Dear members of the WMF Board of Trustees, I’ve been following the recent events silently - from the voting out of James Heilman, to the unfortunate timing of recruiting Arnnon Geshuri and the lack of clear, timely communication around WMF strategy in in general and specifically around the so-called “Knowledge Engine” grant, received by the Knight Foundation.
Even more alarming to me, is the slew of exceptional community-facing employees who left (or are leaving) the Foundation, accompanied by muffled sounds of discontent from staying Foundation employees. I’m breaking my silence because I’m very concerned. My concerns stem from my past experiences with facilitating strategic changes and my experience in grantmaking - both in and outside of the Movement. I’m concerned because it’s evident that the Foundation is undergoing a deep, strategic change. But this change is not accompanied by the required transparency, honesty and accountability required by the Foundation in order to truly transform in a way that's beneficial for the organization and its community. I’m concerned, because while the “Knowledge Engine” grant provides only a specific example, it underlines a larger picture that is disturbing: concealment (rather than openness) as a default, lack of consultation with the community and weak, general communication around important matters only after bad press. I also suspect that the vocal members of the community are right, and that a $250K grant is not the issue, but it part of a bigger move that will require significantly more resources for the Foundation to implement. Lastly, I’m concerned because all this stirs no clear communication from the Board of Trustees. A Board of Trustees implies there should be trust between the Board and its constituents. I suspect this isn’t the case anymore. If any APG-receiving affiliate conducted itself in such a non transparent, dishonest manner and with lack of clear, timely communication with its community and stakeholders, it would get seriously reprimanded by the Foundation: its board audited, its budget cut, etc. Expecting the Foundation to be held to a lower standard than any of its worldwide affiliates is just hypocritical. I urge the Board of Trustees - Don’t forget that the community of volunteers and affiliates is a major stakeholder of the Wikimedia Foundation - and many of us are concerned. I think the community deserves to better understand where the Wikimedia Foundation is going, and get honest answers about the changes in the organization, for us to be trusting again. Please start communicating clearly about those topics. With utmost respect, Ido (AKA AlleyCat80) Board Member, WMIL Member, Simple APG & GAC. _______________________________________________ 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>