ZB -- Just seeing this excellent idea.  Yes, it is a good time to revisit and envision what might be possible if this were a much broader and more universal practice, with a wide range of templates. 

I would suggest combining it with a global scholarship program for younger students -- a multilingual internationally known wikimedia scholarship program, with matching funds and support via regional partners, would elevate the principles, the focus on improving public knowledge, and the practice of self-organization and learning-by-participating that makes us tick.


On Wed, Dec 22, 2021 at 1:28 AM Željko Blaće <zblace@mi2.hr> wrote:

Before this last 21st day in the 21st year of 21st century
is globally over, I try to re-initiate re-thinking
on this 15 years old proposal for a Wikipedian-in-residence

but also articles in (only) 27 language Wikipedias,

Meta, Outreach wiki and elsewhere
for updating the notion of WIR and roles it performs in Wikimedia,
an ecosystem of diverse entities, dynamics and relations.

As Wikimedians with wider perspective than a single wiki project, often more than a single language and for sure more than single community, gear up to discuss and act on 2030 strategy, that includes new initiatives, new formations of decentering resources, new content, forms and methods of working, with new priorities, conditions, tools, services and what not…there is also a value in reflecting and reimagining what is already established but often overlooked practice.

Some of the WIR practitioners have been self-reflecting on and off publicly https://wikistrategies.net/5-things-wikipedian-in-residence/ and engaging with communities https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc9YgFm2eso there was also network establishment.
3 years ago WREN UG (Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network User Group) was recognized with the aim to protect the common elements of the role and for creating a peer support network of new and experienced WIRs for collaboration and to encourage a global professional environment which inspires institutions to appoint persons to engage with Wikimedia. 

In recent times Wikipedian-in-Residence, is more often Wikimedian-in-Residence, in rapid growth of Commons and Wikidata (but also in 2021 first one in Wiktionary) and sometimes Wikimedian-at-Large, in more generalized practice of strategy or direction setting work.
Additionally in time of pandemic when doing physical events is challenging and many of the (potential) partner organizations are closing down or limiting public events to bare essential, short and transient it is more important than ever that individuals (rather than cohorts of editathon enthusiasts) keep revisiting institutions and work with them in a most flexible mode and scale. 

Finally to start both re-visioning and maybe even re-positioning WIRs in Wikimedia we should think of what this network of ‘free agents’ can bring towards 2030, beyond what WMF, affiliates, UGs, HUBs, WikiProjects and other organizational forms can. Also think how much more useful this initial inspiration of artists, writers and researchers in residence could be if these creative and critical roles in the art and cultural sector get embraced and encouraged more often and more intentionally.

Z. Blace

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