Wikimedia Foundation All Hands: 2020 Sketchbook

Mar 2 · 4 min read

The Wikimedia Foundation All Hands took place in January in San Francisco, California. I often learn through making something, so I did a lot of drawings on my iPad to help me process talks, keynotes and workshops.

“We have to be a globally distributed workforce by the nature of our mission.” Amanda Keton, Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel, Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

I got to hear lots of people speak who I have never talked to before, including Amanda Keton, our amazing General Counsel.

Sketch note of Katherine Maher’s All Hands 2020 talk on the future of the Wikimedia Foundation. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

Katherine Maher our Executive Director, gave a talk on the future of knowledge. Her talk focused on how Wikipedia can be the essential infrastructure of the Web.

Sketch note of Essie Zar explaining the Wikimedia / Wikipedia branding strategy. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

I attended a workshop on the Wikimedia branding and how our staff are approaching this challenging task. You can learn more about our efforts at Branding Wikipedia.

Our security and legal teams explained a framework for assessing and mitigating risk. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

I decided to go to another workshop that had nothing to do with my day to day work, as a self-imposed challenge to learn something new. The one I chose was answering the question “how do we assess risk as an organization?” and was led by our security and legal folks. I learned that there’s actually a process for doing this kind of assessment and that this could probably be applied to product work.

I spent quite a bit of time with Janeen Uzzell. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

Because I was given the honor of hosting our guest speaker, Jess Wade, I had the opportunity to talk more than usual to Janeen Uzzell. Janeen is our new Chief Operating Officer. I think the world of her. Every time that she speaks, she has such passion and enthusiasm for the work that we do that it’s truly contagious. I want to be a better Wikipedia advocate and an ally for underrepresented communities on and off wiki. She has been saying things like we need to “do the work” or “a goal without a plan is just a dream.” While these sound like aspirational quotes that you might see on a calendar to motivate you, it works for me.

Data Drawing by Jess Klein: Guilt intensity over coffee. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

I ran a workshop on data drawing with my colleague Daisy Chen. I was a little nervous because I had never run anything on this topic, but it went well and I met a lot of colleagues. We made zines about the data of our day. I will write about that work separately some day because it would be worth it to document and self-retro. I made this drawing as an example of the data of every day things — my mom guilt.

Sketch note of Dr. Jess Wade’s keynote. Image by Jess Klein, CC0: File

Dr. Jess Wade was our surprise key note speaker. I can not emphasize how wonderful it was to hear from an active and outspoken community member. Full confession: Due to Janeen’s matchmaking me as her host, Jess and I have extended our friendship post All Hands. I admire her for being a prolific contributor to Wikipedia. Even more than that, I admire that she is clear and critical about the problems facing Editors. As a designer on the Editing team in Product, having this first hand account of struggles, pain points and joys of editing as a woman on Wikipedia is beyond valuable — it’s crucial, inspiring and has kicked me into action.

Thanks to Ed Sanders for proofreading and low-key encouragement.


Written by

Tinkering as much as possible. Currently @wikimedia. I'm the co-founder of the NYC Open Source Design meet up. @mozilla alum. @processingorg fellow

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