Organizer Lab: views from Latin America – Wikimedians with a focus on gender share their experiences

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Printscreen of the Organizer Lab 2023-2024 graduation call, February 16, 2024, featuring some Latin American organizers interviewed for this publication.

This post was translated by Oscar from the original in Spanish.

The second edition of the Organizer Lab, a training laboratory for organizers of the Wikimedia movement, concluded last February 2024. Throughout this edition, 55 participants expanded their knowledge on designing effective campaigns focused on topics for impact, such as climate, sustainability, and gender. On February 16th the graduation celebration for the 27 people (51% women) who completed all the laboratory units took place online.

This publication focuses specifically on the experience of Latin American women organizers who, in this second edition of the Organizer Lab, addressed gender issues in the design of their campaigns.

Candy López, an experienced young organizer from the WikiAcción Perú group, pointed out that training spaces such as the Organizer Lab are necessary not only because they provide tools, but also because it elevates the diverse experiences of the  communities.

“…exploring the Wikimedia platforms from the diversity of projects on gender issues that seek to reduce the knowledge and access gaps for women from different territories, is a work that is not often seen. It is admirable to be able to get  to know the work of all those who disseminate and create content at the service of the community.”

Candy also believes that the Organizer Lab is helping her to improve and focus her efforts as a Wikimedian, by expanding her knowledge of how to guide the audience through Wikimedia activities and making the activities she offers more receptive to the editors.

Ivonne dos Santos, a participant from the Organizer Lab in Uruguay, whose campaign project during the course focused on violence against women in sports, found the course very intense and comprehensive. Ivonne recommends:

“I would split it into different workshops: one for content and the other for the use of tools, and in this regard I would incorporate more depth in tools for incorporating metrics and why they are necessary.”

Laura Fiorucci, Spanish Wikipedia admin and member of the WikiMuj(lh)eres Latinoamericanas group at Wikimedia, agrees with Ivonne that the course presents crucial topics, and that, although everything she saw was very interesting, she thinks that each topic (gender and climate) should be addressed separately, or even focus directly on the tools, forms, strategies to learn how to make successful campaigns. For Laura, the most appealing part of the course was rediscovering the tools to make thematic listings, such as PetScan.

“What stood out for me was the huge job that the organizers have done to make all the material and to be attentive to all the participants. Learning is always two-way, so I guess you have learned as much or more than I have. (…)”

Laura is right. From the team behind this initiative at the Wikimedia Foundation, we continue to learn from the participants in each iteration of the Organizer Lab. To continue to provide content and expertise that will be useful to them in organizing successful campaigns and events on Wikimedia projects and in their communities around the world.

Carlota Murillo, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

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