Affiliate-selected Board seats/2019/Nominations/Shani Evenstein
- Shani Evenstein Sigalov
I have been part of the movement since 2011 and am excited to contribute to this historic election, in which User Groups get voting rights. This change brings us closer to being internally inclusive, though not without challenges.
Although our movement has grown and matured, we still fall short on several issues that require improvement and immediate attention:
- WMF should be accountable not only in actions, FDC compliance, and endowment funds management, but also on challenges faced and decision-making processes, which should be more transparent and consultative.
- WMF should lead by example - being held accountable to the same standards demanded from affiliates and grantees.
- The Board should better oversee, guide and support WMF management.
If elected, I will promote hiring a WMF employee reporting directly to the Board, to keep track of events, obtain timely information and promote constructive dialogue with WMF executives (as previously suggested by the FDC). This will promote better WMF transparency and improve relationships with the community.
Support of volunteers is critical. WMF will need to:
- Better engage in capacity and community building.
- Nurture individual leaders.
- Continue to address gender inequality, harassment and diversity, become less USA-Centric.
- Better consult with the community - impact of current feedback on decision making is unclear and seems perhaps sought only after decisions are made.
- Create better processes that serve and support volunteers rather than bureaucratic needs (e.g. Rapid Grants Criteria).
- Address global volunteer needs - creating community-required infrastructure, like desperately needed technological tools developed and maintained by devoted volunteers (bless Magnus!) - should be owned and supported by WMF.
Dealing with these issues will assist our work with partners, leverage our diverse nature to assure better scaling and reach, and continue our work promoting openness around the world.
I am offering my candidacy and ask for your support. This position is one of service to the global community and I will push for things to be fixed, for the strategic direction to be properly implemented, and for the WMF to help empower people of diverse origins and backgrounds, facilitating the continued growth of our movement.
I am an Israeli educator, lecturer and PhD candidate researching Wikidata. I have professional experience working for tech companies, managing a family business, developing curricula and teaching. I work as an EdTech Innovation Strategist at the School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University. I have been a Free Knowledge advocate for 20 years and co-lead Project Ben-Yehuda, allowing free access to Hebrew texts. Since joining the movement, I have focused on programmatic work and outreach, gaining extensive experience in:
- Initiating, managing and sustaining long-term partnerships and projects with educational, cultural and governmental institutions, locally and internationally.
- Strategic thinking, including being a coordinator of the Partnerships Working Group.
- Governance in a Chapter (board of WMIL) and User Groups (Chair of WikiProject Med and Wikipedia & Education).
- Training, lecturing and teaching about our movement.
- Leveraging my experience to build capacities of individuals and communities.
- Welcoming newcomers, mentoring and empowering others by creating missing platforms and resources.
I am eligible to serve as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation. If elected, I will resign my position as Chairperson for WikiProject Medicine User Group, and as Chair for the Wikipedia & Education User Group.
WikiProject Med Foundation
WikiProject Med Foundation Board strongly endorses Shani Evenstein to the WMF board. As chairperson of our User Group since 2017 she has facilitated a stable, sustainable and diverse board. To increase its effectiveness Shani led several changes to our governance that included modifying board’s composition, bylaws, membership practices and election procedures.
Shani’s leadership style facilitates a welcoming environment to collaborate in, and results in a diverse and mature organization that grows our global community. Her connections with other Wikimedia groups have produced numerous fruitful new projects for us. Shani brings to the board:
- Board experience with different types of affiliates, at different stages of maturity
- Pragmatic attitude and wealth of programmatic experience
- Deep understanding of our global movement
- “Big picture” thinking and vision of international needs across affiliates
- Communication skill, people’s skills and public speaking experience
- Vast experience leading partnerships
- Strong sense of justice and ability to fight for what she believes in
- Persistence that gets things done while still engaging others
Shani has demonstrated the energy, commitment, knowledge and experience necessary for the WMF Board. We wholeheartedly recommend her candidacy and know she will serve our movement excellently.. On behalf of WPMEDF Board, --RexxS (talk) 11:32, 30 April 2019 (UTC)
The board of Wikimedia Serbia has decided to endorse Shani Evenstein Sigalov as a candidate to the Board.
We interfaced with Shani mainly in the Education Collaborative (now a User Group chaired by Shani), where we collaborated to address the needs of the Wiki Education community: curating knowledge, creating resources, mentoring, and addressing technological needs using the Dashboard.
Shani is a global leader in the areas of education, GLAM, medicine, Wiki Women and Wikidata. She engages in capacity and community building, identifies missing resources and creates them, or recruits the best people to create them, and generally makes things happen by being proactive. She doesn’t accept ineffective processes, injustice and discrimination – and acts to address these – even if it requires hard work, leading by example.
Shani fosters equality and service to others, advocates closing the gender gap and promotes participation of women and minorities in our community, and generally creates a safe space for others to grow and become leaders.
In conclusion, Shani's experience within the movement, spirit and leadership, governance experience, nurturing nature and no-nonsense attitude, seeking solutions to problems, all make her a perfect candidate to the WMF board.