Wikimedia Foundation elections/2022/Candidates/Michał Buczyński
Michał Buczyński (Aegis Maelstrom)
|Introductory statement / Application summary.
This section to be translated. (150 word maximum)
|Economist and financist, Wikimedia activist, since 2004 editor and believer in self-organized communities building distributed organizations.
Internet keeps changing and more investment in products and research is necessary. Strategy 2030 implementation requires more resources to volunteers, affiliates and decentralised competence centres. As the WMF keeps growing in terms of its budget, personnel and complexity, we need a strong Board to provide the vision, guidance and oversight, and I believe I would be a valuable addition.
I combine a financial & quant experience and a long history of work with editors and growing an affiliate to better serve volunteers and audiences. I will share the perspective of medium-size and medium-wealth communities, working hard and being resourceful, bold and creative to bring new, wonderful things. Nevertheless, my FDC and corporate past helps me understand the Foundation with over 500 staff, and I also know challenges of volunteering well.
|Contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization.
(100 word maximum)
|Author, admin, former arbiter. 2012-2018 vice-president, 2018-2022 president, presently vice-president secretary of Wikimedia Polska: a grassroot chapter with involved editing communities, delivering beautiful and novel initiatives to the Movement (from microgrants through Wikiexpeditions to volunteer support) under a limited budget and mostly own funding. Increasing FTEs from 1 to 8 and recruiting.|
|Expertise in skill areas identified as needs by the Board.
(150 word maximum)
|I believe my professional and wikibackground allows me to strongly contribute:
|Lived experiences in the world. We are especially interested in reading about lived experiences in the regions of Africa, South Asia, East and South East Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean. We believe that experience in these regions could help expand the board’s ability to fulfill the movement strategy goal of more equitable participation, although we recognize that other experiences may also provide important contributions.
(250 word maximum)
|I was born in the Polish People's Republic, the second most-populous communist and Eastern Bloc country in Europe, and afterwards experiencing a transitional economy for ~15 years after market reforms. Because of this fact, admittedly I did not have many opportunities to having lived experiences in the regions of Africa, South Asia, East and South East Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean. Poland, and the CEE in general, is a part of the world where people have such experiences very rarely: for many years passports, visas and money were difficult to obtain, and then more many years most people were trying to earn for living and slowly catching up the western world. Thus, for my region experience in "Africa, South Asia, East and South East Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean" has been reserved for the privileged few. Very few.
Common people in the former Eastern Bloc usually could only dream of visiting South America or Caribbeans. They rather experienced an economic hardship of the 80's (when a good salary meant 28 USD a month) and 90's. Then millions migrated to the Western countries seeking for a job (and millions still migrate, especially from the countries east of Poland). Fortunately, finally Poland experienced an economic growth allowing me to do my work in Warsaw, nevertheless the wealth gap is still visible and a substantial number of my classmates lives in the UK, Western EU or USA/Canada.
|Cultural and linguistic fluency with regions and languages additional to your native region and language. Intercultural awareness helps build bridges in our multicultural community.
(250 word maximum)
|Because of reasons explained above, I can understand some shared issues: emigration and fractured communities, limited access to technology and institutional help, larger economic disparities. Also every economist should understand the world so I educate myself (and take my opportunity to travel, especially exploring the large cities. Then I can see how different particular cultures and continents are, and how much more there is to understand. Having said that, I am no expert in e.g. Southern Asia, even when my boss is Indian and lives in Chennai. The FDC, where I enjoyed work with colleagues from 5 continents, taught me I am here to read and listen. We have a lot to learn from each other and I am hoping the communities and individuals will always have many ways to speak up, highlight important issues and explain particular complexities.
The second thing I bring to the table is solidarity. CEE cooperation is found on cooperation and helping each other, where the more capable are trying to help smaller communities. My region has a long tradition of shared experience, common projects, and support from e.g. my chapter to the individuals in the region. To be able to help better and a larger number of people, we are working on the CEE Hub - as everyone deserves a good support.
|Experience as an advocate for creating safe and collaborative spaces for all and/or experience in situations or contexts of censorship, repression, or other attacks to human rights.
(250 words maximum)
|Providing a safe and collaborative space is literally vital for us all.
Firstly, serving on a Wikimedia affiliate Board means both moral and legal responsibilities: for the volunteers, staff, organisation, legal and reputational needs, and many more. On top of that, Wikimedians are passionate: about their work, their values, and their relations - and the dark side of this passion are tensions, burn-outs, even wrong behaviour. Helping the communities to find better ways and standards is a highly demanding task. So it is maintaining and building Wikimedia as a welcoming space: from editing projects, through the meetings to the employee issues - this work will never end.
These challenge became even more difficult in times of political instability, shrinking democracies and even physical threat in my region, and I am happy that the WMF is trying to tackle these issues.
Unfortunately, my duties mean I should not give any specific detail but I am hoping I have helped to solve much more issues than I have helped to create.
|Experience in relation to (or as a member of, to the extent you choose to share) a group that has faced historical discrimination and underrepresentation in structures of power (including but not limited to caste, race, ethnicity, colour, national origin, nationality, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, language, culture, education, abilities, income and environment).
(250 word maximum)
|Poland is a very monoethnic (which is changing) and racially non-diverse country, nevertheless my chapter and me personally are aiming to create the best-possible experience for the underrepresented groups within our means.
Obvious and visible across many languages and demographies is the gender gap, both as we think of the editors, as well as topics presented by Wikimedia. Hence e.g. dedicated actions we run each year (formerly), as well as endorsement (and my personal participation) in e.g. WikiGap. Certainly from the organisational perspective I could not allow any discrimination; I have personally hired more women than men, and WMPL is aiming to provide proper working conditions. Also we are trying our best that the socioeconomic, health and similar factors are taken care properly and the money, disability etc. do not eliminate our community members from participation in our actions or scholarships.
Particular gaps and initiatives are countless, however the important issue from my perspective is the general fact that editing proves to be unwelcoming to the vast majority of people reading, or even trying to edit Wikipedia. Safe culture of friendliness and respect is my dream; and even if it is very difficult to achieve, my chapter is trying and building new solutions oriented at volunteers - who are our treasure.
|Verification||Verification performed by elections committee or Wikimedia Foundation staff.|
Verified by: Matanya (talk) 09:11, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Verified by: Joe Sutherland (Wikimedia Foundation) (talk) 23:55, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
2022 Board of Trustees Analysis Committee Rating
|Candidate Name||Wikimedia Background||Sought Skills||Sought Regional Experience||Human Rights & Underrepresentation||Overall rating from the average score of the four categories||Overall rating from the average score of the nine criteria|