Exploring new ‘territories’ in the Wikimedia movement

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The first regional operational hub is no longer a pilot project, as the Year 1 for the CEE Hub project was successfully implemented. We are not building the CEE hub anymore but strengthening its foundations.

Remark: This blog post was written by the CEE Hub Staff and it reflects the staff’s perspective.

The beginning

Starting something from scratch is not easy, especially when there are no guidelines and boundaries. The hub segment in the Wikimedia movement is still a new area, we might even call it “uncharted” territory.

The CEE Hub began with its day to day operation in December 2022, when Barbara Klen started to work as a CEE Hub Coordinator, and the CEE Hub team was completed when Toni Ristovski commenced to work in February 2023.

Having a mix of a non-Wikimedian and Wikimedian with different backgrounds proved to be a good recipe. As we work very closely, we are able to challenge each other’s perspectives, find new solutions and although we work remotely, we feel as we became a ‘real’ office colleagues.

Author: Jan Beránek, CC BY-SA 4.0.

We are proud of…

Although we are a small team and we started to build something completely new along with our supporting Steering Committee members, we were able to implement the majority of planned activities which were a part of our Year 1 CEE Hub grant proposal. We were trying to use our time wisely, focusing on accomplishing concrete results but we allowed ourselves to dream big too.

Here we are listing some of the activities we initiated and some activities we were a part of together with accomplishments that we are particularly proud of:

  • Receiving the external funding for cross-border collaboration between Wikimedia Sweden and five other CEE countries as a part of the Swedish Institute grant proposal
  • Establishing Catch Ups sessions, where we discussed and presented various topics along with the Wikimedia Foundation’s Movement Communications regional specialist Natalia Szafran-Kozakowska
  • Supporting the creation of the CEE Youth Group
  • Supporting forgotten communities (WCUG Albania, Cypriot community, Western Armenian community, Aromanian community, Montenegrin community) in different areas based on their needs
  • The revived CEE Newsletter!
  • Supporting two research projects named Community Mapping & Data and Studying Barriers of smaller communities.

What 2024 has in store for us? What the CEE Hub has in store for you?

Our grant proposal for the implementation of the CEE Hub Year 2 projects was approved by the WMF in December 2023. We plan to continue with the implementation of our regular activities i.e. supporting CEE communities in three areas of work:

  • administrative,
  • programmatic and
  • related to communications.

We are also planning to pilot some new activities, such as CEE Hub Microgrants and ‘community building’ of smaller CEE communities.

We are looking forward to new discoveries, new ideas, new mistakes, new accomplishments, new colleagues, new friends…

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