Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Communitysitze im Board/Aufrufverfahren

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Call for feedback: Communitysitze im Board
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Ein ideales Board würde sich aus Mitgliedern zusammensetzen, deren Expertise die gesamte Bandbreite der Aufgaben der Wikimedia Foundation umfasst und zugleich die gesamte Bandbreite der Aktivitäten innerhalb der Wikimedia-Bewegung. Das ist ein sehr veränderliches Ziel und auch ein größeres Board kann dies nie vollständig erreichen. Dessen ungeachtet, zu Beginn eines jeden Auswahlverfahrens für ein Boardmitglied sollte das Board sich der Frage stellen, welche Fachgebiete am dringendsten benötigt werden. Im Falle von Boardmitgliedern, die durch das Board selbst berufen werden, kann das Board diese Fachgebiete gezielt als Basis seiner Kandidierendensuche berücksichtigen. Für jene Sitze, die durch die Community oder durch affiliates besetzt werden, ist jedoch ein anderer Ansatzt von Nöten.

In einem Aufruf zur Kandidatur am Anfang des Auswahlverfahrens der Communitysitze, kann das Board die Fähigkeiten und Erfahrungen spezifizieren, von denen es hofft, dass die kommenden Mitglieder des Boards sie mitbringen. Die nächste Herausforderung besteht darin, zu ermitteln, ob die Kandidierenden über diese Fähigkeiten und Erfahrungen tatsächlich verfügen. Das Formular zur Evaluation von Boardmitgliedern kann in diesem Prozess nützlich sein, zwei entscheidende Fragen bleiben aber offen:

  1. Was sollte das Mindestniveau der Expertise sein? Diese Frage findet sich ähnlich im Vorschlag Vorabprüfung der Kandidierenden wieder.
  2. Wer soll verantwortlich sein für die Sicherstellung der Erfüllung der Mindestkriterien? Die Kandidierenden können natürlich in einem Qualifikationsformular Angaben zu den Jahren ihrer relevanten Erfahrungen machen, diese müssen jedoch geprüft werden. Dies könnte aus dem Board heraus geschehen, möglicherweise durch ein Auswahlkomitee des Boards oder durch ein Auswahlkomitee der Community.

Zusammenfassung der bisherigen Rückmeldungen

Das Facilitation Team aktualisiert diesen Abschnitt regelmäßig und ergänzt sie um Informationen aus dem Abschlussbericht.

The discussion about skills and experiences had recurrent feedback about offering training to potential candidates and Board members. This feedback is captured in the section below Support to candidates.

One volunteer proposed the idea of Specialization seats. Feedback related to dedicating seats of quotas for skills is captured in the corresponding section below.

Sentiment: Divided opinions in a discussion with many ramifications that is expected to continue.

Some people think community experience is the only skill required for community candidates. Others think skills to perform well as a Board member are important, and opinions differ about how strongly the filter should be applied. There is broad agreement that the Board can do more to identify skills needed, to provide training, and to proactively seek potential candidates with these skills. There are questions about how the Board plans to use the recently approved Board Candidate Evaluation Form.

About the idea of skills needed in candidates:

  • There is no agreement about the types of skills that should be required to candidates:
    • Many volunteers, especially long-term contributors, express a strong opinion about not requiring specific skills to community-and-affiliate candidates. They say the role of these trustees in the Board is to represent the community and to contribute community skills. They say that the Board has the directly appointed seats to cover specific skills required.
    • Many volunteers who have joined more recently and some long-term contributors disagree, and believe that all candidates need to have a certain skill set to aspire to a seat in the Board.
    • Each of these two positions includes volunteers who usually don’t participate in governance discussions as well as volunteers well-versed in these discussions, including former trustees.
    • Some volunteers from emerging Wikimedia communites said that some skills should be required of all candidates, irrespective of diversity quotas.
      • In meetings with the Odia and the Gujarati communities it was said that the Board is the highest decision-making authority in the movement, and skills should not be compromised.
    • In a meeting with the North Africa community it was suggested that the Board can use committees or a new advisory council delivering the skills whenever needed, keeping the Board seats for community members who win elections without requirements for specific skills. This idea also appeared in two different meetings with Women from France and Germany.
    • The director of a European chapter said non-specialists can give perspectives specialists tend to overlook, that skills shouldn’t be overrated.
    • At a meeting of the Turkic community, they wondered: what will happen if there are no candidates with specific skills?
    • One person said in an ESEAP meeting that some people improve after given the chance, that willingness to learn is important.
    • A former appointed trustee said that there isn’t any harm in having an eligibility criteria for everyone on the Board, as (according to her) it could lead to a more effective board.
    • Some volunteers said that the community should be allowed to express what skills they believe the Board should have.

Specifics about skills needed in candidates:

  • Several volunteers from different conversations mentioned skills they expect from community candidates. This is a compilation of all the skills mentioned:
    • Community experience
    • Wiki editing
    • Programmatic work in the movement
    • Mediation and negotiation
    • Management, leadership
    • Team working
    • Technical
    • Auditing, assessment
  • Some people say that training for candidates or even trustees after being elected is enough. Some say that the terms are too short to train people with insufficient skills, so a certain amount of skills might be helpful for optimal use of the term.
  • One person in a European community conversation proposed a certain amount of edits in a wiki as a required skill for all trustees, the directly appointed too.

About how to implement a call of skills:

  • There is overall agreement that needed skills should be identified by the Board and advertised well in advance.
  • One person said that the Board should be more proactive about searching for candidates in the community before the election.
  • The Board Candidate Evaluation Form was mentioned in several conversations, although it raised many questions about its intended use, and also about its effectiveness.
  • Some volunteers suggested in different conversations the idea of highlighting the skills of candidates, even if there is no hard requirement for skills.