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User:Pfctdayelise/Chapters communication

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It is obvious from the very slow progress in the chapter-side of the Chapter-selected Board seats that coordination and communication between chapters is very poor.

  • many chapters make no comments at all. - Are they ignoring it? - Don't understand it? (language barrier?) - Think it is irrelevant to them? - Happy with the status quo?
    • I think there is a bit of all of these in the reasoning. Ignoring it: some people in the chapters boards have no idea what is going on and anything that emanates from the international side of things will be systematically ignored (the focus will rather be on the "interior" things). Don't understand it: Some people within the chapter's board are simply not up to the task of discussing the matter in English. Think it is irrelevant to them: some chapters do not see this as anything important in the life of their own chapter as it does not directly effect their activities. Happy with the status quo: this probably has a little bit of all of the preceding in it. If it ain't broken, don't fix it. notafish }<';> 15:35, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • there is no one obliged to lead the discussion. it's just individuals who care enough to push an agenda forward, but they have no special role or recognition and often become frustrated and distracted


  • chapters people are very busy with their own internal work.
  • they have no obligation to participate in chapters discussions.

With the tendency towards yearly RL "all-chapters" meetings (Mar/Apr), as well as communication at Wikimania (Aug/Sep), as well as the responsibility of the Chapter-selected Board seats, there is an increasing need for the chapters to coordinate their communication better, and an increasing recognition of the potential benefits, e.g. multiple-chapter organised events, better sharing of experiences and knowledge.

So how might we organise ourselves? What about the rotating presidency of the EU model? The current "trio model" also seems interesting to adopt.

  • Each term is 6 months, Jan-Jun and Jul-Dec. The "standing chair" chapter is assisted by by the previous and following chair chapters.
  • The standing chair chapter chooses from its own people who will be the actual chair for the six months.
  • ? The standing chair chapter is obliged to communicate the collective opinions of the chapters to the WMF board (and staff if appropriate); this doesn't change how indiviudal chapters express their opinions as they do currently.
  • The standing chair chapter is obliged to organise the chapters meeting (not necessarily run it themselves, and not necessarily in their country) (first half of year)
  • The standing chair chapter is obliged to organise chapters events at Wikimania (second half of year)
  • The standing chair chapter is obliged to move along the selection of chapters-appointed WMF board seats, if that time has come
  • The standing chair chapter may also choose to create other events to support chapters communication, e.g host monthly IRC meetings
  • The standing chair chapter can also choose to adopt a theme or "priority" to push during its term. e.g. pictures, governance, fundraising, volunteers

Being the standing chair chapter should:

  • increase awareness of your chapter and its people amongst the other chapters and WMF
  • help you and your members feel more involved in the chapter family
  • give you a chance to practice and display your leadership and diplomacy skills
  • help you achieve something important on your agenda (via the theme)
My personal view is there is a pressing need for a single chapter to be asked to take the lead in organising the selection of the WMF Board seats at the least. 16:51, 28 March 2009 (UTC) (WM-UK, Secretary)

Has anyone considered that... chapters should become chapters not only because they ask so... and are recognised as chapters by WMF... but also because they could be recognised by other chapters as chapters ? The current status quo is that chapters have no reason to feel part of a *group* because they have neither rights, nor responsibilies toward that group. (THE chapters). They only have obligations toward Wikimedia Foundation, which foster a relationship of submission between the two. Master/servant like.
But between chapters themselves, there are no such obligations. I think - even if it ads to the level of bureaucracy - that it would be interesting that new chapters are not welcome/added because WMF thinks they can, but also because the entire mouvement think they can.
This would be an obligation to the global network. If we imagine that this global network could have a higher level of governance (with something like a special group and/or a turning presidency), chapters could have the obligation to provide an annual report to the global network, or to be present at the annual convention. Failure to 1) report, 2) participate and 3) do things would cause the chapter to lose its chaptership status. This choice would turn us away from defining a chapter only by its right to use the trademarks, but would also define a chapter by its ability and will to join a global network.

Reversely, the rights of the chapters... currently seem to be only turning around this right to use trademarks. Which creates this one-way-relationship with WMF. Why not rather add in the *rights* of chapters, the right of being a 6 months president from time to time, the right of being part of a small central body (which would be allowed to take decisions in the name of the collective), and the right of voting or participating to polls as appropriate ?

Anthere 17:48, 31 March 2009 (UTC)