[Wikimedia-l] Democratizing the Wikimedia Foundation

Anders Wennersten mail at anderswennersten.se
Sat Nov 3 19:38:50 UTC 2012

Thanks. Even while admiring Sue and all the good she does, I share your 
view that a lot of (too much?) "power" is centered around her as a person.

For a new enterprise an entrepreneur if often a good thing to have in 
the beginning, but as the organization matures it is often optimal that 
at  some moment in time the entrepreneurial type of leadership is 
shifted to a more traditional one that in our case should be 
characterized by the non-hierarchical culture with a multitude of point 
of influence as in the community

But should we not then discuss organizational development in this 
direction? And repeating (harping?) myself, I see the model I have sen 
in FDC (and earlier ChapCom) as something that can be transferred to 
other areas of activities and that this  will make the Movement less 
dependent on a central person, and perhaps in the end can also give the 
Board the opportunity to put more energy in the important strategic 
issues that should be its key role and which also will make the Movement 
less dependent on on single person

for my merits see http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Anders_Wennersten 
I actually believe it was my merits which made me become one of the 
members of FDC not a single persons patronage

Theo10011 skrev 2012-11-03 19:38:
> On Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 10:30 PM, Anders Wennersten <mail at anderswennersten.se
>> wrote:
>> Theo10011 skrev 2012-11-03 16:12:
>>>> There isn't a lot of doubt where the centers of power are.
>>>> Regards
>>>>   I do not understand what you refer to in this statement. Could you
>> please elaborate what you believe is the centers of power?
> Sure, let's see. You questioned who has the power to decide, as opposed to
> Nemo's analogy of a rubber-stamping hall. Centers of power, are dominant
> forces that define a particular time and decide the overall direction. They
> influence rather than give the appearance of direct interaction. In this
> context, I was pointing out that these ideas are conceptualized by a small
> minority in private, suggestions like let's have an FDC, let's remove
> fellowships, cut spending and narrow focus, even earlier decisions like the
> image filter and chapter fundraising change might have been byproducts of
> that - it is hard to distinguish. Depending how closely you followed these
> developments, the centers of power that came up with those suggestions
> never changed, the discussions and arguments did, but they emerged from the
> same place.
> What you might perceive as control and power, is a limited sandbox provided
> to give the appearance of power, for example, Sue placed her thoughts on
> Meta before presenting them, between the hundreds of points on the talk
> page, not a single thing was reconsidered, the board unanimously approved.
> Your own meeting with the FDC, a hand-picked committee proposed and formed
> by the same group, with the presence of two board members, in WMF offices,
> who will eventually decide if they even want an FDC in 2 years.
> There seems to be a nebulous mix between the executives, along with certain
> board members, not all, perhaps even advisers and outside forces that
> dictate whatever decisions are to be made, for everyone. Maybe this is a
> particular area where transparency would be appreciated. Given that
> individual board votes are made public now, there aren't a lot of instances
> where board members disagree, if ever, with whatever the Executives provide
> them. Most of these decisions rarely try and conflict the wider editor base
> directly, as learnt from some past instances. To clarify I'm only talking
> about where these ideas are proposed and conceptualized, not what follows,
> the process of complaint, feedback and the eventual approval. There is no
> recourse for challenging these changes, no other side of the argument, no
> veto power, perhaps that's what the aim of this exercise ought to be.
> Regards
> Theo
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