As part of the Digital Transformation course of the Master’s in International Management, Franklin students are excited to welcome on campus Jenny Ebermann, Executive Director of Wikimedia Switzerland, who looks forward to engaging them in stimulating discussions about digital sustainability and the ecosystem of free knowledge.

Acting upon its mission to, “open doors and bring people together with the aim of disseminating free knowledge for a smart and open society,” Wikimedia Switzerland places education at the core of its strategy to spread free knowledge, both online and offline. As remarked by Jenny, “Wikimedia CH has a variety of programs in collaboration with institutions and actors in the education sector. Through our education programs we offer basic training on using and editing Wikipedia and other Wiki platforms. We also teach general digital skills and the ability to deal with online information as a core element of our projects and workshops. Wikidata for instance, is the biggest open data hub in the world and we train students on how to use it, how to contribute to it and how to develop tools based on it.”

Notably, Wikimedia CH follows the approach of mentoring teachers and/or students so that “they can improve their lessons and/or add content and input to their studies. We are also aiming at creating ‘hives’ or ‘hubs’ in universities directly driven by interested individuals who would work on wiki projects in close connection with Wikimedia CH. One of the benefits for the students is clearly to meet and be in contact with an international non-profit organization, a major player of the Web 2.0 and of the upcoming Web 3.0.”

During her presentation for the MSIM class, Jenny will showcase some successful examples of projects that Wikimedia CH has delivered and undertaken with universities or NGOs in Switzerland. “We are conducting hackathons/datathons in close collaboration with the University of Zurich and the EPFL, as well as Wikipedia for Peace events with the ‘Service Civile International’, the PlaMatSu project with the University of Fribourg – which will continue as MetRaZymes in 2020 –, and other success stories around the world like ‘Wiki Derechos Humanos’.”

Thanks to her long-standing experience as an international leader with a multicultural background, Jenny particularly appreciates working by “navigating across different cultures and behaviors.” As she noted, “Being in the role of CEO for nearly 4 years now, I can say that I am still learning new things every day. I am really proud of what we achieved so far, addressing not only issues in Switzerland but also participating in international projects and collaborating closely with same-language Wiki organizations across the globe.”

Wikimedia CH represents another example of how open projects and digital sustainability are becoming more and more important and do represent a clear path in terms of future activities for interested students by enriching their respective curriculum and widening their horizons in the field of social innovation.