[Wikimediaindia-l] Announcing Hisham Mundol as WMF consultant for National Programs, India

Arjuna Rao Chavala arjunaraoc at googlemail.com
Wed Feb 16 01:13:08 UTC 2011

Hi Hisham,

A warm welcome and best wishes.

Arjuna Rao Chavala
President, Wikimedia Chapter, India

On Tue, Feb 15, 2011 at 10:40 PM, Barry Newstead <bnewstead at wikimedia.org>wrote:

>  Dear colleagues, (please feel free to cross-post this to local lists
> within India)
> I am pleased to announce the appointment of Hisham Mundol as a consultant
> to the Wikimedia Foundation to support us in our program initiatives in
> India.
> As you know, the Wikimedia Foundation declared India to be a strategic
> priority during the strategic planning process [1]. I announced our plans
> for the formation of an office in August 2010 and the Wikimedia Foundation
> Board of Trustees approved the creation of the Wikimedia India chapter in
> June 2010. India is a priority for the Wikimedia movement as it has a strong
> and growing community of Wikimedians building the Indic and English language
> projects. It is a country where the Wikimedia movement can achieve our
> mission and learn important lessons for achieving impact elsewhere. The
> engagement of Hisham will enable the Wikimedia Foundation to pilot new
> initiatives aimed at accelerating the growth of the community in India. I am
> very happy we’ve now reached this point.
> As I have mentioned in the past, we have a lot of momentum in India but we
> have a long way to go to achieve our full potential as a movement.  Indians
> represent 4% of the world’s Internet users today (and this share is
> growing), yet they only represent 1.5% of page edits on Wikipedia. We should
> be able to rapidly increase this share - across all projects - and expand
> readership in a corresponding fashion.
> Hisham’s title will be Consultant, India National Programs.  He will report
> to me.  His role will be to design and implement specific pilot programs
> that encourage many more Indians to become contributors to our projects in
> Indic languages as well as English. The National Programs initiative will
> focus on the following areas in the first year:
>    -
>    Design and implement an India-wide program to increase Wikimedia’s
>    footprint on university and college campuses with students and faculty with
>    the aim of encouraging contributions to Wikimedia projects
>     -
>    Support the launch and implementation of community-initiated programs
>    that seek to increase the editor base for Wikimedia projects
>     -
>    Engage with the community and chapter to build a strong relationship
>    among these stakeholder groups and create communications forums that allow
>    for effective partnerships
> As a newcomer to the Wikimedia movement, Hisham’s first task will be to
> deepen his understanding of us: our history, goals, values, culture and
> mission. To that end, he will be spending the coming weeks (not months!) in
> learning mode: Hisham and I will be meeting with community members in
> Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore on Feb 23-25 and then Hisham will join community
> meetings across the country as they occur. Hisham will also spend time in
> San Francisco with the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation, as well as with
> other like-minded individuals and organizations and he will attend the
> chapter conference in Berlin.
> Hisham will be creating a workspace on strategy wiki where he will share
> what he is learning and develop the core elements of the action plan going
> forward. We encourage active community engagement on this wiki. We aim to
> move to action quickly and welcome input and guidance from across the
> community.
> Hisham was most recently a consultant with the Public Health Foundation of
> India (in a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation). He
> designed and implemented large-scale national  programs on HIV/AIDS
> prevention. He worked to understand the dynamics of hard-to-reach
> communities by conducting in-depth, on-the-ground analysis (ask him to tell
> you about his experience talking to drivers while sitting under their
> trucks).  The programs he designed and implemented sought to convince people
> in large numbers - 400 million young people across the nation - to change
> very personal behaviours.  While we are not tackling issues of such an
> intimate nature, we do aim to convince large numbers of people across the
> country to contribute their personal time to Wikimedia projects.  During
> this assignment, Hisham worked closely with public, private and community
> groups (local and international) to work through the details of the programs
> and build partnerships for implementing them at scale. He did so in a manner
> that used persuasion rather than power to build support to move things
> forward.  We think his experience navigating these varied groups position
> him well to work in the Wikimedia community. His earlier career was in
> marketing and business development with a number of well-known businesses:
> Infosys, Accenture, Cadbury and Unilever. This experience positions him well
> to engage with a movement and organization that is global in nature, in
> particular to work with a team that is based halfway around the world.
> We have scheduled an IRC chat with Hisham and myself for Thursday, February
> 17 at 22:00 India Standard Time (16:30 UTC).
> I want to thank everyone who helped in the selection process that
> identified Hisham. It was a five month process in which we made an open call
> for consultants (using my visit in September to drum up interest via
> conversations with the community and the media) in India and around the
> world.  We had 197 applicants from a wide range of professional backgrounds.
>  Egon Zehnder’s India office, part of a leading global executive search
> firm, helped screen candidates and manage the process. Egon Zehnder
> conducted indepth interviews with 25 candidates based on the inputs from
> Bishakha and I who helped shortlist.  I interviewed 12 candidates via Skype
> in the first round and then I had the help of Bishakha Datta and Achal
> Prabhala to interview the top seven in person in Bangalore.  Our top two
> candidates met with Sue and Erik in Delhi and then Hisham met with the
> entire WMF leadership team and a broad group of staff members in San
> Francisco.
> We are very happy with the selection of Hisham. We recognize that we did
> not manage to hire someone from inside the Wikimedia community or the open
> source community.  We did look for people with this background and one of
> our finalists was a long time open source advocate. We also engaged with a
> long time Wikimedian for a role, though he ultimately decided to withdraw
> for personal reasons.  We are committed to seeing Hisham integrate himself
> into the community quickly and to seeing him add people to his team from the
> community.  We hope that the community will engage actively with him to
> bring him into the fold. Hisham will most definitely bring fresh
> perspectives to the movement that will help us grow and change for the
> better.
> Please join me in welcoming Hisham to the Wikimedia movement.
> Note: An FAQ will follow shortly.
> Best,
> Barry
> [1] *http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Plan/Role_of_the_WMF*<http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Strategic_Plan/Role_of_the_WMF>
> [2] *
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2010-August/000850.html
> *<http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/wikimediaindia-l/2010-August/000850.html>
> --
> Barry Newstead
> Chief Global Development Officer
> Wikimedia Foundation
> Tel: +1-415-839-6885 x. 6634
> Skype: barry.wikimedia
> Twitter: @bazanews
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