The world is certainly transitioning their internet usage from the desk to their mobile device. Let's not limit our focus on mobile devices that always have an internet connection. Let's talk about the millions of travelers stuck in a moving vehicle with nothing better to do than look out their window. I'm talking about passengers on planes, trains, and automobiles. The easiest target here are the millions of people who fly. As a passenger onboard a plane for hours, we're lucky if we have an in-flight movie system. But what if the plane offered a local intranet with a copy of Wikipedia? What if the airlines gave promotions to those who contributed? What if each flight competed with other flights for most contributions? The same approach could be applied for passenger trains, buses, subways, and ferries. The main limitation here is a technical one. If you have thousands of Wikipedia clones buzzing around, each collecting contributions during their offline time, how do you reconcile the changes with the master database? While tools like Kiwix already offer an offline copy of Wikipedia, there is much work needed to support thousands of wiki clones reconciling changes every few hours. This will require revolutionary branch management and revision conflict handling. But if you pull this off, it might kick off the biggest surge in user participation in years. With whom should you partner to accomplish this? Why not start with NASA? They use MediaWiki to train astronauts and plan for spacewalks. Begin this development by running wiki servers onboard the International Space Station. Get astronauts to contribute to the same wiki used for their training while they are putting all that knowledge to use. Once the NASA wiki synchronization between the ground and the ISS is working, expand this model to Wikipedia. Yes, have a clone of Wikipedia onboard the ISS. Astronauts love to share their experience, their story, and their photos from their 6-month stays aboard the station. These lucky few represent countries from around the world and they have a huge influence on the rest of us on the ground. Once people see astronauts contributing to Wikipedia during their journey, they will want to join the movement on their travels (albeit aboard slightly less cool vehicles).
We need infrastructure for cheap creation of new wikis and experimentation with new project types and their different technical and social needs. Wikipedia was an unlikely bet that paid off extremely well. It does not cover the entirety of human knowledge however - it's limited to long-form, text-based representations of encyclopedic topics on subjects well covered by reliable sources. There have been recurring discussions in the past about covering new types of knowledge (genealogy, fact checking, 3D models, oral history, collaborative video etc. etc.) but they never went anywhere, because creating new projects is a lot of work and the outcome is unpredictable (some things only work in practice), so the WMF was unwilling to take the risk. If we want to make meaningful progress on our vision of curating the sum of *all* knowledge, and truly become the infrastructure of free knowledge, we need to overcome this barrier. We need infrastructure for low-effort, low-risk experimentation with new projects - a "wiki nursery". A system where new wikis can be created at minimal cost, technical and social experiments can be performed on them without undue risk to other projects, and they can be discarded if they prove unsuccessful. Other organizations have used such mechanisms with great success (Wikia has tens of thousands of wikis; Stack Exchange has nearly two hundred sites). Such a system has to be somewhat separate from the existing wiki cluster; a closely integrated approach like incubator.wikimedia.org is both too inflexible and too insecure. It needs to have some level of operational and legal maturity (more than what Cloud VPS offers). For risk segregation and eficiency, it would have to be different from our production cluster in a number of ways: 2b1af7f3a8