Wikimedia Foundation/Annual Report/2015-2016/What we stand for

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Wikimedia Foundation 2016 Annual Report
What we stand for
Katherine Maher, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation

Wikipedia was born of an impossible vision: that every single human could share in the sum of all knowledge. Over the years, you have supported this extraordinary idea with your contributions: edits to the articles, code for the servers, and financial support for the mission.

As we enter Wikipedia’s 16th year, we believe that the Wikimedia vision is more important than ever.

The world is a very different place now than when Wikipedia was started. The internet is less open and more commercial. Privacy is increasingly rare. Sources of information are more fragmented and not always reliable. The window of public discourse is narrowing globally. These changes challenge our vision and Wikipedia will fiercely defend against them.

But the world is also changing for the good, and in ways that make it more possible for us to achieve our vision. Literacy is rising globally. Access to the internet, often via mobile devices, is less expensive than it has ever been. More people are connected than ever before. Advances in technology are making free knowledge ever more accessible. And Wikipedia’s community of global volunteers is growing—introducing new voices, generations, and perspectives.

This is good news for our mission. This is good news for the world.

Right now, many people are grappling with how we connect with common truth, and with each other, in a challenging world. Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects help. They offer context amidst complexity. They satisfy our curiosity and knit us together in knowledge and collaboration. They give us insight into where we come from, and where we might go. They answer existential, mundane, and ephemeral questions. They ground us in the facts we need to take action and make decisions.

The world has changed, and continues changing. Our vision is a world in which we are all learning, participating, and creating—a world that is better informed, more inclusive, and more open.

Join us. Let’s build that world together.
Katherine Maher

See also[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees →