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

Bishakha Datta bishakhadatta at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 07:10:32 UTC 2011

On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 6:41 AM, Alec Conroy <alecmconroy at gmail.com> wrote:

> But going forward, the idea that a "stranger can ride into town" and
> instantly lead a global movement-- that's not gonna be sustainable, I
> don't think.
> This central thought resonated so strongly with me that I had to write in.

I came on to the Board last year in much the same way, and until I went
through the full appointment process, I too could not fathom why the
Foundation would even consider an 'outsider' for a role such as this.

Going through the process put most of my doubts at rest: it was very obvious
that this was well thought out, in terms of the composition of the Board,
its current strengths, what was missing or needed, how to fill this gap etc.
(I'm not doing Board public relations here, just telling it how I see it).

What I still find amazing is the amount of trust and faith that is reposed
in someone coming from the outside; this is part of wikip/media's unique
model of collaboration, and this also pushes us to live up to it. At the
same time, those of us who start off as outsiders also struggle to establish
our credibility with the communities and the larger movement and breach the
outsider/insider divide. Since I live in India, it was easier for me to
build a relationship and gain acceptance within the indic language editing
communities, but I am well aware that I am still a stranger to the larger
community (strengthening this relationship is one of my personal goals for
this year as a Board member). In my early days, one of the concepts that I
found very useful was that of "how to lead with a community", which I saw on
Phoebe's userpage. [1]

I personally think the sentiment you identify above is totally valid in the
context of a movement that does not work on the principle of 'authority' per
se - and that as chapters come up in many different parts of the world, and
appointed Board members also come in without prior wikimedia roots, this
question will recur. It is essential that we find ways to address this.



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