Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Dariusz Jemielniak

Dariusz Jemielniak


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Candidate details
Dariusz Jemielniak
Candidate video statement
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2007
    • Active wikis: plwiki, enwiki, Commons
statement (Not more than 450 words) I've served on the WMF Board since 2015. The Board work has sucked out all of my wiki time and more. It is frustrating, difficult, and tough. Still, I also find it fascinating, I believe I'm good at it, and given the rapid Board expansion this year, as well as the fact that I'm the only trustee running for re-election, I think it is important that I run for my last term, to provide continuity, and also oversight with experience, as understanding the way boards work really takes time.

About me: I served as an admin, bureaucrat, checkuser, steward, ombudsman, the Funds Dissemination Committee chair. In my day job, I'm a (full) professor of management at Kozminski University, faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, and I study online collaboration. I wrote Common Knowledge? (2014, Stanford Uni Press), the first ethnography of Wikipedia, as well as recently Collaborative Society (MIT Press) - you can read in Wired on why I think Wikipedia is a massive RPG ;) I serve on two other boards, and I have strategic consulting experience. I am a feminist and LGBTQ rights advocate: I am an advisor to Women's Strike, and I've served on the honorary committee of Pride Parade in Poland for many years. My trustee self-evaluation form is available here.

About my goals: If I'm re-elected, I hope to continue the goals I set out with. My major hopes for the term include: successful onboarding of new trustees and the new CEO (whom I help to seek), making sure that the WMF develops better procedures to listen to the communities (even though I like to think it has improved a lot already), making sure we are able to develop tools for aggregated community feedback, making sure the affiliates have a clear and important role in the ecosystem, and grow as the Foundation grows (also, making sure that the growth is not the goal in itself). My big dreams are combating harassment and disinformation (a field I'm an expert in, as I currently run 3 research grants on it with a budget close to 2.5 million USD), reducing regional and gender gap, as well as developing leadership and strategy training within our movement - my idealistic hope is that in a couple of years we will build internal capacity for most organizational leadership positions internally, and maybe that we can even have a structured program with a certificate, which people could use for their day work, as our volunteers deserve to be given back to. Finally, I hope we, both as the Foundation and the movement, can start looking outwards more and get ready for the incoming technological challenges (such as the AR revolution).

Top 3 Board priorities 1. finishing the governance reform and onboarding,

2. tackling disinformation and other new tech challenges,

3. solidifying the movement governance and financing, including the Global South.

Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities 1. leadership development (especially in less represented regions),

2. listening to wider audiences and less heard and stifled voices,

3. Improving governance and collaboration between the Foundation and the affiliates (and making a clearer division of responsibilities).

Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility:   Verified
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 20:15, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Identification:   Verified
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 22:46, 28 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Trustee Evaluation Form
Trustee Evaluation Form
Years of Experience
<1 1–2 2–5 5–10 10+

Wikimedia experience. The candidate is a dedicated contributor to the Wikimedia movement. Eligible contributions include: contributions to the Wikimedia projects, membership in a Wikimedia organization or affiliate, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.

10+ years: I have been a Wikimedian since 2007. I served in the roles of admin, bureaucrat, checkuser, ombudsman, steward, and the FDC chair (for three terms), among others.

Board experience. The candidate has served on the board of trustees/directors or other similar governing body of a nationally- or globally-focused organization (non-profit, for-profit, or governmental).

10+ years: I've served on the WMF Board since 2015. I am a trustee and vice chair of Escola S.A., a public traded company in Poland (a leading mobile apps developer). I have also served on the board of Copernicus Science Center (with 1 million visitors per annum) since 2011.

Executive experience. The candidate has worked at an executive level for an organization, department, or project of comparable (or greater) size, complexity, and scope to the Wikimedia Foundation.

I don't have executive experience at this scale. I do have executive experience though. Currently, I run a university department with 20 people, and solely decide about a research budget of ~2.5 million USD. I founded, scaled and sold (the largest online dictionary in Poland, with 15 million monthly views at top). I co-founded InstaLing, an educational platform currently used by over 220 thousand students weekly, where I lead a team of 15 people. 1998-2004 I was also an ED of an NGO (Collegium Invisibile, from the Soros Network) with an annual budget of approx. 65 thousand USD.

Subject matter expertise. The candidate has worked or significantly volunteered in an area relevant to the work of the Foundation and the Board. Such areas will be determined on an annual basis and may include areas such as Global movement building and community organization, enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development, public policy and the law, knowledge sector (e.g., academia/GLAM/education), human rights and social justice, open Internet/free and open source software, organizational strategy and management, finance and financial oversight, non-profit fundraising, human resources, board governance.

10+ years: I consult on strategy professionally, and currently I'm a chief community strategist at Foap, a startup with 3 million users aimed at making content creators get a more fair share of royalties. As a professor of management, I held various long-term appointments at top schools, including Cornell University, Berkeley, MIT, or Harvard (where I'm currently a faculty associate at Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society). I serve as an advisor to Women's Strike, a Polish movement combating draconian reproductive laws limitations (strictest in EU). I've also served on the honorary committee of Polish Pride Parade for many years.

Diversity: Background The candidate belongs or belonged to a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (related to, for example, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+ identity, social class, economic status, or caste).

Partly: I am a white CIS, straight man, which already puts me in a highly privileged group worldwide without any doubt. However, for many years I lived for about 20 USD per month, could not travel (I still remember the first time I flew an airplane and went to a Western country, already as an adult... The smells, the colors - shocked me :) It was not until I was way above 30 that I stopped treating all Westerners as smarter and better educated by default...), and I come from a region historically rarely represented in the structures of power.

Diversity: Geography The candidate would contribute to the overall geographic diversity of the Board of Trustees, based on the geographic regions where they have lived.

Yes: My home is in Poland, and I also lived for 2+ years in the US and Denmark.

Diversity: Language The candidate is a native speaker of a language other than English.

Yes (Polish)

Diversity: Political system experience The candidate has substantial experience living in and/or working to share knowledge in a non-democratic, state-censoring, or repressive context.

Yes: I grew up in communist Poland. I had to constantly watch what I was saying not to get my parents in jail, and I know what actual censorship is (also, I'm pretty good at reading double talk, be it corporate PR or state propaganda). Depressingly enough, my country nowadays is slipping into an authoritarian regime again.