Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/28 June 2016 - Board 2016 priorities

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Message from Christophe Henner[edit]

This message, "Board 2016 priorities", was sent by Christophe Henner on 28 June 2016.

Hi Everyone,

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met in Esino Lario during Wikimania. The minutes will be published in the coming days, but we deemed it too important to wait to share the outcome of this really great meeting.

During the meeting, the Board felt that it was important to establish three clear priorities for the coming year: We will focus on three specific topics:

  • Improving the Board itself
  • Supporting the Executive Director, Katherine Maher
  • Fostering the creation of a strategy for the movement

Every trustee acknowledges that there's a clear need for the Board to assume a leadership position for our movement. That being said, the eight of us are only temporary stewards of our positions. We need to work toward creating the best environment for all of us to push our mission forward.

That is the reason our first topic is about Board improvement — to work to become the trustees you all need. The governance committee is continuing its work on incremental improvements, as well as on defining the further actions we need to take.

Our second priority is to support the Executive Director. As you all know, the Board proposed to Katherine Maher to move from her interim ED position to a permanent one. We are thrilled she agreed.

We must not consider this decision as the end of the process, but as a beginning. In order for the Wikimedia Foundation to achieve great things, the Board needs to be supporting the ED. This means providing her with a consistent and clear explanation of the intentions in our decisions, and to act as sparring partners to her.

The HR committee will work toward that end, and the Board as whole is ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with the best environment possible.

Finally, the lack, or fuzziness, around movement strategy has been a pending question for years. One that we never managed to tackle. And perhaps because no one wanted to take on that charge. The Board of Trustees decided that within the next 12 months we will have to define our vision and strategy. A strategy that is suited with our goals, our values, and is inclusive of every agent of the movement.

The past fifteen years were amazing. But now we have to think of the next fifteen years. There are many challenges ahead of us if we want to keep on changing the world.

We must not shy away from those challenges, nor from the decisions we have to make.

Within the Board of Trustees, Maria Sefidari and I take the lead on the necessary steps are being taken. Katherine and Foundation staff already have worked on the first steps to reach that goal.

Our goal is to make sure we — as a movement — will have a strategy that we can all embrace and push forward together.

As ever, decisions need action, and we will take them and share them quickly so that you know that we walk the talk, and we want to walk it with all of you.

We will be happy to answer any questions you have whether on list, off list or in person in Esino Lario for the people that are there.

Thank you to everyone for those past fifteen years, and I’m looking forward to what we'll achieve in the coming ones!

Christophe