Chapter-selected Board seats/2012/Candidates

The candidates for the 2012 Chapter board seat selections are as follows. If you wish to ask them questions please either post them here (if the question is for all candidates) or on the individual questions pages linked to in each candidate's section. Questions will then be forwarded to the candidates and the answers posted on an individual page for each candidate. Please discuss individual candidates on the talk pages of their subpage and have more general discussions on the talk page of this page.

Craig Franklin (Lankiveil) edit

(Bahasa Indonesia)

Craig Franklin (Lankiveil)

General info edit

Craig Franklin

My name is Craig Franklin, and I would like to be considered for one of the available chapter-selected seats on the Wikimedia Foundation’s Board of Trustees. I edit on Wikimedia projects as “Lankiveil”.

Craig Franklin is currently the Treasurer of Wikimedia Australia.

Nomination by: Wikimedia Indonesia

Statement of support edit

Based on Wikimedia Indonesia Board of Trustees Resolution: Wikimedia Indonesia approved the nomination of Craig Franklin as a candidate for WMF Chapter-selected Board of Trustees.

Resume edit

Wikimedia Resume edit

I began my Wiki editing career at the Irish (Gaelic) language Wikipedia in August 2004. I soon migrated across to the English language Wikipedia where I became an administrator and arbitration committee clerk. I have also been active at Commons, where I have uploaded many photographs, primarily of Australian sportspeople, flora and geographical features.

I was a founding member of the Australian Wikimedia chapter. Since late 2010 I have served as the chapter’s Treasurer, and I am currently midway through my second term in the position. My twin interests as chapter Treasurer have been to develop a sustainable framework for professional management of the chapter, and expanding grant programmes to assist community members in developing new, free content. I have also whenever I’ve had the opportunity, engaged in programme work such as GLAM collaborations and outreach events.

My philosophy on how Wikimedia projects should be run is simple: the projects were initially built and managed by volunteers, and under that arrangement they were taken from an obscure sideproject for Nupedia, to one of the top 10 web properties in the world. I have a great deal of faith in the wisdom and talent that our community possesses. I despair at the current trend of the Foundation running programmes and initiatives where community input and control is minimal.

Real World Resume edit

I graduated with a Bachelor of Information Technology degree, with a major in Data Communication, from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2004. After short periods in system support and payroll processing, I gained a position as a Project Officer and Business Analyst, focusing on the implementation of financial management and reporting systems for public sector entities. I was promoted to Senior Business Analyst in 2009. My main current areas of focus are spearheading projects with small teams in business intelligence (providing tools to assist organisations in making informed business decisions based on financial data) and business process improvement.

At the same time, I am also enrolled as a postgraduate student at QUT, pursuing a degree in Information Management, where my main research interests are in user-driven information management and categorisation systems (like Wikis!).

Over the years I have also had a number of other jobs on the side, including as a freelance music journalist, and as a breeder of tropical fish for the ethical aquarium trade. My partner and I are greatly interested in the self-sufficiency movement, and have given over much of our land to the production of fruits and vegetables to reduce our dependence on conventional methods for food distribution.

My philosophy edit

I have been dismayed at the recent trend towards decision making being made in an office in San Francisco, often with little or no consultation with community members. It is the community of volunteers that shows up day after day to write articles, perform administrative tasks, and keep the projects clear of spam that allow the Foundation to exist. A healthy and engaged community will result in a healthy Foundation. Engaging the community needs to be something that is an integral part of everything that the Foundation does, not just an afterthought after a decision has been made in the boardroom.

Some examples of recent events that I feel are unacceptable are:

  • Imposing a new fundraising model upon chapters without prior consultation, and then frequently tinkering with that model in such a way that it is impossible for chapters to undertake longterm planning.
  • Imposing new software tools, such as the image filter, on Wikimedia projects who have quite clearly expressed a wish not to be involved.
  • Striking down community consensus on projects, such as with the autoconfirmed article creation trial on the English Wikipedia.
  • Running expensive, failed projects like the India Education Program (Pune), which could have had much more positive results if editors from the affected projects had been brought in for their opinions and feedback before the project turned into a disaster.

As I’m in gainful employment, I do not see this position as a stepping stone to a job or sinecure with the Foundation. As such, I would be quite unafraid to speak my mind where I disagree with a proposal. On the other side though, I have quite a cordial relationship with the WMF staff and trustees, despite my public opposition to a lot of their policies, and I do think I’d be able to work effectively with them in bringing about change.

Some particular things that I would like to focus on include:

  • Providing more resources and guidance to chapters to help them in meeting the challenges of organisational development and effective ways to run programs
  • Bringing the Movement Roles process to a close, so that all actors in the movement have a clear picture of where they stand and what they can contribute
  • Focusing work on the important questions of editor retention and gender balance in Wikimedia projects
  • Devolving oversight of Foundation activities, wherever possible, to local communities and editor groups, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. This includes making as much information available about Foundation decision-making, financial performance, and fundraising, publically available for scrutiny by the community.
  • Reforming the Foundation and the Board of Trustees to be more responsive and accountable to readers and to the community.

Responses to the questions by nominator edit

  • is willing and eligible to serve on the board of a US charity (the WMF is a 501(c)(3) organisation registered in Florida)
    To my knowledge, there is no reason that I would not legally be able to serve on the Foundation’s board.
  • is committed to the Wikimedia mission
    I have been an editor since 2004 and engaged in chapter activities (such as running workshops, public speaking, and engaging with the media) since 2009, all as a volunteer and sometimes at considerable personal financial expense.
  • speaks English to a standard sufficient to take part in detailed and technical written and spoken discussions
    I am a native speaker of English.
  • has sufficient time to devote to the role
    Currently I spend 10-20 hours a week on general duties for Wikimedia Australia. If chosen to sit on the Foundation’s board I would expect to spent at least as much time on Board of Trustee related activities.
  • will approach the role from an international point of view
    My view on this is that while we can all do our best, for a given country or culture, the best person to provide advice and run programmes in a country is someone from that country. With that said I’ve travelled widely in Oceania, Asia, and Europe and have had exposure to a variety of cultures and philosophies. I also spent my formative years in a neighbourhood with a lot of immigrants, particularly from South Asia and Polynesian countries, so I have more than a passing familiarity with these cultures.
  • is willing and able to travel
    My employer is supportive of my Wikimedia work and has given me time off to engage in Wikimedia activities in the past, I see no reason to believe that that would not continue.
  • is willing and able to work as part of a team, both with the rest of the WMF board and with the larger Wikimedia movement.
    Perhaps those I’ve worked with can expand upon this, but collaboration is at the core of the Wikimedia experience and I think I’ve generally succeeded at that. As an office holder in Wikimedia Australia I’ve always sought to be as inclusive as possible. I believe that progress is not made by taking an adversarial stance, but rather from trying to find common ground and build confidence by working together on areas of mutual agreement.
  • has experience of Wikimedia chapters, either from external dealings with chapters or from being active within a chapter
    As above, I am currently serving my second term as Wikimedia Australia’s Treasurer.
  • is good at both communicating their ideas and listening to the ideas of others
    I like to think that I am good at this. I acknowledge that I do not have the answer to every question, and I think that an important part of a role as a Chapter board member or a Trustee with the Foundation is listening to ideas and considering them on their merits, regardless of their source.
  • has experience with governance issues
    One of my key tasks as Wikimedia Australia’s Treasurer has been helping to guide the chapter from being a small group of volunteers undertaking ad hoc projects to a professional organisation with firm strategic objectives and plans. Working with public sector organisations for a number of years looking at financial process improvement has also given me an insight on how larger operations approach governance.
  • is able to work independently
    For a period of time, I was the only active chapter person in Queensland. Due to the massive geographical size of Australia, often we have no choice except to work independently.
  • can effectively think strategically
    I chaired the Wikimedia Austraia's strategic planning subcommittee, a process that everyone involved seems to think has had a positive end result
  • is able to recognize both the specific interests and challenges of chapters and how to best place them into the overall Wikimedia context
    Having been in a chapter that’s gone from being a small fish to a medium-sized fish, I think I have a unique perspective on the challenges that chapters face, and on ways that the Foundation can assist chapters to have a smoother ride to a point where they can concentrate on doing great programme work, rather than messing around with administrative matters and trying to squeeze some fundraising money out of the Foundation.
  • has vision of relations between chapters and Wikimedia Foundation
    I have quite a simple vision of how relations between chapters and the Foundation should work. Relations should be a partnership of equals, where each party respects the work done by the other, and any differences of opinion are talked out to a mutually agreeable compromise with suitable dollops of good faith and respect.
  • is from the part of the world not represented in current Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.
    There are currently no Trustees based in Australia, the Southern Hemisphere, or the Western Pacific.

Salmaan Haroon (Theo10011) edit

(Bahasa Indonesia)

Salmaan Haroon (Theo10011)

General info edit

Salmaan Haroon

Statement of support by WMAU edit

Wikimedia Australia has come to know Salmaan Haroon as an enthusiastic and passionate contributor to the Wikimedia projects, and more importantly to the governance and organisational support of these projects.

Salmaan Haroon has worked closely with many chapters and the Wikimedia Foundation, and has encouraged all movement organisations to develop their strengths, collaborate more, and strive for excellence in financial stability and transparency, to each other and to the community. By listening and participating in discussions, he has come to understand many of the issues that chapters face. Salmaan Haroon was a key supporter of the Movement Roles project, which has recently been ratified by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. It is the belief of Wikimedia Australia that his enthusiasm and determination will bring about positive changes at all levels of this movement.

Statement of support by WMID edit

Wikimedia Indonesia nominated and supported Salmaan Haroon as a candidate for Wikimedia Foundation Chapter-selected Board of Trustees based on the Resolution which can be found here:

Statement edit

I am known to most people within the community as Theo - a name of my own choosing. Why? I wish to explain now. The selection process for which lasted a whole 10 seconds, 10011 was added because 'Theo' was unavailable at the time. I am not sure why I chose 'Theo' at the time, I wasn't listening to Thelonious Monk or reading any articles about Theocracy, it was just the first innocuous thing that came to my mind. I felt what I had to say at that point mattered more than that name, or what it revealed about me. I wanted to use something generic and random.

The edit that I felt was more important, was a proposal on strategy wiki. It was my first page, a proposal to create a Wiki-Fund, an endowment fund for WMF, so it could limit its reliance on the annual fundraiser and be sustainable. I subsequently discussed and explained my idea to others, even got a chance to bring it up to a couple of board members. One thing led to another, and I ended getting more involved in the process, and became an admin there. My area of interest was, and is, financial sustainability. It is one thing, I feel I have something to contribute in. I somehow, remained active in the process till it ended, became active on English Wikipedia, and eventually migrated to Meta for my daily activities.

I still chose to go by that name, not because I didn't have a chance to change it or use my real name. I liked remaining relatively anonymous, I liked being known for what I say than who I am. I have built my standing from what I say, rather than where I am from, the language I speak or what I do in my day-job. I like fading into an ocean of anonymity, I would have been known as an IP address if I could, but 'Theo' is good enough, I suppose.

I value people by their contributions, not their names or identities. That culture of meritocracy, is the idea behind our movement. I value people for what they say and know, what they can prove and not who they are or what qualification they have. That is why Wikipedia is written by just about anyone, you, me, teenagers, housewives, teachers, students, not only grey-haired, primarily anglo-saxon scholars, that came to represent the establishment when it came to knowledge. They came to represent the keepers of the gate to knowledge for centuries; our movement, to that extent, is breaking the door down, and removing those barriers.

Later that year, I appeared in a series of videos created by WMF at Wikimania in Gdansk, then got hired to work for WMF during the fundraiser, and I thought there went my anonymity. I became more active on IRC and the mailing lists. My interaction also changed inside the community, I eventually found my voice as I became more active in governance related discussion, too active, by some accounts.

I believe WMF and the movement is at a critical juncture now than it has ever been. Decisions, taken now will shape what our movement will look like in years to come. I strongly believe each chapter should strive to be independent, financially and organizationally, to pursue 100 different goals at any given point, for a 1000 different volunteers all across the world. Coordination should not be confused with control.

I have strong opinions on subjects related to governance. I have never been shy of expressing them. I continue to engage in tense discussions, I believe I'm least likely to retire and pull away from controversial topics and heated debate. The board needs strong direction now with decisive actions. I would do everything within my power to be the best representative of the chapters and the wider community as possible.

Within every ideology, philosophy, there are voices that occupy a spectrum. There are moderates, who can continue month after month of writing reasoned letters without losing their focus, there are extreme voices, usually passionate, inarticulate fools that scream at the top of their lungs, and there are silent protesters; the underlying ideas are always the same. I have occupied the entire spectrum from my involvement in Wikimedia governance issues. As a staff member once put it, the idea of chapter independence has always been a bit of fiction, it is statements and perceptions like those that I wish to alter permanently.

And with that, I wish to announce my acceptance of nomination from Wikimedia Australia. I am generally a pessimist, so whatever the outcome of the elections, I hope to not let any of my friends down.

Resume edit

Real life Resume edit

Salmaan Haroon (User:Theo10011) is an Indian businessman, a self-described finance geek and an amateur economist. He attended Delhi University as a Bachelor of commerce student. His foray into the business world involved managing his family business since he was 17. He subsequently worked as a trader in commodities, currencies and stock futures for several years. He was temporarily involved in the trading of polymer resins from the MENA region. During the course of his work, he has lived and worked from several places within the MENA region, South-east Asia and most recently Brazil. He has traveled extensively, dealing with client/supplier negotiations in a multicultural environment.

Salmaan is a bilingual, his mother tongues are Hindi and English, along with some variation of dialect and written systems. He can understand Spanish and to a certain degree, Portuguese. He is also learning Latin.

Wikimedia Resume edit

Salmaan's involvement in Wikipedia started when he became a contributor to the English Wikipedia, under username Theo10011. He was extensively involved in the WMF strategic plan formulation, primarily focusing on financial sustainability. He proposed a Wiki-fund, an endowment fund for WMF as one of his first contributions. He remained active within the strategy-space, going through majority of the research material and information about Wikimedia and other similar organizations, on strategy wiki and Meta. Salmaan briefly worked for WMF on the fundraiser, which gave him a different perspective, working in proximity of other staff members. He was later involved in the Movement Roles group, where he proposed a Chapters council and a abstract classification system for all entities in the movement. Recently, he has been heavily involved in the fundraising discussion suggesting a tiered approach, and being a strong proponent of decentralized fundraising. He has vocally spoken out against attempts to centralize fund collections and dissemination, and undermining the existence of chapters.

He has helped organized several meetups and events in his city and the local community. Most of Salmaan's activity on Meta these days, is li mited to Wikimedia and governance-related areas.

Focus edit

Salmaan believes that WMF and the movement is at a critical juncture. He strongly believes that decisions, taken now will shape what our movement will look like in years to come. Wikimedia foundation is in a much stronger position now than it was 2 years ago, the number of staff members is more than twice of what it was, the budget too, has expanded several times, in the same period. The focus, he believes, should now be on better international representation, multicultural interaction, better financial control, and know-how about target geographies. He is in strong favor of using chapters to expand in target geographies and increasing outreach efforts. He believes in better communication from the board, with clear, decisive actions, along with proper communication of the thought-process behind a decision. He strongly respects the project and community's sovereignty, and is against any change or modification against the community's wishes, like the controversial-content filter. He is against proliferation of random, continuous and ongoing research projects, which don't have any measurable ROI (Return on Investment) for the community. He believes a large portion of annual revenues are wasted in research projects that don't yield any conclusive results, instead of going directly towards supporting the community and its activities. He would like to see more development within Mediawiki, to better customize it for non-flagship projects. He is also not in favor of rapidly expanding the staff with more consultants, designers and analysts, without addressing the core issues of the day. He believes each chapter should be a strong, independent organization within its own country, capable of standing on its own, financially, and organizationally, to defend the common interest of our movement.

Responses to the questions by nominator edit

Are you willing and eligible to serve on the board of a US charity (the Wikimedia Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization registered in Florida)?
Are you committed to the Wikimedia Mission (
Are you able to speak English to a standard sufficient to take part in detailed and technical written and spoken discussions?
Near-Native English Speaker.
Do you think you have sufficient time to devote to the role?
Are you able to approach the role from an international point of view?
Are you willing and able to travel?
Are you willing and able to work as part of a team, both with the rest of the WMF Board and with the larger Wikimedia movement?
Please tell us your brief experience in dealing with Wikimedia Chapters, either from external dealings with chapters of from being active within chapter.
I was an active participant in the strategy process during 2009, I was supportive of decentralized fundraising model. I was first exposed to the chapter world Wikimania 2010, in Gdansk. I subsequently worked for WMF during the 2010 fundraiser, in close proximity of chapters and had access to several chapters. I signed on as a participant for the Movement Roles group in early 2011, because I wanted Wikimedia and the chapters to retain a decentralized structure. I subsequently proposed a Chapters council and worked on internal classification system for all entities. I first attended the Chapters conference in 2011 in Berlin as a Movement Roles group participant, I spent that time attending presentations and meeting different chapter representative. I got a chance to talk, make friends with many of the representatives.
How do you consider yourself in communicating your ideas and listening to the ideas of the others?
I believe I am proficient in communicating my ideas to others. I try and be responsive to other's points.
Please state any experience you have with international affairs.
I have traveled extensively for work within Asia, Middle-east and of late, Europe and South America. I have had exposure to a lot of different cultures, and personalities. I believe I have a strong handle on issues related to Multicultural environments and interaction within them.
Please state any experience you have with governance issues.
The majority of my exposure to governance issues has been related to Wikimedia. I was actively involved in the Strategic planning process, I wrote proposals for financial sustainability. I was then involved in Movement Roles process, where I worked on a Chapters council. Besides those, I have been involved in minor project related governance issues.
Please state any experience you have in large non-profit operations.
I worked for Wikimedia Foundation as a contractor for 3 months, beyond that the majority of my past work has been in the for-profit area. Besides that, I have been an active supporter of several other large and small non-profits.
Please state your ability in thinking strategically.
My background has been working in the strategic area related to Wikimedia. I was very actively involved in the strategic planning process, working with other community members, staff, and consultants. I frequently consider strategic placement and implications of ideas within a context, I suggested Chapters council, to fill a strategic gap that I perceived.
In your opinion, how do you recognize both the specific interests and challenges of chapters and how to best place them into the overall Wikimedia context.
Chapters within the Movement are at an especially sensitive time. The decisions taken now, will shape what the movement will look like in years to come. Either the chapters will come out stronger and thrive, or they will be reduced to branch offices.
The biggest challenge is remaining united through this process, and later. This is a sensitive time within the movement for chapters, if divisions form within chapters and there is internal conflict, the larger issues that affect all chapters will get overlooked. What chapters need now, is to form a cohesive group, and above all, continue to work with each other. Even without this issue, my biggest focus and area of interest, would be to promote inter-chapter cooperation as much as possible. We really need to have an active network of chapters/
Could you explain your vision of relations between chapters and Wikimedia Foundation?
I strongly believe that a chapter should be independent. Independent of Wikimedia foundation, independent of other entities, and outside influence. Chapters are self-contained organizations that should be supported till they become self-sustaining. That should be the goal for the movement. I see them, as equal and separate entities from WMF. WMF has professionalized and invested in internal capacity and infrastructure, the focus should now move to the chapters to support the same.
In an ideal world, Wikimedia Foundation supports chapters, so they become internally sufficient to stand on their own. Investing in a chapter's internal capacity and infrastructure should be the focus, once a chapter achieves that status, the focus should be making it self-sustaining and independent of WMF.
I strongly believe WMF should focus on making each chapter independent and able to stand on its own.
Please describe the location where you live right now should it be from the part of the world not represented in current Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustess.
I am based in New Delhi, India, "Global South" - wherever that might be. I have lived and worked from Dubai, parts of Europe, and most recently Brazil in the last year. I feel India is well represented within the WMF priorities, I believe that the Indian chapter deserves more focus than WMF India operations, after working in proximity to both. I also feel a stronger focus should be placed on other Asian and South-American chapters. Majority of Asian chapters are overlooked, and excluded from the "global south" distinction, a stronger focus should be placed on them, along with the South-american and Iberocoop chapters, the Iberocoop initiative is a shining example of how strong inter-chapter ties can make a tight-knit network between chapters. I wish to support and promote more initiatives like that.

Liam Wyatt (Wittylama) edit

Liam Wyatt (Wittylama)

General info edit

Liam Wyatt

I would like to submit my candidacy for the 2012 Chapter-Selected WMF Board of Trustees process. I am willing and eligible to take up a position on the WMF board for the next two years. Please find below a Resume and a Candidacy statement. The information here is also published on my blog at: My legal name is William Wyatt, although everyone knows me as Liam, and my username Wittylama. I have already formally submitted my I.D. to the WMF in the past.

Nomination: self-nomination

Resume edit

I can honestly say that every stage of my professional life has been influenced by my involvement in Wikimedia and the free-culture movement more generally. I have variously worked for the online history project the Dictionary of Sydney; for the founding member of the “free access to law” movement AustLII [Australasian Legal Information Institute]; and most recently, for the Wikimedia Foundation and now Creative Commons Australia.

Academically, I have a Bachelors of Globalisation Studies and my honours thesis subject was “The academic lineage of Wikipedia: Connections and disconnections in the theory and practice of history”. For this I earned the UNSW 2008 University medal in history. I am now undertaking a Masters degree in Intellectual Property law.

Within Wikimedia, I have had various formal and informal roles, including as:

  • Inaugural Vice President of the Wikimedia Australia Chapter (two terms);
  • Co-host and interviewer for several years of the “Wikipedia Weekly” podcast;
  • Convener of several conferences, notably the GLAM-Wiki outreach events (London, Canberra) and the GLAMcamp internal events (New York, Amsterdam);
  • First ever “Wikipedian in Residence” – at the British Museum;
  • The Wikimedia Foundation “Cultural Partnerships Fellow“.

As a result of this experience, I have had the opportunity to meet many many Wikimedians, free-culture advocates and GLAMs around the world. I have also given dozens of formal presentations about Wikimedia, including a few conference keynote addresses and most recently a live TV interview about the SOPA strike (full list with links). Finally, I am one of the very few people who has been both a Chapter executive and an employee of the Foundation.

Statement edit

With regards to Wikipolitics, it always feels like right now is the biggest or most disruptive argument we’ve ever had – until you step back for a day or so and remember the other big arguments we had in the past! But at this critical time in the Wikimedia Movement’s history I believe that it is especially important that we get things right. The Wikimedia Foundation, and by extension the Movement, has been going from strength to strength in public areas impact, quality, financial and technical stability) but many of the internal problems remain unresolved. I would categorise these as broadly ”community development and communication” issues that have led to a perceived gap between several groups within the Movement – a “democratic deficit” if you will.

From my perspective it looks like each of the Wikimedia Foundation, the Chapters and the general editing community all feels that it is the group with the least power and is the most misunderstood. It is my perception that many in the WMF feel as if they are a “whipping boy“, blamed no matter what they do; that many in the Chapters feel as if they are being sidelined and regarded as unhelpful despite their best efforts; and that many in the editing community feel as if their needs are widely ignored – especially if they are not from the English Wikipedia. Like all generalisations, this simple analysis lacks nuance or counterexamples – and there are many – but I think it is broadly true.

The ways that I would like to help bridge this gap (whether it be one that is real or perceived) is by focusing on four distinct areas: 1. Board role; 2. Chapter development; 3. Community support; and 4. WMF Human Resources.

1. Board role edit

Whilst the WMF Board of Trustees is the highest decision-making body in the Wikimedia movement, it remains rather hidden from the general community. This is not by intention but it is the reality. I would propose a variety of transparency measures, including:

  • Name Board voters (for/against/abstain);
  • Host “office hours” and/or publish videos, community interviews, board blog, etc.;
  • Provide access to non-confidential reports prepared for the board in advance of meetings for comment;
  • Formally approve annual grants to Chapters (or fundraising approval) on advice from Staff. (Similarly to how the Board already formally approves new Chapter creation on advice from ChapCom);
  • Provide updates on current discussions whilst consensus is still forming, but once it is decided, make directions to WMF more clearly less room for interpretation;
  • For resolutions that contain policy, publish drafts for comment and review (similar to the recent Terms of Use rewrite).

2. Chapter development edit

This particular point has been debated back and forth for years. And, whilst we are getting better, there is still not a consensus about what the relationship between the WMF and the Chapters should be – this has focused most especially on the issue of fundraising. In my opinion, I subscribe to the principle of subsidiarity – that matters should be handled by the least central competent authority. I also believe that our mission is a very broad one and to achieve it we need to see ourselves in the future at a scale and level of impact like the Red Cross. What they are to disaster relief, we are to knowledge: global, neutral, free. Because of these two points I believe it is the Wikimedia Foundation’s responsibility to actively assist in the capacity development of the network of Chapters. Without such a network I believe we cannot achieve our mission. I am not saying that the WMF has been actively ignoring the Chapters. I generally support an expanded framework for affiliation of Wikimedia groups. However, I do think we need to ensure Chapters are effective – rather than trying to route around them. We should:

  • Plan for a fundraising future where virtually all of the money from the “annual banner campaign” goes through Chapters. Obviously this will not happen for many years but that is the general direction I believe we should be heading. (I blogged about this general idea almost four years ago here).
  • Develop a plan for how to structure WMF (legally, financially and organisationally) when there’s a national Wikimedia-USA Chapter with fundraising capacity (a corollary of the point above, discussed in more detail here).
  • Treat Chapters according to their capacity and create a model of rights and responsibilities with “tiers” for different levels of development. There should be specific WMF staff liaison and guidelines for each level. For example: New Chapter with no funds; Entirely volunteer Chapter with funds; Partially professionalised chapter with annual grant funding; fully professionalised chapter with fundraising.
  • Actively support ChapCom to increase its efficiency in providing assistance to new/prospective Chapters, and develop rules for disendorsement of non-functioning Chapters (a corollary of the point above).
  • Obtain and publish the financial compliance requirements for large international money transfers to/from USA for each Chapter country. This allows for money to be transparently and legally moved to where it is most needed in a way that is agnostic to where the money is raised.
  • Develop and maintain a “global budget” that shows how much money each organisation in the movement is planning to raise, how much they are planning to spend (and the growth %) broken down by categories. This also provides clear expectations and data for long term planning.
  • Develop expense oversight committee for whole movement’s budget. This is similar to Sue’s recommendation #4 or the Board’s recommended FDC but is different in that it is for “reviewing” rather than “allocating” funds. (This is a corollary of the point above).
  • Coordinate global priority programs with the Chapters taking the management and funding at the national/local level, as distinct from running only outreach programs directly managed by WMF staff. For example, the “Education program” should be managed and promoted by the local organisation while the coordination and associated course management software should be developed centrally.

3. Community support edit

I completely agree with and support the WMF’s focus on new user retention as their primary metric for success over the next few years. On all other aspects of the strategic plan’s goals we are moving forwards (e.g. higher quality, more content) but in this we are actually moving backwards. Clearly this needs addressing and I’ve blogged about editor retention before. However, by focusing on new users to the exclusion of the existing community, the WMF risks seeing the existing community as the problem rather than part of the solution. To quote a veteran Australian politician, I worry that we are fast moving towards a position where it becomes “…so reliant on focus groups that it listens more to those who don’t belong to it than to those who do.”[1] Focusing on helping the existing community do their work more efficiently and effectively will mean that newbies are less likely to be turned away when the do join up. Building new “curation” tools such as the New Page Triage system is an excellent move in this direction.

One of the most common complaints from the existing community is that the WMF has an overwhelming focus on Wikipedia and virtually none for the sister projects. Therefore I would propose to undertake a formal “brand review” of the current projects. We should:

  • Identify the community expectations of what minimum standard of technical/organisational support WMF hosting should provide;
  • Identify “under-supported” sister-projects that have high growth potential for relatively small investment (e.g. Wiktionary, Wikisource) and build plans to directly support them. (this is related to Erik Moeller’s presentation at Wikimania 2010);
  • Identify wikis that can be merged to consolidate the community and discussion e.g. OutreachWiki merged with MetaWiki or WikiSpecies merged with WikiData (currently being built);
  • Invest to remove software-enforced division between projects e.g. global userpages;
  • Devote specific attention to supporting the needs of the “power-users”;
  • Run regular “by popular request” software development projects which ask the community(s) to build consensus for most wanted features, and promises to invest in the results (within reason, of course).
  • Develop a movement-wide calendar to coordinate software releases, outreach events, conferences…

4. WMF human resources edit

As a former staffer of the WMF I know how hard everyone there works to do their jobs well (and transparently), how high the staff morale generally is, and how supportive the organisation’s policies are to its employees. However, there remain issues that cause resentment and reduce effectiveness. This is not the direct purview of the Board of Trustees, but it is something that the Board can direct the WMF executive to focus more on. We should:

  • Decrease recruitment process length and increase process clarity. Good applicants are being unintentionally turned away as a result of vague and drawn-out hiring processes. Often, no one is sure who has approval to give a formal “yes” while the applicant is given a months-long runaround.
  • Build systems to stop “bait and switch” hiring practices – where the real job turns out to be much less inspiring and more restricted than the advertised role.

Increase everyday visibility of WMF staff to community, such as videoing office lunchtime presentations and providing greater detail on staff wiki pages.

  • Increase job autonomy and personal empowerment within assigned tasks.

Raúl Gutiérrez (Gumr51) edit

Raúl Gutiérrez

General info edit

Raúl Gutiérrez
  • Name: Raúl Gutiérrez
  • Username: Gumr51
  • Nomination: self-nomination

Statement edit

I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and currently reside in Mexico City.

I am willing and consider myself eligible to serve on the WMF board, as a US 501(c)(3) charity.

If elected, I would be committed to the worthy Wikimedia Mission, in all activities required, with the best of my abilities.

I have extensive international experience, having worked in over 25 different countries, and having visited over 45 around the world. My international activities, as Project Manager with Black & Veatch, in addition to large multi-million project execution, included in country assessment of companies, their project execution resources and abilities, in India (Guna Project), Taiwan (Kaohsiung Project), Turkey (Yalova Project) and Mexico (Tuxpan V Project).

My last international position, as Sales Director for Latin America, with Black & Veatch, of Overland Park, KS, afforded the opportunity of further interacting with business communities throughout Latin America.

Under contract with Enernova, participated in the technical due diligence assessment of several power plants, across the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Bolivia.

While residing in Kansas, I was elected Chairman of the Kansas City – Guadalajara Committee, Sister Cities Association, which provided the opportunity of promoting social and cultural causes between these two cities, including painting exhibitions, cultural exchanges, fund raising projects/events and social projects identification. This position was held, until I relocated, away from Kansas.

Another experience with non-profit organizations was as Board Member of the Association of Mexican Citizens living in San Salvador (ACISMEX), El Salvador, in 1990, which sought to identify and promote charity projects in El Salvador.

Throughout my experience, in international project execution, I became very proficient in devising task execution plans, delegating and supervising tasks, analyzing and developing risk assessment strategies, monitoring progress and planning critical project activities, promote team work among project participants, guiding them towards specific goals, and achieving results.

Needless to say, my experience comprises performing amongst multi-ethnic and multi-cultural groups in multiple environments.

I am proficient in english, of course native spanish speaker and have communication skills at beginners level in French, Italian, Arabic, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesia, Cantonese, Japanese, Papiamento, and speak some Portuguese.

I would consider myself honored and glad to work as part of a team of the WMF board.

I have been working with English and Spanish Wikipedia and Wikisource, with perhaps already hundreds of contributions.

I can travel anywhere required and would make time available, as required to this mission.

I am legal resident in the USA, although living in Mexico for the last 6 years, an active tennis player, Tango dancer and a fan of ancient Mexican history.

In closing, as required I am attaching a short resume, and if any additional information is required I would be glad to provide it, kindly let me know.

Resume edit

Over 30 years of international experience, including sales and business development, International market assessment and multiple project management experience, meeting or exceeding results, while complying with requirements for schedule, safety, quality and turn over.

Track record of successful project execution & management, which includes the development of 64 Power Projects, comprising 242 prime mover units, representing over 8,000 MW of power addition, in more than 25 countries.

Professional History edit

Tecsovi, S.A. de C.V. – 2011

Operations Director Mexico D. F.

Consulting services, business promotion for a leading USA company in high level security services.

Aquatech International – 2008 - 2009

Vice-President Mexico & Latin America Mexico D. F.

Aquatech Canada, Development of a business plan for the region and a Profit Center in Mexico Responsible for the regional development, contract negotiation, project supervision, etc. in the Water sector. Proposal and Teaming Agreement preparation for several international tenders.

Enernova Guatemala – 2008

Technical Due Diligence for an Acquisition Tender – 450 million. Guatemala

Technical due diligence effort and asset evaluation for 32 power generation plants comprising 136 generation units (Hydro, Combined Cycle, Simple Cycle and Diesel) with a total combined output of 2,513.55 MW of effective power. The Assets, Owned by CDC Globeleq are distributed throughout the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Peru and Bolivia..

III, S. A. de C. V., 2004 – 2007

Vice-President Business Development and Corporate Promotion Mexico D. F.

Responsible for enhancing corporate procedures and Business Development structure. Developed a Business Plan for the company, seeking to maximize business opportunities, identifying new services and industrial sectors. Initiated sales promotion efforts in the USA and Latin America.

Black & Veatch, 1996 - 2003
  • Director of Sales – Latin America (’01 - ’03) Overland Park, KS
  • Project Manager - Construction (’99 - ’01), Overland Park, KS
  • Project Field Manager (’96 - ’99), various international locations
    • Director of sales, for the Latin American Region. PFM accountable for $115 million Genelba Project, Argentina. Managed team of 35.
    • Owner’s Engineer (Employer Representative) responsible for the Otahuhu Project, New Zealand. Managed team of 8.
    • PMC responsible for the Paiton coal fired Project, Indonesia. Team of 100
    • Country analysis for construction partners and business opportunities; India (Guna), Turkey (Yalova), Taiwan (Kaohsiung) and Mexico (Tuxpan V).
    • Claim and Legal Proceedings Support for Acajutla, El Salvador and Maracaibo, Venezuela Projects.
    • People First Development leader responsible for the professional advancement of 6 employees.
Turbo-Tech Construction Inc., 1985 - 1995

VP Construction & Project Field Manager, Washington Township, NJ.

  1. Nejapa 115MW Diesel Engine Power Plant built for Coastal. EL Salvador
  2. Dymel El Salvador, development of construction procedures and practices.
  3. Acajutla 110MW Power Plant. Consultant services to the CEL site team, construction management and project execution. El Salvador
  4. LM-5000 STIG Power plant, built for Empresa electrica de Guatemala at the Escuintla Power Plant.
  5. Moín 100MW Simple Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant. Built for ICE in Limón, Costa Rica.
  6. Bahía Las Minas 70MW Gas Turbine Power Plant, built for IRHE at the Bahía Las Minas Power Plant, Colon, Panama.
  7. Brandon Fla. 60MW Trash Burning Power Plant. Built by Metric Constructors for Ogden-Martin in Brandon Florida, USA.
Twombly Inc., 1972 - 1984

Project Site Manager, Woodcliff Lake, NJ.

Project field supervision and management of direct–hire construction efforts in several international locations for power plants. These projects comprised 55 Gas Turbine Generators in over 20 countries, for manufacturers, such as GE, Hitachi, Thomassen, AEG-Kanis, John Brown Eng., Alstom, Nuovo Pignone, Rolls Royce, Stewart & Stevenson, Brown Boveri, Westinghouse, Turbo-Power & Marine.

Personal edit

Languages: Native Spanish, English 100%, French 50%, ability to communicate at beginners level in several middle and far east languages.

Other Information. edit

2003 POWER-GEN Latin America. Invited as Conference Committee member of the POWER-GEN Latin America. Sao Paulo, Brazil from 11th to 13th November, 2003.


Kansas City, Mo. (December 3, 2002) – Black & Veatch announced today that Raúl Gutiérrez, sales director for Latin America within the company’s Energy Engineering & Construction Division, has been elected Chair of the Guadalajara Sister City Committee of Kansas City.

2002 SHPE Region III Conference. Invited as speaker to the conference by the University of Kansas and Kansas State University student chapters of SHPE.

  • Ethics & Integrity
  • Running an Effective Meeting
  • Leadership Styles
  • Networking
  • Interviewing

1985 Westinghouse Canada. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Gas Turbine R&D Consultant Only external Westinghouse consultant invited to the Westinghouse Canada R&D team on the research effort to improve the 251 gas turbine design & constructability.

Phoebe Ayers (Phoebe) edit

Phoebe Ayers (Phoebe)
Phoebe Ayers

General info edit

  • Name: Phoebe Ayers
  • Username: Phoebe
  • Nomination: self-nomination

Statement edit

I write this on the way home from the 2012 Finance Meeting, which was an unexpectedly joyful event. At the end of the meeting, we were all asked to write down a word summarizing the weekend. Mine was "community." To me, the idea of community -- people brought together over shared experience and shared work -- is the essence of Wikimedia: it is what defines us as more than just a website or reference work. On every level, whether it be financial decisions, organizational communication, software development, or writing articles, remembering that we are all part of the same community is what makes our work and mission possible.

After much thought, I am running for another term on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. To say that being on the Board is difficult is an understatement; it is one of the hardest things I've ever done. But it is also important, exciting work. I have been honored to have been a part of it the last two years, and I would be glad to continue on behalf of our community.

I believe I bring the following qualities and experiences to the Board:

Familiarity with the Board and the WMF

Becoming a trustee involves a steep learning curve. It can be particularly difficult to negotiate the transition from being an outspoken community member with many friendships and connections to a position of impartial and hands-off organizational leadership. In addition to this (sometimes painful) transition and learning to work collegially with the other trustees and Sue, in the last two years I’ve also learned a good deal about non-profit governance issues and best practices though books, conferences and my fellow trustees. Continuing education and professional development is a priority for trustees, and if reappointed I would continue my governance education. I have also spent many years closely following WMF developments, and bring knowledge of both our history and the organization’s current projects to the Board.

An academic background, specifically a background in libraries

Over the last two years my background as an academic librarian has strongly influenced my viewpoint in certain discussions, including those around how we should do planning; I believe that it is imperative for us to think of our role as stewards of the projects, and as such to plan for long-term site operation funding and preservation mechanisms. I also bring a belief in access to knowledge for all as a fundamental right, the academic values of shared governance and open scientific debate, and as a researcher, a specific familiarity with our own vibrant wiki research community. I think it is important for the Board to include at least one trustee with this type of background. I am proud to have been the first librarian on our board, and I have tried to make the most of the opportunity by promoting Wikimedia within the library community (though talks and outreach) during my service.

Commitment to good organizational communication

I ran for Executive Secretary of the Board because I think organizational communication is critical to Wikimedia. As secretary, I've followed up on the great work that my predecessor SJ did to improve internal communication processes (such as developing better resolution voting mechanisms), with trying to improve Board communication with the wider community. In addition, I have also focused on internal communication, including summarizing Board discussions and bringing community discussions forward to the Board. I think I have done a fairly good job as secretary, but there is still a great deal more that I would like to do in terms of reporting Board activities, clarifying meta pages, posting information in a timely manner, and making it easier for the community to give input to the Board. Communication is one area where I feel my specific skills, background and interests can really help the Board as a whole succeed.

Commitment to understanding and supporting our community, and the individuals and groups in it

I have a sympathetic and consensus-based approach to managing relationships and problem solving. I sometimes feel that my role within Wikimedia (in and out of the Board) is to engage in a certain self-reflection and to bring empathy for the situations of others. I have wide experience within our community, including meeting many Wikimedians around the world; I try to always bring those viewpoints and my own experience as a community member to the table. An example is in the fundraising and funds dissemination discussions, where I have attempted to understand and bring in the perspective of what it means to be an independent organization affected by our proposed changes.

An open mind

I bring an open mind to Board and community discussions; I listen carefully, take the time to reflect, and am not afraid to change my mind based on what I hear. An example is the controversial content discussions, when I entered soon after I joined the Board. I was initially skeptical of the need for action on the issue; but I listened carefully to trustee and community concerns (as expressed in the Harris report and in discussions) and was convinced that there was a real thread of concern that should be addressed. I worked with fellow trustees to carefully craft a proposal around the Harris recommendations that we felt wouldn’t go against Wikimedia principles. After much outcry and reflection, today I think our specific proposal for an image hiding feature is not the right way to address those concerns (which are still quite real), and I support rescinding that part of our resolution. In all of this long difficult process, I have tried hard to keep an open mind and to listen to concerns fairly in order to come to the right decision.

Time, energy, and the ability to keep up with the challenges facing us

This is an intense period to be on the Wikimedia Board. It is difficult to commit the amount of time and energy that is needed, and I had to think carefully before deciding that I was up for the challenge again. However, I am in a good situation personally: I have the support needed from my job to spend time on Wikimedia, I have the energy to do it, and I have the skills needed of being able to read, parse and summarize a vast amount of material, and of being able to write well and quickly. And I am responsive and responsible to my obligations -- something that is important, as the Board very often relies on each member being available for a particular question or vote on short notice. On the Board, you can’t quit or go on an extended wikibreak; each trustee must be consistently reliable.

All that said, there are certain things I lack that the Board does need:

Direct chapter experience

I do not have Wikimedia chapter experience, although I do have experience running a local chapter of another organization (a professional library association), and I have spent a good deal of time working and socializing with Wikimedia "chapters people" in a variety of settings globally. I have also worked hard to learn about the chapters. However, my own personal experience as a community member has been one of individual volunteer work and empowerment.

Global diversity

I am a monolingual American. Though this makes parts of trustee work easier for me -- speaking English natively enables me to keep up much more easily, and living in California means trips to the WMF office are faster and cheaper -- nonetheless, I feel the lack of having a truly global perspective. Our Board has discussed our pressing need for more diversity, particularly for geographical diversity and especially perspectives from the "global South."

Other special expertise

I do not have special financial, management or strategic planning skills related to large, international organizations, nor do I bring a deeply technical perspective. Though we currently have a skilled treasurer, other trustees with financial expertise, and a highly competent staff, the Board is always in need of trustees who have a deep financial and nonprofit background. In addition, we do not currently have anyone who comes from the technical development community on the Board. While a number of us have done our share of minor hacking, and several trustees have managed large technical organizations, it would be helpful to have a voice directly from the tech community on the Board.

In conclusion

The next two years, the Board will face multiple planning challenges, including setting up a new funds dissemination structure (probably including a “funds dissemination committee”); changing how WMF annual planning is approved as a result; figuring out how to do movement-wide and continued WMF strategic planning, and setting up long-term support for the projects. We also face the growing and unsolved editor retention and recruitment crisis; must guide the WMF as it rolls out changes to update and improve the projects (including a visual editor and continued global infrastructure); and continue to set the tone for what kind of an organization we are.

I know there are many good candidates running for the Board this year, including people who have run in past community elections; many of the other candidates would be great on the Board, and I would be glad to see them seated. I am excited about the work facing us and the chance to continue; regardless of the outcome of this election, however, I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this during the past two years. Thank you for it.

Resume edit

You can find my professional C.V. at and my wiki-C.V. on my userpage at

Lodewijk Gelauff (Effeietsanders) edit

Lodewijk Gelauff (Effeietsanders)

General info edit

Name: Lodewijk Gelauff
Username: Effeietsanders
Nomination by: Wikimedia Polska

Statement of support edit

The Board of the Wikimedia Polska Association would like to nominate Lodewijk Gelauff for chapters seat of Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.

We believe that his long and fruitful involvement in Wikimedia movement as an editor of the Wikimedia projects, organizer of Wikimedia Nederland, active Chapters Committee member, co-organizer of several international meetings and the Wiki Loves Monuments initiative, makes him a good candidate for this position. We think that the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees needs a person who has such a widespread experience, by playing almost all possible roles in the Wikimedia movement. We believe, that this long commitment to the movement and cooperation with external bodies (e.g. during WLM) gives him a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms and possible directions for the future.

Statement edit

I have been active with Wikimedia for a long time now, and I feel deeply involved with the movement decisions that have to be made. I feel that I have a lot of experience with how the Wikimedia movement works and doesn't work - specifically when it comes to chapters and (primarily) volunteer run real life projects. The movement stands for many important choices, and many of those require a position by the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Therefore, I am happy and honored to accept the nomination of Wikimedia Polska.

I am not someone with an extensive background in governing major organizations, and my financial, legal and technical background are not exceeding those of the average Wikipedian. I am also not a typical barricade protesting person - but I try to build bridges between people and organizations. Create an understanding on both sides of a conflict (such as now with the funds discussions) and trying to find the best solution for all involved.

I have been quite involved both practically and emotionally with the Wikimedia Movement for a while now. In 2005 I joined the projects, and in 2006 I helped found the Dutch chapter and saw it grow as a board member in the five years after from nothing to a recognized charity hiring its first employee and office space. I have been involved in several international collaborations within Wikimedia over the years such as the Green Paper initiative (EU lobby), the Chapters Meeting, the Chapters Committee and Wiki Loves Monuments. I like to believe I have developed a broad view of how the Wikimedia Movement organizations function and don't function.

If you are looking for the person with all the great Solutions That Will Solve Everything, then I would probably not be the right person either - however, I am someone who will always try to keep an open mind, listen to arguments and actually change my opinion when needed and persuaded. If I would get selected in the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, I intend to remain active both in the content projects and in chapter run activities (first of all Wiki Loves Monuments 2012!), although possibly at a lower level. That way I hope to 'keep my hands dirty'.

Some things that I find very important (and I won't bother you with long explanations why and all buts, ifs and howevers):

  • Allow volunteers to do what they are best at
  • Collaborate
  • Communicate
  • Learn and transfer knowledge to make people improve themselves
  • Enabling volunteers
  • Volunteers in every layer of the organization where possible
  • Risks are part of life: recognize them and realize that risks are worth taking.

How you may know me (a.k.a. resume) edit

As Lodewijk or under my nickname 'effeietsanders':

  • As editor on the Wikimedia projects since 2005 (nl.wikipedia; 20.000+ edits) and after that also on several other projects (nl.wikibooks, nl.wikisource, commons)
  • As Steward (2006 - 2010), bureaucrat (nlwiki) or admin (commons, meta, nlwikibooks, nlwikisource)
  • Participant and speaker/session leader at Wikimania 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011
  • Founder of Wikimedia Nederland and board member for 5 years and as such involved in numerous chapter activities such as organizing conferences, contests and workshops (2006 - 2011)
  • Member of the Chapters Committee (2009 - present)
  • Organizer of the Wikimedia Chapters Meeting (2008 & 2010)
  • One of the international coordinators of Wiki Loves Monuments 2011 and 2012.
  • The guy who has been bugging all the chapters about their chapter reports and 'cool activities' (see this presentation on Wikimania: )

Further background:

  • BSc in Chemistry
  • Currently studying for MSc in "Chemistry and Science Based Business" at Leiden University
  • Have done several part time jobs over the years in the educational, IT and service sector which I don't find particularly relevant to mention here.

Patricio Lorente (Patricio.lorente) edit

Patricio Lorente (Patricio.lorente)

General Info edit

Patricio Lorente

Statement of support edit

It's my pleasure to announce Patricio Lorente's candidacy for a chapter-selected seat in the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Patricio is currently President of Wikimedia Argentina and he counts with complete support from the chapter's board in this endeavour. We're sure he'd be able to bring increased diversity, openness and a strategic vision for the BoT, especially regarding internationalization and developing countries. We're confident that his professional and wiki experience is one of great value for a WMF trustee and we therefore officially present his candidacy.

The text that follows includes Patricio's personal bio and his vision of what he wants to do as a BoT if selected. We're providing it in both English and Spanish.

Statement edit

What I want to concentrate on as a Trustee

1. Help building a strong international organization at the heart of a global and diverse movement. The vision of a global organization for the Wikimedia movement centered on the Wikimedia Foundation, with a powerful network of Chapters and a rich diversity of partners, needs some careful planning and setting up some basic rules to build a cooperative framework based on trust instead of a competitive one. While the Movements Roles Initiative has provided an important input, the work is far from being finished. The recent conversations about fundraising and funds dissemination, which have put in play a potential new model of governance for existing Wikimedia organisations, are a good example of what still needs to be done. Such conversations need to address pressing issues, such as accountability and sustainability, but also need to always keep in perspective the wide reach of our movement, as well as the strengths that lie in its diversity. Diversity is at the core of what makes Wikimedia and its communities special, and we should make sure that we are supporting it in every possible way.

2. Bring diversity to the Board of Trustees. Except for only one Trustee, all other nine in the current composition come from what we may call the “Global North”, and six of them even from the same country: it’s quite clear that the current composition of the Board of Trustees is missing different views, from people with different backgrounds, environment and culture. At the same time, I think we should promote real internationalization. Nowadays our global movement has a sharp divide between those Wikimedians who speak English and those who don’t. Many individuals and groups in so many countries are invisible to the global movement and isolated. We should seriously address this fact and develop a specific policy to help integrating to our international network those who don’t speak English.

3. Bring a different approach to the so-called “Global South”. I’m particularly interested in helping to consolidate Wikimedia organizations in developing countries, and I’m convinced that the best way to do this is empowering local communities, while taking their opinion and advice into account. In this sense, I believe the Wikimedia Foundation must ensure that proper coordination and collaboration mechanisms between the Foundation and the local communities (be it the corresponding local chapter, partner organizations or informal groups of Wikimedians) are put in place whenever there is a plan to develop activities in a certain geography.

Resume edit

My name is Patricio Lorente (user Patricio.lorente), and I am currently President of Wikimedia Argentina. After many years as a collaborator in Wikimedia projects and as a chapter's leader, having an extended experience of organization and work within Wikimedia projects in developing countries, and a first hand vision of our international community after organizing a Wikimania (and attending all of them since 2007) and being part of the Iberocoop network, I've decided to become a candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Let me tell you two words about me: I was born in 1969, I’m married and I have two children. I live in La Plata, Argentina. I have studies in Philosophy and Law. Aside from my commitment within the Wikimedia movement I have extensive experience in the field of Development Cooperation and in university management, two activities in which I’ve served professionally for many years. Perhaps due to my work experience, I'm good at listening and negotiating, and I’m used to solve conflicts with patience, in the understanding that serenity is not in conflict with a strong determination. I consider essential, in that sense, taking into account and hearing from all involved parties before taking a decision. I don’t speak English as fluent as I’d like to, but I'm confident that my current level won't represent a limitation.

From 1992 to 2002 I worked in development cooperation in different positions, being especially noteworthy my work as Project Manager of the Asociación para el Desarrollo Social (Association for Social Development), an Argentine NGO, where I was in charge of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of local development projects funded by the Italian Republic and the European Union. The core of these experiences was strengthening local capacity as a condition for development, transcending the traditional approach of North-South cooperation, promoting South-South and also decentralized cooperation by building horizontal networks of exchange between different cities and regions of Argentina.

After my experience in the field of development cooperation, I serve since 2004 on the management of the National University of La Plata, having been successively Secretary of Administration and General ProSecretary in charge of the General Secretary. Being this my current position, I have to deal both with the strategic planning and the everyday issues and conflicts of a large and restless community, including both academics and student organizations. The National University of La Plata is a public Argentine university and the second largest in the country, both in size (with 100,000 students and 15,000 teachers) and in scientific production. As all other public universities in Argentina, there is no tuition and enrollment is free.

In the Wikimedia movement edit

I have been an editor in the Spanish Wikipedia since 2005 and admin (sysop+bureaucrat) since 2006. I do contribute as well to Wikimedia Commons.

I am also a founding member of Wikimedia Argentina and have been its President from 2007 to today. As such I was responsible for the organization of Wikimanía 2009 in Buenos Aires and I have participated as an organizer or speaker in numerous conferences, seminars and workshops on Wikipedia/Wikimedia in Argentina and other Latin American countries (Colombia, Ecuador, México, Perú). I was one of the leading forces behind the organization of the 1st Ibero-American Wikimedia Summit, held in Buenos Aires last year, which helped bringing together representatives from both established Wikimedia chapters and informal working groups throughout Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

I have devoted important efforts to outreach activities in education, my particular interest within off-wiki activities. I am the author of a booklet published by Wikimedia Argentina called "Wikipedia in the classroom" and, representing Wikimedia Argentina, I am a member of the Advisory Board of Conectar Igualdad, a government program that is delivering more than three million netbooks to all public high school students in Argentina. As a member of this Advisory Board, I have been able to work on educational content for teachers and, as a result of this, many wiki-related activities were launched and the National Ministry of Education opened a special site with tutorials, documents and guides about Wikipedia and education. There is also a special pilot program in more than 200 schools across the country, “Escuelas de Innovación” (Innovative Schools), that is directly training teachers on possible uses of Wikimedia projects for their classes, not only in terms of creating contents but also regarding notions of relevance, content verification and discussions on neutrality issues.

Alice Wiegand (Lyzzy) edit

Alice Wiegand (Lyzzy)

General info edit

Alice Wiegand

Statement of support edit

Wikimedia Deutschland nominates Alice Wiegand for a chapters-selected seat on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Her highly active role in the international activities of the Wikimedia movement make Alice an excellent choice for the board. Many of the currently open questions about fundraising, global funds dissemination, community involvement in decision-making processes, professionalization of Wikimedia entities, and the general direction of the movement will remain to pose significant challenges to the board within the next two years. To overcome these challenges successfully, Alice’s expertise and modest, but realistic approach to problem-solving will be a great asset to the Foundation. The experience she has gained both in establishing Wikimedia Deutschland’s strategic planning process, but also in setting up and improving the control, reporting, and evaluation processes of the chapter’s executive will undoubtedly prove a great advantage to the board. We wholeheartedly support and endorse her candidacy.

Resume edit

I’m Alice Wiegand, (de:user:lyzzy), a 46 years old IT specialist for system administration in the public sector. I currently run the IT department of a German municipality with 450 PC workstations. In April I will start my extra-occupational Master’s studies in Public Policy and Governance.

I’ve made some detours before I’ve reached my current occupation. I originally studied economics for a few semesters before I decided to become a tailor and prepare for a degree in apparel engineering. Due to a lack of university slots, I grabbed the chance to get a training in software development followed by training and study for the German senior civil service.

My relationship with Wikimedia started at the end of 2004, when I joined the German Wikipedia. I had been leading a successful life from a professional perspective and was looking for a place where I could give something in return, where I could do something useful for other people. Wikipedia, from my first edits on, was something where I felt I was doing something truly important. Bringing information to people whenever they needed or wanted them, independent of time or place. Helping people make better decisions by offering knowledge with some article or admin work. That is what kept me contributing to Wikipedia and to the other projects during all these years.

I am an administrator on the German Wikipedia and served as bureaucrat for a single term of two years. I am also an OTRS administrator with a particular emphasis on how to support those volunteers--who are the face and voice of Wikipedia for anyone contacting us by email--in their work. Workshops, skills trainings, international exchange, organizational adjustments--there still is a lot to do. And that is the same for other special interest groups with an impact on Wikipedia. Last year, when I did a lecture followed by an intense discussion about the difficulties of being a Wikipedia administrator, I started to raise the idea of an administrator’s workshop. I’m currently working to make this happen together with two other Wikipedia women and the support of Wikimedia Deutschland.

I have been a member of Wikimedia Deutschland since 2005 and a member of Wikimedia Nederland since 2010. I joined Wikimedia Deutschland’s board in 2008 as secretary and served as vice president from 2009 to 2011. The main focus of my work on the board was the development of the strategic plan “Kompass 2020”, the preparation and backing of the chapter’s structural advancement, and controlling and assessing the chapter’s executive. I’ve seen my role in these processes as a connector and facilitator with the goal to let people understand each other’s opinions and mutual positions, and bring about necessary decisions.

My involvement in international and Wikiverse-wide issues started in 2008. I have been a member of the Wikimania scholarship committee for three years now. I have been part of the Foundation’s strategy planning as well as the movement roles process. I am currently wrapping up the latter to initiate the next stage of work on this important issue.

Statement edit

I am willing and eligible to take up a position on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees for the next two years.

I try to avoid the use of “we” in the following statement. A lot of discussions have shown that it’s quite difficult to know how a “we” will be perceived or how it is meant. If I however make use of it, please read it as “we who care about the sustainability of the volunteers’ work, regardless of where this work is done - in the Wikimedia projects directly or in any Wikimedia group to support the projects’ communities”.

Why I dare run for this position edit

Wikimedia and all of its players are currently facing a number of highly important issues. They are about money, about trust, about care, accompanied by strong emotions and a very high level of commitment. What I take from reading the discussions of the last months is:

  • Relationships between people and entities are fragile
  • People feel personally attacked and injured
  • Although all people involved care for the same ultimate mission, it looks as if it’s impossible to find a common language and way forward

Much too often these discussions are backwards-looking. Much too often they are laced with prejudice and accusation, searching for someone to bear the blame. What I want to rather do is look forward, bold and strengthened by the experiences made in the past. One of those experiences is that problems can be solved if all parties concerned are serious and deliberate about solving them. I am willing to take responsibility and search for solutions, together with all who care.

There is, however, more to do than just solving our current problems. What has already been achieved with the Wikimedia projects must be preserved and expanded for the future. This is the main purpose and it should never be forgotten. I am an enthusiast. I believe in the power of volunteers creating the largest source of knowledge in languages I have never heard of. Now. In this second. Worldwide.

Wikimedia organizations including the Wikimedia Foundation are no ends to themselves. To bring out the best they can in supporting the communities, they need stable, consistent, and reliable organizational structures. Nobody can muster high level efforts and energy for structural discussions each year again and again. I am an advocate of changes where and when they are needed. But I do believe that there always must be a healthy foundation to ensure continuity and evolution.

It is my experience in my professional career, in Wikipedia, and in the chapter work I’ve done, that cooperation, exchange, and mutual understanding lead to better, more effective decisions. Listening to individuals and organizations is key--as well as making decisions by taking into account as many positions, experiences and views as possible and necessary. I am more of a listener than a chatter but I know when it’s time to make a decision. Pragmatic if needed.

Sometimes it’s better to make a decision which must be changed later than to not decide at all. And I am a friend of letting things grow with their own pace. Providing fertilizer helps on occasion, though.

These are my convictions and I strongly believe that they can bring insight and perspective to steer the work of the Wikimedia Foundation in a direction that will help our movement grow and achieve its ambitious goal.

What I want to achieve edit

It’s highly probable that there are no simple solutions to resolve all the complex problems we face, but who really knows? We shouldn’t reject that possibility outright.

Strengthen Wikimedia by strengthening decentralized structures edit

The Wikimedia Foundation reaffirmed some time ago its will to pursue its mission with the support of chapters. Chapters which, today, are a decentralized network of organisations that perform mainly locally. This is still part of the mission statement. It symbolizes the importance of diversity as a core principle of the Wikimedia movement. If we indeed want to serve the whole world, Wikimedia needs to be found and be active in all parts of the world--as a chapter, as a partner organization, as an association, or as individual volunteers committed to the cause. That general commitment leaves three open issues we must address within the coming two years:

  • Each part of the movement must be able to pull its own weight in order for the whole movement to be successful at achieving the common mission. That requires not only setting high expectations, but also giving assistance in reaching the capacity to meet those expectations. This involves cooperation and learning from each other‘s mistakes and successes as the usual and natural way to reach common goals. It also involves the free flow of information from all parts to all parts so that both new and existing entities know how they can participate and with whom they can collaborate.
  • Everyone needs room to perform and develop. The existence and scope of chapters, partner organizations, and other entities must be secured by commonly accepted descriptions and definitions of rights and responsibilities, privileges and obligations. Beyond that, they need to have a clear understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses so they can get the best support the movement has to offer. We must also acknowledge that accountability and legitimacy are concerns not just for chapters and partners, but also for the Wikimedia Foundation. If standards are meant to find common acceptance, they must apply equally to all involved entities.
  • Many activities Wikimedia entities engage in require money. Effective funds dissemination is one of the hottest topics right now, and rightly so. In order to promote good use of money and other resources, funds dissemination needs to be coordinated across all entities, yet leave enough flexibility for innovation. Rather than “permitting” entities to spend money, they ought to be encouraged to do so--boldly and effectively.

All three issues amount to great challenges, as they require ways that take individual particularities into account without losing sight of our common principles. Acknowledging that Wikimedia is a global, yet decentralized movement is a prerequisite for focusing more on what we have in common and can do together rather than what sets us apart. It allows us to find more opportunities to cooperate and support each other, without any impression of intrusion whether warranted or not. The Chapters Council idea is an excellent example for how this can be realized. We need more self-reliant impulses like it.

By the end of my term in 2014, there will be

  • an accepted structural model with descriptions and definitions for all players
  • a fair, reasonable, and well-working funds dissemination process
  • a strong ethos of self-governance and solidarity among all movement entities
  • effective facilities to assist and support movement entities in their development

Bring together the best of all parts: their voices edit

Discussions about principles of our work, structural changes, and how to shape the organization’s future are dominated by dozens of participants, well known, highly engaged but mostly the same in every discussion. To get more feedback from more people, from chapter members, and members of the editing community, we need to create new and better options for participation. This also includes finding ways for people to participate who, so far, have been unable to because of language, social, economic, or other barriers. It is not enough to only collect input from more voices but also to find ways to analyze and interpret their expressions. Maybe it needs more than a wiki or wiki-based technology in order to get a better platform for decision preparation. And it might be more than just a technological challenge. There is also the social question about respect and awareness of other cultures and the people we need to fulfill our mission.

We must make it easy and attractive for every entity to share more information than just reports. Each publication should enrich the whole movement and should be understandable, independently of the reader‘s origin or culture. I’ve borrowed this from Tom Morris who has raised this issue on foundation-l the other day. I strongly support it. Clear language and easy access to discussion possibilities are essential for an international volunteer organization.

Today, discussions are split between open/closed/special mailing lists, wikis, personal and official blogs. This at least quadruples the effort needed to identify both the audience and the origin of messages. The question for every decision making body and for every single individual interested in Wikimedia affairs is: „How can everybody get all the information they need while already suffering from all kinds of information overflow?“

By the end of my term in 2014, there will be

  • more perceptible exchange and participation in board discussions and decision processes
  • pleasant, commonly known and accepted places for discussion
  • inclusion and declaration of personal opinions on important topics in the public communication of the Foundation.

Identification with Wikimedia edit

There are already many instances of disconnect and dissonance within the Wikimedia movement, especially when also considering the editing communities. Some are unhappy with what chapters do or don’t do and question their justification. Some chapter members are unhappy with their board‘s decisions and ask for more influence. Some chapters are unhappy with changes nudged by the Foundation and ask for fairness and independence. Some editing communities are unhappy with Foundation resolutions that impact the projects and ask for self-determination and autonomy. Some at the Foundation are unhappy with a lack of standards for accountability and the inability to intervene. To make things worse, this sort of unhappiness is reinforcing, causing more unhappiness in other places and, this is quite clear, a general deterioration in motivation, enthusiasm, and care among all involved.

Reason enough to break the cycle. All of us must do a better job at demonstrating what the different parts of the movement stand for, what they try to achieve and how. We must do a better job involving and incorporating editors, photographers, admins, developers, OTRS agents, all those volunteers in our activities. We must do a better job at providing actual and easy-to-get support to the editing communities. And we must do a better job accepting that listening to others and being open and inviting in our decision-making processes constitutes a way to get better acceptance for those decisions, not an imaginary fear of losing control.

By 2014, everyone working in Wikimedia projects will know

  • where to take part in organizational discussions and decisions that affect their work
  • where to place ideas and initiatives and how to get individual financial and organisational support
  • where to find groups which work on issues the individual is interested in and how to join them

That’s it. It’s exceptional long. I still think that I’ve raised more questions with this statement than I’ve answered and I’m looking forward to answering them in the next few weeks.