Wikimedia movement/Organizational structure/Brazil

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Tyler Thornton is a member of the Bridgespan Group and is helping to facilitate the process of planning strategy for the Wikimedia Foundation. She sent me the following questions (free translation) to talk about the role and responsibilities of a local chapter of Wikimedia, the perspective of the movement in Brazil.

Those interested in collaborating, please answer the questions freely translated below.

Question 1

Give an overview of the Brazilian Chapter (how it got started, who is involved and will be involved, etc.)

  • The discussions began before, but gained from the body of Jimmy Wales' visit to Brazil in late 2008. Volunteers throughout the country are involved and the vision prevails chapter non-formal, acting through a joint effort organized.
  • From January to October of 2008 several volunteers sought to follow strictly all the steps required to create a legal organization to act locally as a chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation, ie, virtual and face together stakeholders, developed and translated status and achieved approval of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • In November 2008 a professional trip to Brazil Jimmy Wales had been asked to leverage the media launch of this chapter. Articles, journalists and hundreds of stakeholders participated in an open and free debate in the town of Sao Paulo, and followed interviews to major TV networks in Brazil and several articles written in newspapers and magazines.
  • Between December 2008 and April 2009, began to be formed a consensus between local volunteers (supporters and opponents of the previous activities of the Brazilian chapter) that the most appropriate would be to avoid the role model of a traditional legal organization. Several reasons were discussed, such as the legal and administrative, as well as affinity with the values of openness, autonomy and decentralization, so dear to the local community.
  • In April 2009 two Brazilian volunteers were invited to attend the meeting of Chapters in Berlin. On this occasion, the format of action of the Brazilian chapter has been shared with the other participants. Instead of a new legal organization, with hierarchies and limited to a set number of positions capable of making, the Brazilian chapter served as a volunteer movement decentralized autonomous. In this format, any person may lead joint efforts to promote collaborative production of knowledge free. You only need to adhere to a charter of principles shared by the local movement.
  • In August 2009, during the Wikimania in Buenos Aires, a significant number of Brazilians had another opportunity to talk with members of other chapters and employees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Although the Brazilian movement did not follow the recommended format for a local chapter, clearly his performance resembled that of the other chapters.
  • From April 2009 until the present time, the community volunteers of the Brazilian chapter continues to grow and strengthen. The values of openness, autonomy and decentralization are still present and appear to be increasingly more important to attract, engage and empower individuals to promote collaborative production of knowledge free in Brazil.
  • Many joint efforts have been made by several Brazilian volunteers, such as workshops at Campus Party, the desconferĂȘncias and workshops at SESC Pompeii, collaborative interviews for newspapers and magazines, the shares in Viva, the activities of the Sixth Poetics and Adopt an Alderman as well as future planning task force called WikiMob. Participants in the local movement is very active in the mailing list of the Brazilian chapter and have recently begun dialogue with the community of readers through the IRC channel of the Brazilian chapter.


Question 2

Describe how you see the most important functions and responsibilities of the Brazilian chapter

  • Two main features are visible: to act as spokesperson, explaining the philosophy of action of the wiki movement (expressed by the pillars, policies and recommendations of the media) and support local activities of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as the various projects that use the software mediawiki , are the WMF or other to maintain similarity.
  • The most important function of the Brazilian chapter is to attract, engage and empower individuals in Brazil for the collaborative production of knowledge free. The focus will be given to projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, the MediaWiki software and Creative Commons licenses. The local motion can also act on other fronts (projects, software and licenses), since they contribute to building "a world in which every individual will have free access to the sum of human knowledge."
  • To this end, the Brazilian chapter will have a growing community of individuals who share values and principles and have autonomy to plan and implement activities and virtual in order to promote collaborative production (existing or new) knowledge free (and other encyclopedic ) by individuals in Brazil.
  • Stand out as the responsibilities of this community's continued development and dissemination of a Charter of Principles Shared and constant dialogue with participants and non participants in Brazil and abroad, the movement for free knowledge and collaboratively produced.


Question 3

Provide you have any insights into how the Brazilian Chapter is the same as and different from other chapters

  • Similar activities with different internal organization.
  • No money. In this first phase, at least, able to work with no budget, and without the problems it causes.
  • The Brazilian chapter has, in principle, the same functions and responsibilities of the other chapters of the Wikimedia Foundation. In Brazil, we also attended by volunteers from articles and other projects of the Wikimedia Foundation English. We are also in direct contact with the Wikimedia Foundation and seek to exchange experiences and learnings with other local chapters.
  • However, depending on the context and the historic site, decided to act as a movement of volunteers autonomous decentralized instead of making a traditional legal organization. Thus, we seek to grow organically, flexible and adapted to Brazilian reality. Initiatives undertaken by Brazilian volunteers until they could count on funds managed by partner organizations, but we give preference to activities that can be replicated across the country indefinitely without relying on financial resources.
  • Singapore Chapter are all volunteers with no functional hierarchies. When necessary, volunteers are selected by the community for specific activities, such as the Brazilian participation in the Chapter Meeting in Berlin and in strategic planning meetings in Paris.
  • The logos trademarks of the Wikimedia Foundation are used by the Brazilian community only after evaluating case-by-case basis and approval by the Foundation. Local financial resources are raised and managed directly by the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • The activities focus on the Brazilian chapter is to attract, engage and empower local people to participate in collaborative production of knowledge free and, therefore, we believe that the greatest resource that we must leverage locally is the motivation and dedication of individuals in Brazil.


Question 4

Any thoughts you have on the ideal role of a chapter, and what that means other key players Wikipedia (volunteers, the Wikimedia Foundation, etc.) would and would not have to do.

  • This question is interesting for me as a volunteer, I can not answer for others, the ideal is what you want and as a volunteer can do.

Our model of organization is different but does not mean that we want to impose or dictate rules to other models. If I think that our model is the best? Yes after all the others are wrong! When we own the truth even if it is aware of this human error. But if asked my opinion, I say: Do your best, you know it is free and offers freedom if there is a "Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia", why can not it be the "Wikimedia Brazil the free chapter. One of the great ideas that usually have about our model is on the money if the project is voluntary, it would be more inclusive and fulfilling volunteer conquer domestic partners and volunteers who share the same dream and see the media projects as an enhancer of these idea who see the media projects as something of value to humanity, is worth more than an editor or a donor's money? Another issue is the adoption of the very principles of projects such as bold and etc.