Submissions/Wikimedia: Striving for an International Organisational Scope, The Importance of Culture

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission

Wikimedia: Striving for an International Organisational Scope, The Importance of Culture

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)


Author of the submission

Delphine Ménard

E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)


Country of origin

This is a badly phrased question ;). Geographical origin? Cultural origin? ;) I live in Germany, I am French.

Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)

Member of the Wikimedia Chapters Committee, Board Member of Wikimedia Deutschland

Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (please use no less than 300 words to describe your proposal)

In the last two years, Wikimedia has seen the number of Wikimedia chapters grow very quickly and it still is growing. Unfortunately, this growth seems to happen only in some parts of the world. The given model to date is to favor grassroot organisations, with a non-profit profile, led by volunteers. However, if Wikimedia wants to extend its organisational scope in a distributed Geographical manner, one might want to look at the different models that different cultures offer.

This presentation will attempt to tackle some important questions about the importance of culture in the growth of Wikimedia as an educational and culture bound organisation. Among those:

  • Is the meaning of free knowledge the same in all cultures?
  • Is a membership organisation the best model in every culture?
  • Does favoring a grassroot movement work everywhere?
  • Is non-profit the only solution for Wikimedia organisations?
  • How can non-Western cultures relate to a Western-led educationally and culturally bound organisational leadership?
  • Is a volunteer-led-organisation the only model that can serve free knowledge in the Wikimedia sense?

This presentation will try to feed from Wikimedia's experience with new groups aspiring to create chapters, its experience with chapters not able (for various reasons, ranging from philosophical to practical reasons) to create an organisation on the existing model of Wikimedia Chapters, as well as personal experience being a member of various chapters and having accompanied a few chapters in their creation process. It will also analyze different models presented by other non-profit organisations in the same area of action and how they have solved their organisational issues on an international and intercultural level.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)

People and Community

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Slides or further information (optional)

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  1. Jodi.a.schneider 19:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. CaptainSwing 23:43, 16 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
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