Tuesday, January 13, 2015

#Wikimedia has more #money to achieve more #resultus

The latest fundraiser was a success. It raised all the money needed and then some. The public entrusted us with all this money and the question is now what are we going to do with it all and how.

As a movement we have a mission. This mission is to share in the sum of all knowledge. Our track record is stellar. Never before in history has so little money achieved so much. This is a documented fact; no discussion is needed. We did not achieve our mission fully; no discussion is needed about that either. Wikipedia Zero is just one of our initiatives to achieve more, Kiwix is another.

We are entrusted with all this money. We can put the money to use or put it in a bank. When we are to put in to use, we have to trust that it is spend wisely. The current model is very much one of a benevolent central deity that knows best for all of us. It provides money in a miserly way. It does not trust for the money to be spend wisely; it requires huge amounts of paperwork, reporting. Just as if we are all in business and if business procedures will necessarily produce the best results to achieve our mission.

We have chapters, they are member organisations of Wikimedians. The chapters are accountable to its members. All Wikimedia organisations share the same objective. The chapters are burdened by the requirement of producing reports. Reports that serve little purpose but to satisfy central command. A burden that seriously impacts the effectiveness of the money spend. It is to "prove" that money is spend wisely and effectively.  It results in projects that neatly fit a "best practices" pattern. It does not really allow for experiments, it does seriously hamper potential projects.

It shows how a lack of trust kills us as a movement. It prevents us to use all of our talents, it has us occupied with drudgery.

The alternative is to share the money of this windfall that is the extra money that was raised in the fundraiser with an instruction to the chapters to do good. They can spend it on local projects, on local initiatives. It will certainly be more effective than the current money distribution mechanism. It is not able to cope under the strain of too many requests. Sharing in our excess of wealth will be more effective because in this way more money will be used to achieve our mission.

We should have faith because of our past performance and spend all the money that has been entrusted to us. That is how we shine.
Thanks,
      GerardM
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