Critical issues presentations/WMF governance - a proposal for board reform

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Submission no. 98
Title of the submission

WMF governance - a proposal for board reform

Author of the submission
  • Jonathan Cardy
Country of origin

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland



  • WMF
  • Community
  • Governance

The Wikimedia foundation is the US based not for profit set up to own the servers and trademarks for the Wikimedia movement. It has sometimes clashed with the Wikimedia editing community and discussions in late 2015 and early 2016 have brought some of the cultural conflict to a head.

This presentation comes from a long serving wikimedian who has multiple experience as a trustee of some very disparate not for profits.

The presentation takes the form of a proposed new model for selecting the WMF board.

The proposal makes the assumption that we want a WMF board that reflects the movement's aspiration to be:

Globally diverse.

To have board level connections to the major trends in the movement: education, GLAM, Medicine and software.

To have trustees with expertise in technology, global organisation, copyright and fundraising

To have at least one trustee with connections to other parts of the open source community.

To maximise the number of board members drawn from the community.

There are several board level models that voluntary organisation's can pursue; ranging from collective responsibility and maximising the harmony of the board, to seeking to include all major viewpoints within the community at board level. This proposal is based on the premise that a board representing a voluntary community has to include all major viewpoints that are considered valid in that community.


Not accepted