This Saturday, March 25th, La Scuola Open Source – in partnership with Wikimedia Italy, hosted “Discovering Wikipedia”, a workshop held by Ferdinando Traversa, eleven-year-old Wikipedian who strongly wanted this event, suggesting it to SOS and overwhelming everyone, from his parents up until our staff, with his enthusiasm and passion for shared knowledge.
The event, which was the first ever hosted by the School upon the input of an under18 youngster, saw the participation of a heterogeneous audience of all ages and backgrounds: some of Ferdinando’s school friends with their families, some SOS fellows, passionate Wikipedians and people who simply joined out of curiosity.
In the first part of the workshop slide here, video here, the Wikipedia project was introduced, together with its founding principles and the Wikipedian participative spirit: Ferdinando surprised everyone with his – literally – encyclopedic competence, involving the audience and being able to answer to all the questions he received from the participants, all very interested and entertained by the speaker’s passionate, energetic and interactive style – he even involved some volunteers in sort of a mini-quiz on the topic, rewarding the best answers with some gadgets provided by Wikimedia Italy.
The last half hour was a very practical one: all participants were supported in creating their Wikipedia accounts and started learning the basics of the markup language used to edit the encyclopedia’s voices, under Ferdinando’s attentive overlook. He first had them practice, then directly working on editing some real Wikipedia pages that the Italian Wikipedia community tagged as requiring some grammar review.
In the end of the event, Ferdi’s incredibile passion was simbolically awarded by our President Lucilla with an award plaque recognizing him as the “Scuola Open Source’s first under18 speaker”; our Teaching Director Alessandro then announced that the SOS Team decided to gift the young talent with a free course among those happening in 2017.
The event clearly showed one of the Open Source School’s key values: the willingness to see knowledge being shared by and towards anyone, serving as a space wherein to generate value, providing everyone with the opportunity to be active contributors to the community’s growth.