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Board of Trustees Board noticeboard Archives
Welcome to the Board of Trustees' noticeboard. This is a message board for discussing issues related to Wikimedia Foundation governance and policies, and related Board work. Please post new messages at the bottom of the page and sign them.
  • For details of the Board's role and processes, see the Board Handbook.
  • Threads older than 90 days will be automatically archived by ArchiverBot.

Board Update on Branding: next steps[edit]

Updates on Branding from June 26, 2020 are posted as a separate subpage here: Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Board Update on Branding: next steps. Please post your thoughts/comments on the talk page of the message itself, so we can have a structured discussion and people can "subscribe to it" if they want to. Thank you! --NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 23:47, 26 June 2020 (UTC)

Briefing postponement[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees was notified by staff on the night of July 7th that the briefing of July 8th needs to be rescheduled because of the illness of one of the key staff members. We are looking for a new date before the August board meeting, and we shall share an updated timeline in a few days --NTymkiv (WMF) (talk) 17:50, 8 July 2020 (UTC)

Get well soon, whoever you are! I hope it's not Covid-19. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:31, 8 July 2020 (UTC)
Update on timing: this Board briefing has been rescheduled for July 28th. - ZMcCune (WMF) (talk) 17:23, 17 July 2020 (UTC)

Next board meeting[edit]

Has been moved from August to Sept 24th, 28th and 30th. Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:07, 6 August 2020 (UTC)

Expertise seats and the community[edit]

Two of the Board's appointed members' terms are almost up, and given the typical length of appointed board members' time on the Board, I wouldn't be surprised if one or both of them are not going to continue after their term finishes. I imagine the Board might be looking into finding new members, so I'd like to make a few points about filling appointed seats:

The appointed seats, sometimes called "expertise seats", serve a valuable role in filling out the Board's range of skills and capacities. However, these trustees are usually unfamiliar with Wikimedia. If I might make a recommendation: Before looking for candidates from outside the movement, perhaps first try to recruit from within the community? The Board could put together a list of particular qualifications/qualities they're looking for, and calls could be put out to the communities to see if anyone around has those qualifications. We have tens of thousands of very active volunteers, and I expect that at least one willing Wikimedian will have the qualities that are sought. (Also, an effort could be made to specifically target certain languages, to fill out the Board's issues with geographic diversity.)

  • Going on a brief tangent on the point of geographic diversity: The current Board has, IIUC, four people in the US North America, four in Europe, and two in the Middle East. The Board currently has no members east of 60th meridian, an area that includes 60% of the world's population. Of the 35 members that the Board has had over the past 17 years, only one has been in this area. Additionally, none have ever been from Africa. Might be something to work on.
    The appointed seats in particular, have several times included individuals with high-level experience in executive positions in large tech organizations (eg Kawasaki, West, Geshuri, Battles, and Capuano), every single one of which has been an American company. It's not like there are no major tech companies in Japan, Taiwan, Israel, South Korea, Singapore, etc. (I don't actually know whether or not this was deliberate; for all I know, it's quite possible that experience with American companies is actually more relevant to the WMF's work. But if it's just that it's easier for the WMF and Board to find Americans, that sounds like another problematic bias introduced by the selection process.)

Besides for the issue of trustees' unfamiliarity with Wikimedia, I'm generally concerned by the extent to which the staff are involved in filling positions of the group that is supposed to oversee the organization and keep them accountable.

There are currently six members of the Board that we ever hear from, six that have editing experience, six that we really know who they are. I'd like it if we could increase that to ten. --Yair rand (talk) 06:26, 7 July 2020 (UTC)

User:Yair rand am I being counted as being from the United States? Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 15:06, 6 August 2020 (UTC)
@Doc James: Whoops, sorry, I meant North America. (I cannot believe I made that mistake. I think I need to hand in my Canadian citizenship.) --Yair rand (talk) 17:38, 6 August 2020 (UTC)


This may require some input.--GZWDer (talk) 14:25, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Universal code of conduct revisions[edit]

Would the Board allow for two draft revision cycles from community comments instead of just the one presently on the Universal Code of Conduct#Timeline, please? James Salsman (talk) 14:39, 15 September 2020 (UTC)