contributors. Sandra F 6 pdf / Google Doc
5 What could destroy our independence, and how can we prevent that? Slashme 4 pdf / Google Doc
6 Balancing the distribution of funding resources Olaniyan Olushola 7 pdf
7 Offline: Who needs it the most? How do we get it there? In 2017: 4 billion people. In 2030? ? ? pdf
8 3D Objects: Storing, sharing, viewing/using Douglas 4 pdf
9 What do we want or need on our platform (MediaWiki) by 2030 Snowolf 8 Meta
10 Readers: How can we achieve a better understanding of the needs of our readers, and how can we interact better with them? + Engaging with our readers: Inform, Educate, lowering barriers to participation, showcasing our content Joseph Seddon / Martin Rulsch 12 pdf
11 Building capacity in small, emerging communities: What does it mean? Rebecca 15 pdf / Google Doc
12 Increasing content about Africa. Closing the North-South gap Meriem 4 pdf
13 Listening to community voices, making decisions + governance. Edward 5 pdf
14 Editing from messenger apps: What if we could edit Wikipedia, Wikidata, TranslateWiki, etc from WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger or WeChat? Come talk to me about this idea. Amir E. Ahoni 5 pdf
15 What information will people need in 2030? John
17 Wikimedia SAARC: Legalisation, partnership, guidelines, funding, awareness about wiki in regional language, collaboration and resource sharing, learning pattern, increased readership Wikimedians from India,
Nepal, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka
21 Lost history Fae 4 pdf
22 Medical information on Wiki projects Shani
23 Livelihood Creation: Can this be done in conjunction with building up a strong community in a developing country (without harming the general movement)? Ed Joined #11
24 How do we provide the proper means for everyone to understand the world? Christophe 7 pdf
26 How do I get resources for my (super cool) project? Grants? Annual planning ? Partners? Aaron 3 pdf
28 Better onboarding to Wikimedia efforts: Visual organisational overview of tasks, responsibilities, boundaries; simplify organisational overview; help people find their place with least effort ?
29 Reduce mismatch between Wikipedians and Wikimedians (we are on the same side) WikiDonne
30 What have we forgotten? Gnangarra pdf

Distilling Key PointsEdit

Conversations within the Open Space Technology session started to naturally produce key points and themes. As stewards of the Wikimedia movement, participants were asked to select and report the points that might have greater significance from a strategic point of view. These points were then clustered into ‘soft categories’ by the participants and refined by the core team – not yet solid themes, but somehow giving the content some form. At the end, participants were invited to look at the clustered key points and add relevant input they might find missing under any of the categories.

Result of key points (clustered in ‘soft categories’):Edit

Photos of each of the clusters are available. Click on the heading of each cluster to view it.

01. Other mediasEdit

  • Graphics are handled like text on wiki
  • Rich media such as video is used to tell stories
  • Democratizing media editing
  • Support non-text based learning
  • Full access to all knowledge (all languages)
  • Multimedia / non-text media will be a vital component of Wikimedia projects
  • 1 trillion freely licensed photos

02. Sustainability & Growth[2]Edit

  • There are things we need to do to survive before we dream on new directions
  • Being a leader in building and delivering open and free knowledge
  • Will Wikipedia be here? How will it evolve?
  • We’re a social justice movement - own that
  • Knowledge is more than Wikipedia but Wikipedia draws people in
  • Become a movement
  • The Foundation’s work will be understood by the general public
  • Prioritizing movement goals over institutionalisation or bureaucracy
  • The ecological footprint of the movement will be minimized
  • 7 billion readers and editors
  • We should see our movement as a whole - budget, plan, resources - then decide who is best placed to do it

03.  Community HealthEdit

  • Open, friendly culture towards new volunteers
  • Make Wikis happy places for all to contribute
  • Community culture will be healthy
  • Foster healthy community
  • Friendly support for anonymous access
  • Foster effective communication in our movement
  • The Wikimedia community has become a welcoming environment for new users
  • Mobbing/moral harassment: study attack on personality; user isolation; passive denial of services; distributed in time, place, method, unproven on single act = toxic environment
  • Protect/improve: content, community, morale, outreach.
  • Easy to contribute: welcome partnerships; welcome individuals, understand motivations
  • Transparency / Accessibility: Easy to understand how knowledge is created and why it is trustworthy;
  • Make absorbing/contributing knowledge fun and easy and free.
  • Readers are considered part of our community
  • We will have healthier interactions within the community
  • We will have increased communications between projects (lower the barrier to communication 1:1 / 1:many)
  • Better processes to deal with harassment on and off Wiki

04. EducationEdit

  • Make wikipedia for those who need it
  • Educational platform for humans and machines
  • Need for strong partnerships with education
  • Tailored to my needs: I have 30 min to educate myself on Roman history
  • All education systems use Wikimedia as educational tools
  • Wikimedia projects be a key method/resource for language learning
  • Support collections and archives of media
  • Educators use and trust Wikimedia products
  • Specialist knowledge communities are actively part of the movement
  • Larger presence in education from early age
  • Make teachers/professionals practice the largest online/offline educational carrier together
  • Embrace learning outside our encyclopedia
  • Open up to new ways of learning
  • The young generation embraces the concept of sharing as something that enriches society
  • Personalisation of learning and exploring knowledge
  • Foster media literacy in education and society
  • Wikimedia projects will help citizens to be more information literate

05. PartnershipsEdit

  • Bring research and experts close to Wiki projects
  • That inter-affiliate activities become a standard practice. Doing stuff together becomes the norm
  • By 2030 work together with organisations that have the same goals - “movement partners”
  • Pursuing our mission through partnerships (external/within movement) is the norm and ingrained in all projects, programmes and activities
  • Being a reliable partner
  • Expand partnership beyond the immediate allies
  • Expand to take more active role in open knowledge, especially as it relates to Wikimedia as part of information ecosystem
  • Librarians = Wikimedians worldwide
  • That software partnerships are standard practice and dispersed
  • More partnerships with expert communities
  • Foster and leverage GLAM collaborations to improve our content

06. Diversity and InclusionEdit

  • Contributor gender balance reflects the real world!
  • Be more systematically welcoming to movement members
  • More diversity as a value of the movement vs. homogenization of the world
  • What would it take to achieve no gender gap (47-50% women)
  • We have a more mature approach to diversity
  • Inclusive attitude - let me help you
  • Culture shift towards broader inclusiveness - age, gender, education, geography
  • More different people (outnumber us in the room)
  • Close the contributor demographics gaps
  • Recruiting and retaining diverse communities
  • Make room for “non-wikimedians” and under-represented points of view
  • More geographic and economic diversity within developed countries

07. Knowledge Gaps and BiasesEdit

  • Collect all the biases and stories
  • Diverse content on Wikimedia projects from under-represented communities
  • More diverse content, specially under-represented communities
  • Bridge our knowledge gaps
  • What content are we missing?
  • Collective understanding of ‘problematic bias’
  • Wikimedia content should reflect the World, not only editors
  • Oral/intangible sources being reliable sources

08. Beyond WikipediaEdit

  • Provide tools that enable people to share knowledge beyond Wikipedia
  • Build for diversity first
  • Thriving new Wikimedia ‘storytelling’ community (broadening the meaning of knowledge)
  • New project to capture folk or local knowledge, history at risk
  • Take more active role in reaching out to new language communities with more contents in more mediums
  • Become the knowledge hub for receiving, disseminating and connecting open free knowledge
  • Find a place for none written/scientific knowledge
  • Embrace multiple forms of knowledge
  • Acknowledge more forms of knowledge
  • Move beyond encyclopedic epistemology

09. Availability across languagesEdit

  • Get away from English centrality.
  • Make a community of meta translators
  • Wikimedia projects will have adequate knowledge diversity among all cultures, languages and dialects
  • English is no longer requires as ‘lingua-franca’
  • Protect linguistic variation
  • Access to knowledge in all languages by 2030
  • Encourage content creation and dissemination in underserved languages
  • Make forgotten/lost knowledge/languages revive
  • Access not just by language but also by reading level
  • We will have less anglo-centrism as a movement
  • Honouring the importance of language, culture and documentation/knowledge diversity.

10. Support Emerging CommunitiesEdit

  • Provide help and resources to smaller communities
  • Ensure fair resource allocation to everyone, specially minorities, small languages and people with disabilities
  • Wikimedia projects will be one of the main tools that close the gap between developed and emerging economies by providing educational content / opportunities
  • Emerging communities have grown and are well interconnected
  • Remove all barriers of access to knowledge
  • More participation from ‘non-represented’ from ‘well represented’ areas (rural areas, illegal immigrants, arts and crafts people, disabled, poor suburbs)
  • Encourage sharing knowledge and expertise without learning Wikitext or policies (wo being an insider?)

11. AutomationEdit

  • Use instant automated content translation for ensuring neutral point of view
  • We will have more automation
  • Machines handle automatable tasks sensitively and effectively
  • Drive artificial intelligence without linguistic change
  • Wikipedia as an interactive, augmented reality tool - ‘Wiki Assistant’

12. InnovationEdit

  • Provide access to a broad range of data sets and analysis tools to everyone
  • We dare to experiment and learn
  • Take more risks
  • Contributing to Wikimedia projects is as common as posting on social media
  • Not afraid to stop / kill experiments
  • Interlinked knowledge everywhere in our projects with/for the world
  • WikiCoin currency
  • Edit by default - more experimental UIs and made-ups
  • Text-to-speech edit possible for mobile devices

13. Adapt to technological contextEdit

  • Invest in usable and appealing design to serve users better
  • Adapt to the ecosystem of new technologies on the internet
  • Keep up with changes in user experience / expectations
  • Develop (new) ways of contributing to facilitate growth
  • Reach across technology islands
  • Preserve the ‘edit button available to everyone’ principle while embracing new platforms - sustain the livability of the content (always can edit/contribute)
  • We have more technical resources to fit our needs
  • Wikimedia content should adapt to different internet speeds
  • Update Wikiprojects for digital natives
  • Quality of internet access will vary around the world
  • Wikimedia doesn’t track you (e.g. government spying, data selling, etc.)

14. Our ValuesEdit

  • Wikis = Example of co-operation for the World
  • We will enable people share knowledge and values outside of the Wikimedia projects
  • Defend and promote verifiable knowledge
  • Defend and maintain the free (no cost + freedom) web
  • The brand ‘Wikip/media’ is protected against sell-out

15. Reliability and QualityEdit

  • We faced the creation of knowledge focusing on quality
  • Editors/Readers are good at source evaluation
  • We provide reliable content
  • Our collection of free knowledge is protected from anti-knowledge influences
  • Help restore public faith in verifiable facts
  • Increased evaluation of projects
  • Filter all contributions from certain users - relative / credibility sources about topics

16. What is missing?Edit

  • What about GLAM? - It should be an overarching theme

Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative CommonsEdit

Ryan Merkley, CEO of Creative Commons (CC), joined the Wikimedia Conference to share his own experience of developing a movement strategy for CC. Below is an approximate capture of some of his key points:

Ryan started by thanking participants for the privilege of speaking in his mother tongue. He framed the context of his talk: 18 months developing a movement strategy for Creative Commons, where he applied much of what he learned from the Wikimedia Movement and its predecessor in setting up their own movement.
Ryan introduced himself as the CEO of Creative Commons, but also as a Wikipedian - with a few edits erased by a bot - and a Mozillian, affirming that we are many roles and in many ways part of of one movement of open access to knowledge and creativity.
Creative Commons is known for open licenses, but people might not know about its education projects, advocacy, and making goods publicly available. Ryan gave the example of a partnership with the the Metropolitan Museum in New York which took seven years to set up.
The heart of Creative Common’s organisational strategy is to “build a vibrant, usable commons, powered by collaboration and gratitude.” It is a simpler form of gratitude to acknowledge the creator of the work, and to do it enthusiastically.
“It’s worth acknowledging that our work is political” - he said - “Open knowledge is a political act. We need to stand together to protect each other. There is power in that.”
Creative Commons’ communities rose by individuals that met people around the world and asked them whether they wanted to be local affiliates with adapted portable licenses. Once there was an international license, we took away from the local affiliates what gave them pride. So we needed to understand: we gave people a head start (preparation) with a set of questions and a series of inquiries, we brought in research and did surveys around the world. What we learned is if we wanted to reach people we needed to communicate in their language. For the first time, content was translated in major selected languages, and that made a big difference.
Talking about the strategy writing process, Ryan described that a 20-person drafting committee was a “special circle of hell” - moving from individual contribution to institutional settings and lawyers. First draft of the strategy was sent out for consultation, to then integrated all received comments and criticism. The Creative Commons Summit in April will bring the strategy back to the community in order to complete the process.
“Your work is important - it feels like it’s just a bunch of sticky notes on the wall, but they contain important insights. It’s hard to think of strategy.”
Making a dramatic pause, Ryan said: “You are weird... And so am I. The things we care about very deeply wouldn’t count as top 10 for most people. If I do rank top issues for others, we (strange people) know that open knowledge contributes to every single one. We are in this together - I am climbing into that hole with you.”

Questions and Comments from ParticipantsEdit

Q. = Question / A. = Answer / C. = Comment

  • Q. We identify as movement but we don’t know what is behind it… Where are you?
    • A. Ryan made a difference between ‘franchise’ and ‘movement’ - Movement revolves around shared values, using tactics that may not be yours. Movements don’t decide who comes in, it’s based on the values people care about. I would say I am in ‘the movement’ and so are a lot of Creative Commons people.
  • Q. About the people that are not in the room. In your case, the consumers, in our case the readers of different Wiki projects. But another part are the communities - in the movement management side, there is a feeling that communities are doing something readers don’t care about.
    • A. It is not only about editors and readers, but also those who produce primary sources, so we can quote them; we need journalism to be good. We need the internet to be reliable.
    • A. If strategy is not frustrating and doesn’t give you the feeling that you left something behind, you have done it wrong. It should feel hard, and frustrating… and having hard conversations about what not to do, rather than what to do, because we are only so many with only so much time and energy. Half the strategy will be written in this room, the other half will be written as you implement it - you are bound to get some of it wrong.
  • C. Copyleft, as a movement, is even less important than it used to be. Remix culture is there but not in the terms you wanted or liked it to be. We placed that in “dying” [<tvar|link81>trends] analysis.
    • A. Copyleft as the set of licenses that qualify as free and open and don’t restrict uses like commercial use. I don’t think that idea is less relevant today. I will tell you that copyleft is on the rise, specially CC0, because some of us are making the case for what is the added value of that. It’s used by governments, and companies like Flickr, who got a lot more content once they adopted it… “Pick big fights with your enemies, not small fights with your friends. There are a lot of enemies out there, let’s point our attention at them.”
  • Q. When I first heard about Creative Commons I didn’t know there was a legal component. I am looking for a space where I can share and access content without going through a corporate owned portal.
    • A. Creative Commons lives in all kinds of companies like Flickr (Verizon). There is no ‘front door’ to the commons. We are trying to address that - features like boxing for photographers, one-click attribution... We need tools that support the use of the commons.
    • A. There isn’t one archive -  Internet Archive is the likely host. CC grew the way it did because it built on the tools that people were already using. CC search gives you the list but directs you to the platforms. If we become a competition for platform partnerships, we have to consider the impact…
  • Q. How about the legal component applied to patents?
    • A. Could Creative Commons have a space in the patent world? A lot of people ask for specific licenses for exe, .com, education…


  1. Adapted from Open Space Technology. (2017, January 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:43, April 4, 2017, from
  2. There was no clear agreement about whether this heading fully covered the key points.

of the Movement Strategy track,
 » design principles,
 » flow of activities
Day 1
» The Complexity of a Movement,
» Analysis of the Present Situation,
» Personalising the Present Situation,
 » Issues & Opportunities
Day 2
» Issues & Opportunities,
 » Distilling Key Points,
 » Ryan Merkley
Day 3
» Theme Statements,
 » Next Steps & Closing