Wikimedia Conference 2018/Documentation/Movement Strategy track/Day 2

WMCON 2018 Core Conference Program Fringe Events Registration & Participants
Reports, Reviews

of the Movement Strategy track,
 » flow of activities (and this report)
» You don't have time to read everything? Check the summary of it!
Day 1
 » The Big Picture,
» The Possibilities,
» The Challenges
Day 2
» The Way Forward,
 » Preparing to work,
 » Thematic Inputs & Conversations
Day 3
» Working groups,
 » Wrapping up
» Input documents for the working groups,
 » Micro-inputs on possibilities

Saturday, April 21st

D2.04 / The Way Forward

The Way Forward
Bhavesh reviewing the first day

The Way Forward session explored how to address the challenges outlined in the previous session, and move towards the possibilities raised before that. In small groups, participants indicated what practical actions need to be taken, then grouped these actions under proposed key themes.

01 . Review of the first day


Photo: After reviewing the process and outcomes of the first days, using visuals produced by Anna-Lena, the facilitators invited participants in the Movement Strategy track to share insights or concerns about their experience so far. Below is a tentative capture of the points raised by participants.

Comments from participants

  • It is difficult to focus on the big picture without dealing with issues related to community health, funding… but the big picture cannot be too big. It’s the role of affiliates to take it and make it their own.
  • Why did no one ask for hard questions? Why do we still have the empty seat? Questions like do we need affiliates like chapters? Why is there no US chapter?
  • Focused on organisational collaboration - come back to original vision of meeting multilingual needs. Please make this happen, in the way it should happen, but I am not quite sure how yet…
  • I want to know how we involve the community more directly in (agile) software development and try to dig in on how to tag commons data, etc - and have people collaborate on that. Partnering with companies and members of the community that can help making that happen…
  • I am big fan of the process but I’m still concerned with things that are really important but might be chopped up in different categories. Such as the bias towards visual or multimedia knowledge - really important things might be lost. How do you counter things like this?
  • I was not here until now but was reading the results like de-centralisation, and the lack of communication. One of the critical gaps missing from info was the lack of mention to community health, compared to last year’s conversation, where there might have been more diversity of profiles in the group
  • I feel that some of the conversations that we are having are starting from scratch and not building on the process we have previously built. This might be wasting time or not helping us move forward - with the understanding of those that have not been here last year, that might feel like they have to rush to catch the train.
  • The outcomes / inputs are very precise on some points, and they might get lost in the process. We also talked about the external factors we cannot change such as the internet infrastructures - but we can still imagine ways to address them — practical realities.
  • I would not like see the “consensus culture” associated with “challenges”. I would like to connect it with the wish for decentralization. This is a contradiction that we need to address moving forward.
  • Now it’s time to get more specific, and deal with all of the issues we have surfaced.

Christophe (Wikimedia Board of Trustees) encouraged everyone to “really go for the hard questions”.

02 . Practical actions to address Challenges


About 51 people distributed themselves in groups according to the challenge they felt more connected to, or had the feeling they could help address. Within the smaller groups, they re-read the information collected, and shared their own experiences in relation to the challenge to then discuss practical actions or solutions addressing the challenge at hand, and move towards the possibilities and Wikimedia’s strategic direction.

(1) #internet-infrastructure #technology 24 12
(2) #power #centralization 7 10
(3) #fragmentation #communication 0 0
(4) #turnover #institutional-memory 1 3
(5) #cultural-bias 15 5
(6) #political #censorship 2 0
(7) #consensus-culture 12 6
(8) #governance #decision-making 2 4
(9) #participation 7 11
(10) #gender-equality 1 0
(11) #insular-mindset #self-centeredness 15 0
TOTAL 86 dots 51 participants

03 . Key themes / areas of focus

Kaarel Vaidla introduced 11 key themes

Kaarel Vaidla introduced 11 key themes to be used as framework for organising the practical actions produced in the previous session. These key themes emerged from previous reflections within the Wikimedia movement (e.g. Chapter’s dialogue, discussion sessions at conferences, work from various interest groups) and the analysis of these diverse discussions by the Strategy Core team. The themes can be seen as  critical areas of work within Wikimedia that can act as enablers for change towards alignment with the current strategic direction. Key themes 1-7 are more at structural level, while themes 8-11 are more on a programmatic level and can be carried by each organization. Room was left for new themes to emerge, or non-relevant themes to be removed.

1 Roles Is about: The affiliate model, the role of WMF, purpose and internal dynamics of these structures
2 Responsibilities Is about: Movement wide decision making processes and leadership
3 Resource Allocation Is about: Movement funding structures (the use and distribution of money) that support becoming the essential infrastructure for the ecosystem of the free knowledge.
4 Revenue Streams Is about: Collecting and raising money for the movement on global, regional and local levels
5 Diversity / Inclusion Is about: Including missing voices and bridging the gaps in terms of access and contribution
6 Partnerships Is about: How we choose and work together with partners from our movement and beyond
7 Capacity Building Is about: Transfer/Sharing of knowledge and peer mentorship, sustainably developing the skills and competences in communities and movement organizations
8 Community Health Is about: Supporting (a culture of) trust and collaboration in our on- and offline communities, including being open to newcomers
9 Technology Is about: Collaboratively developing, and maintaining the technological infrastructure for the ecosystem of free knowledge- making sure it’s up to date, relevant, and creating new possibilities for both current and new users
10 Events Is about: Effective use of events to meet our goals, the strategic direction as a frame for all Wikimedia events
11 Advocacy Is about: Influencing legal framework and public agendas to better accommodate free knowledge and access to knowledge
Emerging themes? ...

All the produced practical actions were distributed along the key themes - also called ‘buckets’. Each practical action indicates a letter representing the Challenge (Ch) they aim to tackle, and a number representing the Possibilities (Po) they can help grasp.



Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Acknowledge the existing power struggles 2 K
Acknowledge the polarity: centralization <> decentralization 2 G
Collective impact model, or fungi networks 2 A;G
Rethink the affiliate model 2 G;H;K
Encourage different growth paths for organizations that are just as legitimate 2 G;I;K
Dissolve the Wikimedia Foundation 2 G
Recognize different forms of leadership that don’t manifest as edits or titles 2 B;D;K;T
Create a U.S. Chapter 2 D;G;H
Respect different opinions in the community 6 I;F;K
Admins work in a different way
Create a MediaWiki Foundation 2 G;H;
Move away from a mindset of risk aversion to one of trust 2 I;G;H
Manifestations of power: money, staff, influence, knowledge, relationships, decision-making 2 B;K


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Power = Gestaltungsmacht (creative power) - needs to be more evenly distributed. Create spaces for this. 2 A;G;K
Every organization focuses on just one goal 2 G
Create a Movement council 2 D;I;H;K
Those in leadership positions must reflect the global population 2 B;G;K
NOT Cathedral, but a Bazaar 2 G
Use ‘change management’ to facilitate change 7 C;D;I;H
Have regional hubs of authority (resourced and with ability to make decisions) 7 B;G;J;K
Use consensus to delegate authority to different groups; 7 B;G;H;J;K;I
Allow small scale experiments to encourage new ideas 7 B;C;H;I
Create a representative body with authority to make decisions 7 D;G;H;J;K

Resource Allocation

Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Distributed model of fund dissemination (e.g. multiple grant-making bodies) 2 D;G;H;K
Decentralized funding 2 A;G
Abolish the FDC 2 A
Commission multimedia content on ‘how to’ for use in multilingual 5 A;C;K
Control of money closer to where the people are. 9

Diversity and Inclusion

Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Change Wikipedia content policies. Change how editor’s worth is judged 9
A task force specifically for attracting users under 30 years old to Wikipedia. How do we ensure future pipeline? 1 B;E;H
Different way of recognizing efforts of new editors (but need to keep existing community) 9
WikiData as a multilingual and more inclusive representative, accurate picture of knowledge 5 C
The Western philosophical concept of ‘category’ is very fundamental in the current Wikimedia projects, but it isn’t easy for all cultures to work with. We must not force everything into categories. 5 K
Oralpedia 5 A;C;K
Every humankind means every one. We have to show different versions of Wikipedia / Wikimedia for different readers (i.e. children wikipedia, Txikipedia - Basque, visual wiki, multimedia, elderly) 5 E; K;
Movement Strategy / Strategic Direction: Do the same process in different regions and languages > come together to reconcile 7 B;G;H;J;K
Different scholarship process (multilingual) 9
Automatic translation to all languages (so more people get involved)


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Partnerships - Comp. For e.g. use Google for oral input to text 1
Service input available for third party app. 1
A partnership task force that will come up the framework and key ground rules for engaging with third parties 1 C;E;G;H;K
Have a welcoming culture and highlight the benefits of partnerships in order for us to grow in areas we didn’t know existed 3 B;G;I;K
Ask the consumers of our content what change they want to see 1 J;K
Speech to text capabilities to cater for non-Latin alphabet languages and make content input way easier (see partner Mycroft and Mozilla) 1

Capacity Building

Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Build a governance model that encourages organizations to become more effective at governing their organization 4 D;H;I;G
Developer community 1
We need to make articles in English (and other languages) not only easy to read for people who speak the language but also easy to translate 5 E;K
More UX designers (hard to engaged with the community; hard to fit into the flawed code) 1
Supply the capacity to engage in partnerships in a meaningful way, be it staff, time or knowledged resources 3 A;G;J
Incentivise knowledge sharing, talking more about problems and failure so that others can learn, in a fashion that doesn’t have to be text-based 4 D;G;F;I
We need to move away from R+L-based [ilegible] making towards a more equitable and rational decision-making model. 1 C;D;E

Community Health

Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Build a positive environment that encourages collaboration and appreciates the work of volunteers and staff > community health 4 I;K;G
Nurture interaction between projects to build trust and cooperation between them 3 B;C;E;G;I;K
Foster proactive culture discourage reactive culture 7
Universal code of conduct. Reward good behaviour (not punish bad behaviour) to protect newcomers. Administrators need to agree. 9
Modern, friendly communications for new users (all users) — Not talk pace wikitext editing with ~ñnnw — New communities usually use Facebook instead 1 E;K
Contents: How many new editors can you keep? How many new articles can you keep (speedy deletion)? 9


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Is our SD taking into account the notion of one internet is fragile and devolving? Can we go to where users are than still want to bring them to Wikipedia. 1 K;H;G;E;B
How do we create a sustainable “help desk” that is not just text based for new users and contributors. 1 E;C;B
Possible to embed audio into Wikipedia articles 1
How does it feel, smell, sound, multimedia experiences in articles is a way/link of global knowledge. 5 H;K
Foolproof wiki procedures (just button clicks) tool design origined from the base and experience and in training people in wiki (tools that support equity in participation) 1
Drop backwards, compatibility of mediawiki software - abandon unused features cluttering up the code and making it hard to maintain? 1
Fix core mediawiki 1
Open up Wikidata, commons, etc., via world class restful APIs to support partners, ourselves 1 H
Video-oriented production workflow by funding and leading open source video software movement 1,5,7,8 E
See drawing (link to post-it)


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Develop/provide professional conference organizers to support regional conferences 7 A;B;G;H;K


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
Gain a voice in politics 6 F;J
Abandon the “WMF is not political” narrative 6 F;J
Free wifi all around the world


Practical action Challenges Possibilities
What happened to the new voices strand in SD 1? It was very useful g
Respect personality rights 6 F;K
Know our values and frame the debate. Foundational values (Don’t think of an elephant) 7 B;D;K
See drawing (insert link to post-it) 5 H;K

D2.05 / Preparing to Work


This session presented the model for working groups whose responsibility is to develop recommendations on how to overcome challenges and grasp opportunities, within the suggested key themes, and propose a process for their implementation. After the Wikimedia Conference 2018, there will be an open call to participate in the Working Groups, and continue the work that was initiated at the conference.

01 . Framing of the Working Groups



The Working Groups will: (a) focus on a key theme; (b) develop recommendations for the movement; (c) develop a process for decision making in the Working Group; and (d) make sure there is enough exchange and coordination between all the Working Groups.


Each Working Group will consist of volunteers, staff and experts from within and outside of the Movement. Diversity in terms of language, geography, and social identity is mandatory. All groups will be supported by the Information & Knowledge Manager, part of the core team which will the backbone support of the Movement Strategy development.


Each working group in the Strategy Track produced an input document, structured around the guiding questions below. This input document integrates the results from the previous steps in the Strategy Track, and will be used after the event to refine the format and working process of the Working Groups that will be established through the open call in May 2018.

Why an input document? Because the official Working Groups need to include a broader range of stakeholders involved in the movement, beyond those who could be present at the Wikimedia Conference. The conference was an opportunity for the conference participants to shape the way the Working Groups will function.

After the Wikimedia Conference 2018

There will be an open call for others to join in, as those present in the strategy track are only a fraction of the Movement. This will be a public open call, spread through different channels, to recruit the necessary diversity of perspectives and profiles to carry forward the mission of each Working Group. Participants who joined the preliminary working groups in the Strategy Track were encouraged to apply, and suggest others whom they believe should be involved.

02 . Instructions given to the Working Groups


The following instructions concerning the Working Groups were given to the Strategy Track participants:

ROLES for each conference Working Group:

A suggestion for roles that could support your discussions/work:

  • Facilitator - caring for the process and participation.
  • Recorder - making sure notes are taken digitally.
  • Timekeeper - reminding the group of time.
  • Fly - one person who can fly to other groups to silently listen into what’s happening.
  • Reporter -  for the Sunday session at 14:00.

QUESTIONS to be answered Saturday (Round 1):

  1. WHAT?
    • Q. What are the key questions that need to be discussed in your thematic area?
    • Q. What is the data telling us about the key questions that have to be worked on in this thematic area?
      • Cluster and analyse the data.
      • Please type up all the practical actions clustered under the theme you are addressing and add it to your documentation.

QUESTIONS to be answered Sunday (Round 2):

  1. WHO?
    • Q. Who needs to be in this Working Group?
      • Representation, new voices, gender, experience, expertise, etc.
      • How can we ensure continuity, innovation, and disruption?
    • Q. Who else needs to be part of the Working Group process in Wikimedia, outside, other movements, experts, etc.?
      • Informed?
      • Consulted?
      • Partners?
      • Decision-makers?
  1. HOW?
    • Q. How will the group work on recommendations to answer the key questions above?
    • Q. How will we ensure that the discussions of working group will be well informed?
    • Q. How can the recommendations be agreed upon? Who will make the decisions?


  • Each Working Group will be given 3-5 minutes total to report back on their main points from each question: WHAT - WHO - HOW.

Comments from participants

Below are comments made by participants on the suggested approach and process of the Working Groups, with responses from facilitation and strategy team:

  • Normally work groups come together to address a task from multiple perspectives - I am concerned that the key themes which structure the workgroups will create internal competition (the technology people, diversity people, etc) and strengthen silos.
    • Nicole agreed that we must not create redundant structures. Working groups should be seen as temporary task forces, to address an issue, but not as another structure. Maybe working groups are not always necessary as a format, but we have important questions for which there is no group addressing them.
  • I appreciated focus on action - something people will make a press release on, connected to a sense of accomplishment - I am not seeing the connection between what we need to achieve and the suggested headings for working groups.
    • Kaarel commented that working groups are an efficiency question. We are setting up clusters to have focused conversations, and then we use events and other structures to synchronise and align with the whole movement. They will tackle the tough questions within a thematic area, and identify the actions that need to be taken on board by different stakeholders within the movement. Some actions are carried by chapters, others by Wikimedia Foundation, others require external partners, and others a collaboration between several. The aim is to release energy that is contained in obstacles.
    • We are looking for a time-line of about 2 years. Phase 2 is about agreeing with the movement on what needs change, and Phase 3 is about implementation.
    • The Phases in strategic process are not necessarily linear. Some areas might be tackled in a shorter amount of time, and some areas might be more complex and require more time to get the necessary clarity and agreement. The work needs to be synchronised, and have more movement check-ins along the way.
  • I’m not convinced this [the process in Movement Strategy track] is the right way, or the wrong way. All key themes seem very generic and not different than any other NGO in the world. I am looking at the questions that are specific to Wikimedia. The critical insufferable questions related to our movement. I don’t see in the category how we are actually addressing them.
    • Bhavesh commented that there might be a conceptual misunderstanding in relation to the purpose and place of the conference. The next year [2018] is the year of transition. We want to work on content, but we need to look at what needs to be sorted out in terms of structure, in order to address the content. Without addressing the structures, we are not able to deal with the content because of the underlying tensions that prevent us.
  • We are asked to be bold - but the key themes are not bold;
    • Christophe commented that we are exactly where we were 10 years ago… We have tried organically, but never dealt with the hard questions. He went on inviting the group to tackle the hard questions about the structures, and then the way to address the innovation in projects can also be tackled;
  • As a participant in this simulation, one of the things that is paralyzing me is if there is an area I want to work (e.g. Education) which has deep implications for partnerships, capacity building, etc… how do you advise we organise ourselves?
    • Responses to this comment asked to consider which one has more energy or leverage personally?
    • The key themes are enablers or disablers of any goal we might have in terms of projects, education, history… there are constraints in each of those enablers that need addressing in order to achieve what we feel stuck. I would ask myself, in which one is the greatest stuck that I feel will be greater enablers for the work you want to do.
  • I am worried that those that have already spent a lot of energy in the previous day (and before) might not find themselves on the wall. How do we make sure we harness the energy that was already been brought in? And when others will join in, will the intention dissolve? Are there people feeling that their idea is not covered by these enablers? Can we talk about it to understand what needs to be done?
    • Kaarel commented that after taking into consideration previous workstreams, conversations will continue on the internet making sure that that all voices are brought in: “We understand we clustered things in a way, and if you feel your input belongs to a different key theme, we can create another to address it and make sure.”

03 . Participant distribution in Working Groups

1+2 Roles & Responsibilities (merged) 10 11
3 Resource Allocation 6 9
4 Revenue Streams** 0 0
5 Diversity 8 6
6+7 Partnerships & Capacity Building (merged)* 4 5
8 Community 3 3
9 Technology 10 6
10 Events** 0 0
11 Advocacy 3 3
TOTAL 44 participants 43 participants

*Partnerships and Capacity Building were not merged as thematic areas, but there was an overlap between the (relatively few) participants who chose to participate in these discussions.

**No participants chose to join the discussion on the suggested thematic areas of Revenue Streams and Events.

D2.06 / Thematic Inputs and Conversations


All participants in the conference were invited to attend a session where a series of thematic inputs were presented, from different initiatives and entities within the Wikimedia Movement. The presentations were followed by small group discussions with the presenters.

The purpose of these thematic inputs was to offer conference participants an overview of current work streams, and the possibility to become involved. Specifically for the Strategy track, it also aimed at connecting existing work with the emerging thematic Working Groups.

The session started with replies from the Wikimedia Board of Trustees response to the questions sent by participants.

01 . Questions to the Board of Trustees

Christophe answering questions in the Board Q&A

The questions can be consulted on meta. Below, you can see the key theme and order of the question, followed by a capture of the main points presented by the Board of Trustees.

  1. Overlap between Chapters and User Groups: Answering the question is part of the movement strategy process we are in. The regions and groups that are mostly concerned with this issue (e.g. India, and some places in Europe) know how to live with the overlap. We must join the “roles and responsibilities” working group to make sure the issue is raised.
  2. Blazegraph: Wikimedia Foundation did not choose blazegraph, this was a decision made by WikiData / Wikimedia Deutschland (WMD). Lydia from WMDE let the audience know that the research team is monitoring it, and at this point, she did not really feel worried about it.
  3. Validity of the affiliate model: One of the core questions to address in the Movement Strategy process - when we introduced user groups model for those who wanted to collaborate, the affiliate model was successful, but the question is: do they still serve the needs and the future of our movement? There are no clear answers, but the strategy process is an opportunity to answer.
  4. Growth of affiliates: We might agree about the organic way the number of affiliates has grown, but it’s clear we want to be more intentional. Do we want to be in every region? How do they relate? This is not a decision to be done by the Board of Trustees. We need to develop a sustainable affiliate strategy, and this will be a long conversation in which we must involve external partners and those who have not yet joined us. We are having this conversation now, we will continue? Maybe it’s not an either/or question… there has been a thorough consultation with the Movement, the staff in Wikimedia will work for a whole year to understand what should be the best
    María answering questions in the Board Q&A
    strategy… it might be better to wait a little bit to get the answer that is right, rather than the one that is quick.
  5. Relationship with Google: complex because it’s an organisation with many silos, very global. We need to reach the right part. We sometimes would like them to think about us more. It has nevertheless been a supportive relationship, in light of the value exchange. We’d like to see them step up. YouTube decision was surprising... There is an exciting project called “Tiger” in India - working with Google to address creation of locally relevant content in Indian languages.
  6. Changing “Wikimedia Conference” name:  Should we rethink the name of this conference? We could - but not really a decision of the board of trustee
  7. Knowledge as Free Service: “Freedom” is embedded in Wikimedia’s values. The statement is kept short on purpose for others to build on it.
  8. Preventing advertising: Highly unlikely that there will ever be advertising, but we never know with US administration (The board member highlighted this was joke and not a “board approved” comment). We are building an endowment, and doing the best to make sure that advertising will be highly improbable
  9. Question to new board members: How are they experiencing their first time in the board?
    1. Ability of this group to deal with complexity, and the community, is very impressive. In spite of the messiness, things get done - there is steep learning curve - and I have been very impressed.
    2. Commitment to prioritizing helping new voices being represented, or addressing censorship from governments and the communities in those countries doing everything they can to unblock wikipedia or repeating the info.

02. Key points from Thematic Inputs

Reading material for the Movement Strategy track, shared in advance

Representatives from different initiatives and work streams within the Wikimedia Movement presented the focus of their work, and some of the key questions they would like  to share with participants for further reflection. Everyone was invited to then join the presenters and engage in a conversation around the questions they shared. The purpose of this session was to offer the conference participants an overview of the ongoing development work in different areas of Wikimedia, and link it with the forming Working Groups in the Movement Strategy track. Below is a rough capture of the points made by the presenters:

1. Partnerships Statement

Claudia Garád (Executive Director, Wikimedia Österreich) & Daria Cybulska (Head of programmes and evaluation, Wikimedia UK)

  The presenters introduced the partnership group as part of Wikimedia: Partnership for us means individuals or organisations working towards a shared goal. We have been meeting in conferences to have a systemic understanding of the needs and challenges. Our strategic direction needs to be achieved in partnership, so these will be influenced.

Partnerships are the exciting bit because it’s about who else do we need to achieve our vision. We have more questions than answers, it depends on other factors. Taster questions

  • Structures. What are the best structures to deliver most effective collaborations?
  • Trust. How do we create trust between our communities as well as with external partners?
  • Diversity and alignment. To what extent do our partners need to be aligned to our values? Does this limit our diversity?

The presenters welcomed everyone to bring their own questions to the reflection on partnerships.

2. Funding strategy


Katy Love (Director of Community Resources, WMF) & Sati Houston (Community Resources, Senior Strategist, WMF)

  The strategy team is working on securing money to achieve the movement’s vision. How do we align with the strategy? This will require a bold change. Working on funding strategy implies answering the questions: Who and what is funded? What is the new funding model? Who holds money? Who decides and how is money distributed? We are doing this because knowledge equity is a call to action. We need to work with those left out, accept forms of knowledge that have been marginalised and deal with power structures. We need to address the role the Wikimedia Movement can play as a social movement. Key question? How do we, as funders and movement, not recreate colonial, patriarchal structures, or behave according to a saviour complex?

3. Global Event Strategy - Putting the “social” in our social movement


Kacie Harold (Community Resources, Grants Program Officer, WMF)  & Katy Love (Director of Community Resources, WMF)

We need a global event strategy — we appreciate the value of spending time together. Face-to-face connection matters to building movement and community. Every year we fund about 15 events - but so far no clear strategy of who should be there, and what each event is best oriented to achieve.

Vision: an ecosystem of events

  • Wikimania
  • Regional and Thematic Events
    • Need to clarify objectives: what we need for them, and what to get out
    • Advance commitment and scheduling: work on them sooner and not overlap them
    • Expanded participation - including more scholarships
    • Deeper logistics support so that conference organisers can increase the quality of the programme

There is a lot of data about the impact of events, but we need to know more from participants about events:

  • Participation: Who attends each type of event and who is missing?
  • Objectives: What topics or activities are useful to focus on at each type of event?
  • Support: What kinds of support should be included at each event?
  • Capacity building: Where should capacity building take place?

4. Future of WMCON


Cornelius Kibelka (Program and Engagement Coordinator, Wikimedia Deutschland)

  Wikimedia conference is beyond its limits. It was originally thought as a one-stop shop for learning, networking and reflection. The Wikimedia Conference is becoming a smaller event focusing on governance only, and accompanying regional and thematic events will be strengthened with programmes closer to the local realities.

If Wikimedia Conference should become a decision-making platform:

  1. Who should come?
  2. How to achieve diversity, inclusivity and legitimacy while being an effective meeting with high level strategy conversations?
  3. How can we bring in external expertise? We cannot solve our problems alone - e.g. people invited from Creative Commons?

5. Technology directions for supporting our strategy


Deborah Tankersley (Technology, Engineering Program Manager, WMF), Rachel Farrand (Developer Relations, Events Program Manager, WMF)

  • The Wikimedia Developer Summit now becomes Wikimedia Technical Conference based on what we learned. We want to do something new: this year we strategise on platform revolution [line missing]
  • There were 8 sessions: knowledge as service, … [sessions missing]
  • Ask questions about the future:
    1. What was the purpose of your session?
    2. What was actually accomplished at your session?
    3. What are the next steps from your session and how will this work be continued?
    4. How does this impact the non-technical parts of the Wikimedia Movement?
    5. Do you need any help or input from affiliates?
    6. What do you wish the rest of the movement knew about these efforts?
    7. Anything else that you think we should tell the world?
  • Start dialogue between session owners and affiliates

6. Diversity Statement


Netha Hussain (Wikimedian, expert)

  Netha presented the diversity statement created during the Wikimedia Diversity Conference in Stockholm. In her address, she highlight three statements to be further discussed during the breakout session that followed. Below are the notes used in her presentation:

“1. Diversity takes meaning in context.

Diversity is complex to explain because it takes meaning in context. People’s perspectives on diversity are heavily influenced by social and cultural factors. In Wikimedia movement, diversity is mostly understood as:

  1. Inclusion of all voices while amplifying the marginal ones,
  2. ensuring representation of people who are different or perceive themselves as different and
  3. dividing resources equitably among all.

When this concept is translated into action, diversity may mean different things to different people. For some participants at Diversity Conference,  diversity was about funding projects led by LGBTQ+ people, for some it was about identifying and correcting systemic biases, for some it was about writing the histories of indigenous people and  for some others it was about creating policies for reducing harassment.

So, yes, diversity is a concept perceived in several different ways, and it gains meaning only in context.

Our perceptions of what it means to be a diverse community should be constantly revised and updated. We should listen to diverse voices, reflect on privilege and use our privilege to help the underprivileged.

2. Our progress is blocked primarily by lack of resources.

Our efforts towards increasing the diversity in terms of participation and content in the Wikimedia movement are hindered by lack of infrastructure, access, capacity and people, and perceptions of Wikimedia as a closed community. In order to encourage a variety of ideas, we need to see people the way they are and should equip them to make contributions in their own ways. We need to adapt our strategies to suit the different needs of people so that the barriers they face for contributing to Wikimedia projects are minimal.

In practise, this may mean allocating resources for

  • creating user-friendly interfaces,
  • conducting outreach for engaging diverse audience,
  • integrating non-traditional forms of knowledge
  • forming partnerships with allies
  • or mapping the knowledge gap in our projects.                                

3. We should critically examine the present group norms and hierarchies.

Our reduced ability to embrace forms of knowledge other than written, our culture of giving undue weight to edit counts and power structures, our perceptions of neutrality and our bias towards Eurocentrism all stem, at least partially, from group norms. The knowledge gaps we have today in our projects are largely a by-product of the group norms we held in the past. We need to develop a culture that welcomes content and participation from those who have been left out by structures of power and privilege.

We will discuss in three groups:

  1. What does diversity mean to you in your context?
  2. What needs should be addressed in order to work for diversity in your context? What resources are relevant to address those needs?
  3. What norms and hierarchies are hindering our progress?”

7. Wikidata: What it means for service and equity


Lydia Pintscher (Wikidata Product Manager, Wikimedia Deutschland)

  Lydia talked about Wikidata as being an amazing project, and expressed being proud of all the achievements, and gratitude to all that made it.

Wikidata makes possible for knowledge to spread in many more places. In terms of knowledge equity, it helps see when we have gaps and biases in our content: e.g. maps showing evolution of data on projects over time; over 6 years we managed to bring data to under-represented areas in the world

  • More impact: if someone contributes to wikidata, it can be used on various language wikipedias but also outside wikipedia. It’s a way to help each have more impact.
  • Three key questions:
    • How can we help Wikimedians overcome barriers to cross project collaboration?
    • How can we enable even more people to share their knowledge through Wikidata?

What new ways to counter biases and gaps in our knowledge does Wikidata open up?

8. Chapters Dialogue


Nicole Ebber (wearing her Wikimedia Deutschland hat: Advisor, International Relations, Wikimedia Deutschland)

  The Chapters Dialogue was a research project initiated by Wikimedia Deutschland, that was started in 2013 to understand the challenges and needs of Wikimedia Chapters, their relationships and the relationship with the Wikimedia Foundation and its committees. In 2014, we presented the insights of the project and ended with 6 tough questions that we called on the movement to answer in order to strive for free knowledge at its full potential:
  • What do we as a movement want to achieve? Are we a website or do we foster Free Knowledge? –  that question is now answered with the Strategic Direction.
  • How do we define impact and how do we measure success?
  • What is the role of the Wikimedia Foundation?
  • How do we want to communicate and learn from each other?
  • Where does the money come from and where should it go?
  • What organizational structures are best suited to fulfil the Wikimedia mission?

9. Development of Wikimedia organisations


Lukas Mezger (Board Member, Wikimedia Deutschland)

  The current status: Wikimedia Foundation is a central organisation; there are 38 chapters and 86 user groups. There was a 30% increase in user groups over the past 2 years. Is this a good thing? Why do we have affiliates in the first place?

Lukas joked about the origin of the affiliate structure, telling the story that some Germans got Jimmy drunk in a hostel a few years ago… He said: “Might be true or not, but we don’t have a good answer to this question in the light of the new strategic direction.”


  • What do we need for a healthy and sustainable organisational structure?
  • What affiliate structure do we need – if any at all?
  • What should be their responsibilities?
  • How should they be supported?
  • How can we help affiliates mature?

Wikimedia Foundation, WMCON structure, supporting affiliate structure… what is missing? What needs to change to best pursue the strategic direction?

of the Movement Strategy track,
 » flow of activities (and this report)
» You don't have time to read everything? Check the summary of it!
Day 1
 » The Big Picture,
» The Possibilities,
» The Challenges
Day 2
» The Way Forward,
 » Preparing to work,
 » Thematic Inputs & Conversations
Day 3
» Working groups,
 » Wrapping up
» Input documents for the working groups,
 » Micro-inputs on possibilities