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Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-17 Wikimedia Norge

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  • Astrid Carlsen - Executive Director of Wikimedia Norge
  • Jon Harald Soby - founding member and employee of Wikimedia Norge, former member of election committees in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2013.


General remarks[edit]

Astrid had some general points:

  • Expanding the board is a good idea.
  • From the experience of WMNO: besides the making of rules it should be taken care of the hardships of following up. It might be hard to make diversity in fact happen, even along given rules and systems.

Ranked voting system[edit]

Jon mentioned that this system has been discussed as soon as 2008 amongst the election committee members and has been a preferred solution there. It is a good system for this type of selection process. It went well in the affiliate seat selection process and finally felt normal.


Astrid stated, that quotas could help, but there is some doubt if it really works.

Call for types of skills and experience[edit]

According to Jon, skills and expertise are the points of appointed seats. When it comes to community seats, the approach should be a different one. Astrid added, that though skills are valuable, sometimes an external view from outside gives important insights into a topic, which specialists tend to overlook. So, skills are good, but they shouldn’t be overrated.

Vetting of Candidates[edit]

  • Questions:
    • Would it add up to the Evaluation Form or would the vetting process happen according to it or even replace it?
    • Would it happen before the voting starts or afterwards?

Astrid reminded, that a vetting process might suffer from a cultural and language bias, it should be taken care of when designing the vetting processes itself.

Board-delegated selection committee / Community-elected selection committee[edit]

To Jon especially a community selected committee seems a bit too complicated, stating that it might be one of those things making a selection process harder for people to engage in.

Regional seats[edit]

Jon said, this could be a good idea, as long as not all of the seats are tied up to regions.

Election of confirmed candidates[edit]

Reasons why a community vote on trustee candidates is important:

Astrid said, there is a shared ownership in the movement. It is visible in a kind of a constant battle between the volunteer part of the movement and the administrative part but finally results in a balance. The community vote is important to keep that balance. Jon added, that a lot of work within the movement is done by volunteers, so they should be a major part of the selection process, as decisions influence their work a lot.