Wikimedia Chapters Association/Secretary-General/Candidacy sebmol
General Statement 
The Wikimedia Chapters Association holds a promise: within the Wikimedia universe, we draw our strength from our diversity, our different cultures and experiences, our extraordinary dedication to create a better world where everyone can access the sume of all knowledge. Through their many different kinds of engagements and activities, local chapters have already made a huge difference. With the founding of the chapters association, we want to go one step further, ensuring that collaboration is not something limited to our online or local projects, but easily expands across our entire movement on a global scale.
I've decided to run for the position of Secretary General because I believe that it would allow the chapters to make best use of my own skills and experiences. Last year, when I worked with four European chapters on starting developing strategies for their organizations, I realized first-hand what huge potential we have still left uncovered. Many chapters excel in some areas while failing in others, rarely for lack of enthusiasm, but mostly for lack of support, guidance, and advice. When discussion of a council of chapters started again last year, I felt that it was one of the most promising ways that could allow chapters to excel much more often than to fail in the future.
The newly elected Secretary General will have a tremendous assignment before him. With a rather short period of time, he will need to get a new internaional organization off the ground and running that will effectively support and assist chapters around the globe. Through my previous work, both within the Wikimedia universe and professionally as a manager and consultant, I think I am well-equipped to handle this difficult task.
If I am elected as Secretary General, I will make the following commitments:
- All WCA activities will be made in public to the extent that is legally permissible. If the WCA wants to promote openness and accountability among the chapters, it has to live these same values as well. I'm not a fan of closed-subscription, private mailing lists, wikis, or chats and will therefore do what I can to avoid using them within the WCA.
- Whenever the WCA engages in chapter development activities, it will respect the diversity we have in our movement. There are no solutions that work for everyone. While many chapters face similar challenges, the solutions often differ taking note of differences in culture, community, and local socio-political background.
- For the WCA to succeed, we need to be open and inviting to anyone who wants to contribute. I commit to providing ample and novel opportunities to engage with WCA so that everyone interested in chapter development can participate. I also commit to regularly and comprehensively report on WCA activities so that they can be scrutinized and improved by anone interested.
I am looking forward to this extraordinary opportunity to serve the Wikimedia movement for the coming two years. As the role of Secretary General requires independence and impartiality from any one chapter, I will immediately resign my current position as president of Wikimedia Deutschland, if elected. I hope I have your support.
Following the council meeting in Washington DC at Wikimania, I think the following tasks need to be addressed:
- Finalizing the budget for 2012/2013.
- Negotiating financing of the budget with chapters and the Foundation.
- Getting the organization legally registered in a suitable jurisdiction.
- Setting up a chapters development programs in Europe, East Asia, and South America.
- Setting up a working group to determine standards of accountability for chapters.
- Setting up an actively supported platform for information sharing and dissemination between the chapters.
- Actively inviting more chapters to join.
In all these tasks, close work with the members of the council will be crucial for our success.
- joined English Wikipedia in 2004, German Wikipedia in 2005 (admin from 2006 until 2011)
- joined Wikimedia Deutschland in 2006, board member since 2007, president since 2009
- member of Chapters Committee
- conducted chapter development pilot project with Wikimedia Nederland, Wikimedia Sverige, Wikimedia Česká republika and Wikimédia Magyarország in 2011 (funded by the Wikimedia Foundation and/or participating chapters)
- Consultant for businesses and non-profit organizations (since 2007)
- CEO at NetService24 GmbH (Munich, Germany, 2009-2012)
- Interim Executive Director at Wikimedia Deutschland (Berlin, Germany, 2008-2009)
- Project Manager at Entriq Inc. (Essen, Germany and London, United Kingdom, 2007-2009)
- Tech Lead at avario business solutions GmbH (Berlin, Germany, 2006-2007)
Bachelor of Science in Economics from Texas Christian University, 2006