Discussions/Global South

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The Discussion Room is a space for open and facilitated discussions at Wikimania. Participation of the audience in the session is critical, because there are no speakers, and there is no expert panel!

You can find a full overview of the discussion topics on the Discussion Room main page. Please note: there is limited seating available, and we're not saving any seats! Please be on time, but feel free to join during the midway break between two discussions.

Practical facts

Wikimedia projects and Wikimedia mouvement in the Global South : the way forward
Date & Time
Sunday 10.30-11.10, 26 June 2016
Rosiestep & FloNight
Primary School


The Discussion Rooms host discussions with a specific style:

  • Discussions of 40 minutes each;
  • Clearly defined topic for each discussion, related to Wikimedia;
  • Aiming to reach pre-defined goals during the discussion;
  • Discussions take place in English;
  • Discussions are moderated by a facilitator;
  • There is no audience as everybody is expected to participate in discussions, and everybody is audience;
  • Key lessons and points are documented live on etherpad, and may be processed later;
  • Each discussion will come with a single recommendation of maximum 120 characters.

Each discussion targets specifically online Wikimedia projects, it lasts 40 minutes and it starts with a short 2-3 minutes introduction.

To set the tone of our discussions, we have three rules:

  • Focus on YOU. We are interested in discussing and triggering individual action, things people can personally do and change to improve our Wikimedia projects and movement. We trust the discussion can be much more interesting if we do not focus on what others should do ("the others", Wikimedia chapters and Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Be constructive and polite. Disagreements animate discussions and they can allow us to unfold all issues related to a topic. Let's avoid personal attacks, let's consider that we have different backgrounds and let's aim at making everybody comfortable in sharing their legitimate point of view.
  • Be short and on topic. Let's create space for everyone to express his/her opinion.



Wikimedia projects are stronger in parts of the world with regular and affordable internet access, large digitally literate population, and existence of significant content in their local languages, among other things. How can we make the Wikimedia projects stronger in parts of the globe where people face complex barriers to access knowledge? How can we raise awareness of the existence of Wikimedia projects in these communities?
The Global South and most emerging economies happen to be the least covered in terms of Wikipedia and its sister projects [1]. This has obvious consequences with regards to geographies of knowledge and how the world is viewed [2] [3], but also has consequences for how developing or emerging editors and communities are viewed by the larger community.
With lower editors, these emerging communities are less developed (although no less passionate), less experienced and not as established and therefore cohesive as their northern or western counterparts. Having said that, their numbers are growing - as is their need to be heard. Several developing community editors have raised their frustration that decisions affecting the community as a whole often do not take developing communities into account - that the systemic bias extends beyond content into decision making and attitude. If developing communities worked together as a collective to make their voices, challenges and suggestions heard, this can change. This discussion will seek to share experiences with other Wikipedians and Wikimedians from the Global South to collate the issues and frustrations, see how they are related, and chart the best way to solve these issues.

  • What can be done to proactively support the Wikimedia movement in the Global South?
  • What can be done to change frustrations into action, and provide a greater voice within the movement?
  • What are some best practices and success stories that can be learnt from or replicated in other places?
  • What is the strategy being lead by the Global Reach team of WMF, to reach new readers in the Global South?
[1] http://geonet.oii.ox.ac.uk/blog/new-publication-digital-divisions-of-labor-and-informational-magnetism-mapping-participation-in-wikipedia/
[2] http://www.ox.ac.uk/news/2015-09-15-wikipedia-world-view-shaped-editors-west
[3] http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/09/19/westerners-dominate-wikipedia-editing
Find out how collectively we can work together to get emerging Wikipedians heard and therefore increase Wikipedia activities in the Global South. We can also identify the best ways to raise awareness and increase readership of Wikimedia projects in these parts of the world
Targeted participants
All are welcome but especially Wikimedians and Wikipedians from the Global South
Preparatory readings or materials

This discussion topic is based mostly on these proposals: Discussions/Submissions/Wikipedia in the Global South the way forward and [https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Discussions/Submissions#Reaching_new_readers_in_the_Global_South_-_a_proposal_by_WMF.E2.80.99s_Global_Reach_team Reaching new readers in the Global South - a proposal by WMF’s Global Reach team�]

Interested attendees

  1. --Gereon K. (talk) 06:56, 15 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]