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Archive:Press releases/Wikimedia Foundation Appoints Jing Wang and Mimi Ito May 2010

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Wikimedia Foundation Appoints Jing Wang and Mimi Ito to its Advisory Board

SAN FRANCISCO May 11, 2010 -- The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, today announced the appointment of two new members to its Advisory Board, Mimi Ito and Jing Wang. Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on new media use among young people. Jing Wang is an author and professor of Chinese cultural studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the chair of the International Advisory Board of Creative Commons China Mainland.

Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist examining children and youth’s changing relationships to media and communications. She is an Associate Researcher with the University of California Humanities Research Institute with appointments in the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Her research in Japan focuses on use of mobile technologies, and she has recently completed a multi-year project on digital kids and informal learning. She has authored and edited three books on kids' use of technology, and most recently, she has led a three-year collaborative ethnographic study, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, examining youth new media practices in the US, focused on gaming, digital media production, and Internet use. She has worked at the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center, the Institute for Research on Learning, Xerox PARC, and Apple Computer. She has a PhD in Education and a PhD in Anthropology, both from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

"Although we're seeing more and more examples of crowdsourced, non-commercial, and community produced media on the Internet today, Wikipedia continues to set the gold standard," said Mimi Ito. "At a time when so many of our past models of knowledge making and circulation are being challenged, Wikipedia provides proof of a sustainable and robust form of public media in the digital age. I'm delighted to be part of Wikimedia and the movement that it represents."

Jing Wang is an author and editor of seven books, Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at MIT and founder and organizer of MIT’s New Media Action Lab. She is also an affiliated faculty with MIT's Comparative Media Studies. In spring 2009, Professor Wang launched an NGO 2.0 project in collaboration with two Chinese universities, three Chinese NGOs, and three corporate partners including Ogilvy & Mather China and Frog Design. The project, funded by Ford Foundation in Beijing, is designed to enhance the digital literacy of grassroots NGOs in the underdeveloped regions of China and will deliver an interactive platform complete with Web 2.0 training courses and a Chinese field guide to best practices and software of social media for nonprofits. Professor Wang started working with Creative Commmons in 2006 and serves as the Chair of the International Advisory Board of Creative Commons Mainland China. She also worked as the co-organizer of the Policy Culture Research Project with Anthony Saich at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

"I'm excited to join Wikimedia's Advisory Board," said Jing Wang. "The challenge of increasing the diversity of participation in regions such China can be difficult to navigate. The Foundation has radically impacted access to free knowledge for everyone in the world. I'm thrilled to volunteer my time to help create richer, higher-quality information resources by increasing the diversity of voices that contribute to the projects."

"I am thrilled to welcome both Jing and Mimi to the Wikimedia Foundation Advisory Board," said Michael Snow, Chair of the Board of Trustees. "Both Mimi and Jing are respected academics who will bring new expertise to us in their respective areas, and I look forward to them making a substantial contribution."

The Wikimedia Foundation, which operates the volunteer-written encyclopedia with a staff of just over 30 people, created its Advisory Board in January 2007 as a mechanism for input from leaders and thinkers in fields such as education, technology, and free culture. Advisory Board members convene with Wikimedia's leadership once a year at the annual Wikimania conference, and also support the organization in their specific areas of expertise.

The current Advisory Board membership includes:

  • Angela Beesley Starling (Co-founder, Wikia)
  • Ward Cunningham (Developer of the first wiki)
  • Melissa Hagemann (Open access and open education advocate, Open Society Institute/Soros foundations)
  • Mimi Ito (Cultural Anthropologist at University of California, Irvine)
  • Mitch Kapor (Founder/Co-founder Lotus Development, EFF, Mozilla Foundation)
  • Neeru Khosla (Co-founder, CK-12)
  • Teemu Leinonen (Professor, Media Lab, Aalto University)
  • Rebecca MacKinnon (Journalist; founder, Global Voices Online)
  • Wayne Mackintosh (Education specialist, Commonwealth of Learning)
  • Benjamin Mako Hill (Author, free software advocate)
  • Domas Mituzas (Former Executive Secretary, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees; Database Engineer, Facebook)
  • Roger McNamee (Venture capital, musician)
  • Trevor Neilson (Partner, Global Philanthropy Group)
  • Craig Newmark (Founder, Craigslist.org)
  • Florence Nibart-Devouard (Former Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees; Consultant in Collaborative Media)
  • Achal Prabhala (Researcher and writer)
  • Clay Shirky (Associate Teacher, Interactive Telecommunications Program, NYU)
  • Jing Wang (Professor, MIT; Founder MIT New Media Action Lab)
  • Ethan Zuckerman (Research Fellow, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School)

Detailed biographies and photographs of the Advisory Board can be found on the Foundation wiki.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 370 million unique visitors per month, making them the 5th most popular web property worldwide (March 2010). Available in more than 270 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 15 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.

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