Participation, diversity, free and open access, equity, sustainability and respectful collaboration – these values constitute the core of Wikimedia Deutschland. These are the principles that inspire us and to which we as an organization aspire, always with the intention to learn from our mistakes.
As part of a worldwide movement in which many individuals and interest groups collaborate, Wikimedia Deutschland bears the responsibility to create a framework for collaboration that is based on our values. We must reflect upon our role in a world rife with inequities and view it with self-awareness.
From September 2021 through March 2022, a set of values for Wikimedia Deutschland was developed that the membership, Executive Director, employees and Board alike can stand behind and that are meant to direct the organization in its work. These values are meant to provide the Executive Director, employees and the Board with a basis for strategic decisions and programmatic planning and in the consideration of difficult questions. We orient ourselves as an organization on these values as we work with the Wikimedia movement, with its communities and partners and with interested parties. As the organization lives out these values in its daily work, Wikimedia Deutschland stands for human rights in a digital world. All who share these values are welcome in our organization.
Our values in alphabetical order:
Every constructive contribution to the Wikimedia Movement’s knowledge is valuable in itself. But only in the big picture do we begin to see diversity as the richness, manifold nature and variety of viewpoints of all those who take part each day in expanding the body of collective knowledge. Wikimedia Deutschland welcomes anyone who wishes to contribute to the multifarious creation of this knowledge – regardless of where they come from and where they feel they belong, irrespective of their age, gender identity, personal abilities and needs, religion, sexual orientation and identity or societal origins.
Thus it is Wikimedia Deutschland’s task to foster equal opportunity, to minimize discrimination and to actively stand up for diversity and against exclusion. Valuing our differences, both within Wikimedia Deutschland and outside it, improves the work of everyone involved.
As an organization we feel called upon to reach these goals not only in our organizational structures but in our every activity and collaboration. Only in so doing can Wikimedia Deutschland do its part to maintain and expand diverse communities in order to represent the diverse knowledge of all humanity.
Achieving more equity, in terms of access to knowledge and also the form that knowledge takes, is one of Wikimedia Deutschland’s main concerns. For Wikimedia Deutschland, equity means treating people equally and fairly, while taking into account each individual’s circumstances, and granting them access to knowledge in ways suited to their needs. Equity also means making knowledge accessible in places where power structures have blocked it, and it means advocating for the right of self-determination for communities whose knowledge has been wrongfully made available.
It is therefore this organization’s task to open up opportunities for everyone and to actively dismantle inequities. That also means placing our own activities and structures under critical scrutiny. Because only with increased equity in our organization and its work can people and groups of every stripe take part on an equal footing and thereby contribute to the robust variety of knowledge in a self-determined manner.
Free and open access
Wikimedia Deutschland considers access to knowledge in the digital world a basic human right. Free and open access – the unfettered availability of information and its transparent propagation – is an indispensable cornerstone of digital communities. This access empowers people to take part in the digital world with self-determination, to achieve insights and to contribute in an informed fashion to the common good. It makes communities more open to the world, better informed and more just.
Wikimedia Deutschland is committed to making access to knowledge a reality for everyone, regardless of their origin, capabilities or existing barriers to access. Our organization helps provide the political and technical prerequisites that people need in order to create and use free knowledge. Wikimedia Deutschland makes available freely accessible content and software that can be used, modified and distributed for the common good.
Wikimedia Deutschland is a multifaceted assortment of individuals who participate, speak up and provide input. How individuals engage with the organization is left to their own discretion. Individuals may participate as members or as employees of the organization itself, or they may work with various organizational bodies. Even outside of the organization, many people champion the cause of free knowledge.
The organization’s task is to provide all participants, current and prospective, with accessible spaces in which they can contribute their voice, their knowledge and their creative drive – within the organization and its programs as well as in Wikimedia projects. Wikimedia Deutschland intends that anyone who participates should feel that they belong and are valued. Only as part of a collective that values and promotes participation can our organization build and maintain strong and diverse communities for free knowledge.
To Wikimedia Deutschland, respectful collaboration means open, cooperative and considerate interaction with the agreement of all participants. Only together with others can we as an organization spark the fundamental changes that are so vital to reaching our goals. Respect is always an indispensable building block of collaboration, and all the more so as part of a worldwide movement.
It is our organization’s task to create conditions and spaces for all participants and the Wikimedia communities that facilitate respectful collaboration, especially when opinions differ. The organization intends to exemplify and perpetuate respect in all its interactions; respectful negotiation among a wide variety of different voices has been an animating force in the Wikimedia movement since its inception. Only when participants feel acknowledged and respect one another does collaboration become effective, allowing our movement for free knowledge to thrive and grow.
Approaches to delivering and acquiring knowledge are constantly developing. Within the Wikimedia movement, the very understanding of knowledge itself is changing. Wikimedia Deutschland therefore pledges itself to sustainability, which will over the long term preserve knowledge and the societal and digital communities that help shape it, and strengthen them for future challenges.
Wikimedia Deutschland is called upon to consider the joint ecological, economic and societal aspects of sustainability and to implement them responsibly in its own activities. Free knowledge must be consciously preserved over the long term, with an awareness that the world’s resources must be maintained to keep mankind’s future secure.
As an organization we therefore maintain an openness to change; we contribute proactively in ways that serve the sustainable development of the organization, Wikimedia’s projects and the global movement. Only when Wikimedia Deutschland performs its work sustainably can everyone partake in the world’s knowledge over the long term.