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Submissions/Cooperation between the chapters: lessons from the past

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 1026
Title of the submission

Cooperation between the chapters: lessons from the past

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)

Presentation and discussion

Author of the submission


E-mail address




Country of origin

DE, living in NL

Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

former chair WMNL

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

The Wikimedia movement consists of three fields: the wikis including Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation and the (other) Wikimedia organizations. These organizations have cooperated in the past, and also tried to establish more formal ways of cooperation.

Maybe the most famous of these cooperations was the Wikimedia Chapters Association in 2012/2013. This WCA actualy failed and revealed some huge major problems in the Wikimedia movement. Of course, a new attempt is possible, and given the need for cooperation even likely, at least desirable.

But before coming up with new ideas of interchapter cooperation, analysing the history of the WCA experiment would be one important thing to do. Besides the Wikimedia Chapters Association there have been other cooperations between chapters, and they should be considered too: the cooperations of a small number of chapters, the committees of the Wikimedia Foundation, the meetings of chapter directors etc.

As a WCA co-founder I have experienced the problems of the Wikimedia Chapters Association and of the chapters from close-by, and I also feel a certain obligation to share some thoughts. Without blaming individuals and specific organisations, I think that I can point out

  • how the limited time of volunteers limited the possible activities of the Wikimedia Chapters Association
  • how 'our kind of people' involved made cooperation sometimes difficult (in the movement in general)
  • how the structure of the movement with its three fields made things more complicated

I am also open for a discussion, including the question how the two chairs and the deputy chair (=me) of the WCA Council acted and what could have been done differently, and should be done differently in a new attempt.

This contribution is supposed not only to identify the problems but to be optimistic and also to deliver ideas for future solutions. The premise remains that chapters and similar affiliations are a valuable part of the movement, integrating people without wiki background and being capable to achieve the movement's goals within the single countries. But there is more potential.


WikiCulture & Community

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?


Slides or further information (optional)
"Cooperations between the chapters. Lessons from the past." Presentation by Ziko van Dijk at Wikimania London, 2014.
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