[Foundation-l] Seat and Donations (SPLIT from: EFF & Bitcoins)

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Thu Jun 23 20:09:06 UTC 2011

On 23 June 2011 05:05, Joseph Seddon <seddonwiki at gmail.com> wrote:
> I honestly that Matt's appointment was a fantastic thing. He is someone with
> a lot of knowledge and I wouldn't have battered a eyelid if his appointment
> had been made at any other time.

> At the end of the day, things have moved on without incident but lets not
> simply ignore this issue. I think that there is something to be learnt and
> its that care really does need to be taken when repeating a venture like
> this. Bad faith in the world may bite us next time.

I find it so interesting that you would say this Joseph (this and the
rest of your mail). I'm kind of hesitant to reply, because I don't
want to kick up a hornet's nest, but I'll take a shot anyway....

It seems to me like you're characterizing Matt-joining-the-board as
problematic, while at the same time saying Matt himself is a good
board member. That seems contradictory to me.

Matt's a good board member. A number of us --I think me, Michael Snow,
Jimmy, Stu-- all had met Matt, back before the board decided to invite
him to join, and all thought he would be good. We thought it was
terrific that the Omidyar Network was willing to offer us both a chunk
of cash, and the time & attention of an experienced person who looked
like he would have a lot to contribute. So the board made a thoughtful
informed decision to invite Matt to join it.

That's all good. There's nothing there to be ashamed of.

It could have played out differently. Let's imagine that the exact
same thing had happened, except let's say that for whatever reason,
the Board had not wanted to invite Matt to join. Maybe he wanted to
put advertising on the projects, or in some other way had an
ideological view that was incompatible with ours. In that case the
Board would have turned him down, and that would have been the end of
it. Again, the Board would have been displaying good judgement, and
everything would have played out fine.

So I guess the part of your mail that I don't understand is when you
say "there is something to be learnt" and "care really does need to be
taken when repeating a venture like this."  It sounds like you're
suggesting something bad happened here, and that's actually not the
case IMO. Because again, if you believe that reasonable people could
agree that upon investigation, back when the decision was made, it
looked fairly likely that Matt would turn out to be a good board
member (which happily turned out to be true), then I don't see a
problem. The Board displayed good judgement, and their decision has
been validated over time as correct. It's the job of the Board to
evaluate complicated circumstances, consider our options, weigh the
pros and cons of each, and ultimately make decisions that it thinks
are in the best interests of the projects. That's what they did here:
it was perfect -- exactly as it should be.

So I don't understand what's to be learned from this?  Care was
exercised and the right outcome achieved: it was a good process and a
good outcome. If you think I'm wrong please tell me why :-)


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