Dear Brion, thank you for starting this thread and for your caveats.

Among the challenges when creating new movement entities, or organs, I
think there are at least two which we have experienced in the past:

a) A certain part of the Wikipedians has a very individualistic mind
and may not want to be represented at all. Representation means to
support someone who is speaking, partially/temporarily, on your
behalf. It is easy to imagine that, in an emotional moment confronted
with a "common enemy", e.g. a specific Wikipedia language version
community elects representants. But that is not enough: on the long
run those representants need the constant support of those they are
supposed to represent, otherwise their position will be very weak.

b) Building up an organ or structures in general needs skills and hard
work. It is often difficult to find people who don't only want to cast
a voice of protest but to attend meetings, write minutes, communicate
with many different people, read a lot of documents, support a
decision even if you don't agree for 100% etc.

Kind regards

2016-02-28 15:53 GMT+01:00 Brion Vibber <>:
> I just want to split out a concept that came up in the big threads of the
> last few days:
> Some members of the WMF Board of Trustees are giving strong signals (like,
> saying it outright) that the BoT can't fully take on the role of movement
> leadership or community representation. Not because they think it shouldn't
> happen, but because structurally and legally and practically the board of
> Wikimedia Foundation Inc has different roles to fill.
> I think we should consider what roles and structures we *do* want as
> members of the Wikimedia movement community. And I think we should think
> about that and talk about that carefully before rushing into details like
> board reform.
> Perhaps we should explicitly accept WMF as a "first among equals" org
> within the movement, with specific roles like tech development and
> fundraising (or other emphases as well) while other orgs concentrate on
> different specific issues. Or even just "one among equals" that happens to
> have specialized in those roles.
> This probably means we should think about "umbrella" structures to
> coordinate and represent and look forward.
> And that's something we should *definitely* not rush into. If a mismatch in
> hopes for what the WMF BoT can and should do has been a factor in
> communication and leadership issues in the past, then it's very important
> we not make the same kinds of mistakes in any new structures that might be
> needed.
> Dream big.
> Act with passion.
> Talk with thought.
> Don't run with scissors.
> -- brion
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