Why the theme for Wikimania 2018 will be “Bridging knowledge gaps—the ubuntu way forward” – Wikimedia Blog
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-05-10
"Once a year, the broader community of Wikimedians and free knowledge leaders gather for Wikimania—the annual conference celebrating Wikipedia and its sister projects, the Wikimedia movement, and the community of volunteers who make them possible. This year, the conference will be taking place in Cape Town, South Africa, where the organisers are giving this Wikimania a unique flavor—a theme that finds its roots in the African philosophy and way of life ubuntu. It is our hope that this change will give us the opportunity to further our goal of creating the “sum of human knowledge”, by encouraging greater diversity and inclusion in who participates, and what we discuss, at Wikimania. Ubuntu is summarised as the philosophy of “I am because you are,” or alternatively “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Volunteer community-driven projects like Wikipedia capture this ethos well, as editors must collaborate to research, improve, and maintain them. And, of course, as that process resolves, others will be able to learn more and more from their work. This philosophy can also be extended to broader knowledge sharing. The more one group of people’s knowledge is shared with the world, the more all peoples of the world understand each other. The more non-Western knowledge is recorded and incorporated into global knowledge repositories, the more that each new generation of readers from around the world are able to freely access that knowledge, in addition to the Western knowledge that’s already been compiled. We know that Wikimedia’s vision of creating a world “in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge” is far from being achieved. We are still far too limited in who contributes to our projects today, the topics that are being edited, and in the forms of knowledge being put forward. Examining these is critically important if we are to move in a shared Wikimedia strategic direction towards knowledge as a service and knowledge equity. We believe that ubuntu is a philosophical framework that can help us go further to include the vast majority of the world that doesn’t find itself represented on Wikimedia projects right now, either as contributors, or in content. It was in the spirit of furthering this goal, and discussing how best to achieve it, that the theme for Wikimania 2018 was chosen: “Bridging knowledge gaps: The ubuntu way forward”...."