Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Lorenzo Losa
Lorenzo Losa (Laurentius)Edit
|statement (Not more than 450 words)||It is said that Wikipedia is the last, and greatest, bastion of Internet original spirit.|
Indeed, this is an unusual place. We build an encyclopedia that everyone knows and loves – and many other projects that still don't have the recognition they deserve – but we are not just an encyclopedia, a product. Wikimedia is also, and foremost, a movement of people that believe in free access to knowledge, and in participation – and Wikipedia is just its better known result.
Wikipedia was born in 2001. Twenty years later, ideas like freely sharing the content of our projects, letting everyone edit them, and community self-governance, still look absurd to most people in the world. Probably they look even more absurd than twenty years ago. Yet they work. Not only are they not hindering us; they are the very basis of our success.
I don't know what the future holds for us. Will Wikipedia still be as important as it is now? Will Wikidata take its place? Or maybe something that doesn't exist yet? How will our movement evolve? We will need to change and adapt. We will need to let go of things that we don't expect. But whatever the future, we need to stay anchored to our values. We need to uphold that Wikimedia is governed by its community, not the other way round.
I choose to focus on values because they are what brings us together. They guide us in our actions, and outlive any single project. Yes, we truly are the greatest bastion of Internet original spirit: let's bring it to the future.
A few words about me
I earned a master degree in Mathematics from the Scuola Normale Superiore, where I have also been a PhD candidate. After leaving the PhD studies, I founded a company focused on reuse of bibliographical data (WikiCite didn't exist at the time!), and I have later helped with the start-up of some other companies. Today, I am leading the development of an electronic brokerage platform, part of a group that operates multiple markets related to sustainable commodities.
I have been in the Wikimedia movement since 2004, as Wikipedia editor, Italian Wikipedia administrator, OTRS volunteer, bot operator. Overall, I made over 1 million edits, including bot edits, across different projects. I served as board member and president of Wikimedia Italia, and as community-elected Funds Dissemination Committee member. Above all, I believe in free knowledge and in the wiki projects, and I do my best to support their growth.
|Top 3 Board priorities||Transparency in the board's processes. Although I have been a highly involved wikimedian for more than a decade, I have always found it difficult to understand what the Wikimedia Foundation board is doing. Even worse, it is frustrating to see suggestions and concerns from the community that seem not to be taken into account.
Having been on multiple boards myself for many years, I fully understand that many of the board's discussions are confidential – but not all of them. I also know from experience that when you get into a board, it is easy to overlook these problems. It is not due to bad will, it's just that when you have the information, it's difficult to consider the perspective of those who don't have it. But this is one more reason to strive for real two-way communication.
Transition to a less central role. The Wikimedia Foundation Board has always been seen a bit like a board of the movement – although we know that it is not. Now, with the Movement Strategy, the new Global Council is expected to finally give a body that is truly representative of our movement. We don't know yet how it will be shaped, but in order to achieve its potential the Wikimedia Foundation Board, and the Wikimedia Foundation itself, will have to learn a new way.
Hiring and onboarding a new CEO. One may like it or not, but having a good CEO is more important than having good board members – and a bad CEO can do much more damage than a bad board member. Selection, support and oversight of the CEO is one of the most critical roles for the board.
|Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities||Whatever happens, keep the focus on Wikimedia values. We are a movement based on values – free access to knowledge, participation, equity. Keep the values in the spotlight. Let them guide our actions.
Strategy implementation, in a fair way. There have been years of work on the Movement Strategy, and we are slowly moving to implementation. This strategy talks about decentralization, equity in decision-making, empowering communities. This is a great opportunity to change our movement for the better. At the same time, there is the risk that a time of changes will end favouring the old power structures. We need to make sure this does not happen.
The community is a governing body. The community is not just a bunch of people providing free work to support the projects. The community is the Wikimedia movement itself. It is our ultimate decision-making body.
|Verification||Verification performed by elections committee or Wikimedia Foundation staff.|
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 20:42, 1 July 2021 (UTC)
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 18:14, 29 June 2021 (UTC)