Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Conversations/2021-02-20 - Second Office Hours/Fourth session
2020-02-20 Meeting 4 of the four office hour on the Call for Feedback
- The conversation ran from 21:00 to 22:20 UTC
- Number of participants: 27
- Quim Gil: 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.
- Addison Bryant: I want to reaffirm how important are community elections, community representatives to the board can't call themselves 'community' if they're not part of a democratic process. My next point, a lot of discussion around the evaluation form, I always have been a surprise with the composition of the board, and sometimes there's a lack of expertise in the board. I think the evaluation form needs to be a factor but shouldn't prevent the democratic process in the election of community members of the board.
- Jackie Koerner: I was in a UGs conversation this morning and someone brought it out to the evaluation form as a positive thing since it would put all the information in one spectrum for candidates to know.
- Amanda Keton: In response to Addison, we are patching the software in anticipation of a community vote, and the board is taking that point from you and others very seriously.
- Mykola Kozlenko: My concern is that we are going to have a committee, by the board or community, which preselect candidates, and serves as a filter or arbitrator of candidates that might be in detrimental of community popularity of a person. What is the board plan if a committee select people that are not popular?
- Shani Evenstein: We are a diverse board with different opinions, we decided things in a consensus form. We are not discussed a process in which the board itself selects people, the idea discussed is to have a committee selected by the community that screen candidates using the evaluation form and evaluate based on diversity and inclusiveness. The idea is for this committee to be selected by the community to do this selection process, as like the FDC idea, but in this case, the committee would help screens candidates. In a sense, the board doesn't want to be involved with the screen of candidates. In experiences of past elections for community members has not been diverse enough. It is rather more similar to a "popularity contest" where usually (not always) candidates coming from big languages or more mature communities have the numbers for people to vote for them. We are exploring new ideas bring the right people to the board for all over the movement.
- Mykola Kozlenko: Shani, you are example of been part of minor language, and you are part of the board, so the system is not broke.
- Shani Evenstein: If the board would have not changed the rules to also include the vote of UGs, I would not stand a chance to be elected.
- Melissa Ganus: I Want to explain a board development grid that we used in nonprofit and addressed much of what we are struggling here at the level of how to list the thing that we want in the board, how to understand where the gaps are. Link: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1YpbJTA585ckkWbHPv2nq9eI9nvQamOox/edit?usp=docslist_api&filetype=msexcel
- Wiki: Shani, what you are saying is that the board decided to suggest creating a committee vetting candidates? And that the committee shall be ideally run by the community? What is the community wants to have their popularity contest and not this committee?
- All I'm saying is that is one of the things the board was thinking about and now has brought to the community to ponder on. We want your feedback. The governance committee of the board has been thinking in this for months now. If you think the popularity contest is a better process, say so.
- Ivan Martínez: (Spanish) no encuentro incentivos para participar en la junta directiva, me preocupa que la cantidad de incentivos son menores, la cantidad de horas que hay que trabajar, los conflictos que hay que asumir que probablemente no hay una solución amistosa. No se si pensaramos en algún tipo de gratificación. Me parece que las personas que han participado en la junta han tenido hojas de vida muy impresionantes que luego pueden ser un desestimulo a otras personas que quiza tienen conocimiento en el movimiento, pero que no tienen un CV que incluyan doctorados y calificaciones impresionantes.
- English: I don't find incentives to participate in the board, I am concerned that the amount of incentives is less, the amount of hours to be worked, the conflicts to be assumed that probably there is no amicable solution. I don't know if we would think about some kind of compensations. It seems to me that the people who have served on the board have had very impressive resumes that can then be a disincentive to other people who may have knowledge in the movement, but do not have a CV that includes PhDs and impressive qualifications.
- Shani Evenstein: You are exactly on point Ivan. This has been raised in the Roles and Responsibilities working group in the past, for some people diversity comes when they pay for their time to be there, especially in the developing world. Maybe as a movement we need to think about that, especially right now with the conversations toward the future Global Council. I do think that without paying people to do this kind of work, it would be very difficult in a capacity of volunteers. You are right that there's haven been enough transparency of what requires to be a board member. There's going to be a new committee called the community affairs committee, and I'm hoping they would mediate and answer some of these questions. But in the end, it would have to be the community to change that. Speaking for myself, it is a huge time commitment to be part of the board, but I'm happy to do it.
- Melissa Ganus: Shani, every time I hear you speak I said thank you. Three points to be taken: servant leadership, if we don't have that embedded in the new system then we stuck in a bottleneck.
- Wiki: In the current stage, how is accountability measured for board members? For community chosen members it is clear, because people will not vote on them again. But what about nominated members? and Jimmy Wales?
- Shani Evenstein: Is more about governance of the board itself and how is measuring the goals. The board is working on becoming a better board, two years ago we did have a review (https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Board_Veritas_Governance_Recommendations_Final_Public_Copy.pdf) of how to improve things. Getting more professional and more efficient, and the idea of expanding is because we have a huge movement, and we need more people to share the burden but also bring new perspectives, to have more people in different and new committees.
- Amanda Keton: Take on wiki comment, I would say that accountability is "that not everything can be done without being responsible to report/being judged".
- Melissa Ganus: explains the board development grid to evaluate different capacities for the board. The grid is divided in two, the first sheet is based in a list of capacities, talent and experience desired. We don't need 16 people with a law degree for example, what are the needs for the board and who is missing for the conversation, because there's a board member that doesn't exist yet. Another row is availability, we can find the best people of the world, but if they don't have the time to participate, it is silly to nominate them. You ended up with a numerical assessment and gaps. After that you prioritize who is missing and add intersectionality to find the people needed. It is a tool to be used to building a team, I have not used in an organization that is international, we used in a local (US) organization. I'm proposing the mechanism
- Shani Evenstein: To answer Melissa, the board is currently thinking in what each one of their members brings to the table in order, specially in what it is that we are going to bring with appointed seats, and that connect with the community seats
- Amanda Keton: Thanks to the team for covering so many time zones! The sun never sets on this important work, and I am so grateful!!! <3
- Oscar Costero: Etherpad: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/2020-02-20_Community_Board_Seats
- Mykola Kozlenko: Today 18°, but has been -5 a week ago
- Mohammed Bachounda: Hi Anna
- Anna Torres: Hi Mohammed!!
- Ivan Martínez: hi! Don't look at my hair, it's a pandemic look :p
- Anna Torres: JAJAJAJ
- Mohammed Bachounda: hello hello https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/2020-02-20_Community_Board_Seats
- Oscar Costero: Not everyone at once :)
- Amanda Keton: I am having the same hair problems Ivan!
- Ivan Martínez:V
- Amanda Keton: Thanks, Addison
- Addison Bryant: I have another point but I'll wait until others have a chance to talk
- Shani Evenstein: And do you have a question. :)
- Quim Gil: https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/Resolution:Approving_Trustee_Evaluation_Form
- Amanda Keton: Welcome, Mel!
- Jackie Koerner: I have gotten pretty good at quarantine haircuts! :) I hope....
- Addison Bryant: having been a candidate voted on by the software I'm glad that this software is getting developer attention
- Melissa Ganus: o/ An amazing board development process - with a simple excel spreadsheet I can explain. We can include lots of people in the process. Anyone interested.
- Jackie Koerner: Noted your hand, Mel
- Addison Bryant: The "We" in "we all developed" doesn't feel like it was the community given that no real changes were made, I believe, following the consultation about the evaluation form despite lots of feedback.
- -: +1 Shani
- Wiki: Shani, what you are saying is that the board decided to suggest creating a committee vetting candidates? And that the committe shall be ideally run by the community? But what if the community doesn't want to have this committee? And that they want to continue the "popularity contest"? Even affiliates elections are "popularity contest" between affiliates and many great people like you came through it :)
- Ivan Martínez: This is not a dialogue, can we go further with more participations?
- Quim Gil: Raise your hands :)
- Mykola Kozlenko: Sorry Ivan
- Ivan Martínez: No worries at all Mykola
- Mykola Kozlenko: And unfortunately no, there is only a scenario when a committee selects a great candidate supported by the community, but there is no plan if a committee selects a bad candidate unpopular with the community
- Wiki: I prefer to remain silent if possible. Just if you could answer the question
- Addison Bryant: i didn't think i'd speak again :)
- Michal Matúšov: Melissa, can you please repost your link? I lost it with my internet connection
- Quim Gil: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1YpbJTA585ckkWbHPv2nq9eI9nvQamOox/edit?filetype=msexcel
- Michal Matúšov: Thanks!
- Amanda Keton: Is that the time to run or the time to do Board work or both? The benefits
- Jackie Koerner: Thank you, Ivan, for bringing this up. This was a big discussion during the strategy process.
- Ivan Martínez: You are welcome Jackie! :)
- Amanda Keton: I really appreciate this point. These are very hard things to balance! There has been so much discussion at the Board about these tensions.
- Anna Torres: Access to education defers a lot from context to context
- Jackie Koerner: Do we have more hands?
- Anna Torres: Internet access cost too!
- Melissa Ganus: o/. If no one else - I’d love to raise hand again.
- Anna Torres: Internet too Jackie!
- Jackie Koerner: Mel - is this about your previous topic or a new topic?
- Melissa Ganus: Other comments
- Denis Barthel: 20 more minutes to go with your opinions and ideas ..
- Denis Barthel: The log: https://etherpad.wikimedia.org/p/2020-02-20_Community_Board_Seats
- Addison Bryant: we also are in unprecedent times because the board did not do any turnover last year because of covid. extending board member terms is helpful in some ways but also has some costs
- Wiki: Shani, you mentioned the world accountability, which is great! In the current stage, how is accountability measured for board members? For community chosen members it is clear, because people will not vote on them again. But what about nominated members? and Jimmy Wales?
- Mykola Kozlenko: +1 thank you Shani!
- Shani Evenstein: Thanks Melissa. Appreciated.
- Ixocactus macrophyllus: Thank you Melissa.
- Melissa Ganus: dr.Mel.email@example.com / WikiBlind.org. Please come find me. These connections make so much more inclusivity and progress asap.
- Wiki: No the question is just about more context to acocuntability
- Ivan Martínez: Excuse me, need to go. As always very happy to see your faces :)
- Jackie Koerner: Noted. Thank you.
- Wiki: in the sense that it is important to clarify, especially that it is an important aspect in governance and democracy
- Jackie Koerner: (to Wiki)
- Amanda Keton: A Board Education & Accountability Plan and Guidelines for Trustee Behavior are two of the Priorities of the Board for developing this fiscal year.
- Quim Gil: I think the review Shani refers to is https://foundation.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Board_Veritas_Governance_Recommendations_Final_Public_Copy.pdf just fyi
- Denis Barthel: 10 more minutes to ask or speak out.
- Wiki: I would say that accountability is "that not everything can be done without being responsible to report/being judged", thank you for the answers :)
- Melissa Ganus: O/
- Quim Gil: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1YpbJTA585ckkWbHPv2nq9eI9nvQamOox/edit?filetype=msexcel
- Denis Barthel: https://docs.google.com/file/d/1YpbJTA585ckkWbHPv2nq9eI9nvQamOox/edit?filetype=msexcel
- Jackie Koerner: Mel - is this a US Board or an international one?
- Olla Mahadi: Thank you
- João Alexandre Peschanski: Thank you all! I must go. Shani: my gratitude for your service at the BoT. Glad to have you there :)
- Jackie Koerner: Thank you João for coming!
- Addison Bryant: Advisors are one way the board could promote voices that it thinks are under-represented in the community and help build credentials that might then help them be community elected
- Shani Evenstein: @Joao: _/\_ <3
- Sandra Becker: Thank you
- -: a free speech!
- Addison Bryant: thanks for your time and consultation
This is an automatic transcript. The team has edited it only slightly and many mistakes still remain. We welcome corrections.
[00:00:41] Well, I just want to reaffirm for me how important it is that there be elections for community representatives, because I think whether you're talking about affiliates or user groups or projects, I don't think that they're really community representatives if there isn't some sort of democratic legitimacy behind those people. Otherwise, they're just a different pool to appoint a board member from. And obviously, there's nothing preventing the board from from appointing someone who is a Wikipedia editor for kind of those seats. But I don't think that it's the same as calling it a community, one of the community seats.
[00:01:29] And if there's not a democratic process behind it.
[00:01:52] Addison, it is something else to say, or do you want to lower your hand?
[00:02:19] Addison, I think you can go. I know that at the end we are going to cut people because there's not enough time, but for now, just take advantage of the situation and go with your next point.
[00:02:29] So I. I know that a lot of discussion has been had about the you're not calling a rubric. I'm calling it a rubric. What's the name that that you all are using for that? (Evaluation form.) Thank you. So I know there's a lot of discussion about the evaluation form, and I certainly think that, I have always been surprised by the composition of the board because there has been certain expertise that I would expect a board for a organisation like the Wikimedia Foundation to have. And that expertise has not been on the board.
[00:03:10] I also share the kind of underlying concerns that the that the board represent the world as a whole and not just North America and Europeans or I should say English speaker, native English speakers on there.
[00:03:30] But to return to kind of my first points, I, I think that the evaluation form needs to be. It needs to be a factor, but to but shouldn't eliminate or prevents the democratic peace that I was talking about with my first piece, because I think that the community we are a community organization, that that's a core value of of what we are trying to do here.
[00:03:59] And so I think it's kind of incumbent on the board to round out the skills and to round out the diversity. But certainly the evaluation form is a data point that the community could use when electing its representatives.
[00:04:20] And Addison, I heard that actually I was in a user group conversation this morning and someone else had brought it up saying it might be a helpful piece to help kind of give a rounded perspective and help take the strain off of the community. And some other people, even people in this call have said there's a lot to read and a lot to find. So someone said the evaluation form. Then we put almost all the information on one spectrum so that everyone could do that. So do you want listen to expand on that or respond to that idea? Yeah, I'm just jumping in here. So it was relatively quiet earlier.
[00:05:00] I wanted to just share one other quick point on Addison's first point. Again, this is Amanda, general counsel at the Foundation. And then I wanted to let you know that we are patching the software at the same time in anticipation of a community vote. So I don't know exactly how it will all turn out, but I definitely want to say that we've heard that point from you and many others, Addison. And I think the board is taking that very, very seriously under consideration. So thanks so much for raising it. I really appreciate you sharing that point of view directly in the call today.
[00:05:42] And Michael based.
[00:05:46] Yes, hello. So I would like to continue slightly on the point that was raised by Addison before me and slightly move to a different direction. So my point is that when we are speaking about the rubric or when we are speaking about the committee selection and stuff like that, all we are getting to this to a situation where we would have a limitation on the pool of candidates so we would not have all pool of candidates that want to apply. And we are coming to a situation where there will be some committee be it a board committee or be it a community committee or something like that, which preselects candidates and say, like, you might be a good person, but you're not qualified.
[00:06:32] So we can come to a situation where people learn there is this filter goes the other way. The community thinks, for example, that we come to the situation where we have, let's say, an expert seat where we support preselected three candidates and none of three is supported by the community. Or there is a plan where it spoke, where one of the options presented said there is a committee which preselects candidates which and then submits this candidate for community approval. And what can happen in this case? We have seen it with Arnnon Geshuri a few years ago when the board has chosen a candidate and the community say that they absolutely don't want to see this candidate. Because this candidate has done something deeply unpopular with the community before. So my question is, when we are going towards this process, when we have not only the community selecting people, but some external committee bead board committee volunteer Meeks to staff whatever H.R. committee, whatever committee is preselected candidates and can basically eliminate candidates that may be popular with the community and keep candidates that maybe are popular with the community but qualified for or having some specific skill.
[00:07:56] What what is the board's plan if what is the general plan if.
[00:08:01] None of these candidates happened to be popular, so if the community happens to support, none of the candidates preselect. Because, yes, that would be, let's say, political disaster of the same level of magnitude as we have seen. These are issues that the candidates submitted to the is not popular. So. What will be done in this case?
[00:08:25] I can try to take this one, so high, everyone, Shani Evenstein from the board of trustees and thank you for this question. Before I answer, I just want to reiterate what Quim said at the beginning, because some folks joined a bit later. So I'm wearing today two hats. One is representing the board and what the board has decided to do. And the second is my own opinions, which I'll try to actually refrain from talking about because I think they're irrelevant. So actually, in this case, I will try to convey what the board, how the board as a whole sees this. And Quim was absolutely right that we are not all on the same page. We are a diverse board. Different people on the board have different opinions and we make decisions like on wiki in consensus. So we need to have a majority. And what what the process that we now see here was decided by the board as the way forward. Right. To have these conversations with the community in order to be in a place where we can make an informed decision about all of this. So I will open by saying thank you to all of you for being here and for participating in this process. We really appreciate it.
[00:09:47] To your question, I can say that we have never actually discussed a process in which, to my understanding or to my recollection, we have not discussed a process in which the board itself selects people from the community as candidates, that the idea was to maybe have a committee that will be selected by the community and this committee will then screen candidates using the evaluation form. So the idea is for the board to basically tell the community, listen, we want to be diverse, we want to be inclusive. This is the evaluation form that we've all developed. Please use it when you check candidates. And there have been different discussions on how exactly to go about it. But one of the ideas that the board wants feedback from the community is this idea of a nomination committee of sorts. So in general, instead of just, you know, nominating a person, nominating him or herself to to be a candidate on wiki, as we used to do in the past, in the current actually process, then that person would apply to the committee. And the idea is for this committee to be composed of people who were selected by the community to do the selection process. So a bit like the FDC idea of us having as a wide community, different representatives that we chose to do this work of deciding on how money is allocated to different parts of the movement, so that's basically the same idea, right, to for the wider community to select.
[00:11:44] So first, we will have a selection process and election process for the candidates of the actual committee, the nominating committee. And once this committee is formed by representatives from the community that were chosen by the community, that committee will help screen candidates. So anyone can basically apply to that committee and that committee can help deliberate and think of who would be the best candidates from the pool of people who applied to the board and presented to the board. That was one of the options. So in a sense, the board doesn't want to be involved in in the direct screening. We want the community to be to have the capacity and to to be empowered to do that. That's the most important for us. Right? We want it to be. But we also want to have a better representation from the community. And one of the reasons that this was even raised is because past experiences of elections showed that specifically, I would say. The current process for the community, for community members has not really been diverse enough, or rather it is very much similar to a popularity contest where usually not always, but usually candidates coming from really big languages or really well or are more more mature communities are have the numbers to do for people to vote for them. And so they are being selected. And it could be that we have amazing other candidates in the movement, in the community that never have a chance because of the system.
[00:13:38] So in a sense, what we're trying to do is to explore new ideas of how we can make sure that we actually bring the right people with the right skills to the board from all across the movement, not just from these communities that have the numbers or the know-how or the you know, or the experience of how community communication or how these types of elections run. And I think, by the way, in parentheses, that one of the most amazing things that are now happening because of these discussions that are happening online and in various places is that we have people from different corners of the movement who never knew what is, never knew what the board is doing now for the first time, learning about our governance as a movement and participating for the first time. And I think these are good conversations. That's me personally. Right. I want to see more people involved in our in how we run things and not only be involved in their own personal wikis. Some people like their own wiki and that's enough for them. But but some people also, as they do more, they want to be more involved in how things are done on a larger scale. And so people having more opportunities is what this is all about. That was a long answer to your question, but I hope that I was able to shed some light on how the board views this and approaches this.
[00:15:16] Can I ask you can I make it quick to make sure, yeah, so like I mean, Shani, you're yourself an example of not big community being elected to the Board so the process is not so broken because Hebrew Wikipedia's by no means the biggest Wikipedia in our project.
[00:15:33] No, no, wait, wait a so thank you for this. I was elected through the affiliates seats in the community seats and I'm the perfect example. If the board wouldn't have changed the rules to also include of all affiliates, not just chapters in the previous elections, I would never stand a chance, not in the community elections for sure, because I just don't have the numbers right. I come from a tiny community of, sort of, right, Hebrew communities, a very strong and very proud community. But it's in terms of numbers, we're quite small, we're a small wiki. So I would not stand a chance in the community elections. And I think I'm doing quite a good work, if I may say so myself as a board member representing the community. So, you know, that's what we want to make sure that we have that we have different people coming from different corners of the world. And it's not just US and Europe-centric. Right.
[00:16:39] I understand, I understand all this general point. My question was exactly that you there are two ideas. First, this board-delegated selection committee, which says that it would be some committee with some volunteers and some board selected members and there is a selection of confirmed candidates. So basically, there is a way that this committee, which is part a community powered board, selected designs, candidates will go to the election and senators candidate may not be elected.
[00:17:09] What would happen?
[00:17:12] That's all I'm just to clarify one more thing, when we discussed idea of a committee, we're talking about a majority of community members, right. And only two representatives from the board. We thought that at the beginning of one, but decided on two just in case someone is sick or, you know, to have some kind of flexibility, that - There's a long queue just to let folks know.
[00:17:42] Ok, so I hope that I answered in any sense and shiny.
[00:17:48] I just want to bring your attention. There have been some question in the chat before Doc Mel's pivot to you. I've see you had your hand raised. That's from context from previous chat. I understand that's kind of transition. So if you don't mind, I'd like to point, Shani, to the questions that happened in the chat to the people who wrote them to basically say so.
[00:18:11] That's what they want to ask.
[00:18:13] And do you want to.
[00:18:15] Yeah. So I just posted a link into the chat and, you know, all of these different ideas if for those of you that are familiar with. Yes. And this is a board development grid that we used in non-profits that I was part of years ago. And it is it it addresses so much of what we're struggling with here at the level of how do we get the list of things that we want to see on the board? How do we understand what the board already has and where the gaps are? And I wanted to just take a minute or two to look at and explain what's here on the grid for anyone who can access it and then go offline and talk to anyone who wants more on this. Because, you know, there's more than just the Wikimedia Foundation Board. This is how to how to do a gap analysis and fill seats. So is it OK for me to continue and just go through this? It'll probably take me about three minutes.
[00:19:13] Or we can come back to it.
[00:19:16] I suggest that people now have the feeling they can look at it and then maybe later when we make sure that the point that we've covered, I think it's a very interesting piece.
[00:19:24] But maybe let's let me I can do 30 seconds and just say it's about assessing yourself. It's about assessing the importance of each of these characteristics. It's about then grabbing all of that together and discovering where are the gaps. We have this much on the board. We have this much a already. How do we fill the gaps? So I'll talk more about it with anybody interested later.
[00:19:53] Yeah, maybe that could be something we could circle back around to. If you're able to stick around after the broader questions have come to a close. And Addison, is your comment here about the community comment? I just want to pivot to maybe some other voices that have not shared yet with me. Did you want to speak to your comment that you put in the chat?
[00:20:27] It can be that people not putting their names just prefer not to.
[00:20:32] I don't know, I'm assuming and that's completely fine if you just want to type now in the chat. I don't want to.
[00:20:39] Vicky, do you want Jackie or do you want to maybe read this comment and I can answer to it.
[00:20:48] Yes. OK, thank you. Keep working for a minute. You wish to remain silent. I appreciate that. So Wiki rights, what are you saying? What you are saying is the board decided to suggest creating a committee, vetting candidates and that the committee shall be ideally run by the community. So let's just, I guess, bring that first bit there. And then what are the community doesn't want to have this committee. What if they want to continue the popularity contest? That's one section.
[00:21:16] And if the elections are popularity contests. Let's pause for a let's pause one, because it's too many as it is. All I'm saying is that that has been one of the things that the Board was thinking about and has now brought to the community to ponder on. So we want your feedback on exactly that. If you don't want that, fine. Say so. We'll hear you. But we think thinking about this process for a few months now, the board governance committee has been working on this for a few months now, thinking about it from various angles, thinking of different solutions. And basically this whole process is about the community telling us what they want and what they don't want. And if you think that community if you want to continue the popularity contest and you think it's a better process than one than the suggestions, then say so. It's as simple as that. I hope that answered. As for the affiliation selection committee being a popularity contest. In a sense. I hear what you're saying, but I will say that I think the affiliates process.
[00:22:33] Has become much better after the board's decision to open it to all affiliates. I will also say that the way that it happened last time has not been ideal. It was also very much pressed for time, and we learned a lot from that process happening for the first time. So there are definitely questions that were not properly answered for that process, but still we are more diverse for it. So again, we are hoping that whatever the community decides on this will help us become better in the future.
[00:23:15] Right now, if you want to go deeper, I see your comment here.
[00:23:20] So please know, can I speak in Spanish and someone can translate me?
[00:23:26] I feel more comfortable so I can do this because Oscar is taking notes on his mark. But, you know, let's not challenge that. I can translate.
[00:23:36] Thank you immensely for the people for talking in Spanish. [Talking Spanish.]
[00:25:06] And then I said I'll try and your English is good enough to check whether I'm saying this properly so is a total change of topic. So if any saying that what he hears, he thinks that what is lacking here are incentives for volunteers to actually run for the board. So there's not much information about the amount of time that it takes, but presumably it takes quite a bit of time. Also, it's clear that you are going to be involved in the conflicts that also doesn't help motivation. So basically, he is saying that. It should be either explain or there should be something done to to explain better whether the gratifications and what ratification, maybe that's Spanglish for me, but yeah, compensation.
[00:26:05] Yeah, compensation.
[00:26:06] But not, of course, as in money. But what the reward, you know. So the site is not it's not it's not visible or not evident and how this might deter volunteers. So that was the first part then. The second part which is related is when we add to this the evaluation form and the list of qualifications required or requested, that is also not the point of determined. And actually, he was saying that, well, you know, that the current community board members and I make my own addition here. This is something that someone said in another call before. These the current trustees are community trustees that have in the past run, A, they have very good qualifications. But maybe there's also other volunteers who can be great trustees, but just not having the titles or the PhDs or and so forth, that that that would formalize these skills. I will also add that someone said how many of the past and current trustees who are doing a good job would pass through this evaluation form. So this was long. I hope I captured well.
[00:27:22] Yes, yes, sure. Thank you, Quim.
[00:27:28] Ok, so to your first point, I think you are exactly on point, and I'll say that this has been raised in the movement strategy.
[00:27:41] Working teams, the specifically the group that was dealing with roles and responsibilities, has been discussing that, you know, for some people that men that may be diversity will come from us, I don't know, paying for board members for the time, because when we are not paying them for their time, it means that people in emerging communities and developing world cannot afford it. And maybe moms with small children cannot afford it. So maybe as a movement, we need to consider that. That was one of the things that were raised in roles and responsibilities. I think it will be raised again now that the community is will be discussing the Global Council, because I think it would be very difficult. And that is me personally. Right. And not representing the board saying this, but I believe that without paying people to do this type of work, it would be very hard to do it in a capacity of volunteers. Now, all of us have given a lot of our time freely to the movement for years and years and years. But you're right that there hasn't been enough transparency and clarity on what it really requires to be on the board.
[00:29:05] I can say that we will do our best to become better at conveying these details. And I'm also hoping that. There is a new community, there is a new board committee that will be formed very soon. It's called the Community Affairs Committee, and I'm hoping that it will also help mediate some of these questions and make some of the board work more transparent to the movement, to the communities, to people, partly by allowing for the first time platform for us to discuss things, which has not been the case in the past. But if I'm hoping that the Community Affairs Committee or C.A.C., as we call it, in short, will help mitigate more and. And other than that, it will have to be and that is the most important thing, it will have to be a decision of the community if they want to change that. The board as of now remains an unpaid thing. I think our I can speak for myself when I and I can share what my incentive for doing it is. And yes, it's a lot of time.
[00:30:29] It's a it's a huge time commitment and.
[00:30:36] But it's also very rewarding, although, yes, in many times we're in the middle of many controversies or, you know, we sometimes get a lot of heat that is not directed specifically personally at us, but at the Foundation or at, you know, the board as a big entity. But I'll tell you what, I'm happy to do it because I believe in what we all do here together. And I've invested before being on the board. I've given my life to this movement. So I'm happy to be in a position where I can help mediate. I see myself as a facilitator in a sense, because I'm what I think I'm doing is I'm in the middle between WMF needs and my responsibility and my fiduciary duty to the organization, which every board member has the moment they become a trustee and taking care of the community. And to me, taking care of the community is taking care of the foundation because it's they have to work together for us to succeed.
[00:31:48] I see us all having one mission, one goal. We all want the same thing. And we have different angles of going about it and sometimes don't. These angles don't really or the work that we each do don't really communicate well to each to each portion of the movement. So I'm happy to be in a position of hopefully helping to facilitate these discussions and to make some of the work more transparent, transparent. And this is a really unique moment in our history. We are for the first time in 20 years with the movement strategy, with recommendations that we're with a vision, a clear vision for 2030. We're all very aligned in this in a sense, where we've never had that before, not like this. So in a sense, the movement strategy and the recommendations are guidelines to all of us in our work and to me, it's a very exciting, personally, it's a very exciting time to be on the board to help make sure that all of that unravels properly. So that that has been my incentive in running in the previous elections. And I'm very thankful to everyone who voted and put me in the position to do the work that I'm now doing. So I hope I helped. I answered your question, but the final thing to your question is that it's a decision of the community. If the community wants to change it, they will have to make that decision and then the board will think about it and see if they agree or not. But it will have to come from the community. The board will never change that one-sidedly. Right.
[00:33:39] I'm sorry, Shani. I'm going to interject here. We have about less than 20 minutes left. I'm going to ask if everyone could be concise and brief in their comments. And that way other voices can be heard as well who have not participated yet.
[00:33:54] Now, you had raised your hand. So I encourage everyone to be brief so we can have the voices do the call.
[00:34:02] Thank you, Shani. First of all, every time I've seen you speak, I absolutely want to thank you for having done this, this putting yourself on the line and dealing with all of the. I've stared at the ceiling at 2:00 a.m. to just crying about why does it have to be this hard? And we have really hit an incredible threshold. The hashtags I want to put on conversation I love to have with you guys later, servant leadership compared to Top-Down control the bottom up support of who's on the front lines, servant leadership. If we don't have the embedded in the new system, then we're stuck with the bottlenecks that we've still got. The other thing I'm looking at is the nature of Global Council, a singular Global Council with a certain number of people versus Global Councils. What if we added an S and talked about the different groups that conform? And as part of the team that's bringing Wikiblind to the table, we have millions of volunteers available. If anybody is interested in more volunteers, please let me know, because there's a lot of untapped potential that's never been invited to the party.
[00:35:14] That's it. Thank you.
[00:35:21] Invite someone who has not yet spoken to raise their hand, we have about 17 minutes left. Thank you Mel for being brief. Appreciate that. Or I can put out a comment out here. I don't want to take over the conversation, but this communication has been a huge theme that I've personally seen and reading a lot of feedback from everyone in the difficult conversations, but also on the talk pages. So it's been very interesting to hear the communication and better communication is a big theme that everyone desires so we can better understand what's happening. So I also welcome that discussion as well. That's something that was not initially covered in the discussion today. But if you feel there's anything else to express, we welcome that as well.
[00:36:33] There are some questions from Wiki, maybe we can. Rhythm, Louk.
[00:36:42] Sorry I missed those. Sorry about that, Wiki. In the current stage, how is accountability measured for board members? It's first question. The next paragraph is about this is exploration of the person made sure for the opportunity chosen members it is clear because people will not vote for them again. Well, what about nominate members and Jimmy Wales? And I also want to point out of a discussion that there was a discussion about Jimmy Wales's role on the board previously, so I don't know, Wiki, if you are perhaps referring to include in the chat more context or thoughts that you're having around that, please feel free.
[00:37:40] So first of all, thank you for this question. I think it's not really. It's slightly connected to the coming elections, but I would say it is more about. Governance of the board itself and how the board is, you know, measuring its own capacity and progressing and becoming better as a board, I can share I cannot easily answer these questions, not in the 15 minutes that we have now. It will require me to go into too many details that are irrelevant to this call. But I will say that the board is working on becoming a better board. And simply put, I will say that we had a process done. I think it was two years ago before I joined a board of reviewing the board performance as a board. And the result of that process was a long document of things that we need to improve. And since that we have been working diligently on improving things. It is still a work in progress and it's a work in progress. We haven't done it. We're not perfect in everything, but we are getting better and getting more professional, getting more efficient. And I think a big part of wanting to expand has been the board understanding that our movement is simply so huge and there are so many moving parts and there are so many aspects of running WMF that are not being properly covered by the board. So our hope with the expansion both from community members and both from the appointed seats by the board itself, is about having more people to share the burden shared the duty of supporting WMF as an organization and having more people.
[00:39:55] Having so much work divided by more people will be helpful in reducing some of the pressure, some of this stress. And, you know, you've heard us say from time to time, you know, the board has a lot on its plate. It's absolutely true. And every single moment of the year and every moment we have other things that we worry about and other times could be more stressful than or more busy than others, but all in all we always have many things rolling that we need to take care of. So the hope of expanding is having more people in committees, more committees to cover more things happening on the board and in general and look a self reflection mode of the board on itself. And I think part of it will have to be how we measure accountability. And the reason I said there is no easy answer to that question is we will have to discuss what you call wiki accountability. Right. Can I give you 10 seconds? Sure. That that's it basically. Right. It's it's how you define it and then how you measure it. And because that is not clear, it's impossible to answer that question right now.
[00:41:22] Thank you. I also noted, Amanda, thank you for being on the chat board, education accountability plan and guidelines for trustee behavior are two of the priorities of the board for developing this fiscal year. Amanda, do you want to jump in to say something brief about that?
[00:41:40] I think there's so much that's already been said, just just kind of plus one on this theme. Yes. Thanks so much for lifting it up.
[00:41:49] Wiki does that address your question. I know it's might not be the full answer to your question was looking for, but please ask in the chat, is there something that you more specifically would like to know if that wasn't addressed? And we have only ten minutes left, so now is your time to raise your hand if you have not yet spoken. Wiki has responded to that accountability is, quote, that not everything can be done without being responsible to report being judged.
[00:42:31] Just a quick, direct response to that, I think the only mechanism that we have is that we did ensure that there would be a preponderance, a majority of community and or affiliates selected seats, and it would take a majority of the board to reappoint even the appointed board members to the seat. So there's an indirect measure of accountability. I hear that you're asking for something potentially more direct, but I did just want to kind of state that's the mechanism that we've got so far.
[00:43:16] Thanks for the question. Thank you Wiki for asking the questions, and I do not see any more hands raised at this time.
[00:43:36] So maybe we can go back to my little spreadsheet.
[00:43:45] I would be happy to. It is one of the best tools that I learned how to use from one of my mentors who does a ton of Board development and is just a genius at it. So whether you can see the spreadsheet or not, it's an Excel spreadsheet with two sheets. The first is an individual data sheet in which we analyze ourselves across a list that's brainstormed by whoever is part of the brainstorming process. And the list is not meant to be all inclusive. There's room for people to add their own characteristics that aren't included in the list. Three categories to the list. It's just making sense so far. I will go as quickly as I can. Keep going three categories to the list, talent, skills and experience. So what do we have personal experience with? That, you know, there should be somebody with long experience, there should be someone with the of experience on every board of directors. But you don't need 16 people with accounting degrees. So how many people can identify that way and how important is it? It's the second column. And so each of us have our own sense of this is a really important thing to include. This isn't a scale of one to five.
[00:45:01] So the second category is ability to represent or access constituencies or stakeholders. Who do we know that we can represent, that we can bring into the conversation and who's missing from the conversation? Because clearly that's a board member that doesn't exist yet. So the third category is other characteristics. And the number one I will point to is availability, because we can find the best people in the world. But if they don't have the time to participate, it's silly to nominate them and then have them end up accidentally being a bottleneck. The other things are what are the key characteristics of being part of this team? So everybody writes down your self assessment. Here's what I think. I'm good at scale of one to five, then how important is it to have on the board? And then you go to the second worksheet and this is just a sample where we filled in the numbers with zero to five on. I have no legal expertise. I have lots. And you end up with these averages of the final three columns, the first is an average of our self assessments, how much is present based on our self assessments of legal expertise? And then.
[00:46:16] Out of all of us prioritizing, how important is that we've got at one point six for how much we have on the board, we've got a four point seven of how important we think it is. There is a glaring gap of three point one. And you go down this list and you look for any version of a gap, and that helps you narrow in on who's not on the board yet, who's not represented, and do they meet the basic criteria that they can self-identify as so? I hope that makes sense if you see a gap that is closer to zero or one that's not as serious as the ones that are closer to three and four, five. So those are the that's how you prioritize who to go after. And then you look for intersectionality because you can have somebody who represents a lot of constituencies. And I'm in that category happy to help. And I'll stop. Questions. Comments. I'll go look at the chat. Jackie, you asked if it was a U.S. Board or an international one. It's a tool to be used for building a team, any team. What are the characteristics we're looking for? What do we have on board already?
[00:47:36] Sure. I guess I was just asking, has this been sampled with has it's been used with international board or just only US organizations?
[00:47:46] Personally, I have not used it in an organization that's international. My use was in a local group. What we did is we found the people that met that self selected as meeting criteria, you know, do you bring these things? And then we put them up for the community review. So here's people who said they were available who say they meet these criteria and they address some of the gaps.
[00:48:11] And if I understand correctly, Melissa, you are not proposing to take these that you are proposing the mechanism, not necessarily the exact rules with this information, but exactly.
[00:48:22] The rows are completely flexible. So it depends on what we're, you know, what's important to have. OK, change the rows out. But this is just an example from one of the nonprofits I worked on.
[00:48:35] Thank you. I was just curious, from a research standpoint, I know we've talked a lot about research. Oh, yeah, just seeing how that happened.
[00:48:42] Personally, I haven't seen the research data around this. This came out of a workshop that we just we took it as far as we could. Happy to show more later.
[00:48:55] So there's three minutes left, and I just want to remind everyone about the extended time that we are offering when the hour ends. Also I want to pitch before people leave. What I want to pitch, if you like, this meeting or in general the meetings that we are getting today that will be available on video. There's a team of facilitators very happy to help you organizing meetings like this in your own group's affiliate, languages, wiki project, regions, whatever it is. And yeah, we will help you doing the facilitation work. We'll help you. We'll write a report that we will contribute to the call for feedback. But you can do this on your own as well.
[00:49:32] I mean, it's not that we have to be there, but if you want us, we can help. And we have 10 facilitator speaking different languages based in different regions.
[00:49:47] I just want to voice real quick, please feel free to stick around, because we can end the recording in a few moments. So just two seconds. Two minutes. Excuse me, very tired. We've all been up for a very long time, so just two minutes recording. And so please stick around if you feel more comfortable sharing in that conversation after the recording ends.
[00:50:09] So is there one last recorded question or comment?
[00:50:17] I can quickly comment on what Mel said and just share that the board is currently in the process of thinking about exactly how we evaluate what each of us bring to the table, especially as we think on what it is that we want to bring into the board with the appointed seats. So part of the process that you described in why in one way or another will happen and I will say that it really connects tightly to how many to who is being selected by the community. So the board can then fine tune. And this is what why we have the appointed seats. Right. It allows us the flexibility to invite in people with specific expertise that maybe did not come through the community elections. I will also say that even if after we finish the elections and all the appointments, if we still feel that something is missing, the board can always invite in advisers from the outside on specific topics to help in specific committee work. So we have that mechanism in line as well, just that people are aware.
[00:51:51] I just wanted to say thank you so much to everybody who's participated here and who is giving this amazing feedback, I think one thing among staff and board members alike is that we couldn't wait to get in front of the community for this discussion because we knew that even the ideas as good and as many iterations, as much as they are informed by the board report that Shani said and someone linked in the side chat. Thank you, Quim. I think we know that it's going to be through this discussion process that we're going to get to much better and more refined ideas, and it's because of the strength of this community. So thank you so much. Just really encourage you to keep sharing your ideas and just want to appreciate all the time that it's taken so far. And thank you, especially to Quim and Jackie and Oscar and all of the other facilitators who have spent their time running a continuous cycle to really try and hit every time zone. I just I'm so appreciative. Thank you all so much.