Affiliate-selected Board seats/2014/Nominations/Frieda Brioschi/ja

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Picture of Frieda
Frieda Brioschi





In the past ten (almost eleven!) years I dedicated a piece of my life to the Wikimedia movement, even before it was a movement. Most part of my “career” took place on italian projects and in Wikimedia Italia where I was one of the founder, the first and the longest running president.

Last February I resigned as chair of WMI: the board was aware of my decision since months and I wanted to step down before an election to boost other candidates; as long I was regarded as a certainty no one was interested in turnover. Wikimedia Italia is ready to grow without me. I led WMI as far as I could and now the association is ready to hire an executive director - the process was started months ago and is expected to be concluded by the end of April -, staff is slowly increasing, we organized a successful WMConf in 2013, etc.; but after 10 years I think that there’s the need for fresh energies and ideas.

I’ve already been elected to the BoT in 2007 and it was a great experience being there: WMF was changing and it was starting the path that led to the current structure and effectiveness. Looking back, part of my statement is still relevant and part of it was already implemented: WM projects are still free and open, our mission is to share knowledge, WMF is a strong and reliable organization acting world wide (even if it could improve!), GLAM are a stable part of our world, increasing participation is one of the strategic goals, diversity and community preciousness are included in the WMF core values, communities and chapters are assets and are listed in the guiding principles; last but not least, chapters model was so interesting that it was extended to a general model including different kinds of affiliation. BoT and the ED worked jointly along these directions and I want to offer again my experience and my energy to serve the Wikimedia movement in the best possible way.

Current hot themes that, IMHO, need to be faced by the BoT regard the interaction between WMF and affiliates, in term of actions, joint projects, money collection and distribution, duties and responsibilities. The next ED should guide the transition towards new challenges: in my experience I can clearly identify different ages in WMF life, at least “before Sue” and “during Sue”; so presumably we’ll have an “after Sue”. Every period was different from and greater than the previous ones. The future requires a couple of headaches: how to boost editors, which includes the development of the next strategic plan, and how to keep our project always “glamorous”. At the very beginning our wikis were far from every other website and this was really fascinating perhaps in a “tech” way; nowadays our wikis are still far from every other website but this is scary. This web is more social than content oriented and if at the beginning we were leading the trend, now we are running after it.

If I could express two wishes to the Wikimedia fairy, one would be about our offline presence and the second is a rising idea about our connection to the society. I think that we should invest in our offline presence; WMConf, Wikimania and other events could be more addressed as internal moments or outreach programs, but they need a soul and they must scale. The other deeper and disruptive thought is that our projects are strongly related to the so-called civil society, which means that everything happening in the society reflects into our projects. And that’s automatic. It’s time to lead this process and to double it, from projects back to society.

During March I worked with WMI Board to solve problems, fix minor topics and assess the state of our projects. During these discussions I discovered two things: that I was more ready than I supposed to leave WMI, and I’m not yet ready to leave the movement. I still want to serve the Wikimedia Movement since I’m in love with it as the first day.


I started contributing to Wikipedia in May 2003, in 2005 I was one of the founder, the first and the longest running president of Wikimedia Italia and then I attended the first Wikimania in Frankfurt. During these years I was an admin or a bureaucrat on many projects (,, it.source, it.wikt, ..), an OTRS admin, press contact for and some other things that I’m probably missing in this moment.

I was born in 1976, I’m a computer scientist and I’m proudly mom of Celeste.

In my professional life I’m a digital communication consultant, working on tech projects, web strategy, community creation and management, social media. Problem solving is my best skill. Since 2012 I started working with start-ups: I was the coordinator of Kublai, a community for startupper hosted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, and I teach “Start-up” at IED (International Higher Educational Network in Design, Fashion, Visual Communication and Management of creative industries) both in Italian and English (exchange and foreign students).

I took part in hundreds of congresses to share both my professional and wikimedian experience; I gave three TEDx talks, two about Wikipedia and one lateral thinking applied to problem solving (I and Wikipedia, Wikipedia and me, Captains Courageous).

Some other details are available on my LinkedIn profile.


I am eligible and I’d love to serve in the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.


Letter of endorsement from Wikimedia Italia

Dear Wikiverse,

Frieda recently resigned as chair of Wikimedia Italia, ending many great years in the chapter, a 11-year experience that has led it to be the reference point of the movement in Italy. For our association this is a great loss, but we believe that her commitment, her passion and her abilities can and should now become an asset for the broader Wikimedia movement. Indeed, we are now proud to present her candidacy to the board of trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation[1].

As many of you probably know, Frieda is a long time Wikipedian: she started contributing to it.wikipedia on May 2003; and then, she also served the community as sysop, bureaucrat and OTRS volunteer. She's also a first-hour Wikimedian, having attended the first Wikimania in Frankfurt, in 2005.

She has co-founded the third Wikimedia chapter in the world. Her passion first made Wikimedia Italia be born and then grow and flourish. In all the things that Wikimedia Italia has achieved, you can feel and touch Frieda's hard work and vision. It's beyond words to describe the impact and the importance of Frieda for Wikimedia Italia, and the Wikimedia movement in general. She always had the vision of a global, multicultural movement from the first days. She understood from the beginning what Wikimedia was to be, and immediately started working towards it, years before many of us knew Wikipedia. Everybody in Italy which has got in touch with Wikimedia Italia has been able to experiment both the passion of Frieda for Wikimedia, as her promptness in helping any good idea and her ability to carry out projects from birth to completion. Frieda's toughness is known in all the movement: you can always rely on her honest feedback, as she always shares her opinions very openly and directly. She is well known for her determination and sheer force of will, and even stubbornness: she is both a game changer and a reliable person you can count on. She makes promises she can deliver, and she delivers what promised. Finally, these years can testify her enthusiasm and dedication to the Wikimedia values.

We think that the Wikimedia Foundation and the Board of Trustees will benefit enormously from her qualities and her view of the movement, matured with almost eleven years of experience in the Wikimedia world.

All in all, we think that her candidacy is a great opportunity and we are very happy to have the chance to write these words.

--Il direttivo di Wikimedia Italia

  1. The board of Wikimedia Italia voted a deliberation Supporto alla candidatura di Frieda alle ASBS, Support to the candidacy of Frieda to the ASBS (accessible only to WM-IT members). Laurentius, secretary of Wikimedia Italia, abstained from the vote, since he is serving as a facilitator to the process. The vote took place on March 22nd, 2014.