Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Ravishankar Ayyakkannu
Ravishankar Ayyakkannu (ravidreams)
|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.|
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 21:13, 1 July 2021 (UTC)
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 01:01, 30 June 2021 (UTC)
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