Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-28 Sunday talk - Europe
- Dan Mihai Pitea (Commons, Romanian Wikipedia)
- RolandUnger (Wikivoyage)
- Ad Huikeshoven (Dutch Wikipedia)
Roland says, that participative processes are hard to take part of especially for smaller wikiprojects (Wikivoyage, Wikisource, etc.) as they often are run by a small number of volunteers only, who are easily overheard as they do not have the resources to take part extensively in them. Efforts like the Movement Strategy process are way to complex for a continous participation of smaller projects and their interests. It is easy for them to be either overwhelmed or overheard therefore.
Ad states, that he is seeing the knowledge of editing Wikis as much as an important skill as programmatic work in the movement. Most elected members of the current board have this background, being part of their skillset. He proposes a certain amount of edits in a wiki as a required skill for appointed seats too.
Ranked voting system
RolandUnger supports the idea as it might help to increase diversity. Dan supports the idea too, he likes the idea of having multiple choices. Ad remarks that the current system is a ranked voting system too and results might not differ very much after a change.
Dan agrees to a gender quota for women, but gives a weak oppose on regional quotas as he doubts it's necessity, stating that it is the individual person that matters, not its origin. Ad opposes quotas in a broad sense, saying that the board is gender balanced already, had persons of non-binary gender and is already widely regional distributed, so it already is working.
Call for types of skills and experience / Vetting of Candidates
Dan says, it should not be necessary to have extensive skills already before entering the board, as the required knowledge might be possible to be researched and collected thus. Ad does not see a problem at all, he sees voting as a kind of multiple skill assessment and opposes the idea it would be a popularity contest. Dan agrees.
Roland sees soft skills as an important matter in general and mentions experience as a leader, team working skills and the ability to compromise as especially important. He considers a standardized assessment close to those of company applications as a possible solution. He points out though, that trustees should be grounded in the community too.
Board-delegated selection committee / Community-elected selection committee
Dan opposes to idea of commitees, stating they are not needed, preferring unrestricted voting. Ad agrees.
Election of confirmed candidates
Reasons why a community vote on trustee candidates is important:
Roland says, that community votes are important as they can readjust approaches of the board and it's inner circle, creating new topics and enforcing different points of view. Dan says, that democracy in general is a better working principle than any elitist approaches. Ad adds, that broad elections are more secure, as they allow different and critical perspectives to enter the board.
Though Ad is concerned of quotas for too many groups due to the small size of the board, he supports the idea of regional seats.
Roland is especially supporting the idea of specialization seats in the technical area, wanting a stronger support for smaller communities from non-wikipedia projects, as they suffer from being neglected by the Foundations software department.
Roland likes the idea of supporting volunteers by educational means a lot. So does Dan, asking if this should happen before or after being elected, preferring a solution beforehand.