__One World Birthday__ is an event celebrating Wikipedia's 20th Birthday (and related milestones, i.e. anniversaries of wiki software, Federated Wiki, Wikidata, Wiki Strategies…)
The first edit on Wikipedia was the first time anyone in the world could participate in a single common activity. It was the first time the world spoke with one voice.
Wikipedia is the best way we have found that people around the world can collaborate to create shared knowledge. It achieves this result through social traditions and rules, mediated by technology.
The end result is what we might call consensual writing, which has the advantage of being able to synthesise many voices into a single concise and coherent proposition. This Synthetic View has the disadvantage of giving little space for new or alternative perspectives which fail to reach such consensus.
While Wikipedia may be the best available platform for planet-scale collaboration, it is not without its flaws, and some of those are substantial. The Tyranny of Structurelessness is a constant challenge, even as we get more organized and simultaneously grapple with the Tyranny of Structure. The age-old injustices that beset all human endeavors impact Wikipedia in ways that are both unique and all too familiar. The community that builds Wikipedia reflects demographics that are all too familiar, and its content often reinforces or amplifies the voices of the powerful.
In the One World Birthday we aim to illuminate these dynamics, and challenge our colleagues to actively nurture the beneficial aspects of Wikipedia, which may often mean actively fighting its more pernicious tendencies.
We will consider broad, global themes such as climate change, social justice, and the role of journalism in society.
# Collective The theme is essentially about the pressing need for better collective decision making and action. We examine wiki as the best know example of planetary scale collective action, and we ask how we can use this to address the problems that we face.
We move between the one, and the many. This is like moving between Federated Wiki, and Wikipedia, or the divergent and the convergent.
We can explore themes about the individual and the things we can do to act, and the collective - the ways we can come together to address collective problems.