@Tgr , I think you make some excellent points and ideas here. I replied to you on the Telegram thread as well. looking forward to exploring and discussing these ideas full. thanks!!! by the way, I am user:sm8900 at Wikipedia.
Thank you for this proposal.
Much of it seems very sensible. In particular, I agree that any proposal for a Hub has to be able to state:
- who it serves
- who is involved
- who has been consulted and supports the proposal
- what the Hub aims to do
- where the ‘fuzzy boundaries’ are with the rest of the movement and how to deal with them [this is the area that is newest compared with existing affiliate models, and is particularly important]
- how the Hub will monitor success, and what happens if it doesn’t succeed
This is all very sensible. If new pilot-Hubs have not thought about these questions then they will not succeed. (I get the impression that many of them have thought about these issues a lot, and their answers will be very helpful for the next wave of Hubs as well).
I also welcome including diversity as an element of success for Hub governance groups. There isn’t a definition of what that means, and in practice I would not say that a new hub has to have a perfectly diverse and representative board. But it would be a problem if there was a Hub board that consisted of seven men from a single Wikipedia, for instance.
My main point of disagreement is in the ‘who has to agree before the Hub can be set up’. There is not yet an established governance/accountability model for Hubs. However this proposal seems to imply that, because there is not yet a new model, every single existing body has to agree: the WMF staff AND the Affiliations Committee AND the Grants Committees AND the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. Who knows, perhaps of the 50 people in all of those groups, someone might be able to find an objection! I would suggest that a more lightweight approach would be better. Particularly as both AffCom and MCDC are quite slow-moving committees and getting approval from either of them on any given question could take at least 3 months.
Personally I would be happy with the WMF team simply giving approval to a pilot-Hub so long as there is evidence of support from the affected communities. After all, Hubs are already agreed in principle (from the Movement Strategy recommendations) and this is an interim arrangement. In the long term I would not want staff to have sole authority over this, but eventually the MCDC will work out a process for recognition and funding of Hubs.
If it’s felt important to have more volunteer scrutiny of pilot-Hubs before they are set up, then I would suggest the Regional Grants Committees are most appropriate as they have the best knowledge of the context the Hubs will be working in. This is better in line with the strategy principles of decentralisation and subsidiarity.
I hope this is helpful feedback.
How is that supposed to happen when the first draft is unworkable, like Tgr pointed out? The global hub discussions have not yielded signifcant results because of regional and thematic differences, yet you portray them as successful in defining next steps that are ambiguous to the point where the strategy team can go in any direction they please, cherrypicking individual voices from Western Europe as “concerns” (which is apparent in the first “draft”).
You claim the CEE Hub grant proposal from the grants team two weeks before the decision should have been made, despite a clear lack of time and personel within the strategy team, instead of leaving the proposal with people who have done this for years and have experience in deciding what is feasible based on the proposal. That was five weeks ago, with no progress since.
You announce here that there are “discussions” ongoing with the three projects mentioned above, yet no discussions have taken place with at least two of them (I have no knowledge of the Content Partnership conversations), because so far there have only been handed down decisions conveyed by a messenger who has no decision-making powers. For Wikimedia Europe I’m not even sure they are fully aware of what you have written in this forum, because at the same time the statutes for Wikimedia Europe have been finalised and are ready for affiliates to endorse.
You describe the people putting these hub concepts together as “promoters”, as if this is something to sell to the wider community. The CEE Meeting has been happening since 2012, the network in CEE exists since 2011. There is nothing to sell or promote here, only to accept as existing in one form or another, however informal and unprofessional it might be, mainly because of the lack of funds compared to whatever new initiative the WMF dreams up next.
And the cherry on top came yesterday when your team wanted to know from the CEE Hub in how many tranches the CEE Hub budget should be paid out to WMPL. It really feels like we’re living in two different worlds. One where everything can exist at the same time (because as the first draft indicates, everyone with power right now should be made happy, while those without should be kept in their place), and one where nothing moves forward and nothing we do actually matters.
This situation is serious. We’ve wasted last year on an overbloated process that resulted in the MCDC taking itself so seriously that they spend 9 months on self-organisation. At the same time, you’re burning out exactly those volunteers and affiliates who have invested time, money and faith in this strategy process, by trying to make everyone happy in a process that was supposed to change the power dynamics and end this one-sided power-relationship for good. Something has to give soon, and the sooner we are open about these things instead of trying to pretend we’re one happy family, the sooner we can start addressing the actual underlying issues that have plagued the Wikimedia communties for the last two decades.
@Braveheart , I just want to thank you for your reasoned, specific, and thorough critique above for some issues that we are facing., I generally agree with you. one particular pitfall that we really need to try to actively avoid is general thematic vagueness. I am open to views on both sides of this issue, and also to both sides of the debte over moving forward thematically, versus waiting to achieve consensus. however your detailed critique above is exactly what we ned to gain some clarity for this process, and valid authenticity for our actions, overall. seriously, thank you.
Consensus on Hub pilots is supposed to happen by having more people and groups providing their feedback about the draft. We keep inviting more people to participate.
I have different information about the conversations we are having, but this isn’t relevant to the discussion of the draft.
I’m very sorry, in my mother tongues “promoter” doesn’t have the connotation that are upsetting you, and I wasn’t aware that this word could have this connotation in English. I just mean the people who speak on behalf of these projects.
When discussing a grant request of a large sum and for a long period, it is not uncommon to discuss how the payments of the grant should be distributed.
Yes, I agree that the situation of the MS implementation (and beyond) is serious, also the risk (and fact) of volunteers burning out. I also don’t think we are trying to make everyone happy. Some conversations and decisions have been put aside or postponed for years, the Movement Strategy implementation contains many of these, and we need to address them. Here we are taking one of these conversations (how hub projects can go from research to implementation) and aiming to resolve it in four weeks of community conversation.
We are aware of the risks this process may have in the CEE Hub project and we want to avoid them. We just don’t think that the solution to this problem is not to have this discussion about piloting criteria. We believe that we need to agree on piloting criteria for everyone and we can agree on a good path forward for the pioneering CEE Hub.
Just one detail here:
Yes, exactly. If a hub project has already addressed these points in a grant proposal (or any other prior work) all they would need to do is point to the documentation addressing these points.
The idea is that hub projects address these basic points in a way or another.
We have created five topics to discuss the distinct parts of the [DRAFT] Minimum Criteria for Hub Pilots:
We hope this helps to discuss further the sections requiring to approach positions. This separation of sections may also help to check whether there are sections with a broad agreement or no feedback.
You can keep using this topic here for general comments about the draft or anything covering multiple sections.