Dear Wikimedians,

As you know, today is my last day as the Executive Director of Wikimedia

What an incredible journey it has been. When I started in 2012, I couldn’t
have even dreamed of all the things I would experience, what I would do,
whom I would meet, where I would go, and what I would learn. And then it
all turned out to be even more intense, more magical, and more fulfilling
than I had thought or could have imagined in my boldest dreams.

In 2012, when Pavel Richter brought me into the organisation to build up
the Wikidata team and to bootstrap the project together with Denny
Vrandečić, I already had a slight notion that something huge that was about
to emerge; “Wikidata, the next big thing” still echoes in my ears today.
The vision of this free and open knowledge base excited and inspired me
from day one. It was an honour for me to establish the initial Wikidata
team and later to build the software development department at Wikimedia
Deutschland. I could really follow my passion to bring people together,
empowering them, promoting their strengths and challenging them to be
innovative, to try new things off the beaten track.

Then in 2016, a whole new phase began when I was appointed as Executive
Director. Over these four and a half years, Wikimedia Deutschland has grown
considerably: our staff has doubled to 150 and we now have over 85,000
members. Together with a large and successful community, we work as a
strong and respected partner together with educational and cultural
institutions, politics, media and digital civil society to liberate
knowledge. Alongside these audience groups in Germany, the Wikimedia
Movement - you! - has always been one of the most exciting and relevant
stakeholders. I am therefore particularly pleased that we and our members
unanimously decided in 2017 to support the 2030 Strategic Direction and its
implementation, that we were able to play a strong role in the development
of the recommendations, and that we are now continuing to pursue the
implementation with all our might.

I have had the great privilege of getting to know and learning from many of
you personally. The vast array of experience that Wikimedians bring to the
Movement, the rich ideas, and the people at the heart of it all are truly
extraordinary. In each Wikimedian I’ve met, I’ve felt the passion for the
overarching theme of our common vision. The spark in your eyes when you
start speaking about your favourite topics, be it the encyclopedia,
technology, governance, photos, food, commas, fondue, karaoke – it’s
impressive and a memory that I am glad will remain with me forever. What
each of you bring to this Movement is inspiring and truly special - and
that’s what makes this movement more than the sum of its parts.

It never gets boring in the wikiverse. There is always something new coming
along, be it in movement strategy, in our programs, or in how we work
together and grow our reach. At times, it can take awhile to get things
done. But that is often because we want to make sure everyone has a say and
has the opportunity to shape how we do things. It is a testament to the
respect Wikimedians have for each other and each other’s perspectives.
Wikimedians are very thoughtful: we take care of each other and treat each
other's needs and opinions as one of the highest goods.

Wikimedia is one of the strongest and last-standing proponents of the free
and open internet, one that continues to work toward making digital society
better for the sake of humanity.

Don’t give up this fight, don’t lose hope, be bold, unite – the world needs

Yours sincerely,



Geschäftsführender Vorstand / Executive Director

Wikimedia Deutschland e.V. | Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24 | 10963 Berlin
Tel. (030) 219 158 26-0
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