Boa iniciativa.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Nicole Ebber <>
Date: 2014-08-01 17:28 GMT-03:00
Subject: [Wikimedia-l] Insights of the Chapters Dialogue are online!
To: Wikimedia Mailing List <>

Dear Wikimedia friends,

I am happy to announce that we have finally released the documentation
of the Chapters Dialogue project.

You might probably remember: The Chapters Dialogue was the project
that was initiated by Wikimedia Deutschland in spring 2013, my former
colleague Kira Krämer interviewed representatives from Wikimedia
Chapters, the Wikimedia Foundation as well as Funds Dissemination and
Affiliations Committee. Kira and I presented the insights at several
occasions already, and now the written report is at your disposal.

Please find all the information on the Meta page:

For those of you who are already on their way into the weekend, to
London, or reading via mobile, I’m copying the Executive Summary of
the findings at the end of this email.

Luckily, Wikimania is coming and I will be available to answer your
questions and reflect on ideas or concerns with anyone interested.
I’ll be in London from Tuesday till Monday, and will host a session on
the Chapters Dialogue insights on Saturday from 12:15 to 13:00 in room
Auditorium 1[1]. Attendees of this session will witness the premier of
the Chapters Dialogue movie, which will be released to the public
shortly after. If you cannot attend the session and don’t find me
hanging around at the Wikimedia Deutschland booth in the Community
Village, you can reach me via my user page[2] or via email.

I would like to take this opportunity to again express my sincere
gratitude to everyone who participated, be it as one of the 94
interviewees or one of our mentors, critical friend or supporter in
any other way. It’s been a blast!

A very special and very warm thank you goes out to Kira. Together, we
rocked this last year and went through most exciting times. Kira is no
longer working for WMDE, but I promised to forward her every comment
and email that we receive from you.

Best regards,


Wikimedia Deutschland – Chapters Dialogue
Nicole Ebber (Project Lead), Kira Krämer (Project Manager)

Executive Summary
Wikimedia is a global movement: the Wikimedia Foundation, the
Wikimedia Chapters and the international communities work and fight
for Free Knowledge. In spring 2013, Wikimedia Deutschland initiated a
structured assessment of the movement organisations’ needs, goals and
stories: the Chapters Dialogue. Nicole Ebber led the project and hired
Kira Krämer, who adapted the Design Thinking methodology to the

In the course of the project (August 2013-February 2014), 94 movement
representatives (volunteers and staff) from Chapters, the Wikimedia
Foundation as well as the Funds Dissemination Committee and the
Affiliations Committee were interviewed.

The interviewees spoke about their understanding of roles and
relationships within the movement, of responsibilities that come with
being a Chapter or being the WMF. They described their goals and
stories, what support they need and who they think is in a position to
offer this support.

The synthesis of all the interviews resulted in an overall picture of
the movement and a distillate of the most pressing issues. The
findings and insights cover these main areas, which have had a great
influence on the movement as it is today.

Lack of empathy and the persistence of old narratives: All the
conflicts described in this report are based on causes that are deep
rooted and manifested in people’s perceptions about each other that
still persist today. Each party in the movement has its own needs and
tries to solve issues in its own interests, while lacking empathy for
other views, opinions, contexts and behaviour.

Measuring success when exploring new territory: The movement lacks a
definition of what impact actually means to it, as all Wikimedia
activities can be described as exploring entirely new territory.
Chapters struggle with proving that they and their activities are
worth invested in while WMF has difficulty providing a clear movement

Organisational structures: Organisational structures have grown
organically without any official recommendation for or analysis of the
best organisational form to achieve impact. The lack of a shared
understanding about the Chapters’ role and contribution to the
movement causes severe insecurities and is fuelling conflicts and

Money-driven decisions: Creating a consensus about money, its
collection and responsible dissemination (donors’ trust!) is scarcely
possible. The Haifa trauma persistently blights the relationship
between WMF and the Chapters, fuelled by additional disagreement about
the new fundraising and grantmaking processes.

The gap in leadership: Who should take the leadership role and what
should leadership in the Wikimedia movement look like? Adopting the
narrowed focus, the WMF clearly states that it does not see the
development of movement entities as their duty. Chapters on the other
hand expect the WMF to take a leading role in Chapters’ development,
while the WMF expects Chapters to be more proactive.

None of these conflicts can be viewed in isolation, and no solution
can be developed without a thorough understanding and frank
conversations about the causes in the first place. We therefore
consider that it would be highly irresponsible to suggest solutions to
any of the described issues. Instead, we have distilled tough
questions from the insights that need to be addressed urgently and
answered in an open and comprehensive manner:

1. What do we as a movement want to achieve? Do we run a website or
foster free knowledge? Why are we doing the things we do, and what
2. How do we define impact when exploring new territory? And how do we
measure success?
3. What is the role of the Wikimedia Foundation?
4. How do we want to communicate with each other? How can we build the
necessary empathy and learn from each other? How can we overcome the
old narrative and perceptions?
5. Where does the money come from and where should it go? Should money
be the limiting factor when striving for Free Knowledge?
6. What movement framework is best suited to fulfil the Wikimedia mission?

The way things are at present inhibits the movement from striving
effectively for Free Knowledge. Instead of using its full potential to
further its mission, it revolves around itself. The common mission is
at serious risk if the movement does not tackle the causes of its

These tough questions can only be approached in a structured and
professional way, with dedication and commitment. There is no point in
tinkering with the symptoms and finding single-problem solutions.

The Chapters Dialogue concludes with the recommendation to build upon
the insights and to initiate a sequel: the design of a framework for
the Wikimedia movement in which it can work strongly and effectively
towards its mission in a professional way, yet stay true to its
grassroots and maintain its diversity.

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:

Everton Zanella Alvarenga (also Tom)
Open Knowledge Brasil - Rede pelo Conhecimento Livre
WikimediaBR-l mailing list

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