[Foundation-l] wikicouncil

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 30 10:40:32 UTC 2007

Erik Moeller wrote:
> 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, 

I, for one, am glad to see you write this Erik :-)

So... I take it you support board members having the right to comment 
and debate publicly on every issue under the sun.

I am happy to read that, because my experience is quite the opposite. In 
the recent events, I felt that my right to comment has been severely 
restricted in many occasions. And still is.

If equity is that staff is free to give opinions on board realm, then 
board is also free to give opinions on staff realm.

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.

The problem being when board and staff unfortunately do NOT have a 
shared vision.

There is an inconsistency here: how do you suggest that we have open 
debates, whilst at the same time presenting a shared vision ?

Also, you suggested yesterday that Staff should make strategic decisions 
(such as changing our project licence) and today suggest that Staff's 
vision is also to take into account. I'd like you to explain to me what 
the role of the staff is, and where the role of the board is in a 
situation where staff holds the vision and defines the strategy ?


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