[Foundation-l] Reply to Mark

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 26 16:45:46 UTC 2008

Meeting is saturday.
But to avoid any disappointment Dan... I doubt very much that any sort 
of announcement will happen in the subsequent week. Here is why.

As part of our growth, we must try to be careful to identify what is the 
role of the board, and what is the role of the ED. And to convey the 
difference to the community.

I'd say that it is within the role of the board to say
"we want a Wikimania every year. This should be a meeting of roughly 
300-400 people, mostly wikimedians; an opportunity to participants to 
meet face to face and share experiences, have fun, and bond. Also an 
opportunity to push certain agendas, meet with the press, expand the fan 
circle, hear big leaders in the free movement, in the wiki world, in the 
educational system etc... Should propose scholarship. Should be in 
various places around the world. As much as possible, should be a cost 
free even for the WMF."

Then, the role of the ED is to make sure that this happens. It is her 
job to ensure that the event is successful, financially sound... and 
probably that security of participants is taken care of.

Right now, two situations may happen.
The ED herself might wonder if there might be problems because of 
hersay, mails on the list, press, private emails, whatever...
Or the board might wonder if there might be problems.

If the board thinks there might be problems, the wise thing to do is for 
the board to ask the ED to conduct a study, analyze the risks given the 
latest circonstances, evaluate which steps may be followed to balance 
the risk if there is one, do contingency planning, and estimate the 
consequences of cancelling or moving the event elsewhere. Naturally, the 
analysis is not fully conducted by Sue, but done with the help of many 

Then, the ED will present her conclusions to the board, and provide some 
recommandations. Based on the ED recommandations, the board may either 
decide to delegate full authority to Sue to make the decision herself, 
or the board will take a decision *with* Sue.

So, what I plan to do Saturday is to ask the board whether they consider 
new circonstances are worth requesting a more straightforward study of 
the situation and steps to ensure security. The board can either dismiss 
the issue I raise, or agree to ask for a recommandation from Sue.

THEN, it will be up to Sue to act. And I doubt she will make any 
suggestion in 2-3 days.

I'll forward this email to the board :-)



Dan Rosenthal wrote:
> Mark,
> I thought about it, and given that at least Florence is aware of our  
> concerns now, there's probably not a whole lot more to discuss about  
> this until after the board meeting (or rather, after the board  
> meeting's results are published/announced). My hope is that they will  
> discuss it there, and it will address your final sentence ("IF and  
> WHEN..."), and we can resume the discussion then more productively. I  
> believe the board meeting is this weekend? So most likely we will see  
> some sort of announcement during the week immediately subsequent.
> -Dan
> On Feb 26, 2008, at 8:41 AM, Mark Williamson wrote:
>> I agree with Gatto Nero that this is an issue. As a gay man, this all
>> concerns me very much. The way that peoples' concerns have been pushed
>> aside is inappropriate at best.
>> Peoples' concerns should be addressed in a respectful way. If it is
>> not possible or a reasonable suggestion anymore to change the venue,
>> people will understand this, IF and WHEN you show some care for their
>> safety and address it in detail.
>> Mark
>> On 26/02/2008, Gatto Nero <gattonero at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Feb 26, 2008 at 10:48 AM, Ray Saintonge  
>>> <saintonge at telus.net> wrote:
>>>>> So we can just not go to Wikimania, or we can decide that the  
>>>>> benefits
>>>>> for us outweigh the risks. It is a tough decision, but we will  
>>>>> have to
>>>>> make it. And if we don't go this year, we can show up next year, or
>>>>> the one after that.
>>>> Thank you for being realistic  At some point a decision has to be  
>>>> made,
>>>> and we can't afford to look back on the decision with regrets.  We  
>>>> can't
>>>> build a good conference if the organizers' time is so taken up by
>>>> rear-guard actions.  The Toronto people could not have been very  
>>>> happy
>>>> when Boston won with a late bid.  The Turin people were upset when  
>>>> they
>>>> lost to Taipei.  I personally favour Buenos Aires for 2009, but  
>>>> I'm not
>>>> going to make an issue of it if another city gets that Wikimania.
>>> Don't combine apples and oranges (we say so in Italy): don't reopen
>>> all the "other wikimanias" issues, it's better.
>>> By the way, I'm sorry to read - again - that people complaining about
>>> their safety (or the way WMF faced some problems like "freedom of
>>> speech", "freedom of thought" or "freedom of sexuality") are simply
>>> "irrealistic".
>>> Next step is "they're troll" (yet said by someone, thanks).
>>> Is this respect?
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>> -- 
>> Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.
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