[Foundation-l] [Announcement] update in board of trustees membership

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Mon Dec 17 05:25:14 UTC 2007

Florence Devouard wrote:
> You may add some middle path solutions.
> But not so many I fear

There are solutions, of course.

1) "WMF as a legal body only". It is the present situation and I don't 
see a lot of differences between having elected or appointed Board 
members. Actually, in this case, I prefer appointed expert body. (But, 
who would appoint Board members? Board itself?)

2) "WMF as a representative democratic body". My opinion is that the 
better way of making such body is to make a real assembly (let's say, 50 
members, but may be more, may be less). That body would elect experts 
for Board members.

3) "WMF as appointed body by chapters". While it is too early to talk 
about this option (I expect maturity of this idea when something like 50 
chapters [including state level chapters in USA and other big countries] 
would be created), it may be a good solution in the future with fixing 
needed for some underrepresented contributors.

4) 2&3. Bicameral assembly: one elected by contributors, one elected by 
local chapters. Such assembly would appoint Board.

(In cases 2, 3 and 4 assembly may function on Internet, of course.)

* * *

While WMF is better the it was, there are still a number of systematic 
problems. The main problem *is* ambivalent position of the Board: 
something between despotic, oligarchic and representative democratic 
body. (Of course, in the sense of from where power comes, not in the 
sense of methods.)

I don't want to say which option is better. I just want to say that it 
is necessary to make a clear image to the community: What WMF is (not 
what Wikimedia is, but what WMF and its Board is)? Is it a communal or a 
private business?

Even it is a private business (or a business of a couple of people), it 
is not necessarily bad (there are a lot of good private foundations; 
actually, WMF started as a good private foundation).

But, community is confused and it needs answers. At least, how do *you* 
(Board members) see WMF in the next two or five years? If you are not 
possible to make a collective statement, please make personal statements.

More information about the foundation-l mailing list