Jump to content

Talk:Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Board of Trustees elections/Discuss Key Questions

Add topic
From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Key questions




What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates?


independent Community Election Committee


Discuss this question


From User Nosebagbear - English

  • This question is outrageously phrased in at least three aspects. Firstly, why is it targeting "elected candidates" - one of the specific tasks for the appointed candidate set (which was also increased in size, but without that being highlighted for some reason) is to aid in addressing any short-fall on the elected side in diversity. Secondly, the question has no context. We elect highly active editors - let's use 5000 edits as a shorthand minimum. What percentage of the entire editor base who have 5000 edits are either American or European? That will actually make the scale of the issue clearer. Finally, "European" is an extremely broad category. Iceland and Belarus differ very substantially, and no doubt would come with an increased diversity of opinion, too, but this format would suggest that a member from each would not enhance our diversity one iota. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:59, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
    • @Xeno (WMF) and JKoerner (WMF):, do you have the authority to re-phrase as better questions? If not, please yank BOT attention to these aspects. Cheers :) Nosebagbear (talk) 10:00, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
      Hi there, Nosebagbear, Thanks for offering your feedback here. I'll be sure to capture your feedback about how you view the appointed trustee process as a process to address gaps in diversity on the Board of Trustees.
      I just want to flag a conversation on Telegram from March 2021: The appointed trustee process has been used to improve gender diversity. Katherine Maher stated in this conversation, "Appointed seats should not have to be the sole guarantor of diversity rebalancing; that’s not what they’re there for." A community member shared that feeling in the conversation as well.
      I understand you note geographical experiences differ. Is there a better way to explore diversity? Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 00:15, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
      • @JKoerner (WMF): Diversity on the BOT, ultimately, is to bring a different set of perspectives in. That and making sure your location doesn't prevent more competent (or otherwise more suitable, as someone who had no time to give would not be good, however competent nor would someone not trusted) candidates from succeeding. The current focus does seem to suggest that two Brits (for example) would have identical perspectives to bring, and that a Belarussian and Brit would be more similar than, say, someone from Belize and Mexico. To answer the latter aspect, I'd suggest scrapping regional groupings - they are quick and easy, but encourage lazy thinking in this regard. I've fallen into the trap myself before, and any attempt to go "use them, but consider" always gets washed out when summarising to those not investing large periods of time in the process. Better yet, diversity of opinion should be appreciated. Perhaps by use of the election compass trialled for the MCDC election. Have the Community, and BOT, create a 20 "core question" list. Trying to avoid easy-questions, and picking ones where at least 20% of the Community holds each position, or known cases where the WMF and local projects disagree. This could be done blind, with us knowing people from their judgements before clicking through to see who they were. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:29, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
        As a 2nd point, if there's something good in Telegram, can it get posted to meta - Telegram is a blackhole of a piece of software - not really in keeping with our transparency. More relevantly, gender diversity is an area where the community/affiliate members are already performing well in. A different area would be a more logical focus. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:34, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • There are not nearly enough seats to allow for districts by geography or allocations by language, ethnicity, or anything but gender. I recommend such districts and allocations with the Global Council and Hubs proposals, proposed elsewhere in the strategy process (does anyone have a good link for either or both please?) and devolve Board decision-making to those bodies once they are established. 12:12, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From Adel - Arabic

  • ،مرحبًا، لا اجد للسؤال مكانا للتطبيق

،أولًا: عدد المقاعد المقسم لعدة مرات فمرة أربعة ثم اثنين مما قلل فرص التنوع، أعتقد ان التجديد دفعة واحدة ربما يُعطي فرصة ولو أنها تبقى دومًا ضئيلة ثانيًا: مهما أردنا التنوع بالاحتكام إلى التصويت سيكون المآل نفسه المجتمعات الأكثر نشاطًا وتمثيلًا تأخذ جميع المقاعد

ثالثًا: أصبحنا نُحس بأن الأمر لم يعد سوى وعود بتمثيل المجتمعات المهمشة مما فاقم من نفورها أكثر

أخيرًا، أعتقد أن اختيار التمثيل الجغرافي هو الخيار الأمثل أو أقله تسقيف التمثيل لغويًا وجغرافيًا ربما يُعطي فرصة للتنوع -- Nehaoua (talk) 21:21, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

more from Adel
  • This has been copied from the village pump. I will translate:

شكرًا، رغم الإحباط الذي أشعر به لكن وجب علي أن ادلو بدلوي فلعل وعسى ولي هذا الرأي التالي عن السؤال الأول : ما هي أفضل طريقة لضمان تمثيل أكثر تنوّعاً بين المرشحين المنتَخَبين؟ لا أجد لِلسُّؤَال مكانًا لِلتَّطْبيق أولًا: عدد المقاعد المُقَسَّم لِعدَّة مرَّات فمرَّة أَرْبَعَة ثُمَّ اِثْنيْنِ مِمَّا قلَّل فُرص التَّنَوُّع ، أَعْتَقِدُ أنَّ التَّجْديد دُفْعة واحدة رُبَّمَا يُعْطي فُرْصة ولو أنَّهَا تبْقى دوْمًا ضئيلة. ثانيًا: مهْمَا أردْنَا التَّنَوُّع بِالاحْتكام إِلى التَّصْويتِ سيكون المَآل نفْسه، فالمجْتمعات الأكْثر نشاطًا وتمْثيلا تأْخذ جميع المقاعد. ثالثًا: أصْبحْنَا نُحسُّ بِأنَّ الأمْر لَم يعد سِوى وُعود بِتمْثِيل المجْتمعات المهمَّشة مِمَّا فاقم مِن نُفورِهَا أكْثر أخيرًا، أَعْتَقِدُ أنَّ اِخْتِيَارَ التَّمْثيل الجغْرافيِّ هُو الخيَار الأمْثل أو أقلُّه تَسْقِيفُ التَّمْثيل لُغويًّا وجغْرافيًّا رُبَّمَا يُعْطي فُرْصة لِلتَّنَوُّع تحياتي عادل امبارك راسلني 09:44، 12 يناير 2022 (ت ع م)


The best way to guarantee better representation, which shows more diversity among elected candidates:

  • The number of seats is divided differently each time, once it was four, then two, which reduced the chances of diversity.
  • No matter how much we want to diversify by resorting to voting, the outcome will be the same. The most active and representative communities take it all.
  • The general feeling is that elections was nothing more than promises to represent the marginalized communities, which exacerbated resentment even more.
  • I think that geographical representation is the best option, or at least roofing the representation, linguistically and geographically, is a better chance of representation.

--Mervat (WMF) (talk) 09:35, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From a Japanese Participant

  • こんにちは、私は日本人です。Hello I'm Japanese.
日本社会で、「多様性が重要」という言葉が出るとき、私は警戒します。「性別、年齢、人種、国籍、心身の障害、宗教、LGBTといった違いで差別をするな」というのは、私もそうしたいと考えています。When I heard "Diversity is important." in Japanese society, I'll be vigilant. "Do not discriminate on the basis of gender, age, race, nationality, physical or mental disability, religion, or LGBT." I agree.
ですが、かなえることが難しい理想です。もし叶えられたとしても、「多様性を尊重しよう」という文化の、一元的勝利の可能性が強いでしょう。But it's an ideal that is difficult to attain. If you succeed, it would be the unitary victory of the culture, "Let's respect diversity".
実際には、属する文化によって譲れない点は、多々あるはずです。Some culture has points, which can't compromise.
もし候補者が、多様性は良いことだとしてだけとらえるのならば、肌の色が何色だろうと、似た価値観の人物が揃っているだけです。それは多様性ではありません。If all the candidates takes diversity is good, no matter what color your skin is, they're in similar values.
私は、他の文化との差を理解しようとする能力のほうが、はるかに重要だと考えます。I think the ability to try to understand the differences between other cultures is more important.
私は候補者の方に、いくつかの質問に答えてもらいたいと思います。I'd like candidates would reply to my questions.私は外国事情に疎い、凡庸な日本人です。I'm not familiar with foreign affairs, a typical Japanese.その素朴な疑問に答えてくれるかどうかが、Whether candidates will reply to my simple questions or not, 異文化に対する理解力や思いやりを判断するひとつの方法になると思います。it would be a way to judge her/his understanding and consideration to other cultures.
私は、自分たちの文化をどう思うか、私と同じように質問をすることを、東南アジアや南米やアフリカのウィキペディアンにもお勧めします。I recommend to Wikipedians from SouthEast Asia, Latin America, Africa to raise your questions like me, "What do you think of my culture?"  
例えばこのような質問です。for example,
1.日本人がクジラやイルカを食べることをどう思いますか。(その種類のクジラがたくさんいて、漁をしても絶滅などしない場合です)What do you think about that some Japanese eat whales or dolphins? ( in case the spices are fluent)
2.日本は信教の自由が保障されています。ですが、キリスト教徒が人口の1%しかいません。何故だと思いますか。The Japanese constitution protects freedom of religion. But, Christians are 1%. Why?
3.何故、コロナの時代に、欧米の人はマスクを嫌がるのですか? Why do some people in Europa and America reject masks during this pandemic?
4.もし、あなたがアメリカ国民なら、バイデン大統領とトランプ元大統領のどちらを支持しますか?If you're an American, which do you support, President Biden or Former President Trump?
ウィキぺディアのグローバル化は、ごく薄くゆるい繋がり程度に留めたほうが良いと、私は思います。I think the globalization in Wikipedia should be in a loose alliance.
世界各地のウィキペディアンの安全を守るためには、あまりにも意見の異なる民族や国家どうしは、直接、繋がらないほうが良い。To protect each Wikipedians in the world, it's better that people or countries which have very different points of view should not be combined with each other.
自分たちの価値観を守るためには命を賭けることを厭わない共同体がたくさん存在するのは、皆さんご存じでしょう。You know that this world has many communities which don't hesitate to risk her/his life to protect their value.(translation by --YShibata (WMF) (talk) 08:00, 19 January 2022 (UTC)) Kizhiya (talk) 22:05, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User Luisalvaz - English

  • Comment Comment The phrase "The current processes have favored volunteers from North America and Europe." it is inaccurate. In geographical terms, Mexico is in North America, and although there has already been a Mexican candidate for the Board, the statement is imprecise. --Luisalvaz (talk) 16:23, 12 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User RaiderAspect -English

  • I can understand why some people want this, but FIFA and the IOC are not good governance models for a global movement. Even if they were I can't see how a regional district system would work; most users aren't part of a regional affiliate and requiring voters to prove their place of residence obviously isn't an option. --RaiderAspect (talk) 07:23, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
    Presumably each voter could declare their own region, primary language, and ethnicity, and each such category within those three pools would have its own proportion of candidates to be elected? I suppose smaller languages and ethnicities would need to be combined into larger "minority group" categories, similar to how, for example, Monaco would likely end up in the general Europe district. @RaiderAspect: I don't know anything about FIFA or IOC governance, but I am interested to learn why you say they aren't good models. And, do you have an alternative to propose? It seems to me that a relatively uncomplicated Global Council election ought to be tried first, requiring it to agendize, meet, and pass nonbinding resolutions so that the Board can then decide whether to make changes to the process, or hand over control, perhaps initially for a limited amount of time so that the real-world results can be scrutinized too. New4Q (talk) 18:50, 14 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Teukros - Polish

  • Na wstępie można zauważyć, że pojęcie społeczności rozwijającej się przyjęte na potrzeby zadanego wyżej pytania jest bardzo szerokie. Obejmuje szereg społeczności które różni w zasadzie wszystko, oprócz tego że są społecznościami "rozwijającymi się". Z tego względu uważam, że nie sposób stworzyć rozwiązania pozwalającego na sprawiedliwą reprezentacją tak zróżnicowanych podmiotów. Trzeba też zastanowić się, na czym ma polegać "sprawiedliwość" reprezentacji. Czy jedynie "więcej" reprezentacji, czy może coś innego? Samo zwiększenie reprezentacji w Radzie Powierniczej zapewne dałoby się osiągnąć poprzez utworzenie odpowiednio ukształtowanych okręgów wyborczych (najpewniej pod względem geograficznym, ale niekoniecznie). Niemniej jednak, zwykłe zwiększenie reprezentacji w Radzie niekoniecznie musi przełożyć się na lepsze uwzględnienie potrzeb społeczności rozwijających się. Można rozważyć utworzenie ciała doradczego (dokładne kompetencje do ustalenia), takiej "Rady Społeczności Rozwijających się", na forum której można by wypracowywać propozycje działań do przedłożenia i rozpatrzenia przez Radę Powierniczą. --Teukros (talk) 13:36, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Reke - Chinese (Traditional)

  • 無論是參選者或投票者身份更加多元,都有機會增加多樣性;但核心問題是他們為什麼要參與基金會的董事會選舉呢?如果補助審核者多樣性缺乏會阻止我得到基金會的補助,我會希望補助的審核者更多元化;但即使基金會董事會即使全員都是Jimbo及他的快樂伙伴,只要社群申請贊助不受影響,大概也沒人在乎。董事會的組成「應該」會對最基層的用戶造成影響,但是大部分的人是無法理解這個影響如何,當然也不會在意董事會的組成。所以,先讓每個分支組織或用戶理解,他們哪些期待是因為董事會而達成的、哪些則是因為董事會而被阻擋的,然後才會有人在乎其中的成員。
  • (Translate) It could be a chance to increase diversity of Board members if the candidates or voters are more diverse, but the main problem is that "WHY they should participate in foundation board elections?". If the lack of diversity of grant reviewers prevents me from getting grants from the foundation, I would ask to have more diversity of grant reviewers; however, even if all board members are Jimbo and his happy friends, if the funding is not be affected, perhaps nobody will care that. Therefore,it have to let every users and affiliations understand what their wish will come true and what will be blocked by Board of Trustees, then more people will care who are the board members.--Reke (talk) 13:58, 19 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:iyumu - Tâi-gí (Taiwanese)

  • Góa sǹg-sī Wiki Mûi-thé (Wikimedia) téng-koân ê chhài-chiáu-á, chū 2020 nî-bóe chiah khai-sí chham-ú Wiki ê oa̍h-tāng. Góa kám-kak Wiki Mûi-thé chin--ê sī chi̍t-ê chin hó ê pêⁿ-tâi, iû-kî tùi gún chit-khoán siong-tùi khah sè ê siā-khu lâi kóng, ū-ki-hōe ēng ka-tī ê gí-bûn, lâi ūi chū-iû tì-sek ê kè-ta̍t lâi kòng-hiàn, góa ū-iáⁿ kám-kak chiâⁿ boán-chiok. Chāi góa ê keng-giām lâi khòaⁿ, nā kóng tio̍h "to-iuⁿ-sèng," gí-giân ê to-iuⁿ-sèng it-tēng sī siōng-tiōng-iàu ê, góa siong-sìn Ki-kim-hōe mā-ē jīn-tông. Só͘-í, góa jīn-ûi tùi gí-giân gī-tê ê koan-sim, it-tēng sī chi̍t-ê tiōng-iàu ê kè-ta̍t kap phiau-chún, góa siong-sìn Ki-kim-hōe téng-thâu ê tāi-piáu iá-sī úi-oân, nā tùi gí-giân ê gī-tê ū koan-sim, chia-ê thâu-lâng it-tēng ū hoat-tō͘ chhōa-niá lán chia-ê bô-kâng siā-khu ê lâng, chiap-siū bô kâng-khoán siūⁿ-hoat kap khòaⁿ tāi-chì ê kak-tō͘, Ki-kim-hōe ê hoat-tián it-tēng sī kiâⁿ-hiòng koh-khah to-goân ê bī-lâi.
  • (Eng-bûn Hoan-e̍k) I am kind of a newbie here in Wikimedia communities. From the end of 2020, I started to participate in some wiki projects and to carry out our plans for Wikimedia movements. Actually, I appreciate that we got this amazing stage or platform to develop or even promote our local languages when contributing to free knowledge sharing. And in my own experience, when it comes to "diversity," language diversity must be the first thing to do with. I believe that the Foundation will agree with this. Thus, a representative of the Foundation must care about language issues. Those who care about language diversity will surely lead the different communities to a much more vivid future.
  • Si̍t-chè-siōng, lán ē-tàng ū siáⁿ-mih kî-thāi? Kū-nî, 2021 nî, gún Tâi-oân ū 3 ê goân-chū-bîn gí-giân ê siā-khu, chò-hóe chham-ka Wikimania 2021. Pò-miâ ê sî-chūn, sui-jiân kóng sī ē-tàng ēng ka-tī ê gí-giân hoat-piáu, m̄-koh kàu-bóe-á, ū thê-kiong ê hoan-e̍k mā-sī chú-liû ê hia-ê gí-giân. Hi-bāng bī-lâi, Ki-kim-hōe m̄-nā sī chhùi-kóng to-gí-giân, ài ū-iáⁿ si̍t-chiān, ài bān-bān chìn-pō͘. Khòaⁿ sī-m̄ ē-tàng ke poah chi̍t-kóa keng-hùi hō͘ múi-chi̍t-ê tē-khu ê chham-ú-chiá, pó͘-chō͘ in hoan-e̍k ê khai-siau, in-ūi m̄-sī múi-chi̍t-ê tē-khu lóng koàn-sì sú-ēng hia-ê chú-liû gí-giân. Í-siōng hām ta̍k-ê hun-hiáng, kau-liû. To-siā.
  • (Eng-bûn Hoan-e̍k) So what can we do to make it better actually? Last year, 2021, we took part in Wikimania 2021 with 3 Taiwanese communities. Before we signed up for a block, I remembered there was some information saying that all languages are welcome. Participants can present in their own language. However, in fact, translation or interpretation is only available in the main languages. In the future, we hope that the Foundation will not only announce that all languages are welcome on Wikimedia related activities. We should make it come true. We hope the Foundation will welcome all language by supporting different communities with translation. One way is to fund the local community to help them deal with the translation. Not all communities are used to the main languages. It's my idea here to you all. Discussions are welcome. Thank you. iyumu 07:38, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User Waltercolor - French


What is the best way to ensure more diverse representation among elected candidates? I think there are several aspects in the representation of diversity in international elections of the movement. So there can be :

- not enough diversity among candidates (persons of the diversity do not candidate).
- a good diversity among candidates but the candidates mainly don't correspond to the profile needed (the election is attractive but the candidates don't meet the requirements to perform the task).
- a good diversity among the candidates, but not among the elected one (there are enough candidates of diversity but they are not choosen by the voters).

So to have more candidates, skilled candidates, popular candidates, elected candidates coming from the diversity, I believe some useful things that can be proposed.

Amongst them :

  • Free English self-teaching courses

For doing the task for which they should be elected, candidates have to speak a "decent english" because English is the working language of movement's elected bodies. Some brilliant people in our communities could be excellent trustees or members of Committees but they are not fluent enough in English to apply as candidates. I suggest we adopt here a middle and long time perspective by proposing open free english online self-teaching courses where would-be candidates (and any other community members) can learn by themselves and at their rythm all the English they need to apply further to any international election of the WMF.

  • Representing all levels of editing

Recently a leader of my community declared that for him, under 5000 edits, he estimates that candidates to elections in the movement are not representative of the community. So he eliminates all these candidates of -5000 to build his shortlist for voting. I suggest that we verify if the diversity is the same in the groups of - 5000 edits and + 5000. If there is a difference and it appears that using a barrier of + 5000 edits is in fact an anti-diversity filter, we should think seriously about this. So one solution could be to limit the seats that are allocated to the +5000 in order that other profiles can also be in the shortlist of the voters (at this time, modest editors, who represent nearly half of the editors, are mainly designated by bodies but rarely elected by the community).

  • Providing a permanent social space for the movement

One of the difficulties for candidates from the "Global South", is that there is no "Global South" vote. People vote for candidates they know something about them and this is more difficult for people coming from smaller communities or scattered one. Establishing a reputation at the general level of a movement needs a certain time (I would say years). To increase their notability, would-be candidates need a permanent place to make themselves known by the whole community through their presence, participation, ideas, discussions in the social life of the community. So we should build our own space of social life of our global community. The last online Wikimania was a great example of how people can socialize, collaborate, meet, have working sessions on a global platform with a lot of rooms and spaces and a public agenda. It's typically where diversity can flourish, outside the actual avenues mainly devoted to the tenors of the movement.

Waltercolor (talk) 09:50, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From Arabic Wikimedians User Group

  • The current election process cannot fulfill the diversity and equity in participation, and these are important requirements the foundation seeks to achieve; the recent board election was a good example. Two seats will not be sufficient to represent affiliates or communities.
  • Activating the role of the groups and communities and urging them to participate in the process by clarifying the importance of their participation and the change that such active participation can bring about.
  • the new seats may be designated to fill the missing gaps that appeared in the last election.
  • Regarding the upcoming elections, we believe to organize one election process to fill 6 seats in one go.
Added by Mervat. --Mervat (WMF) (talk) 09:36, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User Imbehind - Croatian


I've browsed through list of Resolutions made by BoT here: Resolutions - Wikimedia Foundation Governance Wiki to get a better sense of what exactly BoT does. Of 45 resolutions in total (during the 2021.), an average Wikipedian such as myself, finds only 3 resolutions topics vaguely relevant for things I do on my local Wikipedia, and for my local Wikipedia itself. The first two are resolutions considering "Universal Code of Conduct." The third one is "Adopting a Human Rights Policy" resolution. I do not see the relevance of 42 more resolutions either to me, or to my local Wikipedia. Moreover, the UCoC and "Human Rights Policy" are so universal, that the "diversity" itself is irrelevant - what diversity you really need regarding the basic Code of Conduct or basic Human Rights? I understand that even those topics are not universally agreed upon, but what would diversity of opinion on those subjects contribute to the discussion, now that resolutions are already made?

So, in the end, the question becomes - why should we care about the diversity of BoT, if the diversity has no real purpose? 42 of 43 topics listed are of no real consequence to either me or my local wiki-community, why should we invest our time if we cannot change anything that really matter to us? I'm sure running Wikipedia is no small technical feat. But what's the point of electing a diverse group of people to run things, if local Wikipedias are mostly autonomous and global policies have mostly symbolic (if any) influence on local projects? We do not need diversity to run servers, you know. We just need a capable janitor.

For BoT to actually become capable of addressing the real issues we have on local Wikis, I would say it should first stop doing the janitor's job. Secondly, I support what Waltercolor said about "Providing a permanent social space for the movement", and if I might add - maybe we should all just look at some non-traditional governance models such as Liquid Democracy in order to try to get some cohesion within the community and to create a stage for people who are able and wiling to represent our diverse ideas, not our countries or the color of our skin.  Imbe  hind 💊 19:06, 8 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

From LiAnna Davis – English


First, a disclaimer: While I was invited to participate in this conversation as the chair of the Wikipedia and Education User Group, I am commenting here in my personal capacity, not on behalf of the group. This is an expansion of a comment I made at one of the Zoom meetings held for affiliates about this topic, after I was asked to post it here too.

I think the premise of this question isn't enough: it's not how do we have more diverse representation, it's how can we set more diverse candidates up to be successful as Board members. For better or worse, we in the Wikimedia movement often see Board members as having oversight of WMF strategy — and this is true, they do. But there are also so many other aspects to serving as a Board member of a US-based nonprofit with a nine-figure annual budget. Understanding complex balance sheets, discussing the difference between a material weakness and a significant deficiency in an audit report, overseeing fiscal and legal policies for hundreds of employees, managing the ED, enacting the duties of care, loyalty, and obedience — these are also roles that WMF Board members legally must play. I can't speak to the WMF Board, but I can speak to the eight-figure annual budget US nonprofit (not in the Wikimedia space) that I serve on the board of — it's those things, not the strategy, where I spend 80% of my time as a board member. (See also User:Imbehind's comment above about how few of the Board resolutions seem relevant to them — that's because a lot of what a Board has to do isn't the stuff we community members think about.) And this is where I think our challenge lies: Without more robust opportunities for candidates around the world to grow these skills in Wikimedia organizations, we aren't setting community-sourced candidates up for success even if we do establish ways to make enable more diverse candidates to join the Board. I want more diverse Board members because I think diverse perspectives are important, but it's even worse if we put diverse people on the Board, declare success for diversity, and then marginalize them once they're there because they don't have enough experience to be successful in the role.

Fortunately, I think the strategy lays out a better plan for this: decentralization is at the heart of the strategy, and investing in leadership development is a key priority. The best way we can prepare more diverse candidates to effectively serve on the WMF Board is to provide governance leadership opportunities for them within our movement. It means sending significantly more money via grantmaking into affiliates (or regional or thematic hub groups, or Global Council — I'm using affiliates here as a generic term for formal movement groups), so board members of affiliates have the opportunity to understand the context of governance over organizations with multiple staff, with financial controls, with quarterly budget documents, with managing and working with an ED. It's not one-off project grants; it's sustained annual funding of groups in countries all around the world, led by Wikimedians. Not every affiliate board member will want to join the WMF Board, but the more we give the opportunity for leadership development within our global affiliates, the better we're providing the opportunity for diverse people to be skilled candidates, and then to be successful once they're on the Board. --Liannadavis (talk) 22:41, 12 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

From Adamw — English


Board members such as Pundit have discussed the idea of "regional hubs", and the two proposals about mapping Trustee or Global Council seats to geographical regions is complementary to this, in a way. There's an urge when confronted with global issues to create some kind of a miniature United Nations. I have doubts that any regional grouping will be sufficient, minority languages will still need a champion, and none of the balances will shift until we've recruited new editors in numbers to match existing editors.

If the Board is planning to focus on a specific region, this would be the perfect opportunity to use an appointed seat to fill the expertise gap.

Of course the Board should be diverse, because this is more just. But to become "representative" there are many deeper changes to make. Reprioritize funds to build diverse readership (support what are currently minority languages). Unlearn toxicity and make it more difficult to harass others (support gender diversity). Change our structure entirely so that editors are driving the programmatic work that impacts their communities (participatory democracy). —Adamw (talk) 01:14, 13 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

From Ilario — English


I really continue to be quite shocked by the proposals to solve the diversity problem. I can read "ethnicity" or "languages" as if being of different ethnicity or a different language could be evidence of diversity. The proposal cannot be applied because what happens to people of one ethnicity but who speak a language other than that ethnicity? or for multilingual people (do you know that more people speak more than one language as their mother tongue?) or what happens to those born of a mixed marriage? But what is truly negative is the division by physical aspect or by culture is itself discriminatory. As is happening in all these "diversity proposals", more discrimination is often introduced to limit discrimination than there was before. People are not evaluated by their ability, intelligence or knowledge, but by ethnicity. I personally live in Switzerland and belong to a linguistic minority in Switzerland which is not a minority in Italy and which is considered a "colonialist" culture only because it is in Europe, when in reality Switzerland has never had colonies. 25% of the Swiss population does not speak a national language and over half of the population is of non-Swiss origin. Switzerland has a long knowledge about the problem of minorities, diversity and multiculturalism which has not been solved assigning some places in the Parliament to some languages or ethnicity. For this reason I agree on the difference of opinions that can be mapped differently and, paradoxically, the division by affiliates creates itself much more diversity than ethnicity and language because it is a division by themes or by experience and knowledge. I consider that a group of people who care about sustainability, for example, brings more diversity and difference of opinion than a linguistic group and that a group of affiliates that has been active for decades brings more experience than a group of people of a certain ethnicity. --Ilario (talk) 16:18, 13 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Bluerasberry - English


🗳 ✅ The Wikimedia Foundation should fund an independent Wikimedia Community Election Committee to ensure diversity among elected candidates. The stakes of the election are seats for trustees who oversee and approve multiyear Wikimedia Foundation budget plans of US$1,000,000,000 over the term of a typical trustee's service. Despite the huge stakes and importance of this, there is no allocation of Wikimedia Foundation funding or resources for the Wikimedia community to self-organize its own conversations and solutions to address the major challenges of election. Increasing diversity among elected candidates will be an outcome of community-organized conversations. The election committee could be a Wikimedia user group, and a model draft is at Election Protection Connection.

I was an organizer for the Wikimedia Foundation Trustee elections in 2016 and 2019 for the Affiliate selected seats.

These elections took hundreds of Wikimedia community volunteer hours to organize. I am fortunate to be privileged enough to volunteer as an organizer, and while I did, the costs of all aspects of the election were obvious to me. Barriers to election participation are very high for most of the world. My advice for lowering barriers to participation is for the WMF to fund the Wikimedia community to organize its own election discussions to improve diversity. While volunteering, my experience and observation was noting that the Wikimedia Foundation appointed paid staff to support volunteers in organizing the election, but those WMF staff made strong decisions which influenced election outcomes and which came from social and ethical positions which differed from those of the Wikimedia community. In election planning there will be some actions which advance the Wikimedia Movement, and some which advance the Wikimedia Foundation, and it can happen that the interests of the Movement can be in conflict with the interest of the WMF as a corporation. While the WMF pays staff to advocate for its interests as a corporation, there is no comparable budget to empower the community to advocate for the Movement when the interests differ. I feel that a significant barrier to diversity is that the Wikimedia Community is much more willing to advocate for participation in Lower and Middle Income Countries than the Wikimedia Foundation is. I understand why: diversity is expensive, it causes major communication misunderstandings, and it identifies and amplifies tedious problems which Wikimedia Foundation staff are obligated to address if and only if they come to know about them. I know there is a perception or wish that increasing diversity is cheap and free and easy, but the reality is that increased diversity requires increased resourcing to bring equity. Because it is much easier for Wikimedia Foundation staff to work with people who have the values of business professionals in the United States, it is much more difficult for Wikimedia Foundation staff to talk about election challenges than it is for Wikimedia community volunteers. If there were funding for an independent community election organization, then very quickly with no hesitation the community would be able to list and discuss ethical issues, even when the problems are expensive, take years to correct, or publicly and prominently highlight common and unavoidable ethical tragedies like the exclusion of some communities due to lack of resources. The community feels no shame about lacking infinite money, but corporate communication staff everywhere including at the Wikimedia Foundation are trained to minimize public discussion of difficulties even when the only solutions are long term conversation.

I recognize that there is a WMF Trustee proposal from 2013 for a Standing Election Committee. While I support the idea of a Standing Election Committee, I do not support that one. That 2013 proposal says that WMF staff should be on the committee, and that the community will not get access to funds. While I recognize that WMF staff should be involved in the election, if the community does not have an independent committee, then it will never be free to speak freely and WMF staff will pressure community election committee members to not talk about difficult issues. I have experienced this pressure myself, and I have heard from other election committee members that this happens. For the 2021 election, the community election volunteers went silent as noted at Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/Post mortem. They have not spoken publicly about the cause, but I know what happened in 2016 and 2019. It is very difficult for unpaid volunteers to make time and give emotional labor to debate ethics with paid WMF staff. I expect that lots of Wikimedia community members have things to say, but especially among those in underrepresented communities, there is a perception that having differing opinions or any disagreement with Wikimedia Foundation staff can limit access to community funding. There should be no requirement that a community election committee needs to get consensus with or permission from WMF staff to speak or report election outcomes, which is the current way that elections are happening. When there are barriers to community participation in elections, then that creates barriers to recruiting diverse candidates to stand for election. Although the original question was diversity in candidacy, I think the easiest solution to that challenge is improving diversity in general community participation, and in empowering community conversation with access to funds which support those conversations. Another problem with that 2013 proposal is that it was from a time when the WMF had a much smaller budget and it was unthinkable that there would be enough money to justify sponsoring community conversations. The money is now available, the stakes are increased, and funding community conversation on ethics and social issues is a small price for increasing the integrity, trust, and community buy-in for the election.

I do not blame WMF staff for anything wrong, and I do not want criticism directed at the Wikimedia Foundation. The challenge here is simply empowering the Wikimedia Community to do what it does best, which is to self organize conversation around tough issues. Since the Wikimedia community votes, the Wikimedia community needs its own organization and conversations to protect its interests as a voting demographic. 🗳 Bluerasberry (talk) 01:10, 17 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

What are the expectations for the candidates during the election?

video meetings sounds exciting. Davidche123 (talk) 00:28, 8 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Candidate debates will benefit only English-speaking communities unless an interpreter is provided for each wiki language version. It is impossible to provide interpreters for all different language communities, and it probably will end up with getting interpreters from a handful of languages of the largest language communities, leaving underrepresented communities behind. I thought that’s what exactly BoT is trying to avoid. —RottenApple777 (talk) 21:22, 16 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Discuss this question


From User Nosebagbear -English

  • This is a much better phrased question, aided by the additional detail. I'll start with the obvious aspect: community questions: I would note that from the moment that community questions started getting written to the mid-way point of the election is many, many weeks. Even to the start of the actual election it's some considerable time. Answering 3-4 questions a day would have made any candidate capable of doing the whole list with time to spare. Trustees have a reputation for being hard to get answers from. Fixing that needs to start at the candidate stage. While candidates still, I believe, need decent English, I would say it's reasonable to fund translation support for candidates who want it if that aids clearer understanding of questions and easier provision of answers. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:05, 11 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User RaiderAspect - English

  • The candidates are volunteering to be entrusted with the management of an organisation with more than five hundred employees and several hundred millions of dollars in assets. Being a Trustee will require hard work. It will require handling uncomfortable questions, and dealing with aggrieved people. This isn't a 'do what you can, when you can' role; if they cannot devote considerable time and effort to the election then I'm afraid they are not suitable for the position.
Some of the expectations during the 2021 elections were too low. The facilitators chose only 11 questions, even though candidates had several weeks to respond. Dariusz Jemielniak (to give an example) only required 2154 words to answer them all. The Election Committee's priorities need to be seriously re-calibrated; they were too concerned with protecting candidates here, and not focused enough on ensuring voters could make a fully informed decision. Only repetitive, irrelevant and clearly bad-faith queries should be culled.
On the other hand, I am sympathetic to concerns about the election video meetings. Asking candidates from all around the world to be present at specific dates and times is a much less reasonable burden. --RaiderAspect (talk) 06:51, 13 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Mike Peel - English


From the perspective of a candidate that stood in the last election, these are the things I would suggest that could be improved. COI note: I am thinking about running in the next election, but I've tried to write these as general points, and I don't think any of the points would particularly benefit/penalise me if I stand again.

  • Community questions: while the efforts to focus these were good, it went a bit too far with narrowing down to 10 questions. I'd suggest a lighter approach to pruning duplicate/out-of-scope community questions, then letting candidates answer the ones that they want to answer. I disagree with the proposal to "require nominees to answer at least four questions per day" - mainly because daily interactions shouldn't be expected during the election, everyone is busy and has other things they need to get on with. Having reasonable expectations for candidates to answer questions, with flexibility, would work best. If specific questions are particularly important for voters, they can always weight their votes by who has taken the time to answer the questions.
  • Video summaries and photos: personally I would suggest removing these from the process, since it's well known that these lead to biased votes based on things like attractiveness, race, and ethnicity (random example from google, [1]. If they stay, then they should be defined as part of the process right from the start, not added on later, and there should probably be technical support to make sure everyone can produce them.
  • Community video calls. These were interesting in the last round - they provided space for questions to be asked that otherwise wouldn't have been, and they introduced the candidates to a larger global community. However, they were poorly attended, and badly facilitated/time-managed. The translation work was fantastic, though! If these continue in the future, I would recommend having a smaller number of them that are focused on different timezones rather than geographies, and that they should be advertised much more widely. I would also strongly recommend keeping the live translations - although spending translation resource on the text and questions would be a more optimal use of paid translator work.
  • Election committee responsiveness. There were several questions that came up during the last election that needed committee input (e.g., around canvassing for votes), but the committee didn't respond to them, and it shouldn't be the place of WMF staff to respond instead. I'm not sure what went wrong here - whether it was on the staff side or the volunteer side - but regardless, this process needs improving for future elections.
  • In general, I'd suggest: make the expectations for the election clear at the start, and don't unexpectedly change them during the process. Make the optimal use of candidate's time - bear in mind that most candidates won't be selected, so it's not reasonable to expect them to have the same time availability at this point as you would expect them to have as a trustee. And overall, make sure it's a fair playing field that avoids bias from things that really shouldn't affect the election.

I hope this is helpful. If anyone replies to these points, please {{ping}} me. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:23, 14 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

I second these comments on video summaries and photos, with the additional comment that it takes a LOT longer to watch a video than to read its transcript. Keeping information in text format, where it can be, is respectful of the time of voters.
If people want high participation, then I suggest using a user-talkpage notice like those used for announcing elections (with a configurable opt-out). Community calls with candidates could in theory go in the same talkpage post as the election announcement. User-talkpage posts would also be good for this consultation process and similar governance-changing processes. Posting notices to community discussion boards is not adequate in practice; I often don't look at them for months on end, and some of them are fairly high-traffic. I've missed a number of things because of this.
I think most editors would find it worth the talk page clutter. It's hard to argue that changing the system of governance is less important than changing the people in it; constitutional reform is generally considered more momentous than elections. HLHJ (talk) 15:25, 26 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
@HLHJ: Thanks for the reply, and that's a great point about noticeboards vs. user talk pages. What do you think about watchlist notices - would they also be more useful, or would you not see those too? Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:51, 26 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
@Mike Peel:, You know, I've been meaning to look into watchlists ever since... how long have we had them? But I've never really felt a need for them. Regardless, I would not see a watchlist notification (I think). I've found a talkpage post is the most reliable way to contact an editor, partly because it sends them an e-mail by default, so even new editors and those rarely on the wikis get the message promptly. I can't imagine someone following their watchlist but not their talk page, but tha might just be me; are there any readers who feel they might do so? HLHJ (talk) 05:15, 27 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Waltercolor - French


I agree with a lot of remarks and propositions of @Mike Peel:, having experienced the same during the last Board of Trustees election process. I'll pick up some points but would perhaps put them in another order to give my own view.

  • Election committee responsiveness : a strong, reactive and responsible Election committee is for me the key for a successful election campaign. In the next months, the Election Committee should work to plan and organize correctly the process with better tools and also be responsive during the campaign if new problems arise. In general, as a big and old movement, we should now outweigh the experimental phase of organizing election and go to a stable valid process for all elections. It was too experimental in the last campaigns (Board of Trustees and Movement Charter Drafting Committee elections) and we may loose candidates and voters if we present messy or always "work in progress" elections processes.
  • Video summaries and photos: The written and video presentations of the candidates must be standardized. On meta we have very old templates styles which are convenient for an average written information. But they do not correctly work for rich content with a lot of tables, photos, embedded video, links, etc... See if we could display a most pretty and readable version for the candidates lists and pages.
For photos and video summaries, I believe the same tool must be proposed to all candidates to do their photos in the same format, to record their videos in the same framework, etc..
For videos, standard templates with the same questions displayed in text panels (e.g. : Who are you ? Why do you apply for the election ?, What is your main proposition, Once at the board, how will you accommodate the confidentiality and the communication, etc...) must be available in a pre-built video and the candidates should be able to record easily their own message after each panel with a cool online tool (no video editing, no transcoding, no uploading etc... has to be done by the candidate).
  • Community questions: an online questionaire should be proposed to understand which importance voters give to the answers of the candidates to determine their votes and how much this parameter weighs in their global choice, compared to objective facts (like the edit counter), notability (the candidate is known in the movement since years because she/he belongs to elected bodies, or is a tenor speaker in the debates, etc..) or other criteria (which one ?).
Community questions are important because they give us an idea about the main concerns in the community. But should these questions be central in the campaign or should not the program of the candidates be the focus ? I suggest the Community questions are collected before the candidates apply. Once the candidates applys, they write their programm and take in account what they think is important.
Next question rounds should be addressed to each candidate and concern each program rather than doing it reverse like now, when each candidate had to answer question by question to dozens of questions for days (their individual program will do this but in a synthetic way).
  • Community video calls : as suggested above, the questions of the community being asked before the candidates apply, these questions will get a written answer in the programs of each candidate.
So Community video calls are the moment where community members can ask for precisions concerning the written program of the candidates. The focus should be on the candidates and what they propose, how they see the problematics raised by the community in the questions that arised in the consultation before the opening of the application for candidates.
Waltercolor (talk) 11:33, 24 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Same expectations for community-elected and other candidates


Should the same expectations, for applications and answering community questions, apply to candidates elected by the board rather than the community? The board could choose on the basis of better information if they had the opportunity to watch potential future board members interact with the community. Perhaps this should be phrased as a proposal, but I'm not sure how to do that or if it's appropriate. HLHJ (talk) 15:53, 26 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

Arabic Wikimedians User Group - Arabic

  • During the election period, candidates should launch campaigns, using different methods such as recording videos, and communicating with different communities globally in their own languages - candidates have to introduce themselves to the voters, that should be supported and facilitated by the foundation.
  • I think the most important thing is that the foundation must introduce the strategy it will follow to bridge the gap between communities along with the experience from previous processes. Maybe there is a need for someone who could audit the answers the candidates provide for the communities' questions, to guarantee accuracy.
Added by Mervat. --Mervat (WMF) (talk) 12:34, 31 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Jonathan5566 - Mandarin

  • 難以回答的問題。據說是理事會自己想的?看來很討厭被問呢。有點反面的立場,提問本來就應該是候選人在參選時就需要考量到的問題,像社群在選管理員時,提問也是很多,但有需要一個制度設計去限制提問嗎?如果候選人自己覺得問題重複,或問題沒建設性自己評估後不回答就好,投票人應該也自己能判斷哪些問題對自己的選擇而言重要。--Jonathan5566(talk) 01:16, 10 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

How should affiliates participate in the elections?


Discuss this question


From User:Ircpresident - Arabic


Besides voting outreach to their members on the mailing lists and other channels, they should not.

From User:Nosebagbear - English

  • I do have several concerns that come from affiliates having formal power in the governance of the WMF, and thus to a heavy degree, the movement. Affiliates are very easy to set-up (generally a positive!) and most don't have sufficient oversight, and multiple groups have created affiliates for the principle purpose of "getting a seat at the table", rather than any actual affiliate benefit. Second is that the nature of affiliates means that they canvass (there are also sometimes formal canvassing attempts) - SWAN, in particular, as a non-general pool (made up of all the affiliates) would be a grave breach of common canvassing rules even if only neutral messages about aspects was used. But most importantly, editors should have power, not affiliates, in governance. The idea that affiliates should have any say authorises double-voting, and compels editors to join affiliates if they want to have their maximum governance say and indeed encourages joining as many affiliates as possible. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:31, 24 January 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • Affiliates, as well as the aspects noted by IRC above, can have a helpful role to play. I would see a benefit in affiliates generating some key questions themselves, working to resolve engagement issues in the less-active (electorally-speaking) communities and so on. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:31, 24 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

From User:Waltercolor - French


Affiliates are an important piece in the structure of our movement. They act as contact point with the local public and often as an interface between the editors and the Foundation, they lobby at governements and regional powers for laws and policies, they collect money from several bodies, they are part of the discussions about the organization of the movement, they mainly have paid staff, they provide trainings, speak with the local press and media, they propose membership, organize elections of their boards, etc... Affiliates promote diversity and realize often the parity that lacks in the editors community.

Affiliates are the place where civil society and the editors community meet. It's also there that anonymous editors may reveal for the first time their civil name for application, for example, to the election of the board of their Affiliates.

To promote diversity and inclusion, natural votes and a faithful representation, and to include in a proper way the necessary representation of the Affiliates in the Board, I suggest following process of selection of Board Trustees for the 8 Community/Affiliates seats :

It would be based on sorting polarized qualities of the candidates and attribute these qualities to the seats, then designating the elected candidates according to their belonging to the corresponding quality group. These qualities may be :

  • Super editor (+5000 edits)/ Modest editor (-5000 edits)
  • Main project (mainly active on Wikipedia, Wikidata, Commons) / Other project (mainly active on another sister project)
  • Affiliate paid staff / Affiliate member volunteer

The two remaining seats may be the repetition of one contrast if it has to be represented more widely (for example : editors) or based on another pertinent criteria for enhancing diversity and inclusion (for example : North / South).

This contrasted sorting will allow more diversity and inclusion and prevent diversity and inclusion only arising by the selection, and never by "natural election". Voters would now have a reason to vote for some profiles they would perhaps have excluded from their shortlist before. It's also a more transparent process than complicate calculations and voters would have a clearer picture before the vote about the rules allowing the election of a candidate.

In fact, it's probable that candidates generally fulfill several non-exclusive qualities (for example : a super editor on main project and Affiliate member volunteer, or a modest editor active on sister project and paid staff, etc... ).

The qualities of each candidates will be mentioned on their applying form and they will run for each of the seats concerning their qualities.

The call for candidates will be achieved when all qualities have at least 3 candidates running for it. In case a quality gets less than 3 or no candidate for it, the seat will remain empty.

According to the results of the election, the Election Committee will fill the seats in the conveniant order. For example : if the four best elected people have all the same profile and only 3 seats are available, the 4th best candidate will not be elected, the next best elected candidates will fill the empty seats, etc... until all seats are attributed to each quality. In case a quality does not get enough votes, the seat will remain empty.

This would allow the Affiliates to be represented in the Board by Trustees by the common election process. Affiliates would not longer have to select or recommend candidates of the diversity and inclusion as the attribution of the seats to contrasted qualities would allow the natural election of such profiles.

Waltercolor (talk) 11:32, 25 January 2022 (UTC)Reply

All Wikimedia Affiliates should get an annual conversation budget to organize, advertise, and convene regular discussions about social and ethical issues in the Wikimedia Movement. Some of these issues may be suggested by the Wikimedia Foundation such as issues from the Movement Strategy, while also each community will organize its own discussions about its own issues. Communities should try their best to summarize and publish discussion notes. Since organizing talks is difficult, and since summarizing and publishing notes is very difficult and often requires community conversation to preserve privacy, the Wikimedia Foundation should grant a conversation budget to every affiliate who will organize them.

Affiliate meetings should happen regularly, as when people are meeting, they should meet regularly to make friends and develop a culture. The meetings should be public and anyone should be able to join and give comment. It is not possible to only organize meetings around the time of an election, or for ad hoc discussions about Movement Strategy only when the WMF wants comments. Communities are not like water faucets or lights which turn on and off, but rather, they always have planned upcoming meetings. When it is time for election, it will be natural and common that affiliates discuss the candidates for themselves, invite anyone to join, and publish their discussion notes. Election discussions will be as natural as the other discussions which all affiliates are always practicing.

Large affiliates may meet an hour monthly; small affiliates should have ethical and social discussions at least one hour once a year. Many affiliates may have such discussions every other month or quarterly. If there is ever a need for more than one hour of discussion a month, then there should be some division of organization because the Wikimedia community of volunteers does not have endless labor and attention to give to all discussions, and no one should feel pressured to participate in everything.

Right now there is no routine Wikimedia Foundation funding to affiliates for discussions, and election discussions have never been funded. Election discussions should be funded, and it should be within a plan to encourage routine discussions continuously, everywhere, and with peer to peer volunteer leadership being the driving force in setting the conversation agenda. Bluerasberry (talk) 01:27, 17 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Other proposals

Decentralization if done right could bring equity in decision-making, but could also be done wrong. Take for example our current situation where the very localized language projects can decide about their content but make none or very little of the funding choices. The details about how we devolve power are up to the future Board, we're in that awkward "vanguardist" phase of transformation. Unfortunately, the Board's make-up will still determine whether and how we carry out that plan, I think. —Adamw (talk) 00:06, 13 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
  • citation needed. please provide documentation of what Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Handbook#Professional_development has or will occur. there is a history of offers not implemented. --Slowking4 (talk) 13:03, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
    • @Slowking4: We have been offered training of that kind, and it is something I plan to do. For me, that has not happened yet, so I'm talking about the future and not the past, but you can ping me in four months if you want it confirmed! Moreover, "investing in training and professional development needs for Trustees" is among the 2022 Board Priorities, and all board members have been asked about the areas in which they believe to develop skills (this is a work in progress, but someone is working on this). Any board member could ask to attend the programs you are linking. Starting in 2021, there is also an internal onboarding program (I'm just mentioning it to give a more complete picture, I know it's not the same thing you are proposing), consisting of a few one-hour training session; it lasts six months, if I recall correctly (it isn't finished yet). - Laurentius (talk) 18:19, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply
      • yeah, it would be nice if the board could model good behavior (open to coaching and training) and publicize this widely, as a broad push to promote training across the organization, and community. not just onboarding, but continuing scaffolding for roles and responsibilities, and cross functional training. the certificate programs linked to, are more like graduate level MBA courses. --Slowking4 (talk) 22:31, 2 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

Additional information


Number of seats


Although it is not part of the consultation, I want to mention one point that is currently being discussed by the board.

The bylaws (after the 2020 changes) state that the board must have between 10 and 16 members (of which between 5 and 8 must be Community- and Affiliate-selected seats). In 2022, two affiliate-selected board members end their term, and we will have elections for up to 4 community- and affiliate-selected trustees. We have not decided yet how many seats exactly will be up for elections: it may be 2, 3 or 4.

The initial idea was to open all 4 seats, and also appoint a few additional board-selected seats, with the goal to have a 16-people board as soon as possible. However, Maryana pointed out that we are currently in a significant leadership transition: four new trustees (including myself) have just joined the board, we will have some more in 2022 due to elections and appointments, while at the same time we have a new CEO and we are selecting multiple new c-levels. This is a lot. For these reason, Maryana recommended considering postponing the further expansion of the board to a later time.

From the board's perspective, we agree that a sudden expansion of the board, and a fast turnover, can make the work of the board and of the WMF more difficult. It is also unclear in general what is the optimal size of a board, and whether 16 is actually better than 12. At the same time, there are reason to support a larger board; for instance, having more seats makes it easier to have a more diverse board membership, which is something we definitely want to have. However, even if we want to go to a larger board, we don't have to rush it now, and we can do it gradually.

In any case, this decision does not affect the proportion between elected and appointed seats: in no case the board-selected seats will outnumber the community- and affiliate- selected seats. So if we open only 2 seats for selection in 2022, only one more board selected seat can be added during this year. If we open to all 4, then 3 more board-selected seats will be added.

This is not mentioned in the consultation, because the consultation focuses on three more important questions. Still, I think it is useful to mention it, to give a more complete picture of the current discussion inside the board. - Laurentius (talk) 08:18, 14 February 2022 (UTC)Reply

General comments


Election input and responsiveness


With the increased involvement of foundation staffers in this election there seemed to be a diffusion of responsibility for the inevitable challenges and decisions that need to get made in a process like this. At other times it was clear who was responsible but still impossible to get an answer or explanation from the Election Committee. That committee had good people on it so I have to suspect that there was something structural or otherwise hidden to an outside observer like me but it did have a material impact at several steps in the process and is something we should figure out better before next year. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 01:58, 18 February 2022 (UTC)Reply