Wikimedia Summit 2022/Documentation/Etherpads

This is a summary of the documentation from the online etherpads of the Wikimedia Summit 2022 (for a total of 21 etherpads).

For a shorter version, feel free to read the Summit report.

Movement Charter edit

03 Roles & Responsibilities A (etherpad) edit

After general discussions around how the Movement Charter can make a positive difference, there were detailed discussions around the “roles and responsibilities” segment of the draft. The discussion pointers are briefly mentioned below:

  • MCDC should not begin from scratch for identifying Roles and Responsibilities as a lot of the work had been done in the previous years by the Roles and Responsibilities Working Group.
  • Roles and Responsibilities should clearly state the role of various stakeholders in the process, with the intention to treat everyone equally and to avoid a situation where individuals elevate themselves above others. A clear system of checks and balances should exist.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation should not do every work in the Movement.
  • Affiliates might not want additional structures in their hierarchy.
  • There were discussions around the decision-making power of the MCDC, models of accountability, process of power transfer to the Global Council, and the time being taken to establish the process of change (Movement Charter → Global Council), and ratification of the Movement Charter. .
  • MCDC should pay attention to the wording of the draft - the draft should be understandable in its right context and easily translatable.

A key takeaway was that, despite whatever changes the Movement Charter brings, the community should always remain at the center of decisions - as a key stakeholder.

04 Roles & Responsibilities B (etherpad) edit

General comments:

  • Confusion between the 2018-2019 Roles & Responsibilities Working Group and the MCDC Drafting Group.
  • Questions about:
    • The scope of the Movement Charter and how it affects existing structures (WMF, affiliates, AffComm) and new ones (Hubs/GC).
    • Opportunities for communities & affiliates to engage, and the plans to take into account the voices of different regions and groups.

Concerns about:

  • Clear problem statement:
    • What are the current roles and responsibilities that aren’t working, and why?
    • What are the current roles and responsibilities that are working, and why? How can we improve them?
    • What are the gaps in the existing governance model that the Global Council will be filling?
  • Building upon the work of the 2018-2019 Roles & Responsibilities WG.
  • Overlap of the roles and responsibilities of different entities in the movement.
  • Whether the WMF central role may shift or remain as it is.
  • How to keep iterating and developing responsibilities as new entities emerge.
  • How can we ensure the decisions are equitable if not everyone has the same opportunities to make them?  
  • Collaboration instead of conflict and duplication in creating Hubs.
    • How individual contributors are included/excluded from Hubs.

Content feedback:

  • The text doesn’t explicitly mention “decentralization”, which was a key topic in the Movement Strategy recommendations.
  • A movement-wide conflict resolution role may need to be added.
  • Create a tool or a clear organizational chart of people to contact for specific issues due to the confusion about the sheet amount of roles (Mediawiki was cited as a good role model of this).

05 Charter Preamble (etherpad) edit

Overall feedback:

  • Take inspiration from language from the Universal Code of Conduct and Terms of Use when referring to “all members and entities” or stakeholdres of the movement.
  • How will the Movement Charter be amended and ratified?

Content feedback:

  • Use small sentences, simple words
  • Add a definition of the Wikimedia movement
  • Explain the “Why” and rationale behind the Movement Charter.
  • Add contextual translations
  • Clarify who will be responsible for enforcing the Movement Charter.
  • References to Movement Strategy don’t belong in the preamble as they are more of a history
  • Avoid confusing terms like “projects” or “sister projects”, instead use something like “wikis”.
  • Explain: What is the purpose of having "global free knowledge"?

07 Values & Principles A (etherpad) edit

Discussions in this breakout room centered around:

  • Linguistic bias
    • The phrase “historically under-represented” when in fact harms are ongoing in the present and into the future and “historically” implies it’s in the past and “under-represented” sounds passive, when in reality, these communities have been ignored or left out actively
      • Suggestion to use something like “minoritized” to express that people are and have been structurally, historically excluded
    • The phrase “new forms of knowledge” to mean “oral histories” is inaccurate, as oral history is in fact very old (if not the oldest form of knowledge), just new to certain cultures
  • Explicitness and clarity in definitions, as some can be interpreted broadly or overlap with other values
    • The “form and content” section under Resilience being redundant to the section under Free Knowledge
    • The section on open source confuses open source with open license; it also means the more militant supporters of FOSS tools insist on exclusive use of FOSS even when there is a better tool available
    • Under Independence, “operates without bias” is contradictory because Wikimedia depends on the publishing industry, which is riddled with systemic bias
    • The section on Equity is not expansive enough to encompass the knowledge equity mentioned in the Movement Strategy, which includes “knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege” – not just equity in terms of resources
    • The section on Resilience can be more welcoming/inviting to include smaller language groups that are very passionate and experimenting and innovating; it should be more about human resilience, and not just systems and content
    • The section on Accountability is concerning because…(no details in the notes)
    • The language around sustainability could be clearer, especially for translation purposes
  • General feedback:
    • Good start, but could be developed to be more inclusive (rather than a box)
    • This chapter is important to align different affiliates along the same values and principles

08 Future Movement Governance Scenarios (etherpad) edit

Goal: The goal of this discussion is to see how the whole set of governance decisions fits together. "This is what we need from the Global Council in response to the changes in the world"

Define & Prioritize Uncertainties: The unpredictable things in the movement that "we can neither control nor foresee" (as voted in descending order):

  • Technological Changes (such as the Rise of artificial intelligence, new formats, disinformation) – 18 votes.
  • Geopolitical Situation (including US Election/Policy Changes, Wars, etc.) – 4 Votes
  • Continued Growth and Splintering of Online Spaces – 4 Votes.
  • New Sources of Knowledge (who makes decisions) – 4 Votes
  • New Generation of Climate Activities – 2 Votes
  • New Managerial Practices (e.g. Teal Management) – 1 Vote
  • Volunteer Tiredness – 1 Vote
  • Disinformation – 1 Vote

Related Comments and questions:

  • Do we need to define the subject of our governance?
  • For the technological changes, do we mean technological governance of our websites? (E.g., Wikipedia) or governance of the product (e.g., content, data - which lives beyond our platforms)?
  • Different external drivers might be most relevant
  • Need for "oral citations" addressing the lack of written sources for specific parts of the world.
  • Disintermediation of the internet:
    • Different/new ways of accessing the internet - people accessing Wikipedia content off of Wikipedia (e.g., voice assistants, Alexa devices, etc.) and on platforms we don't control. The knowable problem, but largely unpredictable how it will happen.
    • The emergence of different internet standards could have a detrimental impact on allowing people to access a common internet and be another factor contributing to a "splintering" of the internet.
    • Technologies we do not control:
      • IP addresses are becoming less relevant to identify users and we are looking for more ways to id users. we need to keep up with these developments, if not it can affect the movement as a whole
      • IP blocks - people from Africa are especially affected. Also, a growing problem for rural editors in the United States.
  • Need to look at the upcoming generations:
    • one of the challenges: the attention span of younger people is getting narrow, they go to YouTube to learn something and they do not have the inclination to read long articles over something that is very scholastic.
    • There is a young generation that is active around the climate crisis, we should try to bring them into the movement
  • The charter should be flexible and have many pillars since the world will keep on changing, we are not creating something perfect, let’s not be captured by _all_ the potential threats

Summary (by Kaarel): As structural changes take time and energy; we need to focus of key things and know where to spend the time (avoid burnout). Need to be flexible and adaptable. Understand the drivers and directions using the quadrants.

10 Values & Principles B (etherpad) edit

The conversation raised various questions that require further clarification.

  • The applicability of Values & Principles to Wikimedia Enterprise
  • The inclusivity of differently-abled people with a suggestion to have a glossary and a separate Principle about Accessibility
  • Availability of the project in various local languages to improve inclusivity (via language hub?!)
  • Model of accountability in Roles and Responsibilities
  • Ensuring the adoption of Values by participants
  • How to test these Values
  • The text needs to clearly reflect the notion of community independence

11 Writing the Charter as a Movement (etherpad) edit

There were recommendations to consult the initial Movement Strategy working groups, hub consultation participants, lessons from ongoing Movement Strategy projects, and all small and big communities to inform the drafting process. The initial three sections - Preamble, Values and Principles, Roles and Responsibilities - should be consulted to begin with; feedback is incorporated to revise the three sections and then the work continues.

Consultation process should be both synchronous and asynchronous. There were suggestions to use Kialo, an argument mapping and debating tool, to help visualize the debate, and adequately document the outcome: decisions and consensus. The use of tools should not be limited to Kialo, given the vastness of the consultations. Efforts should be made to provide translations and engage the usually underrepresented groups. Between Meta, MS Forum, and other platforms, the expressed need is to use a tool / platform that allows participants to engage freely.

There were multiple thoughts on the frequency of consultations: opinions ranged from doing focused-group conversations to engaging in regular consultation evaluations to measure impact and prevent participation burnout.

12 Global Council (etherpad) edit

The discussion centered around the constitution of the Global Council: whether it will be a decision-making body or an advisory body. The WMDE proposed two scenarios where (1) the Global Council is an advisory board to the current structure with the Wikimedia Foundation as the central organization and (2) an international membership organization consisting of various members, including the Wikimedia Foundation. Follow-up discussions centered around the representation of the Global Council, stakeholders of the Global Council w.r.t the above two scenarios, the role of the Board of Trustees within the Global Council, role of governance, existence of quota parity that guarantees equal representation of men and women, prevalence of regional diversity, and the impact of global legal regulations on the Global Council structure. Participants discussed the pros and cons for both the scenarios, and they were more inclined towards the second scenario.

Hubs edit

03 Peer Connections (etherpad) edit

Key takeaways:

  • There are already hubs or hub-like structures existing (prior to the Movement Strategy conversations), and there are ideas for new hubs (within the context of the Movement Strategy).
  • Technical support for the hubs is an issue; where can hubs seek technical support for technical projects?

Key questions:

  • What is the meaning of hubs?
  • What is the purpose?
  • What questions are we trying to answer? What problems are we trying to solve, and is a hub needed to solve it?
    • Why do we think hubs would be more effective at this?
  • Are hubs supranational entities on themes that are more than regional?
  • What is the difference between a “hub” and a “Hub”? Should there be different terms?
    • “hub” = anything that supports collaboration on very different levels; Nigeria started “hubs” before “Hub” conversation started in the context of the Movement Strategy
    • “Hub” = derived from the Movement Strategy as an attempt to make work less WMF-focused and solve things at lowest possible level; encourage collaboration between different actors

04 Governance of Hubs (etherpad) edit

The discussions centered around the definition of hubs and the governance function of hubs.

For some, hubs should serve an umbrella role. They should be entities that create forms of collaboration between different entities towards a goal. They should be a platform or umbrella for collaboration. Others thought hubs are geopolitical. They are structures that can give that option to more affiliates.

There were suggestions that governing should be a function of the hub. But the Movement Chater should not necessarily speak to the governance of the hubs, since the governance of hubs should be a changing model. It was suggested that one level of governance of hubs should be about filling gaps, where people get together and try to fill the gaps that need to happen. And another level should be about stakeholders coming together to decide on things to focus on.

Some expressed the need for other affiliates/chapters or structures to take up some responsibilities from the WMF.They are thinking about self-organizing where hierarchies do not play the same role as in classical conversations. They also see a need to make sure these ideas and theories that informed the recommendations are not lost.

There were concerns raised that putting up a mechanism for collaboration that can be abused, could make the problem larger. Others were concerned that If someone is in multiple user groups, they can vote multiple times. And some thought that pre-defining governance tools for affiliates won't be helpful.

06 Thematic Hubs - Global Functions (etherpad) edit

  • Presentation of user groups, campaigns or programs that could be seen as Hubs:
    • Current structures that work like a hub and may be considered a hub such as Wikipedia and Education User Group.
    • MDWiki and Afrocrowd also mentioned their global work in specific thematic areas (medical and black diaspora).
    • Afrocrowd is a user group globally structured on 'partnership', 'collaboration', 'mentorship' framework. There are many communities underrepresented such as Caribbean, Dalit (India), etc.
    • Global campaigns such as WLM and others are mentioned. Could a hub be the answer to coordinate and provide assistance to these activities/organizers?
    • Sweden UG considers that they have been working as a hub. They offer services to others around Glam and content partnerships and serve around 200 participants, but they have no connections to other affiliates.
    • Language as a connector for the work across borders > transregional collaboration supported by a language/culture - Bangladesh chapter perspective
  • Aspects and needs shared by these global initiatives:
    • Knowledge sharing and knowledge centralization are needed.
    • Coordination across stakeholders may be the answer regarding the hubs topics. And the way coordination is facilitated right now can be an under-resourced burden.
  • Clarifications on roles, responsibilities and operations are needed:
    • Intersections between workstreams by WMF in the Education team and WE user group are worth discussing to clarify the direction for a hypothetical hub
    • Clarify what is the support offered by a hub to avoid overlaps between communities. Ie. WMUK wants to work with their local black community. If Afrocrowd is a hub for black people and diaspora, does it mean they would be expected to support WMUK with that outreach?
    • Hub as a center that can serve others. A UG that would become a center would need resources because it is probably working at capacity already.
    • Hubs could provide a coordinating role: they would be less the decision making body a chapter is.
    • +1 networks strengthening instead of directly imagining hubs as the solution / collaborative network
    • Hubs as the path to work with big organizations such as the UN (regional/smaller structures wouldn't be able to respond to that).
    • Defining roles, responsibilities and scope is key to avoid overlapping people doing the same thing (WMF +  affiliates) +1 defining roles, responsibilities and benefits before even clarifying the difference between thematic affiliate and thematic hub
  • Comments by participants that could be questions to stimulate reflection:
    • What's the difference between a thematic organization and a hub?
    • For thematic hubs ideas, maybe language is showing to be a barrier?
    • Strengthening networks or building hubs?
    • The movement agreed by less structures and if a hub is a collection of affiliates wouldn’t it mean more structures?

07 Showcasing Research (etherpad) edit

The following projects were introduced:

  • Participants introduced hub related projects, such as: Lusophone Hub, research done within the Foundation, Language Diversity hub, Wikimedia Canada, West African regional hub.

Reflections and curiosities, questions and surprises shared:


  • Research should start with the “Why”: it needs to define what the research is about, which community/communities it serves and who conducts the research, among other questions.
  • Challenge on bridging knowledge: how do we connect non-English speaking people to a conversation that's happening in English? How can we learn from what others are doing?
  • Need for research that relates to the online communities, and understands how we can retain members.
  • The Wikimedia Incubator needs a lot of improvement to support new languages, including technical barriers and enabling language diversity.


  • While hub related research is conducted in different parts of the movement, there is very little research in smaller communities. There is a need for diverse research in languages other than English. > E.g: East Africa Regional/Thematic Hub (EARTH) - trying to understand what's bringing together 13 East African countries, which speak Swahili, French and others.
  • There are problems in certain contexts  (E.g. small languages) and we’d like to figure out how to solve them. Hubs were identified as the possible solution for those questions, as opposed to other possible strategies on decentralization of power.  

What questions would you have if you started your own research? edit

  • How do you describe the concept of "Hub" to your community?
  • What are the current and future needs that communities are facing? (needs assessment)
  • What does a "regional hub" mean to you?
  • How may a "regional hub" solve your problems and challenges?

08 Regional Hubs - Regional Functions (etherpad) edit

1. What’s working well?

  • Existence of larger external organizations (e.g. European Community) can augment the working of the regional hub
  • It can stimulate/facilitate collaboration amongst (some) chapters, sharing common projects/interests
  • Existing structures can co-exist and stimulate/grow the hub development (e.g. CEE augmented with the already existing yearly conference)
  • Collaboration is key: hubs should deliver something that individual chapters can't
  • Regional hubs are closer to the chapters than the Foundation (WMF) is
  • A hub would be culturally more homogenous than the current WMF centralized way of working

2. Challenges

  • Some hubs may not be able to define their scope, i.e. linguistic-based hubs.
  • For offline collaboration, although traveling becomes more important, it could increase budgets and costs.
  • Consider reducing the carbon footprint when setting up trips and meetings. Geographic governance and time are very much linked.
  • Unclear definition of what is a hub.
  • Difficulty of selecting a country or location as a headquarters/base for a hub
  • Confusion/overlap of the multiple hubs versus chapters/affiliates/user groups
  • Geographical overlap, e.g. Europe/CEE
  • Linguistic/geographical overlap, e.g. WikiFranca vs. French

3. How can we improve Regional Hubs?

  • Avoid and mitigate overlaps
  • Collaboration across regions
  • Flexibility ~ subsidiarity

Circumstances, Existing Scenarios

Scenario 1: Latin America/Spanish-speaking countries:

  1. Unable to organize better/how to gather.
  2. Not thematic nor linguistic
  3. Need to move from the dormant status, we want to think about what we want to do and then find a model for us. Maybe a hybrid model – not exactly a hub.
  4. Possibility of finding different models of policies to be named a hub.
  5. Possibility of not fulfilling criteria of becoming a hub. Then there is a need to start based on the minimum criteria. start thinking small based on what we already have and start building on that. do not get lost in abstract thinking.
  6. Access to funds? A challenge.

Scenario 2: MENA:

  1. Started the implementation discussions
  2. Developing a vision and a grant request
  3. Need for regional community support
  4. Financial issues and challenges.

Scenario 3: WMEU:

  1. 22 affiliates are members - initiative is important. Some affiliates are not in the EU region.
  2. Challenge: No proper conversation about the structure or the functions of the hub– should it be a hub?
  3. Currently working as a Free Knowledge Advocacy Group in influencing EU legislation where it is connected with movement.
  4. Challenge: Mixed: Thematic and Regional Hub! Not important, but need to look at the needs and what can be supported.
  5. Advantage: The existence of the EU gives us a pretext to collaborate because there is a meta-structure of combined European governance that we can respond to
  6. Advantage: Early realization to combine capacities and do what no affiliate can do.
  7. Overlapping between CEE and WMEU. The difference between CEE and EU is that 1) WMEU is focused on EU: copyright and fundraising, while the CEE hub is a support structure for CEE organizations to support and grow. 2) WMEU will get resources from outside of the movement, CEE will remain movement-focused, no overlapping. 3) WMEU is focused on what we were already doing, e.g. working on copyright and policy in all of Europe
  • Advantage: WMEU and CEE hub were built on structures that already existed and we encourage you to do that

Scenario 4: ESEAP:

  1. Need a discussion about governance and structure, the reasons behind establishing hubs, it’s functions and what constitutes a hub.
  2. ESEAP is a bottom-up org that contrasts with the top-down approach of the Foundation., driven by community and users; needs vary depending on community and language.

Scenario 5: Africa

  1. Two hubs in Africa, west and east. They need governance structure and definition of the purpose of the hub,

Common Cases:

  1. Within the hub it is about communication about the resources from the more experienced affiliates.
  2. Useful for hub members to share some of their knowledge and what is available: what was working well and sharing experience and resources,
  3. There is an issue with time zones, difficult to talk to the
  4. Discussions about governance structure are becoming difficult. Would have been great to have some guidance from the movement and WMF before going too far down the road.
  5. To have an agreement on how to work together and how we are accountable: recommendation to do research and document it.

10 Opportunities & Risks (etherpad) edit

Challenges and risks: edit

  • Communication: hard to keep up with what’s happening in Africa. There is an impression that a lot is going on, but not enough data found.
  • High levels of bureaucracy.
  • Asymmetries between Hubs that widen the gaps between them?
    • Affiliates have different levels of historical knowledge and level of participation in the discussions. Making sure that there are enough lanes for those who join later.
    • Joining a hub should be voluntary.
    • Avoid the possible duplication of problems, duplication of actors and efforts.
      • Is there a hubcom, how do I create one?
      • Suggestion about creation of a Coordination body for mediation and to save participants facing emotional combat and energy drain. The minimum support to mitigate conflicts among hubs needs to be defined.  
  • Regional vs. language based and other ways: Couldn't the Lusophone "hub" encompass more than just the PT and BR affiliates?
    • Maybe hubs shouldn't just be a group of affiliates but can include unaffiliated volunteers?
    • Q: How will those with no affiliate be able to create a hub? Answer: One of the solutions is to work with already existing affiliates. Individuals joining depends on the project managers.
    • Concerns about further consolidation of power and inequalities among marginalized groups.
  • Regional hubs and the idea of focusing around the distribution of power and decision-making across the movement: Is this still part of how "Regional Hubs" are being conceived?
    • It is not yet clear, the discussions around hubs are still happening on a high level.
  • What are the opportunities for transregional hubs: for example: a small island nation hub or a hub related to the diaspora community. Examples of these types of collaborations needed.

2. Reflections on challenges and risks edit

  • How do we create more connections between different Hubs?
  • Lifecycle of Hubs needs to be thought of (do they stop at some point in time?) Milestones?
  • Asymmetries between hubs. Flag planting/Homesteading syndrome?
  • How would the arbitration work, how will they grow?
  • Clarity on the definition of hubs.
  • Clarity around the governance of hubs. Run by delegates of affiliates?
  • Hubs are created by humans. By communicating and changing the direction they will grow.

11 Piloting Hubs (etherpad) edit

Clarifying points

  • Visibility through accountability should be required. It is important to document the progress of our hubs. obstacles could be very useful for the MCDC.It doesn't matter much if thematic hubs are less than regional ones.
  • Diversity should be firmly instated in hubs from the beginning. If gender diversity is not tackled from the get-go, it will be difficult to get by later.

Key suggestions to improve guidelines

  • The global team that should be implementing the hub guidelines:
    • This should be the community of some topics or regions that assess the needs of bigger structure levels.
  • Funding and Validation:
    • WMF should provide funding but you might not always need funding.
    • Hubs become official If they are funded and trademarked
  • Existence of Political and Religious groups hubs:
    • It should be a case by case situation.
    • And the person initiating political and religious hubs would be an official affiliate.
  • Validation of hubs by  AffComm or the Global council:

Additional comments

  • There are unclear definitions and boundaries of hubs. Example is the CEE Hub
  • Hubs should empower local communities and serve as support networks.
  • Hubs could be run with a few chapters

12 Funding & Support (etherpad) edit

  • What is already in place for funding and supporting Hubs?
    • Funding: Movement Strategy Implementation Grants
      • When applying for MSIG, you get help and feedback telling you what to improve before submitting, which is very encouraging
  • Hubs serve as a means for receiving funds and applying for grants from the Foundation and beyond
    • ESEAP is not an affiliate or organization, so it cannot receive funding for itself directly; it must work through its members to receive funding
    • Wikimedia Korea received funding from IT companies when they were first established, and they are trying to get funding from local donors; the Foundation doesn’t support Wikimedians in Korea. This needs to improve.
    • Catch 22: hubs are a way to receive funds, but we need funds to get the hubs started
  • Examples of gaps in funding and supporting hubs
    • The affiliates in the MENA region are not legal entities, so they cannot receive fundings, and individuals do not want to receive the money directly on behalf of those affiliates
    • The grants should extend beyond the end of the fiscal year, since hubs are long term projects and one year’s of funding is not enough
    • Human resource power from the Foundation to help affiliates/groups with specific problems that are context-specific; these administrative and bureaucratic work can be very time-consuming and restraining for volunteers
      • WMF encourages grantees to include overhead support (accounting, for example) in the budget request
    • Even applying for a grant for hubs can be challenging, and support is required
  • There is a contradiction of hubs being decentralized, but the Foundation has to increase its own capacities (funds and human resources) to support decentralization.
    • The Foundation’s support now (especially in providing funds and lowering the administrative, bureaucratic and logistical barriers) is needed for the future in which hubs will cover this function

Funding & resources edit

03 Fundraising A (etherpad) edit

The discussion focused on six questions:

  • Q1: What income does the movement miss out on in jurisdictions where our donors are unable to make tax-exempt donations?
    • Answer: Hard to say. Market research can help.
  • Q2: Should everyone fundraise? Should ‘payment processing’ be reopened to affiliates? Do we have the capacity to do that?
    • Answer: A complex topic; answers will vary based on local laws and regulations. Without creating sustainable structures, fundraising would be difficult. There are different kinds of fundraising - what are our priorities?!
  • Q3: What are fundraising functions that are better done centrally, regionally, locally?
    • Answer: Participants from regions such as Norway, France, and Finland shared examples of various payment processing systems and  tools that could be used to enable fundraising.
  • Q4: What are the rules for Affiliate fundraising using the trademarks?
    • Answer: There cannot be a blanket answer because every affiliate has their own policy regarding trademarks, which also ties in with governmental regulations. Participants from France, Israel, India, Ghana, and Portugal shared their understanding of affiliate fundraising rules - governmental complications, hindered capacity building, fundraising methods like cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, it is not about whether everyone could fundraise or not; it is about maximizing fundraising.
  • Q5: What movement building and stakeholder engagement do we miss out on in the absence of affiliate fundraising?
    • Answer: Not just stakeholder engagement, we miss out on donor engagement too when donors don't know where their money is going. Research from WMDE showed that fundraising is a cultural issue. There were suggestions to give mentorship to affiliates who have not raised funds before. How are grants different from fundraising - there is a thin line of difference that needs to be understood.
  • Q6: How can we build our fundraising capacity?
    • Answer: No clear answer. Participants mentioned the partnership between WMF and Wikimedia Israel to avoid donor duplication.

Other points:

  • How to work together for fundraising?
  • Should site notices be used for fundraising?
  • How to determine which projects qualify for funding?
  • How can local fundraising create more opportunities, connections, and accountability?

04 Participatory Decision-Making & Subsidiarity A (etherpad) edit

The discussion centered around four questions:

  • Q1: How do communities and stakeholders of the Movement participate in decisions about how resources are spent?
    • Answer: the WMF spends resources with zero community input.
      • One way to change this is to distribute the funds equally and rely on decisions taken about the community w.r.t. their local budgets.
      • Another way is to have a global participatory budgeting method to decide where resources will be eventually spent. Further, the concern is how to setup a global participatory budgeting system without killing the principle of subsidiarity?! Including the donors in decision-making could also be explored (many found the idea problematic). A detailed  needs assessment could help to establish an efficient resource distribution model.
  • Q2: How do we make decisions together about how to allocate the resources we have at a given moment?
    • there should be more involvement of the grantmaking committees. People evaluating the grants should have sufficient understanding of how chapters operate in order to inform the assessment of grant proposals.
    • WMF should guarantee a baseline funding package to all affiliates.
    • defining the role played by Hubs should help to make this decision. Also, there was a question about whether the Movement Charter will become a tool to redesign the fundraising and grantmaking processes.
    • need to think about a future where funding comes from different entities and not only the Foundation.
  • Q3: Can we build on the new concepts and first learnings around Regional Committees and Regional hubs?
    • Answer: Fund dissemination is a challenge in various regions; a solution should be a priority. One could explore  decentralized allocation and distribution instead of WMF central FDC. There is a need to streamline grant processes. Trust needs to be established.
  • Q4: How do we assure that movement level or regional level revenue plans are better backed by communities?
    • Answer: Participants commented on the need for clearer communication between the Regional Grants Committee (RGC) and the affiliates/communities. There should be clarity on the decision-making of the RGC, and greater collaboration between the RGC and the affiliates should be encouraged. Allocation and grant processing could be a complicated technical matter where inclusivity can be challenging.

05 Open Topics (etherpad) edit

There were three open topics proposed and discussed:

  • Q1: How to reach Movement groups that are not previously engaged because of their relatively small size/less prominent stature (stewards, Wikipedians-in-Residences, etc) or are unable to access the existing centralized information because of language barrier or design limitations.
    • Answer: The creation of the Regional Grants Committee created a better situation, but there are still some supranational/global groups that are left out. These groups work on a global scale but often struggle to reach out to their members for any kind of decisions, e.g. feedback on grant requests
      • Examples mentioned: Wikipedians-in-Residences (Affiliate: WREN), Wiki Loves Monuments global organizing team, and stewards (Affiliate: Stew-UG)
    • Answer: Some of these affiliates work on the core of the projects and don't actually want to ask for money but want to have the core fixed without having to shoulder the burden of administrative affairs like grant requests, reports, etc.
      • Mention of comparison to the  technical wishes (Community Wishlist Survey?) but also approachable/contextualized by smaller groups
    • Answer: User groups working with/having its members that are people with disabilities should also get better support to access information
      • Example: hard for blind people when requesting funds through FLUXX because of pop-ups which create issues with screen readers
  • Q2: How to build trust with the WMF
    • Answer: Even for affiliates who work on a regional level and now get better language support, building trust with regional coordinators is a topic — they have to explain their situation repeatedly
    • Answer: Attendees encouraged the WMF to trust Hubs, regional coordinators, local volunteers  etc. to wisely forward money to those who know best what is needed as support
  • Q3: Concern about grant approvals
    • Answer: There are Affiliates who have grant meetings twice per week, who are very close to the grantees and often reimburse
    • Answer: it would be nice to work on this topic as well and thereby increase the flexibility with the grantees

A “common thread” that link these three topics: level of trust and proximity in between the Foundation, the Affiliates, and community members needs to be recalibrated in between extremes of “granting” and “unified movement-claiming”

07 Redistribution of Funds (etherpad) edit

The room discussed two major topics: whether grantmaking is the appropriate tool for redistribution of funds, and pros and cons of the restricted/unrestricted funding model.

A diversity of opinion was found in the first topic:

  • Grantmaking may be partially appropriate, but not a fully good mechanism and should be developed further
  • Grantmaking cannot work because it does not activate the goals by 2030, will need to devise a better system
  • Grantmaking is not a strong tool; will need a process that goes "beyond"
  • Grantmaking is directly related to how should it be kept accountable, preventing corruption and power struggle
  • Grantmaking is essentially redistribution of "centrally-collected" resources; its goal is to need others

Experiences on the current grantmaking structure as a tool of funds distribution:

  • Some "crazy" grant applications were received
  • Struggles to get funds in certain countries (e.g. Moldova)

Opinions on the current set-up of the grantmaking structure:

  1. Indifference on the model of Regional Committee for funds redistribution
  2. Current grantmaking structure does not allow Affiliates to "evolve"
  3. Capacities of Affiliates reflect the inequalities of the funds redistribution

How should funds redistribution be steered and be done?

  • Set redistribution as an effort to build capacities of Affiliates and associated organizations
  • "Rich" countries may agree to help redistribution of funds; forms of "solidarity dues"
  • Universal basic income for affiliates: unrestricted funds that get distributed, according to some mechanism, with no strings attached for specific projects; suggested target are for Affiliates in developing worlds, while the more conventional grant structure may be geared towards the bigger and more established groups. Some concern regarding its inequitability; if UBI-for-Affiliates is equitable then unrestricted resources can be allocated
  • Rethink the Global South-North divide on funds redistribution; different resources for groups in these divide are still there, however, even within the Global North there are certain disparities
  • Create a matrix that could accommodate both the editor and readership base
  • Create spaces where we ensure persons having precise problems can co-design the mechanisms
  • A long term plan need to be devised to build organizations

Factors suggested in reforming the funds redistribution system:

  • Accessibility need to be prioritized
  • Ways to break the language barriers
  • Capacity building for funds distributions
  • Redistributing skills
  • Support local fundraising from orgs that have experiences in it (WMF, WMDE)

Discussion regarding the restricted/unrestricted funding revolves around country-specific contexts, and concerns around the accountability of the models

  • Argentina: economically active people can not act based on US based campaign messages, not everyone can donate, inflation is high
  • Israel: difficult fundraising situation
  • Germany: Wikimedia Germany uses central banners from fund-raising (95% donations come from wiki central banners) and help channel funds to other communities

The practicalities of local funding can vary; suggestion of multi-source funding model for small projects that can be funded through multiple sources (10% from Germany, 10% of Sweden etc)

Suggestions to resolve the complication:

  • The training of members on resources and knowledge management equivalent to the countries Affiliates' are operating and their local context

11 Revenue Diversification & Self-Sufficiency A (etherpad) edit

The discussion primarily focused on the question whether everyone should be required to fundraise, in the context of a diverse family of affiliates. The general consensus was that it should not be "required" but available as an available option should the affiliate choose to fundraise. This would require affiliates being aware of local legal restrictions and bureaucracy. The Wikimedia Foundation could also provide fundraising training to build capacity as an optional form of support. Additional discussion points:

  • participants also noted that "WMF is a fundraising giant" and this step would put affiliates in competition with the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • some affiliates are dependent on Wikimedia Foundation for annual grants.
  • it is not just about money, affiliates must have access to donor data as well. The data will help to differentiate between institutional fundraising and individual fundraising.
  • the Resources Allocation Working Group discussed the basic minimum standard of support for affiliates, based on their rights and responsibilities. However, in the case of an organization, there are further requirements to fulfill such as education activities, media outreach, cover fundraising costs, and so on. The factors vary based on the prevalent laws of the country.
  • the current laissez-faire fundraising approach to fundraising should come with rights, such as, the Universal Basic Income. The WMF needs to actively support capacity development.
  • sponsorships and partnerships for events and competitions are other ways to receive additional revenue.
  • cultural differences in asking for donations should be revisited.
  • examples of Wikimedia Enterprise and WikiEdu were given to state the importance of additional revenue channels.

12 Revenue Diversification & Self-Sufficiency B (etherpad) edit

Key takeaways from this discussion are:

  • Clarity: when the resourcing group during the Movement Strategy phases said “everyone,” they didn’t mean literally “everyone” because they understood that there are different resource restrictions across the Movement.
    • Everyone should try, but fundraising also requires a lot of effort and resources (to set it up, to promote, to report on it, requiring technical or financial or design skills, etc.). Fundraising should be proportional to capacity and context
  • Fundraising needs to change because the Movement is changing and so is the global environment. We need to diversify the funding resources to adapt to the local context.
    • Directly related is the power structure within the Movement too -- right now, the one's best at fundraising gets to decide what to do with the funds.
      • The three organizations that do fundraising via Central Notice are the richest. What about allowing other affiliates to use Central Notice? Will hubs have the ability to use Central Notice?
    • Fundraising is complicated, and there’s so much disparity/inequity/variability across the Foundation from affiliate to affiliate
  • Diversification of fundraising tools
    • Foundation fundraising tactics might not work on a local level
    • There are other sources of fundraising besides the banner; individual donors, events, etc.
    • In some countries, citizens can designate part of their tax allocation to non-profit organizations, and if affiliates register with their government, they can take advantage of this to receive funding
  • The ability to raise in-kind donations (like renting a meeting space for free or at a discounted price, getting equipment for free, having vendors offer their services pro bono, etc.) is fundraising – a creative approach to fundraising beyond money.