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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-02-10/News and notes

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News and notes

Another WMF departure

Siko Bouterse, director of community resources

Siko Bouterse has announced that she will leave the Foundation on 25 February, the most recent in what has become a trend of departures from the organisation over the past few months. Bouterse joined the WMF nearly five years ago, first as head of community fellowships, then as head of grantmaking, with particular focus on the individual engagement grant scheme. She rose to be the director of community resources, responsible for some 13 staff. Bouterse is much respected among her staff and many members of the international community, and is regarded as a strong mentor. Among projects she has created or co-created are the IdeaLab on meta, the Inspire campaign to kickstart projects relevant to women, the WikiWomen's Collaborative, and the Teahouse, to help new editors on the English Wikipedia.

Siko Bouterse speaks on diversity and other matters in Berlin, 2013

In her announcement to the WM mailing list, entitled Another goodbye, Bouterse wrote:

Among others, former Board member Sam Klein wrote in the thread: "Hear, hear. You will always be tops in my book." SarahSV described Bouterse as "a strong supporter of women on Wikipedia and of improved community harmony." Sandra Rientjes, executive director of Wikimedia Netherlands, wrote: "It has been a real pleasure knowing you and working with you." Former English Wikipedia arbitrator Sydney Poore wrote: "Thank you for your enthusiasm and for being brave and bold in the way you support the community and staff. You will be missed."

The Signpost asked Bouterse by email to respond to the possible implication in her announcement that she no longer feels that the WMF’s direction or management are consistent with her personal or professional commitments to transparency, integrity, community, and free knowledge. We did not receive a reply by deadline.

Bouterse's portfolio continues to report to interim senior director of community engagement Maggie Dennis (User:Moonriddengirl), in whose abilities Bouterse wrote she has "full confidence". T

  • Biennial Wikimania: Participants at a consultation on Meta supported experimenting with a new model for planning Wikimedia conferences where:
    • Wikimania will be held every other year (with 2018 as the first non-Wikimania year), and
    • In the years Wikimania is not held, regional and thematic conferences will receive increased support.
    • Building connections between different conferences will become increasingly important in order to enhance the values that have been identified. AK
  • Steward elections: Editors are alerted to the annual election for Wikimedia stewards, which started 8 February and will continue until 28 February, with 13 candidates standing. In parallel, editors are invited to participate in the annual confirmation of existing stewards. Stewards are users with complete access to the Wikimedia interface on all of the Foundation's sites; this includes the ability to change user rights and groups, and responsibility for technical implementation of community consensus and for dealing with emergencies such as cross-project vandalism. However, except in an emergency or when action across multiple projects is needed, stewards generally do not exercise their powers in a project that has local users with the required rights. T