Given that the actual appointment is about a year ago, it may make sense to shift this conversation and these great questions into a more general domain: what is the current procedure the WMF follows when encountering a vacancy for an expert board member?
I imagine we could rephrase some of these questions into more general language (although the original questions from Scann may still be valuable):
- What does the search strategy look like, and is the movement engaged in it? How? (I would add the same question for the other stakeholders, including staff)
- How are the elements of the ideal profile determined (e.g. US vs worldwide, social good vs commercial, etc)
- To what extent are demographic criteria used in setting a profile for a specific recruitment (rather than at the high level 'we want to be diverse')
I think we could add to that how the WMF does a 'background check' (in the broadest sense possible), although I doubt everything we discussed would always come up. But in two or three occasions over the past years we have had appointments result in some controversy, and it would be interesting to better understand whether WMF was aware but didn't consider it important enough, whether WMF feels that these issues are not relevant enough to begin with or whether WMF would have expected to have been aware, but wasn't.
I realize that board appointments like this are rare events, and it's hard to really analyze them for that reason. Each appointment has its own quirks, and I'm pretty sure nothing you'll say or do will truly satisfy the entire community. I personally don't think it's realistic to pre-announce any appointment to the community before formalizing, but it would also be interesting to think about how we can leverage the community better. I'm thinking about identifying specific experts, committees or focus groups (but I'm confident there's more ways available). And maybe the WMF is already doing all this and we're just under-appreciating it!
All in all, these questions don't necessarily have to reflect on Luis' appointment - they are interesting in their own right.
To add to the conversation, I'm wondering several things.
1. Was there actually an outreach strategy to recruit for this type of technologist profile? Was it communicated to the movement? We could have helped.
2. Why the decision on someone whose only relevant background as technologist is on US corporate technology companies? As several people have pointed out, Luis doesn't seem to have any relevant experience in enterprises that contribute to the larger social good; some of them are significantly controversial (Rappi, Loft); and all of them seem to be very much US-based.
3. Why a guy? It would have been significantly better to bring a woman into this position. If the problem is retention, I actually think that a woman would have been a way better fit to understand what's failing in terms of business culture that's creating challenges to make people stay.
There are several other things that could be said about this decision but I think others have already said them -- like the whole NFT & blockchain thing and the "fintech for young people", which is already a huge, huge, huge red flag.
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