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The Longest Now

[MR 0a] Formal Wikimedia groups and roles
Monday June 06th 2011, 11:31 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,wikipedia

The Wikimedia movement consists primarily of hundreds of thousands of contributors, reusers, donors, and other readers who support the movement and the projects each in its own way.  However the most complex parts of the movement, with their own legal, financial, and bureaucratic issues, are the incorporated groups within the movement — the Wikimedia Foundation and chapters, each incorporated in its own jurisdiction — and the governance groups that oversee and inform the work of those groups.

At present, chapters are the only groups formally recognized by the WMF with standard trademark agreements and a license to pursue partnerships within their jurisdiction.  Another group type – a partner organization without geographic limits – is being proposed in one of the MR recommendations.    There are few global governance groups at present, only committees of the Foundation and its Board of trustees.  Two other bodies have often been discussed:  a community council with representatives from the editing communities of the projects, and a chapters network or organizational council with representatives from all chapters and similar formal organizations.

The initial work of the Movement Roles group has focused on the roles and responsibilities of these formal groups, which have some of the most explicit needs for coordination.  A related effort is needed to resolve these questions for informal groups – the roles of the more numerous individuals, small groups, and informal organizations that sustain the movement.

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