Wikimedia Chapters Association/Elections/2013 Chair
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Introduction and process
For simplicity, candidates should self-nominate, though brief supporting statements would be welcome. Questions should be tabled through the current Chair and then may be put to all candidates. If there are multiple questions relating to the same topic, or multiple questions from the same party, these may be raised on the talk page rather than this page at the Chair's discretion.
If the Chair is unavailable or is nominated, then the Deputy Chair will take responsibility for managing the election process or appointing someone to do so on behalf of the WCA.
- Nomination statements should preferably be up to 250 words; links to other material or websites are acceptable to supplement a statement.
- Statements may be in languages other than English.
- Candidates should make efforts to be available to answer questions during the nomination period that are tabled by the current Chair on behalf of members, in addition to less formal discussion on the talk page.
The schedule allows for three weeks overall for nominations and voting. There are 11 days for voting, allowing time for Council members to consult with their chapters.
- Nominations open midnight (UTC) on Monday 25 February 2013.
- Nominations close midnight on Wednesday 6 March 2013 and voting is opened.
- Voting closes midnight Sunday 17 March 2013.
Council members should vote for one of the nominated candidates on this page. Statements explaining their vote or opening dialogue should be on the talk page rather than this page. Votes may be changed up until the scheduled time limit.
At the time of opening this election, there are 22 Council members. A quorum for this election to be valid is 12. The winner of the election will be the candidate with a simple majority of votes. In the event of a tie, a re-vote may be run at the discretion of the current Chair.
Statement from the current Chair
I would like to welcome nominations for the position of Chair for the Wikimedia Chapters Association Council. My experience from the last seven months is that the international nature of the Council is likely to require an individual with:
- insight into our global community,
- a strong grasp of the international nature of our projects and the Chapters movement,
- maturity and sufficient skills of diplomacy to ensure that healthy debate is encouraged, but does not stand in the way of our planned outcomes.
By its nature, the Council is composed of leading volunteers who are greatly committed to our shared vision of the open knowledge movement. I believe it is more important to establish a Chair who puts consensus and pragmatism over ambitions of leadership or a public profile.
I was never completely convinced with being elected to this position uncontested by a simple vote at our first meeting. It was a poor demonstration of our democratic strength. Last year I committed to holding a more public, thorough, and hopefully contested election, well before the Milan conference in April. Over the last few months, more than half of the current WMF board of trustees have approached myself or other members of the Council, raising their concerns about my ban from the English Wikipedia placed shortly after my election as Chair. Throughout, I have reassured them that this had been discussed on the Chapters list, that there was no appetite from the Council for me to stand down, and I would be calling an election before the Milan conference. However, after increased pressure, I have moved this forward from my original plan of March.
I recommend that nomination statements on this page include full details of past or current bans or blocks on any Wikimedia project, so that this need not be an issue for the future Chair. Though the WMF has no opinion or veto on positions within the Wikimedia Chapters Association, I would encourage WMF trustees to comment openly on the talk page, should they have any views on the background of any candidate, rather than raise these after the election has closed.
I have enjoyed supporting the Wikimedia Chapters Association as your Chair. I look forward to continuing to work with you, with a passionate commitment for our shared vision for the sum of knowledge being transformed to free and accessible open knowledge.
- Addendum I appealed my ban on the English Wikipedia on 1 February 2013 and it was lifted on 12 March 2013. --Fæ (talk) 22:12, 16 March 2013 (UTC)
Hello everyone! For those who don't know me, I'm a long-time editor, administrator, and arbitrator on the English Wikipedia, and one of the founding members of Wikimedia District of Columbia; I currently serve on the Wikimedia DC board as Secretary.
We are in the midst of a transformative period for the Wikimedia movement, and at a crossroads for the chapters. While the international chapter community has continued to grow, and individual chapters have enjoyed remarkable success, the emergence of thematic organizations and user groups and the new funding distribution models have ended our privileged position as the only independent Wikimedia organizations, and have led to uncertainty regarding our collective place in the movement.
It's my view that the Chapters Association can help to resolve this uncertainty by facilitating a vibrant international network of inter-chapter relationships. We can achieve this by creating an open, inclusive, and democratic forum through which chapters can collaborate, exchange ideas and best practices, and help one another mature as organizations and as key players within the movement.
As a member of a small, recently-founded chapter, I can offer an outside viewpoint that will effectively complement the insight provided by representatives of larger and more mature chapters—many of whom are already closely involved with the affairs of the Association—as well as a global perspective afforded by leadership of a chapter outside those core areas of Europe where many of our most established chapters are based.
Hello! After long thinking, I took a deep breath and decided to run for Chair. I know it's going to be a hard task. However, I feel the WCA and its mission are still important and it's worth putting in the effort. There are great chances and opportunities ahead and hey, we made mistakes but we also learned a lot. The future WCA should be an open and friendly place of exchange and dialogue that helps chapters and other entities with their practical needs.
Who am I? A little background on me: I was elected by the members of Wikimedia Germany to be their representative in the WCA Council. As I hold no other positions, I can devote all of my (Wikimedia-related) attention to the WCA. Originally, I came to the community as a developer. You can find more details on that on my userpage on Mediawiki.org. In my professional life, I co-own a small company dealing with wikis in enterprise context. In that function, among other things, I had the chance to learn how to organize groups of people in such a way as to work effectively.
Role of the Chair. This is one of the main tasks of the Chair: be a supporter for the Council to do its work. And work there is a lot. The Chair's role will be to organize the Council to get things done together. The Chair should not be the one dominating the Council or enforce some particular opinion. When it comes to quick decisions and executive actions, I favour the idea of an executive committee instead.
Focus of the WCA. Naturally, I do have some ideas of what we as WCA should focus on in the near future. These include:
- Reach out and open up to all chapters, thematic organisations and other affiliations; establish a good connection.
- Listen to the needs of these entities and become a place to form and voice common opinions.
- Let the action plan suggested in our London meeting come to life. This means the WCA offers help, insight and support for chapters and other organisations in their various stages and paths of development.
- Become a place of exchange for experiences, ideas and resources for chapters and other entities.
- Have friendly relations with all entities in the Wikimedia movement, including WMF, the Board of Trustees, AffCom, FDC.
Role of the Council. The Council of the WCA should be steering these tasks and the focus. But that's not enough. We will need to play an active role in accomplishing our goals, so our individual participation in the actions set out will be vital for the success of the WCA. Let's do it!
I am happy to answer all your questions on the talk page and looking forward to a bright WCA future!
Hello; after thinking even a bit longer than Markus, here I am.
Me. I started as an editor of Italian Wikipedia, but now it takes only a small part of my Wikimedia-related time. I'm a member of Wikimedia Italia since 2006, and I'm currently in the board as secretary. I deeply believe in international cooperation inside the Wikimedia movement.
The chair. The chair is mainly a technical - and not decisional - position. The main role of the chair is to ensure that council's work runs smoothly; and even that is not simple: in the last months, one of the problem we had to face is that we were slow and ineffective both in discussing and in making decisions (and in implementing them, of course). Making decisions... that's part of the council's task.
My view. I believe that:
- First of all, we have a real need for the WCA. I think any of us can see a reason - even though it's not the same for everyone. It's not that we can't have common projects and work together without the WCA: simply, the WCA has the potential of making it easier and more effective. When Wikipedia was created, there wasn't the Wikimedia Foundation yet: that does not mean at all that the WMF is useless.
- In the last year, many things changed: in the first place, the way in which we see the WCA and the growth path ahead of us (from a fast start to a more organic growth). I think most of these changes are improvements, but... now, we should pause the improving and start the real work :-)
- The council is the core of the WCA. Both for making decisions and for carrying out activities - even though I hope to see a number of other people, outside the council and outside the member chapters, become engaged.
- Openness and wide participation (also among non-chapter affiliates, if they're interested) are values. However, we are seeking actual participation, and not only a nominal one: the main problem we face now is not that we don't have enough member chapters, but that many of them are silent; our focus should be on making them engaged.