Talk:Movement Strategy/Events/Movement Charter Global Conversation, 26-27 June 2021/Proposal by the Wikimedia Foundation

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Collection of !Votes on the original WMF proposal[edit]

These were the !Votes on the original proposal, before the modification.

  • Support Support Ms Kabintie
  • Support Support Felipe da Fonseca
  • Support Support Anass (Telegram channel)
  • Interesting proposal - LiAnna Davis (Telegram channel)
  • Support Support with two amendments: selectors won't be candidate, and movement wide advertisement of the calls of both stages Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 07:37, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support --Joalpe (talk) 14:19, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support in my role as Deputy chair of the Supervisory Board WMDE Alice Wiegand (talk) 16:54, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose Oppose. It's not clear why a bespoke process is needed here, as opposed to the standard process of on-wiki discussion and revision. Two the places the Movement Brand Project went wrong (pages 105-106) were:
  • We intentionally designed a process that looked different from typical community consultations.
  • "Our “non typical” process was seen as less legitimate.
The Universal Code of Conduct has similar problems, where a closed committee produced a document with substantial problems that's also hard to change. Now it looks like this process seems to be trying to design a process that looks different and non-typical. With legitimacy being paramount here, it seems like a 'normal' process (public drafting and revision, open ratification) should be undertaken. This criticism would imply to other processes that aren't used for the drafting of content and policy. TomDotGov (talk) 19:03, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose Oppose - this process does not provide the community buy-in that only direct elections can do. It doesn't give any reason the process shouldn't be completely open, including the rankings, it doesn't make it clear why the WMF should have selectors. I also find it downright misleading to indicate that since it's not the GC, it can be taken less formally. This group will have significant control over a critical document detailing critical bodies. Even if consultation and ratification is everything we want - and there's no guarantee it will be, the "holder of the pen" always has significant control. The idea that a more lightweight process should be used is unwarranted and unwise. Nosebagbear (talk) 23:56, 26 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose Oppose - The two step selection method is unnecessarily complicated and the "agile process (to be defined)" is worryingly vague. --RaiderAspect (talk) 14:36, 28 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support a bit complicate for my taste, but as I beleive it is important to go forward I support.Yger (talk) 14:50, 28 June 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support Texaner (talk) 08:10, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Two-Step Proposal[edit]

  • After further reflection I decided to agree with the WMF proposal, but I leave below my criticism regarding the communication and also the record of my own proposal.
  • I take this opportunity also to criticize the way these discussions are being developed, in a disconnected way. Thus, only a few have a global view of the discussion. There is a chronic problem of communication between the WMF and the communities and this kind of pulverization of communication does not help at all (this criticism is better developed in the topic below).
Das Netz II.png
Two-Step Proposal
  • Idea

The Charter Drafting Committee should occur in two stages, namely 1) a first stage focused on diversity and 2) a second stage focused on technicality.

  • Procedure

The two stages are complementary, the first representing the will of the global community and the second representing the necessary technicality of a document of this complexity and importance.

In this way, the first stage should include the largest number of users feasible to work together efficiently, which makes it imperative to divide the staff into thematic Working Groups. Each of the thematic Working Groups should, at the end of the working period, provide a draft document related to its respective theme.

The second stage, consisting of a single lean Working Group, should then, from the draft documents provided by the Working Groups of the first stage, create the final Charter.

  • Community Ratification

Community ratification, therefore, will also occur in two stages, each ratifying the work of one of the Writing Committee's own stages. 1) in the first stage: a) there should be a community feedback hotline, which does not necessarily need to be constantly answered, but which serves as a "thermometer" for the Working Groups; b) before the final delivery of the draft charter, the Working Groups should present the text for the community to comment on, the Working Groups will then have a set time to discuss and incorporate as far as possible the community's recommendations. 2) in the second stage: there is no need for constant feedback from the community, so the final drafting group will put the text ready for ratification only at the end of the work, and if there is any major disagreement on any point by the community, the discussion will be reopened only on the questioned point.

  • Seating

Seats in the Working Groups in the first stage should be given only to users (security criteria will be defined), without reserve seats for WMF affiliates and employees (although they may join as users). In the second stage, people with the necessary technical capacity must be chosen. These people will be chosen by the totality of the Working Groups of the first stage with recommendations from the WMF.

  • Legitimacy

Only users are legitimate to have seats, i.e. to be decision-makers, although all interested parties can and should be following the procedure at all times. If there are very important stakeholders, they can have an informative (non-decisional) seat on the Working Groups. To explain this legitimacy, stakeholders can be divided into two groups: 1) non-user stakeholders; 2) user stakeholders.

1) non-user stakeholders are large donors and large institutions that collaborate with the project, e.g. universities. These stakeholders, although they must be taken into account, cannot be decisive, otherwise they destroy the environment that the users (the major experts) have built: academics know how to build universities, wikimedists know how to build Wikimedia projects.

2) in the case of stakeholders who are users (affiliates and WMF), they end up getting their legitimacy from the users (there is an overlap in the case of seat reservations or votes), so they are 100% encompassed by the users. To make an analogy; 1) regarding the WMF: in the model of a state, letting the WMF decide on the Charter Drafting Committee is like letting the executive elect the legislature; regarding Affiliates: that all classes of professionals should be taken into account by the legislature of a state, like the medical class and the teaching class, etc. does not mean that the legitimacy of the government comes from any of these classes, rather, the legitimacy of the government comes from the singular individual, the population, of which all classes are a part. Reserving seats for affiliates is like reserving seats in the legislature for doctors. --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 20:52, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Error?[edit]

The proposal indicates that there would be a "selection group" including an unspecified number of community- and affiliate-selected selectors and two WMF-selected selectors. The community- and affiliate-selected selectors would then select 10 members of the drafting committee, and then five more. The drafting committee is intended to have 15 members. No role is stated for the WMF selectors. It is also expressed that the WMF also wishes to have 2 members of the drafting committee itself. This appears to be self-contradictory? --Yair rand (talk) 21:53, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[]

@Yair rand the two Foundation selectors would join the process in step 5: "The selection group (with all the selectors from the programs, the affiliates, and the Foundation) reviews the top 10 and adds about 5 more." A similar question was asked on Telegram, and I have added a bit more detail to this sentence to make it clearer.
The Foundation would present two candidates that would sign up on the page for candidates on Meta. These two candidates would be different than the two selectors, not to mix roles. I hope the explanation is clear. Qgil-WMF (talk) 22:37, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qgil-WMF: Thank you for clarifying the role of the WMF selectors. To clarify re WMF drafting committee members: Would the WMF would just put forward candidates, who would be put through the selection process on equal footing with all other candidates, and the selectors could accept or reject? --Yair rand (talk) 23:08, 24 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Yair rand The Foundation would put forward two candidates in the call for candidates that we believe will contribute to the competence and the diversity of the committee, for transparency and public review. Project and affiliate selectors would be free to include them or not in their selection of 15 candidates. If the Foundation candidates wouldn't make it to the 1-10 cut, then we would count on then being selected when the whole group agrees on the 11-15 candidates. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:54, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]
So, the Foundation will put forward only two candidates and expects them both to be selected, did I understand this correctly? HHill (talk) 05:35, 26 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@HHill Yes. Out of context this might sound a bit strange, but adding more candidates from the Foundation could send a misleading signal (we don't want to have more than 2 members either). Within context, previous proposals made by others (not by the Foundation) were estimating a way higher percentage of participation for the Foundation, like for instance 33% or 7 seats. With this proposal, we want to say that our priority with Foundation members is to be in the table in good conditions to discuss, but no more than this. Given the limited amount of seats for a functional committee, we'd rather contribute to have more seats available for types of members or types of projects and affiliates that are usually underrepresented. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:09, 26 June 2021 (UTC)[]
Just for clarity: It would be okay to select just one of them? Otherwise I would prefer at least one additional candidate, so the selectors have an actual choice. HHill (talk) 10:47, 26 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Yair rand @HHill We have updated our proposal and we welcome your review. One change related to this conversation is that now affiliates selectors and Foundation selectors choose candidates separately. The Foundation chooses after the wiki projects election and the affiliates selection, and they select two candidates. If the two Foundation candidates have not been selected before, they will choose them. If any of them has been selected already, then they choose other candidate(s) based with the priority of covering gaps in the skills and diversity matrices.
We believe it is important to have two members in the committee and not only one, given that many of the topics will be related to different areas currently handled by the Foundation, for better consistency, not stall anything if one member is not available, and so on. Qgil-WMF (talk) 20:37, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]
You seem to assume, that any candidate the foundation could nominate would be s/elected anyway. Not something I personally can take as a given (and not just in light of recent events either). But whether or not this simple and potentially face-saving safety feature will be implemented, I welcome the renewed emphasis on other participatory measures. I suspect those will be needed most in trying to create momentum and legitimacy. HHill (talk) 06:29, 2 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Give a Nod[edit]

The proposal is fine, i have no objection Ms Kabintie (talk) 05:54, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Argumentative flow and the pulverization of discussions[edit]

Blockchain vs tangle bottleneck an analogy for discussion flow articulated by a control center vs shared interactively

It seems undeniable that there is a chronic communication problem between WMF and Communities, it also seems undeniable that one of the biggest reasons for the failure of this communication is the feeling that the users' opinions are not taken seriously and that therefore participation in discussions, often difficult and extremely time consuming, is pointless.


The multiplication of discussion forums as a solution

One attempt to correct this problem is the multiplication of communication forums. Multiplication of communication forums is not only the opening of several forums, but also the establishment of these forums within the communities and in the language of the communities. This kind of procedure aims to facilitate the participation of as many users as possible in an environment that is comfortable for them.


The pulverization of discussions

While the multiplication of discussion forums is a way forward, it is not in itself a solution and contains serious internal dangers. One of these problems is discussion pulverization. Pulverization of discussions is the situation where discussions are held without a unifying center, a center that is able to put all the relevant lines of argument of the multiple discussions into a single forum. The problem of pulverization of information is caused by the error of connecting all discussions correctly.


Argumentative flow

What is the problem of not having a central forum that brings together not only the links of the various discussions, but the argumentative flow of the discussions? The problem is the difficulty this creates for the individual, the single user, to follow the discussions and participate in them. It is not possible for an individual to follow, and much less participate in, all the forums, which makes it imperative to have a central forum alongside the multiple forums that is capable of reproduce the argumentative flow.


Why Reports Don't Solve It

Although reports are an efficient way to inform users of the status of discussions, the reports produced by control centers are useless for solving the problem of participation of individuals (users) in discussions, because user participation means not only passive absorption of discussions, but active participation in discussions. Active participation in discussions means the possibility to modify the argumentative flow through one's own arguments.


The inherent unfairness of pulverized discussions

If for the individual it is impossible to absorb, process and generate a response to the multiplicity of pulverized argumentative flows, institutions can do it, because they have enough personnel to collect information and take this information to unified internal forums, solving the problem of pulverization and being able to follow the complete flow of the discussions. But individuals are not able to do this.


Conclusion

The pulverization of discussions, instead of helping the active participation of individuals (users), ends up neutralizing their participation, thus increasing the initial problem. --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 07:48, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Relationship to IGC[edit]

I think it would be easier to evaluate proposals about the composition and selection of the Movement Charter drafting committee if there was more clarity about the relationship between the committee and the Interim Global Council.

Per Ensure Equity in Decision-making, the IGC has four responsibilities: create the Movement Charter, lead the implementation of the Movement Strategy, work with the WMF Board to identify which of the current responsibilities of the Board need to be transferred to other movement entities, and design the process for transferring those responsibilities. The drafting committee is taking on the first of those responsibilities, so presumably it is some sort of precursor or seed of the IGC. But the other three responsibilities are equally important, and equally (if not more) sensitive to power relations with the WMF, so it seems important to know: are the drafting committee members who are now selected going to become the IGC? Or will the group be expanded to create the IGC? Or is the IGC seen as two or three largely indepedent groups focusing on different parts of the IGC responsibilities, with some new selection process for those other areas? --Tgr (talk) 09:24, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]

@Tgr This proposal assumes that the work of the Movement Charter drafting committee leads to the constitution of the Global Council. There have been other conversations about the IGC, and our interpretation of the current situation is that there is broad agreement to skip the IGC and aim for the creation of the GC within the next 12 months. Qgil-WMF (talk) 11:01, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Comments[edit]

I add what I sent to the telegram channel today: "I see it <this proposal> as an idea which combines the richness of perspectives in our movement and a very smart way to get balance to one of the main issues, the legitimacy of the selection. At WMDE we think this helps to get some trust back into the process in general and we support it. Since affiliates are as well as the projects concretely addressed in the proposal I would appreciate any voices from other affiliates here or at the meeting on sunday." It would be great if we could add a clear statement towards participatory methods as a foundation for the drafting committee. Maybe the allowance needs some thoughts with regards to effectiveness. Does this really help to bring people in? I don't know. But what I honour high is the approach to make it happen in a way which is compatible with the communities' high expectations about legitimacy and about their voice being heard. Alice Wiegand (talk) 17:05, 25 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Wide movement participation requires more than just draft review[edit]

The document, in current version states: "Wide communication and engagement with the movement at large must come through the draft review process".

This suggests a dynamic where a very small group (the committee) drafts - and the very large group (movement members) only review.

I propose instead to consider participatory methods that can change this dynamic - especially methods and tools that shift some of the drafting / generating elements of the charter and ideas to a broader group of participants. One of methods proposed are citizen panels. There is also the possibility of using digital platforms that allow deliberation at large scale (Pol.is, Decidim, etc.).

I propose following language:

"The committee will commit to wide consultation, communication and engagement with the movement by adopting participatory models and tools that serve this goal".

Tarkowski (talk) 19:48, 26 June 2021 (UTC)[]

@Tarkowski what about this:
"The committee will commit to wide consultation, communication and engagement with the movement, and will be open to adopt participatory models and tools that serve this goal".
This is not just about wording. Let me explain.
We are well aligned with "The committee will commit to wide consultation, communication and engagement with the movement". I also think we are aligned with the theory of "by adopting participatory models and tools that serve this goal". With this I mean that the Foundation is also open to experiment with various approaches that are new to Wikimedia and go beyond the tool traditionally used by the Wikimedia communities.
However, and this is a lesson that I have learned after a few attempts over the past years, bringing new tools to Wikimedia tends to be harder than what it seems. Potential problems include:
  • 3rd party services might have problematic privacy policies and terms of use, and using third party and/or lack of Wikimedia login may bring opposition from community members.
  • Self-hosted services require resources to install them and maintaining them, and securing these resources takes time even if those resources can be available. If they are hosted in the Wikimedia production infrastructure, security reviews and implementation plans become way more complex.
I mean, it is perfectly possible to experiment with these tools, but it will be harder than if we would be a group of volunteers starting a new community. If a proposal by the Foundation says that "The committee will commit", this may set an expectation for the Foundation to swiftly contract or deploy any tools the committee decides to use. Hence the small change suggested. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:06, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Tarkowski Beyond this sentence in this proposal, I encourage you to start working on a specific proposal for the future committee. Regardless of how this committee is created and when, there will be a committee, everybody agrees that volunteer participation beyond this committee is very important, and so far there has been appetite to discuss your ideas. With a specific proposal to discuss, those of us interested in the implementation details can start assessing how would that implementation look like in technical terms. Qgil-WMF (talk) 10:17, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qgil-WMF: Where was it decided "there will be a committee"? TomDotGov (talk) 15:26, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qgil-WMF: thank you for your feedback. I think that the methods are more important than the tools (we can even remove reference to them). Once there is commitment to methods, tools will be found or designed. This was actual feedback of some of people working with these tools - that it's the methods that count. Wiki technologies are flexible enough to build varied participatory ways of communicating. I also appreciate the feedback about the proposal, it can indeed be prepared in parallel. Tarkowski (talk) 05:39, 29 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Tarkowski Point updated following your suggestion. Qgil-WMF (talk) 20:46, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Various concerns[edit]

This is an interesting proposal by @Qgil-WMF: , and has value in encouraging some alternate ways of thinking on how it can be resolved, but there are several major issues that I have with it:

1) it would have been nice had this been directly placed on the primary page, more prominently on the Telegram summary page, and highlighted to all attendees of the meetings.

2) An agile process for selecting is (as it notes) unclear, but makes me feel that it's going to be the same group of people structuring it. I had requested the WMF take significant steps to expand the awareness before these calls, as well as slowing the rate of overlapping strategic discussions (we are directly clashing with UCOC calls, as one example). These, combined, work towards the primary concern that countless of us have raised. This committee cannot have either popular buy-in or sufficient mandate without elections.

3) It should not be utilising closed ranking lists - we are a transparent project, and should utilise that in all aspects unless very clear, excellent, evidence for exceptions are made

4) I also find it downright misleading to indicate that since it's not the GC, it can be taken less formally. This group will have significant control over a critical document detailing critical bodies. Even if consultation and ratification is everything we want - and there's no guarantee it will be, the "holder of the pen" always has significant control. The idea that a more lightweight process should be used is unwarranted and unwise

5) While the mathmatical formula is unclear, currently this proposal grants equal weight to the affiliate and community selectors. Affiliates should not have an identical weight say to the entire Community.

6) The timetable indicates candidates can sign-up to the 11th August (and in most similar processes, that is indeed fairly common). There isn't then a timeslot allotted for Community to ask candidates questions, vet them and so on. That can't take place simultaneously with the selection step, as it risks selectors not seeing questions/answers, anchoring bias (it's harder to change an opinion than form one) and so on.

7) The timetable is insanely tight for multiple phases. Zoom calls, as I have reminded countless times, have no authority to decide on-wiki action. So even if a clear consensus of the call feel that Quim's proposal was the way to go, it would still need to be written up, notified to all projects, and supported/opposed by the actual community. No way that can happen by 1st July. Getting sufficient mandate for two novel, bespoke, agile processes that are somehow going to balance the having both small project representation and not massively hindering editors in larger projects having equal ability for equal competence to be a selector is going to be tough...and then that process actually has to execute, all within 20 days. Nosebagbear (talk) 00:16, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]

I agree with Nosebagbear that the time line is unrealistically tight. The other aspects are more interesting and could achieve consensus. -- econterms (talk) 15:50, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Nosebagbear Thank you for this feedback and also for your proposals. Right now I just want to quickly address your first point. When publishing the proposal, we discussed how it should be positioned. At the previous global conversations there had been some criticism about the Foundation organizing an event and putting their proposal at the center. There was also criticism about not sharing the proposal before the event. This is why we decided to publish the proposal and announce it in places where the Movement Charter was being discussed, but not so prominently either. I understand that this approach has its drawbacks as well. I hope the intention is clear now, and I hope it is at least understandable. Qgil-WMF (talk) 09:46, 27 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Nosebagbear @Econterms Please check the proposed modifications, which have been inspired partially by your feedback. Qgil-WMF (talk) 09:18, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]

Modification of our proposal after the June 27 conversations[edit]

Hi, a lot was discussed about the Movement Charter drafting committee last week, and the Movement Strategy team is completing the report.

The proposal we shared received some good feedback, some mixed and yet curious feedback, and also some criticism. We are introducing some changes to this proposal to address the main concerns: the timeline and the possibility to vote.

Please review this proposed modification. We hope that we all can find a point of compromise and a way forward. Qgil-WMF (talk) 06:39, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]

I got a private request to clarify how the process would work in more detail, with a special focus on the proposed cap of one committee member per project in the election.
This is how it would work:
  1. The vote ends with a full ranking of all candidates, applying all the STV calculations.
  2. The top 7 candidates are selected and removed from the ranking. If one of these candidates is the 2nd from the same wiki, it is skipped and the 8th chosen instead, etc.
  3. The Affiliates selectors enter the scene. They have their own ranking. They remove the candidates elected already. They choose their top 6. This means that a second candidate of the same wiki could be selected after all, not by the number of votes, but by competence & diversity criteria.
  4. The Foundation enters the scene, choosing 2 candidates from the remaining pool. They could be two Foundation staffers or any other combination. (The Foundation is not interested in having more than two members in the committee).
Qgil-WMF (talk) 13:04, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qgil-WMF: Can you point to a place where this has worked in the past - where a committee that has been selected by voting like this has produced a policy document, and then had the result ratified by the community? I can't think of any, but I'm not familiar with all projects. You have arbitration committees elected, but those are something like a judicial branch. From what I've seen, policy is written on-wiki, using the usual process.
I wasn't at the zoom call (was it recorded?), but it strikes me that this is a heavyweight proposal that's unlikely to succeed, while a lighter-weight proposal that's more normal might go faster and work better. TomDotGov (talk) 16:03, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@TomDotGov Speaking in the name of the Foundation, we have said and we maintain that an election is not the right tool for forming this committee. However, the selection/election discussion keeps going, and we seem to be at an impasse where the supporters of including some kind of election keep pushing for it. @Pharos, @Nosebagbear or @Yair rand among others have been very vocal about it, also last Sunday (a report of these conversations is on its way). Moving ahead without a broad consensus would be bad for anyone trying. Our main priority is to find a common ground that allows the beginning of the work. Qgil-WMF (talk) 20:02, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]
Hi @Qgil-WMF: - I think it would have been helpful to have a chat before everyone started independently sending in their proposed compromise ones (as anyone who has clicked into mine will have seen it, but I've not yet pushed it) - still happy to have a chat tomorrow or the day after with the various individuals on different sides of this to see if there's a single proposal worth pushing or if we need to "just" drop proposals to the Community on a blank slate and seeing what sticks. Drop me an email Nosebagbear (talk) 20:06, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]
@TomDotGov

a committee that has been selected by voting

is commonly known as parliament. National assemblies tend to be productive in producing laws, including basic laws or constitutions. In our peculiar case there is a bootstrap problem: the movement charter will propose an elected global council representing the movement. An elected Global Council would be legitimately decide about a charter. However, we don't have rules yet for composition of the global council and the method of election. Pushing for elections now gives undue weight to less than a handful of individuals who are very vocal, and were clearly a minority in the call last Sunday, in which a 2/3 majority more or less agreed with the unmodified WMF proposal. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 21:02, 30 June 2021 (UTC)[]

@Ad Huikeshoven:, @Qgil-WMF: I was sort of thinking of considering the Wikimedia Movement, or at least the way the various projects are run. I tend to think there's a difference between a government, which can impose its will on people, and a volunteer organization. For something like a movement charter to work, you have to have a document written where pretty much everyone can look at it and say "Yep, that's fair." Otherwise, you're asking people to volunteer for an organization that they don't think is treating them fairly.
I've been wondering where the idea of limiting the committee to 15 people came about. Separating the committee from the people who will be ratifying it seems like it's a recipe for having problems once the writing is finished - if someone comes out after the writing is done and says "Section 1.2.3 has problems - here's how to improve it.", are we going to ignore that just because the person saying it isn't formally on the drafting committee? I hope not.
If you allow anyone that wants to participate in the drafting process, then the election/selection issue goes away. Everyone that wants to is going to participate in the drafting process, sooner or later - and sooner is likely to lead to a more legitimate outcome. TomDotGov (talk) 00:20, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]
The drafting process will most likely be an open, iterative and consultative process lead by the committee, with ratifications by the projects, affiliates, and WMF in the end. A dedicated committee will bring focus, commitment and ownership over the process. Originally the idea was to have an Interim Global Council tasked with among other things to drafting a Movement Charter, The Global Conversations have lead to limiting the scope to drafting Movement Charter only. The limit on the number of people come from general organization theory about maximum size of a working group. The people who will be ratifying will be multiple times consulted along the way, asking for input and feedbacks on drafts, so there won't be complete separation between the committee and the ratifying people. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:24, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]
I guess the obvious question is - if dedicated committees bring focus, why don't we use them to create content? I'm somewhat skeptical about 'organization theory' when it comes to an organization that works on voluntary buy-in. TomDotGov (talk) 18:13, 2 July 2021 (UTC)[]


After feedback received through different channels, we are fine-tuning our proposal again:

  • increasing the wiki project cap to 2 elected candidates (from 1)
  • stating that the newly constituted committee can select up to three additional candidates

Several people have commented that they agreed with the idea of a cap to avoid concentration of elected members from a single project. However, they felt one elected candidate was too strict and could lead to scenarios where the diversity of candidates would be actually limited this way. We think this discussion can be settled increasing the cap to two elected candidates per project. There was an assumption behind this proposal that we have made explicit for clarity. Once the committee is constituted, they can decide future changes in their membership. For this reason, it is possible that the new committee decides to bring additional candidates if they see this decision beneficial. In order to respect this initial process and also abide to the recommended limit of 18 members for an efficient team, we propose that the new committee can select up to three additional candidates from the pool by consensus. We hope this third iteration receives enough support to start the implementation of this process. In any case, the Movement Strategy team is aiming to open the call for candidates by July 21. Qgil-WMF (talk) 19:14, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]

There has been some very good progress made here. The addition of the line "The committee must commit to wide consultation, communication and engagement with the movement, and will be open to adopt participatory methods that serve this goal." is excellent, and +1 to the updated per-project limit as well. I'm remain concerned about having the community elect only a minority of the committee. A question: Does the WMF expect to appoint staff, as their appointees? If so, how are they expected to avoid concerns about acting in the interests of a single group? --Yair rand (talk) 23:29, 1 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Yair rand To your question, yes, most probably the candidates who have internal knowledge of the Foundation and simple access to people and information are Foundation staff members. The best way to avoid concerns about acting in the interests of a single group is not to act in the interests of a single group, right?  :) This applies to Foundation staff as much as to the rest of the members of the committee. Qgil-WMF (talk) 08:17, 2 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Qgil-WMF: That sounds like it could be difficult if one may receive instructions from those higher up in the organization. Especially if said organization may (?) be required to try to influence things toward that organization's interests? (I'm unsure about the legal aspects.) --Yair rand (talk) 07:06, 5 July 2021 (UTC)[]
@Yair rand If any committee member is not complying with the requirements for committee members (i.e. by acting in the interests of a single group), the committee as a team can take whatever corrective measures they deem appropriate. Qgil-WMF (talk) 13:34, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
The proposal says that if there are less than twenty candidates, the process would be "selection without election", but does not specify the method of deciding selectors. Is the intention to use the system put forward in the earlier version of the proposal (in #Selection_process - step 2)? --Yair rand (talk) 18:47, 22 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Support for Amended Proposal[edit]

As someone who has been heavily involved in the discussions about what form the drafting committee should take, to the tune of creating my own proposal, and a strong cheerleader for significant Community elected positions (whilst being aware of the issues any fully-elected set-up would have on diversity), I feel Quim and Kaarel have done an excellent job taking on board feedback.

The original proposal had a number of flaws, which I detailed above, and raised in the Zoom calls. Those calls had a number of interesting findings - including super-majority support for both a majority of elected members and appointed members! Most parties took that to mean there was strong support for fairly even numbers of each, with the nuance being key.

I feel that the current form of the proposal took genuinely huge steps to compromise, and I applaud it, and its creators, for doing so.

The whole process will involve so much of this, that it's good to get a good base, and I would encourage all those involved in the process to support it - even if it's not exactly what any individual might want, I think it is very close to satisfying almost all participants. I will start a poll below, and ping those who participated in !votes on the original proposal, as well as signing it myself.

Let's get the show on the road! Nosebagbear (talk) 14:16, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Community positions on the Amended WMF proposal[edit]

I'm putting this in to see if we can get a quick indication of whether there is any significant opposition to the WMF's amended proposal, and if not, let them know we can get the ball rolling.

As it is a significant change, I'm pinging those in the discussion at the top of this page, rather than just adding them. @Ms Kabintie, Felipe da Fonseca, Liannadavis, Ad Huikeshoven, Joalpe, Alice Wiegand, TomDotGov, Yger, Texaner, Pharos, and Adil Faouzi:

  • Support Support - per my reasoning in the section above, this is an excellent compromise, and makes a good basis. Let's get to it! Nosebagbear (talk) 14:21, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support - My criticism is directed at the consistent failure of the WMF to communicate efficiently with the pt.wiki and to establish an efficient organic communication network between all wikis, for which I have already provided my suggestions. Regarding this proposal and the modifications made after my support, I have no objections. Go for it, --Felipe da Fonseca (talk) 14:32, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose Oppose - At least until there is a commitment that there will be a period where the text is edited on-wiki using the same bold-revert-discuss process that's used for content and most policy. While an initial draft has to come from somewhere, people willing to invest 6 40-hour weeks into the drafting probably aren't representative of the bulk of the movement, and the result will almost certainly need to be improved. The idea that closed committees are the right way to develop things seems antithetical to our core value, and a movement charter that doesn't reflect core values is likely to fail.
A major flaw with the movement strategy process is that it treats the 'wiki' in 'wikimedia' as dead letters, and that will become more apparent if the process unfolds off-wiki. TomDotGov (talk) 04:44, 22 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Support Support good enough.Yger (talk) 05:53, 22 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Thanks for showing your support for a proposal from three weeks ago. Current progress is the call for candidates on the page Movement_Charter/Drafting_Committee. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 14:36, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]

had missed this - doesn't seem to be any issues with the current form since no-one new opposed in between the changes - had assumed it would close on the 21st, but makes no diff Nosebagbear (talk)
Thanks Nosebagbear for the feedback. As it seemed that the proposal had reached mostly the circle well informed by the movement strategy, we have decided to give another 10 days with a wider outreach. After all the discussions we do not really anticipate any substantial objections, but it seemed like a good step to take to be sure. I hope it makes sense. --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:05, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
I've no objections at all - I'm blaming my slow response on the excessive British weather, but we might pick up a few comments from those who aren't aware of all the detail thus far, which can only be a positive Nosebagbear (talk) Nosebagbear (talk) 21:35, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]
  • Oppose Oppose. We are a consensus based movement. The Foundation explicitly refused all calls to make the Strategy a consensus process, and as always insisted on a top-down Authoritarian model for everything. Just to make the point: A Strategy item to undermine our Notability and Reliable Source polices was rammed through despite apparently UNANIMOUS opposition, the rebranding was 92% opposed, and assorted other items are also contrary to consensus. The entire Strategy process has been illegitimate and invalid from start to finish. The Foundation apparently thinks a top-down Authoritarian process somehow becomes legitimate if community members are "consulted" or included. No, it doesn't. Alsee (talk) 20:39, 22 July 2021 (UTC)[]
    • @Alsee: I don't think I agree with this argument. While the process was definitely problematic, I'm not sure that's enough of a reason on its own to reject going forward with its conclusion. It's important to ask how we can prevent these kinds of issues in the future. The Charter rationale includes the point that we need (in the words of the Recommendations) "mechanisms to ensure that the processes and changes that affect the whole Movement are legitimate" (as opposed to the current mess, where this is often quite lacking). Asking whether the process so far has been at all legitimate is relevant, but a more pertinent question might be whether this will allow the community to build a decent system. A lot of that may come down to whether this proposal's resulting Committee will be able to move us towards something along the lines of TomDotGov's description (consensus-based on-wiki BRD etc). (That's not to say that the Committee members are irrelevant; having a bunch of people filling the role of "designated conversation pusher/argument collector/supplementary drafting engine" can be useful, and it's important that these people should be community-aligned to the degree possible, but if this is done right much of the work will be done by contributors not on the Committee in any case.) --Yair rand (talk) 06:44, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[]
      Yair rand the Strategy process has been illegitimate from beginning to end. Aside from a few nice nice sounding fragments, the product of that process has been disastrously bad. The charter drafting committee has ZERO legitimacy or authority to impose anything on the community. Even if this committee produces an excellent product - which is pure wishful thinking - it still has zero legitimacy or authority without submitting it for consensus approval. The fundamental problem is that the Foundation has a pathological unwillingness to respect, or constructively engage, the community's governance process. The Foundation has almost no understanding of the community, they have no clue what they are doing, they believe they have run a legitimate and successful process, and they intend to attempt to forcibly impose all of these results. I am seriously contemplating organizing a Global Community Consensus to declare the entire strategy process illegitimate and invalid. At that point maybe we can salvage useful bits from the ashes and move forwards with something legitimate. Alsee (talk) 07:46, 30 July 2021 (UTC)[]
      P.S. Note that the Foundation's ran a Ratification process back in the first stage of the Strategy process. Insert profanity here. Further note abusive edit warring.123 Alsee (talk) 08:36, 30 July 2021 (UTC)[]
      • @Alsee:, I plan on running for the drafting committee - and a very broad ratification is obligatory: any attempt to avoid it (by either WMF or drafting committee) would be of the "resign and do everything I can to drive opposition" (or, if not selected, still the latter part!). A specific open discussion round on what ratification methodology would be broadly acceptable will also be in my "platform", but early rough thoughts is a requirement of a majority of all of the following: local projects, active editors, affiliates, Trustees. The MC is supposed to be either listing broadly agreed principles or defining the limits of new bodies. As such, if it is just trying to barely pass a 50%+1 model (something we'd never have accepted for, say, ACPERM) that would be of serious concern to me. Any ratification method should be publicly discussed and made clear early on so to act as a much harder to move roadblock should the WMF become unhappy if a draft keeps failing. I don't think anyone would call me a fan of how the recommendations have played out - like you say, they didn't get proper agreement, the working groups continually failed to answer questions despite us being assured they would, they used significantly unclear English. So any attempt to claim "this must go in, because it was in the recommendations" is not going to carry much weight unless someone proves it still represents a consensus. Now with all that, why am I still backing this proposal? Well, mainly because I believe the cross-wiki consensus still remains in favour of some form of GC, and this layout limits the WMF's power over the process as much as any do. In fact, it's a good process. If you believe the WMF will ram it through, then there's only really two options "derail the train" (as has been required all too often in the past) or use what bulwarks you can to prevent that being necessary. At this moment in time, I don't believe the former could be managed (I also don't think it would be a positive as things stand fyi) - whereas an attempt to get round ratification would enable that. The latter requires those who might be considered WMF/Strategy sceptics to engage in the process, otherwise only those who represent one viewpoint will write it, and obviously that's not desirable. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:31, 30 July 2021 (UTC)[]
        Nosebagbear I like your platform. I'd also be happy to collaborate on any necessary RFCs. (I'm getting tired of almost single-handedly killing several Foundation projects.)
        I looks like you missed that the Foundation has already declared it mandatory for committee members to follow the Strategy recommendations. See Drafting Committee Role Requirements. I also want to mention a recent abuse and how it relates here. When rebranding blew up, we were given a decree that a committee would resolve the issue. It was not obvious at first glance, but the rules imposed committee seats for current-and-former Board members, several affiliate seats, and de facto BANNED the community from any representation. Not only did the rules covertly enforce ZERO seats for the community, they effectively forced at least one affiliate seat who explicitly voted against consensus on the issue. The rules on this committee aren't that extreme, but they are also crafted in a way that is non-obviously skewed. The Foundation's starting point was to declare a minority of committee seats for the community, then it further stacks the process. The rules specify a maximum of two candidates from any wiki. Not only does this under represent EnWiki, it severely nukes the qualified candidate pool. It is de facto true that most experienced and capable candidates come from EnWiki. Smaller wikis will likely have to turn to affiliates to find candidates who are both willing and experienced for something like this. The process also requires the Community to select first, affiliates second, Foundation last. For every affiliate member who manages to get elected in round one, the affiliates are effectively granted a bonus seat in round two. All told I suspect the rules will likely result in 9 to 11 affiliate seats. It also looks like the committee will appoint additional members to itself, almost surely diluting community interests. Even if you get on the committee, good luck dealing with a stacked deck. Alsee (talk) 07:05, 31 July 2021 (UTC)[]

Drafting Committee Call for Candidates draft published[edit]

We have published a draft of the call for candidates for the Movement Charter Drafting Committee. This is now marked for translation and in the upcoming days there will be translations available in a number of languages.

Over the course of the next 10 days we will be collecting feedback regarding this draft and making necessary changes based on the suggestions received. We have tried to converge different viewpoints presented in previous discussions and hope there is not a need for substantial changes. In this anticipation we are looking forward to launching the call for candidates on August 2, 2021.

We are here to hear your feedback and answer any questions or specifications! --KVaidla (WMF) (talk) 20:03, 21 July 2021 (UTC)[]

@KVaidla (WMF): Did you see my proposal above about pairing the drafting committee with a mandated on-wiki BRD process? I believe that a problem with much of the off-wiki drafting was the lack of such a process - for something like the UCoC, we had a document come back with obvious flaws that can't be corrected. My hope would be that if whatever happens, there is a BRD process at the end of it, the composition of the committee becomes less important, and the result of the process more representative. TomDotGov (talk) 13:38, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[]