Five open movement podcasts you need in your life.
Radio is dead, or has it simply taken on a different form? While the listenership of traditional AM and FM radio stations is dwindling, podcast listenership has grown exponentially year on year. 2023 podcast statistics estimate that there are currently 464.7 million podcast listeners globally, a number predicted to rise to 504.9 million by the end of 2024. Humans, it seems, are driven by curiosity and a desire for information on every topic under the sun, if the range and number of podcasts — over 5 million with over 70 million episodes between them — are anything to go by.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology surveyed 306 participants about their podcast listening habits and found that people with personality traits that measured higher in openness to experience, interest-based curiosity, and need for cognition were more likely to listen to podcasts. Personality traits that could describe most Wikimedians.
With so many options out there, where do those of us in the Open Movement go to find our podcast fix? A quick search on Meta for the word 'podcast' turns up thousands of entries, unhelpful if you're looking to expand your Open knowledge while cooking dinner. So we've done a round-up of our favourite Wikimedia and Open Movement podcasts and vodcasts, and included two produced by the Wiki in Africa team... this is our newsletter, after all.
1. WikiAfrica Hour
Covering all activities related to the WikiAfrica movement and Wikimedians across the continent, WikiAfrica Hour is a monthly vodcast that is streamed live on a Friday afternoon at 3pm UCT. Each episode features hot topic guests from the movement. Hosts Ceslause Ogbonnaya and Nonny Ntlahla make a dynamic team, and also bring you the month's news and opportunities from and related to African Wikimedia projects.
The next episode goes out tomorrow, Friday 28 April at 3 pm UCT. Curious about what happens behind the scenes of the technologies driving Wikimedia projects? Find out who is responsible for what tech, the annual plan of the product team, and how the Wikimedia foundation plans to achieve its tech goals for 2030 Movement Strategy. Tune in tomorrow when Ceslause will be exploring these topics and more with guests Selena Deckelmann, Chief Product and Technology Officer, Wikimedia Foundation, and Kwaku Addo Ofori, Site Reliability Engineering Manager, Wikimedia Foundation.
The WIKIMOVE podcast is a forum for open and frank conversations about topics related to movement strategy that looks optimistically at the future as we move towards Wikimedia 2030. WIKIMOVE is hosted by Nicole Ebber and Nikki Zeuner and features guests who are working on 2030 initiatives or are participating in governance reform, as well as people who come from underrepresented communities and people from other movements who have experiences and inspiration to share.
In the latest episode, Nicole and Nikki talk to two veteran functionaries, Florence Devouard (co-Executive Director of Wiki in Africa, former Steward and WMF Chair) and Martin Rulsch (Wikimedia Steward (volunteer) and project manager at Wikimedia Deutschland) about the system of governance for Wikipedia and what the challenges are. They cover topics like IP blocks and notability criteria, and ask provocative questions like… does Movement Strategy make everything worse? Does the system need to change or do the people need to better learn to obey the rules? What can be done to strengthen our community governance and the people holding it up?
3. Pixelache: Wikimedians-in-Residence
Coming to you from Finland, Pixelache: Wikimedians-in-Residence is a podcast series that discusses and reflects upon the long parallel history of the Pixelache Helsinki Festival and transdisciplinary platform, which has promoted open culture, and Wikimedia methodologies. It explores where the two movements have overlapped, gone hand-in-hand and then diverged.
The podcasts are released on Wikimedia Commons and Soundcloud. In the latest three-part series Andrew Gryf Paterson, a long-term member of Pixelache Festival converses in four parts with Florence Devouard, Wikimedian in Residence with the World Intellectual Property Organization, former chair of Wikimedia Foundation and Wiki in Africa co-founder. Florence discusses her experience as an invited guest of Pixelache in 2005, and her wider Wikimedia work then and now. offer ideas about how creative organisations can develop their Wikipedia presence.
4. Between the Brackets
For the tech-minded listener, Between the Brackets is a podcast about the people and ideas behind the MediaWiki software. It features interviews with developers and users of MediaWiki, both for Wikimedia sites (Wikipedia, Wikidata, etc.) and the many uses of MediaWiki in companies, organizations, governments and personal uses.
Between the Brackets is hosted by Yaron Koren, a developer and the founder of WikiWorks. The podcast has already aired 137 episodes, proving that Wikimedians love to geek out on tech. The latest episode aired on 25 April and features Sam Wilson, a senior software engineer in the Community Tech team at the Wikimedia Foundation.
5. Inspiring Open
This gender-focused podcast from Wiki Loves Women features phenomenal African women from a range of disciplines from tech to creative arts who also have an open ethos. Hosted by Betty Kankam-Boudu, the 16 episodes released in season one of Inspiring Open are available on all podcast platforms, giving you the opportunity to explore the personal and inspiring journeys of African women at the top of their game while you wait for season two.