Hi all,

This discussion is somewhat inspired by what recently happened with
WMF Board of Trustees[1]. Please note that I was to respect the
request from the board (and James himself) to have some more time to
review the situation before providing more details about the recent

In some sense, I am following what James said in an email[2]:
I have done what I believe is in the best interest of our movement.

The Wikimedia Foundation requires every board member to sign a "Pledge
of personal commitment"[3], in one passage it says:
«In every instance in which I represent the Wikimedia Foundation, I
will conduct my activities in a manner to best promote the interests
of Wikimedia Foundation.»

Compare this with the "FDC Pledge of Personal Commitment" signed by
FDC members[4]:
«I, [name], pledge to faithfully pursue the mission and goals of the
Wikimedia movement, namely to empower and engage people around the
world to collect and develop educational content under a free license
or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and
globally. The FDC makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees
regarding the allocation of funds to support the mission goals of the
Wikimedia movement, and I therefore recognize my responsibility to
maintain the highest level of public confidence and trust.»

As a former FDC member I very much prefer the formulation adopted in
the FDC pledge rather than in the BoT pledge.

I think (and I have been thinking this for a while) that the Pledge of
commitment for trustees of WMF should mention the movement as well. In
some sense I am stating the obvious, but I would like the idea that
what constitutes "the best choice for the movement" takes priority
over "the best choice for the WMF", and this is board members pledge
to do.

I know that "doing what is best for the WMF" may be a legal
requirements for WMF board members, but I honestly do not think that
what is the best interest for the movement and what is the best
interest for WMF would ever be actually in conflict. In other words, I
would take the discussion of what constitutes a decision made with the
best interest of the movement in mind to be a debatable choice over
difference of views rather than a case of breaching the pledge because
some action may produce short term harm to the WMF (and thus be
breaching the pledge of commitment for BoT as it is written now) but
greater good in the middle/long term.

Thank you,


[2] https://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimedia-l/2015-December/080502.html
[3] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Pledge_of_personal_commitment

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