Dear friends of Free Knowledge,

The importance of free access to reliable information, secure knowledge and also Open Educational Resources is currently becoming powerfully visible. Free Knowledge can break down barriers and help to eliminate inequalities. In a time when the global connectedness of people is more tangible than ever and yet the divisive elements are increasing, we need an exchange on equal terms enabling everyone to participate.

We at Wikimedia Deutschland feel strengthened in our mission to serve our users as a globally connected platform for the dissemination of Free Knowledge – and to stand up for knowledge equity without exclusions.  

We are not doing this work alone, but in a growing community. It includes the many thousands of volunteers who share their knowledge and help us recruit new volunteers in Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia every day, around 80,000 members, hundreds of thousands of donors and several allied organizations within and outside the Wikimedia movement. All of them have ensured that we can look back on a successful 2019.

More and more institutions are opening up to our volunteers. The GLAM on Tour stations 2019 are an impressive example of this. Campaigns like #Öffentliches Geld – Öffentliches Gut (Public money – public property) register initial successes: In public service broadcasting, the first education contributions are made permanently accessible online under a free license. The Bündnis Freie Bildung BFB (Free Education Alliance) reaches more and more political decision-makers in politics with its concerns. And the software Wikibase to create the largest free data collection in the world – Wikidata – is entering new dimensions. We are convincing more and more scientific, cultural and educational institutions of the benefits of Free Knowledge.

Please read about these initiatives and more on the following pages, which of course have not remained completely unaffected by (the effects of) the Corona crisis. Here and there, a moment from 2020 flashes up in the 2019 annual report. Like everyone else, the pandemic has temporarily thrown us off track – but not least thanks to employees who have continued to work tirelessly on our projects from home, we can look to the future with confidence. Our sincere thanks go to you and all volunteers, supporters and partners!

We wish you an inspiring read.

Lukas Mezger
Chair of the Supervisory Board 

Abraham Taherivand
Executive Director