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Submissions/From Foundation to Federation: The Last Piece of the Puzzle

This has been marked as a Withdrawn submission for Wikimania 2015 because it has been withdrawn by its submitter. The submitter is invited to consider trying again next year.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
From Foundation to Federation: The Last Piece of the Puzzle
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Erik Moeller
E-mail address
User:Eloquence AKA User:Erik Moeller (WMF)
Country of origin
Germany ✈ USA
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Foundation
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
The last piece?
The last piece?

The Wikimedia movement, in the last decade and a half, has built amazing things, notably:

  • Wikipedia, the most comprehensive reference work in human history, freely available to all
  • MediaWiki, a powerful open source collaboration platform
  • Wikimedia Commons, a vast repository of freely licensed media
  • Wikidata, a unique free knowledge base that enables transformative knowledge applications
  • a network of 40+ international Wikimedia chapters and partner organizations
  • high-impact partnerships with governments, universities, cultural and scientific institutions
  • a highly successful fundraising effort to build global support for the movement

The single largest challenge for the next 15 years will be to expand the Wikimedia movement beyond the volunteers and organizations which are strongly affiliated with it. In a world where governments and commercial players seek to exercise control over people by controlling information and technology, Wikimedia can offer an alternative. Wherever human beings collaborate and share knowledge, where databases are being built, scientific results are being aggregated, educational works are being published, we should enable people and organizations to connect with us. This can help set the stage not only for truly collecting the sum of all knowledge, but for creating a more open and cooperative society.

The key word is federation -- it describes the technical, social, financial and legal interfaces which make it possible for others to connect with us frictionlessly. In this presentation, I will present a first draft "federation roadmap" -- not any one organization's roadmap or strategy, but a proposed prioritization in the context of key questions we must address, including:

  • Technical connections: How hard is it for people who are not part of Wikimedia to build tools and services which create, contribute, import/export or curate content? To share user identities? To search and discover information? To merge, branch, export content? What constraints do they encounter: outdated or limited APIs, interchange format issues, narrow technical assumptions? How useful are projects providing shared resources (Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons) to others?
  • Social connections: How difficult is it for people who are not part of Wikimedia to work with us, to find/contact the right person for a given project, to establish plans and agreements, to be recognized as a partner or ally, to seek and obtain our advice?
  • Legal connections: How difficult is it for people who are not part of Wikimedia to publish content under compatible terms, or to re-use content? Are our licensing assumptions still the correct ones? Are our agreements straightforward to understand and apply?
  • Financial connections: How difficult is it for people who are not part of Wikimedia to gain financial support for work of shared interest, to receive and transfer funds? How can we make efforts to connect with well-funded projects and initiatives that share our goals more scalable?

These are not easy questions, but I posit that the framework of federation can help us develop a more expansive and holistic approach for advancing the collective knowledge of our species.

WikiCulture & Community
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
to come
Special requests
world peace would be nice

Interested attendees

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  1. Asaf (WMF) (talk) 02:46, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 06:57, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Orderinchaos (talk) 07:45, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Harej (talk) 09:16, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 12:07, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. SSastry (WMF) (talk) 17:17, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Bücherwürmlein (talk) 17:27, 28 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Julia W (talk) 00:44, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 21:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --iopensa (talk) 13:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Adamw (talk) 18:14, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  12. CT Cooper · talk 21:07, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Ocaasi (talk) 17:58, 3 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Guillom (talk) 20:55, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Varnent (talk) 21:59, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 12:07, 18 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:25, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]