To provide some perspective. The Board of Trustees has traditionally had its Board meeting
at the Wikimedia Conference. This year is the first year we decide to change that and have
our board meeting a couple of weeks later so that we could actually attend the sessions
and have more interaction with all the participants. Six of us will be going to Berlin
because we feel that it is an incredible valuable conference.
Lets be clear: this is a different event than Wikimania. It is a time to meet and discuss
governance issues with those that have been entrusted with them in our movement, it is a
time to exchange organisational experiences and a time to look forward to possibilities
for that part of the movement that chooses to organise itself in chapters or thematic
organisations. And although the audience is probably a subset of the Wikimania audience
the smaller setup allows for different interactions etc.
I have no opinion on the decision of certain organisations to send more people than
expected, this is something that can be discussed for next year, and there will always be
exceptions. But in general: these conferences, though expensive, really provide a place to
learn how to be more effective with donor money rather than less through the sessions and
the interaction. I am happy that many volunteers are able to invest their valuable time
and am sure that they will get a great return on that investment (I notice that many
chapters rotate participation throughout the years and that there are also familiar faces,
and its great to see them both)
I am grateful to the German Chapter for hosting us this year, and also to all the
volunteers who are willing to donate their time to participate. Looking forward to seeing
you all next week!
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Wikimedia Board of Trustees
On 02 Apr 2014, at 19:15, Fæ <faewik(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On 02/04/2014, Chris Keating
Great! We are starting to have the conversation
we need to have!
So: What is the purpose of the Wikimedia Conference?
This has never been clearly defined, in my view.
I certainly found attending last year useful as it was a chance to get to
know face-to-face people I only knew over email, to share some useful
experience of Wikimedia UK's with other chapters, and to get an insight
into how others were thinking, and have some meetings which needed to be
In general those are very useful things. But is that what the conference is
This question neatly demonstrates the fundamental issue for me.
I am genuinely puzzled as to why, if nobody on the WMUK board (such as
the CEO or the current Chairman) is sure what the purpose of the
conference is, they should chose to invest the donor's money in
sending 5 trustees and 3 full time employees to it (presumably the
employees are being paid for their time rather than going as
If the key benefit claimed is to do social networking, it should be
recognized that all the same faces will be at Wikimania London in 4
months, and socializing is part of the defined benefits of Wikimania.
Considering the conference is a week away and it appears that flights
and accommodation have been paid for, re-framing this as good news,
rather than admitting it is a problem, appears to be replacing
pragmatism with sophistry.
Fae (writing from the grave)
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