Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2019-11-29/In focus

An update on the Wikimedia Movement 2030 Strategy: Coming to the end of a long road formulating the strategy.

Risker has held multiple positions within the Wikimedia community and is a member of the Roles & Responsibilities strategy working group.
FULBERT has worked with several WikiEdu programs and is a member of the Capacity Building strategy working group.
Jackiekoerner holds a doctorate in Higher Education and is a member of the Community Health strategy working group.-S

What has happened so far

Organizations and movements develop a strategic plan to guide their activities and planning over an extended period. A strategic plan helps the parts of the movement to work together to achieve overall goals. The last Wikimedia movement strategy covered 2010-2015. Since then there's been no consistent, global direction to guide the movement. The absence of a high-level plan creates challenges for different parts of the movement to work together toward shared goals. The movement began to address this gap in 2017, when the 2030 strategic direction was developed with community consultation, and was endorsed by many organized movement groups and individual contributors. The Wikimedia Foundation has been the financial sponsor of this process.

After the strategic direction was defined, nine working groups were formed to focus on different strategic areas, and started their work in mid–2018. Extensive workshops and sessions were held at the Wikimedia Summit in March 2019 and each group carried out research, consultations, community conversations, and formulated ideas that led to the first iteration of their recommendations.

There were "strategy salons" held around the globe, both in-person and online, which generated ideas for the working groups to consider and incorporate into their recommendations. Almost 90 recommendations were developed by the working groups, released in mid-2019 for further discussion within the community. Each group presented and workshopped its draft recommendations at Wikimania in August 2019.

Wikimedia strategy salon in Nepal
Wikimedia strategy salon in Nepal

Both contract and volunteer strategy liaisons worked with online communities, affiliates, and working groups, and held two regional conferences in East Africa and the East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Regional Cooperation.

Developing a longterm strategy is difficult even in straightforward circumstances. Doing so is even more challenging for a global volunteer movement that values diversity and community input, and also values knowledge-sharing and high quality information. Every working group received feedback from both organized and informal movement groups, as well as consultants, the coordination team, and of course individual community members. That feedback was considered, and was taken into account as the working groups prepared their second round of recommendations in preparation for the harmonization meeting in September 2019.

What is happening now

The participants of the September harmonization meeting refined key principles and identified groups of similar recommendations, but the session did not result in a fully synthesized set of draft recommendations. The working groups finished their work at the beginning of November. Some members of the working groups volunteered to complete the written draft recommendations, and this synthesis is ongoing.

What is yet to come

Once the draft recommendations are written, other members of the former working groups will review the document. Other working group members will be going through all of the accumulated research, consultation, and feedback to ensure that key points have been addressed in the synthesized set of recommendations. In January 2020, a further round of conversations with the movement will review the proposed recommendations prior to final revisions before submission to the WMF Board of Trustees.

Early next year, once the draft recommendations are public, the Strategy Core Team will reach out to the English Wikipedia to review the recommendations and understand what proposed changes would be relevant to this community. Community members from all areas of Wikimedia will be invited to participate in this round of conversations, which will start in January 2020. The invitations will be posted on noticeboards, mailing lists and other key community discussion points. Discussions will likely take place in a centralized location, although this process has not yet been finalized.