English Corner

For a corporate event, a conference, a workshop, or a seminar… ask for a speaker that offers a unique value.

Since 2004, Florence shares her knowledge during conferences, workshops, or seminars on various topics related to Wikipedia, wikis, online collaboration, virtual communities, and social media.

She can speak in French or in English.

Speaking Topics
– Wikipedia, an amazing world-wide collaboration project
– Adopt a wiki
– Grow online communities
– Gender gap
– Africa and Wikipedia


What do you need ?

Speaking is not a goal in itself, but rather an opportunity to share stories, experiences and thoughts with other human beings. But this exchange has its root in your needs.

Wikipedia, an amazing world-wide collaboration project

Are you looking for someone to explain to your audience what Wikipedia is ? how it works ? the collaboration model ? the financial model ? Want to hear about all the challenges facing a world-wide, multilingual, decentralized, volunteer-based project ? interested by the last rumors in the Wikipedia-world ? Interested in knowing how we try to reduce the gender-gap ?

I can help you.

I have many stories to share with you… Just ask.


Who am I ?

Amongst other roles, I am a speaker on Collaborative and Social Media topics since 2004. I participated in over 50 events, from the very large public conference to the small corporate seminar; from Paris to Buenos Aires, Taipei, Johannesburg, or Alexandria; in English or French.

A user of Internet since 1992, I worked for a private company doing internet-based decision tools in sustainable agriculture from 2000 till 2005.

Editor at Wikipedia (the famous online encyclopedia) since 2002, I enjoy participating to the best of my abilities to online knowledge-sharing communities.

Former chair of the Wikimedia Foundation (the US non profit that hosts Wikipedia) and founding board member at Wikimedia France (the association supporting Wikimedia projects in France), I have been deeply involved in the development of the legal, financial, technical, communication, fundraising framework supporting Wikipedia. In the past few years, my involvement in Wikipedia has been mostly working about women and Africa.
I also provide consulting services on issues related to knowledge management, collaboration tools and online communities.
I care for language diversity and multicultural dialogue, and am a supporter of the open-source and free knowledge mouvement.

I joined Wikipedia as an author in 2002 and am known as a contributor under the pseudonym Anthere. In 2004, Iwas elected as a wikimedia community representative to the Board of Wikimedia Foundation* where I served during four years, first as Vice-Chair. I became Chair of the board of Wikimedia Foundation (2006-2008), following the chairmanship of Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia co-founder. I am now member of the Advisory Board of Wikimedia Foundation.

* The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of its wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world’s 10 most-visited websites

A small organization with no staff, no office and only a couple of dozen of thousand dollars in bank in 2004, the Wikimedia Foundation has grown to be a world-wide recognised organization. My efforts have been oriented to insure that the Wikimedia network would preserve the diversity of the community, that the community would stay involved in the organization decision-making process, and that the whole system would stay as decentralized as possible, to preserve its independance and facilite its durability.

When I joined Wikipedia in 2002, it was essentially a totally unknow project, led by a group of 50 people working on an English-based project, with no money and no official structure. When I joined the board of trustees of Wikimedia Foundation in 2004, Wikipedia was still pretty much a confidential project except in the USA, the project was running on 3 servers and the Wikimedia Foundation was hardly more than a piece of document describing bylaws and a bank account with 20 000 dollars on it.

When I quit the board in 2008, Wikipedia had become a very well-known website with over 10 000 000 articles in over 200 languages, and the Wikimedia Foundation hosted a top 10 most visited website, operated over 200 servers in several locations, had an office, over 25 staff members, an annual very successful fundraiser, was independently audited, and ran on a budget of over 6 millions dollars.

I am also a founding member (2004) of Wikimedia France, the local French association supporting Wikimedia projects locally.
As a former member (vice-chair) of its board, I was the leading person for the fundraising effort in France.

For my involvement, on May 16 2008, I was made a knight in the French National Order of Merit, proposed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as « chair of an international foundation », by M. Eric Besson, presently Minister of Immigration, Integration, National identity and Solidary development in the government of François Fillon French National Government. I have also been awarded a Montgolfier in October 2008, by the  Société d’encouragement pour l’industrie nationale in the category « training and communication ».

I am the co-author of the book « Wikipédia : découvrir, utiliser, contribuer«  published in January 2009, as well as several other books.

In the past few years, my involvement in Wikipedia has been mostly working about women and Africa through various activating projects, Kumusha Takes Wiki, Wiki Loves Africa and Wiki Loves Women. Gender inequality is rife across sub-saharan Africa. Although much progress has been made to address these inequalities in the workplace and within society, there remains a systemic bias towards profiling women, especially with regards to information, news and knowledge sources, both online and offline. On Wikipedia, I work in bridging two significant gaps on – women and Africa – both in terms of content about these subjects and in terms of participation by people from these groups.

> See also  References

> See also English Corner/Consulting



[testimonial]Florence provided us with leadership and a strong community spirit during a period of extreme growth and change. I would recommend her for any position involving independent thinking a willingness to challenge the status quo.[client_name]Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia[/client_name][/testimonial]

[testimonial]Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Creative
“Anthere/Florence deserves more than just the three attributes above. She is a passionate community leader, an excellent and sought-after speaker in English (and I would assume possibly French as well!), and a veritable encyclopedia of biological and biome knowledge. Oh, she built such an Encylopedia too? And the highest ranked on the web? hmmm, what a surprise. That she now chairs the parent Foundation is not a coincidence. Hang out with this brilliant and powerful community leader someday and you’ll find her curiously self-effacing and shy. Yet somehow she keeps on doing with her modest life what it takes 3 others to do normally. Or maybe she’s up to 4 now. Highly recommended.”[client_name]Steve hired Florence as a Speaker, Mediator, Visionary. Steve Rapaport, Senior Consultant at Consuit Management Consulting Ltd[/client_name]


[testimonial]Florence has a vision. As Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, she helped bring the organisation one step further, from a small non-profit to one of the major actors of the non-profit scene today. She is a compelling speaker, as well as an excellent pedagogue. She knows how to captivate her audience and bring forward the important challenges of collaborative work, as well as help people understand how to apply her teachings to their everyday issues. She’s your best bet to bring your organisation forward in the area of collaborative practices.[client_name]Delphine Ménard, Communication professional with an intercultural twist[/client_name][/testimonial]

[testimonial]I have worked with Florence in the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation Inc. when she was Chair and I was board member. Florence is a very capable and hard-working person, she combines absolute integrity with a keen strategic vision and a talent to comprehensively and unrelentingly study a vast number of relevant facts concerned. She has been and still is a great communicator and inspiration for a vast international community. She is one of the rare persons one can trust blindly.”[client_name]Oscar van Dillen, Member of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation. Composer, visual artist and professor of music at Codarts. [/client_name][/testimonial]

[testimonial]“As the Chair of the Foundation, Florence not only demonstrated her leadership toward global community but also implemented insightful strategies and tackled various challenges promptly. It takes both intelligence and empathy to collaborate with community from all sorts of culture background, and Florence did a fabulous success in her term. After she finished the post as Chair, she still actively participates and contributes in the Internet culture and open knowledge movements as she did before. The extensive global connections and experiences she has is definitely a great advantage for anyone looking for advise about the Internet. Meanwhile, she also has sharp observation and always speaks straight to the point. Florence is a good role model about how could a single person improve the world gradually. She is considerate of others in all respects. Most of all, she is always a true friend you could count on and trust.” March 23, 2009. [client_name]Tzu-Chiang Liou , Organizer and Program Comittee Coordinator of Wikimania 2007 , Wikimedia Foundation
worked with Florence at Wikimedia Foundation Inc [/client_name][/testimonial]

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