I suppose that nobody commented my idea about the Assembly because of two main reasons: it's a different paradigm, as well as it doesn't seem realistic.
The cure for different paradigm acceptance is repeating it until it becomes familiar :P But, of course, much more important reason is the fact that it doesn't look realistic. So, here is one realistic plan. And, before the plan, here are the main reasons behind this idea (add your own :) ): * We have a need to separate political will from expertise. Present Board structure is coping with that fact. In the case we have Assembly, it would be the political body, while the Board would become expert body. * We want larger democratic participation during the elections for Board and FDC. Three community and two chapters places make too small space for everybody to be content. As we could see, this elections didn't bring any woman, any Latin American or Asian, not even one American, as well. (If we count Canada as East European colony, all three elected candidates are East European :P ) In other words, it is hard to implement any kind of diversity inside of ten members body. * Besides implementing diversity because it's good to have diverse points of view, which is good idea not just for any global organization, but for any multinational company, we strongly depend on feeling of all Wikimedians that they are properly represented. And, again, ten members body doesn't give that opportunity well. * We have significant number of core Wikimedians who are not members of any governing body (Board, committees, stewards, even admins...) and they feel powerless. While they don't have particular chance to become Board members and similar, as it's about small number of elected representatives, they would have significantly more chance to become Assembly members, get some influence and stop feeling isolated. * Our democracy and representations should evolve. The previous opportunity was Chapters Association, but we didn't succeed. It's time to try again. FDC has addressed the basic objections, but it's a dead end in the sense of democracy development. There could be more arguments in favor and you could add them. I want now to present realistic plan, which would address the most important objection I could see: making WMF governing unpredictable. I would also say that the path which I suggest doesn't cost anything and it would be reversible at any moment of time during the next five or more years if we conclude that the Assembly is not that good idea. You should keep in mind that It's also the initial approximation. The roadmap: * June 2015-December 2016: Preparations for CA creation. If we want to start doing this, we should prepare at least a couple of documents for the Founding Assembly, so initial members don't need to spend months in defining them. The idea should be presented to as many as possible communities. Election committee should prepare the election rules etc. I think we'll need for that more than a year. * December 2016: Elections. * March/April 2017: Founding Assembly during the Wikimedia Conference. I would leave to the representatives just to constitute Assembly on this occasion. * July/August 2017: The first regular Assembly. On that occasion Assembly should take a couple of committees under itself. I have in mind LangCom, AffCom and GAC. In reality, the first two committees are not accountable to anyone and that should be changed. We shouldn't build numerous of oligarchies de facto accountable just to themselves. And it doesn't matter if they are doing a good job (like AffCom is doing now) or they are doing almost nothing (LangCom case). On the other side, GAC under CA would be the first test of CA's ability to manage a body which manages money. Board and staff could oversee CA's managing and leaving GAC to CA gradually, till full control. For example, it would be a good test for CA to immediately give GAC control over small grants and see if CA is capable to oversee GAC efficiently. * December 2017: Elections for 1/4 of seats. The number of seats should be ~50, though it's negotiable. I think that with this number we could achieve the goals of wider representation, while using anything much larger could make CA too costly and likely too inefficient, counting that the members are not paid. I don't think that it's a good idea to change all the representatives at once and 1/4 seems to me as a number which doesn't make changes too drastic. * March/April 2018: Assembly during WMCON. At that time, besides ongoing issues, CA should start writing the report for the Board and community: What did it do for one year of existence? * July/August 2018: Assembly adopts the report and presents it to the Board and community. * August 2018-October 2018: Board and community analyze the report and CA's work. If everything is fine, CA should continue with it's work. Otherwise, Board could call for referendum on existence of CA (preferably) or disband it (if very dominant position inside of the community is that CA didn't do the job). There are other options, like moving committees under some other body etc. * December 2018: If CA did good job, elections for 1/4 of seats. * March/April 2019: Assembly during WMCON. Counting that CA managed GAC well, FDC is going under CA. That's very logical, as FDC needs expertise and election of FDC members is just the product of political reality. Second annual report should start to be written. * July/August 2019: Assembly presents the second annual report to the Board and community. * August 2019-October 2019: Board and community analyze the report and CA's work; etc. * December 2019: If CA did good job, elections for 1/4 of seats. * March/April 2020-December 2021: The third and the fourth annual report and discussion. If everything went well up to the December 2019, CA would need two years of managing FDC, so it could be reasonably analyzed. Two more elections would pass till that moment. * March/April 2022: Assembly during WMCON. If everything went well up to this moment, this is the time when Board and CA should start working on giving CA the leading role. Board members should be paid from this moment and it should be consisted of people capable to work on tasks needed for the movement. * Between July/August 2022 and July/August 2023: CA is the top body of Wikimedia movement. This is a ver plastic roadmap. There are many details which would have to be covered during all of those phases. Some of the issues are predictable, but some are not and will be the tests of CA's capacity. If we are approximately using this roadmap, there will be six years to analyze how CA is doing the job and there will be a lot of space for any kind of emergency managing from the Board's side, if it turns out that CA is dysfunctional. I would say that this idea doesn't cost a lot (in the terms of money), won't be able to make any significant damage and it would definitely increase community participation in common matters a lot. It's not just about those ~50 representatives. It's much more about the chain effect to the rest of the movement. Wikimedians would finally see global movement as a coherent one, where their word matters, as the governing wouldn't be inside of the privileged group of founders (those of us well connected, because we are here for more than a decade). _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>