Wikipedia as a model for societal problem-solving

author: Samuel Klein, Wikimedia Foundation
published: July 10, 2012,   recorded: June 2012,   views: 3895
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)


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Wikipedia is one of the simple pleasures of the modern Internet - a free, universal reference in over 200 languages. Unlike past efforts to compile and share human knowledge, Wikipedia has been planned, written, and edited entirely by a community of volunteers (100,000 to date). It is an open collaboration that anyone can edit anonymously and directly - an idea which participants joke "works in practice, but not in theory".

Wikipedia is an example of how connectivity, automation, and changing social norms are transforming what societies can do with parallel human effort. How does this pattern of collaboration work? And where might it appear next? We will discuss the growth of the project, its foundation in good faith and a shared popular vision for society, and possibilities for the future.

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