Thank you Katherine,
We will be happy to see you in Tunis!
Along with other reps of the WMF I hope, with the possibility of booking 
appointments with :
- T&S
- outreach
- grant rep
- tech rep
Kind regards, 

Nattes à chat 

> Le 16 sept. 2019 à 23:54, Katherine Maher <> a écrit :
> Hi all,
> Just a quick note that I was invited to Wikiconvention on Friday 9 August
> by Wikimedia France. On Monday 12 August (delayed by travel to Wikimania!)
> I sent a note expressing my regrets, as I had a family wedding to attend
> during that same weekend as the Convention. I also asked at the same time
> to be notified as soon as the 2020 Tunis dates were confirmed, so that I or
> other members of the Foundation's leadership team are able to plan to
> attend (and I have already put those dates in my calendar).
> Unfortunately, as all volunteers know, sometimes personal/family
> commitments do preclude travel. I similarly cannot attend the CEE
> Conference due to a personal commitment this year. Sometimes there are also
> scheduling conflicts: This year the German-speaking WikiCon gathering is
> the same weekend as WikiArabia, and WikiCon North America is the same
> weekend as WikiIndaba. This means there's always going to be a sense of
> missing something important!
> I would also agree with what Leila shared. I was very appreciative to be
> invited to Wikiconvention, WikiArabia, and WikiIndaba this year. But I want
> to respect that not every community feels that it is the place of the
> Foundation's ED to participate or speak at their events, and that's totally
> fine. I don't think people always need to hear from me, but I am always
> very happy to support any event in which I am invited!
> Katherine
> On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 2:25 PM Natacha Rault via Wikimedia-l <
>> wrote:
>> Thanks for sharing this Leila! This is of course a useful angle.
>> Nattes
>>> 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
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> -- 
> Katherine Maher (she/her)
> Executive Director
> Wikimedia Foundation <>
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