Statement by candidate Yann Forget
I have been involved in Wikimedia projects since December 2002 (4.5 years), mainly on Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Commons and Wikisource. I am one of the early contributors of Wikisource, from when it was still called Project Sourceberg. I am admin on about a dozen Wikimedia projects and steward since June 2005. I proposed the creation of Wikimédia France in November 2003, of which I was secretary in 2004-2005.
I am a computer professional specialized in free software since 1998. Before that I worked for 10 years with NGOs on humanitarian, social and cultural projects. I would like to bring my experience of non-profit organizations and free culture movement to the service of Wikimedia Foundation. I would like the Foundation to be an influential organization, to bring free knowledge far and wide. My main input would be working on financial independence.
I was director of a technical school founded by the Anglican Church in India. As an employee, I also worked for "Fédération des œuvres laïques" (Non religious cultural organization), teaching computer basic to children, and "Partenaires" (Partners) a French NGO working on development and humanitarian assistance in India. I worked 6 months as a full time volunteer for Peace Brigades International in civil war torn Sri Lanka, and 2 years part time with "Friends of All", an Indian NGO dedicated to improving education in rural India.
As being a board member needs time, I decided to work part-time if elected to be able to cope with the amount of work needed for the
I think that advertising cannot be neutral. Putting ads on Wikimedia web sites would change the perception of the projects. They would not be seen as free. There are many other financial possible resources, so resorting to ads would be a failure of the financial management to bring these resources to the Foundation.
Branding of a non profit organization is fundamentally different of branding of a business company. In addition, we should find a balance
between the independent development of the projects and the branding of the Foundation as a whole.
Foundation projects development
A business developer is useful to organize the management of Foundation services (datafeeds, trademarks for the Foundation and third parties products, etc.).
I think that Wikibooks, Commons, Wikinews, Wiktionary, Wikisource, etc. should receive more help from the Foundation. Some budget should be earmarked for their development, and promotion.
My priorities are:
- Creating an endowment fund to insure long term financial viability.Developing other sources of funding (grants, business partnerships, etc.).
- Creating a technical roadmap for Mediawiki development. Implementing SUL.
- Developing detailed legal guidelines to contributors, particularly about copyright.
The most efficient way to reduce greenhouse gases is to reduce energy consumption. Investment in energy saving is wise, both on a long term financial plan and greenhouse gas reduction. Buying carbon offset could be done, but is only a short term remedy.
Thanks for your support.
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