For four years now, since Wikimania 2014 in London, the chairpersons of the
recognized chapters have met as a group twice a year, during Wikimania and
the Wikimedia Conference (now the Wikimedia Summit), usually for 1 - 2
hours during one of the lunch breaks.

I started to arrange these meetings as an opportunity for the chairpersons
to meet, and the concept of these meetings at the beginning was to host
every time a different person from our movement.

Later on, Tim Moritz Hector (WMDE) and Frans Grijzenhout (WMNL) joined to
help me arrange and plan these meetings, and as result also from the
feedback of the other chairs, we changed the concept to discussions and
presentations format in order to speak about issues related to the
organizations we represent and our movement in general. We also created a
mailing list as a place to get updates but also to raise questions and
share information (such as questions related to the organization's
policies, ED, board issues and other).

About half a year ago, Frans and me thought we had to take these meetings
to a higher level, and, for the first time, we proposed to organize a two
days meeting, where we can have a dedicated time, without interruptions
(and lunch on our tables...) in order to focus on bigger issues.

We already have board trainings for new board members, but we don’t have
any program which supports the chairpersons as leaders of their boards and
their organizations. So we decided to focus on improving the interpersonal
skills and leadership competencies of chairpersons and give them other
tools to become better and more effective in their roles.

In order to achieve this, we decided to contract an experienced external
trainer & facilitator.

In the beginning, we planned to have this meeting with all the
chairpersons, from the big and from the small chapters. But as the WMF’s
grants program were temporarily not accepting new grants requests, we
weren't able to get support to finance the participation of the small
chapters which didn’t have the budget to cover the costs.

So in the end, we hold a smaller meeting a week ago (hosted by WMCZ in
Prague), with 17 chairpersons which could cover the travel and meeting
costs (with a small grant from the WMF to help to support part of the
facilitator's fee).

During the meeting (or you can also call it a retreat) we had workshops and
sessions to know each other better, to speak about effective and
accountable boards, team dynamics, failures (and how to continue) and work
on interpersonal skills and more.

We decided to share with you the results and feedback we received, which
may be used by other groups or similar events:

You can read more about the meeting on Meta:

And also the notes of some of the session:

We felt this information will be valuable to share with the rest of the

Itzik, Frans, and Vojtěch (WMCZ)

*Itzik Edri*
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