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Submissions/Why Wikimedia Fails: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Why Wikimedia Fails: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
This is currently proposed as a 20 minute talk. This was discussed with Lila Tretikov (ED WMF) and she will invite Daron Acemoglu to give this talk himself. Currently awaiting acceptance of the submission (March 28)
Author of the submission
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
board member Wikimedia Belgium, member of the Grant Advisory Committee
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)
This presentation will analyse the state of the Wikimedia organisation using the methodology found in Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty, a non-fiction book by a Turkish-American economist Daron Acemoglu. It can also be applied to grass root organisations like Wikimedia.
The authors argue that developed countries are developed because they have "inclusive institutions": economic and political institutions that include the large majority of the population. These institutions are democratic, they allow mass publics to vote and protect free speech. The result is that such institutions respond to the interests of all persons. Poor countries are poor and underdeveloped because they have "extractive institutions": economic and political institutions that restrict economic gains to an elite class and ensure that power is collected by the elite, impoverishing the poor. These institutions are anti-democratic.
The talk will focus on the impact on Wikipedia, and will be based on my experience from the English, Dutch and South African language Wikipedias, and my activities in the GAC. It will give an answer to questions like:
  • Why did Wikipedia grow so quickly in the first 10 years, and why is this growth slowing down so dramatically?
  • The number of editors is declining. What is an easy way for moderators and long term Wikipedians to experience "the reason" of this problem?
  • Should we prefer long lasting moderators/board members/trustees, or should these roles be flexible and regularly switched?
  • How do moderators and vandalism protection teams harm the encyclopedia?
  • What is the best approach to all the chapters and associated organisations?
  • How to define the role of the Foundation? How should the WMF treat its chapters and associated organisations?
  • What are very concrete and tangible ways for the Foundation to increase participation?
  • WikiCulture & Community

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)

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  1. Ochilov (talk) 09:08, 20 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 21:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. I'd check this out if I could—this looks interesting! --Sky Harbor (talk) 00:48, 29 January 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Luis Curiel (talk) 09:37, 7 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Slowking4 (talk) 02:48, 14 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. MikeLynch (talk) 21:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. KrystleChung (talk) 20:46, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. --iopensa (talk) 13:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Adamw (talk) 18:34, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Atropine (talk) 23:17, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  11. guillom (talk) 23:45, 7 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Maor X (talk) 20:19, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Varnent (talk) 21:55, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Orderinchaos (talk) 22:48, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Looks very interesting. CT Cooper · talk 23:38, 10 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 05:39, 26 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Léna (talk) 16:26, 7 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Marcio De Assis (talk) 15:02, 21 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  19. --Discott (talk) 21:21, 23 June 2015 (UTC)[reply]