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Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Candidates/Adam Wight

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Adam Wight


Adam Wight (Adamw)


Adamw (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
Adam Wight
  • Personal:
    • Name: Adam Wight
    • Location: Berlin, Germany
    • Languages: en-N, es-2
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2012
    • Active wikis: mediawiki, meta
statement (Not more than 450 words) Problem: Our institutions should reflect our movement. If knowledge is a mountain, then we should be terraced gardens spanning its slopes, rather than a fortress built on the summit. Wikimedians spread themselves out into every subject and language, rather than building a single dominant project in some colonial language. But the Wikimedia Foundation is dominant, its revenue is over 12 times greater than the largest chapter.

Proposal: Progressively increase the proportion of resources going to smaller local organizations, have these take over many of the Foundation's roles. Movement-wide decisions made by a confederation of local groups.

Problem: Editors and contributors create all of our wealth, but have minority control over electing the Board's representatives.

Proposal: Contributors directly elect the full Wikimedia Foundation Board, one person one vote. This will require the Board to change its Bylaws, and possibly requires conversion (back) to a membership organization. Then, future questions will be resolved according to popular mandate.

Problem: The boundaries of our projects are tightly guarded. Any new communities can only launch after a long and difficult process, and only if they are similar to existing projects and rooted in similar values. The many who are denied must turn to commercial or other hosting, with inconsistent safety policies, licensing, and even with imposed advertising.

Proposal: We need a diaspora of projects, such as an ad-free, open wiki farm with stable funding and consistent community safety. We might also draw new life into the movement with: real-time collaborative editing, partnering with journalists to fight disinformation, and reaching beyond on-wiki life with initiatives like the Knowledge Equity Fund.

About myself: As a Board member, I will push for direct democracy, and will take a pledge to support any recall or referendum vote by the contributors. My priorities are aligned with the strategic recommendations and the outcome of the 2019 governance review, and I'm happy to listen to others and adapt what I advocate as needed.

My professional background is mostly as a software developer, or as a manual laborer depending on what I can find. I enjoy community organizing, have helped start a sidewalk food collective, a free school, and along with others attempted to unionize Wikimedia Foundation staff. I've helped maintain industrial arts shops, and see some parallels to what needs to be done as a Board member: set up a structure that lets every individual thrive and be creative, keep the lights on, and talk a lot with everyone.

My wiki experience is a total of 9 years staff at WMF and WMDE. I can say that staff universally respect what they call the "Community", and if anything may be slightly afraid of the editors. I'll work to rebuild the Foundation's trustworthiness.

Top 3 Board priorities 1. Democracy: Elect the full Board, with contributors recognized as the legal owners of the Foundation.

2. Diversity: Phase out some of the roles played by the Foundation, focusing on coordination between chapters, stewardship of trademarks, international law and safety issues. Greatly increase the proportion of funds distributed to local entities. Evaluate splitting out organizations to focus on MediaWiki, and another to provide wiki hosting.

3. Diaspora: Support a non-profit, ad-free wiki farm open to all, with the benefit of a uniform safety framework.

Top 3 Movement Strategy priorities 1. Equity in decision-making

2. Safety and inclusion

3. Innovation for free knowledge

Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility: Verified
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 20:28, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Identification: Verified
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 01:02, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[reply]
Trustee Evaluation Form
Trustee Evaluation Form
Years of Experience
<1 1–2 2–5 5–10 10+

Wikimedia experience. The candidate is a dedicated contributor to the Wikimedia movement. Eligible contributions include: contributions to the Wikimedia projects, membership in a Wikimedia organization or affiliate, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.

WMF software developer, 7 years. WMDE software developer, 2 years.

Board experience. The candidate has served on the board of trustees/directors or other similar governing body of a nationally- or globally-focused organization (non-profit, for-profit, or governmental).


Executive experience. The candidate has worked at an executive level for an organization, department, or project of comparable (or greater) size, complexity, and scope to the Wikimedia Foundation.


Subject matter expertise. The candidate has worked or significantly volunteered in an area relevant to the work of the Foundation and the Board. Such areas will be determined on an annual basis and may include areas such as Global movement building and community organization, enterprise-level platform technology and/or product development, public policy and the law, knowledge sector (e.g., academia/GLAM/education), human rights and social justice, open Internet/free and open source software, organizational strategy and management, finance and financial oversight, non-profit fundraising, human resources, board governance.

Software engineering.

Diversity: Background The candidate belongs or belonged to a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (related to, for example, gender, race, ethnicity, disability, LGBTQ+ identity, social class, economic status, or caste).


Diversity: Geography The candidate would contribute to the overall geographic diversity of the Board of Trustees, based on the geographic regions where they have lived.


Diversity: Language The candidate is a native speaker of a language other than English.


Diversity: Political system experience The candidate has substantial experience living in and/or working to share knowledge in a non-democratic, state-censoring, or repressive context.