Sharing and Connecting at the ESEAP Strategy Summit

Since returning from my first Wikimedia event, the ESEAP Region Strategy Summit in Bangkok a few weeks ago, I have been asked many times by family, friends and workmates “so, what was it like?”. And every time I (figuratively) scratch my head, wondering how to describe the unique experience of two days spent with 30 Wikimedians representing a remarkable 14 countries – that is, one or two Wikimedians from each of the ESEAP member communities (ESEAP stands for East, Southeast Asia and the Pacific).

I could tell people about the goal of the weekend: for participants to exchange stories from their Wikimedia communities and provide the movement strategy Working Groups with a response on movement strategy discussions. I could also describe the activities we engaged in: sharing stories and mapping them to thematic areas such as capacity building or roles and responsibilities on Saturday, and generating recommendations for working groups on Sunday. These discussions led us to explore a wide range of innovative ideas related to all aspects of the 2030 strategy.

ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 - Discussion 11.jpg
File:ESEAP_Strategy_Summit_Day_1_-_Discussion_11.jpg () by Vanjpadilla, CC-BY-SA-4.0.
English: ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Discussion 11

At times I must admit I began a session thinking “I have no idea what I could contribute here” but after listening to others and through the facilitators’ encouragement, I was generally able to find a meaningful experience to share or a suggestion to make. I was also impressed with the way people from such diverse backgrounds were able to respond to each other’s problems and experiences with meaningful suggestions. It wasn’t unusual, for example, for someone from one country to describe a need in their editing community which a Wikimedian from somewhere else had already experienced and could provide a possible solution to. For example, while discussing ways of recognising the efforts of Wikipedia editors, participants from Indonesia shared their method of providing a letter of acknowledgement from their chapter President detailing the impact of an editor’s work.

But these answers are not the whole picture. In addition to the organized activities and planned outcomes, there was much more to the event. There were new friendships, for example – I found I had much in common with the women from Taiwan, who have created a strong network of editors writing about women (their meet-ups are called “A Room of WikiWomen’s Own”), and also with the members from Australia, who wonder how to engage offline with editors in rural and remote parts of the country.

In addition, there was a generous sharing of expertise for people working on development projects. This was a particularly exciting aspect of the event for me, as in New Zealand the editing community is small, and largely unconnected, which means that there are great opportunities for community growth. I was able to spend time with Wikimedians from communities such as Indonesia and Thailand which had already been through similar growth patterns, and hear their thoughts and suggestions, and hear their responses to New Zealand’s plans. I also learned a great deal about the workings of these more developed communities and I was able to reflect on whether our New Zealand community would follow a similar development path or something slightly different.

ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 - Product and Tech Flipchart, Partnerships flipchart.jpg
File:ESEAP_Strategy_Summit_Day_1_-_Product_and_Tech_Flipchart,_Partnerships_flipchart.jpg () by Vanjpadilla, CC-BY-SA-4.0.
English: ESEAP Strategy Summit Day 1 – Product and Tech Flipchart, Partnerships flipchart

All in all, it was a very worthwhile event which provided much inspiration and insight into the movement as a whole. I definitely feel much more aware of the “big picture” of Wikimedia’s goals and strategies and more connected to communities in the region. This event was so inspiring, that since my return home from the event, the New Zealand editing community has now finalized our plans for a User Group and made an application to the Affiliations Committee for recognition. We look forward to becoming a strong group making solid contributions to the 2030 strategy.

And in terms of answering that omnipresent question of what a Wikimedia event is like, I’ve now settled on a concise New Zealand response – “awesome”!

Text by MurielMary


Art+Feminism is looking for an Executive Director to help further the vision we’ve developed over the past six years.

MoMA Art Feminism 2019 80.jpg
File:MoMA_Art_Feminism_2019_80.jpg () by Manuel Molina Martagon, CC-BY-SA-4.0.
English: 2019 Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Founded in 2014, Art+Feminism is an award-winning do-it-yourself campaign to improve coverage of gender, feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. Wikipedia’s gender trouble is well-documented; in a 2011 survey, the Wikimedia Foundation found that less than 10% of its contributors identify as women. This lack of participation has led to significant gaps in the content on the world’s most popular online research tool. Since 2014, over 14,000 people at more than 1,100 events around the world have participated in our edit-a-thons, resulting in the creation and improvement of more than 58,000 articles on Wikipedia. Our events range from small gatherings at coffee shops to hundreds of folks at the largest cultural institutions in the world and take place on all six inhabited continents. Our organizing practices are horizontal and rhizomatic and our feminism is trans-inclusive and intersectional.

The Executive Director sets the strategic vision and executes the annual plan in collaboration with the Lead Organizers and manages relationships with the Board of Directors. The Executive Director, Lead Co-Organizers, and the Project Administrator form the Core Leadership Team of Art+Feminism. The Executive Director must have strong project management skills, a demonstrated history of work at the intersection of the arts and social justice, an understanding of intersectional feminist organizing principles, experience generating diverse financial support, and a knowledge of the Wikimedia community or another open-source/online community. Art+Feminism is entering into its seventh year but this will be our first year as a non-profit. While we do have great systems in place for community organizing, we seek an Executive Director who is also skilled at operations and development, and committed to developing leadership among other members of the team. Because the position requires international outreach and coordination, fluency in at least one language other than English is preferred.

The Executive Director’s responsibilities include:

Leadership

  • Work with the Core Leadership Team to provide a strong day-to-day leadership presence that incorporates our mission, vision, and values into our everyday operations.
  • Work with the Board of Directors and the Core Leadership Team to develop the project’s mission, vision and values.
  • Draft strategic planning documents alongside the rest of the Core Leadership Team.
  • Represent Art+Feminism at art and social justice conferences, events, and Wikimedia Community gatherings.
  • Manage all staff and contractors, including the Project Administrator
  • Collaborate with the lead organizers to plan and implement the annual campaign.

Development

  • Lead development goals and activities including grants administration and reporting.
  • Lead various fundraising activities.
  • Write grant proposals and compile supporting documents.
  • Recruit Board Members and cultivate Board.
  • Work with Core Leadership Team and Regional Organizers to identify and cultivate new funding sources.

Marketing and Communications

  • Work with the Core Leadership Team to oversee the development and execution of an annual communications plan, including marking, social media, and educational programming.

Operations

  • Co-manage key institutional partnerships, such as with the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Maintain and ensure the execution of project timelines.
  • Establish, improve and maintain efficient operations and project management platforms.
  • Direct and administer all financial plans and work with the Project Administrator to manage accounting processes for grant reporting and federal reporting.
  • Oversee regular meetings with Core Leadership Team members
  • Compose budgets for specific programs and processes.
  • Oversee risk management and legal activities, such as contracts
  • Work with the Project Administrator to analyze and improve operations and workflows.

Qualifications

  • Must be passionate about and have experience with the arts, intersectional feminism, and open source culture.
  • Must have demonstrated a commitment to developing leadership among other members of the team.
  • Requires proven fundraising and development experience.
  • Requires a minimum of 3 years of non-profit leadership experience or equivalent experience; 5 years preferred.
  • Requires strong self-awareness and high emotional intelligence.
  • Must have the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Requires a demonstrated ability to develop and maintain productive working relationships with colleagues (e.g. staff, volunteers, donors, and board members.)
  • Preferably have strong financial management skills and analytical abilities.
  • Preferably have experience editing, organizing, or analyzing Wikipedia.
  • Preferably have experience with metrics/analytics tools.
  • Preferably have experience with project management and customer relations tools (we use Slack, Streak, and Trello.)
  • Requires flexibility to work evenings and weekends, and to travel for the role.

Executive Director reports to the Board of Directors. This position is entirely remote; the Core Leadership Team, which is located in four different cities, meets weekly via video chat. The candidate must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Due to our funding structure, this role is currently a one-year contract beginning September 1, 2019, with an expectation for renewal, pending the successful accomplishment of the above tasks.

Salary Range: $60-75,000/year. This is currently an independent contractor position but may be transitioned to employee status, depending on our legal and accounting advice. Application Deadline: August 13, 2019

Art+Feminism provides equal employment opportunities to all without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability or genetics. Candidates from groups underrepresented in tech are especially encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to us at info@artandfeminism.org.


Strategy Salon in Conakry reflects about the future of the Wikimedia movement

In Guinea, the Wikimedia community is just starting out. Internet access is uncertain, computer equipment is rare, few people even know that Wikipedia is editable… Despite these challenges, a small community of committed volunteers has developed in the country in order to enrich the encyclopedia’s articles about Guinea-Conakry, until it finally got recognized as “User Group” by the Wikimedia Foundation in november 2018.

Aboubacar Keita, president of Wikimedia Guinea during the National Strategy Salon in Conakry on 23 June 2019. Picture by Aboubacarkhoraa, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Now officialy affiliated, Wikimedians from Guinea have been invited to join in strategic discussions inside the Wikimedia Movement. The purpose of these discussions? Answering this truly ambitious question: how can we reach our ideal of universal sharing of human knowledge?

Knowledge Equity

“Knowledge equity” has been defined by the Wikimedian community as one of two main goals to reach by 2030. What does it mean exactly? In short, that we want social inequalities to have as little influence as possible on access and contribution to our projects.

This goal takes on its full meaning in the Guinean context. Here, contributing to Wikipedia is a real privilege. Even among the educated population, few people own a computer. “And contributing on a phone is complicated. You really need to be an enthusiast!” says Aboubacar Keita, student in sociology and president of Wikimedia Guinea.

Plus, few people know that Wikimedia projects are collaborative. Aboubacar Keita explains: “I often ask students or university teachers if they know they can modify and improve Wikipedia. They say “No, it that possible??” When I say yes, they are immediately interested in learning.” But Conakry has little resources, which doesn’t allow them to feed this nascent interest. “If we are not able to offer trainings or workshops, these persons will just forget the idea of contributing.”

National Strategy Salon in Conakry

This is the context in which Guinea-Conakry’s National Strategy Salon

C’est dans ce contexte qu’a été organisé le Salon Stratégique National de Guinée-Conakry, le 23 juin dernier à l’Université Kofi Annan de Guinée.

Participants at the National Strategy Salon of Wikimedia Guinea. Picture by Aboubacarkhoraa, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

With financial support from the Wikimedia Foundation, this event gathered fourteen volunteers in order to reflect about two thematic areas: “Roles and responsibilities in the Wikimedia Movement” and “Capacity Building”.

These themes were chosen by the group and are representative of local concerns. Guineans especially underlined the lack of stable organizations in Africa: indeed, there is only one Chapter on the whole continent, only one to benefit from annual funding. They would like to see this imbalance corrected by 2030.

Other claims stand out from their report, such as support for training local trainers, or regular funding in order to be able to have a venue with computer equipment and a decent internet access.

A second salon for youth

“The event was a success”, says Aboubacar Keita. “Everyone could share their thoughts freely, and several of our members had the opportunity to better understand how the Wikimedia Movement works.” Only drawback, “equal gender participation is complicated to obtain” in a country where gender inequalities are deep rooted in society. But two women could anyway join the group, out of fourteen participants.

Group picture at the National Strategy Salon of Guinea-Conakry. Image by Aboubacarkhoraa, CC-BY-SA 4.0.

The leader of the group is otherwise very happy to have shared this moment with other free knowledge lovers. “I liked my role as a guide and I look forward to extending the discussion beyond Conakry. That is why on July 20th we will go 300km away from the capital city, to Kamsar, for another Strategy Salon aimed at Youth.”

This second event will focus on the two same thematic areas and should allow youth’s specific concerns to stand out. More broadly, it will also be an occasion to raise awareness about free knowledge among this generation, whose representatives will be the primary stakeholders of the Wikimedia Movement by 2030.

All members of the Wikimedia community are invited to take part in strategic discussions. Share your perspective and suggestions by answering to the survey conceived by the working groups: answer the survey.

You can also organize your own local or thematic strategy salons. Please contact: kstinerowe[at]wikimedia.org