Affiliate-selected Board seats/2016/Nominations/Maarten

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Picture of the candidate

Name:

Maarten

Wikimedia username:

MADe

Questions for all candidates - Questions for this individual candidate that do not apply to other candidates

Statement[edit]

Nutshell.png
This page in a nutshell: My three priorities:
  • more support of our volunteers,
  • more financial responsabilities to the chapters and,
  • more transparancy and accountability of the WMF board

I have been involved in the Wikimedia community for more than 10y. Along the road I was able to meet the most interesting people. I experienced unique things. Learned new skills and developed myself. This application is a way for me to invest time and effort back in the community.

I have a certain vision on how I want to impact the Foundation: Focus on volunteers, Strengthen the link between WMF and chapters and Improve Accountability of the board (more below). Given the turbulent situation the Foundation is in, I want to start with listen to all stakeholders before taking any actions.

Firstly, for me our volunteers are the most precious asset. I have always been surprised about the lack of proactive "volunteer development", something the chapters need. We must do more to introduce volunteers to our movement. Starting from new volunteers, we should guide them to roles as community members, or community administrator / chapter board / WMF committee/ … I have been active in a similar worldwide volunteer led organisation (Toastmasters). We can learn from them, just check out their support material!
This is a real challenge, but I have some ideas to get this running:
  • Develop a volunteer outreach plan supported by the chapters/user groups;
  • Support the organisation of regional Wikimanias;
  • Push for multilingual communication at Foundation level;
  • Reinforce the existing volunteer committees (Affcom, FDC, GAC, Language Committee, Ombudsman ...);
  • Continue our work to include participation by LGBT, female, ethnic minorities, global South groups. The combo with volunteer development will lead to a more diversity in our organisation.
Secondly, I would like to improve the relationships between the Foundation, its affiliated organisations (chapters/user groups, thematic organisation) and the community. Even an outsider will notice that this setup is not ideal. There is not such a thing as a silver bullet to solve this problem, but I will dig into this and want to work on this during my assignment. Some of my current ideas:
  • The current WMF is too top heavy. I want a small and focused Foundation, with limited responsibilities (eg. strategy, trademarks, setting out guidelines for local chapters, supporting the affiliated organisations). Remaining secondary responsibilities (securing external grants, big IT activities) should be externalised or handled by a "commercial Wikimedia organisation", a separate legal entity;
  • In return, I propose to give the chapters and user groups more financial responsibility (eg. fundraising, more decision power on the donations collected in their territory);
  • I want to see more training and support between chapters and user groups;
  • I want to attract the best staff to help the community with this, both at Foundation and at chapter level.
Lastly, our community deserves a transparent and accountable Foundation board. A series of recent events shows that there is room for improvement. When selected, I want to apply international best practices (example) to the legal setup of the board.

Résumé[edit]

Wikimedia : 13y Wikipedia member | founding president of the Belgian chapter | 3y in the South African chapter board | 3y on the Grants Advisory Committee | 8y Administrator Dutch Wikipedia | 3y WikiLovesMonuments lead in Belgium

General : 8y professional experience as Project Manager | Experience with managing complex stakeholder expectations | Acquired leadership abilities in different board positions | High level thinker | Fluency in Dutch, English, French, Afrikaans

In my spare time I love scuba diving, swimming and running.

Eligibility[edit]

I have read the 6 requirements for board members and I confirm I'm eligible to serve on the board. (based on this version of the requirements)

Endorsements[edit]

  • WMBE , Wikimedia Belgium chapter
The candidacy of Maarten is endorsed by Wikimedia Belgium --Geertivp (talk) 23:55, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
  • At the Wikimedia NYC March 2016 public meeting, attendees took part in an open vote to endorse Maarten's participation as a candidate in this election. This is part of our chapter's policy to encourage a more diverse and more transparent process for the WMF board elections.--Pharos (talk) 17:43, 18 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Wikimedia ZA (South Africa) endorses Maarten's candidacy and we consider our selves very fortunate to have had him as a past member and board member in our chapter's early days. His experience, sense of fairness, commitment and good nature will serve the board and the Movement very well should he be elected. We feel he will work hard to promote a more diverse, representative, inclusive, and volunteer/community friendly Wikimedia that will greatly enhance the movement.--Discott (talk) 20:49, 21 March 2016 (UTC)