I was considering whether to comment again on this thread, but with this message I do not have to; I think it lays everything out sensitively and thoughtfully, and I agree with everything in it.
-Kat On Tue, Jan 26, 2016 at 11:39 PM, Michael Snow <wikipe...@frontier.com> wrote: > Hello Arnnon, > > It is good to hear something directly from you. I am sure your intentions in > the position you were appointed to are positive and supportive. Yet while > you may be entirely sincere in your desire to help, I find it extremely > difficult to see a path forward in which your contribution will bring the > benefits that may have been contemplated. > > Your statement here carries very much the right tone, but is unfortunately > rather lacking in substance. About the events in your career that have been > the focus of so much concern, you suggest that there have been > misconceptions and mitigating considerations, but say nothing about what > those misconceptions or mitigating considerations might be. I fully > understand that for both legal and ethical reasons, you may not feel free to > elaborate, and I do not ask that you violate any such obligations. However, > the inability to provide more information is itself a major handicap for the > role you are in. In fact, a requirement of silence becomes doubly > destructive because it both provides more fuel for conspiracy theories and > denies the Wikimedia Foundation the tools to respond effectively. > > I suspect that many of the possible mitigating factors have already been > touched on by others - from the limited picture we have of the recruiting > practices in question, it is not completely clear what level of > responsibility should be assigned to you, whether you could reasonably have > done otherwise in your position, or to what extent you should have > understood their legal implications. Nor do I believe that one mistake (you > do not say it was a mistake, and presumably again you are not in a position > to admit that, whether or not you might wish to) should necessarily > disqualify anybody from the Board. However, as Asaf so eloquently explained > on this list a couple weeks ago - which I hope you saw, if you've been > following the conversation as you say - it's nearly impossible to get people > to leave things fully in the past without an acknowledgment of the mistake. > I understand you want to earn the trust of the community. But if you cannot > do what is needed for this trust to develop, then you simply will never be > able to earn it from many people. This is another way in which silence > becomes disabling. You might manage for people to move on enough that you > can function in your role, but the issue will continue to hang over > everything you do. > > The Board has indicated that you were appointed for your expertise in human > resources. I agree that your career includes some impressive experience and > you would be a highly qualified candidate in that sense. I can also > appreciate why the Board might have felt a need for your kind of expertise. > While the Foundation was at a somewhat different point during my tenure, it > has faced a variety of challenges in this area, and these types of issues > were prominent in my thinking about the organization, both as Chair and > afterward. But under the circumstances, I struggle to see how your > appointment would lead to a net benefit for the Foundation. Your skills and > contacts might bring something that is lacking, but the problematic pieces > of your background also reflect directly on the same area. Considerations > such as staff morale have fluctuated over time, but I cannot imagine how > having someone associated with these practices on the Board would be > anything but a negative influence on it. Whether they would acknowledge it > to you, the rest of the Board, their managers, or anyone at all really, I > think this is an extremely serious problem. It seems like it would take an > incredible amount of good work from you to overcome the damage your mere > presence on the Board is likely to cause. > > I do hope you can translate your passion for this movement into some sort of > positive contribution. Assuming you cannot speak directly to your personal > history in a way that will satisfy people, I hope you will at least try to > explain more clearly what you anticipate bringing to the table. In the > context of this particular appointment, however, it is a heavy weight you > would need to counterbalance, and there may be other and better ways of > approaching this. > > --Michael Snow > > > On 1/26/2016 11:07 AM, Arnnon Geshuri wrote: >> >> 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: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org >> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, >> <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe> > > > > _______________________________________________ > 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> _______________________________________________ Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines New messages to: Wikimediafirstname.lastname@example.org Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l, <mailto:wikimedia-l-requ...@lists.wikimedia.org?subject=unsubscribe>