Affiliate-selected Board seats/2019/Nominations/Richard Knipel
- Richard Knipel
To me, the Wikimedia movement has to be a radically inclusive one and one based on a grassroots, non-corporate culture rooted in the Free Culture movement that I first encountered as part of Students for Free Culture a decade ago. To be radically inclusive means encouraging a dialogue and participation beyond the merely technical, to get at the concerns of different communities and why we have not been welcoming enough and not able to grow enough at a grassroots level in all areas thematically and geographically. We must never forget that our movement is for a human-made knowledge system led by our volunteers.
I believe that the Wikimedia movement is a long-term social movement that will outlast the Facebooks and the Googles of Silicon Valley, and that is fundamentally different from them. We have to chart our own course with the knowledge that we are part of an intellectual tradition that precedes us, and that will certainly outlast the Wikimedia Foundation in its current form. Wikimedia has to be seen and appreciated as a common platform where institutions of all sizes and kinds from around the world can work together on a level playing field dedicated to free knowledge for all.
If elected, I will find ways for the community to have more direct lines to the board. I will commit to a monthly office hour for community members to meet with myself and any other board members who will join. I have done this work for a number of years for local North American organizers, and I would be glad to do so on a global level as a WMF board member.
I also think there is insufficient support for the grassroots support of volunteers, and will support the establishment of independent staff positions whose entire job is to assist affiliates and other volunteers. These would not be people you apply to for funding, but community advocates separated a bit from the WMF structures whose position description is to help you develop your own grants and planning. This might be structured in regional/continental or thematic bureaus, and it would be a purely supportive role, not supervisory.
I also believe that we have to reform the WMF board and its bylaws so that a clear majority of board members will be selected by the community. This is crucial for the legitimacy of our leadership, that it be led by community-selected board members with the addition of expertise seats as a supplement. It is a change that is a long time in coming.
I have been a Wikimedian since 2004. I was the President of Wikimedia New York City since its founding and served as President from its founding in 2009 until 2017. I currently serve as the chapter's Secretary. I have been on the board of the Internet Society New York since 2012, and on the board of the Wiki Education Foundation since 2013.
I began the first "Wiki Takes" / "Wiki Loves X" movements with projects like Wikipedia Loves Art in 2009 and Wikipedia Loves Libraries in 2011. I was a member of the original founding team for Art+Feminism in 2014, and have been active recruiting the help of global Wikimedians for this and several other global campaigns. I am part of WikiConference North America; we hosted the first iteration in New York City in 2014. I have also been active in fostering local community by hosting monthly calls of regional Wikimedians and mentoring local groups. I have served as Wikimedian in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 2017 (earlier I held this position at the Guggenheim Museum), and have helped to found the Wikimedians in Residence Exchange Network. I collaborated on Wikipedia Asian Month over the last two years with an art theme, and this year I plan to take a major role in expanding Wiki Loves Pride with several new themes.
I am eligible to serve as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. If elected, I will plan to resign from the boards of Wikimedia New York City and the Wiki Education Foundation. I will plan to continue service on the board of the Internet Society New York and in my position as Wikimedian in Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Art+Feminism User Group
- Endorsement from Art+Feminism User Group:
Art+Feminism offers our strongest endorsement of Richard Knipel's candidacy for the WMF Board. Richard is a deeply involved admin, who is a major social connecter amongst the global community. A+F could not have happened without Richard' encyclopedic knowledge of Wikipedia's community: he introduced the project to editors in every corner of the world. Even our WMF grants officers said they turned to him when they needed to find someone in a specific region and/or topic. He is intelligent, kind and thoughtful. And also modest: for example, his resume understates the fact that he was the driving force behind the Met Museum's release of 375,000 images into the Public Domain on Commons. He will make a great representative of the community on the WMF Board. On behalf of my collaborators --McKensie Mack (talk) 13:13, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
WMFr endorse the candidacy of Richard. His profile seems important to us to be present at the next round of the election. On behalf of Wikimedia France, Pierre-Yves Beaudouin (talk) 20:40, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
Black Lunch Table
Black Lunch Table offers the strongest endorsement and support for the candidacy of Richard Knipel to the WMF Board. In addition to the innovations that Richard is making in the field as a Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he is a dedicated advocate and resource for growing user groups like ours. Whether the question is large or small Richard meets each of our inquiries with kind consideration; he makes the online and offline world of Wikimedians more genial and Black Lunch Table is certain Richard will be an excellent representative on the Board. On behalf of Black Lunch Table User Group--Raggachampiongirl (talk) 21:59, 31 May 2019 (UTC)