And Anasuya's farewell.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anasuya Sengupta <asengupta(a)wikimedia.org>
Date: Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 2:31 PM
Subject: [Wikimedia Announcements] Leaving the Wikimedia Foundation
Dear friends and colleagues, fellow adventurers on the Wikimedia journey -
Goodbyes are overrated. But since I’m sure this will be au revoir, I’ll
continue: I am leaving the Foundation as head of the Grantmaking
department, at the end of March. This was not an easy decision to make;
this is not an easy email to write.
As some of you know, I have been battling health issues over the past few
months. I’ve learnt sharp and intimate truths about myself as I’ve worked
to get better, and what I’ve kept coming back to is the compassionate but
fierce feminist slogan around self-care and sustainability: ‘what’s the
point of the revolution if we can’t dance?’ To reassure you all, I will
be well, but I need a little time and space to focus on getting my
dancing legs strong again.
That said, I am pleased that we have a really solid plan in place as I
leave. As Lila’s email just announced, Luis Villa (our current Deputy
General Counsel) will be taking over the team effective immediately, and
leading the organisation further in our support of Wikimedia communities
worldwide. Luis brings with him a range of skills and qualities that I know
will stand him, the team, and the movement in wonderful stead through it
all. As a friend and colleague, I am so delighted to be supporting Luis
through the next few weeks of transition.
I joined the Foundation in July 2012 to oversee and implement the FDC
process. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of creating and leading a
department of more than twenty remarkable and passionate people who care
about our mission, our communities, and the resources needed to match the
We went from Asaf managing a small grants portfolio on his own, ably
supported on occasion by Winifred, to a fully fledged grantmaking
department with a spectrum of monetary and non-monetary resources. We have
been able to offer these in different ways to different parts of our
movement: to individual volunteers with great ideas in need of project
management, to small groups experimenting with new initiatives, and to
established organisations who form critical content and policy partnerships
in their local contexts. We built an infrastructure for understanding our
collective impact. We learned together about what our different communities
are doing globally, about the successes and challenges we have, and above
all: about how we can, together, create a more powerful set of outcomes for
In doing so, I’ve had the joy of discovery, of learning from and with
some of the most dedicated volunteers in the world, who believe that
knowledge matters. Most importantly, that it’s not only free knowledge
_for_ all that we seek, but even more critically, that we believe in
knowledge _from_ and _with_ all.
And I’ve discovered that the nerdy, geeky, obsessed-with-data part of me
found a home in this extraordinary universe, where everybody’s “unimaginable,
magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds” can find expression. I
look forward to the day when my worlds find more space on Wikipedia, when
80% of the globe is represented by far more than 20% of the edits, when
much more than 15% of our contributors can self-identify as women. Till
then, I’ll keep fighting notability one article at a time...
So thank you for sharing your worlds with me, and no thanks for turning me
into an obsessive Wikimedian. :-) As I have learnt with you, I know I have
done so with trust, and as I have challenged you, I hope I have done so
with respect. I look forward to continuing our friendships and obsessions
on a wiki near you.
With appreciation and gratitude,
p.s. You can find me in the future at my enWP user page (User:Anasuyas
) or (dare I say it) on
Facebook. Longer diatribes on liff, the universe and everything can be sent
 Neil Gaiman, American Gods (Chapter 8)
 Urgent Action Fund, a funder of women’s human rights defenders, has
this book on sustainability:
 And look forward to dancing together on the beaches of a future
 Sometimes frustrating, sometimes unbelievable, sometimes somewhat
insane; but yes mostly, generous beyond belief, and always, joyous. :-)
 More Neil Gaiman, from The Sandman:
Ask Florence (User:Anthere) for _that_ story!
*Anasuya SenguptaSenior Director of GrantmakingWikimedia Foundation*
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