Movement Charter Drafting Committee’s September 2023 Updates

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Quick info: The open feedback period for this set of drafts was from July until end of August, 2023, but the MCDC and their support team will continue to monitor these pages. Feel free to share further feedback on the Global Council, Hub, or the Roles & Responsibilities drafts of the Charter.

It has been a busy few months for the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. First, we shared key drafts of the Movement Charter, including sections covering the Global Council and Hubs. Sharing new sections also meant engaging with community members and hearing from you far and wide, on wiki and in calls. Second, Wikimania happened and we had to prepare for official and ad hoc in-person (and hybrid) conversations. We have received a great amount of feedback – thanks to so many of you who participated in conversations in person and online – that we are excited to directly weave into our next phase of drafting, more on that later. In this period, we also lost our great friend and colleague Richard, also known under his username Nosebagbear. Richard passed away unexpectedly in August, shortly after arriving home from his first Wikimania event in Singapore.

Community Conversations July – September

Movement Charter discussion, ProtoplasmaKid, CC BY-SA 4.0

We have received extensive feedback from communities and individuals who care about an equitable and participatory movement and want to make their voices reflected in the Charter. Summary of the feedback received during the July-September 2023 community consultation period on the four new chapters of the Movement Charter will be shared in early October. It is important to note that some of the feedback is highly contextualized and may not represent the Charter as a whole. Some of the key sentiments include:

  • The Movement Charter should be more connected to the recommendations from the Movement Strategy works. 
  • The Movement Charter should be short and simple, but with more details where it helps understandability.
  • The Movement Charter should not be changed too often.
  • The Movement Charter should facilitate transfer and decentralization of power in both legal and social fashion.
  • Several key movement governance elements should be reformed to ensure the success of the Movement Charter.
Movement Charter content discussion, AAkhmedova (WMF), CC BY-SA 4.0

Wikimania 2023

Wikimania 2023 in Singapore was a historic moment, marking the first in-person Wikimania in four years and setting a record as the largest ever, combined with in-person and virtual participation. Eleven members of the Drafting Committee who were present at Wikimania Singapore welcomed feedback at different in-person and live sessions, including an open drop-in session. If you missed the some of them and would like to revisit the discussions, you can access the recorded sessions on “The Future Roles and Responsibilities in the Movement,” along with the main content discussion session below. We appreciate everyone who joined our discussion sessions, listened to the ongoing conversations, shared opinions, and expressed their congratulations, worries, and concerns. 

“The Future Roles and Responsibilities” role-play session (7:23 mins)
Content discussion session (1:37 mins)

Nosebagbear’s legacy 

Portrait of Richard taken at the MCDC Meeting in Berlin, Jason Krüger, CC BY-SA 4.0

We extend our deep condolences to Richard’s (User:Nosebagbear) family, friends, and colleagues. His passing is a significant loss not only for the work of the Movement Charter Drafting Committee but for the entire Wikimedia Movement. Richard has been an active Wikimedian since 2018, although he started editing in 2012. He was elected by the community to be on the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. 

He strongly believed that the Movement Charter drafting process should prioritize the collective voice of the community and ensure that decisions were made at the most localized level possible. For him, one of the most binding details of the Charter was about transparency and accountability to the movement. Richard was an active member of the Committee, serving on various subcommittees such as the Global Council, Preamble, and Ratification, where he made substantial contributions.

Richard’s legacy will continue to inspire us as we work to uphold these values and advance the Wikimedia Movement Charter in the spirit of unwavering dedication.

How we work moving forward  

MCDC members and the Support staff gathered for a discussion, AAkhmedova (WMF), CC BY-SA 4.0

We are making some changes to the way we work. There are key conversations that we should have as a unified group and for this, we will draft as one committee rather than separate drafting groups going forward. We also want to engage with our advisors and interested community members on a regular basis, not just after big updates. We will be hosting monthly drop-in sessions open to everyone to help us think through various topics and open questions. These sessions aim to allow better connection and engagement with the individuals and various communities willing to share input in the drafting of the Charter. The topics of each session and the necessary information to read will be shared ahead of time.  

Schedule of the upcoming drop-in sessions:

The Committee has outlined an updated timeline until June 2024

  • September to December 2023: During this period, the Committee will work on incorporating the feedback collected. In parallel, the Committee members will be available for interaction at the regional conferences and events, and the open sessions mentioned above. 
  • March to April 2024: The next iteration of the community-wide conversations on the full Charter draft. 
  • April 2024: The Wikimedia Summit will serve as a main venue for deeper conversations and wrap-up before the final polishing and embarking on the ratification vote for the Movement Charter in June 2024. 
  • June 2024: Ratification vote for the Movement Charter. 
MCDC members at Wikimania 2023 dinner and dance social event, Chinmayee Mishra, CC BY-SA 4.0

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