Affiliations Committee/Candidates/2015

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Satdeep Gill[edit]

I am a Wikipedian since October 2009. I have been actively editing Punjabi Wikipedia since past 3-4 years, where I am a permanent sysop right now. I occasionally edit Hindi, Urdu, Western Punjabi, English and French Wikipedias as well. I am quite comfortable in speaking these languages. Besides these i have basic knowledge of Spanish and Italian. I have a working knowledge of Sindhi as well. I am a member of Punjabi Wikimedians and recently we became the first recognized User Group in Indic languages.

I have participated in many National and International Events related to Wikimedia projects such as Wikimania 2015 and First International Wikisource Conference, 2015.

I would like to become a part of Affiliations Committee because as of now none of the members is from India and India has a lot of potential. Indian communities are now thinking of creating more User Groups. I believe i will be in a better position to become a link between the rest of the Committee and the Indian Communities.

Comments about Satdeep Gill[edit]

  • Extremely talented and helpful editor. This should help him to serve the Wikimedia movement, specially Indian communities in a much better way. --TitoDutta 11:57, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
  • I know Satdeep Gill a bit, he was recognized in Mexico by Jimmy (honorable mentions together with Susanna Mkrtchyan from Armenia). I think he can be a good candidate for the AffCom and serve his (and other communities) even more --アンタナナ 14:04, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I met Satdeep at Wikimania 2015 and found him to be well-spoken. Besides that we have talked online about community organization. Satdeep comments in everything Wikipedia related happening in India and I feel like he is seeking better organization there. I have a lot of hopes for the Punjabi Wikimedians User Group. Some people say "Sardars and Singhs are everywhere", which I take to be a nice way to say that the international Punjabi community has a presence in lots of major cities and it stays connected so that Punjabis can help each other. It does not surprise me that a Punjabi group would be the first to start a user group. India has 1/6 of the world's Wikipedia readers and I want India represented in all international community groups. Satdeep is great for being a diplomat as a member of AffCom. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Addis Wang (AddisWang)[edit]

I've joined the Wikimedia Movement since 2008 and majorly working on Chinese Wikipedia. I'm an active community coordinator, has organized and supported over 100 offline meetup in nearly 10 cities in China. As the main coordinator of Wikimedia community in China, I founded Wikimedia User Group China with other Chinese Wikimedians.

As an international Wikimedian, I've conducted several regional cooperations and provided support to small Wikipedia communities.

I have many experience on social media and international cooperation. I'm familiar with the organizational governance, international policies and political system and conditions in various countries as a near graduation political science student, that could be benefit to global social movement like Wikimedia.I'm also familiar with the grant distribution process of WMF as a committee member of IEG and simple APG.

Although the affiliation committee majorly focus on new affiliations according to the meta page, I believe the AffCom should not only provide more support for start-up of the new organization, but also play more role in supporting the small affiliations after being recognized. Besides the current work of AffCom, I'm willing to provide more assistance to Wikimedia affiliations especially for user groups to help them growth and generate bigger impact.

Comments about Addis Wang[edit]

  • I have worked with Addis Wang to organize Wikipedia Asian Month. He was very supportive. Also I had a chance to work with him as a fellow member of Simple Annual Plan Grants Committee. All in all, I think he can be a good candidate for the AffCom --アンタナナ 14:11, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I second the above opinion. Very strong and continuing voice for the Asian community. --Liang(WMTW) (talk) 17:20, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I commented above that India is 1/6 of the world's Wikipedians, and China is the other 1/6. Wikimania in Beijing might take a while but until then I appreciate what Addis does in the United States. I appreciate his organization and outreach to Chinese language users and I appreciate what he does during in-person meetups for all kinds of Wikipedians. Addis has organized a long-running Wikipedia meetup at his university and is currently overseeing a small outreach grant of the sort that I want other usergroups to request to do grassroots community meetups. He is certainly capable of managing more. Addis is an even-tempered speaker who would be great at coaching community groups as they organize to do Wikipedia outreach. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Over the last few months, I've befriended and have been working with Addis on organizing Wikipedia events at my university to engage students and staff. I've gained exposure to the great experience he has with user groups (with both organizing and participating), and he is a great representative of the Chinese Wikimedian community. I'm confident Addis has the experience and motive to hold a seat in AffCom. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 06:37, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Steven Crossin[edit]

Hi, I'm Steve, and have participated in Wikimedia projects since 2008. I primarily edit enwiki, but have also contributed to a few other projects including commons.

I've been a member of a the Wikimedia Australa board since 2012, and was its chair between 2013-2015. I've also been on the IEG committee and was previously a Wikimedia fellow, so am familiar with the WMF grants process as both an applicant and assessor.

I think that my time on the board of a chapter has given me an understanding of the difficulties that an affiliate can encounter, whether it is in terms of starting up, day to day operating, or maintaining its structure and keeping up to date with their accountabilities, and see an opportunity for AffCom to provide extra guidance and support where possible to new and existing affiliates. . I feel that my experience could be valuable to make this a possibility, and welcome the feedback and input of members of the community.

Comments about Steven Crossin[edit]

Galileo Vidoni (Galio)[edit]

I have been a member of the Affiliations Committee (then ChapCom) since 2012, having previously been part of the Movement Roles working group. Besides, I am a member of Wikimedia Argentina and I have been its president since 2012. I have also been involved in the Iberocoop regional cooperation network since its inception. Thanks to that experience I believe to have a good understanding of our movement's reality in (most of) the Latin world. Wikimedia Argentina has organized two regional Iberoconf meetings, as well as Wikimanía 2009.

Those experiences have enabled me to meet and engage with different representatives from Wikimedia affiliates, Wikimedia Foundation board and staff, and FDC and other committee volunteers, contacts that are useful if not necessary for AffCom's task. Iberocoop, in particular, means direct communication with other affiliates from Latin America, Spain and Italy. I touch base with them every day to discuss affiliate related concerns, challenges and common projects.

I am a Wikipedia editor since 2004, active mostly on the Spanish Wikipedia, where I have been a bibliotecario, or librarian (bureaucrat-sysop), since 2006. Off-wiki I'm a Political Science graduate (University of Buenos Aires) with post-graduate studies in Transport Planning. Aside from my native Spanish, I'm fluent in English, French and Italian, and I can understand both written and spoken Portuguese, though I dare not speak it ;).

In the Committee my main focus of interest are (and have been) affiliation models and governance issues, as well as taking care for groups seeking for recognition and formal applications from the developing world and Latin America in particular. I'm committed to easy and straightforward principles for recognition that at the same time protect our existing affiliates and guarantee that all recognized Wikimedia user groups, thematic organizations and chapters keep a close relationship with their relevant communities.

I'm aware that I can at times be absent from everyday discussions, since I have to balance my time with my chapter responsibilities; I prefer to state this openly rather to commit to something I couldn't perhaps fulfill. On the other hand, I have a preference for dealing with complicate situations involving diverse sensibilities, and I think I have been able to provide the Committee with useful input when dealing with such situations in the past, especially during our in-person meetings (Amical's recognition, different efforts in Brazil and Ecuador, or more recently the agreement on revised requisites for recognition).

Comments about Galileo Vidoni[edit]

  • Having worked with Galileo before, I can say he is a very passionate, highly committed to the mission and engaged wikimedian. He is able to provide thoughtful, comprehensive analysis of any given situation (in excellent English), and do timely follow ups. Nothing slipping throught the cracks. He is also very accessible and easygoing, which allows him to contact and establish quick rapports with other users regardless of background or culture, something that can only be an advantage in a position as an Affcom member. Even more relevant, he has been a constant voice, since before joining Affcom even, in the conversation regarding movement roles and affiliates, and the transition and evolution from Chapcom to Affcom. His historical and institutional wealth of knowledge and his first-hand experience with affiliates (including being the Chair of one of the most successful chapters of the movement) is extremely valuable and would be an asset to any group. Full support. Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I have known Galileo for years and we have worked together in many different projects –within Iberocoop and during my experience in Wikimedia Argentina. I know of his deep knowledge of the movement and his particular capacity to identify the issues at stake to focus on solutions. I am sure that a new term in the AffCom would be even more valuable in the light of many new faces coming in.--Osmar Valdebenito, B1mbo (talk) 03:25, 12 January 2016 (UTC)

Tanweer Morshed[edit]

I am Tanweer Morshed, a Wikimedian since 2009. I have been contributing to the Bengali and English Wikipedias, Wikimedia Commons, Meta and other Bengali Wikimedia projects for the past six years. I am involved in both online and offline activities. Since 2011, I have been voluntarily serving as a member of the Executive Committee of the chapter Wikimedia Bangladesh (WMBD). My major online contribution is in Bengali Wikipedia. Besides regular contribution, as a sysop, I am involved with administrative tasks in Bengali Wikipedia.

I was actively involved with the formation process of WMBD. As part of my responsibility, I had to perform various tasks related to community building. These included conducting workshops for new Wikipedians, training Wikipedians, hosting meetups, recruitment of volunteers etc. I was involved with organizing programs and events throughout Bangladesh. These included Wikipedia workshops, seminar, conferences, Bengali Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary, editathons, unconference, school programs, Bangla Wikipedia Photography Contest and photowalks.

I served as a member of the Programme Team for the Wikimedia Conference 2015, and attended the Wikimedia Conference 2014 on behalf of WMBD. I was involved with enhancing collaboration between Bangladeshi and Indian Bengali Wikipedians during the Bangla Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary program in both Kolkata and Dhaka. I am active in mailing lists but currently not active in IRCs. I worked as a member of the SWMT (Small Wiki Monitoring Team) for some time. On behalf of WMBD, I have experience of working as a grantee of WMF. I have met and engaged with various affiliate representatives, FDC and AffCom members, WMF staffs and Wikipedians from different regions. I believe I’ve gained a good understanding of the Wikimedia movement thanks to my involvement in the local activities and activities that are international in scope.

As a significant part of my contribution in the movement, I have experience with volunteer engagement and community building. Being a member of the AffCom would allow me to further engage with various affiliates and volunteers from the wider Wikimedia movement. Since working as an AffCom member would involve negotiating and going through bureaucratic process, my experiences would help me to take those initiatives and challenges. Furthermore, I have been always excited to involve with multicultural environment.

My first language is Bengali. I am fluent in English and have an elementary understanding of German.

Comments about Tanweer Morshed[edit]

  • Bangla is the 6th most spoken language in the world. Bangladesh and West Bengal are coming out of a civil war, but historically, this region for centuries was one of the wealthiest and most cultured places in the world. Bengali literature and art are still a wonderful thing, and it is happening now that one of the regions with the fastest growth in Internet access is Bengal. As Bangla speakers come online I want them to find good representation in AffCom and encouragement from having one of their own in the committee for recognizing Wikimedia community groups.
Tanweer's being from Bangladesh has some political advantages in India. In India, sometimes the regional arguments can become difficult to manage. I think it is broadly known that in Indian society, when groups argue with each other, people have a long history of behaving well with a mediator from outside the arguments. Bangladesh is far enough away from most Indian concerns to seem like another planet, but from another perspective, Bangla is a powerful language in Indian politics. Tanweer is a talented professional and would be good to assist anyone as an ArbCom member, but I think he has a unique position to be a respected mediator over the development of new Indian user groups. I also expect that different regions of India will soon apply for user groups, and I think a rush of activity will continue to build around a likely 2018 Wikimania bid.
Tanweer has been a wonderworker in making Wikimedia Bangladesh a successful and productive Wikimedia chapter and having him on AffCom would additionally bring more Wikimedia expertise into that chapter as it develops. He has my endorsement. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight (Rosiestep)[edit]

I'm Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight from southern Nevada, US, and this is my application for AffCom 2015. I've self-disclosed my name to the community on my userpage, in interviews, and formally to WMF (as I'm a member of the Wikimania 2016 Scholarship Committee).

I became a Wikipedian in 2007, and an admin in 2009. I'm a co-founder of WikiWomen's User Group so I understand some of the challenges facing Affiliates. On the English wiki, I founded en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Women writers; and co-founded en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Women and en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red. I was a Featured Speaker at Wikimania 2015, and I spoke at WikiConUSA 2015. With one other editor, I served on WikiConUSA 2015's Scholarship Committee, and I'm a member of WikiConUSA 2016's Scholarship Committee. As a member of WMDC, I'm very proud to have been honored as co-Volunteer of the Year 2015. I have facilitated many edit-a-thons, in-person and online, with editors from around the world. I'm a proud member of The Signpost Editorial Board in the role of Personnel/Recruiter.

Understanding that the committee's main responsibility is to guide "volunteers in establishing Wikimedia chapters, thematic organizations, and user groups", I feel that I have the education, experience, abilities, skills and knowledge to do the job. My educational background includes Bachelor's and Master's Degrees; and for five years, I worked as an Adjunct Faculty member at a US university. I have a keen understanding of "bureaucratic" processes having worked as a government healthcare-industry contractor for 19 years in the roles of contract manager, program manager, and recruiter. I am a profuse editor with over 100,000 edits, creating approximately 4,000 new articles on the English wiki, hundreds of them being translations from the Spanish, Asturian, Catalan, and French Wikipedias. With various levels of proficiency, I'm a polyglot (Serbian, Spanish, French).

I live and breathe Wikipedia. I'm passionate about community building and organizing... my sons remind me, "Mom, you can't write all the articles yourself." A cultural anthropologist at heart, I am motivated and excited at the prospect of working with other language and culture Wikipedians as they organize themselves in order to better coordinate their work worldwide. Thank you for your consideration and support.

Comments about Rosie Stephenson-Goodknight[edit]

  • This is a very impressive background. I think Rosiestep would make a good addition to AffCom. Support. Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Rosie is a clear speaker, a charming person, a first-class Wikipedian, but what stands out to me more than anything else is that she is a natural administrator. She can evaluate a complicated situation and calculate the amount of labor it would take to complete it and what kind of volunteers are needed to complete a job. I see all kinds of skill sets in the Wikimedia community but experienced management and leadership are in short supply, and not only does Rosie take these roles but she takes them well and naturally. People respect her. Rosie would be a direct communicator on AffCom and she is the kind of person that gets thanked even when giving bad news. If she wants on AffCom then she should be on it. The only reason I could imagine denying her a seat would be if someone wanted to offer her a more sensitive position doing something else, because she can handle anything. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)

Salvador Alcántar Morán (salvador_alc)[edit]

I would be pleased of serving another period in the Affiliations Committee. I think the AffCom needs some continuity. I witnessed many changes in this Committee and in the affiliates world. Two years ago the considerations about affiliates were many different as are now both coming from this volunteer-made committee as coming from the Board of Trustees. I was a very active member in these discussions some times supporting others disagreeing but always trying to defend what I think was correct. This Committee has had many changes, now we are moving through a staff-supported model and I think I could bring some support to that at the same time I keep some memory of our original motivations.

I am wikipedian since 2006. I was one of the founders of Wikimedia Mexico and currently I serve as Treasurer in its Board. I try to introduce equilibrium between keeping myself active online in projects and being advocate offline of Wikimedia philosophy and my chapter goals. Besides I have helped in the communication inter-affiliates besides those of the Latin America, Spain, Portugal and Italy, however I think all kind of affiliates should mantain communication and interchange experiences and good will.

During my last period as Affcom member I tried to keep a nice and personal attention to our stakeholders as faster as possible for a volunteer-made committee. I tried to be present in most of discussions at least to show my agreement. If my personal life and work allow me I hope I can work in the same way if I am elected again.

My current language skills are quite better than they were when I was elected the first time as AffCom. My mother tongue is Spanish, I'm fluent in English and I have some comprehension of Italian. I have other interpersonal skills as empathy, easy speech and communication skills.

Comments about Salvador Alcántar Morán[edit]

  • I have worked with Salvador before and can attest to his interpersonal skills. :-) He was the liaison for the Wikimujeres application and he was accesible, very positive, always willing to help. Definitely what you expect from an Affcom member. He is dilligent, diplomatic, has a good sense of humour, and is very responsible. Always willing to engage. Full support. Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)

Emna Mizouni (Emnamizouni)[edit]

I'm Emna Mizouni a member of the Wikimedia TN User Group with whom I proudly helped to organise the first Regional conference WikiArabia 2015 in Monastir. I’m very keen to join the committee because I feel I can be an added value to it and this through my involvement with the movement, and because I easily answer the requirement listed in the announcement.

Last Wikimania, in Mexico, I had the chance to present in a panel the importance of regional meetings, i.e Wikiarabia. Wikimania 2015 was my second after the edition of 2014 in London where I met a lot of active members of the community. These conferences helped me and the community in Tunisia to shape some projects for example MedinaPedia, WikiWomen and to keep up others like the Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Earth, Wiki Loves Africa,...

I have good communication skills in general but with volunteers more specifically and you can witness that through me managing the MedinaPedia project which includes local volunteers but foreigns as well (from the global community), I gained the negotiation skills from my studies (my master degree), I’m very interested in culture and very keen in making a progress with different cultural projects (either with the Wikimedia movement or elsewhere i.e Carthagina, CLibre). As for the legal texts I make always my best to understand the legal situation with which I have to handle (my work with my NGO Carthagina can witness that legal aspect and having an international law advisor within my team helped me a lot).

I love working with volunteers as one of the not only as a leader, the team work opens lots of doors and helps to achieve quickly the objectives.

MedinaPedia, WikiArabia, Wiki Loves Monuments 2014 and other activities helped me to experience the bureaucracy of the system and how to find alternatives to reach the goals we already set. I believe that there is always a way to get things done.

Most of the work we are doing in Tunisia (GLAM project with the Diocesan library,…) is under negotiation to be duplicated in other countries like Libya for example.

I have excellent communication skills in English with an advanced level. I have no problem to use it, in the meantime I can use other languages: Arabic and French (see my profile). I’m changing my schedule for next year to have less managerial work and do more volunteers one, so that means I can afford the required time for the committee.

Comments about Emna Mizouni[edit]

  • Emna Mizouni is a known personality in social networks ,, she is very respected in the Wikipedian community in her country, Maghrebine community; Arabic and French

we met for the first time in London wikimania 2014 she represented so well in her "User Group Tunisia" in the community village. wikiarabia Monastir 2015 could reveal her leader's ability to be successful the first experience of an Arab conference and I really was sensible by her constant presence with her organizing team until the remote times of the night (and volunteer) wikimania in mexico; she turned a corner and dares make a presentation to the public and wikimaniacs, she'd just as well prove her ability to speak in public and express opinions and ideas without the jitters

young, dynamic, and dedicated to all the missions we can ask her elsewhere; she will bring another dimension to Affcom --Mohammed Bachounda (talk) 14:38, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Josh Lim (Sky Harbor)[edit]

My name is Josh Lim, and I am applying for a second term to the Affiliations Committee.

Having been in the Committee the past two years, it is safe to say that we’ve seen the affiliate landscape change drastically. Whether that be with the proliferation of new user groups, solidifying our standards for becoming a chapter, or figuring out best practices between affiliates, I have been proud of the work we’ve done so far, and I’d like to contribute more to our continuing success.

I have been a Wikipedia editor for over ten years now, having first edited in April 2005. I’ve taken a lead role in organizing Wikimedia Philippines, the Philippine local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation which was eventually founded in April 2010, and where I currently serve as its President. In that time span, I have led major efforts at professionalizing the organization, organizing major projects (including a Wikipedia Education program, Wikipedia Takes Manila and the Cultural Heritage Mapping Project) and building our linkages with organizations both in the Philippines and abroad.

I feel that my expertise will continue to be of great benefit to the Affiliations Committee, especially in Southeast Asia. I continue to believe in the power of affiliates to really bring forward our mission to the grassroots—something that I have supported whole on the Committee—and I have continued to advise groups of Wikipedians on the benefits of being a registered affiliate with us. Much of my work in the Committee, in fact, happens offline, and I’m proud to represent our values and what we fight for when meeting our communities

In addition, I believe I am also capable of providing unique insight in aid of the Committee's work, especially in considering the nuances of organizing Asian chapters and thematic organizations, and coordinating with Asian Wikimedia communities: things which I believe are beneficial to our movement as a whole especially given the renewed focus on a number of Asian countries as being strategic priorities for the Wikimedia Foundation. As a political scientist, I think that it’s important that we know how communities rally around shared values, which is how our communities are organized. I’d like to help us navigate through that.

I have always striven to be a team player, an effective communicator and a strong partner of the Committee, and though I’m not perfect, I believe my skills are still beneficial to the Committee’s further development. I continue to believe in our mission as a WMF committee, and with the work we do and we’re set to do, I believe that having continuity and institutional memory, both of which I also have, will help us reach those goals faster.

Comments about Josh Lim[edit]

  • Thank you for representing the voice from Asia. I am wondering, do you have any specific plan to enhance the communication or understanding with the community, especially in East and South East Asia? --Liang(WMTW) (talk) 17:18, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
    • Thanks for asking, Liang. I think at this point, it's great to have the communications venues that we currently have (the ESEA Hub, our annual meet-ups at WMCON and Wikimania, the Wikimedia Asia Facebook group, periodic visits to other chapters, etc.), but I think it would be good if we could commit to having more real-time communication. Currently, we do this through Facebook chat, but I'm hoping to bring onboard the ESEA chapters and user groups to monthly conference calls to see what we've been up to. If we manage to get this up and running, we can try scaling this to other communities. At the same time, I remain a firm supporter of a future Asian conference, and I intend to get the Committee onboard with that as well should I manage to be reappointed to a second term. (Also, if you have other suggestions, please let me know—you might have better ideas than I do! :P) --Sky Harbor (talk) 14:42, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Having worked with Josh before, I support his candidacy. Very dilligent, diplomatic and good teammember. Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Josh is a diplomat. He is always ready to issue statements and give speeches. He speaks briefly but says everything that needs to be said. He does every reasonable thing that ought to be done and is polite and direct to ask people to fulfill their commitments in doing reporting when he checks for organizational compliance. Josh already has experience on AffCom and I only hear good things about his work. I am sure that he will mentor newcomers if he continues in his role as AffCom member. Blue Rasberry (talk) 01:45, 5 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I think Josh is a very outstanding candidate. He is very diligent and he has good leadership skills. Venuslui (talk) 12:22, 7 January 2016 (UTC)

Pranav Curumsey[edit]

I’ve been a part of the Wikimedia universe for nearly 10 years, as an editor with over 10k edits across projects, as a fellow who helped organised a national conference comparable to the scale of a Wikimania and as a chapter board member. During this period, I have had the pleasure of interacting with WMF board & staff members, board and staff members of fellow chapters as well as volunteer committee members of GAC, FDC, AFFCOM, ARBCOM etc. My stint with the local chapter gave me the chance serving as local public lead of CC for a year where we worked on licencing with the government and like-minded international organisations.

I have had the opportunity to partake in several discussions which have been bureaucratic and political in nature within the movement over the years and have successfully negotiated mutually acceptable terms on several occasions. In my current workplace, I deal with legal wordings on a daily basis.

In terms of international orientation, I have had the opportunity of attending several conferences within the movement, such as the GLAM conference/ WMCon/ Wikimania etc. in different capacities and have taken the opportunity to interact with fellow volunteers and movement staff on different topics. Right from my student years, where there were students from fourteen different countries in my course, I have dealt with people from different continents with exceptional ease whilst respecting their cultures and backgrounds. I am able to communicate in five languages, including English.

Most of my work has been related to the movement in India and have taken a break from being an active part of the movement for some time now. I see this as an opportunity to be part of the movement on a more global basis and specifically at Affcom where movement roles have undergone a world of change in the last few years with the introduction of user groups and thematic organisations. This has given thrust to the movement in parts where nothing previously existed and I feel this committee having an extremely important role within the movement, that of interacting with veterans from various communities as well as of a gatekeeper who is in charge of nurturing and encouraging those who enter or wish to enter the portals of the movement offline whilst remaining grounded and realistic at the same time keeping in mind that different landscapes need different models. It is a thankless fine balancing act which I am interested in being a part of.

Comments about Pranav Curumsey[edit]

Levon Azizian (Ліонкінг)[edit]

I'm a Wikipedian since 2008, mostly contributing to Ukrainian Wikipedia. Since 2012 I'm a member of Wikimedia Ukraine. I was a board member of WMUA for two terms (Dec'13-Dec'15), but I've decided not to run for third term and to try some new experience. Also, I'm a lawyer of WMUA.

In Dec'2012 I've initiated a working group on changes to the Bylaws of WMUA. There were 8 offline meetings with 7-15 members (almost all active members of WMUA) during 2013 and a lot of online discussions. Great job was done by working group, but proposed amendments were not approved as it is required to have 75% of support while majority were not active during the year. I've never wrote new bylaws in English, but when I read bylaws in English I understand almost all provisions.

In Ukraine main Wiki-activities take place in Kyiv (capital) & Lviv (Western Ukraine). However, I'm from Kyiv, nowadays I'm mostly interested in development of less involved into Wiki-activities regions, like Eastern Ukraine. We have organised there a number of workshops in local universities, schools and libraries + thematic week in Ukrainian Wikipedia. In future there are perspectives of organisation of regional WikiConf, WEP and GLAM. The idea is to provide more possibilities for "vulnerable" regions to help them organize own regional Wiki-communities with own Wiki-activities. Despite I spent a lot of time in assignments, I've daily access to Internet.

In Dec'14 we (WMUA) organised Wikimedia Central Eastern European Meeting 2014 (CEEM-2014) in Kyiv. I was mostly communicating with representatives of communities. More than 70 Wikimedians from about 25 states took a part at the event. After that I've also took a part in organisational team of CEEM-2015. I'm interested in development of interstate activities and in helping to grow new (or less experienced) Wiki-communities.

Comments about Levon Azizian[edit]

  • I worked together with Levon, in particular on organising Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014, and he is very implicated in development of Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe. I think that his experience in Wikimedia CEE, including providing help and advice to a number of Central and Eastern European communities (pretty much everywhere from Latvia to Slovenia) make him a good candidate for the AffCom — NickK (talk) 20:29, 31 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Levon is very dedicated to the Wikimedia movement, he cares deeply about the community, and his work was very crucial for organising Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014 and he took an active part in organising Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015, as he was a member of WMCEE 2015 Programme committee. I support NickK's statement that he is a good candidate for the AffCom --アンタナナ 13:47, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I met Levon during Wikipedia Conference Yerevan 2013 and also had a chance to work with him during CEE Meeting 2015 Estonia. He is greatly dedicated to Wikimedia movement, is a very hard working, responsible and honorable person. I'm sure he can be a good member of Affiliation Committee and will have a huge contribution in its future activity. --David Saroyan (talk) 16:53, 2 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Firstly, I have to make it clear that I am in personal conflict with the user so my comment is subjective to an extend. Secondly, I acknowledge that the user has a number of very good skills, which are useful for his work in Wikimedia Ukraine: he is a lawyer, so he knows Ukrainian laws, he has quite good communication skills with partners and authorities, he is good at organizing events. I do not know if any of the above is of any use for AffComm but that what he is indeed good at. Unfortunately there's a number of qualities which in my opinion will hinder his good work in the Committee. The user values personal qualities of people (like comradeship with them, patriotism, general "goodness" of them and other things of the sort) over their competence. In particular the user is known to vote "against" in a desysop nomination of an admin in ukwiki who has made some violations of the rules basing on his personal knowledge of the users as a good comrade who has proven to be true to a [non-Wikimedia] cause (it is actually not something unusual, so for many people reading it it would look like not a big deal, but he is very strong on such subjectivism, once we had an argument about it, besides I believe that requirements for AffComm members are to be higher than just the level of acceptability of normal community members). The user having some involvement into the war in the Eastern Ukraine (For instance (there are many other sources, just this pops into my mind first) saw him on TV once making some comment on it, thus I consider the information public, since his real identity is public because of his WMUA boardships. Just a disclaimer making clear that I am not disclosing any private info as per definition we use.) is now very anti-Russian. That goes to the extend of strong disapproving of Ukrainian Wikimedians' participation in Wikiconference in Russia, extreme distrust to Wikimedia RU members and other projection of the views on apolitical wiki dimension. Thus I am afraid that as an AffComm member the user might automatically vote against approval of any affiliates from Russian Federation and its allies which is rather not the level of neutrality I would want an AffComm member to show. Besides I must mention that the only one case when I was afraid for my life and limb on a wikimeetup (I attend those regularly for 3.5 years) was involving the user who was trying to persuade me doing something with his hands heaving on my shoulders (which I did not acknowledged as acceptable and I really didn't know how much from a civilized talk the user will diverge given his possibly blurred vision on this because of involvement in risky events of recentmost Ukrainian history). It is discussable who of us was right in the situation which was the reason for the firstly-a-discussion but the way it turned is not what I find to be OK. Again I expect that many reading this will not see a big deal in this but that is not what I would accept as normal for a person running for AffComm membership. His WMUA board membership was mentioned, so it must also be mentioned that in his second boardship the user was rarely seen on board meetings (because of his business IRL of per whatever reason) thus I am not sure whether the user will have time and will to partake in AffComm activities with a required level. Just to make it clear I do not mention his attitude towards me and its manifestation which is part of our on-going conflict, but the things I mentioned are, in my opinion, important for everybody to consider. --Base (talk) 04:54, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
    Thank you for stating that your comment is subjective due to personal conflict, as it indeed is. Most pieces of your argumentation are wrong or irrelevant, like a comment in a desysop request (which never existed as ukwiki desysop requests archive does not have anything like that) or his real-life employment (as he indeed works as a lawyer for an NGO active in conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine although it has nothing to do with AffCom). The only relevant piece is about alleged anti-Russian stance, but in practice he added a WMRU member as a participant and as a speaker at Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014 and not expelled them as your statement suggests. Thus your statement should be taken for what it's worth — NickK (talk) 14:50, 3 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I've known Levon for a bit more than a year now. He was one of the organisers of what I consider a very well prepared Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2014. Even before we met in person he struck me as a very diligent person, who took care of my (and many other's) travel bookings. The following year we were both among the international team of organisers of Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2015. He structured the process of creating the conference programme, powered by his intrinsic motivation. My view on his personality is that he is a down-to-earth, constructive, and calm person, who is capable of working in an objective way. I consider him to be the good candidate between the two that I've met in person. --Lord Bumbury (talk) 22:44, 3 January 2016 (UTC)

Carlos M. Colina (Maor X)[edit]

Since I applied to join the Affiliations Committee back in 2012, many things have changed not just around me (I was still living in Venezuela) but especially in the Wikimedia movement and the family of affiliates. Over 45 new affiliates have been recognized by this Committee since then and the approval procedure has been greatly simplified, especially for the Wikimedia User Groups, definitely the fastest-growing "type" of Wikimedia affiliate. I have had the opportunity of assisting in the recognition of many of these groups, some of them even since their inception, encouraging fellow wikimedians to form an organized group and work together in what our passion in common is: expanding the reach of free knowledge.

I'm not going to say it has been easy. I'm not going to say it has been a nightmare. It has been one of the most gratifying and meaningful experiences of my life, but I don't think it is over; I actually think there's still a lot more to do. And I want to continue being part of that affiliate-building-and-supporting experience. The transition to a staff-supported model plus the simplification of the user group approval process is something that allows the committee memebrs to focus on more pressing issues affecting the different affiliates, the relations between them and with the WMF and the wider community as a whole.

Being born and raised in Latin America while living in the Middle East has given me a great insight of the movements in both regions, their unique needs and the potential for growth in both of them. Also, being able to communicate effectively in several languages (es-n, en-4, pt-4, lad-4, de-3, he-3, guc-3, ar-2, fr-2) has allowed me to reach out to people that feels more comfortable using their mother tongue or a language that is not English, feeling able to express their ideas more freely; this is something we have always done at Iberocoop, a cooperation initiative of several chapters and user groups from the Ibero-American world and Italy, and the interactions between the participating members has been so fluid that it has been more or less emulated by our fellow wikimedians in other part of the planet.

I am a member of Wikimedia Israel and a founding member (and former board member) of Wikimedia Venezuela, a chapter that has seen difficult times due to the economic and political situation in the country; but despite all these negative variables, we have worked together to keep the chapter up, running and growing. I have learnt from our "special" situation that an affiliate requires effort, dedication and especially, persistence and support from the WMF Staff and the AffCom. Also, I have been participating at a local NGO that strives for a more equal society for the last few months, which that has helped me learn a lot about small NGOs, how they work, how to advocate at a local scale, interact with local governments regarding various issues that can affect our movement and how to reach out to more people and increase the awareness and importance of what we are doing.

I have been a wikimedian since 2005, and can't be more proud of being part of a movement that has changed the way the world accesses knowledge, in so many languages, formats and devices. I am an admin in the Ladino Wikipedia, and used to be a test-admin in the Wikimedia Incubator. As for the other projects/languages I contribute to, I am a regular user, just like anyone else :-)

Comments about Carlos M. Colina[edit]

  • I have worked with Carlos before, and I can say he is very passionate and believes very strongly in the mission, in the movement, and in the role of Affcom. He has a very strong character and is willing to speak his mind and stand by his opinions, and yet he is very easy to engage, is very respectful and supportive of different and constructive opinions, and has a very strong sense of humor. He has little patience for nonsense and tends to go straight to the heart of the matter, which is very refreshing and timesaving. Full support Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I have very good remembrance with my meeting wikimania londre 2014 ,it is always there to help me, and thanks to his advise I managed to emerge the user group Algerians. --Mohammed Bachounda (talk) 14:43, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Garfield Byrd (Gtbiv)[edit]

I worked for four years as the Chief of Finance and Administration for the Wikimedia Foundation in those four years I have done site visits to many chapters requesting and receiving Annual Plan Grants, was Treasurer of WMF Board of Trustees and was part of the WMF team that supported Wikimania's in Washington DC, Hong Kong, London and Mexico City. I have also served as Treasurer of the Oakland Youth Chorus in Oakland, California and Treasurer of Pacific Collegiate School in Santa Cruz, California.

My motivation for wanting to join the committee is, since I left the Wikimedia Foundation in September 2015, I have been looking for a way to support the Wikimedia community in a way that will utilize my skills and experience. In my work with applicants and participants in the Annual Plan Grants program I enjoyed the many conversations that I had with the volunteers and staff of Wikimedia organizations on both the finances and administration of the Wikimedia organizations and their program work. These conversations have given me a good understanding of what is needed to build a successful Wikimedia organization and in some cases how to support the changes needed to make a Wikimedia organization more successful.

I believe in the unique role that Wikimedia organizations can fill in supporting the Wikimedia community and would appreciate the opportunity to assist emerging Wikimedia organizations in becoming successful and finding their way to best support both the local and global Wikimedia community.

Comments about Garfield Byrd[edit]

  • My first thought is that you are overkill for Affcom! That said, the experience you would bring to the table would be considerable. I think Affcom should seriously consider making you an advisor at least. Raystorm (talk) 09:52, 4 January 2016 (UTC)