Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Ravishankar Ayyakkannu

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Ravishankar Ayyakkannu (ravidreams)[edit]

ravidreams (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
Ravi @ Wikimania 2015 in Mexico.
  • Personal:
    • Name: Ravishankar Ayyakkannu
    • Location: India
    • Languages: Tamil, English
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2005
    • Active wikis: Tamil Wikipedia, Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wikidata, Commons
statement (Not more than 450 words) I started editing Tamil Wikipedia as a graduate student in 2005. Since then, I have worked extensively both as a community member and staff to grow Wikimedia projects in the South Asian region.

As the Head of Strategic Partnerships (Asia and Eastern Europe) at the Wikimedia Foundation during 2016-18, I designed a Google-sponsored Wikipedia community engagement program called Project Tiger, which increased the Indian language content in 10 different languages by more than 16,000 articles within a short span of 3 months. Google scaled this successful pilot into a global program called Project GLOW across 18 languages in 5 regions.

I also led the Wikipedia Zero program in the region providing free access to Wikimedia projects for over 800 million users globally, across 10+ Asian and Eastern European countries.

As the Program Director of Wikimedia India Chapter 2014-16, we grew the Tamil Wikisource project into the Top 10 projects globally. I added more than 10,00,000 pages by automation, innovation, and community participation using Google OCR API. I initiated the trend of free licensing pubic funded education resources in the Indian government institutions and facilitated the enactment of Government Orders towards this purpose.

I brought 2000 nationalized Tamil books to the public domain and uploaded them online through a partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other partner organizations.

As a bureaucrat and sysop in most Tamil Wikimedia projects since 2005, I have focused my energy on building the community and establishing policies with community consensus.

I enjoyed building free knowledge communities and had the pleasure of most Indian language community members. I played a crucial role in organizing the first-ever Tamil Wikipedia Conference in its 10th year and the second WikiConference India after a gap of five years in 2016.

Having worked with most of the Wikimedia communities and organizations in India and the neighboring countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, and Srilanka, I have a fair understanding of the aspirations and needs of the communities of the Global South.

Outside the Wikimedia movement, I am a founding member and advisor for the Kaniyam Foundation, which works towards building tools and repositories for fostering free knowledge growth in the Tamil language online.

I have also served as the General Council Member of the International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, a non-profit organization advocating for establishing Tamil computing standards.

I have also participated in many other open-source movements like Creative Commons, WordPress, and Ubuntu.

If elected as a board member, I would strive to make sure the Global South community voice is heard, and due resources are allocated to fix the free knowledge gap in the region.

Top 3 Board priorities 1. Ensure the board reflects the spirit of the community and the movement in all its activities.

2. Ensure the board oversees the implementation of the movement strategy successfully.

3. Ensure the board is aware of the aspirations and needs of the Global South.

Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities 1. Improve User Experience

2. Innovate in Free Knowledge

3. Ensure Equity in Decision-making

Verification Verification performed by elections committee or Wikimedia Foundation staff.
Eligibility: Artículo bueno.svg Verified
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 21:13, 1 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Identification: Artículo bueno.svg Verified
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 01:01, 30 June 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Trustee Evaluation Form
Trustee Evaluation Form
Years of Experience
<1 1–2 2–5 5–10 10+

Wikimedia experience. The candidate is a dedicated contributor to the Wikimedia movement. Eligible contributions include: contributions to the Wikimedia projects, membership in a Wikimedia organization or affiliate, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.

15+ years as Bureaucrat and sysop in most Tamil Wikimedia projects. I have contributed extensively in Wikidata and Commons too.

Board experience. The candidate has served on the board of trustees/directors or other similar governing body of a nationally- or globally-focused organization (non-profit, for-profit, or governmental).

Nil

Executive experience. The candidate has worked at an executive level for an organization, department, or project of comparable (or greater) size, complexity, and scope to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Worked as Program Director of Wikimedia India Chapter (2014-16) and Head of Strategic Partnerships (Asia and Eastern Europe) at the Wikimedia Foundation (2016-18)

Subject matter expertise. The candidate has worked or significantly volunteered in an area relevant to the work of the Foundation and the Board. Such areas will be determined on an annual basis and may include areas such as Global movement building and community organization, enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development, public policy and the law, knowledge sector (e.g., academia/GLAM/education), human rights and social justice, open Internet/free and open source software, organizational strategy and management, finance and financial oversight, non-profit fundraising, human resources, board governance.

Yes

Public Policy

I initiated the trend of free licensing pubic funded education resources in the Indian government institutions and facilitated the enactment of Government Orders towards this purpose.

I brought 2000 nationalized Tamil books to the public domain and uploaded them online through a partnership with the State Government of Tamil Nadu and other partner organizations.

I am a founding member and advisor for the Kaniyam Foundation, which works towards building tools and repositories for fostering free knowledge growth in the Tamil language online.

I have also served as the General Council Member of the International Forum for Information Technology in Tamil, a non-profit organization advocating for establishing Tamil computing standards.

Diversity: Background The candidate belongs or belonged to a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (related to, for example, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+ identity, social class, economic status, or caste).

Yes

I belong to the Backward Classes according to the classification of the Indian Constitution. The Backward Classes are given affirmative action by the Government of India in education and jobs, considering their social and educational backwardness. My parents are farmers. I cycled 22 km daily for school education and traveled 70 km daily by bus to get pre-university education.

Diversity: Geography The candidate would contribute to the overall geographic diversity of the Board of Trustees, based on the geographic regions where they have lived.

Yes

I am an Indian Citizen belonging to the Global South region which is usually less represented in all global movements including the Wikimedia movement.

Diversity: Language The candidate is a native speaker of a language other than English.

Yes

I am a native Tamil speaker. It is one of the Top 20 languages in the world by the number of speakers. It is an official language in India, Singapore, and Sri Lanka.

Diversity: Political system experience The candidate has substantial experience living in and/or working to share knowledge in a non-democratic, state-censoring, or repressive context.

Yes

India ranks 142 Global Press Freedom ranking and all the social media platforms are facing increased scrutiny from the Indian Government. I have been visibly very vocal against many of the ruling government's policies, like the New Education Policy.