Sorry that somehow went to wrong list.

On Feb 25, 2016 9:29 AM, "Brion Vibber" <> wrote:
> Thanks again for your responses, Denny. I think it really helps to get a
clearer perspective on things "on the inside", and that informs the kind of
things we need to think and talk about as a company and as a movement.
> I know it's a super awkward position to be putting all of you in,
especially at this juncture. I hope we'll all get through this sanely and
we can talk about ways to better align our various structures to our needs
with less immediate stress.
> -- brion
> On Feb 25, 2016 9:16 AM, "Denny Vrandecic" <>
>> Thanks to all the answers to my response. I am still reading them, and I
>> probably will not be able to answer to all in a timely manner (I have to
>> work, after all), but I wanted to make a few things clearer, quickly:
>> Milos, I indeed do not care about reelection. And if I have to choose
>> between truth and political wisdom, I hope to continue to choose the
>> More importantly, Milos, I did a massive error in my formulation, as I
>> realize, which lead to a misunderstanding. I have to apologize for that.
>> When I said that the Board has to make a decision in the interest of the
>> Foundation when there is a conflict between the Communities and the
>> Foundation, I was phrasing myself very badly, I now realize. I actually
>> not mean a direct conflict between a single Community and the Foundation,
>> i.e. with these two as being directly opposed to each other and fighting
>> over something, but rather the more complicated case of a decision where
>> there is a conflict of interests between the Foundation and the
>> Movement-at-large, the Board is obliged to decide in the best interest of
>> the Foundation.
>> I do not buy in the mythology of an "evil community" at all. I do not
>> buy into the mythology of a great divide between the communities and the
>> foundation. There are plenty of people who are active and constructive in
>> both, and who bridge both. The cases where the Foundation and the
>> are directly opposed to each other should be extremely rare, and,
>> thankfully are. I don't think there was anything even close to that
>> to the Board in my tenure so far.
>> More often though is the case that there is a third-party situation, e.g.
>> an imminent and considerable legal threat to the Foundation. In that
>> the interests of the Movement at large has to be secondary for the Board.
>> I regard the Movement-at-large as much more resilient than any and each
>> its parts. And I am thankful for that, because I think our mission is
>> too important to leave it with a small NGO in the Bay Area. It has to be
>> mission carried by every single one of us, it has to be a mission that is
>> inclusive of every one who wants to join in realizing it.
>> I have overstated my point in my last mail, obviously, and also
>> intentionally to make a point (and thanks for everyone to calling me out
>> that). But as many have confirmed, there is truth in this overstatement.
>> don't think that such situations will occur often. But when they occur,
>> that is what I said, they will be painful and frustrating and potentially
>> shrouded in confidentiality / secrecy. Therefore it remains my strong
>> belief, that reaffirming the current Board as the movement leadership
>> is a bad idea, because the overstated incompatibility that I have
>> remains.
>> I could imagine with a much smaller Board of Trustees, which itself is a
>> constituent of a body representing the whole Movement.
>> I could imagine a wholly new body to represent the whole movement.
>> I could imagine many, many small new bodies who somehow make local
>> decisions on the one side and bubble up to an ineffective, but extremely
>> resilient and representative voice.
>> I could imagine many other models.
>> But I have a hard time to imagine the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia
>> Foundation sincerely filling out the role of the movement leadership, due
>> to the inherent constraints and incompatibilities between these roles. As
>> rare as they appear, they do appear.
>> Dariusz, you say that a disengagement from the Foundation by the
>> would increase a specific Foundation versus the rest of the movement
>> situation. I don't think that the formal composition of the Board matters
>> as much as its role, duties, and obligations.
>> The German Wikimedia chapter, the one chapter I have a bit experience
>> is a membership organization. The Board is elected by the members in its
>> entirety. I don't see any claim of that Board to lead the German
>> communities. I don't see that the German chapter is significantly closer
>> the German Wikimedia communities, or that their relation to the
>> is considerably less strained, than the Foundation is to the overall
>> communities (besides the obvious locality of their relation).
>> Dan, Brion, James, in particular thanks to you for arguing why my
>> overstatement was, well, an overstatement. But I still remain convinced
>> that the view of the Board as having the role of leading the movement is
>> merely an accident of the fact that we have no other obvious leadership,
>> and that the Board is being sucked into that vacuum. It is not designed
>> be so, and, I argue, due to the legal and formal obligations, it
>> MZMcBride, I currently lack the time to answer to your specific and
>> excellent points in particular. Sorry. I hope to come back to it.
>> On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 8:24 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <
>>> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Feb 25, 2016 at 10:43 AM, Milos Rancic <>
>> >
>> > > Thus, not the senate, but assembly is the right form of our
>> > > organization: assembly which would select *paid* Board members.
>> > > Besides the load, I want Board members to be accountable to
>> > > Wikimedians, not to the for-profit or non-profit entities which give
>> > > them money.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I am not, and have not been employed by any Wikimedia organization.
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> > > Yes, it's scary to be accountable to people you lead. I completely
>> > > understand that.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I have no idea where you get this idea from in my letter. I am not
>> > to be accountable to people I lead, and I hope I have stated my
>> > in this department clearly.
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> > > The costs of having 100 people assembly won't be significant at all.
>> > > First of all, the most of the people in such large body would be
>> > > anyways mostly consisted of those going to Wikimedia Conference and
>> > > Wikimania. If you really care about money, scale the initial body to
>> > > 40-50 and ask all chapters that sending three or more people to those
>> > > conferences to contribute expenses for one to such body. If you put
>> > > that way, the costs could rise up to ~5%, if they raise at all.
>> > >
>> >
>> > If you envisage a large, 100 people assembly during Wikimania or
>> > Conference, then indeed it is possible to arrange without significant
>> > additional cost. However, I believe this is basically an entirely
>> > idea than the one Denny described (or at least the one I understood
>> > discussing). An assembly would be a body who would voice their opinion
>> > once a year in practice, most likely. I'm not sure what exactly would
>> > do, but surely it would be difficult for it to agree/vote on situations
>> > happening within a span of weeks, rather than months.
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> > > So, please, reconsider your ideas on the line: from speaking about
>> > > bureaucracy, while in fact increasing inefficient one -- to thinking
>> > > about efficient, democratically accountable bureaucracy, with
>> > > everybody content by its construction.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I am not convinced if a body of 100 people meeting once a year is an
>> > efficient way to reduce bureaucracy. Of course views may differ.
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> > > Said everything above, I have to express that I am pissed off by the
>> > > fact that the Board members are constructive as long as they are
>> > > high level of pressure. Whenever you feel a bit more empowered, I
>> > > just the excuses I've been listening for a decade.
>> > >
>> >
>> > I am saddened you have this perception.
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > >
>> > > Please, let us know how do you want to talk with us in the way that
>> > > see that the communication is constructive.
>> >
>> >
>> > That is a good topic for a separate thread! Currently, the list we use
>> > limited to 1500 English speakers.
>> >
>> > An idea that I have been trying to champion for a while was also
>> > community-liaisons: community elected people whose responsibility is
>> > day-to-day communication with the WMF and back. This would not be a
>> > decisive role, and it is independent from whether we have a senate or
>> > assembly or not, but could at least increase the reach of
communication and
>> > decision making in some areas.
>> >
>> > Also, discourse is a platform that perhaps will take off at some point.
>> >
>> > dj
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