Wikimedia is made up of thousands of people around the world working together toward a common goal. The Wikimedia movement has grown to more than 300 language projects and nearly 200 affiliates, but there is no shared document that defines the roles and responsibilities of the movement. And this is the document that the Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) is working to create.
What is a “Movement Charter”?
The Wikimedia 2030 Strategy recommendations identify the implementation of decision-making bodies to better balance our global movement, but how do we get there? First we need to define what makes Wikimedia, well, Wikimedia. This is where a global governance document is needed. The Movement Charter aspires to fill the gap – establishing “a common framework for decision-making.”
Why does the “Movement Charter” matter?
It is currently difficult to collaborate between the Wikimedia project communities, the two hundred affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation. Communication between these groups is often lacking or limited, and there is practically no way for them to make a common decision together.
The lack of collaboration may often lead to disagreements. In one common example, the way that the Wikimedia organizations spend the movement’s money is often not approved by the communities or even by other affiliates. There is an urgent need for a collective way to make decisions, and this is what the Movement Charter Drafting Committee is working on.
What has happened so far?
Last year was busy. In January 2021, nearly 200 Wikimedians met to discuss setting up an Interim Global Council. Those eight hours of conversations covered the interim council structure, its representation in our movement, the selection of members, and the timeframe. There was a lack of clarity about the next steps, however, leading to several months of proposals and discussions.
Who is working on it now?
During Global Conversations in June 2021, Wikimedians from across the movement agreed on convening a Drafting Committee of 15 members to fulfill the task. Those members were jointly elected or appointed by the communities, affiliates and the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Movement Charter Drafting Committee (MCDC) was officially announced on 1 November 2021. Since then, the Committee has been regularly meeting every two weeks to discuss and assign tasks: in between these meetings they work asynchronously on the tasks. Some of the major milestones the MCDC has achieved are establishing a set of principles and an internal decision-making process, hiring a facilitator and starting to draft the outline of the Movement Charter.
Currently, members are convening in several smaller groups (called “subcommittees”) to focus on certain tasks. One of the major current tasks is drafting an outline for the Movement Charter, which will broadly determine what it will contain.
Meet the Drafting Committee
Meet the current MCDC members:
|Username + name||Photo||Country||Language(s)|
|Anass Sedrati (Anass Sedrati)||Morocco / Sweden||Arabic-N, French-N, English-4, Swedish-4, Spanish-3, Berber-3|
|Anne Clin (Risker)||Canada||English-N, French-2|
|Ciell (Ciell)||Netherlands||Dutch-N, English-3, Deutsch-2|
|Érica Azzellini (EricaAzzellini)||Brazil||Brazilian Portuguese-N, Portuguese-5, English-4, Spanish-2|
|Georges Fodouop (Geugeor)||Cameroon / Belgium||French-N, English-2|
|Jamie Li-Yun Lin (Li-Yun Lin)||Taiwan / France||Chinese-N, English-4, French -2|
|Jorge Vargas (JVargas WMF)||Colombia / USA||Spanish-N, English-N, Japanese-2|
|Manavpreet Kaur (Manavpreet Kaur)||India||Punjabi, English, Hindi|
|Michał Buczyński (Aegis Maelstrom)||Poland||Polish-N, English-4|
|Pepe Flores (Padaguan)||Mexico||Spanish-N, English-4, Français-2|
|Ravan J Al-Taie (Ravan)||Iraq||Arabic, English, Kurdish|
|Reda Kerbouche (Reda Kerbouche)||Algeria / Russia||Algerian Arabic-N, Arabic-N, Shawiya-N, French-4, Russian-4, English-3|
|Richard (Nosebagbear)||United Kingdom||English-N|
|Richard Knipel (Pharos)||United States||English-N|
|Runa Bhattacharjee (Runab WMF)||India||Bengali, English, Hindi|
Follow this work!
To keep in touch with the Drafting Committee’s hard work, we invite you to subscribe to the future newsletter. For now, feel free to:
- Follow their brief monthly updates on Meta.
- Subscribe to the Movement Strategy Updates.
- Take a look at the tentative timeline to learn what is coming!
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