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

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Tue Dec 18 19:53:43 UTC 2007

Thomas Dalton wrote:
> Am I missing something here? Why can't we have a board made up of half
> experts on business, etc. and half experts of Wikimedia projects?
> (Hopefully with substantial overlap.) That said, I'd prefer a majority
> to be from the community. As long as they are willing to take advice
> from the pros, we should get (almost) all the benefits of a
> professional board with the decision making still in the hands of
> people that share our values.
There is probably already substantial agreement about having the 
majority of the Board from the community.  Indeed, it would be difficult 
for a pure outsider to wrap his head around some of the philosophy 
behind Wikipedia.

The difficulty with professional advice is not in being willing to take 
professional advice, but in knowing how to take that advice.  Most of us 
can honestly say that if somehow we became members of the Board we would 
be willing to take that advice, but faced with the real situation it is 
too easy to believe that we are following advice when we are really 
fashioning that advice to our own agendas.

Given that we want a community based Board, choosing members from that 
community is the difficult problem since neither pure appointment nor 
pure election is wholly acceptable.  Remember too that even though Erik 
topped the last ballot he was still only supported by 40% of those who 
cast ballots.  This suggests some very deep divisions in the community.


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