The UNLOCK Accelerator is being discontinued and re-imagined in 2023

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The UNLOCK Accelerator by Wikimedia Deutschland has successfully been running from 2020-2022. In three editions, the program has managed to expand the existing Free Knowledge project landscape and has helped projects that were previously outside of the Wikimedia Movement to gain more access to our community. In total, 17 prototypes were developed by project teams spanning 11 countries. Of these, more than 50 percent are still being further developed and implemented. (Want to dive deeper? Browse through the project results on our landing page.)

Where we are heading in 2023

However, there have also been some challenges faced by the program. These included difficulty in reaching our target audience and supporting the projects in the long-term. 

In light of these challenges, the decision has been made to discontinue the UNLOCK Accelerator in its current form. Instead, throughout 2023, we will explore what the “UNLOCK of the future” might look like in order to create greater impact and be of most value to the Wikimedia Movement.

The ultimate outcome we are working towards is for UNLOCK to become an innovation engine for free knowledge and create an environment in which innovation and innovators from our communities can grow. We aim to encourage people to experiment with and create new Free Knowledge projects and contribute to the development of an innovation culture and thereby strengthen the Movement’s capacity to innovate. In other words, we seek to find effective modes of implementation for the Movement Strategy recommendation number 9, “Innovate in Free Knowledge”. With this in mind, the overall intention of our work will not change from the past few years. Rather, we are considering new modes of implementation. We will test new formats and activities as we build a new program. In this process, of course, we want to incorporate all of our key learnings from running three editions of the UNLOCK Accelerator program.

We want you to join this process

For this re-imagining process throughout the coming months, we are very interested in the exchange with individual community members and affiliate groups. Your perspective will help us to make effective and targeted decisions most beneficial to you, the Wikimedia Movement. 

We will be in touch, or if this is something you already know that you are interested in, the best way to reach our team at Wikimedia Deutschland is We are looking forward to kick-starting this process with you!

Need more information?

Head over to our blog post to better understand the reasons for this change, as well as what the process for 2023 will look like more specifically!

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