Everyone can Wiki — online meeting provides practical hands-on experience

Urban Arenas
Apr 23, 2020 · 4 min read

Over 30 people attended the second UrbanA Community Conversation, on April 21st, about the Wiki set up and curated by UrbanA with the hope of creating a Knowledge Commons for Sustainable and Just Cities. The Conversation included practical advice, hands-on experience of creating and editing wiki pages, and broader discussion about the wiki and knowledge commons.

Tom Henfrey of UrbanA partner ECOLISE, began with a short background piece on commons and their importance to the theme of sustainable and just cities. He emphasised that commons do not ensure either sustainability or justice. However, because commoners can self-organise according to the values they choose to emphasise, it allows them to prioritise sustainability and justice in ways that centralised top-down government and profit-oriented business seem unable to do. For UrbanA partners, creating a knowledge commons is a way to build our own commitment to justice and sustainability into the way we deliver the project, and support others in our community of practice to do the same in their work.

Karlijn Schipper of UrbanA partner, DRIFT, then gave participants a tour of the wiki and facilitated practical exercises in creating a wiki user page and setting up a new wiki page. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “When I started experimenting with the Wiki myself last summer, I remember that I was both excited and frightened at the same time.

With no experience in HTML editing or formatting at all, I needed some time and patience to get used to the software. It turned out to be quite easy.

This was also the reason why we wanted to make this community conversation practical: to provide space and help people to use the wiki. As one of the UrbanA fellows mentioned during the discussion, this fear is not only about learning a new technical skill, but also about having the confidence to share your knowledge and experience as a city-maker. It made me think that sharing knowledge is also a skill — familiar to some, new and scary for others — that needs practice. I think it’s nice that these community conversations and the wiki can facilitate this learning process.”

Key questions raised in discussion included the following:

The call helped us grow our community of wiki users and contributors. Around thirty people signed up for new wiki accounts following the call for co-creation launched in the run-up to the call, and during the call itself. Call participants created new wiki pages on several topics, including Open Food Network, art as a pedagogical tool for urban resilience, the Crafting Future Urban Economies project, Socratic digital democracy, and the Social Innovation Strategies for Sustainability Transitions project.

Access the Wiki: https://urban-arena.eu/sustainablejustcities-wiki/

Upcoming UrbanA Community Conversations

28 April, register for the next UrbanA Community Conversation on Transformative Cities: https://bit.ly/34N91DI

Want to get in touch with the Community?

Join our UrbanA Community of Practice LinkedIn group to initiate conversations on sustainable just cities. You can also subscribe to the UrbanA newsletter, and follow us on channels: Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and Youtube.

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