The UNLOCK Accelerator will not be continued, but redesigned in 2023. Follow along here to be a part of our journey of re-imagination.

Reflecting on the Evolution of Wikimedia Deutschland’s Innovation Engine

After four years of fostering innovation within the Wikimedia Movement, Wikimedia Deutschland has made the decision to discontinue the Innovation Engine program in 2024. This decision is based on careful reflection and consideration of various circumstances.

Snapshot of ideas from workshop

What we truly need: Ideas to make our Wikimedia Movement more innovative

Our first outcome from our journey of building a new innovation format for the Wikimedia Movement has arrived! After months of research, we are excited to finally share the concepts that we have selected from a collection of over 350 ideas on how to make the Wikimedia Movement more innovative. You are also curious about which ideas didn’t make the cut at this time? Don’t worry, we’ll be sharing those as well.

Map of all partners from the InnoLab Collaboration

Learnings from our cross-affiliate Wikimedia collaboration you will want to know

At the Wikimania Conference 2023 in Singapore we presented our insights from our cross-affiliate Wikimedia collaboration. Additionally, our session explored our comprehensive Collaboration Playbook, which sheds light on the learnings, setbacks, and triumphs that have shaped our ongoing InnoLab collaboration.

Photo from the stakeholders identified for the interviews

The Realities of Innovating in the Wikimedia Movement: These are some of our Needs and Challenges

You have told us your biggest needs and challenges, and after carefully listening to you, we have thoroughly reviewed the problems faced by the Movement in terms of innovation. Here we present a brief overview of the current state of innovation within the Wikimedia Movement

Tisch mit Kaffee und Teeangebot

We are pausing and re-imagining the UNLOCK Accelerator in 2023

The UNLOCK Accelerator, which has been a successful program in turning promising Free Knowledge ideas into sustainable projects, will not be continued, but redesigned in 2023. We want to explore what the UNLOCK of the future might look like in order to create an even bigger impact for the Free Knowledge Ecosystem.

People meeting online for a virtual meeting sharing experiences and co-designing in a program shadowing setup. As part of the UNLOCK Accelerator by WIkimedia Deutschland and Código Cultur by Wikimedia Argentina.

How Wikimedia Argentina and Wikimedia Deutschland share knowledge across continents through program shadowing 

Why not learn from other program designers rather than constantly reinventing the wheel? Even when they are located in a different time zone across the globe? Let us share how this worked for us and why the benefits of program shadowing outweigh the costs, even across continents.

Power Of Collaboration.png

UNLOCK 2022 – What we learned, together.

The third edition of Wikimedia’s Accelerator UNLOCK was all about collaboration and cross-regional exchange. We teamed up with Wikimedia Serbia and Impact Hub Belgrade to jointly design and host the program, and thereby support seven project teams from Germany and the Western Balkans. Learn more about our co-created program set up and the experiences of the participants.

Two people smiling into the camera

Successfully navigating challenges in an international & interdisciplinary collaboration

You are thinking of setting up an international & interdisciplinary collaboration for your innovation program? These are our tips to guarantee smooth and successful teamwork that all partners will benefit from – even if you are working remotely.


UNLOCK Demo Day 2022: Hybrid setup and expert opinions

On October 27th the Demo Day of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2022 took place as a hybrid event. All seven project teams showcased the solutions they had been working on over the past four months. The event was hosted by our partners Impact Hub Belgrade and Wikimedia Serbia, and it was the first time over the course of the program that we left the virtual screen and got together in person!

Timeline of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2022 with a whistle indicating the half time

Half time! What are the UNLOCK projects 2022 up to?

It is officially half time! This means that we have completed the first sprint of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2022 and will now head into the second and final working phase. To mark this occasion each project team was tasked with presenting their activities of the past few months, and even demoing first mockups.

Screenshot of the UNLOCK Accelerator Event, showing all participating people in front of their webcames.

Get to know the projects selected for UNLOCK 2022

It was a pleasure and a difficult task at once selecting the top project teams that will fill the seven slots available in the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK 2022. Let us introduce them to you!

Illustration von Menschen in einem Heißluftballon, der von einer Wolke getragen wird

Wondering how we select the projects? Let’s have a closer look at our process

This year, we received over 30 applications for the UNLOCK Accelerator and are currently in the process of selecting up to seven teams that we will support in the program. How does this selection process work, who are the people reviewing and how does the jury decide? Let’s have a closer look.


UNLOCK joins forces with Impact Hub Belgrade and Wikimedia Serbia for its 3rd edition

Together, we are stronger. This is why, this year, we have joined forces with two strong partners to jointly design and implement the third edition of UNLOCK: Impact Hub Belgrade and Wikimedia Serbia.

illustration of making knowledge accessible: humans building bridges to reach a smartphone displaying an open book. Created for the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK by Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.

Our call for applications 2022: Access to knowledge is a matter of equity

In 2022, the UNLOCK Accelerator program will look into innovations that support knowledge equity – breaking down social and technical barriers that prevent people from both accessing and contributing to free knowledge.

Illustrated pattern of spaceship rockets, one in pink the other ones in yellow

How the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK is different from other accelerator programs

With so many other accelerators out there and UNLOCK heading into its third edition in 2022 you might be wondering: What separates UNLOCK from other acceleration programs? Let’s shed some light on the particularities of the Wikimedia Accelerator.


How can we drive innovation within the free knowledge ecosystem?

At UNLOCK, we help participating teams turn their innovative ideas for free knowledge into functional prototypes. As part of an international social movement, we are also interested in contributing to the creation of an innovation ecosystem for free knowledge. Therefore, we have highlighted the structures, programs and resources already available in our Wikimedia movement to support innovation and those that would be necessary in order to foster innovation in a sustainable way.

An assortment of tools used for work as well as building, including pens, scissors, post-its, sticker dots, and headphones, as well as mechanical tools such as a wrench, spirit level and screw driver.

Effective tools for creating engagement and collaboration in an online accelerator program

Deciding on which tools and methods to use that actually foster engagement and collaboration online is a big part of the Wikimedia Accelerator UNLOCK. In our online toolbox we continuously update our favorites and make them freely accessible to you.

A person holding up a sticky note with a hand-drawn sketch of a light bulb on it representing thoughts, ideas and the sharing of lessons learned.

The successes and mishaps of building an accelerator program

Throughout the second edition of the UNLOCK Accelerator we made it our mission to evaluate often and experiment continuously as a means to learn from new and previous challenges. Here, we share our core lessons learned with the intention of making freely available what went particularly well and what we might change in the future.

Photo still of the UNLOCK Demo Day 2021: The moderator Lucia Obst showered in confetti

The UNLOCK Demo Day 2021 live and now on demand!

The Demo Day was a huge success, marking the conclusion and highlight of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2021. You can now revisit this celebratory moment over and over again as the recording is available on demand here. We invite you to watch the five project teams showcase their program results to you!


Demo Day and how you can meet the participants of the UNLOCK Accelerator

As the program rushes to an end, the participants of the UNLOCK Accelerator are giving it their all to prepare and rehearse for this year’s virtual Demo Day. On October 6th, each team will present their prototype in front of a live audience. Participation is open to all and here is all you need to know to join.


Making audio and video documentations of languages more accessible

Indigenous, endangered and many other languages with low resources often face a survival threat of going out of use. As part of UNLOCK, we are building a key component of the OpenSpeaks, a low-resource language documentation toolkit, so that archivists can ensure that their audio/video documentations can be accessed by people with certain disabilities.

UNLOCK 2021_SupplyChains_Team

How we Learned to Stop Worrying, and Love the Process

Our initial encounter with UNLOCK threw us, two social science researchers, head-first into a world so different from our own that we quickly brushed up against the limits of our own language. This post is an attempt to retrace the translation of our ideas and intentions from the abstract to the concrete, how UNLOCK helped us get there, and the many things we’ve learned along the way; in other words, how we learned to stop worrying, and learned to love the process.

UNLOCK 2021_FollowTheVote_Logo_Claim

More of a Marathon than a Sprint?

As a part of Wikimedia’s Accelerator Program UNLOCK, we have been able to join several sprint weeks to kick-start our project. Funny enough, instead of sprints, we felt as if we were running a Marathon together – lifting each other up, cheering one another and joining forces in order to make it to the finish line.

UNLOCK 2021_GovDirectory_Logo

A global directory of official governmental online accounts and services

What are all the Twitter accounts for all government agencies around the world involved in environmental protection? What are all YouTube accounts for Swedish municipalities? Those are two examples of queries we want Govdirectoy to be able to answer.

UNLOCK 2021_ThinkTwise__Project logo

Put a highlighter in your highlights

Facing the challenges that were not remotely foreseeable at the start of the journey: The Thinkwise team joined the UNLOCK program with the purpose of creating an online tool that allowed people to separate the wheat from the chaff, on the current most “channelizing channel”, the internet. This blog gives you some insights into their journey.


Sprint 2 – Maximizing output by giving lots of input

The start of sprint 2 was all about giving the teams as much input as possible to create a productivity boost for the weeks to come. Based on the needs of the teams we invited experts to inspire and give workshops about their topics. We will present some of them and how they pushed the projects forward here in this post.


Kicking off the UNLOCK program by creating visions for the future

Building on last year’s best practices, the UNLOCK kick off event 2021 was two-fold: While the first day focused around getting to know each other and creating a joint base for collaboration, the second day was dedicated to creating project visions. Specifying their vision will help guide the participating teams through the program and push them towards their ultimate goal. This is how we did it.


Wondering who will be reviewing your application? Let us introduce our jury

You have applied for our UNLOCK Accelerator program and now you are wondering, who will be reviewing your application, and according to which criteria? Here, we introduce you to the UNLOCK 2021 jury and what their role in the selection process is in finding the best-suitable candidates for the program.

UNLOCK Coaches

Tailor-made coaching: UNLOCK coaches do all it takes to support you!

Coaching is one of the main elements at UNLOCK. The coaches will be at your side to accelerate your idea and guide you to develop the full potential of your project. What coaching means for us, how the coaches will support you and who are the lead coaches at UNLOCK 2021 – you will find out in this blogpost.

Sketch of an UNLOCK Persona

Is UNLOCK the right program for you? Our requirements for participation

At UNLOCK, we are looking for diverse groups of people, with different professional backgrounds from all over Europe that share our values and want to (re)build trust in the digital age. Here, we lay out that this means in more specific terms, what our conditions for participation are, what mindset and experience is essential for participation and ultimately, whether the program is for you.


The thematic focus of UNLOCK 2021: (Re)building trust in the digital age

The current and future challenges of Free Knowledge are multi-faceted and multi-layered. For UNLOCK 2021, we have defined a concrete thematic focus to address one of the current societal challenges: Trust in the digital age. What solutions – technical and non-technical – create greater access to knowledge and have a positive impact on trust building? What skills are needed not only to acquire knowledge, but also to deal with increased social and information complexity? Let us (re)build trust in the digital age!

Outline of Europe map and sticker of the UNLOCK Accelerator

UNLOCK goes Europe

We wrapped up the past year with an extensive evaluation of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2020. But what happened to all of our lessons learned? In 2021 the UNLOCK Accelerator is entering into its second edition. This meant heading back to the drawing board and daring to be bigger and bolder than before. Here we shed light on some of the biggest changes UNLOCK is facing this year.

Sketch of hands passing along a pencil

Lasst uns zurückblicken: Unsere Lessons Learned aus dem UNLOCK Accelerator 2020

Das neue Jahr ist angebrochen und die Vorbereitungen für den UNLOCK Accelerator 2021 sind bereits in vollem Gange – Zeit sich einmal anzuschauen, was wir aus dem ersten UNLOCK Programm 2020 alles gelernt haben und was wir davon in die zweite Runde mitnehmen wollen. In unseren Lessons Learned plaudern wir aus dem UNLOCK Nähkästchen und verraten euch, was in einem virtuellen Accelerator Programm auch mal daneben gehen kann.

A simple sketch of a tool box - in this case a tool box of methods including Ideation, Implementation, teamwork and ice breakers

Sharing is caring: UNLOCK Tool Box – eine Sammlung von erprobten Methoden aus dem UNLOCK Accelerator

Welche Methoden eignen sich zur Umsetzung einer Vision in ein greifbares Produkt oder in einen konkreten Dienst? In unserer UNLOCK Tool Box versammeln wir unsere besten agilen und kollaborativen Arbeitsmethoden und machen sie für alle frei zugänglich. Schaut mal rein, probiert sie aus und entwickelt unsere Vorlagen gerne weiter!

Konfettiregen beim Demo Day des UNLOCK Accelerators

5 neue Prototypen für Freies Wissen, Konfettikanonen und Pompoms: Rückblick auf den UNLOCK Demo Day 2020

Am 04. November feierten wir gemeinsam mit den teilnehmenden Teams, den Abschluss des dreimonatigen Förderprogramms. Natürlich alles virtuell, mit Konfettikanonen und einem ausgiebigen Pompom-Applaus. Trotz der aktuellen Maßnahmen ist es uns gelungen, den Teams einen gebührenden Abschluss des Programms zu bieten, bei dem sie die Chance hatten ihre MVPs und funktionsfähigen Prototypen live vorzustellen. In diesem Beitrag wollen wir noch ein paar der Highlights vom Demo Day mit euch teilen.

Unfrequently Asekd Questions at the dress rehearsal for the UNLOCK Demo Day, practicing their presentation

UnFAQ – Taking on a new direction

From a board game to a web based app – in the last sprint of UNLOCK the team Unfrequently Asked Questions took a big turn in their project, went back to their initial motivation and rethought their entire project. In this blog post you will find out what motivated them to make that decision and what their new idea looks like.

Fotografisches Porträt von UNLOCK-Coach Klara Lindner

Do the diamond dance

In this blog post coach Klara gives us some insights into experiences in virtual coaching for the UNLOCK Accelerator. With great ideas and clever tips she will show you how you can bring some variety into your daily video calls. Get ready for Spaghetti towers and some dance moves.

A prototype for the Unfrequently Asked Questions board/card game that were developed during the first week of the UNLOCK Accelerator 2020

UnFAQ Gives Complex Questions a Stage

How do you get people to think about serious issues and to have fun at the same time? Our three power women from the Netherlands dealt with this question and their solution is a game called “Unfrequently Asked Questions”, or UnFAQ for short! UnFAQ is a board game with question cards which is designed to make people engage with current topics without the often negative or boring approach. In this article the UnFAQ team reflects on their experiences at the UNLOCK program and their path from idea to prototype.

Screenshot of UNLOCK participants doing an online energizer

Input, Impact, Inspiration: Das waren die Highlights der Collab Days

Wie der Name schon verrät, standen die Collab Days ganz im Zeichen der Kollaboration. Hierzu haben wir sowohl Wikimedia-interne als auch externe Expert*innen eingeladen, um den Teams den passenden Input für den letzten Sprint des UNLOCK Accelerators mitzugeben. Von Community Building bis Freie Lizenzen, für alle war etwas dabei! Hier bekommt ihr einen Einblick in die besten Momente der Collab Days und welche wichtigen Tipps die Teams von unseren Expert*innen bekommen haben.

Logo and banner of the Open Hardware Observatory

Großes aber OHO – Unser Projekt zur Zertifizierung von Open Source Hardware

Im Rahmen des UNLOCK Accelerators baut das OHO-Team eine Community für den Peer Review Prozess von Open Source Hardware auf. Wie sich auf dem Weg herausstellt, ist das zwar keine ganz einfache Aufgabe, doch keineswegs unmöglich!

Screenshot from the 2020 prototype of the Face the Facts app which was developed during the UNLOCK Accelerator 2020. It shows information on politician Philipp Amthor

Wie uns Philipp Amthor und Christian Lindner beim Erstellen unserer Polit-App halfen

Was ein Design Sprint wirklich bringt, warum User Testing alles ist und wie der FDP-Chef ein Feature gesprengt hat. Das Team von Face the Facts berichtet über die Arbeit mit dem UNLOCK-Accelerator.

Screenshot der Futures Probes-Startseite

Stichproben aus der Zukunft: Futures Probes möchte eine Diskussion über wünschbare Zukünfte ermöglichen

Futures Probes entstand als non-profit Projekt während des Corona-Lockdowns im April 2020. Ds Team stellte sich die Frage: Gibt es trotz all der negativen Umstellungen auch Gutes? “Positive” Nebeneffekte, die die Pandemie auf unser Handeln hat? Und was davon sollte in eine Post-Corona-Zukunft hinüber gerettet werden? Mehr noch: wie schaffen wir es, die Zukunftswünsche vieler verschiedener Menschen zu sammeln, und diese sichtbar zu machen – für eine inklusive und faire (Mit)gestaltung einer gemeinsamen Zukunft?

a screenshot of the Audiopedia-wiki prototype 2020 that generates audible knowledge

Audiopedia macht Wissen überall hörbar

Die Teams unseres Förderprogramms sind mitten im zweiten Sprint – Zeit, einmal von ihnen selbst zu erfahren, wie sich ihr Projekt im Laufe des Programms entwickelt hat und wohin die Reise beim UNLOCK Accelerator gehen soll! Heute gewährt uns Audiopedia Einblicke in sein Herzensprojekt, das für nomadischen Stämmen in den Regenwäldern des Kongos, Leprapatientinnen und -patienten in Brasilien und viele mehr sinnvoll sein könnte.

Das UNLOCK-Team bereitet die erste retrospective vor

Unsere erste Retrospective: Freude, Fuck-ups und Finesse

Seit einigen Wochen läuft unser Förderprogramm für gute Wissens-Ideen, die teilnehmenden fünf Teams haben den ersten Sprint hinter sich – Zeit also, einmal kurz durchzuatmen und zu schauen, was bisher gut und was weniger gut lief. Genau dazu diente die Retrospective, die wir am 28. August 2020 mit allen Projektmitgliedern durchgeführt haben.

Participants of the UNLOCK Accelerator

Der UNLOCK Accelerator startet – unsere Highlights vom Kick-Off

Es ist soweit – Zwei intensive Tage liegen hinter uns und unser Programm geht in ihre erste Runde! Unser Ziel dieser beiden Tage: Trotz des virtuellen Charakters ein Kennenlerngefühl zwischen den Teams, aber auch zu den Coaches herzustellen. Wie wir diese Herausforderung gemeistert haben und was unsere Highlights des Kick-Offs waren, möchten wir in diesem Beitrag mit euch teilen.

Sticker mit dem UNLOCK-Logo

Diese fünf Projekte haben wir für den UNLOCK Accelerator ausgesucht

Über 50 Teams haben sich für unser Förderprogramm beworben. Am Ende haben wir fünf Ansätze ausgewählt, die für uns am ehesten zum Förderprogramm passen und die besonders vielversprechend sind. In diesem Beitrag stellen wir sie euch vor!

Notizen zu den Calls unseres UNLOCK-Juryscreenings 2020

Die Qual der Wissens-Wahl – so wählen wir die UNLOCK-Teams aus

Wir haben eine Vielzahl großartiger Bewerbungen für den UNLOCK Accelerator bekommen und sind schon jetzt begeistert, was für spannende Wissens- und Bildungsideen uns erreicht haben! Aktuell sind wir dabei, die fünf Teams auszuwählen, die wir in unserem dreimonatigen Förderprogramm begleiten werden. Wie funktioniert dieser Auswahlprozess und wonach entscheidet die Jury? Das wollen wir euch in diesem Beitrag vorstellen.

Bild mit Post-Its | UNLOCK your ideas

Diese Projekte stecken voller Wissens-Power

Als UNLOCK Accelerator wollen wir gute Ansätze fördern, die zu einer offenen und informierten Wissensgesellschaft beitragen. Wir sind uns sicher: Da draußen gibt es schon viele brillante Ideen, die nur darauf warten, entdeckt und entwickelt zu werden. In diesem Beitrag wollen wir euch Projekte vorstellen, die sich aus einer kleinen Idee zu einem großen Erfolg entwickelt haben: 5 Levels vom Magazin WIRED, Deutschland spricht von ZEIT ONLINE und die Plattform Patreon.

Picture of the interview partners for the topic fields research of the UNLOCK Accelerator program

Die Forschung hinter dem UNLOCK Accelerator

Wie wir für Wikimedia Deutschland die Zukunft des Freien Wissens untersucht haben – und welche Erkenntnisse wir daraus gewinnen konnten. Ein Beitrag von Simon Höher und Veit Vogel vom Hybrid City Lab.

Fotografisches Porträt von Lucia Obst, Projektmanagerin UNLOCK Accelerator

Unsere virtuelle Sprechstunde – für alle, die mehr wissen wollen

Ihr habt Fragen zu unserem Förderprogramm für Wissens-Ideen? Ihr seid unsicher, ob eure Idee zum UNLOCK Accelerator passt? Ihr sitzt an der Bewerbung und kommt an einem Punkt nicht weiter? Oder ihr würdet einfach gerne mehr über unser Programm erfahren und die Menschen hinter UNLOCK kennenlernen? Dann kommt doch einfach in unsere virtuelle Sprechstunde!

Eine Illustration von Menschen, die mit digitalen Tools in Teams zusammen arbeiten.

Ready, Set, Know: Wir fördern eure Wissens-Ideen!

Mehr wissen, besser wissen, gemeinsam wissen – wie kann das gelingen? Wenn ihr dafür eine tolle Idee habt, seid ihr bei uns genau richtig: Der neue UNLOCK Accelerator fördert nämlich gute Ansätze, die sich rund um das Thema Wissen drehen. Wir haben uns ein vielfältiges Programm ausgedacht, tolle Coaches gewonnen und alles so geplant, dass es trotz Covid-19 losgehen kann. Jetzt fehlt nur noch: Ihr!