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Advocacy in Georgia Follows Estonian Inspiration

A new advocacy in effort in Georgia argues that Wikipedia could be mainstreamed into higher education, to engage and inspire students, and "bring more Wikipedia into Georgia, and more Georgia into Wikipedia".

Such an effort can be driven forward by engaged institutions and citizens, and does not have to wait for government support to make a difference. The suggestion draws on inspiration from Wikipedians in Estonia and the presentation they held at the CEE Wikimedia Meeting in Tbilisi in September 2024.

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Wikipedia arguably deserves a place in a country’s knowledge strategy: “more Wikipedia in Georgia, more Georgia is Wikipedia” is how a new advocacy effort in Georgia puts it. A key step for that is to mainstream the effort into higher education. In this Georgia could follow some great models. One such model was presented by Ivo Kruusamägi and Pille Priks at the CEE Wikimedia 2023 Meeting in Tbilisi, who have shown how Estonian universities mobilize students to contribute to Wikipedia.

Students who take a basic communication or knowledge translation module write an entry – to make more relevant knowledge available in Estonian. Especially for languages in which there is less scientific publishing, such practical contributions are also a way of getting people to write in their language at a high level. Some guidance and mentoring is needed for students, to ensure such a mainstreaming is a success. At the same time, Estonian numbers speak for themselves, with many hundreds of articles having been created through this effort.

For other countries, and especially Georgia? Arguably the time to start this effort is now – one does not need to wait for government or entire institutions to follow. Every contribution is a success in itself. That this new effort in Georgia came together like this illustrates why CEE Meetings are so useful – one can genuinely inspire each other, share ideas, and hopefully move things forward.

The new oped for the Georgian context is here. https://civil.ge/archives/564978