Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Conversations/2021-02-20 - Second Office Hours/Second session
2020-02-20 Meeting 2 of the second office hour on the Call for Feedback
- The conversation ran from 10:00 to 11:20 UTC
- Number of participants: 21
- Quim : starts explaining the logistics of the meeting. Introduces the facilitation team and its roles during the conversation. The meetup will be recorded, transcribed and published later, including its chat log.
- Houcemeddine Turki : claryifies his proposal of Specialization seats. His intention is to enforce the idea of collecting needed expertise from within the Wikimedia Movement instead of appointing external people with such expertise. This would help the board, as such members of the board would bring in their special expertise and the required knowledge on the Wikimedia movement at the same time. He points out, that the exact format is open to further discussion, stepping back from the idea of a quota. As possible persons with the wanted expertise he refers to members of the community and staff of the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : agrees on the idea of seeking expertise within the movement. He refers to the rubric as a tool for this, as it checks for expertise including academia, human rights, social justice, software engineering. He does not see this idea to be significantly different from the former "Specialization seats" proposal though. Dariusz adds that due to possible conflicts of interest it is not possible for an employee of the WMF to be a member of the board at the same time.
- Anass Sedrati : states, that community seats are about community representation and lesser about skills, that's what appointed seats are for.
- Dariusz: agrees and adds, that due to the size of the organization some skills are required even by community representatives.
- Quim : points out that all ideas are totally up to be discussed in detail and not thought of as final ideas.
- Butch Bustria : asks if there is a way to rotate seats, as there are new generations of Wikimedians coming up, even more diverse.
- Dariusz : says there is not such a way, but a limitation of terms, causing a rotation anyway. But a person can reapply / refile candidacy after a "year rest" (no limit on the number of returns for a fresh term)
- Anass : is coming back to Dariusz's reply that a certain skill set is required for a member of the board. Anass disagrees and points out that even newcomers and lesser formally skilled people need to be represented. Such a basic requirement of skills already excludes those groups. He proposes to empower them, but not to leave them out.
- Dariusz : agrees that this representation is required too, but wants to avoid the current popularity contest pattern of polls.
- Nanour : shares her experience as quite a new person in the movement and asks if there is a body between the board and the community.
- Dariusz: makes clear that the relation between both is a direct one, unfiltered by another body.
- Nanour : enforces the idea of a transfer of administrative knowledge from more experienced members of the movement including the board to newcomers representing a generation of Wikimedia newcomers.
- Dariusz: sees this, pointing out that this idea might be served by one of his personal favorites, the community-selected committee, defining skills and experiences needed.
- William : supports the idea of a transfer knowledge from experienced parts of the movement to newcomers. Dariusz agrees.
- Farhad Fatkullin : points out that many smaller linguistic communities are focusing on wiki work within the projects, how can they be represented anyway?
- Christophe Henner : says that there is a disconnect between the board and its roles, as it is the board's task to run the organization but not to lead the movement as such, pointing out that this might be the work of the GC to come.
- Shabab Mustafa : asks, how is it ensured that appointed seat members have a deep understanding of the Wikimedia movement and the communities?
- Dariusz : reports how appointments are done by the board usually. There is no formula, but the board is always aware of this need.
- Nanour : asks what kind of experience is more important wiki experience or "external" skills?
- Dariuszsays this is not one or the other but we have to combine both in the selection process. As a person, he likes the direct appointment idea by a community selected committee, but is aware that he might be stoned for that ).
- Anass : acknowledges Christophe's contribution and enforces the idea that the board should focus on running the WMF only. The GC could take care of representing communities in the widest sense and the board could focus on its administrative tasks of running a US-based organization. He refers to the problem of community experience and skills combined in the members.
- Dariusz : is aware of the trouble this want brings with it, stating that community experience is one of the required skills.
- Quimis pointing out the size and administrative complexity of the foundation, as it has about 500 employees and contractors. Dariusz adds that it is especially complex in comparison with other organizations this size.
- William : proposes to consider picking up advisory competencies in a committee to assist the board in stressful situations especially with communities.
POST OFFICIAL HOUR :
- Nanour : points out that she is active in such processes as a volunteer. She wants to be sure that it is worth it, reminding staff and other responsible persons on the special value of volunteer participation. Quim picks it up and points out the value of her dedication and commitment, representing the value of all the participation of every volunteer. You are avant-garde."
- Butch : adds off-topic, that the Incubator should be way easier to use, to support new communities coming up. Removing prefixes will make a great impact. More agreement, Dariusz takes a note on it to follow up.
- Adel Nehaoua : There are four Arabic speakers
- Christophe Henner : Hey Quim is that OK if I tag along a second time?
- Dariusz Jemielniak : not everyone at once!!!
- Christophe Henner : They are not allowed to run, but two officers are employees of the Foundation. Maybe you mean something else?
- Farhad Fatkullin (frhdkazan) : I turned off my video per washing dishes, sorry
- Dariusz Jemielniak: https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Publication_of_draft_Trustee_evaluation_rubric
- Mahuton Possoupe : @Anass tu voudras parler de ta proposition d'un comité Consultatif?
- anass sedrati : Non non (ce n'est pas ma proposition non plus :D )
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Dariusz This is a good point. The conflict of interest caused by having a WMF employee in the WMF Board of Trustees can be solved by involving them as observers giving advice and not as voters. This is successfully done in WISCom and can be applied to the BoT.
- Christophe Henner : @Houcemeddine that is how it is done in the BoT too. Employees often come in meetings to provide their experiences and knowledge.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : correct - WMF staff attends practically all meetings except for executive sessions
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Christophe They are not regular seats. They are just occasionally invited to give advice upon the request of the WMF Board.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : Quim - thank you so much for this clarification, I'm only stating my personal opinions (and some trustees would probably strongly disagree with some)
- Christophe Henner : @Houcemeddine two non voting seats are hold by two employees, treasurer and secretary. But you are right there is no expert seats
- Dariusz Jemielniak : plus the ED is virtually always present (adding just for clarity).
- Christophe Henner : No :) I talked a lot at 6am and I am actually listenning while grocery shopping ^
- Christophe Henner : Quim is following me through my day as a dad. First my daughter now groceries. (But I won't attend the other one I think, or my partner will hold a grudge it's her birthday)
- Dariusz Jemielniak : I agree - one 18-year old could be actually great to bring perspective. 16 18-year olds, not so much. just as much as 16 70-year old former CEOs
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Anass We can assign several new seats (Regional Seats) to the chairs of regional hubs.
- William Chan : How to define the idea of newbies?
- anass sedrati : Thank you Dariusz
- Quim Gil : (Dariusz, I believe you might be talking too fast for non-native English speakers.)
- Adel Nehaoua : +1
- Houcemeddine Turki : Alternative proposal Creating new seats for Regional Seats and Specialization Seats.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : apologies, I'm a non-native as well!
- Houcemeddine Turki : By that, we prevent conflicts between existing seats and newly created ones.
- Adel Nehaoua : A ce que la proposition de siège par région a été prise en considération
- Quim Gil : FDC = Funds Dissemination Committee
- Dariusz Jemielniak : I'm having trouble hearing
- Houcemeddine Turki : Subjective evaluation can be not precise. Contributions should be evaluation when considering the situation of the Board candidates.
- Adel Nehaoua : Comment peut-on vérifier que le vote n'est pas orienté
- Mahuton Possoupe : @Adel, c'est à dire? Orienté dans quel sens?
- Paul Atsu : Hello, Agreed Capacity building of the Memeber’s are key
- Adel Nehaoua : @Mahuton Possoupe, Par de groupe d'influence par exemple
- Butch Bustria : I am in fear that a trustee can stay very long when the person alternates from elected then appointed then back through non-consecutive terms (there are term limits). Like the the presidency of Chile, Russia.
- Mahuton Possoupe : @Adel, justement c'est le but de cet appel à comentaires? Par exemple faut il changer le système de vote?
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Dariusz A contribution in a country when Internet censorship is quite common is more difficult than the one in other countries. I think that a set of objective criteria is better (Number of contributors, Developed Projects...)
- Dariusz Jemielniak : Butch - that's a valid fear, but I don't think we've historically suffered this way, no?
- @Houcemeddine : - definitely! We know this e.g. because we have a trustee from Bahrain
- Farhad Fatkullin (frhdkazan) : Right, comment linguistic communities with fewer speakers & thus resources all around the world would like to concentrate on online work & offline outreach, feeling comfortable that their realities are kept in mind whenever decisions are taken
- Adel Nehaoua : @Mahuton Possoupe, Oui exactement il faut établir un processus de vérification
- Juan Bautista H. Alegre : I agree with Dariusz about Leadership development. Likewise with Butch regarding a mitigation of entrenchment, moving forward.
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Farhad Specialization Seats also considers linguistic proficiency as one of the criteria. However, I think that LangCom can be expanded and given more functions to operate.
- Quim Gil : o/ for context, whenever nobody else is talking
- Butch Bustria : @Dariusz, this is possible especially if a trustee (or former trustee) got very well acquainted with incumbent trustees
- Farhad Fatkullin (frhdkazan) : @Houcemeddine those communities will be happy to know that Trustees as a body are exposed to their realities, not necessarily have the linguistic skills
- Dariusz Jemielniak : yes, but still the limits apply irrespective of the pathway one was elected with
- Butch Bustria : 9 years (3x3) is OK but applies both consective non-consecutive terms
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Shabab That is a point to consider. I talked about this at the beginning of the meeting.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : @Butch you mean, it should be a total, without an option to be re-elected after sittling 3 years out? I don't have strong feelings about that.
- Farhad Fatkullin (frhdkazan) : @Houcemeddine Yesterday, talking to a German journalist about Wikipedia, I quoted Christel Steigenbelger's comments on Wikimedia Blog after visit to Bangladesh. That helped him to understand the diversity of Wiki-reality better than me trying to give him examples from Russia he had hard time to accept/believe in because of cultural bias)))
- Kofi Nyanful : Im newbie with wiki Ghana but before i joined, i already had more than ten years editing on Wikipedia. My point is there are a lot of passionate individuals who needs more education with grooming or mentoring. I did it with joy without even knowing theres a group chat set up. I had to only find out by chance whilst doing edits on a starp up info i added with meta. I believe there should be a lot of Awareness through different channels. A LOT Of individuals and businesses needs our help.
- Christophe Henner : That is were I disagree, because the board first duty is to the Foundation it can't at the same time have two priorities Foundation and movement, there are trade off.
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Christophe Excellent opinion.
- Butch Bustria : @Dariusz, this (returning to the board) best applies on "no choice" locations like there are few Wikimedians participate in an affiliate. But Global has large participation and seats are very limited.
- Christophe Henner : They are linked discussions in my opinion.
- Juan Bautista H. Alegre : Expertise is such a wide scope of definition. Can we identify from what particular areas of expertise we should now draw from, from a strategic and future-proofing perspective?
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Dariusz There is SUL Verification for voters. Why not expanding that to candidates.
- Dariusz Jemielniak : sure.
- Christophe Henner : It happened, Alice Wieland was a community member and after her elected term she was appointed. Wiegand*
- Quim Gil : Juan, a starting point for these skills can be seen at https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Approving_Trustee_Evaluation_Form
- Mohammed Bachounda : 9 min
- Houcemeddine Turki : @Quim Can you copy the chat. will need this to reformulate my proposal.
- Butch Bustria : I am OK with lazyboy seat
- Christophe Henner : Hahaha
- Dariusz Jemielniak : :)
- Quim Gil : Chat logs will be published as well
- Dariusz Jemielniak : NOW youre' telling me? ;)
- Mahuton Possoupe : @Houcemeddine we will have copy of the chat, sure
- anass sedrati : Oh I know Alice, but didn't know her story :) Maybe this can be considered more often (in the sense of that you should not necessarily have been a BoT member before, but to be appointed at the first time). But anyway I think you got the idea!
- Christophe Henner : +9000 again ^^
- Quim Gil : yay!
- Dariusz Jemielniak : Nanour, great to have you with us!
- Mohammed Bachounda : last 1min
- Houcemeddine Turki : Thank you @Dariusz and the others. Honoured to benefit from the wisdom of all these communities. Thank you @Quim and other facilitators for organizing this meeting.
- Christophe Henner : Yep thanks and good luck Quim for the very long you are going through!
- Farhad Fatkullin (frhdkazan) : I would leave, bye-bye
- Juan Bautista H. Alegre : Thank you, everyone.
- Mahuton Possoupe : @Houcemeddine we really appreciate your contributions on the Call for Feedback pages. Good translations works
- Dariusz Jemielniak : Community-Affairs Committee
- Christophe Henner : Community Internal Affairs. If for anything just the acronym
This is an automatic transcript. The team has edited it only slightly and many mistakes still remain. We welcome corrections.
[00:00:56] So I'm going to jump in, I think, OK, so I will be talking about my proposal, which is about specialization seats, I think that the proposal was a little bit misunderstood.
[00:01:12] In fact, I am not proposing a format. I propose an idea, and that the format and how to organize it can be decided later. Well, the proposal is about three points that are important in this call for feedback.
[00:01:36] The first one, there is a general tendency in the proposals that are made by the Board of Trustees to add more capacities related to wiki management, et cetera, et cetera, to the board.
[00:01:52] The second one is that I have seen that no one from the WMF staff.
[00:02:00] I mean, people working in the legal team, in the technology department, et cetera, et cetera, have made it to the board of trustees. And for this, many people are even searching for places outside the Wikimedia Foundation where they can get promotion to the administrative functions, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:02:26] This is the second point, the third point is that when the appointed seats that were chosen in these last years, there are as many as four people that do not have wiki experience. And this causes some conflicts for when taking some decisions in the last few years.
[00:02:55] I'm probably talking about strategy, about branding, that were kind of the source of controversy, let's say, between the wiki community and the board and the teams that are working on that and.
[00:03:21] And that's why I am proposing this as an alternative.
[00:03:28] Well, the the the seats are the principle of the seats, it's simple, we are having people here.
[00:03:41] We know them very well.
[00:03:43] They are having capacities probably in the team and in the community as well. And we can choose from them, the appointed people, instead of seeking the whole world to find some people to get in.
[00:04:00] For example, there are some activists that were jailed in their own countries.
[00:04:10] And they are an advocate for open information for open culture, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:04:17] So they are they can say they are human rights activists with inside the media community.
[00:04:23] There are engineers, they are professors, there are legal science scientists.
[00:04:29] There are many people there. Why not benefit of them instead of going outside and finding someone from the R and D or from the political or from the let's say from the associative environment all over the world. So that's the main point and the main principle of the idea. Well, how to do that?
[00:05:03] How do I think I have to cut you, because this is what's happening is what I wanted to prevent before, is that you have laid out many points that are clear in your mind? But I think for the rest of the audience, maybe just it just finish this sentence.
[00:05:22] I would say that the last sentence is, is that how to do that has not been decided and written in the proposal.
[00:05:31] This is how we will we will decide to get that wet through discussion, et cetera, et cetera. So that's all.
[00:05:44] I don't know if I can take quick to point here, I entirely agree with you that we need to seek expert within the movement. I think it's really essential. Uh, you probably know the rubric that there is I will be studying here. This specifies that Wikimedia Foundation Board. Six trustees with specific expertise, including expertise from academia, human rights, social justice, software engineering, but I think you're touching a very important point that we need to be specific and we need expertise not just for the expertise, but also for the seats from within the movement. This is what I've been super for all the time. Let's not treat it as token seats for, you know, just like representation. We're not the unions. We need people with expertise too, so I agree. However, I don't think. At this stage, I do not really see how this proposal is significantly different unless you're saying that this should replace quotas, which is a separate discussion. And I totally get why you might say so at one point that I don't. I have to say it's not very clear to me this how to achieve the foundation employees representation currently know. The assumption is that controlling body, you cannot be simultaneously an employee because it would create a number of complicated issues. So for that reason, former employees for sure can run. But if you an employee and you and you run, you should quit. That's the current assumption that the.
[00:07:25] Robert, I see your hands. Would you like to go after you’re done on us? You can also go. OK, Robert, if you're not ready on us, the floor is yours.
[00:07:48] Thank you very much, data, and hello, everyone.
[00:07:51] I have actually written down a number of questions, but I will follow Kim's suggestion to ask a question at once so that we can have the answer of the specific question. So my question is pretty simple, and it's related to the process in general. And I will try to be the simplest possible because maybe I am naive, but I will give you my understanding. My understanding is that in the board of trustees there are seats that are nominated and the board has the mandate to choose whoever because they think that these people have the adequate skills that are needed for this specific thing that they will do. And there are community children seats that are there because people will represent the community. So the main rationale, according to my understanding, is that people are chosen by the community to represent the community. The fact that they should have skills or not have skills should come after this. I mean, according again, to my understanding, this is how I understand the process. If we think that the community chosen people should also, in addition to represent the community, should have skills. I don't understand why we should have the nominated seats also because the nominated people are chosen for these skills. So I don't really understand this point. I'm seeking a bit of clarity. If we want to, and seeing the discussion and in a lot of ideas and proposals that there is a push to bring skills into the table when it comes to community-chosen seats, then I don't really see, how to say, logic behind this because we have to be on the same page. If we want to introduce skills in the community-chosen seats, then maybe we have also to introduce community in the nominated seats, something like this. So I want to understand why there is a discussion only about the committee seats and not the other seats.
[00:10:02] I entirely agree, I think, ideally, the ideal I would like to seek, is to have the external people who deeply understand our values, understand open source, open knowledge movement, and to have the community members who have super top notch workplace skills. That's what we should be aiming at. And I think this is a step towards this goal. But I entirely agree. We should not elect people just like a corporate CEO, just with no understanding of open knowledge. No, we need people with understanding of our movement and values because it's unique. And I treat actually understanding the movement, I treat it as a skill. It's super-specific. People who have deep understanding of how Wikimedia movement works. This is not easy to grasp. It's it's it's valuable and it's it should count towards that sort of a skill set. However, I would argue that sometimes we need people from the outside with a fresh eye. And from this point of view, we do. I personally have benefited from learning from people who have not been within our movement, but they've been within know open knowledge movement or the human rights movement, and they've been on the board. So this is useful, but it has to be alignment with the values from the point of view. Of what we should make skills obligatory for the movement candidates. Ultimately, it's a 100 million dollar organization that has fiduciary duties, that has responsibilities, if you're if you're an 18-year-old, you know, very idealistic, deeply into our values, but with no skills, no expertise, no experience, this will be the first time you're serving such a role. It could be a little dangerous. So from this point of view, I would expect people who are within the community to bring something to the table, not just the deep understanding of the movement, just like with the appointed seats, I would have expected them to just come with the corporate experience, 20 years of being a nice I know everything. No, they need to understand the values. They need to understand how open source works, how open knowledge works. So ideally, there should be two standards for both kinds of public.
[00:12:17] Thank you very much, Dario's over to you, Kim.
[00:12:21] Yes, I just want to provide some context, because I've seen that in some other calls, there's been a bit of confusion on some basics here. One, these ideas, that are part of the call for feedback, these ideas that the board wants to hear from, you know, opinions from the community. This is these are not proposals that the board has agreed and they want to hear from the committee. These. Yes. That the board is opening for discussion. So that's one point. Another point also that for that is very clear. I just want to make it clear for the rest is that trust trustees in this call, in these meetings in general, they talk in their own name and on many aspects. They talk with things that are resolutions or agreed, like the evaluation form. In other cases is their opinion. And I'm saying this because don't you think it's actually less pressure on Dariusz that don't you think that everything that you say is now or I went to a meeting on the board is saying that, you know, just we are here in a conversation? That's just the feedback that they hope is useful context that the.
[00:13:44] So I take your comments and the chat. You're saying that this is a good point, the conflict of interest caused by having to deal with employing the board of trustees can be solved by involving them as observers and given otherwise, not as good as this is. Would you like to touch a little bit on this point? OK, how are you? Would you like to touch a little bit of on your comment in the chat? A bunch and a nurse, and as you can watch goes as you've said something, then we can come back to you.
[00:14:41] All right. But there is space.
[00:14:51] Sorry, but if you're speaking your muted, can you please tell me you yourself said, I'm sorry, I don't know how this board of trustees goes?
[00:15:02] Pardon me if I'm not too savvy with this, Wikimedia politics. But I just want to clarify, is there a specific way that these seats would be rotated?
[00:15:15] Because, of course, there will be a new generation of people coming in, a new generation of people going out, and then a new generation of specific generation who are very passionate. But it's already too long on their seats. Will rotation on Skaar seats be considered? Like, for instance, if you allocated two seats for a selected or elected at large selection method, will there be a time that they have to give up their seat to give for other underrepresented communities to jump in and share their expertise?
[00:16:10] That's an entrenchment is an issue, obviously, in many organizations. Of course, there is the benefit of people accruing experience. That's great. But then again, entrenchments or like forever seats, never good. I don't think there is a rule specifying that they have to vacate it for underrepresented communities. However, this is a separate issue that is being resolved, but there is a very strict limit on terms being proposed, my understanding, Quim, do you remember how it's phrased specifically?
[00:16:43] I think it's basically three terms, I think, but I don't know when I misspoke speak.
[00:16:53] I hope that answered your question, but I'm not.
[00:16:58] I'm sorry, I don't know what is the number of years in number of terms. It's history, three terms, but times three, am I correct? Times three years.
[00:17:08] So that's when you start starting now. It would be three times three although previous terms did not always had three years. Previous terms were shorter. So it would yeah, it could vary. But I think the system if we treat it as a start from start over from now onwards it would be nine years. Correct.
[00:17:26] So there is no way for this candidate to, uh, reapply, for instance, they got there, they are quote unquote, rest of three years and then after three years they apply for the same position again or filed for bankruptcy.
[00:17:49] You'd have to you'd have to take vacation for three years.
[00:17:56] And as yours, thank you very much.
[00:18:01] Just one clarification, I might have many questions. So if there is anyone who wants to ask every time before me, please, you can feel free to prioritize me because I don't want to make is like a lot of questions.
[00:18:15] But if there is silence, I can ask a lot of questions.
[00:18:19] But anyway, I want to come back to one points that Dariusz has mentioned in his answer to me and where I might not see it from the same angle. But I think it's a very interesting discussion if I give also my argumentation and see how this might sound. So the points that you mentioned, Dariusz, about someone being 18 years old and maybe giving it or being something dangerous to be in the board, for me, I would argue that if we see it from another angle, it's can be positive because we have just mentioned that we have underrepresented communities. Of course, we didn't define what is underrepresented community. And this is a discussion that is done in general in terms of governance. For example, in parliament, I come, for example, from Morocco and in Morocco we have a lot of people who are illiterate. They didn't go to school. So there is always this kind of discussion. Should everyone in the parliament have a Ph.D. or should we have, I don't know, 30 percent of the parliament that are illiterate because 30 percent of the population is illiterate and they are the ones who know what is the problem that someone illiterate has? Because if someone has a PhD, they don't know what are the problems of the illiterate people have that they cannot read the number of the bus or whatever other problems.
[00:19:35] So for me and the community that we have, we have a lot of newcomers.
[00:19:40] We have a lot of people, maybe a whole region or even some parts of a continent that have no clue about the Wikimedia movement. They don't know anything about it. They don't know that there is a board, etc. If we have a minimum skill, we might exclude these people. Of course, we can empower them to other things, like there was the strategy discussion, capacity building, etc. But sometimes and this is actually the idea of the quota that you include some people just because you want to empower them or you employ the part of people. So in the quota discussion, I proposed the idea of regional seats, but now I can see that maybe there should also be a newcomer seat, because if you take a newcomer community and you put them in the board, maybe they can be, I don't know, observers or whatever, but they can learn a lot and then they would be empowered and they can come back next time and be a full member or something like that.
[00:20:34] But if we just have or put this skill as something mandatory, it's going to be problematic because some people or some communities will be left out forever and they will never be empowered. I mean, I don't know if you see my point, but underrepresented or not represented communities, it also includes newcomers and these 18 people, 18 years old people who are dreamers. If we just take professional people who put sloops and are there because they know the work, it feels like we will have a bit of chosen somewhere in the profiles that we want to have. I don't know if you understand my point.
[00:21:12] I think it's a very valid point. I agree with you entirely. I think age is, I never really shouldn't have use this example. I think just young age does not prevent you from bringing a very valid valuable perspective and point. It would be dangerous to have 16 seats filled with 18-year-olds, just like with 70-year-olds or any other super non-diverse group.
[00:21:34] My argument is basically that the community seats should not just bring the community experience, they should bring valuable experience, a valuable perspective. It could be minority views, it could be perspectives on totalitarian regimes, on censorship, could be expertise, could be skills, different things. But it should not be just that you are popular in the movement. So far, we've just had pageants. Forgive me for saying that we just had political elections in which you are presenting himself as the political leader. And I think we should get rid of politics as much as possible. We should of course, we will have politics as always, but we should also have bringing stuff to the table, skills, expertise and also perspectives, just as you said.
[00:22:23] Ok, thank you. A Anass and Dariusz, now I have that I know a whole.
[00:22:36] We couldn't hear you here. Hello. Yes. And William, I see you have this reason. We know that we also.
[00:22:53] Yes, hello, everyone, and again, so I'm the one it's a less than one year in Wikimedia movement or my user group, Wikimedia, anyone, so I don't want so much. I try to attend more and more in a strategy in the global movement meetings to understand more and more.
[00:23:21] So the problem - is not a problem. My first question is what is between the board of trustees and the communities?
[00:23:31] Is there another body? Between them is the affiliate? Is the body between to this board of trustees and the communities, its communities, the user groups or Wikipedia or other projects? This is first one second one.
[00:23:48] You talked about a skills experience and that was the level that you want because sorry, can we go one by one, one topic?
[00:23:58] Because otherwise we will forget about the. I'm sorry.
[00:24:05] Well, governing the movement is a tough topic, I mean, there is so many bodies, so many committees and so many chapters, affiliates, and it's super obfuscated even for people who are inside. But essentially the Board of Trustees is for the Wikimedia Foundation. And we also have also affiliates which are like chapters or organizations and smaller organizations that are within the movement as well. So I wouldn't say there's something between the board and the committees. It's sort of octagonal, the communities, the movement, the foundation of the organization that serves it, and so are the affiliates.
[00:24:37] And so definitely I think that there is here there is the gap, because I see it like when it's a new user and the old user, because I'm a new one. But perhaps in my experience and my age, I can more go forward ahead more than the other one. I myself, am running to a workshop for the newcomers, so I know how much we need to explain and talk about. The foundation is not just Wikipedia that we talk about. So here is the same thing, that there is only a board of trustees and the chapters and we need a body between these two to connect them together. Then we can join the people with this case with experience and have all of this together.
[00:25:34] Why? Just to let them through level together.
[00:25:40] The idea that's going to be discussed. There was a Wikimedia Chapter Association. At some point we have, the Council being discussed and I think it's a great idea to basically have some sort of embodied in this legitimized to speak for the movement, the chapters. Yeah, it's just being discussed and being developed as part of the strategy development.
[00:26:03] It's an option to connect more people together. And they are not in a chapter or any other yet. They are not in the board of trustees. They just connect all together. And that's where we need to do. The second one, OK, I'm moving to the second one, was the level that we need to, uh, to, uh, establish the level of experience and the skills that we need. But what we talking about five years, three years or so.
[00:26:36] And the last one is the people that I'm sorry, there's many other hands I think we need to just spread.
[00:26:47] There will be time.
[00:26:50] So the second point, I mean, we can still take the second point that required skills, I don't think is very specified.
[00:26:59] There will be it's basically it's super difficult because, you know, the overall evaluation will take into account skills, experience, region, diversity altogether.
[00:27:11] But I think what we are trying to do now is to recognize the value of bringing this to the table. And this is, I do not have an easy ready answer to you. How many years of experience are needed? My personal take on this is that I think one of the proposals that I personally, not the board, but me personally, I like is a community elected committee that will take all this into account and rank people and they will evaluate experience, but also diversity, representation. My experience with the FDC is that community driven bodies are good at this, but that's just my view.
[00:27:52] Ok, thank you.
[00:27:54] William, next time.
[00:28:00] So I'm in a bus, right, I'm in the bus right now, so I'm sorry about that. I'm at some point the first time.
[00:28:08] First, I want to say that it seems that not only are the new seats, for example, for the underrepresented communities and all the stuff they should observe, all those called in and it wasn't written. So actually I was. And some feel that there may be people who support me, for example, elected to the board and observe a very major difference. I mean, this is OK, but it's not those types of differences. At least there will be some of some boundary or some areas that they should at least follow. That's one point I think that everyone would agree on that.
[00:28:44] The second thing is how to bridge between the new seats and and and literally the people who already serve, for example, like Jimmy Wales or those people like to have served for years. And those newcomers are just literally have no idea what the whole thing is. So I think there should be some education or some bridging in between. What are some of the nodes or some of the Panthers or something that's taken educated. You need to meet the new people who hope that the.
[00:29:18] If I said, you're right, if I can do what you were saying, it should be something like a bridge onboarding of the newcomers on the board. There are onboarding processes. But also, I think if I hear you're right, you're postulating basically something bigger, including developing skills within a movement. This is something I'm super passionate about. I think we should we have the capacity to create leadership programs, strategy programs within the movement and help people gain the skills that we're requiring. And I think this is, again, my personal opinion, but this is what we should be doing. Why don't we offer a leadership strategy, management, finance, whatever? Skill programs to our movement leaders.
[00:30:11] Should I go ahead? Yes.
[00:30:15] Thank you, dear colleagues. A short comment to cousin Russia, Turkish community. I have a colleague, one from Georgia’s president here who could witness to my statement. I feel that linguistic communities with fewer speakers and thus resources all around the world would like to concentrate their efforts, limited efforts on the online wiki work, developing the resources as well as offline outreach. So my personal request being exposed to such communities be throughout the country, the region or internationally a little bit is it's important for them to feel comfortable that their realities, which are totally off, whatever the English-speaking or say Russian-speaking or even Turkish-speaking communities are facing, would be remembered in the sense that such people who can breach them as myself and maybe few among you from maybe Arabic community that works with some Berber, et cetera, would be present on this board and would be communicating, or at least reminding whenever the board is taking otherwise important things for, I don't know, Spanish or English-speaking community. Thank you.
[00:31:53] No, I think it's I think it's more of a comment. I don't think it's a question.
[00:31:58] Thank you. But still, I see your hand is raising a child.
[00:32:03] Would you like to get high? So that's the comment Quim you already heard that I'm making again. Is that for me, one of the is feeling the discussion around Board seats is coming from the struggle of?
[00:32:21] Of the role of the board of trustees, and I think there is a disconnect there, because when I hear to the discussion we are having and we are talking about community representation and the role of the board in the larger communities, where has actually the Board has a duty to the Foundation and not to the community. And that's something, and not to the movement, and that's something that is very, I think, outgrossed, because it's not what we want. And we say we everyone, including, I believe, trustees. But that's a fact. When you are a trustee of the foundation, you're on your first duty is to the organization, not to the movement. And so the whole struggle I feel we are having right now, whether it's about community versus expertise, is coming from trying to bridge that where perhaps we should not be bridging it. And then to me it's linked to the Global Council discussion where you have a Global Council that is or perhaps should be our representative of the movement and embodying the movement and the Board of the Foundation is the Board running a multi-million dollars, hundreds of employees, global organization and do the two different things. And a lot of struggles we have today and even the struggles we have in the past, comes from that that that gap and that difference in priorities. So I'm just making that comment because it's it's something that I realize that very few people actually realize that the board of the foundation is not. Duty, first, duty is not to the movement, it's to the foundation, and that's very it's tricky to grasp and understand, but it's key to the discussion, I think. The prosecution, if you want to say it another way, which is better based on the discussion we had earlier.
[00:34:17] And before I can give you to you need to talk closer to the mike, because we cannot hear you.
[00:34:30] Well, can you hear me now? Very well. Thank you for asking.
[00:34:37] So I was asking if there are some old weapons, Fokin, and would like to ask questions or comments before I go back to us. Paul, I saw your comments in the chat about you agreeing to the capacity building of the members, would you like to touch a little bit on this?
[00:35:05] Ok, so we have a massive. So you think it's safe, I let them speak, then you go. None of those go.
[00:35:22] I think Shabaab Mustafa is before me.
[00:35:30] Ok, can I ask? Yes. OK, my question actually is about the appointed seats as veriest was referring that there we need some skills and those seats need to be filled with someone with fresh eye who also has the deeper understanding of the wiki movement. So how or what will be the mechanism to ensure that the appointed candidates actually have a better understanding? I'm asking that question because of a particular experience that we have here in Wikimedia Bangladesh. We were on dialogue with other open source enthusiast about how we can engage more people editing Wikipedia and stuff like that. And on those discussions, one of the recommendations that they gave us is like I have a stack overflow kind of model. So you have you earn points. And according to your skill sets and according to points, then they will understand who is a better Wikipedian. And so things like that are that that will also encourage people to like a gamification of these things. So if they have a score of that, that might motivate them to contribute more and that kind of thing. So though that recommendation sounds very nice and things like that, but it is basically actually doesn't support the fundamentals of Wikipedia. Like we encourage people to even edit IP and stuff like that. So that's why the question becomes what will be the mechanism to ensure that upon the candidates actually have a deeper understanding about wiki movement? And so do you have any mechanism in mind right now?
[00:37:29] Well, right now, so far, it's because work this way that we've been looking for the appointed trustees and basically the there was a whole process looking for 100 CVS, then narrowing it down and down and down.
[00:37:42] Most of the time we've been trying to look for people from or general from our like sisters and brothers in the movement, including human rights, open source. And so far we've been quite lucky. But there have been some appointments that have been for people who have not specific experience in open source, but they did in education, for example. So I would say it's usually a qualitative quote. It's very specific sometimes, especially in terms of financial specialization. We not we're not always able to find somebody within the movement specifically, but it's overall most trustees and look through the bios of trustees that we have now were appointed most to have strong links to education, non-profits fighting for human rights. So there is that. But I don't think there is a formula.
[00:38:38] Ok, thank you for sharing your views and asking your question online.
[00:38:47] Na na na. Thank you for. Yeah.
[00:38:52] Ok, so I'm talking about the three states of origin that throw in these six seats. So we have three from regions that we don't know that we elect them or no. So these three persons, if we can say we will think about a person, they have more contribution in the Wikimedia project or the person that I have. It's a very active in their regional user group or chapter, have contacts with others, with newcomers, which I consider them very important or is constantly there and they participate in different activities. Or we are talking about people that just have the skills and they are there or are there. And we need to them which one? We need more. And we need to go.
[00:39:58] I'm saying we need to go, it's the board of trustees to go there and bring them to this new site.
[00:40:07] I was on the board of trustees and people who will be able to perform strong oversight over H.R. matters, financial matters, strategic matters, legal matters, policy matters, but also people who will be able to oversee and make sure the Foundation does make an epic fail. And since the community is very essential to our movement, sometimes if the Foundation is going to run epic fail, that will risk the duration with the communities. The board also needs to be able to understand that and see it, of course. But I don't think you can narrow it down to just one thing. Being able to talk to the communities or being an expert, I don't think it's so. It's not representative, though I don't think it is possible to say that we need trustees who are just. Having good links to the community, we need to just give expertise.
[00:41:01] I don't answer the question, but it's you, you will define the act in the end. What we need exactly a person is to learn that.
[00:41:14] So who can go there and take them? How you will evaluate with which one is a better.
[00:41:23] That's a good question, as I said, my personal take on this is that it should be a community elected committee which will get specific directions from the board on what is needed, but the committee will make the judgment call. That's how I see. I think personally this would be good. I would even be fine with the committee being elected and scratch the direct elections. I know people will stone me for saying that, but I think this will take the political aspect out of it. People will run today to be on the committee, this committee will try to find the best match in terms of skills, expertise, diversity in everything. So it will begin being elected to the community, will not be as political and joining the board will not be political here because it will not be people who are politically talented, who will be there, be people who are chosen by the community driven body. But they realize that. This is a big topic. The bottom line is I think the community should have something to say about who is considered to be. One thing, and I think it is important that this judgment call is made by the community, driven by.
[00:42:50] And before I come back to you on this, if you would like to speak a little bit on upcoming.
[00:43:03] Ok, over to you and us and thank you, Zeitun, first of all, I would like to acknowledge the comments that Christophe has mentioned. And for me, this is very, very important comment.
[00:43:18] And I guess it's really key in the discussion. I will also provide an additional comments in relation with that one, which is that there should be a distinction that is made between serving the Wikimedia Foundation and serving the community. Absolutely, because the Wikimedia Foundation is either we want it or not. It's a foundation that is based in USA that has some legal constraints and other things, even though in a perfect world we don't really want it to be like that because we are a global movement. And it is not only USA in the world, but this is how it is.
[00:43:51] However, not all that the Board is working with currently is related to policy or legal matters, or there are other points that maybe can be handed over to the Global Council or whatever. But this discussion will go on later because the Global Council, as you know, is an ongoing discussion. But I just wanted to reiterate that this is really, really, really important. And maybe in the future, the Board will specialize in these matters that are kind of more professional and the Global Council maybe will specialize in things that are community related. But also the board is working with this was just a comment. And my question is actually, I wanted to come back to the two previous questions that I had and kind of link between them. So my first question was about the difference between nomination and candidate, and the second question was about the representativity and these points.
[00:44:46] So my question is from the answers that I got from Dariusz and I kind of created a question that was a combination, which is OK, we have said that for the community seats we should have a little bit of skills or a minimum of skills, which is kind of logical.
[00:45:03] And I don't disagree with that. I think it's actually good that even the community represented people should not be there because of politics, but also because they bring that they bring some skills to the table, but only on the other parts, which is the nominated the seats.
[00:45:20] And I know this is out of scope of this discussion, but I just wanted to talk about it very quickly or touch on it actually, for the nominated seats. I understand that the idea is to bring on people who primarily have good skills and experience and also are friends of the movement somehow.
[00:45:39] But would there be a possibility, if possible, to also think or consider about appointing community members to these nominated seats? If, for example, let's suppose in a perfect world we have community members who have been CEOs or have been doing a lot of finance work or anything like this, that maybe they can come into the board and join the board to nominations and not only to vote. I mean, the question that I have ultimately is, is there is the rationale behind bringing people outside of the movement to the board? Is it because they bring new insights, because they see it from another angle, or is it just because there is a lack of these key skills? And this is why people need to be coming from outside of the community to sit on the Board because ultimately it will come from community choice or you come from as an appointed member, you will sit in the same board and you will have the same weight.
[00:46:35] If I understand what happened, we did have a former community elected trustees appointed most of the time. It was not for the skills, it was for continuity, basically to have continuity of knowledge and history on the board. But nevertheless, like me personally, if you're asking me personally, I think I'm all for it. This is I think this is ideal somebody, because top notch expertise, skills and is involved with the moment for me is personally better than somebody who was slightly better skills, maybe slightly better universities, experience, whatever, but has no experience in the movement. I know some trustees would disagree with me on that. Some trustees are more passionate about, you know, the CV kind of line. I think it's very difficult to catch up with the community to understand how it works. If somebody has never had experience with this, it's actually more difficult than finishing an MBA at Harvard. So why is an MBA from Harvard worth more? I would say community experience is definitely a component that would value high quality.
[00:47:49] Came your next. Yes, I just want to provide a bit of context, I see two things one.
[00:47:57] One thing is that there's a lot of pressure for these seats. I mean, listening to each person makes sense, you know, specialisation seats, regional seats. But the thing is that people are having all kinds of ideas for seats. And there's also the people who are saying that this increase of seats that was already approved shouldn't have happened because now the board is too big. So it's like making everybody happy is impossible. So just for context, there's a bunch of Wikimedia committees. Some of them are board committees or organic extensions of the board, some other types of committees which also have seats. So just to add it, more complexity, but probably there's that there's more wiggle room there than only looking at the, you know, 16, 16 in the seats of the board. One of them cannot be changed. I just wanted to provide this context. And I also wanted to say, because there's only seven minutes left for the official time, something I forgot to say at the beginning is that in all these calls, what we are doing is at the hour we stop the recording, but then we stay around if anybody wants to keep chatting so that.
[00:49:17] Thank you for mentioning that. So is there anybody else on the call that hasn't said anything? Oh, as an outstanding question, I would like to do so. Please let me know before I hand over to number.
[00:49:44] Can your hand is still out. Would you like to see something right?
[00:49:55] Actually, about more context, because, again, this time we have the privilege these days of talking with so many people, so different every many years, that the foundation never had this opportunity, this luxury of actually getting so much feedback at about a single topic, you know, so more feedback, sorry, more context that is useful to understand this thing of the trustees must understand the community or versus the trustees may follow their fiduciary obligations. This word always gets me. Many people, I don't think they realize that the foundation has close to 500 staff and contractors that are in a company with how many companies do you know with 500 people in your surroundings? How many people do you know? You know that being directors of an organization with five hundred people. I don't know many out of the foundation and I know many people. It's also an organization with a budget of I don't know the exact numbers, let's say 100 hundred million US dollars. It's a huge budget. And when you are sitting on the board, you have a responsibility to direct responsibility, whether that's your job. So many times, I think personally, as someone who my work is, especially in situations of stress, community stress, many times I have to be there understanding everyone, I think. Well, you are upset now about this thing that the board is saying about some future or about something going on. But you would be really, really, really upset if you would realize that if we just we just lost 20 million dollars because, I don't know, it happened. So I just want to bring this context that many people don't know the board, but many people do know the foundation either. At least you know that it is a big, complex organization. I hope this helps.
[00:52:03] Did you back on the.
[00:52:06] My personal experience, some of you know, I'm a professor of management, I'm on other boards, including commercial boards of, for example, of a leading mobile developer in Poland at a level of complexity with Wikimedia Foundation is much higher.
[00:52:21] It's super difficult, time consuming, and I think I understand the community is essential to be doing this, but also skills are important. So I think there has to be a way to find a model in which ideally all 16 people to have a little bit of both.
[00:52:46] So we have about three minutes more to the top of the hour. No.
[00:52:54] Yes, this is so.
[00:53:00] I would say that as a new user that went volunteer with my time to contribute in different projects that I didn't know just about Wikipedia for one year, actually only Wikipedia. And now I'm sitting with you.
[00:53:22] So this, uh, when I will understand more. And I discovered that what is going on there in the board of trustees or on the Wikimedia Foundation.
[00:53:38] So I want to be happy there that they the people that was older than me and all the users, I mean, I trust them and they do the best and the best what they can to do.
[00:53:56] This is very important.
[00:54:04] Thank you for sharing that. So is there anybody else on the call who hasn't said anything and would like us to hear your voice? Now is the time. Really, please, the floor is yours, OK?
[00:54:30] Ok, just I've spoken once, so to speak, but I just want to point out that even if any 16 member report like increasing the support drastically, it seems that there is still a crunch in between.
[00:54:45] What the program would you could you maybe try to adjust your mic so we can be testing out?
[00:54:55] I know, yeah, it's a little bit OK, because that's a street, so I'm sorry about that.
[00:55:02] But it seems that there should be some comfort just to assist to like, do you deal with some situations or maybe advise the board on something that hasn't been seen yet and just suggest to towards what the boss should do, some more advisors outside or inside the community and just assist the trustees in doing their work?
[00:55:36] I'm not entirely sure if I understood it, if the question is whether there is somebody that assists the board with work, as I understood it.
[00:55:47] William and correct me if I'm wrong was proposing committee specializing in helping the board in stressful community situations is how I understood this.
[00:56:01] That's a great idea, and I think the Council sort of kind of taps into this, but maybe a separate committee would be a good idea too.
[00:56:10] Yeah, because it seems that the council doesn't need to sign and don't stop until right now.
[00:56:18] So something that a new committee can literally help to that work if all of the members have signed or the NDA and all the stuff. Yeah.
[00:56:36] Ok, so the time is up, but we will be staying in the facility. Yes, I mean, we'll be staying behind for a.