It has been almost three weeks since my appointment to the Wikimedia Foundation Board and I have read the feedback and comments from representative members of the community. My first reaction was how amazing the community is in its vibrant culture – there is direct and honest dialog, celebration of diverse ideas, debate and counterpoints, and an overall genuine passion to ensure that the WMF sustains itself for another fifteen years and beyond. Witnessing firsthand the commitment and energy of the community is truly inspirational. Although I would have preferred the tone surrounding my appointment to be more positive and supportive, I deeply understand and respect the criticality of free expression, rallying around convictions, and open disagreement.
Regarding the concerns that have been raised, I have listened closely. That said, in my opinion, there are some misconceptions and there are mitigating considerations. As a general matter, I will say that, throughout my career, I have been charged with enforcing company policies as part of my role as a people manager. I have tried to do so thoughtfully and consistently. I have done so realizing company policies and practices evolve over time as circumstances change. As part of the current narrative, members of the community generated a running theme within the online conversations related to trust. Comments were expressed questioning their trust in the Wikimedia Foundation Board and asking if the community could accept me as a new Board Member. Wanting to understand the challenges ahead, I have spent the last few weeks speaking with current and former Board members and reaching out to folks in the community. I have more conversations in the coming days and appreciate those who have been generous with their time. Given the story line that has been shaped over the last couple weeks and based on the feedback from my conversations, I know I have a longer journey than most new Board members to prove to the community and WMF alumni that they can put their trust in me. I joined to make a positive difference and be a part of the important effort to grow the WMF for the next generation of editors, contributors, and users. As the community gets to know me, folks will see the way I work is with thoughtfulness, transparency, diversity, and a focus on doing what is right. I have key experiences in both my professional and non-profit careers which lend a distinctive perspective to the honorable work of a Trustee – especially the learnings gained over the last decade. I passionately believe in the core values of the WMF and trust that the community and even the most energetic community members come from a place of good intent. And as we all become closer and transition to debating the issues and not the people, the community will see I consistently speak from the heart, I am passionately committed to the movement with the best intent, and I am working hard to earn your trust. Regards, Arnnon _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediaemail@example.com Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>