I am sincerely interested in your views on the open source movement, the
for-profit exploitation of Wikinedia, the role of the Foundation in
protecting the intellectual property interests of Wikimedia contributors,
and the role of influential technologists in promoting financially and
environmentally ruinous Ponzi schemes like cryptocurrency.
On Thu, Jan 13, 2022, 8:40 PM Luis Bitencourt-Emilio <luis+wiki(a)live.com>
Thank you Nataliia et al. for the warm welcome (and light hazing) and
apologies to all for my late response.
Years ago, a colleague from the Wikimedia Foundation staff reached out to
talk about product & technology at the organization. I still remember how
eye-opening that initial conversation was - discussing the challenges and
opportunities behind Wikipedia, one of my favorite sites that I had used
for over a decade at that time, left me with little doubt that this is a
movement I would want to be part of in some capacity. I was still at Reddit
at the time, learning what it was like to shift from using and contributing
to open source software to working in a tech company built around open
source and through active, committed, and vocal communities. My experience
at Reddit was one of the most transformative periods in my career and one
of the reasons that I was interested in volunteering for this role.
I was born and grew up in Brazil, under vastly different circumstances
than today. There was a critical moment in my life when my father placed
me, at 8 years old, in a BASIC programming course which I would practice on
our x286 hidden away in a laundry room. My passion for technology started
then, and has only grown since. I believe in technology as a key path to
the furthering of humanity, of knowledge, of quality of life, and of our
collective future. I also believe that this will only happen with the
guidance and efforts of active and inclusive communities that shepherd said
technology to positive outcomes.
So now, years later and after my return to Latin America, there was an
opportunity to join the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. I spent the
next several months in conversations with other board members, staff,
community members and friends to try and internalize more about the
challenges and opportunities ahead, and most importantly to learn whether I
could indeed make a positive contribution. I join this movement deeply
humbled and inspired by the passion of everyone I met, and with a strong
drive to leverage my experiences as a product and engineering leader to
build a world where every single human being can freely share in the sum of
In this role, I can only be my authentic self, I will strive for
understanding in my interactions with you, as well as do my absolute best
to bring excellence to our product and technology. I will always be
inclusive and welcoming of our differences, and engage in civil discourse,
in service of a movement that is bigger than ourselves.
Thank you for the opportunity to contribute. I hope to connect with many
of you directly over the coming months.
PS: I see a separate conversation has emerged relating to blockchains and
my interests in that field. I want to clarify that I don’t work
professionally in this field, and while I’m historically an early adopter
of technology - in the same way I adopted the internet in the 90s - I share
many of the same thoughts and questions about this new technology’s future
that have been raised in this thread. As a new Trustee, first and foremost,
I am here to learn and to hear more from all of you.
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