Discussions/Developing leadership

From Wikimania 2016 • Esino Lario, Italy

The Discussion Room is a space for open and facilitated discussions at Wikimania. Participation of the audience in the session is critical, because there are no speakers, and there is no expert panel!

You can find a full overview of the discussion topics on the Discussion Room main page. Please note: there is limited seating available, and we're not saving any seats! Please be on time, but feel free to join during the midway break between two discussions.

Practical facts

Developing leadership in the Wikimedia movement
Date & Time
Saturday 25 June, 14.45–15.25h
Context presentation & discussion prompts
Fuzheado & Millars
Primary School


The Discussion Rooms host discussions with a specific style:

  • Discussions of 40 minutes each;
  • Clearly defined topic for each discussion, related to Wikimedia;
  • Aiming to reach pre-defined goals during the discussion;
  • Discussions take place in English;
  • Discussions are moderated by a facilitator;
  • There is no audience as everybody is expected to participate in discussions, and everybody is audience;
  • Key lessons and points are documented live on etherpad, and may be processed later;
  • Each discussion will come with a single recommendation of maximum 120 characters.

Each discussion targets specifically online Wikimedia projects, it lasts 40 minutes and it starts with a short 2-3 minutes introduction.

To set the tone of our discussions, we have three rules:

  • Focus on YOU. We are interested in discussing and triggering individual action, things people can personally do and change to improve our Wikimedia projects and movement. We trust the discussion can be much more interesting if we do not focus on what others should do ("the others", Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Be constructive and polite. Disagreements animate discussions and they can allow us to unfold all issues related to a topic. Let's avoid personal attacks, let's consider that we have different backgrounds and let's aim at making everybody comfortable in sharing their legitimate point of view.
  • Be short and on topic. Let's create space for everyone to express his/her opinion.


The Wikimedia Movement rarely relies on individual leaders to guide our global impact, rather many volunteer contributors and movement organizers lead with small acts: from “Being bold” during their first edit, to hosting edit-a-thons, and mentoring volunteers running programs and activities. The Program Capacity & Learning team at the Wikimedia Foundation is exploring how our movement can encourage peer-mentoring and development of more community leaders as embedded within and across our regional and thematic communities. Frequently, we rely on individuals who already have the leadership skills and qualities before joining the movement, to lead. This often creates single points of failure within communities. Learning more about the common strategies and issues related to leadership will help our communities plan for developing more leaders in their own context. One existing program is the Affiliates boards training program.

During this conversation, we will talk about:

  • What leadership qualities should we support in our communities?
  • What strategies do communities currently use to identify, develop and support volunteer leadership?
  • What prevents volunteers from identifying themselves as movement leaders?

We expect the following outcomes from the discussion:

  • Leaders will understand big picture of where we the Wikimedia Foundation is headed with its support for community leadership development.
  • Community leaders will learn what resources are currently offered to support them as leaders in their home communities
  • Wikimedia Foundation staff will engage in a conversation about how to identify what leadership and what community leadership development could look like for our movement
  • Participants will Influence the Foundation's team’s next steps in developing support for leadership development throughout the community.

This discussion is based on the submission How do we identify, develop and support community leadership? and also draws on the submission How to continue the Affiliates boards training program.

Interested attendees

pinging Astinson (WMF), JAnstee (WMF), Bücherwürmlein, and Grijz.

  1. Lingveno (talk) 10:08, 7 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Bücherwürmlein (talk) 15:13, 15 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Grijz (talk) 20:05, 21 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Hogne (talk) 12:49, 25 June 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  5. ...