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IRC office hours/2009-07-21

From Strategic Planning

During the IRC office hours on 21 July 2009:

Eugene and Philippe introduced themselves briefly. The definition of strategic planning in this context was introduced using a foundation-l posting by Sue Gardner [1]. The working definition given was: "where will the foundation be in five years, and how do we think we're going to get there. And, for these specific purposes, a broader question will also be posed: where will the 'movement' be in five years?"

The question of multiculturalism and multi-lingualism was discussed as well: how will this strategic planning process relate to those without a Euro-centric or Anglo-centric worldview. Eugene and Philippe promised that they were extremely sensitive to this issue and that it was being actively addressed, with no immediate answer, since the process was still evolving. We welcome input on this!

Eugene introduced the process as three phases: phase one is to capture the issues (including community input). Phase two will be to discuss the issues and phase three will be to converge towards a plan. The process will last one year, and will be iterative. The process will be open (wiki pages will be used as much as possible) and interactive. There will be the opportunity to submit ideas and plans in native languages. Eugene and Philippe suggested that community submitted ideas and plans could be used as a catalyst for future growth: hopefully, community members will read these ideas, get excited, and take action on them. In this way, the process itself could become a tool for continual evolution. There will be deliverable documents at the end of the process.

The question of stakeholders was discussed: who are the stakeholders? volunteers, readers, article subjects (?), partnering organizations, chapter boards, chapter members, developers

The system of decision making for the strategic planning process was raised: specifically, were decisions to be consensus based, or will they include voting. Because of the challenges with voting, it is not anticipated that there will be a broad vote, but the process is still being determined at this time. The hope is that the process will gain and demonstrate broad community approval from participation.

There was much discussion about the term "the movement" and who comprises that movement, and what that movement stands for. Some believe the movement to be based around a shared set of values, others around the software, and others around a mission of collection and dissemination of information.

Some believed that the strategic planning process should begin with a methodology of determining "who" Wikimedia is, using measurable values of scope.

Office hours will continue on a regularly scheduled basis (Tuesdays from 1-2pm PT / 3-4pm CT / 20:00-21:00 UTC AND Tuesdays from 9-10pm PT / 11pm-12am CT / Wednesday 04:00-05:00 UTC). Eugene and Philippe also welcome individual emails or userpage posts, and both are on indenti.ca and twitter. Any ideas or thoughts can be posted there as well, using the #wikimedia hash.

Questions that emerged to be captured for specific working groups:

  • The text of wikipedia is safe, based on the large number of people who download the dumps. There is no database dump of the image database. How do we ensure long-term survivability in the event of a disaster?
  • How do the projects remain relevant in a web that is increasingly geared toward mobile devices?
  • How can we get more diverse contributors?
  • How do we move our focus away from western culture and encourage cultural contributions from non-wired (or less-wired) places?