This year, we’ve all had to deal with significant disruptions to the in
person work that we usually do together. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic,
many of you have had to cancel movement events and gatherings, or shift to
virtual options. It’s been a year of tremendous adjustment, and I’m
grateful to all of you for your flexibility and your creativity in
exploring new ways to collaborate and connect despite these restrictions.
As we had to put movement events on hold, the Events team at the Wikimedia
Foundation decided to take the time to evaluate the support we were
providing for Foundation funded and produced movement events and identify
areas for improvement. We are calling this exercise an “Events Refresh.”
Our goal is to look at the strategy, design and logistics of events and how
we can make them more effective and a better experience for both the event
organizers we partner with, as well as for the participants who attend.
To begin this evaluation process for events, we hosted preliminary
conversations with several community organizers and event leaders from our
movement to hear directly from them about how we can better support events
Our first finding from these initial conversations will come as no
surprise. The Wikimedians we spoke with emphasized, time and again, the
important role that events play in fostering community connection,
engagement, and sense of belonging. They shared with us how these in person
gatherings allow participants to better understand the scope and breadth of
the movement, to feel that they are contributing to something bigger. You
can read a summary of our initial findings from these interviews on
== An Updated Friendly Space Policy for Events ==
This Refresh exercise also included a review of the existing policies we
have in place for movement and Foundation events. Following that review, we
have updated the Friendly Space policy , in order to have more clear
guidelines around youth safety at events. We wanted to provide more clarity
and support for community organizers that are exploring events with youth
The Friendly Space policy applies to all movement events hosted or
supported by the Foundation. It is designed to provide a safe and welcoming
experience for all participants at in-person and virtual events, and
protect against harassment. The updated Friendly Space policy contains more
explicit protections to address the safety of young attendees (generally
defined as ages 15-24 based on the United Nations definition of youth).
These include a minimum age for young people to attend events without being
accompanied by a parent, guidelines on mature content at events for youth,
and a youth safety plan. We believe that these new guidelines will help
organizers who are thinking of hosting movement events for younger
== More Opportunities to Share Feedback on Events ==
Our Events Refresh exercise is just getting started, and this work will be
ongoing. In the coming months, we will continue connecting with communities
to better understand and design for their needs. Our first three
engagements will be focused on:
* Capacity building for event organizers. How can we increase access to
high-quality learning materials about events and accelerate learning and
growth opportunities for volunteers? Chen Almog will be leading this effort.
* Participation accessibility. How can we make movement events more
accessible for participants, reducing linguistic, technological, cultural,
economic, social, and other event barriers? Rachel Farrand will be leading
* Event Ecosystem design. How can we create a framework for events so that
community organizers and event participants can connect and collaborate
across related events? How can we ensure that events have continuity for
their audiences? Joël Letang will be leading this effort.
Starting in December we'll also be kicking off Community Events office
hours to provide real-time support to current and potential community
organizers, host Q&A related to Events and provide other relevant updates.
Please feel free to connect with the Community Events team at
I’m looking forward to when we’ll all be able to gather again in person.
Until then, please share your feedback on other ways we can support you
for movement events - we want to hear from you.
Take care and stay safe,
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>