Wikimedia Brasil/AffCom

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Hi, as agreed on during email exchanges between the Wikimedia-BR mailing list and AffCom members, on this page AffCom will provide the facts, news, observations and questions regarding all matters related to Wikimedia Brasil's process of recognition as a Wikimedia chapter, specifically including the recent developments. Wikimedians in Brazil will, in turn, clarify any issues and provide answers to those questions.

For WMBR
Let's use the talk page, in portuguese, for each issue before posting an answer that is non-obvious on the content page.
Vamos usar a página de discussão, em português, para cada assunto antes de postar uma resposta não óbvia na página de conteúdo.
For AffCom
Feel free to adopt whatever format best suits you, what is laid below is a suggestion that I think would make the procedure easier and faster.

Everyone, please use smart labels so we can easily refer to topics in the discussion page.

Facts[edit]

application
(From here) I do apologize for the delay in getting back to you, especially as you have scheduled a constituent assembly for 12 October. The Committe will not be able to conclude this application by then, and we generally discourage any form of incorporation before our approval (and the subsequent WMF Board resolution) has been secured, however, even until then we look forward to a continued dialogue with you. --Bence
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News[edit]

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Observations[edit]

models
(From here) I just wanted to note, that at this point chapters are conceptualized as regular membership organizations with some form of elected and responsible leadership, and a Brazilian chapter would only be approved if it followed a similar model. However, it would not be right to impose a model on your community that it or significant parts of it feel uncomfortable with, or cannot accept. In the latter case, the Wikimedia movement is entirely open to recognizing an "open, non-hierarchical movement" type of entity (be they legally incorporated or not) as a Wikimedia User Group,[1] a new concept of affiliation with the movement with many of the benefits of recognition without the need to conform to a central model. --Bence
oldirc
(From here) I have, however, read the log from the 2010 IRC chat with Lodewijk, Delphine and Austin of the then-Chapters Committee, and I have to admit I don't find it very useful, and that's why I suggested a call via Webex. odder (talk). 18h42min de 8 de outubro de 2012 (UTC)
Cool, but at least there's a good explanation why it's not useful: that conversation took place in a much more complex context of trying to get WMBR recognized without an institutional backing - so very different from the current application, which is a standard chapter in most, if not all, aspects that should matter to the WMF, even if we all do consider it somewhat different in its conceptual premises. As I understand, AffCom has received the translated charter a while go, and it is a pretty standard document. --Solstag (talk) 07:16, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

voicecall[edit]

(From here) To cut this long story short, I invite you to talk a bit about a possible call, and would very much appreciate it if you could state the reasons behind your refusal of my invitation. Again, thanks in advance for your time and your replies. odder (talk). 18h42min de 8 de outubro de 2012 (UTC)

It's hard to explain, mostly the people who voiced an opinion on this were the three people you contacted (me, Castelo and Rodrigo). Rodrigo was not against talking and seemed ok with wiki, but I and Castelo greatly prefer this as you're seeing here. I can't give one simple reason, but I just feel more natural knowing anyone can follow up with it and intervene as early as they're interested in the conversation. This also avoids spending energy to collectively assign volunteers to use the privileged channel, and improves accessibility for those who aren't fluent in English. --Solstag (talk) 07:46, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

wmbrorganization[edit]

(From here) I was wondering if you could share a bit more information about your vision for the chapter and how you could imagine it was run? --Bence

The chapter — we refer to the non-profit corporation ruled by Brazilian law and by its agreements with the Wikimedia Foundation — has a board legally responsible for its conduct as set forth in its Bylaws, as well as a membership with the right to elect those. This structure, however, will come to be as a small part, and will seek to not become indispensable, of a a volunteer community which conducts activities. By the strength of collective agreements, this open community, similar to that of other Wikimedia projects, will continue to conduct activities and steer the chapter, making use of it when considered fruitful. The most relevant consequences related to the question posed translate into a constant effort by participants of the Wikimedia Movement in Brasil to achieve the following ideals:
  • The wiki where the chapter will organize itself, http://br.wikimedia.org/, is the same wiki where for years we have organized outreach activities, completely open and integrated to the simple unified login (SUL) of Wikimedia projects
  • The chapter will do its best so that every information is published on this wiki in real time, from minutes of general meetings and official documents to its finances, in detail
  • The chapter will not take part in secret meetings, confidential forums or hermetic groups, but may always participate in open spaces within those
  • The chapter will treat its partners as part of the Wikimedia Movment in Brazilian territory, guiding them so they promote free knowledge of their own initiative and acquire recognition and rights over trademarks and resources of the Wikimedia Foundation without needing it as an intermediary, as defined in the Movement roles.
  • The decisions of the chapter and about it will be taken by consensus in open discussions, of which anyone interested may take part (even those identified only by IP address), being the formal board and members expected to only execute that consensus
  • The board and members of the chapter will not act publicly as its representatives, nor will they stand out from those who are not members, but when necessary the community will assign volunteers for specific tasks
  • The formal directors are elected, and new members are admitted, above all with a mandate to accomplish the above items, not by force of law, but by the collective commitment that put them in charge
The quest for these ideals, guided by the Statement of Principles of Wikimedia Brasil (original, in Portuguese), is the answer to the question about the relationship between the legal structure of the chapter and the wider community that it will serve.

wmbrothers[edit]

(From here) I was under the impression that there are people who see a Brazilian chapter less as a vehicle of activity and more as an organisation to legitimize the activities of a less formal, non-hierarchical open movement, while others are more in favour of a "traditional organization"? --Bence

There is currently no divide among Brazilian Wikimedians, in fact there hasn't even been any dissent over this issue for quite a while. A long time ago (around 2008-2010), there was something of a dispute, but not exactly along those lines, and it turned out strengthening the consensus around our distributed institutional design. Naturally, from time to time there are some newcomers who need some time to assimilate our mode of operation, but it never took too long for them to get it and join the program. --Solstag (talk) 07:38, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
I see, thanks for the answer, Solstag; I am very happy that there are no internal divides in the Brazilian community anymore. However, I think I don't understand what a distributed institutional design would be, specifically because the bylaws you sent to us suggest a single organisation with members and own internal bodies (General Assembly, Board of Directors, Fiscal Council), and I can't see the relation between such an organisation and a distributed institutional design. Thanks, odder (talk) 09:17, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Just so we don't go off-label, can we agree that will be covered in wmbrorganization ? ^=^ --Solstag (talk) 10:27, 9 October 2012 (UTC)
Sure, feel free to answer this wherever you want. odder (talk) 10:57, 9 October 2012 (UTC)

newspaperarticle[edit]

(From here) I, on the other hand, want a formal and open statement from Wikimedia Brasil about this article [1], and especially the opening sentence: "Nesta sexta-feira, 12, voluntários brasileiros da enciclopédia virtual Wikipédia vão institucionalizar suas atividades e fundar a Wikimedia Brasil." (...) --odder

This was a sorry, though inconsequential, case of media frenzy. The journalist contacted some of us, he was repeatedly given a detailed and accurate explanation of what would happen (see wikibrasil), he was pointed to the pages in our wiki where this was also clearly explained, but still he decided to go for a headline of more appeal. Personally, I don't even blame him, it's part of the trade; I just wish he'd been more respectful of our effort to describe him this process. If you'd like, you can read a personal testimony, in English, from one of the people contacted by this journalist in the talk page. --Solstag (talk) 06:32, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

wikibrasil[edit]

(From here) (...) as well as a short overview of what happened between 16:00 and 18:00 on October 12, 2012, during the WikiBrasil conference WikiBrasil 2012 --odder

Inaugural assembly for the Associação Pietro Roveri
The glorious Associação Pietro Roveri para Colaboração e Conhecimento Livres (APR-CCL), which roughly translates to Pietro Roveri Association for Freedom in Collaboration and Knowledge, was inaugurated: a bunch of freely licensed poems were read, an assembly was formed, a vote for founding the association took place, a statute was read, debated and approved, a bunch of paperwork got signed, we greeted and thanked our pro-bono lawyer, people laughed, people cried. The first minutes, when the actual founding took place, are recorded and published on Wikimedia Commons with English subtitles, I'm embedding the video here as I find it really fun to watch. You can also learn more about the event from the grant report being produced here on Meta. --Solstag (talk) 07:12, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

boardcommunity[edit]

(From here) Bom dia a todos no Wikimedia Brasil. For those of who do not know me, my name is Josh Lim, and as a new member of the Affiliations Committee, I have decided to help them resolve the case of Wikimedia Brasil's affiliation, which as we all know is still pending.

Here at the Wikimedia Conference 2013 in Milan, I raised the issue of your affiliation with the AffCom and Tom, who is here in Milan as well. One of the concerns here is the relationship between the Board of APR-CCL and your community members. So, for example, what would happen if a member of the community wanted to pursue a project, but your Board disapproves of it? What will happen afterward?

I hope to hear a response from you guys soon, and I wish all of us good luck in getting your affiliation resolved. Muito obrigado. :) -- Sky Harbor (talk) 06:28, 21 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi Josh, welcome and obrigado for your question. :)
Consider how bureaucratic roles work on the wiki projects. They don't get to veto editing or have more powers, they only have tool access and are expected to use it in a responsible manner, as commanded by the community, within broader parameters set by the WMF. Our situation mimics that, as the association's actions, such as institutional partnerships and handling of funds, will be deliberated by the community and executed by the directors, which will do their best to follow the community's consensus within the broader parameters of applicable law.
So, although the board and formal members have the tools - the actual positions within the association - decision making will take place in the community, working through consensus and falling back to other mechanisms, such as voting, in case consensus can't be reached in a timely manner.
Activities will continue to be organized on wikis, openly, by volunteers, not by the association. To carry out activities, volunteers do not need board approval, they only need to follow the wmbr:Wikimedia:Statement of Principles. It is worth noting that we've been working like this since 2008, without the tool of a specialized and dedicated corporation, but often in cooperation with institutions.
Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton m 15:00, 23 April 2013 (UTC) and Solstag (talk) 17:18, 23 May 2013 (UTC)