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Yamaji kite naniyara yukashi sumire-gusa. -- Basho

We come through a mountain path;
Here, atmosphere attracts me, though I know no reason --
Ô, a violet!

Hello, my real name is Florence Nibart-Devouard. I have been around since late 2001. I served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation until July 2008. I co funded Wikimedia France and was its vice-chair for a while. To contact me



I was born in Versailles (France). I grew up in Grenoble, and have been living since then in several French cities, as well as Antwerpen in Belgium and Tempe in Arizona.

I am an engineer in Agronomy (ENSAIA and also hold a DEA in Genetics and biotechnologies (INPL). I have spent a while in public research (INRA), working in flower plant genetic improvement, later in applied research, in microbiology, to study the feasibility of heavily polluted soil bioremediation. I spent some time in Tempe University (Arizona), following courses in computer science and civil engineering.
After a break to take care of my first two kids, I joined a small french firm, Quantix Agro, whose activity was related with decision tools, in finances, insurance, agriculture and agri-business. My part was in the agri-business, and I mostly worked to conceive decision-making tools in w:en:sustainable agriculture.
Unfortunately, my firm had to stop activity at the end of 2005.

As of late 2015, I am 47, and live in Marseille with my husband Bertrand and my three children, William (19), Anne-Gaëlle (17) and Thomas (9). A few (rather old) picts. My kids are sometimes featured in some wikimedia projects. The last one is hidden somewhere in the Wikibooks on photography.

I discovered Wikipedia late 2001 and have been an editor since February 2002. I first started editing only the english wikipedia anonymously, then under the pseudonym Anthere ('What is an anther ?), then joined the french wikipedia when it had possibly 200 stubs. In english, I mostly focused in editing, while in the French Wikipedia, I also took a lot of time building the project and the community. At that time, all international wikipedias were very small and not even on the same software than the english one. Most of my edits were in the following areas : agriculture, environment, ecology...I listed them here for a while (then gave up...). I also enjoyed writing on more "touchy" issues, such as the Iraq war, the veil in France or commercial war over GMOs...

In summer 2002, I decided that this project HAD TO BE multilingual... and that I would help make that happen... so I joined the mailing list (wikipedia-l at that time) and started editing a no man's land called meta meta in order to help this to happen. Since then, I have not quit trying to take care of all projects and all languages.

In 2004, I joined the founding mediation commitee on the english wikipedia and wrote quite a lot of things about mediation and conflict resolution, one of those being w:en:Wikipedia:civility.

A sysop on meta, en:wikipedia, fr:wikipedia and commons, a bureaucrat on, I have been a steward for over four years.

A big contribution on the project for four years has been as a board member and vice-chair, then chair of Wikimedia Foundation Inc. In itself, it has used a lot of my time, more than I ever gave in the nearly 14 years I have been around. A lot of it is invisible, a lot of it is terribly frustrating, but eh ! I resisted 4 years! In october 2004, I also became a founding member of the french association board (Wikimedia France). Finally, in october 2006, I became Wikimedia Foundation chair, with the difficult goal of succeeding the foundator of Wikipedia, Jimbo Wales in that activity.

On the day I decided not to run again for a 5th year on the board of Wikimedia Foundation, in May 2008, I received a letter from Pdt Sarkozy, who informed me he had proposed me to be made knight in the French National Order of Merit. Soon before Christmas, I was pleased to officially receive the medal from the hands of Mr Besson.

WikiThanks.png What I love to do best? Talk to people (sometimes quite hotly I confess. I love arguing), meet new people, act like a bridge between languages and projects and organise things. I am the author of the little image Wikithanks... and I am totally totally delighted to see how much it spread all around. Look [1]. When spirits run low, I go look at the little sunflower picture and think about what we are doing. Eh, I also co-authored the Mediawiki Logo with Erik Moeller :)

Late 2012, I decided it was time to move on and resigned from the board of Wikimedia France (I stay a member of the chapter !). My focus since then has been diversity (or lack there of...). I co-created projects with Isla Haddow Flood (a woman living in Cap Town) with the explicit goal of getting more African editors and more African-related content onto Wikimedia project.
In the past three years, we worked together on

  • Kumusha Takes Wiki (2013-2015), community journalism and capacity building in Ivory Coast and Uganda,
  • Wiki Loves Africa (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), photographic contest, all Africa
  • Wiki Loves Women (2016 and 2018), a GLAM and capacity building project in Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon
  • WikiFundi (2016 and 2018), a software solution to create Wikipedia articles offline
  • Wikipack Africa (2016-2017), an action pack including WikiFundi and many resources

I also work for the Research:Wikipedia Primary School SSAJRP programme (2015-2017) at SUPSI (applied research on Primary School curricula in South Africa).

In 2017, I co-funded [2], a South Africa based association along with Iolanda Pensa and Isla Haddow-Flood.


Working pages

Anthere's old stuff (2001-2008)


Pull on a sunflower for love!

Actually, it was pretty exciting to answer my first interviews and even more exciting to see my name cited. Not to mention pictures being published. Maybe it is routine now ? But I do not really report published articles any more....expect when it raises a special warm memory. In my "press" memories, I think the greatest moment was when we first got a BIG article in Le Monde. I started sending press releases to Le Monde in 2002. With no resultats whatsoever... till they finally contacted us in fall 2005. It really felt enormous. Since then, many articles have been written about us, some good, some terribly bad. It has indeed become a sort of routine. I will nevertheless keep that list as well as all the issues sent to me by snail mails. Maybe to show the kids later ;-).

Some speeches and presentations


I try to list here some presentations I do, with the links to the documents themselves, in particular when it covers a new topic. I can not count anymore the presentations made on Wikipedia itself.

Some thoughts

Myosotis by Submarine

I have been there for so long...

From time to time, I go read back some of the stuff I wrote last year, two years ago, three years ago, four years ago...

I think of you as a center in a very large collection of inter-connected webs. The webs carry information, and you help direct it where it can create positive changes. Amgine irc 20:41, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thought : Elles ne pensent qu'à ça: séduire, pour pouvoir se reproduire.
Les plantes à fleurs, dernière grande innovation du monde végétal, manipulent les insectes, les animaux, et même les hommes, pour assurer leur dissémination.

What is an anther ?

Other contributions on meta and related topic

systemes -- Reflexions sur la bioethique -- m:WikiWomen -- m:Premier communiqué de presse de Wikimédia -- apology -- Dispute resolution -- Source of conflict -- Open and free -- User:Anthere/logos -- Biz Dev Bible -- Zambia Workshop -- PixelACHE

Other links

(this is my repository box really - nothing very interesting to you)