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Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Recommendations/Sprint/Partnerships/5

Knowledge equityEdit

As a social movement, we will focus our efforts on the knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. We will welcome people from every background to build strong and diverse communities. We will break down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

Recommendation 5: Focus on knowledge equity when determining priorities for PartnershipsEdit

Q 1 What is your Recommendation?Edit

The Wikimedia Movement should prioritise partnerships that support knowledge equity, with the goal of being inclusive of knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege.

We recommend that partnership work of the Wikimedia movement has clear priorities defined for the next ten years. We recommend that partnerships are seen as an important means for attaining the strategic direction of knowledge equity and being inclusive of knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege.

Q 2-1 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?Edit

That knowledge and communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege will continue to be so, including sectors that are key from the perspective of knowledge and information production - such as academia, social media, publishing in general. Without intervention these communities and their knowledge will continue to be left out of Wikimedia. Wikimedia can be a positive influence on knowledge equity in the wider society.

Q 2-2 What is your thinking and logic behind this recommendation?Edit

We should think more about how to make the partnerships for the free knowledge ecosystem more open, collaborative, commons-peer based and follow our vision. As a major part of the ecosystem, the Wikimedia movement should take on the responsibility of securing and supporting key elements of this ecosystem.

Currently, the role of large actors in this ecosystem are not defined. There needs to be more research and understanding of the requirements and strategic vision for a healthy, multi-layered ecosystem.

We also need to ensure, based on our vision of knowledge equity, that through partnerships we make access to all knowledge more equitable and addressing other barriers like affordability. We need to ensure equal access to knowledge for all human beings, eliminating gender disparities, North/South disparities and promoting appreciation of cultural diversity in all our projects.

Partnerships with other entities and organizations will be the major factor that will allow the Wikimedia Movement to meet its strategic goal of providing knowledge equity. As a major actor in the Free Knowledge Movement, the Wikimedia movement should take on the responsibility of securing the support of other actors towards attaining this goal. Wikimedia should also engage other entities and organisations, beyond the Free Knowledge Movement, in fulfilling this vision.

Furthermore, partnerships should be planned and established based on a holistic vision of a sustainable Free Knowledge Movement. Priority partnerships should serve key functions and help solve key challenges of this broader movement.

All this will not be possible without a more strategic approach to partnerships, in which priorities are more clearly defined, and goals for partnerships are established based on these priorities. This also requires better coordination with different partners, in order to negotiate together these priorities. We propose in the initial section a set of principles for establishing which partnerships should have priority.

We also need to ensure, based on our vision of knowledge equity, that through partnerships we make access to all knowledge more equitable and addressing other barriers like affordability. We need to ensure equal access to knowledge for all human beings, eliminating gender disparities, North/South disparities and promoting appreciation of cultural diversity in all our projects.

Definition of strategic areas for partnerships should also be based on a mapping and evaluation of different partners (both current and potential). For each layer of the stack and the strategic challenge related to it, we need to identify partnerships that will be best at securing the goal.

The partnership framework should define a full stack of partnerships, which secure all strategic goals of building the free knowledge ecosystem. It is also based on an assumption that a sustainable ecosystem will not exist if all these different layers are not addressed.

We propose that the stack metaphor is used to understand the different, interrelated and necessary elements of this ecosystem. The stack metaphor has been successfully used to define the open internet, which is a key enabler for the free knowledge ecosystem. We provisionally define following layers / levels of this stack.

  1. Advocacy partnerships that support basic values and principles of the free knowledge ecosystem and ensure the well-being of this ecosystem in the broader geopolitical reality.
  2. Partnerships that support use of free knowledge, possibly with a focus on teaching and learning with Wikimedia content - so that the free knowledge ecosystem remains healthy and alive.
  3. Content partnerships that fuel the ecosystem itself; data partnerships are an important sub-category of this layer.
  4. Access partnerships ensure that equity is ensured at the most basic level.
  5. Technology partnerships are also important and need to be implemented.

Q 3-1 What will change because of the Recommendation?Edit

Wikimedia will move towards knowledge equality, fully representing human diversity, becoming a platform that includes communities and their knowledge that have been left out by structures of power and privilege. It will contribute to Wikimedia breaking down the social, political, and technical barriers preventing people from accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

Q 3-2 Who specifically will be influenced by this recommendation?Edit

This recommendation will affect all movement entities engaged in partnership work in the free knowledge ecosystem.

Q 4-1 Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?Edit

Prioritising knowledge: Community members not from groups or areas of knowledge which benefit from this recommendation may perceive it as being discriminated against them and may resist the change.

Expanding the community: By being more inclusive and growing the community to include more voices there may be an issue of loss of monopoly of our community’s existing demographic (western white males) which could be perceived as being discriminated against or being ‘taken over’.

Q 4-2 What could be done to mitigate this risk?Edit

Research and advice is needed on managing a change in power structures and dynamics within a community to understand likely problems and possible solutions. This could include explaining to contributors why this approach is important.

Educating community members about the important of knowledge equity will be an important component.

Q 6-1 Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations? If yes, how?Edit

Yes. Recommendation 15: Encourage partnerships focusing on knowledge gaps.

Q 7 How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?Edit

Diversity working group