As many of you know, over the past decade, the core team has held annual retreats in order to review our activities, revise strategies and plan for the future.
We’ve often done these retreats in conjunction with Summits or other conferences, taking advantage of the fact that we’re together in the same place. Because of COVID-19, we haven’t been able to meet in person as a team for some time, so we were long overdue for a meeting.
In the last week of April, therefore, we devoted a few hours of each day to a virtual retreat, stepping away from our usual obligations in order to concentrate on big organizational questions.
We’re happy to say that Global Voices is in very good shape these days. Many of the changes we instituted following the 2018 Community Council have begun to pay off: our traffic is strong, our editorial processes are more refined, and we’ve been able to offer, per Community Council desires, a host of new opportunities to participate in research, in-depth writing and reporting, and some training and education.
We also have several new sources of new funding that have helped to increase our resilience as an organization, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Those funds include individual and corporate gifts, mission-related services, and new grants, from funders such as MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for Democracy, UNESCO, and Facebook (as a gift)).
During the retreat we discussed planning and goals for the rest of the year, both by section and overall, and also began to put in place elements of our next medium-term strategy. Upcoming activities and plans for the year include:
- Advancing and expanding our new editorial projects, such as GV Insights , our periodic online seminars, and opportunities for in-depth reporting, such as our work  on digital rights in Africa and our coverage  of Chinese soft power
- Launching a new year-long initiative on networked and digital authoritarianism, with funds from the Deutsche Welle Akademie, under Advox  (more to come soon!)
- Recruiting for new Advox leadership, later in May
- Supporting a growing Rising Voices  portfolio of projects that focus on building networks of activists working on rights issues with minority and Indigenous language activists
- Planning an expansion of our Civic Media Observatory , including more visibility for the project as it matures, and designing new research projects and countries for later this year
- Ongoing design changes for the site, to make it faster, more readable and easier to navigate
- Streamlining the Community Council  process to make it more responsive and fit for purpose
- Exploring alternative types of membership in GV (the audience survey  we launched yesterday as a web site pop-up and in our newsletter is part of that process)
Please feel free to ask questions about any of the above, or reach out to anyone on the core team to learn more about organizational questions or issues.
Thanks again for all of your care, attention, work and commitment!