Why Relationships Matter in Community Building: Experiences from the Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Project

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 from 1:30 – 2:15pm in B304


What makes a successful project? It's not only a solid idea, firm execution and attention to the numbers. It's also successfully building working relationships between community members. This presentation will explore how one of Wikimedia Philippines' biggest projects was successful in large part to how the organization engaged its participants, and ultimately how they have come to be part of the wider Filipino Wikimedia community.


Wikimedia Philippines launched the Philippine Cultural Heritage Mapping Project in March 2014, and in the last year the project has made significant strides in preserving the Philippines’ built cultural heritage. But while we can make all the technology in the world to help facilitate this preservation and read up all the content there is out there on our cultural heritage, there’s still one missing element.

People. Without people, this project wouldn’t even get off the ground.

In this presentation, we look at how relationships matter in community building, and how ultimately the relationships an organization or community builds with its project participants will come to define the project’s success. Looking at how this project sought to build those relationships, I look forward to gathering people’s input on how we’ve managed relationships with community members on the projects we’ve implemented, and how the lessons learned from this project in terms of building those relationships might help improve the prospects for a project’s success.


community engagement, community building, cultural heritage, Wikipedia

Speaking experience

I have delivered presentations at Open Source Bridge twice now: "Sharing Beyond 'Sharing': Fostering an Open Sharing Culture in the Philippines" (http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/939) in 2013 and "The Promise of Collaborative Magic" (http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/1224) in 2014. :)

I have also previously presented at Wikimania 2011 and 2013, and I was likewise part of a panel discussion during Wikimania 2010. I was also a competitive debater in my spare time, having participated in various debating competitions, public speaking contests and the like throughout high school and college.