Chapter-selected Board seats/2012/Candidates/Patricio Lorente

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Patricio Lorente (Patricio.lorente)

General Info[edit]

Patricio Lorente

Statement of support[edit]

It's my pleasure to announce Patricio Lorente's candidacy for a chapter-selected seat in the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Patricio is currently President of Wikimedia Argentina and he counts with complete support from the chapter's board in this endeavour. We're sure he'd be able to bring increased diversity, openness and a strategic vision for the BoT, especially regarding internationalization and developing countries. We're confident that his professional and wiki experience is one of great value for a WMF trustee and we therefore officially present his candidacy.

The text that follows includes Patricio's personal bio and his vision of what he wants to do as a BoT if selected. We're providing it in both English and Spanish.


What I want to concentrate on as a Trustee

1. Help building a strong international organization at the heart of a global and diverse movement. The vision of a global organization for the Wikimedia movement centered on the Wikimedia Foundation, with a powerful network of Chapters and a rich diversity of partners, needs some careful planning and setting up some basic rules to build a cooperative framework based on trust instead of a competitive one. While the Movements Roles Initiative has provided an important input, the work is far from being finished. The recent conversations about fundraising and funds dissemination, which have put in play a potential new model of governance for existing Wikimedia organisations, are a good example of what still needs to be done. Such conversations need to address pressing issues, such as accountability and sustainability, but also need to always keep in perspective the wide reach of our movement, as well as the strengths that lie in its diversity. Diversity is at the core of what makes Wikimedia and its communities special, and we should make sure that we are supporting it in every possible way.

2. Bring diversity to the Board of Trustees. Except for only one Trustee, all other nine in the current composition come from what we may call the “Global North”, and six of them even from the same country: it’s quite clear that the current composition of the Board of Trustees is missing different views, from people with different backgrounds, environment and culture. At the same time, I think we should promote real internationalization. Nowadays our global movement has a sharp divide between those Wikimedians who speak English and those who don’t. Many individuals and groups in so many countries are invisible to the global movement and isolated. We should seriously address this fact and develop a specific policy to help integrating to our international network those who don’t speak English.

3. Bring a different approach to the so-called “Global South”. I’m particularly interested in helping to consolidate Wikimedia organizations in developing countries, and I’m convinced that the best way to do this is empowering local communities, while taking their opinion and advice into account. In this sense, I believe the Wikimedia Foundation must ensure that proper coordination and collaboration mechanisms between the Foundation and the local communities (be it the corresponding local chapter, partner organizations or informal groups of Wikimedians) are put in place whenever there is a plan to develop activities in a certain geography.


My name is Patricio Lorente (user Patricio.lorente), and I am currently President of Wikimedia Argentina. After many years as a collaborator in Wikimedia projects and as a chapter's leader, 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've decided to become a candidate for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Let me tell you two words about me: 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. Perhaps due to my work experience, I'm good at listening and negotiating, and I’m used to solve conflicts with patience, in the understanding that serenity is not in conflict with a strong determination. I consider essential, in that sense, taking into account and hearing from all involved parties before taking a decision. I don’t speak English as fluent as I’d like to, but I'm confident that my current level won't represent a limitation.

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.

In the Wikimedia movement[edit]

I have been an editor in the Spanish Wikipedia since 2005 and admin (sysop+bureaucrat) since 2006. I do contribute as well to Wikimedia Commons.

I am also a founding member of Wikimedia Argentina and have been its President from 2007 to today. As such I was responsible for the organization of Wikimanía 2009 in Buenos Aires and I have participated as an organizer or speaker in numerous conferences, seminars and workshops on Wikipedia/Wikimedia in Argentina and other Latin American countries (Colombia, Ecuador, México, Perú). I was one of the leading forces behind the organization of the 1st Ibero-American Wikimedia Summit, held in Buenos Aires last year, which helped bringing together representatives from both established Wikimedia chapters and informal working groups throughout Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

I have devoted important efforts to outreach activities in education, my particular interest within off-wiki activities. I am the author of a booklet published by Wikimedia Argentina called "Wikipedia in the classroom" and, representing Wikimedia Argentina, I am a member of the Advisory Board of Conectar Igualdad, a government program that is delivering more than three million netbooks to all public high school students in Argentina. As a member of this Advisory Board, I have been able to work on educational content for teachers and, as a result of this, many wiki-related activities were launched and the National Ministry of Education opened a special site with tutorials, documents and guides about Wikipedia and education. There is also a special pilot program in more than 200 schools across the country, “Escuelas de Innovación” (Innovative Schools), that is directly training teachers on possible uses of Wikimedia projects for their classes, not only in terms of creating contents but also regarding notions of relevance, content verification and discussions on neutrality issues.