Hi Philip and all,

I debated whether to respond and continue this discussion. Finally, I
decided to do it first to apologize. I stand behind my feedback about the
process, but I'm afraid it was sent at the wrong time, a few days before
the Wikimedia Summit. It wasn't my intention to cause a storm a moment
before the summit and especially not during it, and I didn't take that it
into consideration when I sent the email. It would have been more
appropriate if this mail had been sent long enough before, or after, the
summit.

If my email wasn't clear, let me clarify it: I think the strategy process
is one of the most important steps we had so far as a movement. And I truly
believe (or at least desire to) it will bring change. Saying that, I think
we should also look more deeply and review how we bring these
recommendations, asking ourselves if this is the only way. In the Friday
morning session, two extreme directions were presented as to how the
process could take place. That's exactly the point that bothered me, the
look of black or white only. There are so many ways in between that can
combine the good in both ways.

What saddens me the most is our fear of having an open conversation. I
received many responses to this email, some off-list, but so many in-person
during the last weekend in Berlin (and because I talked about it two days
ago with someone, here is a screenshot just for an example:
https://imgur.com/FM1naPJ).

I told many of them and I say it publicly, I didn't look for any public
support for what I wrote. Each of us has a different opinion or feedback.
Good and bad. And all these deserve to be said. It saddens me that we keep
things in our stomachs. We do things that we don't feel comfortable with
just because [enter your reason].

In one of the conversations, someone told me that he thinks that the
process is problematic, but they are his friends, and he doesn't want to
criticize them. That's one of the things that hurt me more and bothered me
during the whole weekend, wonder to myself if maybe I did something wrong.

The criticism is not personal towards anyone. Or at least that wasn't the
intention. There are questions that I think we as a movement, who
responsible together to this process, should ask about it. This is our duty
as a movement. Are we using the money correctly? Do we manage the work time
of the staff and volunteers right? It may be that everything is fine, but
it may not be. If we don't ask ourselves the questions from time to time,
we will not do our job. Assessment should be done all along, not just at
the end of a process. The fact this process is SUPER important is obvious
to everyone. But you can not go blind because of it.

It doesn't change the fact that the people behind it are my friends too,
some of them for many years. I love them all. And I know, and sure with all
my heart, that they do the best they can for the sake of movement. I
believe feedback, comments, are also important to them to adjust and
change. To talk about them and criticize their work behind their back it's
probably the most non-friendship thing to do.

Have a great weekend.



*Itzik Edri*
Chairperson (volunteer)
it...@wikimedia.org.il
+972-54-5878078



On Mon, Apr 1, 2019 at 3:19 PM Philip Kopetzky <philip.kopet...@gmail.com>
wrote:

> Hi Itzik,
>
> I'm sorry you feel this way and would hope you would still feel inclined to
> provide a critical point of view on the process. I agree with you that
> we're bad at changing processes that are evidently broken, but don't you
> think that we are exactly changing this fact by moving on from an affiliate
> system that has been broken for at least 3-4 years now and are finally
> prioritising measures that will support our communities in becoming
> healthier and more fun to work in?
>
> Best,
> Philip
>
> On Thu, 28 Mar 2019 at 19:09, Kiril Simeonovski <
> kiril.simeonov...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > Hi Anders,
> >
> > There is an expression in Macedonian that says „Секое вештачко нешто се
> > распаѓа на природен начин.“ (Every artificial creation breaks down
> > naturally.). This is exactly what is going to happen with this strategy.
> >
> > Best regards,
> > Kiril
> >
> > On Thu, Mar 28, 2019 at 7:05 PM Anders Wennersten <
> > m...@anderswennersten.se>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > There is a Swedish expression "har man tagit fan i båten får man ro
> > > honom i land" (If you have taken the devil into your boat you must row
> > > him ashore"
> > >
> > > Independent if this process has been bad or not, I see it is as just
> > > some six month left of it. And it is important to do the best of it. It
> > > would be a bad move to stop it at thois point in time, and would also
> be
> > > too late to correct the process if it has been flawed.
> > >
> > > Anders
> > >
> > >
> > > Den 2019-03-27 kl. 14:05, skrev Itzik - Wikimedia Israel:
> > >
> > > > Hi,
> > > >
> > > > Two weeks ago I sent this email to my strategy working group
> (resource
> > > > allocation). I didn't plan to send a public email, just to share with
> > the
> > > > rest of the group my reason to leave and just to disappear.
> > > > I receive feedbacks with many of the group members and also
> requesting
> > > > permissions to transfer it with others outside of the group, which
> > leads
> > > to
> > > > more conversations that I had around it.
> > > >
> > > > Last week we had our weekly phone call, during which we discussed our
> > > > feelings and opinions about the process so far. From our long
> > > conversation
> > > > and the conversations with the others, I learned that many of these
> > > > feelings exist among the other members, as well some ideas on how to
> > make
> > > > it easier and less demanding and at the same time publishing the
> > > > conclusions sooner.
> > > > Yesterday, following a good conversation with one of the WMF's board
> > > > members about it, I was asked to share these thoughts with the
> > movement's
> > > > list, so that it may also involve the community's feedback as well.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > *Itzik Edri*
> > > > Chairperson (volunteer)
> > > > it...@wikimedia.org.il
> > > > +972-54-5878078
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> > > > From: Itzik - Wikimedia Israel <it...@wikimedia.org.il>
> > > > Date: Wed, Mar 13, 2019 at 2:08 PM
> > > > Subject: I decided to leave the working group
> > > > To: <wg2030-resourceallocat...@wikimedia.org>
> > > >
> > > > Dear friends,
> > > >
> > > > For a long time I have been considering leaving the working group but
> > > each
> > > > time I decided to give it another chance. Yesterday, after long
> > > > consideration, I decided to write this email.
> > > >
> > > > I must be honest - I was skeptical from the first moment about this
> > > > process. The huge amount of money which the board allocated to this
> > > process
> > > > together with the complicated and (very) long process planned for it
> -
> > > make
> > > > me doubt the ability to really have a real outcome in a reasonable
> > time.
> > > > For the past two years, it seems to me like the strategy took over
> > almost
> > > > every movement event and activity. I feel bad for investing millions
> of
> > > > dollars from our donations and uncounted hours of volunteer time into
> > > this
> > > > process.
> > > >
> > > > I also felt hypocritical in the way the foundation acts - while
> > > "freezing"
> > > > grant programs (such as APG) and holding affiliates from increasing
> > their
> > > > programs and budgets, "because of the strategy process" while
> > > > simultaneously approving itself to increase its budget and staff year
> > > after
> > > > year by tens of percentage.
> > > >
> > > > Despite my distrust of the chances of this process and the criticism
> I
> > > felt
> > > > for it, I instructed my organization to give it the full support we
> > been
> > > > asked, as all our movement did. Later on, I decided to join this
> > working
> > > > group as I felt we almost reached the final step of the process and I
> > > > wanted to help shape the recommendations. I was totally wrong.
> > > >
> > > > In the first months of the workgroups, I felt it was completely
> wasted
> > of
> > > > time. I saw how wonderful volunteers tried to lead the process within
> > > each
> > > > group (thank you Daria!) - but it wasn't their job, nor none of us. I
> > > felt
> > > > like I was returning to university, and every few weeks I received
> > > > instructions and homework from the lecturer, with assignments to the
> > > > following week - and in between, that we need to lead it and solve
> > things
> > > > by ourselves. It took the core team a few months to change it and
> bring
> > > > external support, but even after the (right) change, it continues to
> > feel
> > > > like I came *to work for *the strategic process, not with.
> > > >
> > > > I felt like nothing happened for the past year(or years?) before the
> > > > working groups started to operate. As if we didn't have hundreds of
> > > > meetings around the world, with a total of tens of thousands of
> people
> > > and
> > > > an enormous amount of hours of conversations - and aside from a short
> > few
> > > > sentences of a strategic direction, we started from scratch. A
> > completely
> > > > new process.
> > > >  From scratch to have discussions about what this process is,
> > definitions
> > > > and concepts. What is the problem with the current system? What are
> the
> > > > challenges? What people shared during the first phase? Information
> > which
> > > > wasn't available and ready for the group, and still isn't. Eight
> months
> > > > after we start, the real conversation about the subject which I
> joined
> > to
> > > > discuss about and help shape recommendations around it, is far, far
> > away
> > > > from even to start.
> > > >
> > > > The more I spoke to more and more people who are part of the
> process, I
> > > > realized that this despair is not only with me but with many. But we
> > are
> > > a
> > > > real Wikimedians, and we are committed to the things we start. We are
> > bad
> > > > with stopping things when they don't work or have real reviews of the
> > > > things we do when we have the belief that this is the right thing. I
> > > > completely stopped thinking it is the right thing to our movement.
> > > >
> > > > Last month, in our in-person meeting in Berlin, one of the opening
> > > > activities was to sum up the number of years we were all members of
> the
> > > > movement. Just think about doing the same, and sum up the number of
> > > > volunteer (and staff) hours invested until now in this process. We
> are
> > > > talking about tens of thousands of hours of work not even taking into
> > > > consideration the huge amount of money involved.
> > > > And the end of the process is very far away.
> > > >
> > > > In one of our discussions, we doubt if to include volunteers as a
> > > resource
> > > > which can be allocated. We decided at the end it can't as such, but
> > just
> > > > try to imagine it was, and try to think about a future
> whatever-will-be
> > > the
> > > > resource allocation body/structure: how he would deal with the
> decision
> > > > whether to approve such a huge amount of volunteer time and money in
> > the
> > > > process. Did the WMF's board even consider and discuss these
> resources
> > > and
> > > > how it will affect the movement during the process years? I doubt.
> > > >
> > > > We tend to say that the movement newest project is WikiData. I think
> we
> > > may
> > > > need to start address WikiStrategy as the newest project. Just think
> > > about
> > > > what we could do with that amount of resources.
> > > >
> > > > The idea to massively involve the wide community within this process
> > was
> > > > the right decision  - but the implementations from my point of view
> > were
> > > > wrong.
> > > > If the last strategy process was totally handled by outsiders - we
> took
> > > > this one completely to its opposite, without finding the right
> balance.
> > > >
> > > > A strategy process is important, there is no doubt. And our movement
> > > needs
> > > > one, there is no doubt.
> > > > But a strategy process can't take over the organization' activities
> for
> > > > *years.*
> > > >
> > > > I want to warmly thank you, my teammates. It is heartwarming to see
> the
> > > > commitment and amazing energy of all the members of this process, and
> > of
> > > > course, the core team which is dedicated to bringing a change. I have
> > no
> > > > doubt that we all want to secure the future of our movement to years
> to
> > > > come and I don't know of such a high level of engagement and
> commitment
> > > > anywhere else. But at the same time, I think we should put limits to
> it
> > > and
> > > > reconsider it - and think how to make it shorter, lighter, less
> > demanding
> > > > and expensive - both from the perspective of staff/volunteer time and
> > > money.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Yours,
> > > > Itzik.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > *Itzik Edri*
> > > > Chairperson
> > > > it...@wikimedia.org.il
> > > > +972-54-5878078
> > > > _______________________________________________
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