Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Regional seats

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Good idea[edit]

Seems to be a good idea, as this is the only kind of diversity that could be done through the elections, if they will still be open and integrative. Reserve some seats for certain areas, as there will be 8 community seats, that's perhaps 2 for affiliates, 2 each for different regions. Defining those regions may be a wee bit difficult (is Australia South or is it part of the anglophone north?, is South America part of The Americas or part of the Global South?, is Russia Europe or Asia?...) But in general, seems like a good concept. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:05, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

Non-aligned[edit]

Good idea from a good wikimedian, but I foresee a problem of representativty when it comes to communities who are not aligned with any Regional Body. Still, a combination of Regional and Thematic seats can be proposed, but this criteria would either "force" some communities to align with a given body, or either accept that they will not be represented by this criteria. It's a great idea, but needs some balance to represent "everyone".--TaronjaSatsuma (talk) 17:26, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

Hi, TaronjaSatsuma! I hear your feedback about the idea in general. I also hear you saying you foresee a problem of representativeness for communities not aligned with a regional body. Do you have a suggestion for a solution to this? Or do you have other ideas to ensure balance to represent "everyone"? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2021 (UTC)
IDK. Perhaps a fully elected body but with some "quotas" to meet (gender, language, continent, developer-background...) might be useful.--TaronjaSatsuma (talk) 10:10, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Thoughts[edit]

I remain opposed to quotas, especially if elections are moving to a STV system. However there's clearly support for them and I can understand why certain communities feel they need reserved seats. If the board goes ahead with it then Anass' idea seems a good base. My overarching suggestion is to keep the system as simple as possible. On specific points:

  • Hold a single election for all board seats. Assuming the quota isn't met, the top ranked unsuccessful candidate(s) from underrepresented regions replace the lowest ranked winning candidate(s)
  • Include all of the Americas other than Canada and USA in the underrepresented regions. Also include Japan and Korea, even though they're not always considered part of the Global South
  • Don't tie eligibility to some sort of regional alignments. Communities should be free to join with whichever body is most convenient to them without it affecting their members ability to run for the board

--RaiderAspect (talk) 05:00, 15 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Regional seats from the First weekly report (February 1 - 7)[edit]

The facilitation team was thinking it might be helpful to share the feedback pertaining to each idea on each idea's talk page. Here is the feedback from the first weekly report covering February 1 - 7 of the Call for Feedback. The facilitation team has revised the reporting procedure for weekly reports after feedback received from the community regarding the weekly reports. This is visible on the first weekly report.

There have been one of two ideas developed from the community around the topic of quotas: Regional seats :

  • The responses on the talk page and in several conversations so far see this as a reasonable idea.
  • Defining the regions might be tricky.
  • Communities that are not aligned with a regional body might not be represented.

Please feel free to contact us for any further information. Bachounda (WMF) (talk) 01:00, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Regional seats from the second weekly report (February 8 - 14)[edit]

Here is the feedback from the second weekly report covering February 8 - 14 of the Call for Feedback. This weekly report integrates the feedback received from the second weekly report to better identify the information sources.

  • One person suggested having a fully elected body with some quotas for gender, language, continent, developer-background, etc.) as a solution to representativeness for communities not aligned with a Regional body.
  • One person said to keep the system as simple as possible:
    • Hold a single election for all Board seats. If the quota is not met, replace the lowest ranking winning candidates with the highest ranking unsuccessful candidates from underrepresented regions.
    • Include all of americas outside of Canada and the US in the underrepresented regions. Include Japan and Korea as well.
    • Don’t tie eligibility to regional alignments. Communities should be free to join whichever body is most convenient to them without it affecting their members’ ability to run.

You are welcome, if you need more information. Bachounda (WMF) (talk) 00:58, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Most practical method to foster increased diversity[edit]

I believe this would be the most practical and fairest way to foster increased diversity in an election process. Regional diversity is the area where we currently have the greatest deficit (including in appointed seats), and there is reason to believe that regional processes might encourage other forms of diversity as well.--Pharos (talk) 05:16, 23 February 2021 (UTC)

Collected Feedback about Regional seats from the Third weekly report (February 15 - 21)[edit]

Find the feedback from the third weekly report covering February 15 - 21 of the Call for Feedback pertaining to this idea.

  1. Latin America (including Caribbean, Central America, South America)
  2. US, Canada and Europe
  3. Africa
  4. Asia and Oceania
  5. A representative from the Global Council or the non-Wikimedia projects - maybe someone from WikiBlind or a person who has not been represented in the past
  • An attendee on the WALRUS call said, What about splitting the seats and having 3 directly elected and 3 split amongst regions not represented?
  • One person on this talk page said there is reason to believe that regional processes might encourage other forms of diversity as well.
  • An attendee on the WALRUS call said, the Philippines has a large community and has not yet had a person on the Board.
  • One ESEAP community member said regional seats are pointless because just because someone is not on the Board does not mean they are voiceless.
  • One person on this talk page had the following suggestions:
    • Hold a single election for all board seats. Assuming the quota isn't met, the top ranked unsuccessful candidate(s) from underrepresented regions replace the lowest ranked winning candidate(s)
    • Include underrepresented areas (exclude Canada and US but include Japan and Korea)
    • Don't tie eligibility to some sort of regional alignments. Communities should be free to join with whichever body is most convenient to them without it affecting their members ability to run for the board

--Bachounda (WMF) (talk) 09:28, 25 February 2021 (UTC)

An observation[edit]

Hello! I think this is an interesting idea and it could well be a way forward. However I have some thoughts:

With 8 seats to allocate, it is difficult to see how one could define 'regions'. Would there be 8 regions each with one member? Four with two? Some other formula? In some ways a regional election model is easier to make work when there are more people to be elected, where each region can have several representatives. It may be more feasible for the (Interim?) Global Council, which is a larger body. It's also desirable for each region to have several representatives to ensure diversity within each region. Otherwise you could easily end up with each of 8 regions all electing men who have edited Wikipedia for 10+ years; geographical diversity would increase but other forms of diversity might decrease.
Also, how will voters (or candidates) be allocated to regions? Do they just pick a region to vote in, or are there some kinds of requirements about it? If so how are those requirements enforced? I lived in Singapore for a few years as a very small child, and my 'home project' is English Wikipedia which is widely read and edited in Singapore; is it permissible for me to put myself forward as an East Asia region candidate, or to vote in the East Asia region election? I would submit the answer should be no, but if that is the intention how do we define rules to prevent this?

Many thanks, Chris Keating (The Land) (talk) 19:45, 25 February 2021 (UTC)