Submissions:2023/What is the future of free knowledge? Collaboratively charting the course of our movement

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This submission has been accepted for WikiConference North America 2023.


What is the future of free knowledge? Collaboratively charting the course of our movement


Recent Changes, Technology, Wild Ideas

Type of session:



The mission of the Wikimedia movement has always been to bring free knowledge to everyone in the world. However, we know that recent technological developments – for example, advances in artificial intelligence, and new social apps and devices that allow people to interact with the digital world in new ways – are moving quickly and may have a big impact on how knowledge is created and accessed. In Movement Strategy Recommendation #9: “Innovate in Free Knowledge”, our movement calls for “change, flexibility, and experimentation to stay relevant” as technology evolves. But how do we know and agree on which strategies to pursue? For example: Should the Wikimedia Foundation invest in building our own AI chatbot to bring more people to Wikimedia sites and apps? Or, should we strive to make it easier for our existing content to be reused in any online experience where people like to spend time, including third-party AI assistants and social apps? Something else?

Pursuing any of these directions will require a great deal of thought, investment, and buy-in from the movement. To explore the opportunities and risks of these and other strategies for innovating in free knowledge, the "Future Audiences" initiative at the Wikimedia Foundation has been focused on a) developing a sharper map of what the future could look like, and b) identifying and running experiments to better understand how our movement could continue to bring value to and be sustained within different possible futures.

In this workshop, we invite anyone who shares our passion for new technologies and future audiences to:

  • Learn what we've learned in 5 months of experimentation and research – including lessons from our first experiment, building a Wikipedia plugin for ChatGPT
  • Provide input on where and how we can continue our efforts to understand how we might expand beyond our existing audiences of readers, reusers, and contributors, in an effort to truly reach everyone in the world as the "essential infrastructure of the ecosystem of free knowledge"

Presentation slides

Author name:

Maryana Pinchuk

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:

MPinchuk (WMF)

Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia Foundation

Estimated time:

60-75 min

Special requests:

This session will include some interactive brainstorming, so would be helpful to have a room with either a whiteboard or an empty wall for collating sticky notes

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)