Annual Report 2023

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Det här är en översatt version av sidan Verksamhetsberättelse 2023. Översättningen är till 99 % färdig och uppdaterad.

Introduction

2023 was a challenging year for the Wikimedia movement as several major financial uncertainties loomed on the horizon. One problem was that international fundraising on Wikipedia became less effective, increasing the financial uncertainty and risks associated with funding different initiatives in the Wikimedia movement. As a result, during the year we faced reprioritization and cutbacks on an international scale. The rapid changes that AI has caused, and is expected to cause in the future, have increased the risk that fundraising work might be even more complicated further on.

As the year progressed, the financial risks became more and more pronounced; despite savings and our very active work on external applications, it eventually became clear that we needed to undergo a reorganization. Two staff members were let go. The reorganization affected our work, our goal achievement and, of course, the staff members in question.

Trots detta pågick ett intensivt och framgångsrikt arbete under hela året av de 14 personer som var anställda, på totalt 9,19 heltider. 38 personer bidrog därtill med sin tid genom volontärinsatser. Föreningen fortsatte ett aktivt arbete med 99 evenemang med totalt över 3 600 deltagare. The events in 2023 were often carried out as part of over 100 different partnerships with other organizations. The activities contributed to hundreds of thousands of improvements on the Wikimedia platforms. In addition, a large number of new concepts and methods were developed, and important tools were developed and maintained as well.

Below, you can find more detailed reports from our successes (Stories) and the setbacks we experienced and learned from (Fail Fests). The texts can be read separately and you can choose what you're most interested in.

Major financial developments

Årets omsättning på 6,82 miljoner kronor blev mindre än den budget vi presenterade för förra årsmötet på 9,4 miljoner kronor. Våra kostnader under året var mindre än budgeterat och det slutliga kostnadsutfallet minskade även jämfört med utfallet för föregående budgetår. En positiv utveckling var den avkastning på de medel som testamenterats till föreningen. Dessa medel kommer framöver att användas för strategiska insatser.

This decrease was deliberate and planned as the increased economic insecurity forced us to actively reduce our overhead costs in different ways, as well as to postpone major investments, such as the purchase of a new CRM system. The economic insecurity includes continued uncertainty and lack of clarity about the long-term funding of the thematic hub development, but also about the size of the operational support grant from the Wikimedia Foundation in the coming years.

The decrease against our budgeted income is mainly due to the fact that the planned Wikispeech project did not receive funding during the year. At the end of 2023, the funder submitted a number of questions before making a final decision, which we started to address.

In the second half of 2023, a decision was made to reorganize our work based on the strategy adopted in 2021. The decision was based on the significant uncertainties about funding from the Wikimedia Foundation that had been communicated, as well as on the fact that we could not identify relevant external funding for some parts of our work. We need to increase our work and investments to secure other funding sources. Unfortunately, this meant that highly qualified and valued staff members had to be let go in 2023.

About the association

Wikimedia Sweden (WMSE) was established as a politically and religiously independent non-profit association in 2007, headquartered in Stockholm. The association operates nationwide and also runs several international projects that support volunteers in a large number of countries around the world.

We are a local, legally independent support organization to the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), which operates some of the world's largest free knowledge sources, including Wikipedia[1], Wikidata[2], Wikimedia Commons[3], and the other Wikimedia projects, among other things.

Wikimedia Sweden wants to support other organizations and individuals in different ways, ensuring that contributions to the global availability of freely accessible knowledge grows in the best way possible.

What does Wikimedia Sweden want to achieve?

Wikimedia Sweden (WMSE) works to make knowledge freely accessible to all people.

Knowledge is free when it is accessible, usable, editable, and shareable. Free and accessible knowledge is a prerequisite for an open internet, just as an open internet is a prerequisite for free and accessible knowledge.

Free knowledge leads to a better world and is essential to achieving the Global Goals. We envision a more digitalized and interconnected world where everyone can contribute to both producing and consuming knowledge at no cost, where everyone can participate by contributing with their own knowledge and perspectives, regardless of where in the world they are or what language they speak.

When people get access to knowledge, they gain power and tools to improve their own lives, but also to work towards a better society. When knowledge is freely accessible, people can develop an understanding of important issues, and when it is reusable, they can create new and unexpected solutions to common problems. Moreover, free knowledge is crucial for a well-functioning democracy and for a richer and more informed debate.

We work to promote greater openness towards free knowledge in society, particularly in connection to democracy, research, education, and culture. For this to be possible, certain conditions need to be in place: in society there needs to be a willingness to collaborate with other organizations and individuals, transparency needs to be prioritized, tools need to function effectively, so that digital solutions are viable alternatives to existing ones, businesses need to actively work on digitalizing their operations and workflows, and legislation both nationally and internationally needs to facilitate free knowledge. The association actively works on strengthening these conditions in various ways.

Wikimedia Sweden works long-term. We aim to change the way organizations and society think about knowledge dissemination and production. Creating that kind of attitude change will enable the full effect of free knowledge. By convincing decision-makers to adopt different forms of policies around openness we are laying the foundation for future access to new material.

How does Wikimedia Sweden work to achieve its goals?

Wikimedia Sweden's efforts to achieve the changes we want to see in society, ensuring that the information available on Wikimedia platforms is of high quality and enables further reading and exploration of qualitative sources, are carried out through an active group of volunteers, the association's board, and personnel resources from the administrative office.

Among other things, the association supports, helps, and educates volunteers and partner organizations on writing and contributing with knowledge on the platforms. We also develop the technical infrastructure: for example, we develop the software behind Wikipedia, build different tools and make improvements so that our target groups are able to contribute more easily and with higher quality.

Target groups: Volunteers, partner organizations, members and donors

In order for the information to be accessible to the public at all it is crucial that individuals, cultural heritage institutions, and other associates use our platforms to create and distribute material. Here we will discuss our two primary target groups: volunteers and partner organizations.

The Wikimedia movement needs two different types of volunteers, who, to some extent, overlap:

  • Volunteers who contribute online, for instance by writing Wikipedia articles, photographing for Wikimedia Commons or editing data on Wikidata.
  • Volunteers who want to support free knowledge offline in various ways, such as by organizing events, giving lectures, recruiting new members, or initiating new partnerships.

The association also targets associates/partners who can contribute to the platforms and increase the amount of free knowledge in society at large. Examples include associates from the GLAM sector, the education sector, governmental agencies, UN bodies, and civil society.

Innovation and partners

Wikimedia Sweden is an innovative organization, and we love partnerships. Our organization brings change to society and experimenting is essential to us as there most often is not a premade template for us to follow. In our efforts to make high-quality information available via the Wikimedia platforms, we also collaborate with experts, networks, and organizations.

We continuously work on engaging and initiating new collaborations, while continuing to support the partners we already have through joint projects and initiatives focusing on useful content. Examples of partners not mentioned previously include global networks and Wikimedia organizations worldwide, as well as non-profit associations that believe in and strive for free knowledge in various ways.

Programs

Wikimedia Sverige has adopted a new strategic direction in 2021, which spans over the period from 2021 to 2025. Our four programs were kept intact in this new strategy:

Program Access Use Community Enabling
Description Where more material is being shared on the Wikimedia platforms. Where we work to get more people to use the material and to gain knowledge about it. Where we support our active volunteers and grow and diversify the group. Where we ensure that our association is working well and keeps developing in a number of areas.

Access

Access is a program that focuses on improving the free content available on, or accessible to, the Wikimedia platforms – both short- and long term. Each year we contribute by sharing valuable material on the Wikimedia platforms thanks to content partnerships with, for example, museums, archives and libraries, public agencies, research institutions, UN agencies, etc. We contribute by tying together information that was previously fragmented. However, our work also has a long-term aspect: we aim to change attitudes and contribute to changed practices as well as improved policy documents in organizations and legislation, both nationally and internationally. We strive to change the way organizations and society thinks about the dissemination and production of knowledge.

Access has, for several years, been our largest program with regard to both the number of ongoing projects and the amount of work, which is also reflected in the budget. We work with the program both in Sweden and internationally and have taken an international leadership role within the Wikimedia movement.

We actively support the global Wikimedia community with practical help surrounding content partnerships. This is in line with the strategic recommendations for the Wikimedia movement, where the importance of offering more than just financial support within the movement was highlighted. Support in the form of expertise, technical support, working hours, and more, is at the least just as important for making the most out of the global engagement for free knowledge.

Deep dive

Story: GLAM Collaborations that Go Beyond Bulk Uploads: In this story, we share insights into our profound collaborations with cultural heritage institutions that extend beyond the primary focus of uploading their material or conducting limited educational initiatives. By carrying out joint projects we focus on supporting them in their efforts to better understand and engage with the Wikimedia platforms. This generates long-term effects as the staff members serve as ambassadors for free knowledge, utilizing Wikimedia platforms as tools to reach the public and engage them through crowdsourcing. By making use of the powerful software to connect material and knowledge from various sources, new insights are reached, and existing knowledge is enriched.… Click here to read more

Story: Spreading Unique Intangible Cultural Heritage: In this story, we share our efforts to disseminate intangible cultural heritage, particularly Sweden's musical heritage. The inclusion of intangible cultural heritage on Wikipedia, one of the world's most widely used sources of knowledge, gives strength to the practitioners in their work by increasing understanding and interest in their cultural expressions. Many cultural heritage institutions manage unique special collections that also deserve a place on the Wikimedia platforms, something that may not be commonly considered.… Click here to read more

Story: Support with Various types of Datasets on Cultural Heritage from Ukraine and Uganda: In this story, we focus on our work with cultural heritage data from around the world. Although the principle is the same, each project has its own unique conditions and challenges. The local communities can provide insights and complementary information based on their expertise, which is important for us to take advantage of. The Wikimedia movement has for many years engaged the public in creating digital documentation of our cultural and natural heritage, building a unique resource that used not only to illustrate Wikipedia articles but also in many other contexts thanks to its extensive coverage. By making it easier for volunteers to participate, more and more of our shared heritage can be preserved digitally, which is particularly important in areas where cultural heritage is threatened and at risk of damage or destruction.… Click here to read more

Story: Copyright Gains a Greater Role: This story focuses on how Wikimedia Sverige, through participation in a government investigation, during 2023 has come to play a central role in influencing Swedish copyright law. It also highlights how the association has established itself as a key player in international copyright conversations. By actively advocating and arguing for standpoints that benefit internet users in general as well as access to free knowledge, we have been able to prevent the implementation of a large number of harmful proposals and ensure that positive additions are made. MMany of our contributions have also focused on making it easier for the majority of the population who are internet users, and who are directly affected by the legislation but are not lawyers, to understand what is allowed and not allowed. By informing and engaging others in these issues, we create public opinion and can act as a counterbalance to well-resourced actors who focus on the needs of individual interest groups. Legislation has an immensely significant impact on the work of the association and the Wikimedia platforms; thus, each victory has a very significant and long-term effect.… Click here to read more

Story: The Helpdesk is Increasingly Supporting More Projects: This story focuses on the ways in which the work of the Helpdesk has intensified during 2023, enabling the Hub initiative to carry out more projects as well as to enable more Wikimedians to conduct uploading projects. There has been a significant focus on material related to the Wiki Loves competitions, as advocated by the expert committee.… Click here to read more

Story: New Opportunities for Open Access through the UN: This story focuses on how collaboration with several intergovernmental organizations have deepened during 2023 through various international conferences, letters of intent, and new opportunities. These collaborations have significant potential to, among other things, result in large amounts of material being released under free licenses, to secure funding, to open doors to international events where we can reach new networks and target audiences, and to engage experts on the Wikimedia platforms.… Click here to read more

Story: Intersection of Regional and Thematic hubs: This story focuses on how we throughout the year have had the opportunity to, in several ways, build bridges between various hub initiatives and identify exciting collaboration opportunities. These collaborations have the potential to create increased coordination between different initiatives that benefit our work and our projects. It can also lead to an increased distribution of the material we develop and, thus, an increased value of our efforts.… Click here to read more

Story: New Types of Collaborations with the Education Sector in Order to Create Local Engagement: This story focuses on the initiation of collaborations with a new type of partner in order to foster local engagement. While the extended essay project is well-established and successful, we have not previously collaborated with folk high schools, and we worked to implement a similar methodology with them. Through this collaboration, we reach a group of students that we otherwise do not reach and build partnerships with organizations that are locally important. Additionally, this outgoing project also increases the visibility of the association within a group with great diversity.… Click here to read more

Fail fest: Civil Society is often Conspicuous by its Absence when the Public Sector Makes Technical Choices in Respect to Digital Transformation: This fail fest focuses on the fact that Wikimedia Sverige's limited resources have made it impossible for us to be able to contribute fully to the digital transformation process that the public sector is currently undergoing. This transformation encompasses issues such as linked open data, strategic digitization and new digital infrastructures. We get invited to consultations that are often time-consuming and highly specialized, and we are expected to invest our own resources in participating in them. Being invited to contribute is very appreciated and rewarding, and the fact that the public sector has seen the value of what we and other civil society organizations can contribute with is a very positive development. Unfortunately, this arrangement leads to limited opportunities for us and other civil society organizations to participate fully.… Click here to read more

Use

Use is a program that focuses on ensuring a high quality of the information on the Wikimedia platforms through tool development and support for volunteers. The work within the program also contributes to improving the user experience, as well as to creating equal opportunities for contribution on the Wikimedia platforms and actively inviting underrepresented groups.

Within this program, we have spent the year actively working with public education, informing the public and various prioritized groups about how the Wikimedia platforms work and what opportunities and risks are involved when using its content. This year, the association has also continued the long-standing work with the development of missing functionalities to enable more people to use the information on Wikipedia. Among other things, we have continued developing a speech synthesis, which makes it easier for everyone who, for some reason, has difficulty reading, as they can listen to Wikipedia articles. We have also looked at how we can simplify other parts to improve the user experience when someone wants to get involved. The program also includes projects that aim to improve the coverage of women on Wikipedia.

During the year, the program ended up being smaller in scale than expected, as we did not manage to secure the external project funds we had hoped for.

Deep dive

Story: Usage of Free Knowledge by Media: In this story, we report on our efforts to raise the awareness of Creative Commons licenses among journalists. The increasing number of news outlets turning to Wikimedia Commons is a welcome development, and we react when we come across cases of improperly attributed images. These efforts help to increase the understanding of the possibilities and limitations of reusing freely licensed material, which in turn helps to ensure that more material is published correctly and that the volunteers who contribute to the free media database get the recognition they deserve.… Click here to read more

Community

The aim of the Community program is to both actively support the existing communities in Sweden in order to make the most of their involvement and increase their capacity, as well as to engage more people in new communities. Communities that were previously missing or underrepresented are identified, and targeted efforts are made to include them and change the status quo.

By communities we mean groups that contribute to the various Wikimedia platforms, for instance by editing Wikipedia, taking photos for Wikimedia Commons or adding data to Wikidata. In addition, communities that in other ways contribute to free knowledge, such as by organizing events, giving presentations, recruiting new members or forming new partnerships, are also a focus of the program.

We support the volunteer community in a variety of ways, thanks to our staff who possess an assortment of skill sets and the infrastructure we have built up in recent years. During the year, we worked on several different types of activities. We have carried out activities aimed at local participation and creating meeting places, and we have offered support through several national programs. We have also been working to further develop our capacity to offer support to the international community of volunteer developers who contribute with important tools, and much more, to the Wikimedia movement. We have taken several crucial steps to be able to develop our work in the coming years with the long-term goal of having activities, as well as a presence all through the entire country.

Through an externally funded project, we have continued our work on building communities in four Swedish counties, in collaboration with local partner organizations.

Deep dive

Story: Material to Lay a Good Foundation for Association Involvement: This story focuses on the extensive work that we did in 2023 to lay a good foundation for increased association involvement and thus more members. Through this long-term work on membership recruitment, our democracy develops, more voices are heard in our activities, more people can be involved in various tasks and they can become the ambassadors for the association in their own networks. In addition, having more members means more opportunities for advocacy work, as well as for different applications and fundraising for our initiatives.… Click here to read more
Story: Metadata Edit-a-thons: This story describes how Wikimedia Sverige has developed a new type of event, metadata edit-a-thons, where experts have been able to successfully improve the information on resources in museum collections. This has several positive effects, such as including and engaging new volunteer groups on the Wikimedia platforms. It also creates a clear added value for our partners in the GLAM sector who, in a cost-effective way, gain a better knowledge of their collections, and it makes it possible for different resources to be linked together through linked open data.… Click here to read more
Fail fest: Trying to Find Ways to Provide Support, however there are Challenges with a Reactive Helpdesk: In this fail fest, we outline the learnings from our work with the Content Partnerships Hub Helpdesk. While we managed to respond to a number of requests, at the same time we became aware of our limitations and now need to develop a clearer form of the concept that makes more effective use of our resources.… Click here to read more
Fail fest: Failure to Establish Local Communities: This fail fest focuses on the association's lack of certain tools and processes for other organizations to effectively (1) understand the value and opportunities of collaborating with the Wikimedia movement to share their knowledge or engage their networks, and (2) to engage them long-term and take ownership of the work. The realization that these tools and processes were missing or inadequate led to a reprioritization where important steps were taken to change the situation for similar future initiatives.… Click here to read more

Enabling

Enabling is a program where we build up the organizational and financial capacity of our organization. The work is long-term and ensures our continued relevance in the future. To achieve this, we need to be a good employer, a strong partner and a well-functioning, democratic and transparent membership organization that works closely with a strong volunteer community. We also aim not to be a lone player, but to be actively involved in the international movement, both learning from and contributing to capacity building measures. This includes experimental development work to broaden our sources of income and create sustainable funding for our activities. A long-term increase in membership and donations is a key element, where our work is still in its infancy.

These intentions demand projects that are more long term oriented and strategic. The projects in this program therefore contribute only marginally to content production in a given year, but over time will ensure the success and sustainability of all our activities.

As part of a global movement filled with innovative organizations and volunteers, we believe we have a lot to learn from each other. Our staff, board and volunteers have therefore been offered opportunities to meet, listen and discuss with representatives from the Wikimedia movement around the world.

Deep dive

Story: Requirements for Increased National Fundraising and Membership Recruitment: In this story, we share our work in laying the necessary foundations as we increase our efforts to recruit new members and gather more donations for the association. The systems, routines, and platforms we currently use have historically sufficed for our needs but are, in some cases, underutilized or poorly scalable as the number of members and donations increases. By developing this capacity, we can better serve our members, create engagement, and generate interest in financially supporting the association both short- and long-term. By increasing brand awareness and membership numbers, the association's advocacy work is strengthened, as well as the opportunity to secure funding from certain financiers. The material we have compiled will be distributed to our sister associations to reduce their acquisition costs for CRM systems.… Click here to read more
Story: We Develop a Staff Training Plan: In this story, we are focusing on the internal training that has become a recurring feature in our work. The regular dedicated training time makes it possible for us to boost our capacity. It also provides our members with enhanced opportunities and values as we re-use our training materials with them.… Click here to read more
Story: Reports to Develop Our Operations: In this story, we describe how the work of the association has been able to develop through investment in a solid decision guidance document, in the form of reports. These reports focus on both the association's climate impact and its diversity. The reports highlight the strengths and weaknesses in these areas and provide guidance on how the organization's impact on society can be as positive as possible.… Click here to read more

The year's goals

Our work had a number of goals for 2023 which were established on different occasions. In our application for a support grant from the Wikimedia Foundation, four target metrics based on our strategy and six so-called Core Metrics were determined; these metrics make it possible to compare our work with that of other Wikimedia organizations. These ten metrics were general for the entirety of our work.

The grant from from the Wikimedia Foundation made up only about 40% of the project budgets, while the remaining projects were financed through project grants or consulting fees; they had their own specific project goals, which were stated in the respective application or project description.

Whether the 2023 targets were met is indicated in the tables below using colors as follows:

  • Green if the goal was met.
  • Yellow if the goal was met partially.
  • Red if the goal was not met.

Application for operational support from the Wikimedia Foundation

Goal Results Comment
More volunteers are involved in our work than the previous year. The number of active volunteers increased from 37 to 38 individuals. We did reach the target, but we did not see the increase we had expected. Our initial expectation was that Wikipedia for all of Sweden would largely involve volunteers. However, during the year the team decided to switch the focus to more preparatory work and on partnerships based on the requests and feedback they received.
The number of members in the association is larger than in the previous years (600 members). The number of members increased to 468 (+10%), but did not reach the target of 600. While we saw an increase of 10%, this was far from our ambitious target of 40%. We hoped both local activities and a Face2Face campaign focused on membership recruitment would make a greater impact. Our conclusion is that a lack of awareness of us as an association, a lack of communication materials outlining a clear value proposition for potential members, combined with insufficient technical support to manage members and donors make these conversions more challenging.
Establish and deepen more partnerships. The number of partnerships increased from 102 to 116. By partnership we mean a collaboration with an organization, rather than an individual, where there is an active choice to work together and an idea of a long-term relationship. This year's partnerships range from local museums to IGOs and other Wikimedia organizations. 12 of the partnerships were brand new.
The gender distribution among the organizers of the our events should be such that no group is larger than 50%. The largest group (men) made up 50%. The gender distribution only takes into account the organizers who self-declared their gender. Women made up 43% and non-binary people 7%. All per cents here are rounded.

Core Metrics

Some of these targets have been revised since the application for operational support and the adoption of the Annual Plan 2023; the results here are based on the targets set out in the Annual Plan.
Goal Results Comment
2,685 participants. 3,656 of 2,685. This metric exceeded our expectations. As expected, Wikipedia for all of Sweden made up a significant part (⅓) of the participants but Content partnerships support saw larger participation numbers than expected as well.
825 editors. 476 of 825. The main contributing factor to the failure to reach the target was that New communities 2023, which was expected to contribute ¼ of the editors, was canceled due to lack of capacity. In addition, we also saw a decrease in interest from partner organizations in running edit-a-thons, as well as a decrease in participation in our annual photo competitions.
355 organizers. 258 of 355. Again, the termination of New communities 2023 played an important role in not reaching the target, together with the postponement of the Wikispeech project and the later start of our project on endangered cultural heritage and crowdsourcing. As a cost-saving measure, we reduced the number of events organized, which we can see has resulted in fewer organizers in almost all projects.

However, we can see that Wikipedia for all of of Sweden ended up exceeding our expectations and ultimately accounted for ⅓ of this metric.

4,675 Wikipedia content pages. 857 of 4,675. The project that we expected to make the most substantial contribution to this target was New communities 2023, which was terminated. In addition, we also saw a reduced focus on Wikipedia from participants in both Existing communities 2023 and Wikipedia for all of Sweden.
331,100 Wikimedia Commons content pages. 24,777 of 331,100. In the context of our work on international content partnerships and the Hub, there was a shift in focus from strategic data uploads (SDC) to the Helpdesk, which heavily impacted this metric. Furthermore, we had expected that media uploads would also be a side effect of the Wikidata for authority control project during the year, but due to negative interactions with the community on the Wikimedia platforms, this activity had to be paused.

Partnerships with GLAMs, our annual photo competitions and the community support project were the biggest contributors to the final result.

39,500 Wikidata content pages. 119,796 of 39,500. Wikidata for authority control, the expected source of the majority of this content, shifted focus to more complex data, reducing the pace and therefore the amount of data made available. New communities 2023 was expected to be the second largest source, but it was terminated.

Instead, it was the shift in focus to the Helpdesk that led to this goal being surpassed; we got a support request for a mass migration of data to Wikidata.

About the annual report

In preparation for the association's annual meeting, the administrative office produces an annual report that describes the events of the previous year. The activity report is approved by the board and is one of the annual meeting documents. Wikimedia Sweden is a member of the Swedish Fundraising Control and the Swedish Fundraising Association. This annual report is also used to fulfill the reporting requirements that the association has towards the Swedish Fundraising Association.

Notes

  1. Wikipedia, a wiki and a multilingual web-based encyclopedia. It primarily contains free and open content developed by its users. It is one of the world's most used websites, with an estimated one billion visitors each month, who read around 27 billion articles.
  2. Wikidata is a project operated by the Wikimedia Foundation: it is a free, collaboratively created, multilingual database of secondary data that stores structured data to support Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons
  3. Wikimedia Commons is a media database established by the Wikimedia Foundation primarily for free images, videos, as well as music and audio files. The media files are created by volunteers or uploaded from various organizations that have released their media files under a free license. The media files are used on Wikipedia and in thousands of other digital services.

See also