Movement Strategy/Recommendations/Innovate in Free Knowledge

Innovate in Free Knowledge


A brief video recording about this recommendation

We will continuously explore and expand the range of free knowledge projects to stay relevant and to serve our Movement’s vision to give access to the sum of human knowledge. We will encourage people to experiment with and create new projects or policies to address gaps in knowledge equity.

We will innovate in different content formats, develop new software functionalities for Wikimedia projects, better integrate various tools in the editing experience, establish partnerships with other free knowledge projects, and improve our policies to include more diverse domains of knowledge and to deliver knowledge as a service for all.

Changes and Actions

  • Consult with communities and experts to identify policies in Wikimedia projects that act as barriers of access to content related to underrepresented communities (e.g. Notability).
  • Create pathways to new projects, create new functionalities, or encourage communities to create new policies that address these barriers. The goal is to allow the inclusion and preservation of all forms of human knowledge in all socio-cultural contexts (e.g. encourage refining reliability criteria to provide guidelines to identify reliable sources from oral or non-Western knowledge resources, encourage ensuring that notability criteria are relevant in all contexts).
  • Build the necessary technology to make free knowledge content accessible in various formats. Support more diverse modes of consumption and contribution to our projects (e.g. text, audio, visual, video, geospatial, etc.).
  • Create tools and partnerships to facilitate bringing content from other data and knowledge bases to our projects.


Wikipedia’s characteristics have produced a successful encyclopedic, descriptive, and fact-based written body of knowledge, but they also have limited the content it can include. For example, because of an inability to comply with notability and sourcing policies, some topics regarding under- and unrepresented communities, like indigenous people who have not historically held positions of power and could not build the infrastructure to document it by the same methods, are left out.

Rich media content, such as audiovisual resources, is not used in Wikimedia projects as widely as on other platforms. There are also many important types of knowledge that are not encyclopedic in nature, yet valuable (e.g., journal articles, tutorials, or genealogies). Therefore, we need to find innovative ways to overcome the limitations of existing Wikimedia projects in our goals of serving more free knowledge and including forms of knowledge from communities that are currently missing.

To make our projects technologically adapted to include more diverse formats of knowledge, there is a need to facilitate the reuse of our content on platforms beyond Wikimedia. In parallel, we also need to bring resources from other trusted platforms of data and knowledge to Wikimedia projects. These appear as inevitable in the current and future technological ecosystem we live in, which require change, flexibility, and experimentation to stay relevant.