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I am currently self-employed, providing research, consulting, and teaching services related to the digital transformation (since October 2022) and have temporary, project-based affiliations with several Swiss universities (Bern University of the Arts, University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons, and University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland - officially starting in February 2023).
From October 2007 until January 2023 I worked for the Institute for Public Sector Transformation (formerly E-Government Institute) of the Bern University of Applied Sciences, since 2019 as a professor and between 2019 and 2021 as the deputy head of the institute.
I am currently pursuing a phd at the Center of Competence for Public Management of the University of Bern, focusing on open data and crowdsourcing among heritage institutions.
I have been among the founding members of "Digitale Allmend", an association for the promotion of the Digital Commons which also acts as the Swiss chapter of CreativeCommons, a board member of "Opendata.ch", the Swiss chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation, and a member of Wikimedia CH (since 2013). From 2014 to 2018, I chaired the eCH Specialized Group for the standardization in the area of open government data in Switzerland.
Current projects and engagements (selection)
- Back in 2013, I have initiated OpenGLAM CH, a joint initiative of heritage institutions, research and educational institutions, NGOs, and service providers to promote OpenGLAM in Switzerland. As part of my engagement, I have established contacts to many heritage institutions in Switzerland, some of which decided to engage in cooperation projects with Wikipedia/Wikimedia, such as Zentralbibliothek Zürich, the Swiss Federal Archives, Zentralbibliothek Solothurn, the Swiss National Library, or the ETH Library. Furthermore, I am regularly contributing to the organization of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathons.
- In 2016 I set up the Wikidata Project "Cultural Heritage" whose aim is to coordinate the ingestion of heritage related content into Wikidata. In this context I have written several case reports, talked to various heritage institutions, and accompanied several students' projects. I have also held workshops on this topic at Wikimania 2017 and at the 2017 edition of the Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon in Lausanne and have been continuing to do so at various occasions.
- In 2017 I set up the Wikidata Project "Performing Arts" to start systematizing the community's efforts to improve coverage of performing arts related topics on Wikidata. In 2020, I initiated an international network to work towards the establishment of a Linked Open Data Ecosystem for the Performing Arts (LODEPA), involving stakeholders from the various sections of the performing arts value network (arts organizations, presenting organizations, heritage institutions, researchers, Wikimedians/Wikipedians, and a variety of service providers focusing on the arts sector). I am currently (2020-2023) also contributing to the project "Modelling and Populating Performing Arts Data in Wikidata" (led by the Canadian Association for the Performing Arts CAPACOA and supported by a WMF Grant) and its follow-up projects.
- In 2019, I moderated a Wikidata Hackday Series for staff members of some of the major Swiss libraries (mandated by the Swiss National Library). In parallel, I worked with Wiki Movement Brazil on a project aiming to improve the coverage of data about heritage institutions in Wikidata and to promote its use across various language versions of Wikipedia. In 2020, in continuation of the two aforementioned projects, the OpenGLAM Working Group of the Opendata.ch association launched the "Sum of All Swiss GLAMs" project whose goal is to improve the coverage of Swiss heritage institutions in Wikidata and to promote a variety of use cases, including the use of Wikidata-powered infoboxes on various Wikipedias.
- Since 2020, I have been involved in the development of Culture in Time, an online application for the representation of cultural calendars based on a variety of linked open data sources, including Wikidata. The main cooperation partner for the development of the app has been the Montreal-based start-up company Culture Creates.
- In 2022-2023, I have initiated and have been coordinating the project "Image-to-Concept", funded by SWITCH and Wikimedia Sweden. The goal of the project is to enhance the ISA Tool (crowdscouring tool for the tagging of images on Wikimedia Commons) by adding algorithmic support in the form of semi-automatic tagging.
- In 2022-2023, I have been working on a mandate to support the Swiss Archive of the Performing Arts (SAPA) with the implementation of their strategy to ingest their production database into Wikidata.
Earlier projects and engagements (selection)
- Between 2013 and 2018 I carried out the OpenGLAM Benchmark Survey, the foundations of which were laid by a pilot survey among Swiss heritage institutions, which I implemented in 2012 with the help of my students. During the same period I was also involved in the Open Knowledge Foundation's international OpenGLAM working group.
- In 2018, I helped organize and partly coordinated the Fourth Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon, hosted by the Swiss National Museum in Zürich.
- In 2017, I coordinated the Third Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon, hosted by the Cantonal and University Library Lausanne.
- In 2016, I coordinated the Second Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon, hosted by the Basel University Library.
- In 2015, I helped organize the First Swiss Open Cultural Data Hackathon, hosted by the Swiss National Library in Bern.
- Between 2013 and 2015 I maintained an overview of information related to the evaluation of GLAM-Wiki cooperations. The initial inputs were gained through the analysis of project reports and a workshop at Wikimania 2013.
- In 2013, I helped organize the Wiki Loves Monuments photo contest in Switzerland.
- In 2013 I took care of the coordination of the Wiki Loves Monuments Participants' Survey. In this context I have also proposed a Wiki Loves Monuments Future Workshop during Wikimania 2013.
- In 2012, I played a leading role in the revamping of the Outreach wiki's Education_Portal.
- From 2009 to 2012 I initiated and coordinated the project TAO (Third Age Online) the goal of which was to highlight the ways in which the access of older adults to the opportunities offered by online communities can be facilitated. In fall 2012 I handed over the coordination of the project to my colleague, Thomas Gehrig, in order to focus my activities on heritage institutions.
User Accounts / Disclaimer
I started to use this real name account in my role as coordinator of the project TAO. I had occasionally edited Wikipedia before (since 2005 as a registered user) and continued to contribute now and then using my original user account in areas unrelated to my outreach activities for a few years.
2012-2022: Apart from getting some minor funding (covering a few days' work) from the eCH Association for writing guidelines related to data ingestion into Wikidata in late 2016 and from the Canadian Asocciation for the Performing Arts (CAPACOA) for documenting and cleaning up data structures on Wikidata related to the performing arts in October 2020, my contributions to the Outreach Wiki and other Wikimedia projects in this time period have been made on a volunteer basis in my spare time or as part of my phd work. They do not necessarily reflect the official views of the projects or organisations I was involved in, nor the views of my employer, unless otherwise stated.
In 2022 and 2023 I have received funding from CAPACOA and the Swiss Archive of the Performing Arts (SAPA) to help them document and clean up data structures on Wikidata and to assist them with data ingests. Furthermore, I have coordinated the "Image-to-Concept" project (enhancement of the ISA Tool), funded by SWITCH and Wikimedia Sverige.
I also occasionally teach introductory courses to Wikimedia Commons or Wikidata, coach heritage institutions when it comes to contributing to Wikidata, Wikipedia, or Wikimedia Commons, and supervise students' projects related to Wikidata; some of these activities have been part of my paid job.