UNLOCK insights: Deep dive into our evaluation of the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK 2022

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We finally wrapped up the third edition of the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK! And this year, it was all about collaboration and cross-regional exchange. Together with our partners Wikimedia Serbia and Impact Hub Belgrade, we were able to set up a strong and value-driven partnership. And together, we selected  and supported a diverse group of projects and teams that were as committed to knowledge equity as we were. 

This UNLOCK Insights Report 2022 provides a deep dive into our co-created program setup as well as the experiences of the project teams throughout the program.

Insights into our co-created program and support setup

UNLOCK Insights Report 2022 – Overview of the program and support structure https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UNLOCK_Insights_Report_2022_Program_and_support_structure.png

Building upon recommendation 9 – Innovate in free knowledge – of the Movement Strategy Wikimedia Deutschland (WMDE) initiated the UNLOCK program with the ultimate goal to promote innovative ideas and projects that break down social and technical barriers – projects that achieve knowledge equity. The third edition of the UNLOCK Accelerator was co-designed and co-hosted by WMDE, Wikimedia Serbia (WMRS) and Impact hub Belgrade. One of our core motivations was to explore and implement how to best create a learning environment that invites all participants – as they come from different regions – to collaborate and strengthen their innovative capacities. 

Our highlight was creating a cohort learning experience for the participants. Through our jointly created working principles we were able to establish a safe space where open exchange was possible. Complemented by rituals and methods (have a look at our UNLOCK toolbox), participants could share their successes and challenges in the project and product development process as well as their experiences in working together as a team. 

With Wikimedia Serbia and Impact Hub Belgrade on our side, we were also able to expand our international networks and could pull from a larger and more diverse pool of experts who lended their knowledge and skills set to our program participants.

UNLOCK Insights Report 2022 – Cohort learning sessions within the UNLOCK Accelerator program 2022 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UNLOCK_Insights_Report_2022_Cohort_learning.png

We gathered further learning and tips for successfully navigating challenges in an international and interdisciplinary collaboration based on our experiences with WMRS and Impact Hub Belgrade – have a closer look here.

Impact unpacked: some highlights

UNLOCK Insights Report 2022 – Evaluation of the growth potential of participants after the UNLOCK program. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:UNLOCK_Insights_Report_2022_Cohort_growth.png
  • In just a few months, teams were able to accelerate their ideas: 71,4% of participants stated that the UNLOCK Accelerator helped them to advance themselves and the development of their project. 
  • Most valued program elements included:
    • Cohort learning with peer-to-peer exchange and expert input sessions;
    • Group mentorship sessions; and
    • Individual mentorship sessions
  • What project teams wish to have more of? 1:1 and individualized sessions with mentors / coaches
  • TOP 3 challenges ahead:
    • Professionalization in skills and making the project become more than ‘just a passion project’;
    • (Financial) sustainability and exploring different models for open source projects; as well as
    • Stakeholder engagement and elaborating partnership options.

Dive into the report!

Check out the UNLOCK Insights Report 2022 – here. The basis of this report are regular debriefs and retrospectives with our partners, 1:1 feedback sessions as well as anonymous surveys with the participants of the program, as well as our own evaluation sessions following each milestone of the program. Enjoy the read!

Reach out to me if you have further questions regarding the report. Besides, we are more than happy to engage in further conversations and eager to hear additional perspectives, insights, and feedback from across the movement related to recommendation 9 – Innovate in free knowledge. 

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