Affiliate-selected Board seats/2014/Nominations/Alice Wiegand
- Alice Wiegand
When I was asked about my motivation to run again for a seat in the Board of Trustees, the immediate answer was quite simple: I really love doing that, I believe in the power and strength of our movement and I’m willing and able to convey this passion into the Board. It takes some time to get effective on an international body with a lot of strong characters. The two years of serving on the Board give me a solid basis to continue my work using the initial learnings. My personal goal is to create an environment where all parts of the movement find themselves in organizational certainty and self-confidence.
My skills and experiences can support and further the Foundation without losing sight of the base - the contributors, developers, organizations, and all who brought our projects and the movement to the stage they are now. I am able to sense undertones and to respond to them. I want to see all of us coming back to our original values of mutual understanding, trust and constructive exchange – and yes, I know that’s still a long and difficult path.
You can find some of my in depth thoughts and insights about the Foundation, the movement, the community, in my 16 answers to Wikimedia Deutschland, so I address some additional thoughts on my role in the Board and my contribution to it here.
Whenever the Board finds itself in a kind of limbo, when it is not able to respond on time or to move forward, I realize that we are, like many other Boards, not perfect. We are aware that we need to improve our effectiveness and we are working on it. With my professional background and my ability to bring people back to the main issues, I can support and carry on the good approaches in self assessment as well as in transparency and communication. This is not only important for the Board itself but also for its credibility and authenticity.
The Foundation is facing a couple of challenges this year. After hiring the new ED the most important task for the Board is to provide all support to her/him to get to her/his performance level as soon as possible. The Board is an extremely important resource of knowledge, experience and broader perspective. I want to continue the work in the transition team and help to create a trustful relationship with our new ED, especially with regards to what the movement needs and what it can contribute.
Patience is not one of my strongest characteristics. In general I believe it’s more important to be bold and make a decision than to make none due to a neverending search for the one and only solution. I’m interested in results and I want to find solutions for the real problems more than dealing with ad-hoc issues. I believe that these are elements which are necessary for the Board at its current state and I want to use them best for the benefit of the WMF and the movement.
What you can expect:
- I will continue to advocate for a strategy for the movement’s structure. I am convinced that we need to get an understanding of our mutual expectations to create an environment that serves our mission and utilizes the movement’s full potential.
- I will support the Board in its development, especially when it comes to supporting the new ED but also in terms of improving its governance capabilities, its effectiveness, transparency and communication.
- I will keep on finding more and better opportunities for the movement to exchange and discuss with the Board than only the Board session at Wikimania.
What you can’t expect:
- I won’t twist myself. My public statements are consistent with what you’ll hear from me privately. I am proud to be a selected member of the Board and I feel responsible for the WMF as well as for the movement and its organizations.
- I won’t step into the ED’s responsibilities. The Board’s task is mainly the overseeing and high-level guidance. There is no need to do the ED’s job or to know each and every detail of the WMF’s daily work.
- I won’t support ideas that I can’t combine with my conviction. I don’t see the Board as a platform for party discipline but as a body where constructive disagreement can lead to better decisions.
I’m Alice Wiegand, (de:user:lyzzy) and I’m on the Board as a Chapters selected Board member since 2012. You find my lengthy résumé in my 2012 statement which gives me the opportunity to talk a bit about what I’ve done during the last two years. In 2012, I’ve taken a new challenge and changed my job. I still work for the municipality, but I left the IT behind me and now work as a personal aide of the mayor. Currently I’m working on concepts for leadership culture within the public administration.
Since governance is kind of a pet issue for me, it’s the area where I stepped in directly in 2012. Since then I’m chairing the Board Governance Committee (BGC), which I presented in a blog post recently. I started to create annual agendas for the committee and publish them as well as minutes from its meeting, which has been adopted by the HR committee as well. I initiated the Board Handbook which has become a permanent companion for our Board work. The selection process for appointed Board members, which was set up by the BGC (in this case as a successor for Matt Halprin) will hopefully help the Board in future searches and was an important learning for me about how the Board works and how or where the dynamics can accelerate or retard processes. In the last weeks I spent most of my WMF time in my role as a member of the transition team. To hire a new Executive Director is the most important decision we have to make as a Board and I’m glad to be one of the Board members my colleagues placed confidence in and delegated the search to. This is a great deal of responsibility and I want to complete the task for the best of WMF and our mission.
I am willing and eligible to take up the position on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees.
Wikimedia Deutschland supports the nomination of Alice Wiegand for an affiliate-selected seat on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. Alice has been playing an outstanding role in the formation of the movement: Not only is she an active member of the German Wikipedia community. She is also a former member of the board of WMDE; there, she was particularly involved in building up governance structures and strategic planning.
Alice strives to professionalize the organization as a whole. Her perspective always brings new input and helps further the discussions when they are stuck. In the last two years, we have found that Alice can always be approached and asked for advice. She not only reacts, she actively seeks to keep in touch with us in the board as well as with members and volunteers from the German communities and in general with all the stakeholders of the movement. She is one of the most present board members in online and offline discussions for sure. We do very highly value her proactive take in positions and statements.
As a member of the Board of Trustees in the recent term she has helped leading the Wikimedia Foundation through difficult transition phases. As of now, she is a member of the ED transition team, taking on her responsibility for the movement and bringing in the values of a global movement. We support her matter of concern to continue this work in the next legislature, as we did last term.
Alice has proven to be open with her opinions and we appreciate and respect her contributions to any discussions in the Wikimedia world. She is undoubtedly one of the most experienced members of the movement as a whole and knows how to balance the various positions, interest and stakeholders well.
We wholeheartedly support and endorse her candidacy.