How to move forward
Shortly before the session started
- What was this session about?
Discussing the selection process by itself, and what criteria an ideal board member should have.
- What are the next steps to be taken?
- Who is the person to reach out to?
The three election facilitators Lorenzo, Lane and Chris.
This session documentation was approved by the speaker.
- Original Description
- What qualifications do Affiliates want to see in a Board member? How does the upcoming search for a new ED influence the criteria for an ideal Board member? (Optional: Discuss the role of User Groups in the ASBS.)
- Desired Outcome
- Agreement on criteria (or profile) for the ideal Affiliate selected board members
- Session Format
- Lorenzo Losa (as the election facilitator on site)
- Input from a current member of the Board of Trustees 
- Summary of the session
Lorenz Losa (facilitator of the Affiliate Selected Board Seats process) opened the session. He gave an overview of the board composition, timeline and voting system of the ASBS with the help of the slides.
Someone asked why the second session was closed. Lorenzo answered that it was for talking about specific candidates and how people wanted to vote. Another question was about who could access the Chapters Wiki. Lorenzo answered that usually the chapter board members could so, but the chapters may also decide on other people.
The discussion started with a participant saying that it was good that the Board of Trustees had affiliate selected board members at all. This should stay, the person said.
Someone said that all candidates were good and smart people but a good candidate had to be “something special”. There were different perspectives on what makes a good candidate. People might have different focuses; for example supporting small communities. Another person said that the people should not concentrate on the support of small communities here as that was part of our mission. However it was very important to have the board grounded in our vision.
A participant said that in the past 12 months the Board of Trustees was quite “dysfunctional” and people should think about what was missing and who could fill the gaps. A WMF staff member added that the current board was significantly responsible for the current status of the WMF and the present (s-)election was very important. The board members with community background could not effectively communicate the community opinion to the board and vice versa. A question to ask about the candidates is would “person X” manage to express and fight for the community norms at the board level, especially when faced with someone not from the community?
A participant said that the Board was lacking pretty much everything: communication, leadership, diversity etc and a change was needed. Another person said that in addition people should think of changing the rules for removing a board member.
Lorenzo asked what were the challenges people expected the board members to face. The new members that entered the group already tended to think the same way. The new persons might not have enough influence in the board. A participant suggested that the way the board functioned needed changing. The present way did not meet the expectations.
Maria Sefidari from the board was asked what the board needed. Maria answered that her personal opinion was that the board needed someone with prior board experience (because it was not a place to learn how a board works) who is aligned with our values (all candidates were). A participant supported her opinion and added that new members had to know what to do with the thousands of challenges the Movement had. The Board needed to prioritize. The (s-)elected candidates had to influence the board.
Someone asked Maria how important the skill of written and spoken English was for a board member. Maria answered that obviously the skill was needed, however there was budget for the development of the board and possibility for language skills improvement.
Lorenzo asks about past ASBS elections. Which had been successful? What could the Movement learn from the past? A participant said that they were looking for board members who defended chapters’ interests, specifically concerning fundraising agreements. But the result was not ideal. It was important not to select for specific projects or interests but more generally. Another person adds that the global perspective is important.
Lorenzo closed the session and invited people to the second (closed) ASBS session.