Discussions/WMF Board discussions/Movement affiliations

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  • What is unclear in obligations and rights of affiliates?
  • Partner organisations, e.g. Wikipedian in Residence programs are also important and need to be discussed. How will we recognise them? AffCom working on this?
  • Are geographic organisations the end goal? Chapters or other orgs? Do they need to be tied to geography, or rather language? Often these overlap only partly. Maybe you'd want to join a language org?
  • Should we keep adding affiliates? We already have 100, so do we need limits on the numbers? Affcom has been discussing this, and sees a world where there are hundreds of groups. Affcom can encourage and support many groups everywhere. Does this scale?

Starting questions

  • Who is an active member of a Wikimedia affiliated organisation (chapter, thematic organisation, user group)
  • all except 6 (WMF staff and board members. The WMF could be considered to be a movement org in some senses, though.)
  • The obligations and rights of the affiliates are clear (prompt: Agreements for trademark & resources are clear? or expectations for growth? processes for growth?)
  • Maye 50% say yes. Unclear might be what the advantages of various affiliation type might be, but legal stuff is clear (contract)
  • Every Wikimedian should be able to join an affiliated organisation.
  • All in favour.


  • Kelly Battles (WMF board) Finance background; joined WMF board 6 months ago.
  • María Sefidari, WMF Board of trustees. Founder member of WMES. Helped found WikiMujeres user group. Board liaison for Affcom. Vice chair of board
  • Michał Buczyński: WMPL vice president; FDC Member.
  • Sydney Poore, ex-FDC Official for Kentucky user group. Founding member of Community health user group.
  • David Richfield (Moderator): founder member and ex-board member of WMZA; WMDE member.
  • Pranav Curumsey: ex WMIN board member
  • Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight: co-founder of Women in Red and co-Wikipedian of the Year 2016; AffCom member
  • Jaime Anstee, WMF: Manager, Learning & Evaluation and Staff Liaison to AffCom
  • Frans Grijzenhout WMNL (chair)
  • Claudia Garad, WMAT ED
  • Mike Peel: Former WMUK trustee; FDC Member
  • Edward Galvez, WMF survey specialist
  • Martin Lindner German Wikipedia editor
  • Ido Ivri: Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) Board
  • Michal Lester - WMIL Executive Director
  • Edward Galvez - WMF- Evaluation Strategist and Staff Liaison to AffCom
  • Manuel Schneider, WMDE, WMAT, WMCH, AffCom member
  • Anna Torres Adell: WMAR executive director.
  • Tim Moritz Hector WMDE chair
  • Vinicius Siqueira - WUG Brasil, WikiProject Med Foundation
  • Celio Costa - WUG Brasil
  • Dennis Tobar - WMCL board member


Clarity of obligations and rights of affiliates

  • Benefits and limitations of various models. Affcom has been working on this. Some things are changing as chapters freeze has been lifted.
  • Tim likes the point that Manuel made that AffCom needs to work on giving the users what they need*. Need to make it even broader. Not just the technical things, but we don't have a clear answer on what the benefits of the various models are. We are losing potential because of the lack of a clear answer there. Need to agree that we need to tackle this issue, and would like to ask the board about the movement strategy. (*Note - this support AffCom aims to help support - is in learning resources, mentoring, partnering, guidance and mediation for affiliate issues)
  • Should be on the agenda of the movement members.
  • Affiliates help each other! The network is important. But this is not systematic, and we're not sure always why groups become inactive. Claudia volunteers to help, but there needs to be a better global network. It's hard for new chapters, while the old chapters are comfortable.
  • Affiliates mailing list? Chapters-list is dead. But the list is not the answer, it's just a part.
  • Sometimes you can reach limitations because it's not clear what your role is? Example? Tim: Overlap is an issue that you can't see if you're stuck in your own organisation and don't know what shared projects are running. Not just a coordination issue, but also a goal-definition problem. You might even be blind to what you could do.
  • Affcom chair is Carlos Molina (Maor), Vice Chari: Kirill Loshkin
  • Matrix of benefits and limitations of models is being developed, will be published in the next months, but priority is still the definition of the criteria for affiliates. WMID example: there was a group that applied to become a user group. Chapter was against the group, so affcom didn't allow them, but then they blended into WMID, so that helped harmonise the structure, and the
  • Creating central landing space for affiliates with resources.
  • AffCom will be presenting on Sunday in the gym.
  • Grant committee structure handles some of that complexity / structure. The WMF grant staff do a lot of work affiliates.
  • Surveys will be published soon [Manuel]
  • Staff-supported model for AffCom started recently, and this will give more transparency.

Partner orgs

  • Note: this topic wasn't fully discussed due to time constraints.
  • Wikimedian in Residence programs have mostly been associated with Chapters based on entity status and legal agreements - although many have been independent and lack support for guidance and mentoring - nothing in AffCom queue currently

Geographic vs other types of org

  • It should be a dialogue. Process of moving from user group to chapter is another kind of dialogue. Should understand that there are different processes., and obligations change.

Partner institutions - CIS / Centre for Internet and Society in India

  • Movement partners" model not implemented but have 2 "allied orgs non-affiliates" = WikiEd Foundation, CIS
  • AffCom is working on the process with affiliated movement orgs, but is working to increase transparency.

Should we keep adding affiliate orgs?

  • AffCom envisions a wiki world in which there may be hundreds of user groups - not necessary to join a geographic, but may have own scope and theme and could be temporary or longer lasting
  • Concern there are too many new affiliates and don't know what they do afterward - (Response, they must report for renewal and demonstrate activity to support movement) - don't see this on e.g. wikimedia-l!)
  • How many user groups provide something that traditional chapters don't?
  • User groups are there to support our users. If they feel they can do this better with a group, we want to encourage them. We have discussed whether we'd be swamped by groups that become inactive, and we agreed that this is OK. They just need to report so that WMF knows they're active. If not, they can just be inactive. Let's not put any obstacles in the way. (Again, don't see any of this on e.g. wikimedia-l - just approvals!) (not everyone is on Wikimedia-l AffCom considering how to better share out and highlight beyond resolutions posted which share activity summaries) *** Needs discussion *** (Sounds good! a newsletter or similar would be nice) AffCom has been discussing better use of AffCom news feed as well (has been inactive for almost a year at the moment - not a lot of viewing there)
  • Rosie would like to see a world where there are lots of users groups based on interest instead of geography, e.g. for librarians or others.
  • Michal: Talking about dividing the same cake. Could we have large chapters who have thematic associations affiliated to them, or should we [??] Expand our user groups movement to enlarge the "cake". Think about ways to expand our volunteers. The number of groups is less important than the number of volunteers.
  • Jamie: Most people don't even read Wikimedia-L. Inactive newsfeed. So much information and limited bandwidth. We are reviewing. Affcom is there to support the movement.

Affcom presentation

  • Attend AffCom Presentation Sunday 11 a.m. in the Gym Palace "Movement Affiliates: The What, Why, and How"


See Also

The Affiliate partnerships presentation