Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Community-elected Selection Committee

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In my opinion (s)elections for community- and affiliate seats of the Board of Trustees should be entirely organized, designed and run by the community, without involvement of the Board or staff of the WMF. The Wikimedia contributors are very well capable themselves to evaluate the candidates in an election. The Board appoints the candidates selected by the community. Half of the board seats are appointed by the Board, and that is more than enough. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 10:50, 3 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi Ad Huikeshoven, This is similar to a clarifying question I asked of you on another page. I want to make sure I am understanding clearly. You are saying the previously used community practices are capable of evaluating candidates. Does this include a consideration for diversity or how it can encourage diversity? These ideas are presented for discussion as suggestions to "help us form a more diverse and better performing Board of Trustees!" I just want to make sure I'm not missing anything. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:41, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Prefer to avoid[edit]

I would prefer to avoid this. There is a huge risk of getting an 'echo chamber' committee like AffCom: with the best intentions committees tend to select members like them. If we believe a community is capable of electing a qualified and a diverse committee (which will likely reproduce the similar profile for the seats they select), we should also believe the same community is capable of electing a qualified and a diverse set of Board candidates — NickK (talk) 11:43, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Geht es bei dieser sog. AffCom um eine Besonderheit allein der enWP? Wenn dem so ist, könntest Du dann dem großen Rest des Wikiversums ein wenig erklären, was da passiert und wo das Problem sein soll, denn für 95% des Wikiversums sind internen Konflikte eines einzelnen Projekts eher weniger interessant? One question: Is this AffCom something, that is solely in the enWP? If so, can you explain it to the rest of the Wikiverse, how it is working and what are the problems, as 95% of the Wikiverse doesn't care about some inner conflicts in any single project. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:07, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
@Sänger: I believe what NickK is referring to is the Affiliations Committee? dwf² 12:54, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
OK, and where's the concrete problem with that committee? I mean, it's just for affiliates, not the real communities, and there is a huge distinction between, say, deWP and WMDE. The affs have no say about the projects, they are just some kind of meta organisation of people for various reasons, be it collecting donations with a proper receipt, or just to provide social gatherings and communications. They are by far not that central to the universe as the real communities. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 13:03, 6 February 2021 (UTC)
@Sänger: Weil du kannst auch Englisch sprechen und mein Deutsch ist nicht so gut, ich werde lieber auf Englisch antworten. Yes, I am talking about the Affiliations Committee. This is pretty much the only example of a committee selecting future members in our movement. It is not the most important committee but it is a committee supposed to have an oversight over all affiliates, in theory it might, for instance, derecognise WMDE. But my point is that it is a remarkable example of how a committee selecting members resulted in selection of members with diverse backgrounds (different countries, different ages, different professional profiles) but similar views. From psychological point of view (and multiple studies prove it) it is natural for a group of people to select candidates with views similar to theirs. If you know any other example of a committee selecting members in the movement, I would be glad to hear about it, but I could not find any except AffCom and the Board — NickK (talk) 17:56, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

I agree with NickK. AffCom is a very good example of how selection committees tend to not only to create dynamics of selfperpetuation, but also tend to immensely reduce richness and diversity of opinions inside the group, even if at the surface it looks very diverse and equilibrated. I Symbol oppose vote oversat.svg strongly disagree with the idea of a selection committee.--- Darwin Ahoy! 18:07, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

@NickK: @DarwIn:, I'm reading this and I think perhaps I am misunderstanding. I am reading that NickK suggests AffCom as a good example and I see Darwin suggests AffCom as a poor example of diversity (like tokenism). Could you help clarify this for me? Thanks for this. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 23:48, 9 February 2021 (UTC)
@JKoerner (WMF): A good example of what? That depends on what you are looking for. Do you want a diversity of backgrounds or a diversity of views? AffCom is a good example of the former and at the same time a poor example of the latter — NickK (talk) 00:40, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
NickK, That helps. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I didn't want to misunderstand what you were saying. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 12:28, 10 February 2021 (UTC)
@JKoerner (WMF): Hello, that's exactly what NickK said.--- Darwin Ahoy! 17:36, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
Thanks, @DarwIn: I always prefer to act cautiously and ask for clarification over misrepresenting someone. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:07, 12 February 2021 (UTC)

Oppose, no selction committee[edit]

Any "Selection Committee" would be, at best, disruptive pure bureaucracy. However it appears to be far worse than that, if it is intended to prohibit free election of legally-qualified candidates.

Any committee just creates a bureaucratic two-layer process which only multiples the opportunity for breakage or dysfunction or abuse. There is no possible process for creating a committee that would magically be better than the process for electing the candidates themselves. (Note: This is a deliberate duplicate of my response to Board-delegated_Selection_Committee, as the two topics are near duplicates.) Alsee (talk) 06:44, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback on "Community-elected Selection Committee" from the first weekly report[edit]

Here follows the collected feedback on the idea, "Community-elected Selection Committee" from the first weekly report covering the call for feedback during February 1-7:

  • If a community can select a diverse committee why can a community not also elect diverse and qualified Board members?
  • Affiliations Committee as an example of a committee selecting members with diverse backgrounds, but creating false diversity.
  • It was suggested to look at psychological research about groups of people selecting people like themselves.
  • Half of the attendees at a Wikimedia Nigeria User Group conversation said local affiliates should have much influence in selecting who represents them on the Board.

Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. KCVelaga (WMF) (talk) 18:40, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback on "Community-elected Selection Committee" from the second weekly report[edit]

Here follows the collected feedback on the idea, "Community-elected Selection Committee" from the second weekly report covering the call for feedback during February 8-14:

Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. KCVelaga (WMF) (talk) 18:43, 18 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected feedback on "Community-elected Selection Committee" from the third weekly report[edit]

Here follows the collected feedback on the idea, "Community-elected Selection Committee", from the third weekly report covering the call for feedback during February 15-21:

  • A volunteer from the Urdu community worried that there are a lot of unanswered questions regarding selection committees as of now, and for that reason they would prefer voting. A volunteer from the Kannada community felt the same.
  • Volunteers from Goa felt that it is almost impossible for every voter to read lengthy profiles and make the most rational choice. For that reason, a selection committee sounds better, and also a selection committee can also eliminate popularity bias that influences voting in an election process.
  • Volunteers from Goa said that the trustee evaluation forms become quite important, to make sure that committee’s decisions are objective, rather than subjective.
  • Jon Harald Soby of Wikimedia Norge said a community selected committee seems a bit too complicated. It might make the selection process harder for people to engage in.
  • Camelia Boban of WikiDonne states that this only increases bureaucracy. What is the point in electing a committee instead of voting for a Board candidate directly.
  • At the German LGBT+ conversation a volunteer reminded, to be aware that a community vote is only as diverse as the community itself. At the German Wiki Women conversation attendees said this too.

Please reach out if you have any questions or comments. KCVelaga (WMF) (talk) 11:27, 25 February 2021 (UTC)