A month ago, I met some of you for the first time at the WMF’s monthly metrics meeting. Officially, today is my first day as Executive Director of the Foundation. In practice, it’s a day like many others: Today and in the future, we’ll keep working together towards our mission.
When I first started learning about Wikimedia, I thought to myself: this will be different. Now, seeing the world from within the information Big Bang, I know: it is.
Every second the universe of information is expanding around us, and Wikimedia is a major force that turns this information into knowledge. It is beholden to no one, yet accountable to each and every human being. We, the people who create knowledge and bring it to every corner of the world, are the ones that help it expand. We, the people who read and learn, are the ones that hold the power to make this world a better place.
I often speak about human experience. Most have understood this as talking about user experience: the way we access the information or contribute knowledge. You are — partially — right. But what I mean is bigger than that.
What I am after is our connection to the world and each other through knowledge. What I’d like us to do is to think big. Think beyond ourselves. Think about humanity as a whole. Because you can. Because Wikimedia is the place to transcend the now and to build the future.
This means that what’s ahead is bigger than any one of us. Yet, together, we can make it happen. It means thinking beyond ourselves. It means thinking as a student in Cambodia learning about Khmer poetry, or a doctor in France writing about infectious diseases. This means empathy, altruism and compassion. It means making things accessible, friendly and easy for everyone.
This is what makes Wikimedia big.
This is what makes each of us bigger than we could ever be.
This is the what. Our job, as the community and the Foundation, is to build the how. Where is the will, there is a way. We are here to walk it.
Let’s think big.