I disagree very much with Dariusz on this topic (as he knows). I think that
a body that is able to speak for the movement as a whole would be extremely
beneficial in order to relieve the current Board of Trustees of the
Wikimedia Foundation from that role. It simply cannot - and indeed, legally
must not - fulfill this role.

To make a few things about the Board of Trustees clear - things that will
be true now matter how much you reorganize it:

- the Board members have duties of care and loyalty to the Foundation - not
to the movement. If there is a decision to be made where there is a
conflict between the Movement or one of the Communities with the
Foundation, the Board members have to decide in favor of the Foundation.
They are not only trained to so, they have actually pledged to do so.

- the Board members have fiduciary responsibilities. No, we cannot just
talk about what we are doing. As said, the loyalty of a Board member is
towards the organization, not the movement.

- the Board members that are elected by the communities or through chapters
represent the voice of the communities or the chapters. That's not the
case. All Board members are equal, and have the same duties and rights. Our
loyalty is towards the organization, not towards the constituency that
voted for us.

These things are not like this because the Wikimedia Foundation has decided
in a diabolic plan for world domination to write the rules in such a way.
These things are so because US laws - either federal or state laws, I am
not a lawyer and so I might be babbling nonsense here anyway, but this is
my understanding - requires a Board of Trustees to have these legal
obligations. This is nothing invented by the WMF in its early days, but
rather the standard framework for US non-profits.

Now, sure, you may say that this doesn't really matter, the Foundation and
the Movement should always be aligned. And where this is usually the case,
in those few cases where it is not it will lead to a massive burn.

Once you are on the Board, you do not represent the Communities, the
Chapters, your favourite Wikimedia project, you are not the representative
and defender of Wikispecies or the avatar of Wiktionary - no, you are a
Trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation, and your legal obligations and duties
are defined by the Bylaws and the applicable state and federal laws.

So, whoever argues that the Board of Trustees is to be the representative
of the communities has still to explain to me how to avoid this conundrum.
Simply increasing the number of community elected seats won't change
anything in a sustaining way.

This is why I very much sympathize with the introduction of a new body that
indeed represents the communities, and whose loyalty is undivided to the
Movement as a whole. I currently do not see any body that in the Wikimedia
movement that would have the moral authority to discuss e.g. whether
Wikiversity should be set up as a project independent of the Wikimedia
movement, whether Wikisource would deserve much more resources, whether
Stewards have sufficient authority, whether the German Wikimedia chapter
has to submit itself to the FDC proposal, whether a restart of the Croatian
Wikipedia is warranted, etc. I am quite sure that none of these questions
are appropriate for the Board of Trustees, but I would love to hear the
opinion of others on this.

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 4:35 PM, Denny Vrandecic <dvrande...@wikimedia.org>

> Thank you for the diverse input. A few points to Razmy's proposal.
> I have trouble with suggestions that state "we can ensure diversity by
> creating regional seats". First, why these regions? What does each region
> seat represent? Potential readers? Actual readers? Human population at
> large? Why not number of active editors? Without deciding that we do not
> know whether the regions you suggest make any sense.
> Second, why regions at all? How do regions ensure that we have a diversity
> in age? Sex? Gender? Wealth? Religion? Cultural background? Educational
> background? Diversity has not only the aspect of being from a specific
> region, there is so much more to that.
> Also, the increase in number of Trustees makes the Board more expensive
> and more ineffective. I would be rather unhappy with such an increase. It
> is hard enough to get anything done at the current size. I would appreciate
> any proposal that reduces the number of Trustees, not increases it.
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 1:45 AM, Ramzy Muliawan <ramzymuliawa...@gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> >
>> > This proposal did not attempt to create a developing world-dominated
>> > Board, nor is a developing world-dominated.
>> >
>> "Nor is a developed world-dominated."
>> Sorry, my bad.
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