The community election results for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees are already published and it’s great to see Dariusz, James and Denny adding their expertise and skills to the Board soon. The result also includes that we lose María, Phoebe and Sam, which means to lose three markedly dedicated, experienced members. And Jan-Bart and Stu are going to finish their long terms at the end of this year.
That’s a huge turnover within only a few months and quite a challenge for group dynamics, working capacity and transfer of knowledge. And it does not only effect our Board’s internal relationships but also the relationship to our ED Lila and to our staff.
There are good reasons to be worried about the situation. There certainly will be some loss in stability and institutional knowledge which probably cause one or another difficulty and confusion. And there will be a lot of things to explain, to discuss and to agree upon. We will find ourselves in a situation where we can’t (and shouldn’t) fall back on our own history, because there won’t be anybody who was actual part of that history. But we won’t find ourselves in the middle of nowhere, since whereever we need to follow legal or organizational requirements we can rely on our dedicated staff and their experience and support.
And there is more than just challenges, there is the chance to fuel ourself with the positive spirit which comes with such a change – the motivation of new members, the innovation capability and the critical reflection of our established habits, methods and procedures. Yes, we have a huge opportunity to renew and update in its best sense. We can take the Board to a next level of supporting the ED and the community. We have to work on it, and we will. So rather than being anxious I’m curious and excited. And I hope you are as well.