IGF 2023 WS #442 Reimagining a more diverse and inclusive knowledge ecosystem


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Gender Digital Divide

Organizer 1: Rachel Judhistari, Wikimedia Foundation
Organizer 2: Jan Gerlach Jan Gerlach, 🔒Wikimedia Foundation
Organizer 3: Fernanda Kalianny Martins Sousa, 🔒

Speaker 1: Fernanda Kalianny Martins Sousa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Stephanie Lima, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 3: Juliana Guerra-Rudas, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Rachel Judhistari, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Jan Gerlach Jan Gerlach, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Fernanda Kalianny Martins Sousa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Panel - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

How to drive a digital knowledge ecosystem in which there is enough room for the production of peripheral knowledge?
What role should actors in the digital knowledge ecosystem play in making knowledge production more diverse and inclusive?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Along with our speakers, session participants will be encouraged to question the assumed neutrality of their own actions promoting knowledge access. Together, we will ask and answer questions such as: what socio-economic and cultural barriers to online participation of historically silenced and oppressed voices remain unaddressed by decision-makers to promote knowledge? How can knowledge that is produced by unheard voices be recognized and celebrated? How can we add more diversity to production, dissemination, and access process to pheripheral knowledge to make society more resilient, more democratic, and more inclusive? Participants will gain a deeper understanding of their own role in the knowledge ecosystem and how they can help to advance knowledge equity beyond gender lines and intersecting factors.


In this session, we aim to foster a critical reflection on knowledge equity that will help more collectives, institutions, and governments to incorporate gender and intersectional considerations in their knowledge access production practices and policies to advance digital gender equality and inclusion.

Despite best intentions, efforts to produce, reproduce, and access knowledge often lead to marked inequality along gender lines and other intersecting factors such as race, ethnicity, class, etc. Historically oppressed groups systematically face not only socioeconomic barriers to accessing the Internet, but political, cultural and societal ones. Online participation barriers for these groups often translate into knowledge access policies and practices that can negatively affect their representation in the digital knowledge ecosystem, exacerbating disparities and erasing worldviews relevant to human knowledge

The session will feature speakers from the Wikimedia community, private sector, access to knowledge and internet standardization researchers, and the ASEAN Human Rights Commission to delve into the landscape of knowledge-creation policies in Latin America and Southeast Asia. The session will examine what it takes to integrate gender-sensitive and intersectional approaches to knowledge production and access. In addition, the conversation will explore the dual role of actors in the digital knowledge ecosystem as agents of change, as well as sources of exclusion. Special attention will be given to local, regional, and global efforts to generate knowledge creation and sharing paradigms that address socio-economic and socio-cultural gaps related to gender and diversity. The speakers will explain how to foster the value and recognition of peripheral knowledge production –those produced by marginalized and historically excluded groups– so that they are no longer invisibilized, ignored and/or exploited. Finally, the session will include ways for participants to explore strategies and tactics to promote access to peripheral knowledge.

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcome of the session is to broaden the understanding of the gender and intersectional gaps in human knowledge, the various efforts that actors in the digital knowledge ecosystem in Southeast Asia and LATAM are undertaking to reduce these gaps, and the socio-political and political-cultural actions needed to value and recognize peripheral knowledge production and producers.
A specific outcome of the session will be a blog post collecting the main statements and conclusions of the discussion to be published on the Wikimedia Foundation website.

Hybrid Format: The session organizers and moderators will propose a series of yes-no questions to be shared on-site and online to ensure active participation in the hybrid mode of both on-site and virtual participants. In addition, the on-site and online moderators will constantly communicate to bring virtual participants and online comments to the session discussion.