As we reflected on our Wikimedia Conference experience and as we just got an answer from
the FDC, which we thank warmly, the Wikimédia France Board thought we should give you an
update on our current situation.
Since September 2017, the newly elected Board and the staff have dedicated their energy to
the improvement of the governance and an organizational restructuring. We would like to
share with the community all the efforts that have been made during the last 8 months in
order to restore confidence and to rebuild Wikimédia France.
The first steps we took were:
* Reopening communication channels with our members;
* Having two general assemblies and widely renewing the Board;
* Successfully completing the Grant expectations process which had been set by WMF
during the 2017 crisis at Wikimédia France;
* Governance review by external auditors (report will be published soon);
* Constant discussions with WMF.
Major staff restructuring
Since then, a major staff reorganization and a transition to a flatter organization have
The two employees at the head of the organization(Executive Director and Deputy Executive
Director) of the Association in 2017 left Wikimédia France (WMFr) in the last quarter of
In order to work on the reorganizing, during the second half of 2017, the Board conducted
individual interviews with all employees to establish a general state of the organization
and to collect ideas for WMFr's and its staff's future. With those elements in
hand, and after several months reflecting and observing how the Association functioned in
the absence of salaried management, the Board came to the conclusion that the team's
maturity and relative autonomy made possible a less hierarchical organization than the
classical one (i.e. “Board / Executive Director / staff”). It has been decided to carry
out an internal reorganization of the team, without further recruitment to replace the
The new organization unfolds as follows. The Board stays in charge of managing the
Association, whilst proceeding to two delegations of power: a delegation to Resources and
an operational delegation, each receiving part of the Employer's liability and part of
strategic functions. The Board occupies its role in strategy and budget matters, and also
reserves the right of final decision for all sensitive Employer competencies (like
decisions of dismissal, sanction or recruitment). Our goal here is twofold: to no longer
concentrate all responsibilities in the hands of only one person and to minimize the risk
of having the Board disempowered by depriving it of its right (and duty) to take
In addition to these HR and Operational delegations of power, he Board is also considering
implementing a Financial delegation of power, able to bring together the skills of an
accountant and a chartered accountant within the internal staff. This would lead, in the
medium term, to an organization presenting as a four-headed structure: Human Resources,
Operations , Finances and Board — all of these under the control of the General Assembly.
To fill the two new positions created, the Board has decided to choose two staff members
whom it trusts and whose qualities it has had the opportunity to observe in the past few
months: Cindy David for the HR part and Rémy Gerbet for the Operational part. Being aware
that an organization without salaried direction is not without difficulties, the Board has
decided to begin with a three-month probationary period, during which the work of the two
appointees will be evaluated, as well as the ability of the Board itself to properly
fulfil its role. At the end of these three months, a first assessment will be made and the
new organization will be either validated, abandoned, or tested for three more months
before final decision. In order to implement this new organization, our staff will be
provided, if need be, with professional training.
The new structure now counts 8 FTEs, including a newly hired Junior Fundraiser position,
instead of 11 in 2017. We are confident that this new structure is well suited to bring
Wikimédia France forward effectively.
The reorganizing of the team also comes with a complete overhaul of the salary
Relying on the global Movement
Our Chair, Vice-Chair and Operational Coordinator took part in the Wikimedia Conference.
This was an amazing opportunity to learn, to work on the strategy, to develop partnerships
and, perhaps more importantly, to strengthen our relationships with the numerous
organizations and individuals that constitute the Wikimedia movement.
We were especially glad to have the opportunity to attend the first meeting of affiliates
without Executive Director (France, Italy, New York City, Poland, Serbia, Ukraine), which
was a first promising step towards a fruitful collaboration. We benefitted from their
feedback regarding their organizational experience and we hope we will soon be able to
offer a sustainable alternative model to an ED-based organization.
Looking to the future
On top of all this efforts, we are looking to the future:
* We have submitted our proposal to the FDC, with a positive feedback. We took into
account the criticisms of the last two years, notably by drastically reducing the amount
requested from the FDC (-236,000 €). We are really glad that the FDC gave such
consideration to our efforts and we sincerely thank them.
* Although very busy with our internal projects, we do not forget that we are part of the
Wikimedia movement. We intend to allocate time to attend Wikimania, Wikimedia Conference,
Executive Directors and Chairpersons meetings, Big Fat Meeting and to be involved in the
elaboration of Wikimedia 2030 strategy.
* The chapter's governance has been fully reviewed by two teams of external auditors.
A governance review report will be published and discussed with our community. First
major changes are due for the next general assembly at the end of 2018.
The last few months were not easy. However, moral support and help from the Wikimedia
movement and its wish that Wikimédia France would become a successful chapter again helped
us find the energy to overcome the many challenges we had to face.
We are looking forward to the year ahead, as we strengthen our organization and develop
efficient and impactful programs and would like to thank our members, the Wikimedia
Foundation, the affiliates, and all the individual people who supported us during these
Vice-chair of Wikimédia France
 Links to this report will be provided shortly.
L'absence de virus dans ce courrier électronique a été vérifiée par le logiciel