Top Topics for Strategy Discussions in the Portuguese-Speaking Community

Internet Word Cloud, by Dave Braunschweig – CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Since March 2019, the online and in-person Portuguese community for Wikimedia has been participating in the discussions around the movement strategy for Wikimedia 2030 on various channels. In this post, you will read a summary with the most relevant topics across all thematic areas.

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Capacity Building: Top 5 Themes from Community Conversations

Capacity building is the process by which a community or an individual acquires skills, knowledge or resources, allowing them to grow and thrive. As Wikimedia communities develop around the globe, our movement needs to ensure they are given the necessary tools and resources to be able to strengthen their capacities. Capacity building has hence been one of the 9 topics discussed in 2019 community conversations within the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy process… and it turned out to be the most popular theme!

From Nigeria to Venezuela, from France to India and from Morocco to Macedonia, hundreds of comments and suggestions were shared across languages and cultures. This Top 5 gathers the main ideas discussed by communities, which insisted on the need for both efficient and contextualized tools and support, with a special hint at peer-learning.

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What did the Spanish community discuss during Strategy Conversations 2019?

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During 2019, Wikimedia volunteer communities have been discussing the future of our movement in the second stage of the Wikimedia 2030 movement strategy process. In the case of the Spanish speaking community, about 80 volunteers joined a Telegram group, one of the many channels available.

Over more than three months, from late-March to June, the community focused on sharing feedback in online conversations about what structural changes they would like to see to support the future of our movement. 

But, what does our community actually want? In this post, I offer a short summary of the most central ideas shared over this period. These ideas are relevant for actors across the movement, including affiliates, online editing communities, the Wikimedia Foundation, and other groups. To be successful in this change, we will all have to work together to bring these ideas to fruition, both within and beyond the strategy process. 

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Alice from Uganda: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Alice (2nd from the right) with other members of the Wikimedia Community User Group Uganda. Bukulu Steven, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 24

There are several kinds of knowledge gaps, for example the generational gap in knowledge between the old and the young, the technological gap between the Global North and the Global South. The most important one for me though is the “Know-Do” gap.

If we are to carefully consider knowledge as “all the facts that someone knows about a particular subject” and equity as “a fair and reasonable way of behaving towards people, so that everyone is treated in the same way” (cf. Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners) – it only makes sense that if we as a Movement, we deal with free knowledge, we should then work towards it collectively. While some factors are the same across the board, to state a fact we already know, there is “no one size fits all” approach on how this can be achieved.

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Top 5 Community Conversations Topics from Francophone Wikimedians

From June to September 2019, Francophone Wikimedians have been invited to take part in community conversations within the frame of the Wikimedia 2030 Strategy Process. On the village pumps of all Wikimedia projects, as well as on other channels like Twitter or Telegram, not forgetting a dozen in-person Strategy Salons happening in Africa and Europe, a total of about two hundred Francophone Wikimedians have shared numerous ideas, perceptions and suggestions about the present and future of the Wikimedia Movement.

The content from these discussions was captured in a number of detailed monthly reports and Strategy Salon reports, and today this Top 5 draws up a non-exhaustive list of the most recurring ideas. We are all looking forward to seeing the values and concepts behind these topics reflected in the strategic recommendations, so we can all take action as a global community. Until then, this is an occasion to collect dispersed conversations and put them into perspective!

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Wikimedia Product & Technology: Top 5 Themes from Community Conversations

Over the past six months, Wikimedia communities across the globe have been discussing a series of nine topics in order to help shape Wikimedia’s strategy for 2030. Among those topics was Product & Technology, which is of course a major point of interest for our web-based community. Thus, Wikimedians from an incredible variety of backgrounds got to discuss it and share their thoughts, which were gathered by seven Strategy Liaisons, both online and offline.

This Top 5 is an attempt at synthesizing all this feedback into major topic areas and, also, a way to open discussions here for all stakeholders – editors, volunteer developers, staff – to be able to share their views and start a conversation. They reflect the needs of a growing movement, both in terms of broad ideas as well as specific requests for features which all give insight into the overall priorities of the Wikimedia community. Together, these needs are best met by actors from across our movement, including the Wikimedia Foundation, volunteer communities themselves, affiliates, and partners.

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Wikimedia Argentina: Knowledge Equity Calendar

One of the tiles laid by the organization “Barrios x Memoria y Justicia” in the City of Buenos Aires. In this case, in homage to Irene Krichmar and Miguel Ángel Butron, who disappeared in public on 18/6/1976. Maria Isabel Munczek, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 17

Wiki Derechos Humanos (Wiki Human Rights) is a project by Wikimedia Argentina, which was born in 2018 and has been working in collaboration with other Wikimedia chapters in the region since then. It is an Argentinian-made experience in response to generating quality and updated information on Wikipedia on crimes against humanity perpetrated in our country during the last civil-military dictatorship.

The first articles created and improved were related to the Memoria, Verdad y Justicia process. This is did not come about by chance. Argentina was one of the first countries in bringing to trial armed forces members & co-operation actors of the de facto governments that wielded power under the Operation Condor. Thus, the creation of Wiki Human Rights was kind of a natural path.

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Stacy from Toronto: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Indigenous Knowledges Toronto meet-up held at Ryerson University Libraries, January 2019. Smallison, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 16

Much of my work has been working on systemic barriers around access to quality information. Knowledge equity means ensuring access to information in an environment which respects human rights. I would say that adding more content doesn’t equal knowledge equity. I think we have to be really careful not to equate “filling gaps” with equity. 

For example, mass uploads of content doesn’t produce equity if there are things in that content that are harmful in some way (i.e. colonial). And further, we need to consider whether we have the right to someone’s knowledge or a community’s knowledge. Sometimes gaps are intentional and sometimes gaps equal equity. It’s our responsibility to take these issues as central to working toward knowledge equity. And we can do this by involving more people from the communities we intend to serve.

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Houssem from Tunisia: Knowledge Equity Calendar

Talk about LGBT rights in Nigeria during the „Write for Rights“ in Tunis. Sparrow (麻雀), CC BY-SA 4.0

December 15

When you know that many people in this world lived and died thinking they are “ill” and “not normal” because no one provided them with the correct information, or when the information is available for them but they can’t understand it because of language barriers, you know there is no knowledge equity. Also from another side, when people from the “global north” believe in the stereotypes that the media communicates about “the global south”, you know that knowledge inequality exists worldwide and is not a local issue.

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Sherry in the US: Knowledge Equity Calendar

At WikiConference North America, “Wikimedians of the Caribbean” received an award for being the most exciting new affiliate. Sherry (in the middle) waving and expressing excitement. Ruben Rodriguez, CC BY-SA 4.0

December 14

My name is Sherry Antoine, I’m the program director of AfroCROWD. I think among its meanings, Knowledge Equity means equal access and inclusion for all who pursue knowledge and its curation, creation, and presentation. That includes literal access to the technology that makes Wikipedia possible in the most remote areas of the world regardless of background (who you are) or foreground (where you are, what you have).

During my time directing programming of AfroCROWD, which, founded by Alice Backer, has been around since 2015, we have grown from the local New York City area, all over the United States, with organizers in Europe and partners in Africa and the Caribbean. I am also the lead organizer of the new “Wikimedians of the Caribbean User Group”. Forming in late 2018, and becoming a user group in the spring, “Wiki Cari” as we call it, has already presented or held events around the world. In both groups, Wikimedians of the Caribbean as well as AfroCROWD, we are working on making the most of each opportunity to continually expand and connect the Wikimedia community in the world.

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