Affiliate-selected Board seats/2014/Nominations/Patricio Lorente
- Patricio Lorente
Dear friends of Wikimedia Argentina,
I’m writing this letter to ask you to consider endorsing my candidacy to serve for another term as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The Wikimedia Foundation is facing a complex transition: our long time Executive Director is leaving and we need to facilitate the onboarding of a new ED. At the same time, strategic discussions remain unfinished: how to build a synergic environment between the different players of our rich wikiverse, from the Wikimedia Foundation to chapters, thematic organizations, user groups, informal groups of Wikimedians and, last but not least, individual and unaffiliated contributors; how to improve the distribution of movement funds in terms of community decision making, transparency, accountability, sustainability and, of course, tangible results; how to help our biggest projects to keep running safe and how to empower our hundreds of tiny communities of smaller projects to grow. We have exciting challenges in front of us.
I think I can contribute to this transition, taking to the Board a different voice: the voice of a non native English speaker Wikimedian who comes from the developing world, with a strong chapter background and knowledge of different Wikimedia organizations. I believe in a Wikimedia movement where the Wikimedia Foundation has a central, but not exclusive, role.
The Wikimedia Foundation BoT is first and foremost the BoT of a specific organization with its own set of procedures, sources of information and interests; but it does also impact and serve the whole Wikimedia movement. In my view, the BoT must transcend the immediate reality of the Foundation’s own view and embrace a broader dialogue with our driving force, Wikimedia’s community of volunteers --be them organized or not, affiliated or not. This is even more important, IMHO, in a moment of transition as the Foundation is undergoing: I’ll do my best to help the new leadership to get a balanced view of the Foundation’s scope of action and of our communities’ ideas, worries and proposals. I want the Foundation and its staff to serve the movement, and I think my presence in the Board can help that mission.
Thanks in advance for considering my candidacy.
I am user Patricio.lorente, and I am currently member of the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. I’ve been many years a collaborator in Wikimedia projects and a chapter's leader (as President of Wikimedia Argentina), having an extended experience of organization and work within Wikimedia projects in developing countries, and a first hand vision of our international community after organizing a Wikimania (and attending all of them since 2007) and being part of the Iberocoop network.
I was born in 1969, I’m married and I have two children. I live in La Plata, Argentina. I have studies in Philosophy and Law. Aside from my commitment within the Wikimedia movement I have extensive experience in the field of Development Cooperation and in university management, two activities in which I’ve served professionally for many years.
From 1992 to 2002 I worked in development cooperation in different positions, being especially noteworthy my work as Project Manager of the Asociación para el Desarrollo Social (Association for Social Development), an Argentine NGO, where I was in charge of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of local development projects funded by the Italian Republic and the European Union. The core of these experiences was strengthening local capacity as a condition for development, transcending the traditional approach of North-South cooperation, promoting South-South and also decentralized cooperation by building horizontal networks of exchange between different cities and regions of Argentina.
After my experience in the field of development cooperation, I serve since 2004 on the management of the National University of La Plata, having been successively Secretary of Administration and General ProSecretary in charge of the General Secretary. Being this my current position, I have to deal both with the strategic planning and the everyday issues and conflicts of a large and restless community, including both academics and student organizations. The National University of La Plata is a public Argentine university and the second largest in the country, both in size (with 100,000 students and 15,000 teachers) and in scientific production. As all other public universities in Argentina, there is no tuition and enrollment is free.
I am eligible to serve in the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.— Patricio Lorente
- Letter of endorsement from Wikimedia Argentina
Dear friends from Wikimedia affiliate organizations,
Wikimedia Argentina is pleased to propose Patricio Lorente to serve a second term as a member of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. Our Board has unanimously agreed to endorse Patricio during our meeting in Buenos Aires last February 24th, in response to his letter asking for our support.
We, in WMAR, want to support Board members who are committed to our global Wikimedia mission and identity, who don’t forget this is primarily a volunteer-driven movement, who are open and approachable, and who at the same time act with prudence and good faith towards all movement stakeholders.
We believe that Patricio has brought a series of positive ideas and attitudes as a BoT member that we would like to see continued in time, and that he can help providing the Foundation the necessary stability in these times of strategic re-examination and leadership transition. As a movement, we are facing a comprehensive revisit of the FDC process after the first two years of operation and we need to build up a common strategy on what has been called “Movement roles”, which is far from being done. We want Trustees who are committed with the decentralized and community nature of the Wikimedia Movement.
What follows are series of key traits for a trustee which we believe Patricio embodies and that motivate us to support him and to ask your confidence for a second term:
- COMMITMENT: Patricio has been involved in the Wikimedia movement since 2005 as a Wikipedia editor. Previous to being a member of the Board he has served the movement as admin-sysop on the Spanish Wikipedia, founder member of a local chapter, Chair of said chapter, and head of a Wikimania organizing committee, Buenos Aires 2009. Patricio knows the Wikimedia movement from its many angles and has a systemic approach towards it. He is committed to a decentralized Wikimedia movement that ensures that volunteers and their organizing efforts at the core of Foundation’s view.
- OPENNESS: Patricio is far from being a dogmatic person. Everyone who has had the chance to discuss with him can surely recall having an open and frank dialogue. He builds his ideas on exchange with others’ and has an innate disposition towards finding common grounds and solutions that work for all parties involved. We’d also like to highlight that Patricio is highly approachable as a person and his schedule has never been an obstacle to talk with him.
- ACCOUNTABILITY: Over his tenure as a WMF trustee, Patricio has openly expressed his position, his ideas and his arguments to all movement stakeholders that approached him. He has arranged opportunities for dialogue with Wikimedia affiliates on all international conferences he did participate, specially during Wikimania where most community members and groups representatives gather, but also in local and regional conferences and wikimeetings.
- DIPLOMACY: As said before, Patricio is a kind of person that, while he has his ideas clear, will prefer constructive dialogue over confrontation and slogans. We believe this approach will enable all movement stakeholders to ensure their voices and concerns reach the WMF BoT and are duly taken into account.
- DIVERSITY: Patricio’s participation in the Board enhances its representativity of the movement’s diversity: he is a native speaker of Spanish and has command of other Romance languages, he comes from a country in the developing world as is Argentina, and knows from very close the reality of small Wikimedia organizations.
- OUTSIDE EXPERIENCE: Aside from his experience within the Wikimedia movement, Patricio is also an expert negotiator and policy maker in his offline life. He serves since 2010 as deputy general secretary of the National University of La Plata, one of the leading public higher education institutions of Argentina (with 100,000 students and 15,000 teachers), and as such is in charge of assisting the University president, and dealing with professors’ unions and students’ demands. Previously, he worked for over a decade in international cooperation.
- WIKIMEDIA EXPERIENCE: As said before, Patricio knows the movement from very different angles. And he also has experience as a Board member: there is something of a learning curve in order to learn Board dynamics, to effectively deal with working with other trustees and, perhaps even so important, with Foundation staff. Patricio is the kind of Board member that will ensure to contribute an input of his own and to make his voice heard.— Comisión Directiva de la A. C. Wikimedia Argentina:
Galileo Vidoni, presidente; Ivana Lysholm, vicepresidenta; Patricio Molina, secretario; Ivana Molena, prosecretaria; Nicolás Giorgetti, tesorero; Mariano Pérez, protesorero; Beatrice Murch, vocal; Esteban Zárate, vocal; Juan Iglesias, vocal