Diversity, leadership and safety for a thriving movement — a short-term plan

Movement diversity, Community leadership development, Diverse content, and Safe and secure spaces: these are the current top priorities of the Community Engagement department (CE) at the Wikimedia Foundation. Dozens of programs and activities are being developed around these priorities in collaboration with other Foundation teams, affiliates and groups of volunteers. 

Community Engagement keeps working on core duties such as grantmaking, events, communications, evaluation, trust & safety… However, even these core activities will be aligned to our top priorities whenever there is a chance. Here is an overview to understand our motivations and objectives, and to help you decide which initiatives can best support you and your projects.

Movement Diversity

In our mission to empower and engage people around the world, diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental ingredients to build our thriving movement. Without these ingredients, we are prone to reinforce biases in our content and our communities, structures of power and privilege, and the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge. In order to support the increase of gender, age, language and regional diversity in Wikimedia this fiscal year, we are working to achieve these key results:

  • Prepare for the development of a Youth Advisory Council to co-develop a youth engagement strategy.
  • Grow the capacity of at least 3 affiliates to engage students speaking underrepresented languages.
  • Hire a Gender program manager and a regional liaison in at least 4 of 6 prioritized regions.

Community Leadership Development

Some of the Learning Days participants at the last Wikimedia. Photo by: DRanville_WMF CC BY-SA 4.0

Formal and informal movement organizers play a key role in the growth of the Wikimedia movement. They pull people together on shared objectives, driving content campaigns or growth in language or thematic areas, among other activities. In order to support them, we have defined this immediate objective: improve learning and leadership development programming for our communities in order to support a diverse and inclusive movement. These are the key results we are after:

  • Design an online learning experience using pilot data from 15+ thematic/regional communities.
  • Build leadership skills through the Wikimedia Education Greenhouse, with pilot participants reporting improved capacities within the Wikimedia movement.
  • Engage at least 150 new/existing movement organizers and affiliate leaders in testing and refining the Leadership Development Framework.

Diverse Content

Diverse content goes hand in hand with diverse contributors, and we want to collaborate with various volunteer groups to explore and better support new types of content as well as core encyclopedic content. We have set this immediate goal: design and initiate a suite of projects that lower barriers to diverse content creation across the movement.

  • Develop a partnership agreement with Wikimedia Sverige based on 5 streams of research.
  • Design a curriculum and strategy for a holistic “Campaign in a Box” framework based on at least 4 experiments. 
  • Develop a plan with external partners and stakeholders in at least 3 regions beyond Europe and North America for researching global heritage digitization needs.
The Campaign in a Box framework. CC BY-SA 4.0

Safe and Secure Spaces

In a thriving and truly diverse movement in which everyone can contribute their knowledge freely, everyone must feel safe. Diversity, equity and inclusion can only thrive in an environment where volunteers are safe from external menaces and internal hostility, also when engaging in the often complicated discussions needed to create and curate knowledge. We have set immediate objectives to improve safety and security in our key contributor spaces in order to foster a thriving movement for all through these key results:

  • The Wikimedia Foundation Board will have endorsed a universal Code of Conduct
  • 100% of relevant Foundation stakeholders will be engaged in a risk protocol for funded events to make sure we are considering and preparing for the safety of participants.   
  • The Foundation will be responding to 100% of qualifying major events through the fully operational crisis response protocol so that we efficiently handle unexpected disruptions around site blackouts and persecution of volunteers.

Plans for a Thriving Movement

Let’s put these key deliverables in their context. Last May, the Foundation approved its Medium-term plan (MTP) in line with Wikimedia’s strategic direction towards Service and Equity. The goals of this plan are to grow participation globally focusing on emerging markets and to modernize our product experience. Several priorities were defined to achieve these two goals, and the Community Engagement department is focusing primarily on one of them: Thriving Movement

Thriving Movement is important to our strategic direction because vibrant, diverse communities are at the heart of achieving our 2030 goals. These are the desired outcomes that drive this work:

  • We will welcome and support newcomers.
  • We will have strong, diverse, and innovative communities that represent the world.
  • We will have safe, secure spaces and equitable, efficient processes for all participants.
  • We will have strong and empowered movement leaders and affiliates.
  • We will support diverse content creation.

A series of metrics have been defined to measure the success of these outcomes.

We know all this information is a lot! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We will continue publishing more details and updates. If there is a specific area where you want to get involved or have more information, just ask.


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