Hi,

A different angle for looking at the question of WMF staff attending
community events which may help this conversation:

As a staff member (and acknowledging that my position is none of the
ones Thierry called out in their first email on this thread), with the
exception of a few community events, I very much hesitate to attend a
local community-run event unless the specific community, or at least
one person from that community, has specifically invited me or told me
I should consider attending. There is definitely some feeling of
fear/self-consciousness on my end about entering in a place where I
may not be welcome, where I impose my presence to others, or entering
conversations where my expertise may not be valued/considered because
I'm carrying a history which may or may not even be really mine.

I'm sharing my feelings and the way I think about whether to attend a
local event or not here not to ask for empathy in my specific case
(which is btw, always welcomed:) but to say that there may be other
staff members like me, especially those who have joined WMF more
recently, who may be in the same boat. My recommendation would be for
the local communities to signal to the specific people which they want
in their meetings that they're welcome to attend. At least this way
you will know the person has felt invited/welcomed and will have a
higher chance to decide to attend.

To be clear: I'm not saying WMF not attending this specific event
would have been addressed by the above. I don't know. I'm just
explaining one of the reasons this may have happened, and providing a
suggestion to address this specific reason.

Best,
Leila
--
Leila Zia
Principal Research Scientist, Head of Research
Wikimedia Foundation

On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 4:20 AM Philip Kopetzky
<philip.kopet...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Gereon, you clearly forget the whole Mediaviewer saga and attendance of WMF
> staff at the following WikiCon in Cologne ;-) But that was a long time ago
> :-)
>
> On Mon, 16 Sep 2019 at 01:53, Gereon Kalkuhl <gkalk...@freenet.de> wrote:
>
> > Since 2010 we have the WikiCon for the German language communities with
> > more than 300 attendants. I don't remember that the WMF has sent anyone
> > to these conventions. And why should they? It's all in German, the
> > communities are established and have strong chapters. I suppose the same
> > applies to the French language communites. The WMF visits emerging
> > communities, to learn about them and to help them by transfering
> > knowlege. They visit the CEE meetings, they visit Wiki Indabas. I don't
> > think that the WMF is neglecting big communities, it rather makes sense
> > that when sending employes across half the planet they check before,
> > what benefits the conferences have from their attendance and what
> > benefits their attendance bring to the particpants of the conference.
> > Cheers, Gereon
> >
> > Am 15.09.2019 um 20:02 schrieb Thierry Coudray:
> > > "*The Foundation does not care so much of the French-speaking
> > contributors*".
> > > This harsh sentence is the translation of a statement in French, I've
> > just
> > > said in a conversation a week ago at the Francophone Wikiconvention held
> > > last weekend in Brussels. The statement may seem excessive, because the
> > > Foundation does things for the Francophone community as well as for other
> > > communities (and its website is fairly well translated into French). But
> > it
> > > reflected my feeling, shared by my three interlocutors, all non-French,
> > > facing that no Foundation high-level members were present to this
> > > Wikiconvention: no executive director, nor members of the Board, nor any
> > > level-C staff. In an another conversation, where the subject came up over
> > > again, someone said this absence was offensive. I do not know if it
> > > reflects the majority of attendees feelings but with varying degrees, I
> > > would said it was widely shared.
> > >
> > > In 2017, for the Francophone Wikiconvention in Strasbourg we had a very
> > > quick visit of Katherine Maher, in 2018, a simple video message and in
> > 2019
> > > ... nothing. At the same time, the Francophone Wikiconvention has stepped
> > > up with ever more participants, always more countries represented. This
> > > year, it brought together more than 220 Francophones, Algerian, Belgian,
> > > Beninese, Cameroonian, Canadian, French, Guinean, Ivorian, Swiss and
> > > Tunisian contributors, and I may forget some, with varied and enriching
> > > conferences and meetings. A huge success, very well organized by
> > employees
> > > but also by several volunteers, who dedicated time and energy. This
> > > Wikiconvention and the projects and achievements submitted have shown the
> > > French-speaking Wikimedia community vitality, which will continue to
> > grow.
> > > FYI, French is foreseen, thanks to Africa, to be the most rapidly growing
> > > languages in the next twenty years and will be the mother tongue or the
> > > language used for communication for more than 8% of the world's
> > population
> > > in thirty years' time. But my reaction would have been the same if I had
> > > attended an Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Swahili-speaking or any other
> > > important languages Wikiconvention.
> > >
> > > So yes, this Wikiconvention is not in English. Fortunately, not all
> > > Wikimedia meetings are in English. In a previous discussion on this
> > mailing
> > > list about the question of whether or not it is appropriate to continue
> > > Wimania, one of the participants argued that unlike other Wikimedia
> > > meetings, anyone could attend Wikmania. It may be obvious for those who
> > > have English as a mother tongue or for Northern Europeans for whom
> > English
> > > is almost a second mother tongue but this is false: English is spoken
> > only
> > > by a small minority in the world, less than one human in six. So only one
> > > human in six or seven could attend Wikimania or any other
> > english-speaking
> > > conferences or meetings (the case of the vast majority of global
> > Wikimedia
> > > conferences). I do not deny a common working language usefulness but a
> > > Wikiconvention in French, as I hope other languages ones will be more to
> > > come soon, allows all non-English speaking Francophones to participate in
> > > the Wikimedia movement and above all, help them to meet our common goal
> > of
> > > spread freeknowledge.The movement talks a lot about its efforts to
> > overcome
> > > differents gaps (gender, LGBT,...) and it's rightly pointed, these topics
> > > are important. But it simply forget the language gap and the almost
> > > exclusive use of English excludes a very large majority.
> > >
> > > So why no high level Foundation members in Brussels ?
> > > I was told that Valerie D'Costa, the new Chief of Community Engagement,
> > > should initially be there but finally told she will not. But then, no
> > other
> > > member could then replace her and why only one Foundation representant
> > > given the part of French language in the WM projects ? Perhaps no
> > Foundation
> > > Board or high level member speaks French or feels she/he speaks good
> > enough.
> > > But with more than 220 attendants at the FWC, it would have been easy to
> > > find volonteers with a good level of English to provide simultaneous
> > > translation in discussions with other non-English speaking participants
> > or to
> > > translate conferences.A higher-level representation would have helped the
> > > Foundation top level to gain more insight into Wikimedian French-speaking
> > > community and enabled this community to have a direct access to the
> > > Foundation, like in Wikimania. That would have helped bridging the gap
> > > between these "two worlds". Because this gap is real. In the 2011 Finance
> > > Meeting in Paris, during workshops where a Board member was in each
> > > group (Jan-Bart
> > > de Vreede for mine), me and another non english-speaking chapter head
> > (she/he
> > > will recognize her/himself) had made the comment that we had the
> > impression
> > > in our relation with the Foundation of "*colliding with an Anglo-Saxon
> > wall*".
> > > I notice that despite more Foundation staff diversity in recent years,
> > > French speaking organizations would probably still have the same feeling
> > > and clearly many French-speaking wikimedians feel that gap.
> > >
> > > It is sad that the Foundation, which is very demanding with Francophone
> > > chapters, does not apply itself to these demands with the Francophone
> > > community. FYI the next French-speaking Wikconvention will be held on WE
> > 31
> > > october/1 November 2019 in Tunis. Save the date.
> > >
> > > Regards
> > >
> >
> >
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