[Foundation-l] Inviting some 'outsider candidates' into the movement in the way they wanted

Alec Conroy alecmconroy at gmail.com
Sun Jun 12 19:12:51 UTC 2011

A few candidates are what I might call 'outsider candidates' in that
they weren't well known across projects before the election and thus
may not be likely to win election to such a democratically-elected
position--  but they seem to have quite a lot to offer us.

If they are elected, we'll have their skills and their contributions
at the foundation level.   But why deprive ourselves of their skills
and contributions at the foundation level just because they weren't a
perfect fit for board member?

To me, this question was prompted by the skills of  Jane S. Richardson
(Dcrjsr) and William H. DuBay (Bdubay).   Both have special expertise,
both propose specific projects that I think are utterly
non-controversial and they don't necessarily need the 'full force of
the office' to help the foundation with them.

An election is always an emotional risk, not winning sometimes feels
like a rejection.  For most candidates, they're already 'hooked in' to
our movement and I hope and expect that the election results won't
deter them from further participation.   For Dcrjsr and Bdubay, if
they aren't elected, we might want to take the extra effort to make
sure that they get what they need to still contribute at the
foundation level--  Perhaps have someone from
foundation/staff/leadership actively work with them to help them find
their role within the movement.

Dcrjsr's a scientist, and free content desperately wants to capture
science and scientists in particular.  WM's well-positioned to help
enable this revolution-already-in-progress away from 'closed'
journals.  Science is one of our key specialties, the place where our
projects shine, and I feel like Dcrjsr could be very helpful in a
million unforeseen ways through her experience in this sphere.  If she
isn't elected, perhaps we could ask her to become our "science liason
/ ambassador".

Bdubay similarly cites a background in readability consulting and
expertise on communications across languages.   If this election has
shown anything, it's that we definitely could use more communications
skills.   He's interested in working on a Plain Language project,
working with Simple Wikipedia, and improving readability.  If he's not
elected, perhaps the foundation/staff could ask him to study of how
our movement can improve inter-community communication? or something

These may not be the only two who we should consider actively
recruiting post-election, the list may not be exhaustive.   These
people volunteered to do an insane amount of work for us-- let's make
sure they understand "you didn't win" is absolutely NOT "you're
fired"--  and in fact, if we could 'hire' them into volunteer
positions at the movement level if they don't win, so much the better.


More information about the foundation-l mailing list