To prioritize efforts on topics aiming at having an impact on the world, we recommend an approach based on several actions. The evaluation of our impact must include assessment of how well we support knowledge equity so we can focus our efforts on the communities that have been left out by structures of power and privilege, and address global challenges (such as those described in the Sustainable Development Goals). At the same time, we must acknowledge the human and financial sustainability of the Movement as a necessary prerequisite to long-term impact (even if priorities differ in the short term). Remembering that we are in it for the long haul, strategic choices that enable or protect future impact must be prioritized over immediate impact.
Furthermore, we need to respect our long-standing principles of welcoming everyone who shares our vision of free knowledge, and their free will to contribute to any topic while respecting content neutrality guidelines. The ability for a participant to bring their knowledge to the world is empowering. We must continue to support editorial control and opening new pathways for all stakeholders to prioritize content according to their specific wants and needs.
To better understand how we empower people to improve their lives, we must invest more into research on how our content gets used (and misused). To be able to evaluate it at scale, we need to build human and technical capacity for measuring impact. That includes measuring the coverage, quality and verifiability of content, detecting threats to it with significant potential for real-world harm (such as misinformation or scams), and measuring the public’s trust in our content and their ability to access and understand it.
Prioritizing topics or content with larger impact requires special focus on certain topics, tracking their completion, dissemination, and impact. For this, we must change our practices and improve metrics, reporting, evaluation, prioritization, advocacy, and partnership practices so that they can help differentiate between different areas of content based on their capacity for world impact. We also need to make sure that our volunteers have the time to work on content by supporting them in administrative and organizational tasks that compete for their free time.
We must identify the high-impact areas where content is missing or insufficient, and look for ways to fill the gaps. This involves community initiatives, outreach, grants and other funding, partnerships, and exploring future technology trends such as artificial intelligence and machine learning. In environments where both editors and content are missing (or content is known to be biased), advocacy and capacity building about content creation and neutral writing must be a priority. Regional support structures could play a pivotal role in this.