Wikimedia Eesti/Strategy/Development principles

Aurora borealis

Wikimedia Eesti

Development Principles 2014/2015

Wikimedia Eesti logo

Published in 2013


Wikimedia Eesti is a non-government organisation with the MISSION of

Promoting the collection, preservation, and dissemination of educational, scientific, cultural, and historical information under a free-use licence in Estonian and Võro, and the dissemination of usable information related to Estonia in other languages.


Original in Estonian

This activity is based on our VALUES:

  • Freedom

Knowledge should be free.

We stand for the open and equal access to the shared knowledge of the community, the society, and the humanity by all people. We make sure that as much knowledge as possible is available in Estonian and Võro. We support the free dissemination of information related to Estonia in other languages.

We are an organisation of volunteers.

We bring together and support people who use or wish to use their personal freedom for the cause of general freedom of information from their free will.

  • Information

We collect and consolidate accurate and unbiased information.

Free knowledge does mean openness and diversity of opinions, but at the same time, the reasonably equal treatment of all parties must be ensured. In addition to the breadth of free knowledge, we also help ensure its depth.

Informing the community and the society of the possibility of free knowledge.

After recognising the possibility of free knowledge comes the recognition of its reality. Free knowledge already exists. We are their voice in the desert.

The implementation of information technology in the accumulation and dissemination of free knowledge ensures that it is more informative.

Educational technology and the transfer of the basic and support materials of knowledge into a new information environment permits the more efficient use of and more extensive spread of existing knowledge.

  • Cooperation

We share with everyone.

Sharing sources, activities and results with everyone means more efficient work and more comprehensive results. In the sphere of free knowledge, sharing has the power to proliferate.

Valuing participants creates surplus value.

Mutual respect gives birth to remarkable results. Friendly exchange of information and feedback ensure that all contributors feel that they are valued. Valuable and valued people ensure the emergence of valuable results.

  • Independence

We defend our independence.

To ensure that the roots and results of our activity are unconstrained, we must ensure the freedom and independence of our organisation. This notwithstanding the pressure of the partial interests of different factions and groups.

“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge.”

Jimmy Donal Wales

American Internet entrepreneur, co-founder and promoter of Wikipedia


In a democratic state, the highest authority belongs to the people. To fulfil this civic duty, the people must be self and information aware. As the bearer of the highest authority, the people as a collective and the citizen as an individual have nobody to blame for the insufficiency of the knowledge they possess. As the free citizens of a free society, it is everyone’s human right and civic duty to contribute to the free dissemination of free information.

Wikimedia Eesti cannot and does not wish to free the citizens from this right and duty through the independent, perhaps even isolated development and improvement of the body of free information. Vice versa. Our goal is cooperation and participation. Our goal is to inform all citizens of the existence of this right and this duty, to return them their inherent social weight. This is the only way for free knowledge to rise widely even in our small, boreally frigid and dark mentality.

We seek that

Every citizen of the Republic of Estonia was aware of the vision and values of the free encyclopaedia, and that a legal system supportive of free knowledge was created.

This is awareness.

Free knowledge would be a natural part of our everyday (university) education to allow the future generation to grow up surrounded by knowledge that we are only planting.

This is education.

The accumulation and collection of free shared knowledge, bearing this social responsibility, would be supported and driven by active free will.

This is voluntaryism.

When creating something new, we will not forget to integrate this with the old, perhaps also the unfamiliar, to ensure than the fabric of shared knowledge is dense and strong.

This is integration.

What we are striving for is free will to do.

"Work necessary for the entire society can sometimes be done without having to rely on the state; you just have to keep an open mind."

Raul Veede

Member of the Board of Wikimedia Eesti, active Wikipedian and Wikipedia activist

Development principlesEdit

open space encyclopaedia awareness citizens values legal system transparency
schools education libraries pupils education system universities curricula students
driving force shared knowledge accumulation collection preservation foundation voluntaryism
timeless heritage own foreigners other creation integration Estonians old modern

"If traditionally, encyclopaedias have been compiled by a chosen group of scholars, then anyone can become a Wikipedia writer or editor."

Urmo Kübar

civil society promoter, European citizen


Awareness is the foundation and rational precondition of any participatory process. The Estonian society is currently not yet sufficiently aware of the principles of free knowledge and the main values of their collection and accumulation. This awareness must be attained, before all else, for the breadth and depth of free knowledge, but primarily, for ensuring the sustainability of the free society.

The goal of Wikimedia Eesti is that every grown-up citizen of the Republic of Estonia is aware of the existence and core values of free knowledge, and that at least every second person has contributed at least once to this pool of shared knowledge.


  • In cooperation with other organisations supporting free knowledge and a free society, promote and shape the social debate over free knowledge and rights.

  • Promote the vision and core values of Wikipedia as an encyclopaedia of free knowledge.

  • Initiate a large project of extensive social resonance, meaningful to all people speaking Estonian and connected to Estonian culture.

  • Expand our activity related to different cooperation projects. Create a common public and legal framework for individual projects.


Education is the foundation of the development, sustainability, and sustenance of any society. Free education and its availability is the main founding stone of a free society. The proliferation and extension of free knowledge requires appropriate education of the citizens. In the course of their studies, each school or university student should have experience of the mechanisms of development and improvement of free knowledge; this in a participatory manner.

The goal of Wikimedia Eesti is to make activities related to Wikipedia an integral part of Estonian general and higher education, as well as a part of the relevant national curricula.


  • Develop cooperation with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, as well as Estonian educational institutions of different levels.

  • Conduct Wikipedia trainings for lecturers and teachers. Attempt to create a situation where, having sufficient prior information, people involved in education would make rational decisions related to free knowledge and its application in education, rather than just ones based on incidental emotions.

  • Continue the introduction of activities and assignments related to Wikipedia in university courses.

  • Initiate an extensive Wikipedia project at the level of general education.


Free will is the founding principle of the development and sustenance of a free society. It can also be the only ground for free knowledge, their improvement and dissemination, i.e. the development of shared free knowledge of the humanity and society. In the long term, voluntary contribution in ensured by the increase in general awareness and the integration of Wikipedia in educational programmes. In the short term, however, we must contribute additional resources to the direct involvement of volunteers.

The goal of Wikimedia Eesti is that volunteers from different fields were involved in the main activities of the organisation; volunteers whose diverse contributions would enrich each and every project.


  • Develop an internal volunteer involvement policy, and criteria for the evaluation of their activity and contribution.

  • Actively search for volunteers.

  • Involve other associations, organisations and institutions in our activities.

  • Following the example of Wikimedia associations from other countries, hold a large participatory competition.


Free knowledge acquires additional value from its internal integration and external integration potential. For this purpose, it is necessary to involve as many cultures as possible in the expansion and development of free knowledge in Estonian. At the same time, the integration of the historical dimension with modern information technology is also paramount. Most significant cultural heritage must be Wikipedised.

In addition to cultural matters, it is also important to think of language issues in the narrow sense. The relatively numerous Estonian-speaking Wikipedia community should stand for the availability of free knowledge to our nearer and further language relatives. This will contribute to the preservation of these languages as well as these cultures, something to keep in mind in connection with our own sustained self-determination.

The goal of Wikimedia Eesti is to ensure that local minority cultures as well as Estonian expatriates also contribute to the Estonian Wikipedia and that our community would help to create or maintain smaller collections of free knowledge in other related languages.


  • Initiate a major project for the Wikipedisation of Estonian heritage involving cooperation with various museums and memory institutions.

  • Inform the representatives and associations of local minority communities of the possibility of contributing to the development of Estonian-language shared knowledge. Create contacts with Estonian expatriates.

  • Contribute to the development of Võro Wikipedia. Initiate cooperation with Wikipedias in related languages.

"In general, the reliability of Wikipedia is pretty good. Thus, we must regretfully admit that the direct free access of Estonians to reliable factual information is a fifteenth of what the Germans have.

This directly leads to the following question. Does the scarcity or lack of encyclopaedic knowledge somehow (and how) affect the aspirations of the Estonians as a cultured folk towards the information society?

It does, no doubt about it."

Kaarel Tarand

journalist, former editor-in-chief of the cultural weekly Sirp


The current size and quality of the Estonian Wikipedia does not live up to its inherent social meaning and importance. The Estonian Wikipedia must grow and improve. The prerequisite of this process to take place is an increase in the awareness and participation of people. The latter, however, requires mobilizing additional resources for the activity of Wikimedia Eesti.


Additional financial resources must be found to implement the development plan of Wikimedia Eesti.

We must:

  • Move from grant-based funding to annual funding in the funding system of the international parent organisation.

  • Find more ways for involving European and Estonian funds as well as contributions from funds and foundations in the activity of Wikimedia Eesti.

  • Involve additional private sector funds through the initiation of various cooperation projects.

  • Increase the amount of donations from private individuals.


Additional time resources must be found to implement the development plan of Wikimedia Eesti, incl. finding better ways for the coordination of the timing of different activities.

We must:

  • Professionalise, i.e. hire employees who can ensure the smooth progress of the association’s activities and proper initiation of future activities.

  • Involve more volunteers whose enthusiastic contributions give additional impulse to the association’s activity both in the short and longer term.


Additional contact resources must be found and the existing social capital better utilised for the implementation of the development plan of Wikimedia Eesti.

We must:

  • Increase our contacts with national institutions, other organisations as well as companies to ensure better spread of information and to find outside support to our activity in the form of cooperation partners.

Wikimedia Eesti must find the necessary resources for the persistent development of the ever increasing collection of Estonian-language free knowledge, i.e. the Estonian Wikipedia, and the preparation of the society for this development.

"Wikipedia is not just an Internet encyclopaedia. It is not just a web site. Wikipedia is something much more than that."

Teele Vaalma

Member of the Board of Wikimedia Eesti, active Wikipedian and Wikipedia activist