(Re)Introducing Movement Strategy - Back to the Basics

The Movement Strategy and Governance (MSG) team is making a conscious effort to make Movement Strategy an inclusive and diverse process for a largely non-initiated audience. To that effect, we are attempting to simplify the collective understanding of Movement Strategy, talk about available opportunities, and ways to participate in it. As devoted and cherished members of this forum, which is all about Movement Strategy, we welcome your thoughts on the following drafts.


General Introduction to Movement Strategy Draft Text Part 1 of 2:

The Movement Strategy is a collaborative effort to imagine and build the future of the Wikimedia Movement. This strategy brings structural and cultural changes to address challenges and new opportunities. Thousands of volunteers and more than a hundred groups have defined this strategy. Currently, Movement Strategy is being implemented with goals set for 2030. Anyone can contribute to the Movement Strategy, from a comment to a full-time project.

Your contribution to the strategy implementation is vital for success. Join now!

Our future in the ecosystem of free knowledge

Wikipedia started in 2001 as an invitation to share the sum of all knowledge. Today, Wikimedia offers the world’s largest encyclopedia and many more wiki projects such as Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, and others.

Even with this success, Wikimedians encounter many challenges. The gender gap and the obstacles to participation for underrepresented groups persist. Our Movement’s power, resources, and opportunities are not evenly distributed. Censorship, surveillance, and the increased commercialization of knowledge endanger Wikimedia’s existence. Due to the advancement of technology and social trends, our work may become obsolete. Nevertheless, these challenges and the ever-changing world also offer opportunities.

Creating a strategy amongst diverse groups while working on all the regular Wikimedia activities was messy and complex. Eventually, the collective knowledge and perspectives were gathered to form a shared vision. The success of this process proves that the strength of Wikimedia is the talent, dedication, and integrity of its contributors.

What brings us together is not what we do; it is why we do it.

end Part 1 of 2 here

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General Introduction to Movement Strategy Draft Text Part 2 of 2:

Understanding the Movement Strategy

Let’s begin with our strategic direction:

By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

The strategic direction: Knowledge Service and Equity

We believe in the power of listening, learning, and testing. It is only through open dialogue that we can create a world of free knowledge that works for all. The Movement Strategy helps everyone coordinate around a shared path forward. This process has to be radically open, participatory, and multilingual. We invite everyone to contribute to this strategy while sharing common principles.

The strategic direction unites and inspires the Wikimedia Movement on our way to 2030. Two goals guide this direction:

  • Knowledge as a Service - Become a platform that serves knowledge in many formats and builds tools for allies.
  • Knowledge Equity - Focus on the knowledge and communities that structures of power and privilege have left out.

These goals are inter-connected. One cannot be achieved without the other.

The strategic direction inspires ten recommendations about different areas of work. Each recommendation defines concrete initiatives. Each initiative may consist of many activities and projects.

The Movement Strategy recommendations are all connected and support each other. Like the goals, it is not possible to pursue them in isolation.

Join us

You are vital to the Movement Strategy’s success. There are many ways to get involved:

If you have other ideas, we would love to hear them. Let’s talk!


I’ll just point out that this summary of movement strategy doesn’t mention the word “wiki” at all, except as part of trademarks.

This has always been part of why the “movement strategy” has always felt like a diversion from the actual mission, culture, and location of collaboration - the movement strategy always feels isolated from the actual governance and operation of the projects. What does it add?

It adds plenty.

Olá @TomDotGov. Fiquei curiosa com seu comentário e queria fazer uma pergunta. Mas antes acrescento um pouco de contexto sobre mim porque creio que sempre ajuda sabermos qual é o lugar de onde cada pessoa está falando. Faço parte da comunidade voluntária desde 2015 (editando principalmente a Wikipédia em português). Em 2021 fui contratada para fazer parte do time da Estratégia do Movimento da WMF. Concordo com você que às vezes parece haver uma desconexão entre os “projetos locais” e o movimento global Wikimedia. No entanto, tenho uma intuição de que nosso entendimento sobre as razões por trás disso são diferentes. Você comenta que o resumo-definição sobre a Estratégia do Movimento Wikimedia não menciona a palavra “wiki” em nenhum momento. Como seria esta definição (um trechinho, ao menos) se isso fosse incluído? Qual é o ponto central dessa “divergência” para você?

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I would expect there to be a clear statement that the purpose of the movement is to support the development of educational wikis, with a definition of what ‘wiki’ means. The current text-based sites feels too reductive, but at the same time there should be a commitment to content that anyone can create and improve in place. (So, for example, it would be out of scope to host a version of youtube.)

I’d probably go one step further, and embrace the radical equality that is at the core of the wikis - that we don’t create committees of editors to write articles, we let almost anyone edit. That also goes for policies, and it’s not clear why strategic plans shouldn’t be determined in the same way.

Finally, it would help if the movement strategy understood that the wikis are where the mission actually happens, and that the movement exists, insofar as it does, to support those wikis.

I’m not completely sure what the right answer is. But fundamentally, the projects are based on collecting free knowledge on wikis that anyone can edit. The movement strategy, as described above,
doesn’t address most of that.

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well said. one major basic reason that the MS forums have been set up, is to open up the Movement Strategy process, and to give more people a greater opportunity to provide their own feedback, ideas, and input.

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actually, no we don’t. in theory, we do; in actuality, the wikis are run by a small number of determined editors. one illustration of this, perhaps, might be how there seems to be some resistance or reluctance, to parts of the idea of creating alternate forums and platforms where less-prominent voices can be heard, such as groups on the app Telegram, or on Discord, or Zoom calls, or indeed the MS Forums.

This is very interesting remark and I would agree that there are quite some things radical in practice that are not represented in policies and plans (including also super small donations and anonymous wiki-edit contributions as relevant for long-term sustainability).

“The Movement Strategy recommendations are all connected and support each other. Like the goals, it is not possible to pursue them in isolation.”

So why are WMF teams pretending as if this is actually possible?

I’m also missing any mention of the previous efforts to make the strategy more accessible. Did you stock up the number of people involved in communicating the strategy process? Did you change your approach on how you communicate the potentials of this strategy? Does broandband messaging work with such complex topics or does it need more individual communication and workshops?

It’s difficult to give feedback if there’s no visible sign of change in the what is being written/said.

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I think that they didn’t do those things. But this forum is still meant to improve things here.

There is a very practical problem the introduction to Movement Strategy shared above wants to address: many people don’t know what is the MS, why it matters to them, and how they can get involved. This draft aims to provide a basic explanation that we can use on the Movement Strategy landing page.

But before, we need to address the feedback received, with a focus on what should be changed in the current draft.

Several wiki projects are mentioned as well as the expression “sister projects” which is common among editors. But ok, yes, let’s look at ways to make the wiki essence explicit.

The draft now refers to the Vision:

Wikipedia started in 2001 as an invitation to share the sum of all knowledge.

Should we link explicitly to the Vision, to make this connection clear? The purpose of this draft is to describe the Movement Strategy, understanding that important background information is explained somewhere else. We can always link to the pages offering this information.

The draft is aligned with this idea. The section “Our future in the ecosystem of free knowledge” refers to those wikis and the challenges they face.

The focus of this topic is to produce an introduction to Movement Strategy that can be communicated easily and widely. Your questions refer to how this communication is done, and they are related to How to improve the facilitation of the Movement Strategy implementation?

I’d say there’s also people who don’t believe it’s important, or believe that it doesn’t address the important issues that the movement has (for example, an inability to get technical problems addressed).

The vision is pretty lousy, to be honest. I mean, if you read “Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That’s our commitment.” out of context, do you see something like wiki-based projects like that?

I’d also say that “Wikipedia started in 2001 as an invitation to share the sum of all knowledge.” probably isn’t an accurate statement - there has always been the idea that some knowledge is worthy of inclusion and some is not, right from the start. (The idea of ‘encyclopedic’ has become more formal, but it’s always been there.)

The Mission is a much more specific an interesting statement, especially if we transpose it from the Foundation to the movement. The mission also has a much better description of what the different parts of the movement are ‘for’, and if you read it, it’s much easier to figure out why the movement exists.

I also think the founding principles are also something that the movement strategy should address.

Re-reading that section, I can sort of see how you say that, though I’d think that it mischaracterizes the problems that the wiki projects are facing, at least as perceived by people not affiliated with the WMF. I suspects this disconnect discredits the movement strategy more than it convinces people there’s a problem with their project.

There’s also a fairly fundamentally disconnect between the Movement Strategy and the movement proper - the strategy was created in a top-down way, and hasn’t been changed since its creation. Now that we’re years in, shouldn’t there be a way for the community to update a strategy that was created in a fairly different environment?

I was previously considering creating a new central thread, as a gathering pace and collaborative workspace for sharing ideas, insights, info and strategy for actually devising and coordinating an actual movement strategy.,

yes, I know that’s the whole point of this forum at this website. I think there are many useful and valuble ideas here.

However, hypothetically, if a newcomer came to this site, they might validly ask “so what is our actual Movement Strategy?” to which we might reply, “well, that’s what we discuss here on a continual basis.” to which the hypothetical newcomer might reply, “yes, I know that, but what actually is the strategy?” so therefore I was thinking of setting up a new thread, to collect ideas and insights to answer that question.

however, when I was setting up a possible new thread, I came across this existing thread. so I decided to post my thoughts on this topic simply as a reply on this thread for now.

perhaps we could use this thread as a central gathering-place to actually come up with some sort of cohesive specific strategy of sort, to lay out some of the possible ingredients, goals, etc, and some steps to achieve those or to implement those.

as part of that, I may ask one of the moderators to allows us to rename this thread, or to perhaps add some new tags. but anyway for now, I will simply use this thread to jot down some ideas of my own, and to invite others to do so as well.

if I see a real basis for starting a new thread, then I may do so in the future. thanks!

in the spirit of true wiki-ideas, I am posting this additional reply as a collaborative workspace, and making it editable as a wiki entry.

others are free to add their ideas here, any time they wish to do so; or to add their own comments on my own ideas. or to post their own ideas in a separate reply below on this thread, if they wish. thanks!

===Some useful central threads, or threads which provide relevant broad overview of various community resources and efforts:===

===Some possible ideas from sm8900, for a movement strategy.===

  • history/society:
    –encourage editors to create entries for their own local cities, regions, or other geographic areas.
    –encourage editors to contribute to the relevant articles for the current history for their own country, region, nationality, etc.

===Compilation of useful tools and resources, for those seeking to help develop our community, or to join the ongoing group effort to craft and/or implement a Movement Strategy===


tagging @Qgil-WMF , @NPhan_WMF , @JBrungs_WMF , simply to invite and welcome their input if they are so inclined; if not, that’s perfectly fine as well. just wanted to note that your input is always welcome. thanks!

I have made a small change in one paragraph of the draft to call out the wiki projects more clearly. We will use the current version to update the main Movement Strategy page.

@Sm8900 the purpose of this forum is to implement the Movement Strategy 2030 described in the intro above, with the 10 recommendations from which the #ms-initiatives are derived. All this was discussed and approved, and now we are in the implementation phase.

Changes to the current strategy are possible and expected. In fact there is a whole recommendation about this: Evaluate, Iterate, and Adapt. Discussions to clarify, develop and fine tune the current strategy are also welcome and needed. Collaboration to implement the strategy through the projects defined in the MS initiatives is essential, and the main purpose of this forum.

Other activities like the ones you are suggesting are useful, and this Forum can be a place to accommodate them because they are aligned with the Movement Strategy 2030. I just want to stress that our priority is the implementation of the Strategy 2030 through projects that complete initiatives and fulfill the recommendations.

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hi @Qgil-WMF . thanks very much for your helpful reply above. yes, your reply is very helpful and informative. that is what I wanted to know more about. I will keep all of that infomation in mind.

just to explore the helpful resources that you mentioned a little bit, I have copied and pasted some of the basic text from that page, regarding the basic items for Movement Strategy, as shown below. thanks.

here is an excerpt. this is from the page at the bulleted link below.


in 2017, we created a strategic direction to guide our Movement into the future: By 2030, Wikimedia will become the essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge, and anyone who shares our vision will be able to join us.

Over a two-year period, people from across our Movement have come together in an open and participatory process to discuss how we can work toward this. The result is a set of recommendations and underlying principles that propose structural and systemic changes that will enable us to create the future of our Movement together.

They outline how we can grow sustainably and inclusively. They introduce ways we can make the most of new opportunities and meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. They suggest how we can strive for knowledge equity and knowledge as a service. So that everyone – those already within our Movement and anyone who wishes to join – can play a role in capturing, sharing, and enabling access to free knowledge.

The recommendations are: