Thanks for sharing this Leila! This is of course a useful angle. 

> Le 16 sept. 2019 à 21:51, Leila Zia <> a écrit :
> 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
> <> 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 <> 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
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
>>> and
>>> New messages to:
>>> Unsubscribe:,
>>> <>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
>> and 
>> New messages to:
>> Unsubscribe:, 
>> <>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: 
> and 
> New messages to:
> Unsubscribe:, 
> <>

Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at: and
New messages to:

Reply via email to