Submissions:2023/Report on research for North American hub

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2023.


Report on research for North American hub


Recent Changes, Community Initiatives, Governance

Type of session:



Wikimedia DC has been gathering information to inform next steps in a possible coalition of the North American Wikimedia affiliates. We will report on findings and progress, and invite input online and in later meetings during the conference.

The project involves focus groups, interviews, and surveys of (a) North American Wikimedians, (b) coordinators of Wikimedia affiliates and Hubs elsewhere, and (c) representatives of likely partner organizations, including the WMF. We ask these audiences about likely projects the North American groups could do together, and challenges to working together efficiently. On our project's meta page we invite you all to contact us or write public input to us. Our completed report is to be made public at the end of 2023. We are not chartered to create a new organization or take other permanent steps; it's called a research project, to get facts and opinions together.

Compressed background:

  • Terminology: Affiliates = chapters, user groups, thematic groups (e.g. Art+Fem, Wiki LGBT+); Chapter = The formal nonprofit organizations (e.g. WM Mexico, WM Canada, WM NY, WM DC, WikiEdu, WikiMed); Projects = The online sites (Wikipedia, Wikisource, ...)
  • Possible projects together, beyond the North American conferences (WCNAs): shared calendar; multiyear/cross-national partnerships with other orgs; small/quick grants for editathons and other projects across our region including where there is no chapter; legal/financial/administrative support to our small chapters (tax forms, auditing, insurance); photo or content contests; build up copyright expertise to help protect public domain; build up larger scale advocacy regarding government policy; develop software to support affiliates or Wikimedia content.
  • Parallel or partner organizations to learn from: Wikimedia affiliates elsewhere; GLAMs, OpenStreetMap, Internet Archive, Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, DPLA, ...., and grantors to such organizations
  • Our research project's advisory committee includes Wikimedia organizers from a variety of affiliates in North America.

Some opportunities are easy to take, like a shared calendar. There are challenges too, such as: legal formalities which differ across countries; potential dominance of large chapters/English/US/interest groups; risk of fighting over the same funding streams and volunteers; and the need for ongoing translation if we have sustained projects together.

Formatwise -- It would be possible to make this a longer session/discussion, because we need input too, but I thought a brief report could be part of the main program and we have an unconference discussion later.

Author name:

Peter B Meyer; Ariel Cetrone

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia DC

Estimated time:

20 minutes

Special requests:

Will need to have extended conversations later in the conference in a workshop format

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:

WCNA 2022; WALRUS meetings

Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)