[Foundation-l] wikicouncil

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Sun Dec 30 03:40:33 UTC 2007

On 12/30/07, Mike Godwin <mgodwin at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> In my own experience of nonprofits, it has not been considered
> problematic for staff members to express opinions on matters of
> policy, including organizational governance.  At the Electronic
> Frontier Foundation, at the Center for Democracy and Technology, and
> at Public Knowledge -- the three nonprofits I worked at before coming
> to Wikimedia Foundation -- it was considered a benefit, and not a
> conflict, for staff members to offer input about how they believed the
> organizations should run. I would hate it if we felt we had to depart
> from that tradition here.

To add to this: Either we have an open discussion or we don't. A
situation where Board members are able to comment freely on every
issue under the sun while staff members are heavily constrained does
not strike me as equitable or desirable, especially given that this
would lead to an over-representation of points of view from wiki
volunteers and an under-representation of legal, financial, technical,
and other perspectives -- under the current constitution of the Board.

My preferred approach would be one where we have open debates that are
clearly contextualized as such, and otherwise present a united front:
Board and Staff pulling together for a shared vision.


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