Movement Charter Drafting Committee – decisive step to lay the foundation for future movement governance

A visual for the Wikimedia Movement Strategy recommendation "Ensure Equity in Decision-Making
A visual for the Wikimedia Movement Strategy recommendation “Ensure Equity in Decision-Making”

The Wikimedia movement is really close to taking a decisive step for future governance. The Movement Charter Drafting Committee will be established in just 2 weeks time. This is the outcome of conversations that have lasted for years. Many people can already support this work by taking part in the election. After this election, we need people to join the conversations and support creating a charter that represents  diversity of contexts, perspectives, and people that make our movement.

A long-awaited decisive step

Movement governance has been a focal point in global Wikimedia conversations for years. As the projects and organizations have grown across the world, the number of people interested in cross-project and inter-organizational collaboration has also increased. The first mention of a Wikicouncil dates back to 2005. Ideas evolved through Movement roles project and other conversations over the years.

Constructive collaboration and coordination on a global scale needs a clear definition of roles and responsibilities and mutual accountabilities between the different movement actors. Meaning a robust structure for global governance. The Wikimedia 2030 Movement Strategy recommendations to create a Movement Charter and a Global Council continued this global governance pathway.

In October 2021 together we are making a decisive step to take these everlasting global governance conversations to tangible outcomes. With a global process, we are setting up the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. This committee will draft  the charter for the whole movement, which will establish future initiatives in movement level governance.

A committee and a Charter for the whole movement

The Movement Charter and Global Council need to serve the whole movement, including existing entities and contributors as well as future ones. To achieve that goal the process needs to be transparent. It must be engaging for a wide range of people with different backgrounds and perspectives on movement matters. 

For these reasons, the aim is to bring together a diverse group of people, so their different experiences and variety of skills and knowledge can inform the process of Charter development from the beginning. The expected diversity has been mapped in matrices that inform the set up process. Hopefully, both online project elections and affiliate selection will ensure that the expectation of diversity and representation of perspectives are met.

Doing it together

While there is a dedicated Movement Strategy and Governance team in Wikimedia Foundation to facilitate the process across the movement, everyone can be an ambassador and stimulate conversations in their respective groups and communities. In this way more insights can be shared, concerns raised, and agreements achieved while working on the Charter together.

While getting going with the Charter content discussions will take some time, there is an immediate step that many can take. There are nearly 70,000 users who are eligible to vote on the Drafting Committee elections and every vote is important to gather the best people for this fundamental task. So the first small step on this long road towards future movement level governance can be already taken today: contributing your vote. Voting ends October 24 AoE.