I have an idea of introducing community-elected "liaisons" (not to be confused with WMF-hired liaisons we have now, possibly a different name will be useful to avoid misunderstandings). I woud like to work on this here, any input and comments are definitely welcome.

What problem is it trying to address?Edit

Currently, if WMF wants to consult with any given community, it has to rely on personal contacts and guesswork, at a risk of talking to someone who is not an active member of the community at all. Also, whenever there is a need to communicate some deployment, policy, or tool, it is mainly the meta channels that we can rely on (and hope that the message will go through). Moreover, the communities have no good way of passing requests and comments to WMF and the Board - in lack of recognized representatives, all such requests have to be treated with much less weight. A possible (but not necessary) bonus could be a collective of such liaisons, serving as a some sort of global advisory committee (stewards are not always the best group to use for that purpose, as they are elected globally as well).

What is the proposed solution?Edit

We should introduce a new role, of community-elected liaisons. Entirely optional for communities, but clearly with an added value for everyone. The community-elected liaisons could have some additional technical tool, but don't have to - they would mainly serve to communicate both ways between their community and WMF/the Board.

How could this be implemented?Edit

We already have ways to elect functionaries, and running community elections should be relatively smooth and easy. What WMF could and should do, if decided that this is a good idea, would be possibly preparing description pages and announcing the optional new role (following a wider community discussion).