[Wikimedia-l] Strategy Report Released: Wikimedia 2030: Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons

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[Wikimedia-l] Strategy Report Released: Wikimedia 2030: Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons

Caitlin Virtue
*Hi Everyone, On Thursday, we released an extensive research report [1]
about Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons.
The report was created as part of the Wikimedia 2030 strategy process, as
the Foundation engaged research teams to examine awareness and usage of
Wikimedia projects and evolving information consumption habits. The
consulting teams conducted desk research and spoke both with people
familiar with and involved in the Wikimedia movement and expert observers
who could inform the strategy process but who are not directly involved
today. In one-on-one interviews, experts in geographic areas where the
projects are most heavily used were asked to think about future trends in
their fields and how the trends might apply to the Wikimedia movement’s
strategy. This particular research focused on six broad topics that seemed
most likely to further or frustrate the vision for growth that the
Foundation embraces. In this report, the Foundation’s staff and its
consulting teams present top-level insights from this global process.
Perspectives from interviewees around the world are also provided with
context about their region and area of expertise. The report draws from six
comprehensive research briefs,[2] published on Wikimedia’s strategy
website, which address these topics: - Demographics: Who is in the world in
2030? The report outlines global population trends, which project the
highest population growth in places where Wikimedia has significant room to
expand.- Emerging platforms: How will people around the world be using
communications technologies to find, create, and share information? The
report considers future technologies, from the imminent to the speculative,
and examines what range of new hardware, software, and content production
capabilities might mean for content creation and user access.-
Misinformation: How will people find trustworthy sources of knowledge and
information? The report explores how content creators and technologists can
ensure that knowledge is trustworthy and also identifies threats to these
efforts.- Literacy: How will the world learn in the future? The report
forecasts that technology will transform learning and educational settings
as well as expand the requirements for literacy beyond text and images.-
Open knowledge: How will we share culture, ideas, and information? The
report documents the global trend toward opening collections and archives
to the public and making them freely available online, and explores ways
the Wikimedia movement might partner with people and organizations to
accelerate this sharing.- Expect the unexpected: How can we know what the
world will look like in 2030 — and what the Wikimedia movement’s role will
be in it?The report proposes that a study of trends can never be truly
predictive and introduces alternative visionary tools such as scenario
planning and speculative social science fiction.The consulting team
published an additional research brief on the future of the digital
commons,[3] examining the political and commercial forces that could lead
to the contraction or expansion of the open web. Looking at the
constellation of issues most important to the Wikimedia community, this
brief identifies access, censorship, privacy, copyright, and intermediary
liability as active battlefronts.The fate of the digital commons is the
single subject that rises above and intersects with each of the other areas
of research. The commons of the future will shape the environment that
ultimately fosters or blocks all of the Wikimedia projects’ work. Thus,
this report weaves research findings about the future of the commons
throughout.Specifically, the report highlights growing concerns across
civil society about the quality of and access to open knowledge online, as
well as compounding threats to the Wikimedia movement and its open
knowledge allies. Between now and 2030, open knowledge advocates face
headwinds that include censorship by governments and corporations, internet
shutdowns, surveillance of users, information monopolies, and troubling
developments such as the arrests of scholars and journalists operating in
closed societies.The Wikimedia movement is positioned to work toward
potential solutions to these threats. Despite the trend toward a “darkening
globe,” some leaders see the Wikimedia movement as among the brightest
hopes and most inspiring exemplars of the global digital commons.The
Wikimedia movement has immediate internal challenges to address, including
adapting to an increasingly mobile internet, recruiting a new generation of
volunteers, and expanding its partnerships with schools and “GLAM”
organizations (i.e. galleries, libraries, archives, museums, and other
cultural institutions that have access to knowledge as their mission). But
Wikimedia and its open knowledge allies, working together, can lift up
people everywhere, empowering communities through access and participation
in knowledge creation and sharing. Across the interviews and salons, there
was a clarion call for the building of this larger, more active, and
multi-partner open knowledge movement.For extended narratives, many more
citations, and community discussion of the research, visit the Wikimedia
strategy page that aggregates into a single web directory not only this
work but also the totality of the Foundation’s strategy process:
2030.wikimedia.org <https://2030.wikimedia.org/>.The report concludes with
an analysis of cross-cutting themes that arose from the research, as well
as a set of recommendations and discussion questions for the movement and
its partners. The goal of these final sections is not to close the
discussion. Instead, it is to set the stage for the next phase of work for
the Foundation and the movement: to move from strategies to actions that
not only will preserve what has already been built, but also make the
projects useful and vital for billions of future Wikimedia users.We're
grateful to the Wikimedia staff, volunteers, consultants, and interviewees
who made this report possible. Best,Caitlin Virtue[1] You can read this on
Wikimedia Commons (PDF):
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Strategy_2030_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons.pdf
<https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Strategy_2030_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons.pdf>Or
Medium:
https://medium.com/freely-sharing-the-sum-of-all-knowledge/wikimedia-2030-forward-and-introductory-notes-dac9ec013c72
<https://medium.com/freely-sharing-the-sum-of-all-knowledge/wikimedia-2030-forward-and-introductory-notes-dac9ec013c72>[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Sources/Strategy_2030:_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Sources/Strategy_2030:_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons>[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Sources/Strategy_2030:_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2017/Sources/Strategy_2030:_Wikipedia%27s_role_in_shaping_the_future_of_the_information_commons>*
--
Caitlin Virtue
Director of Development
Wikimedia Foundation
(415) 839-6885 x6733
[hidden email]
www.wikimediafoundation.org

*Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the
sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment. Donate.
<https://donate.wikimedia.org>*

*We've moved! *
*Wikimedia Foundation*
*1 Montgomery Street, Suite 1600 *
*San Francisco, CA 94104*
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strategy Report Released: Wikimedia 2030: Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons

Pine W
Caitlin, thanks for sharing this.

My general thoughts are below. These are not directed at Caitlin or anyone
else in particular.

I think that the document does a generally good job of outlining trends and
asking questions. I think that I agree with about 95% of what's in the
document. I agree especially strongly that there should be more emphasis on
improving the user experience for those who wish to contribute content
using mobile devices.

My most significant concern is with the question that the document asks
staff: "How will the Wikimedia Foundation assert and balance leadership of
the Wikimedia movement with its role fostering a robust volunteer culture?"
WMF's role is that of a public service organization, not a central
management agency, and "assert(ing)" leadership is the opposite of what WMF
should do. Wikimedia's culture is collective rather than monarchical. Staff
and Board members should be trained to understand that their role is to
serve the public interest, and not to manage or supervise the community.

Leadership of individual projects, initiatives, and teams happens in many
ways inside and outside of WMF, and leadership skills are important.
However, I believe that leadership of the entire movement is not and should
not be WMF's role. WMF can be the facilitator, but should not be the
manager. In the recent past we had a vivid demonstration of what happens
when there are governance problems in WMF.

I think that good questions would be:

1. How can WMF better align its internal priorities with those of the
community? There has been progress on this during the past few years, and I
would like to see continued progress.

2. How can WMF evolve such that if WMF became dysfunctional or inoperable,
the remaining organizations and people in the Wikimedia ecosystem could
continue to thrive?

I also would like to see questions about the governance and financial
transparency of the Wikimedia Foundation, for example by asking questions
such as "Should WMF decentralize some of its current functions?", "Should
WMF become a membership organization?", and "Should WMF increase its
financial transparency?"

After reading the document, I'm left wondering how to make progress on some
of the issues that the document outlines. We've known about some of these
issues for years, and in a number of cases WMF has funded efforts to
address them, but in multiple cases we have had limited success.

Even when we have agreement about the nature of challenges and that we'd
like to address them, we don't necessarily know how to address them
effectively. I think that the document does a good job of asking us
questions that we should explore, and probably will continue to explore for
many years.

We need considerably more human resources than we have now on many fronts,
including more contributors in diverse languages, contributors with the
skills and tools improve the visual experience of Wikimedia content, and
contributors who can protect the sites from interference from people who
harm the integrity of the information on Wikimedia sites. I am not sure how
we make that happen, or that it will happen. I fear that it will only
happen after AI takes over a considerable number of jobs that humans do
today, so that there is a significant increase of global unemployment and
under-employment of people who have the skills and the will to contribute
to Wikimedia. I hope that I'm wrong.

I realize that this email sounds a bit pessimistic. I think that there are
numerous significant challenges for us. I am hoping for the best. In the
short term we are doing okay, and we continue to numerous incremental
successes. In the long term, I am worried.

Pine
( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Strategy Report Released: Wikimedia 2030: Wikimedia’s role in shaping the future of the information commons

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Nina Simon wrote a blog post [1] that I think has a lot of merit for what
we could do to gain relevance. Nina is big in the GLAM world and the museum
she works for has an approach that will have a big effect when we consider
it carefully and implement it in the best way we can.
Thanks,
      GerardM

[1]
http://museumtwo.blogspot.nl/2018/02/are-participant-demographics-most.html

On 19 February 2018 at 01:26, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Caitlin, thanks for sharing this.
>
> My general thoughts are below. These are not directed at Caitlin or anyone
> else in particular.
>
> I think that the document does a generally good job of outlining trends and
> asking questions. I think that I agree with about 95% of what's in the
> document. I agree especially strongly that there should be more emphasis on
> improving the user experience for those who wish to contribute content
> using mobile devices.
>
> My most significant concern is with the question that the document asks
> staff: "How will the Wikimedia Foundation assert and balance leadership of
> the Wikimedia movement with its role fostering a robust volunteer culture?"
> WMF's role is that of a public service organization, not a central
> management agency, and "assert(ing)" leadership is the opposite of what WMF
> should do. Wikimedia's culture is collective rather than monarchical. Staff
> and Board members should be trained to understand that their role is to
> serve the public interest, and not to manage or supervise the community.
>
> Leadership of individual projects, initiatives, and teams happens in many
> ways inside and outside of WMF, and leadership skills are important.
> However, I believe that leadership of the entire movement is not and should
> not be WMF's role. WMF can be the facilitator, but should not be the
> manager. In the recent past we had a vivid demonstration of what happens
> when there are governance problems in WMF.
>
> I think that good questions would be:
>
> 1. How can WMF better align its internal priorities with those of the
> community? There has been progress on this during the past few years, and I
> would like to see continued progress.
>
> 2. How can WMF evolve such that if WMF became dysfunctional or inoperable,
> the remaining organizations and people in the Wikimedia ecosystem could
> continue to thrive?
>
> I also would like to see questions about the governance and financial
> transparency of the Wikimedia Foundation, for example by asking questions
> such as "Should WMF decentralize some of its current functions?", "Should
> WMF become a membership organization?", and "Should WMF increase its
> financial transparency?"
>
> After reading the document, I'm left wondering how to make progress on some
> of the issues that the document outlines. We've known about some of these
> issues for years, and in a number of cases WMF has funded efforts to
> address them, but in multiple cases we have had limited success.
>
> Even when we have agreement about the nature of challenges and that we'd
> like to address them, we don't necessarily know how to address them
> effectively. I think that the document does a good job of asking us
> questions that we should explore, and probably will continue to explore for
> many years.
>
> We need considerably more human resources than we have now on many fronts,
> including more contributors in diverse languages, contributors with the
> skills and tools improve the visual experience of Wikimedia content, and
> contributors who can protect the sites from interference from people who
> harm the integrity of the information on Wikimedia sites. I am not sure how
> we make that happen, or that it will happen. I fear that it will only
> happen after AI takes over a considerable number of jobs that humans do
> today, so that there is a significant increase of global unemployment and
> under-employment of people who have the skills and the will to contribute
> to Wikimedia. I hope that I'm wrong.
>
> I realize that this email sounds a bit pessimistic. I think that there are
> numerous significant challenges for us. I am hoping for the best. In the
> short term we are doing okay, and we continue to numerous incremental
> successes. In the long term, I am worried.
>
> Pine
> ( https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Pine )
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines and https://meta.wikimedia.org/
> wiki/Wikimedia-l
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
_______________________________________________
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