Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2017/Sources/Wikimedia Israel Salon Strategy Dinner - July 17, 2017
On July 17th, 2017, Wikimedia Israel (WMIL) gathered a group of communication and education and experts, in order to hear what they believe are the challenges Wikimedia would be facing over the next 15 years, and how can we, as a movement, address these challenges. A 2.5 hour conversation unfolded, driven by 2 topic questions for the evening: How can we remain relevant in the next 15 years? and What new needs will Wikimedia be able to fill in the next 15 years?
The dinner was held at the "Lilliot" restaurant in Tel Aviv between 19:00 and 21:30, and included 12 participants (not including the organizers).
A list of attendees and high-level notes/key insights listed below.
- Oren Hellman - Senior Vice President - marketing & regulation at IEC - Israel Electric Corporation
- Dr. Esther Zechanisky - CEO of the Horowitz Foundation
- Yiftach Aloni - Israeli writer, poet and architect; Founder and editor of "The Short Story Project"
- Dr. Eli Eisenberg - Deputy Director General and Head of Research, Development and Training in ORT Israel.
- Dalia Ping - Vice chair of the Education Ministry’s pedagogic secretariat
- Avner Stepak - Philanthropist and CEO of Meitav DS
- Nurit Gazit - Deputy Director of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot
- Liran Dan - VP Strategy and Business Development at Partner Communications Company Ltd
- Yael Apter - Consultant, Public Relations
- Pro. Karin Nehon - President of the Israel Internet Association and Board member at Wikimedia Israel
- Inbal Orpaz - A high-tech and Internet reporter, The Marker
- Yoel Rothschild - Head of R&D Center and International Cooperations at ORT Israel
- Itzik Edri - Chairperson of Wikimedia Israel
- Dana Dekel - Board member at Wikimedia Israel
- Michal Lester - ED of Wikimedia Israel
- Ran Li-On - Community coordinator at Wikimedia Israel
Key Insights: 
How can we remain relevant in the next 15 years?
- The challenge of Wikipedia today is to break through the world of authorization. A new player has to be introduced into the world of training, to circumvent the limitations of the universities - so that anyone can get a degree. Wikipedia has become a temple of information. We need to create a Wikidegree - Curriculum and certificate based on Wikipediaץ It will Wikipedia even more relevance to thousands of people, and may also affect the Academy.
- Wikipedia today is a brand. It was suggested to develop Wiktextbook initiative - textbooks that will be written by teachers through cooperation with the Ministry of Education.
- Videopedia - Videopedia will be appealing to young audience. Video is a great way to pass a lot of information to a lot of people in a very simple way.
- Wikipedia's main asset is the reliability of information. It's something you have to keep. In a world in which the economic model of print journalism is collapsing, and with the growing trend of fake News. Wikipedia would be the basis for reliable information, given the current state of the web. This trend works in your favor, and as time passes, Wikipedia's relative credibility will only increase, assuming you maintain your focus.
- The world is shifting to audio and video. Wikipedia also has to go there. You have to think about how you can go through that change without flattening the content. In the next three years, video traffic over cellular networks is expected to increase 11-fold. Based on this figure, companies worldwide are operating. The younger the surfers, the more pronounced the trend.
- In the context of the previous point, a discussion was created as to whether, with the rise of video and audio, the text would disappear. some thought that the text is here to stay, and that one thing would not come at the expense of the other.
- Assuming that Wikimedia is heading towards the video, the videos must be shorts.
- As far as older people are concerned, there is a need for greater accessibility in terms of the font, the amount of text, and the type of picture that you put. There are things today that are not accessible to this population. In addition to young people, one has to look at this population as well.
- There is a great demand for training in Hebrew Wikipedia - you have to think about how to do it.
- Critical thinking is on of the most important skills that a student need especially in a state of uncertainty. This expertise is very much related to Wikipedia.
- Wikiwand - makes Wikipedia articles to look better and in more pleasant way.
- You need to invest in tools that will enable people to be smarter in communicating with Wikipedia. - so Wikipedia can meet different needs (for example, answering specific questions).
- About the accessibility of Wikipedia. There is a sense that less people are entering today to Wikipedia - Google is already answering the questions. Wikipedia's content appears today in other ways - Facebook pages, Google and other sites. We need to explore other ways to make the content accessible.
- As for content production: how can artificial intelligence can be used?. For example, automatic tools that summarize the content.
- You also need to integrate tools for checking facts within Wikipedia. Maybe incorporate it already in the content creation stage. It is worth thinking about even more collaborations - also in the field of fact-finding.
- It is important find new ways to include populations that have not been heard to this day, from different backgrounds. Articles in Wikipedia often reflect those who wrote them. It is important for different voices to express their opinion on Wikipedia, especially in controversial articles.
- Wikipedia does not allow primary sources - how can these sources still be expressed? Once you add more sources, it also contributes to to content.
- To ingratiate in Wikipedia Fact-checking tools.
- As far as authentic / local content is concerned - there is no need to change Wikipedia's rules - you can create another separate space that will allow the creation of local / authentic content. This will allow people to know that their story is being told.
- One participant opposed the emphasis on accessibility - credibility is the main thing, and it is very dangerous to expand. Keep in mind that there have always been and will always be better content players, and you need to focus on credibility.
- Another opinion about accessibility and diversity - a personal story is not a source for Wikipedia, Wikipedia will lose its credibility. There are other platforms to write your personal stories.
- You need to think about Wikipedia's accessibility in other ways - people who do not necessarily know to use the computer well. The question is whether Wikipedia can reach such populations. Will it be able to allow those populations to voice?
- The authentic content also includes good things, the challenge is how to make it credible.
What new needs will Wikimedia be able to fill in the next 15 years?
- Today Wikipedia records the past. Perhaps Wikipedia can also have articles about trends and future.
- It is worth thinking about focusing on health and medicine - in light of the public demand, and the fact that the accuracy here is very important. Create a reliable database - coordinate the entire contents.
- A synergy must be created between automation and artificial intelligence.
- More needs to be done in favor of accessibility and information analysis - there are tools that technology companies create, which enable to connect to knowledge databases and then to make use of them.
- Integrate Wikipedia into other platforms (app. waze and more).
- Produce timeline - What happens at a certain time in different places in the world.
- Collaborate with museums and national libraries for accessibility and content presentation.
- You have to think about how to become from a Wikipedia that the surfers come to, to Wikipedia that comes to the surfers. How do we reach consumers for knowledge transfer, and not vice versa?
- To refine the information - understand what the consumers are looking for, and give them a simple and straightforward answer.
- You need to think about the user's access to Wikipedia in various situations, such as on the street or in the office - the interface should be different.