Regional board member training
Discussion note on the organization of Regional board member trainings
For some years now a small project team organizes an annual boards member training. It is a two days training held during the pre-conference days of the annual Wikimedia Conference in Berlin. The aim of these trainings is to support affiliates by improving the skills and competences of their board members.
The trainers are wikimedians with multi-year experience in the board of a chapter. For the soft skills sessions we have invited a professional trainer. Subjects that were discussed: How to establish good governance, strategy, forward planning, communication with different stakeholders, tasks and responsibilities of a board member, the relation between ED and the board, board member transition, conflict of interest, the role of bylaws.
During the evaluation of the 2018 training an interesting idea came up: Why not organize a board member training during the regional Wikimedia conferences, for example during the CEE conference, WikIndaba, etc. Bringing the training to a regional conference will reduce the barrier to participation and strengthen the regional network of the individual participants.
I suppose that it is difficult to organize a two-days training with different trainers on locations in different continents. I therefore propose to focus on the feasibility of organizing a one day training on governance themes and issues during these regional conferences.
Brief outline for regional trainings (proposal)
- Morning sessions on various management topics, to be selected in consultation with the organizers of the different conferences
- Afternoon session focussing on soft skills and personal competences
- Target group: Wikimedians with an active role in the governance of their affiliate
The training can be offered as an integrated part of the conference. The conferences I am aware of have a time stretch of 3 days. A one-day training will allow participants to attend most of the conference sessions as well. And there is no extra effort needed for subscription procedures, grants, visa, etc.
To organize all this we need:
- A project board: 4 Wikimedians to meet 3 times a year (online) to develop the plan, give guidance, set targets, evaluation and follow-up (already in place for the annual training in Berlin).
- A coordinator / supervisor to set up the training and to keep in contact with the conference organizer.
- Two trainers: one experienced Wikimedian and a professional trainer both willing to contribute to 3 conferences a year.
Contact persons from the organizing team of the conference to align training and conference sessions and to monitor logistics.
Costs (first estimate)
- Trainers: approx. $ 1000 each + travel and lodging
- Attendees: training included in conference fee + travel and lodging
- Knowledge and skills of individual board members and the quality of the board improves which will lead to better understanding of the role of the board and their responsibilities (and vice versa).
- The Board will work more effectively, which will lead to more informed decision making.
- Improved network of individual board members (e. g. closer connection between board members from different countries and trustful relationships), establishing constant cross-board relations leading towards more cooperation and knowledge sharing between boards.