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Wikimedia Conference 2012/Documentation/Day 1/Chapter-council-brainstorm-results

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Representation of chapters[edit]

  • 2 years term proposed in charters seems to be annoying for several chapters.
    • 2 models emerged:
  1. Change time to shorter term
  2. Chapter seat model: Let the chapter decide whom to send - they can also decide the term.
    • Can a council member exist who cannot vote? e.g. associate member, where chapter might not feel confident to have a full representative - maybe just want to use representative for development.


  • Q: Was one chapter one vote decided?
  • A: Yes, each chapter has one - they can either exercise it, or not, or allow another chapter to vote for them by proxy.

Other proposal: have 1 year term for council member


  • Practical ways that council could support us.
  • How to measure development?
    • Number of members
    • Active volunteers,
    • Staff events
    • Activities from the terrritory, e.g. GLAM
    • Literature from chapter
    • Literature released under free license
  • Does everyone need to develop the same?
    • Local spending must be done sensibly, in line with requirements of local environment.
    • Chapters need to be supported in the ways they want to grow.
  • Competitions between chapters in the sense of measurable growth
  • Recognition of achievements

What can council do for us?

  • Repository of good practice
  • Examples fo things that have gone wrong
  • Maybe smaller conferences, maybe on-wiki, to reduce stress from traveling
  • Linguistic support in translating materials
  • Prioritising mailing list postings,
  • Reducing noise

Which chapters need most support?

  • All do:
    • New chapters need support in different ways.

Sharing knowledge[edit]

  • Common portal, like bookshelf project
  • Point where each can go to search for information
  • Not everyone can access chapters-wiki, e.g. groups that are not yet chapters
  • Not just sharing files, flyers, guides, etc.
  • Also ways to deal with government, other organisations, donors, learning institutions, etc.
  • Chapter mentoring:
    • Local chapter nearby can help a group that wants to become a chapter, like Iberocoop does.
    • 1 on 1 sessions, for example there might be someone in another chapter who can help you.
    • Not just whom to ask, but what to ask and how to ask it.
  • Have to have people who can help in specific areas, e.g. people who know how to handle dealing NGOs.


  • Q: Why is chapter wiki closed?
  • A: On Chapters-wiki, only have a list of people on the list, and issues related to chapter-related board seats. May use it as a discussion medium later, but no, you are not missing out on anything.
  • Q: We have meta, why don't we use it as a chapter? (am I understanding correctly?)
  • A: How to search on meta? Need a portal
  • Q: finding stuff in your own language vs everyone understanding
  • A: Might be easier for people who share language to work in their mutual language.

Next step:[edit]

Continue discussion on Sunday

Fishbowl session[edit]

  • Want to take Q&A on changes to charter
  • Elect interim sec general and deputy
    • Will eventually be a paid position, but demanding over a few months.
    • Will found council, build it from scratch.
  • Q: How can we have an election if we don't know the modifications and the charter?
  • A: Vote comes after charter modification discussion.
  • Q: How to sign?
  • A: Tomorrow.
  • Q: Get people outisde this forum to get people to help start up.
  • A: Maybe interim people can decide they need external staff.
  • WMFR wants an executive director who really knows our situation and needs, same thing for this council.
  • Questioner not convinced.
  • Q How can we asses candidates on the spot?
  • A Want to move quickly and react to stuff that's going on in the movement. Have to get it going now if we're serious about it. If we don't do it in Berlin, it will drag on forever on the mailing lists.


  • Decide about choosing by voting
  • Vote for committee to choose candidates
  • Why do we have to have a chapter person? Running this kind of thing is business as usual, so choose a professional.

WMDE comment: You will have an interim period that will end with the first meeting of the council, in Washington. Have these people to prepare for the meeting. Draft charter does't have to be exactly the same as the final charter. Must be a clear mandate for the interim people to make this kind of change. Question for clarification: what's the difference betwen these two people and a committee? Sec General and Deputy can ask for support if needed, and solicit opinions, so watch the mailing lists.

  • Q: Interim position until when?
  • A: Approximately until July.

Make sure that titles include word "interim" to ensure clarity of roles.

  • Q: Are there unofficial candidates?
  • A: There will be people (according to Harel…)

More details on "unpaid": Will have to find a way to get the people paid, because it's so important and hard work, but there is right now no body to pay them.

Presentation of changes to charter[edit]

See Wiki! Chapters_Council/Draft_charter_of_the_Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Amendments