Wikipedia and sustainable development

I have in several places written about the opportunities around Wikipedia as a new education movement here on my blog. Especially in developing countries where the project Wikipedia Zero makes it possible for anyone with a mobile phone to surf without cost on the encyclopedia .

As a teacher, I have for years seen the importance of Wikipedia when I let students search freely for knowledge online. It is almost always Wikipedia articles that comes up first in searches and those witch the students use. It is therefore of paramount importance that articles about  ” sustainability”, ” health”, ” the body’s physiology ,” ”HIV” and others that often occurs in the context of schools are really good. Especially now as open educational resources are becoming more common because of the new digital opportunities .

We had a conference on the sustainable development concept in the swedish Wikipedia last spring and has started a Facebook page where we can discuss it. This work must be intensified now!

From Wikimedia I have been told that a number of doctors have written important articles in the health field that students around the world can translate from english to the Wikipedia version in other countries and languages . The project is called ”WikiProject Medicine”

Similarly, should important articles on sustainable development be written by panels of experts in organisations such as Stockholm Resilience Centre, United Nations Associations, WWF,  and other NGOs working on sustainable development. Articles could be written in english and then quickly translated into Spanish , Hindi and Mandarin in order to then be translated and placed on smaller versions of Wikipedia . If the articles are written in a manner that secondary schools students can understand it I think most of the people in a society can understand it.

This would be a start at getting Wikipedia to become a global knowledge base for sustainable development. Along with Wikipedia Zero it can be really powerful because it can reach out to where it is most needed !

Then it is also important that local people write in their language about practical examples of sustainable community development, agriculture, health and local economy. A team will start a pilot project  in Uganda where they will write articles about that in the luganda Wikipedia . We hope that this pilot project will be the beginning of a new global public education  movement for sustainable development.

Mbazzi 2013-14The village Mbazzi in Uganda are planning to start a Wikipedia resource center for sustainable village development.

Paul_&_people_in_Mbazzi_villagePaul Kiguba (project leader) and Mbazzi farmer association are the local villagers that plan to start the resource center and will write articles about practical sustainable village development in the luganda Wikipedia version and spread the knowledge around Buganda in Uganda.

Mbazzi 2013 kopiaMbazzi is an ordinary rural village in Mpigi district in Uganda. It is villages like those who can benefit from knowledge spread by Wikipedia with the help of Wikipedia zero.

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