Elecciones de la Fundación Wikimedia / 2017 / Consejo de Administración / Preguntas / 2

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Previous page (1) Preguntas


Info La elección finalizó el 11 junio 2017. No se aceptarán más votos.
Los resultados fueron anunciados el 19 junio 2017. Por favor considere enviar cualquier comentario sobre la elección del 2017 en esta página.
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Prioridades durante vuestra gestión

Question.svg

Clasifique las siguientes prioridades de las más a las menos importantes para la Fundación Wikimedia:

  • Aumento de la retención de editores
  • Aumentar la participación de lectores y editores en las comunidades emergentes
  • Reducir la brecha de género en las comunidades de edición
  • Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los editores
  • Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los lectores
  • Invertir más en la recolección de datos relevantes para nuestra misión
  • Invertir más en móviles
  • Reducir el impacto ambiental negativo de la Fundación Wikimedia o el movimiento
  • Abogar por el acceso libre y seguro a un conocimiento confiable y neutral en Internet
  • Financiación de más actividades fuera de línea (por ejemplo, conferencias, editatones)
  • conclusión e implementación de la nueva Wikimedia movement strategy


¿Qué agregarías a esta lista y dónde lo colocarías? ¿Qué harías para ver implementada su priorización?

Basado en preguntas de denny y los encargados de Comité de las Elecciones
Chris Keating (The Land)
Si alguien me preguntó esta pregunta mientras estaba en la Junta (por ejemplo, por el Director Ejecutivo de WMF), probablemente los invitaría a hacer una pregunta diferente. :-) Algunas de estas cosas son muy diferentes en su alcance, y como resultado no tienen niveles comparables de prioridad. Tener una estrategia de movimiento es algo de muy alto nivel. Algo como aumentar la participación del editor es también una aspiración de alto nivel. Gastar más en móviles o conferencias es un método operativo para (potencialmente) alcanzar algunas de esas metas. No es casualidad que [$ signpost0513link la última vez que se hizo esta pregunta], los candidatos clasificaron colectivamente las aspiraciones más generales arriba y los proyectos más específicos abajo.

Así que esta respuesta hasta ahora está probablemente diciendo que me gusta pensar cuidadosamente acerca de los problemas y desafiar los supuestos. Esperemos que esas sean las características que desena en un miembro de la Junta!


Lo dicho, es probablemente útil para mí al responder a la pregunta real también:

1) 'Estrategia de movimiento'
Esta es una prioridad general. Sin una estrategia, no sabemos a dónde vamos o cómo vamos a llegar.
2) Conjuntamente: 'Aumentar la participación en las comunidades emergentes' ; 'Reducir la brecha de género'
3) 'Aumento de la retención del editor'
Todo esto es muy importante para la salud a largo plazo de nuestras comunidades, y por lo tanto nuestra capacidad para cumplir nuestra misión. Esta debe ser una de las medidas clave que WMF busca para saber si tiene éxito o no. Sin embargo, no son las únicas cosas.
Quisiera que la WMF mejore sus métricas desarrollando algún tipo de enfoque de "scorecard quilibrado" que busque el alcance, la importancia, la calidad y la diversidad de contenidos, así como el número de contribuyentes nuevos y de largo plazo y cuán felices son. Pensé más en esto en mi meta-ensayo sobre cómo entender nuestro impacto.]
4) 'Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los editores'
5) 'Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los lectores'
6) 'Invertir más en móviles'
7) 'Financiar más actividades fuera de línea'
Estos son todos los métodos de trabajo para lograr las cosas que he puesto más arriba en la lista.
He priorizado la experiencia del editor sobre la experiencia del lector porque tenemos problemas para atraer y mantener editores, pero actualmente no tenemos problemas para obtener lectores. Todavía hay un amplio margen para hacer la edición más fácil y más divertida y gratificante para los editores sin experiencia, y también para crear más herramientas para los usuarios que trabajan con grandes cambios o proteger la integridad de nuestros proyectos.
"Invertir más en móviles" a mí parece ser un subconjunto de cosas que uno puede hacer para mejorar la experiencia del editor o lector, por lo que lo he clasificado más bajo. Las actividades fuera de línea son probablemente una prioridad más baja. He ayudado a ejecutar un montón de conferencias, editatones y sesiones de formación, pero son menos el núcleo del WMF y más apropiado para afiliados o individuos.
8) 'Reducción del impacto ambiental del WMF'
Sí, podemos hacer más aquí. Acojo con beneplácito la [resolución del consejo de $ envimpactresol] y espero ver cómo se puede implementar.
9) 'Abogar por el acceso libre y seguro a un conocimiento confiable y neutral en Internet'
Creo que estamos abogando por esto haciéndolo. Pero también podemos agregar nuestra voz a otras conversaciones donde es importante hacerlo.
No clasificado: 'Recolección de más datos' No tengo suficientemente claro lo que esto significa para poder responder. ¿Encuestas de usuarios? ¿Seguimiento de cookies para los visitantes de Wikipedia? ¿Conjuntos de datos para incorporar en Wikidata? Algunos de ellos sería genial implementarlos, algunos de ellos no serían tan útiles.
Milos Rancic (millosh)
  1. Potenciación del editor (aproximadamente: Aumento de la retención del editor)
    Wikipedia y otros proyectos Wikimedia existen principalmente a causa de los editores. Sin editores no tendríamos contenido. Pero los editores no son el "recurso" más importante, los editores son "humanos", también, con diversas necesidades. Ellos son el centro de nuestro movimiento y debemos preocuparnos por ellos más.
    No me gusta el tratamiento de los editores como recurso, no como seres humanos. Sin embargo, el "empoderamiento del editor" en lugar de "aumentar la retención del editor" no se trata sólo de palabras diferentes, sino de cambiar el enfoque de simplemente preocuparse por lo que los editores están trayendo a WMF al enfoque de la relación mutuamente beneficiosa. Sustancialmente los editores de apoyo, también.
    Entiendo completamente que no importa cuán grande, los fondos de WMF son limitados. Sin embargo, el propio WMF podría crear el ecosistema en el que los editores podrían beneficiarse de varias maneras.
    Uno de los ejemplos es mi larga idea de crear algo que yo llamo "Wikimedia Market". Debe haber el lugar dentro del ecosistema de Wikimedia que permitiría a los wikimediantes ser contratados basados ​​en el conocimiento que han demostrado mientras que trabajan voluntariamente en proyectos de Wikimedia. Por lo tanto, si alguien tiene un buen conocimiento de la historia, editó artículos sobre la historia mucho, esa persona, gracias a Wikimedia Market, tienen la oportunidad de ser empleados por una revista en línea que necesita un editor de los artículos sobre la historia. (No, no se trata de ediciones pagadas. El problema de edición pagada no se ha resuelto dentro de la comunidad y debemos discutir sobre modelos aceptables y no aceptables para el trabajo remunerado de los editores).
    Hay otras áreas para la potenciación sustancial de los editores. Podría tratarse de necesidades de asesoramiento, podría tratarse de empoderamiento político dentro del ecosistema de Wikimedia, podría tratarse de otras necesidades, algunas de ellas cubiertas dentro de las prioridades a continuación.
  2. Potenciación del editor (aproximadamente: Aumento de la retención del editor)
    Wikipedia y otros proyectos Wikimedia existen principalmente a causa de los editores. Sin editores no tendríamos contenido. Pero los editores no son el "recurso" más importante, los editores son "humanos", también, con diversas necesidades. Ellos son el centro de nuestro movimiento y debemos preocuparnos por ellos más.
    No me gusta el tratamiento de los editores como recurso, no como seres humanos. Sin embargo, el "empoderamiento del editor" en lugar de "aumentar la retención del editor" no se trata sólo de palabras diferentes, sino de cambiar el enfoque de simplemente preocuparse por lo que los editores están trayendo a WMF al enfoque de la relación mutuamente beneficiosa. Sustancialmente los editores de apoyo, también.
    Entiendo completamente que no importa cuán grande, los fondos de WMF son limitados. Sin embargo, el propio WMF podría crear el ecosistema en el que los editores podrían beneficiarse de varias maneras.
    Uno de los ejemplos es mi larga idea de crear algo que yo llamo "Wikimedia Market". Debe haber el lugar dentro del ecosistema de Wikimedia que permitiría a los wikimediantes ser contratados basados ​​en el conocimiento que han demostrado mientras que trabajan voluntariamente en proyectos de Wikimedia. Por lo tanto, si alguien tiene un buen conocimiento de la historia, editó artículos sobre la historia mucho, esa persona, gracias a Wikimedia Market, tienen la oportunidad de ser empleados por una revista en línea que necesita un editor de los artículos sobre la historia. (No, no se trata de ediciones pagadas. El problema de edición pagada no se ha resuelto dentro de la comunidad y debemos discutir sobre modelos aceptables y no aceptables para el trabajo remunerado de los editores).
    Hay otras áreas para la potenciación sustancial de los editores. Podría tratarse de necesidades de asesoramiento, podría tratarse de empoderamiento político dentro del ecosistema de Wikimedia, podría tratarse de otras necesidades, algunas de ellas cubiertas dentro de las prioridades a continuación.
  3. Ayudar a la articulación de importantes grupos de movimientos
    Esta parte está parcialmente relacionada con los editores, pero es más amplia y de fuerte importancia política para nuestro movimiento.
    En el sentido de consecuencias duraderas, aquellas que deberían traer representación, el empoderamiento del editor no estará terminada mientras no exista una articulación clara y organizada de la voluntad de los editores. Las partes organizativas del movimiento tienden a ignorar a los editores. Eso debe ser detenido.
    Sin embargo, los editores no son la única parte no organizada del movimiento. La parte más importante del movimiento que aún no está organizada son empleados de Wikimedia Foundation y otras organizaciones de Wikimedia. Los empleados han participado en la creación del movimiento de Wikimedia como es ahora y deben tener una manera formal de expresar sus necesidades y sus opiniones.
    Y deberíamos monitorear si surge algún grupo similar. Siempre es mejor tener canales claros para la comunicación que obligar a la gente a luchar secretamente por sus intereses.
  4. Estrategia
    La estrategia es muy importante y esto es de lejos el mejor intento de hacer una. Un gran agradecimiento a los organizadores :)
  5. Recursos de ingeniería para la experiencia de los editores
    Esta es la parte técnica del empoderamiento del editor. WMF tiene que ser una vanguardia, pero también tiene que escuchar estrictamente a los editores.

Móviles

  1. Yo veo esto como la parte técnica de la brecha que tenemos en relación con las comunidades emergentes y las generaciones más jóvenes. Debemos permitirles leer y editar proyectos de Wikimedia desde sus dispositivos preferidos.
  2. Recolección de datos relevantes para nuestra misión
    La recopilación de datos es algo que estamos haciendo. Debemos seguir trabajando en esta área y, si surgen problemas, debemos reaccionar.
  3. Recursos de ingeniería para la experiencia de los lectores
    No haría diferencia entre la experiencia de los editores y los lectores. Los editores también son lectores. Para poder editar los proyectos de Wikimedia correctamente, necesitamos poder leerlos correctamente, usando tecnología contemporánea.
  4. Actividades sin conexión (por ejemplo, conferencias, ediciones)
    Las actividades fuera de línea son importantes, ya que nos conectan en la vida real.

Donación

  1. Si bien no es algo dentro del grupo de las cosas urgentes y urgentes en curso, crear Wikimedia Endowment es de importancia estratégica a largo plazo tanto para la Fundación Wikimedia como para el movimiento Wikimedia. Me gustaría ver el "trabajo en progreso" sobre la dotación durante el próximo año o dos.
  2. Abogar por el acceso libre y seguro a un conocimiento confiable y neutral en Internet
    Esto es importante y definitivamente debemos permanecer una parte del movimiento de contenido libre más amplio. Sin embargo, tenemos un montón de cuestiones más importantes que resolver en este momento.
  3. Reducir el impacto ambiental negativo de la Fundación Wikimedia o el movimiento
    Este debería ser un procedimiento estándar para las organizaciones de Wikimedia. Es bueno hacer un análisis en relación a lo que podemos hacer ahora, en el mediano y largo plazo y aplicar políticas respetuosas con el medio ambiente donde y cuando podamos.
Dariusz Jemielniak (Pundit)
1) 'Finalización e implementación de la nueva estrategia del movimiento Wikimedia'

Esto es crucial, ya que la estrategia del movimiento establece las prioridades para todos los demás puntos y los coloca en la perspectiva, las relaciones y el orden correctos.

2) 'Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los editores' Estamos haciéndolo cada vez mejor, pero sin embargo nos enfrentamos a nuevos desafíos todo el tiempo. Creo que nuestra comunidad de redactores necesita poderosas herramientas para combatir el acoso, la edición pagada de sombrero negro, así como para simplemente facilitar nuestras vidas con las tareas cotidianas. Además, es crucial que propaguemos buenas soluciones a través de todos los proyectos, no sólo en-wiki.

3) 'Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los lectores' Con todo, nos basamos en UX que tiene, algo así como, 20 años de edad. Estamos mejorando, pero las startups como wikiwand muestran que hay un alcance de mejora. Mejorar la experiencia de los lectores se traduce en más editores, más contenido, etc.

4) 'Aumento de la retención del editor' La retención del editor es una prueba decisiva de la salud de nuestra comunidad. Además, alguien que domina nuestras reglas es muy valioso - la formación de un nuevo editor es una barrera significativa en entradas- y costo. Tenemos perspectivas de investigación prometedoras en cómo podemos mejorar aquí.

5) 'Invertir más en el móvil' Vemos los datos que muestran lo masivo que se ha vuelto el tráfico móvil y no podemos quedarnos atrás.

6) 'Reducción de la brecha de género en las comunidades de edición' Introducir más equilibrio y diversidad a nuestros proyectos es importante (sin embargo, creo que las herramientas antes mencionadas para los editores, así como trabajar en la retención del editor se traducen también directamente a un entorno menos hostil y también menos brechas de género).

7) 'Financiación de más actividades fuera de línea (por ejemplo, conferencias, editatones)' Me resulta dolorosamente triste ver tan muchas aplicaciones de Wikimania declinadas. Entiendo que necesitamos ser frugales - y sin embargo creo que invertir en Wikimania es en realidad una manera asequible de aumentar la motivación a largo plazo (¿alguien ha investigado esto? Debemos!). Creo que necesitamos más meetups locales, y también los formatos que permiten una financiación parcial.

8) 'Invertir más en la recolección de datos relevantes para nuestra misión' Creo que gran parte de nuestro trabajo debe ser impulsado por la investigación. Ya tenemos un equipo de investigación increíble - un cuello de botella está en otro lugar, no en la falta de datos o incluso el conocimiento cómo se puede aplicar, pero en la ejecución. Por lo tanto, creo que tenemos que invertir más en el uso de los datos que ya tenemos.

9) 'Aumentar la participación de lectores y editores en las comunidades emergentes' Este punto está muy impulsado por mejores herramientas para los lectores y editores, así como el desarrollo móvil - y aún más se puede hacer a través de nuestros afiliados.

10) 'Reducir el impacto ambiental negativo de la Fundación Wikimedia o el movimiento' Creo que es nuestro deber hacer tal esfuerzo. De hecho, como miembro de la Junta Directiva, he respaldado la resolución de la Junta para buscar formas de reducir el impacto de nuestras actividades en el medio ambiente. Sin embargo, no creo que este sea nuestro mayor problema ahora - no tan grande como el acoso, las herramientas de edición, el móvil o la brecha de género de todos modos.

11) 'Abogar por el acceso libre y seguro a un conocimiento confiable y neutral en Internet' Es muy importante, pero hay otros que lo hacen bien, y somos mejores en cosas que no pueden hacer. Pero seguramente podemos darle apoyo.


Los puntos que quisiera añadir:

  • La creación de un grupo especial de los agentes de desarrollo de la fuerza para la aplicación de soluciones impulsadas por la investigación,
  • Dedicar recursos a propagar herramientas y prácticas de nuestros proyectos más grandes también a los más pequeños,
  • Liderar una iniciativa de reducción de costos en el WMF y en las afiliadas (permitir que el personal proponga ahorros sin poner en peligro la misión, para que podamos tener más recursos para lo que realmente necesitamos - el ejemplo más simple es hacer los arreglos de viaje para Wikimanía tan temprano como sea posible).
James Heilman (Doc James)
1) 'Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los editores'


Si tenemos más herramientas para reducir el uso de marionetas y el acoso esto mejorará las experiencias del editor. Esto también puede mejorar la brecha de género. Si mejoramos las habilidades de los editores para mejorar el contenido esto mejorará las experiencias de los lectores


2) 'Invertir más en el móvil'

Sin duda clave. Más de la mitad de lectores está ahora a través del móvil. Necesitamos el equipo móvil para dejarnos que la comunidad sepa cómo podemos ayudarle. Usuario: Tbayer (WMF) me proporcionó algunos datos increíbles hace unos años (el 60% de los lectores nunca ir más allá de las puntas de nuestros artículos). Posteriormente he trabajado en éstos más de 800 cables de artículos médicos claves. También estoy trabajando con la gente de móvil para intentar abordar las cuestiones alrededor de las descripciones cortas wrt ENWP/WD

3) Finalizando e implementando la nueva estrategia del movimiento Wikimedia


Importante sin duda. Esto nos dará una hoja de ruta compartida.

4) Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission

Un gran trabajo se ha hecho recientemente en esta área. Muchas gracias al equipo de tecnología de la comunidad que consiguieron las "páginas populares mensuales por Wikiproyecto" funcionando otra vez. La versión original de User:Mr.Z-man es lo que me tiró en edición Wikipedia originalmente. Espero verlo en otros idiomas pronto, si no está allí ya.

5) Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities

Proporcionar más recursos de ingeniería para mejorar la experiencia de los lectores

Aumento de la retención del editor

This is sort of the holy grail. While we should dedicate some resources to the problem, we are really not sure how to achieve this goal which makes it tough. Many of us have tried many things.

8) Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities

Same as above. But likely even harder. Yes some resources but we need to figure out what works first.

9) Reducing the negative environmental impact of the Wikimedia Foundation or movement

We likely do this best by providing high quality and reliable information. When global warming really hits science, the general population's understanding of science will be more important than ever.

10) Funding more offline activities (e.g. conferences, editathons) I think where we are at with respect to funding offline activities is fairly decent.

11) Advocating for free and safe access to reliable and neutral knowledge on the internet

We do this every time we make Wikip/media better. While we can try to change the rest of the Internet we will likely not succeed. We have some chance of making changes to ourselves.
Abbad Diraneyya (عباد ديرانية)
  • (1) Investing more in mobile
Why first? Because it is probably the right approach to things. Not to achieve one goal only, but to achieve many things altogether. We had like to think of most Wikipedia editors as nerds with laptops, but they are not. Not anymore. In developing countries, in poor areas, and among extremely young people all around the globe, mobile devices are becoming dominant. Focusing on this will be a key to reach a ton of new people, to adapt with the changing future, and, more importantly, to effectively bridge too many gaps all at once.
  • (2) Advocating for free and safe access to reliable and neutral knowledge on the internet
Most Wikimedians would not like to view this as a top priority, since we sometimes tend to be concerned only with what we had like to be concerned with. If we are going to attain new editors at all, advocating free knowledge is unthinkably important. Wikimedia’s values are amazing, but most people do not get the chance to know neither understand them to be amazed with them. If we do not start educating internet browsers about our mission as effectively as possible, our future could be potentially catastrophic.
  • (3) & (4) Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' and editors' experience
By working on Strategy discussions, I have noticed that technical issues are a major concern for an exceptionally wide range of Wikimedia editors, not to mention every and last new Wikipedian I have had the chance to work with.
  • (5) Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission
I could be right on this one, and I could be wrong. How can we know? I guess we need some data to prove it either right or wrong, A much valuable data, which we could only collect through more research.
  • (6) Finalizing and implementing the new Wikimedia movement strategy
I guess this could be a rather unpopular opinion, to place Strategy a little low, especially for a Strategy coordinator. However, the way I see it: our main reason for prioritizing Strategy so much is that we value consulting the broader community in every matter as a main quality of our movement. This is great, but does it really produce an impact that is as successful as we had like to think it is? I am not claiming it does not, but I have to see evidence yet.
  • Gaps
I am afraid I will have to disagree with too many members of our community on gap issues. Not because I do not believe they are critical for our movement, but because I believe they are usually misdealt with.
  • (7) Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities'
As I do come from a somewhat ‘emerging’ community, I had like to think it is not very important for the entire movement to be concerned with this. A community can only grow itself by the efforts of its own individuals: while the movement should always be there to provide a much needed support for them, it should not be overwhelmed with the issue as to spend massive non-needed resources.
  • (8) Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities'
Gender gap is important, very important. However, I doubt how useful it can be to place it as a movement’s wide priority.
  • (9) Funding more offline activities (e.g. conferences, editathons)
These events require extremely huge grants, but do they produce the results to make up for it? It depends on each event’s value and how much impact it has produced in its past years.
  • (10) Reducing the negative environmental impact of the Wikimedia Foundation or movement
In my personal belief, this is one of the most valuable things I had like us to work on. Not sure if it needs this much attention though (do we actually have any environmental impact apart from our servers?).
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
  1. Finalising and implementing the new Wikimedia movement strategy.
  2. Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities.
  3. Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities
  4. Increasing editor retention
  5. Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience
  6. Investing more in mobile
  7. Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' experience
  8. Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission
  9. Advocating for free and safe access to reliable and neutral knowledge on the internet
  10. Funding more offline activities (e.g. conferences, editathons)
  11. Reducing the negative environmental impact of the Wikimedia Foundation or movement <- Last only because we already have set a plan in motion to achieve this!
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
It might look negative but my clear #1 is not on that list:
  1. Improving the relationship between the Foundation and editing communities. Yes, things look a lot better than in 2015, yes, a lot has improved. I'll lean back and say "Good job!" if and only if
    • Editors by default assume that the Foundation will help if editors need it
    • The Foundation by default attempts to assist editors if they ask for it---even if that is not yet their priority, even if the department responsible does not think it is important

Otherwise, yes, the more general items are higher on my list, too. With no particular stress on the order of the items I think the Foundation should be doing all of this:

  1. Advocating for free and safe access to reliable and neutral knowledge on the internet
  2. Investing more in mobile
  3. Increasing editor retention
  4. Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities
  5. Finalizing and implementing the new Wikimedia movement strategy
  6. Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission
  7. Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities
  8. Reducing the negative environmental impact of the Wikimedia Foundation or movement

The expansion of certain activities I believe should be on hold for now (the expansion, not the activities themselves):

  • Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience
  • Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' experience
  • Funding more offline activities (e.g. conferences, editathons)
Yuri Astrakhan (yurik)
We need to make our tech the motivator for our community, aligned with our mission and our values. Each must be connected, and improving one builds up the other.
  • Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience and Increasing editor retention are closely aligned. There are many valuable movement goals we can all agree deserve investment. Different priorities are best served by different kinds of investment, whether by budget allocation, board action, policy change or other action. Focusing on my area of experience, I feel the technology budget should be spent on delivering wider variety of content. Wiki experience should be engaging and interactive, aiding in education and verifiable facts / data.
  • Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' experience
  • Investing more in mobile
Substantial growth in mobile, clearly needed. Especially relevant in the developing world - many places have more people with mobile phones than with electricity at home.* Finalizing and implementing the new Wikimedia movement strategy
Implementing is much easier than agreeing. At this point, the strategy is not as clear as community desires or deserves.
  • Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities
Partially tied to engineering, partly to organizing off-line events, and partly in establishing better ways to interact in a civil way.
  • Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities
There is a world beyond English Wikipedia. Emerging wikis spend disproportional efforts to get started, instead of reusing content from bigger wikis, such as templates and modules. There are many technical means to help with that.
Abel Lifaefi Mbula (BamLifa)
This is not an easy task. Everything seems to be important. But as we have to prioritize, here is my proposal:
  1. Finalizing and implementing the new Wikimedia movement strategy
  2. Providing more engineering resources to improve readers' experience
  3. Providing more engineering resources to improve editors' experience
  4. Investing more in mobile
  5. Increasing reader and editor participation in the emerging communities
  6. Increasing editor retention
  7. Reducing the gender gap in the editing communities
  8. Investing more in collecting data relevant to our mission
  9. Funding more offline activities (e.g. conferences, editathons)
  10. Reducing the negative environmental impact of the Wikimedia Foundation or movement
  11. Advocating for free and safe access to reliable and neutral knowledge on the internet


Removal of members

Question.svg

Under what circumstances would you personally be willing to support the removal of another board member? If a board member selected through this community selection process were removed, would you support calling for another election (a by-election)?

Based on a question from BethNaught
Chris Keating (The Land)
I've served on many volunteer boards and committees inside and outside the movement - and from that experience I have certainly known situations where it's in everyone's best interests for a particular member to leave. This could be for some really obvious issue (e.g. being convicted of fraud), or issues with their serious problems with behaviour (e.g. if someone is so combative or difficult to work with that they are compromising the Board's ability to do its job).

A conflict-heavy solution like voting to remove someone is disruptive. So we should always seek to resolve issues another way when possible. However, sometimes it may be necessary, and the Board needs to have the power to do it. I would expect any motion to remove a Board member to come with a written statement of which parts of the Code of Conduct the Board member has broken. Often most of the details can’t be made public, but the Board and the person being removed at least need a written record of the rationale, and the person who might be removed needs the chance to formally respond. I don't believe this happened when Doc James was removed from the Board, and whether that decision was right or wrong, I think the lack of such a process inflamed the situation. I think that the Board needs to get better at communicating about difficult situations generally, including if this situation ever arises again.

If I become a community-(s)elected Board member, I don't expect to have any special status, and I'd expect the rules to apply to me just as much as anyone else. In the event a community-elected member resigns or is removed, I think the obvious things to do are to hold a by-election, or perhaps to appoint a runner-up from the election (particularly if the election was very recent, and/or doing so would help balance the Board’s makeup).
Milos Rancic (millosh)
I could imagine extreme situations which would require a community-elected Board member removal: serious crime, an action which obviously damages WMF and/or the movement and similar. (In relation to the "expert" seats, not giving relevant expertise would enough for removal. In relation to the chapters seats, lack of chapters support would be enough for removal.)
However, nothing like that happened when James Heilman was removed from the Board. In such situations, I would, of course, do my best to solve the conflict. However, if we reach the dead end, I would resign from the Board, counting that I wouldn't make serious damage to the WMF and to the movement with my resignation.
Dariusz Jemielniak (Pundit)
I think that it is appropriate to remove another board member who obstructs the work, is uncooperative, scheming, committing misconduct, or acting in bad will, and especially when there is no hope that s/he will do better in the future. This should be followed by clear messaging, with explaining the reasons, and engaging with the community. When a community member is removed a by-election is a reasonable solution in principle, and I think it was a mistake we didn’t have one after James was removed. However, in an ideal world, I’d rather see an election system in which by design we also decide about who is going to step into the Board if anyone steps down. This is mainly because organizing elections is resource-intensive (in particular, in terms of the community’s time and attention, but not only). Also, electing someone e.g. for one year does not make much sense – a Board member becomes useful and knowledgeable about how things work after about that time.
James Heilman (Doc James)
We need to strengthen the democratic processes within the board. While not all seats need to be elected those that are should be. Board members need to have the ability to take strong positions without the threat of being removed.

While removal of a board member should be possible this action should not be taken lightly. It also should not be done without including the electorate when a community elected board member is involved.

One option could be that, for a community elected board members, the board could trigger a by-election with a majority of support within the board. That board member could still run in the by-election if eligible. If issues of fraud were present they of course would be ineligible to run.

The greater concern is what checks and balances do we the movement have if a majority of the board wants to spend a large chunk of movement funds on a project the wider movement is unaware off and which threatens our long term existence? Currently a majority of the board can simply vote off or refuse to appoint community elected members who disagree. While it is reasonable to have in place an alternative if someone steps down, this is not suitable when someone is removed. 8 people should not be able to overrule 1,800.
Abbad Diraneyya (عباد ديرانية)
I could go on and list several to a dozen of cases where removal of a member might be a necessary option, but does it even matter? Since, honestly, much of these scenarios I am going to make up are not even remotely realistic. As long as the election process enjoys as much community’s attention and participation as it does now, Board members removal should almost never happen. As of now, I had like to think that all past elected Board members have been so trustworthy that it is practically unexpected of them to make a mistake large enough to require taking such an extreme action towards them. I suppose that such extreme cases should be generally similar to what might call for an admin/bureaucrat/steward to be removed, which is probably a case of a conflict of interest, misuse of authority or any evident and unacceptable violation of the community’s trust. These cases, if they ever to unfortunately happen, should probably be clear enough that the majority of the broader movement will see through them as well.
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
Removal of a member is not something that should be done without great care and consideration, but I would support removing any trustee in gross violation of the 2016 Code of conduct policy.

And as a trustee, I would support another election. I actually rejoined the Board with the expectation that there would be early elections after the previous removal of a member. The Board at the time was beset with problems - staff leaving, information leaks left and right, a poor appointment choice - and while I was not on the Board at the time and thus not involved in the decision, I can imagine they did not have the bandwidth or resources - the Elections Committee was still transitioning to a permanent form - to launch new elections, and they factored in that there had been elections six months before. The context being what it was, they decided not to go with new elections.

Now, something I believe very strongly in is the importance of setting good precedents. If a community-elected member is removed, I don’t want- and I don’t think most people would want - that their seat stay vacant if the Board decides not to go for elections. I think it should be clear that the composition of the Board aims to balance all voices, and as such, an elected-member seat has to be filled in by the next candidate with the most support. Resignations are different - I think it could be optional there, depends on the case. But removals? Next in line, whomever it may be. Never vacant.
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
There are a variety of reasons that would make me support the removal of a Board member, for instance many ways of violating the law. However, 'obstructing work, being uncooperative, scheming, or acting in bad will', as one Board member roughly puts it, is not a valid reason in my eyes: It is hard to prove, and perception may be tainted by prejudice. The Code of Conduct sets very lofty goals, things to aspire to. Everyone is violating them now and then (think of #5 or #8), and thus violating the Code of Conduct cannot alone be a reason for removal from the Board.

Furthermore, I would never support removing a Board member "without cause", as the term apparently is called, and I would apply different standards to community-elected seats. For instance, if a Board member is rarely available or generally does not deliver, that would be a reason for me to support the removal from an appointed but not from an elected position. I would still ask the person to voluntarily give back their seat so that someone else can be co-opted.

For the time being I would indeed call for a by-election if an elected member is removed, but only because some people might have "voted strategically", and because appointing numbers 4, 5, 6 from the result list might come as a surprise. For future elections I would simply announce before voting starts that runners-up may replace fired Board members, then the hassle of running a by-election can be prevented.
Yuri Astrakhan (yurik)
Any person who clearly violates code of conduct should be removed, but this removal should be very transparent and well communicated if legally possible. This was clearly not the case with Doc James, who has my deepest respect and my vote for this election. If a person was elected by the community, it should be community’s decision on who should replace that person, and we might need to adjust bylaws to clarify the process.
Just as an idea that would need further discussion: the decision to remove a community-elected person should only be decided by the non-appointed portion of the board, or to require a ⅔ majority. Unlike the rest of the board, community elected candidates go through a much more rigorous election process, and should not be as easily removable.
Abel Lifaefi Mbula (BamLifa)
It's clear that a member who commits a serious breach to the Code of Conduct must leave the Board. But for me to support this action, the democracy procedure must be followed:
  • Notification of the member,
  • Listen to him (by a letter or other),
  • Make the final decision
If the member is endeed removed, I'll support a by-election process to have a new member. The removed member must not candidate for this process. He may wait until a general community election is organized.


Size and scope of the Foundation

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Since one of your main tasks is to oversee the Foundation, how do you plan to assess whether the size of the Foundation and its spending is aligned with the benefits it brings to the mission and the community? What is your position on putting predetermined and definitive limits on budgetary growth? What are your expectations for a well-performing Executive Director and in turn Foundation, and how will you know whether they have been achieved in an efficient way?

Based on questions from denny and Guy Macon
Chris Keating (The Land)
I'll split this into a couple of sub-questions - apologies for length.

What's the right size for the WMF? There is huge potential for the movement to achieve more - improving quality on larger projects, filling in whole areas of knowledge that are currently under-served, making Wikimedia mainstream in cultural institutions, working in languages and communities we have hardly touched yet, making it fun and easy to edit for the first time, giving experienced users high-powered tools to stop vandalism and conflict-of-interest editing.... I could go on. WMF isn't best placed to work in all of these itself, but in those it can play a supporting role. So I can certainly see scope for further growth.

What's the right speed of growth for WMF? I don't have enough evidence to name a % figure. However, WMF can't really be a "move fast break things" kind of institution, and needs to spend time making sure its hard-won organisational experience is maintained and not forgotten. So we shouldn't aspire to tech-startup rates of growth.

How will I scrutinize WMF's plans? By asking lots of questions. I have experience reviewing both Wikimedia UK's plans as a board member, and other affiliates going through the FDC processes. I look at clarity of strategy, how well the proposed plan fits to the strategy, do metrics align with what we are trying to achieve, are resources appropriate, is there evidence of learning from previous success and failure, what projects or work areas have been shut down and why, is there a balance between proven and experimental activity. (Among other things)

How transparent should WMF be? I think FDC and community reviewing and scrutiny of the WMF's plans is vital. I am glad that the financials in the 2017-18 Annual Plan are clearer than the previous year’s. However, I would like this to become another step more granular and give more insight into what is happening in different budget lines, to improve the quality of community scrutiny. For instance we’re budgeting $918,000 for legal fees. I don’t doubt there is a sensible rationale for this, but I would like to know a bit more about what this is spent on. If I'm a board member I would ask this question, but it shouldn't only be the WMF Board engaging in that conversation.

How will I assess the performance of the ED I’ve worked with 3 different EDs at Wikimedia UK (two permanent, one interim) , managing one of them directly when I was Chair, so I have some useful experience here. I’d want to make sure the Board (through the Chair) is conducting basic good HR practice: regular catchups with the ED, and formal appraisals and objectives. My own impression of an ED’s abilities is largely formed by looking carefully at how the ED presents their plans, relates to their staff and stakeholders, and responds to difficulties and challenges. The more experienced I get, the more I trust my gut instincts on some of these things.
Milos Rancic (millosh)
The general issue of the Foundation size is relatively simple to address. We know that a number of small systems are more resilient than one big system in their place. Ideally speaking, even Wikimedia Germany is too big for our ecosystem, not to mention WMF itself.

However, that's theory. In practice, there is no political will to fragment large Wikimedia organization and the only reasonable action that we could do is to work on reducing possible damage produced by serious dysfunction of WMF and other large organizations.

For example, thanks to the work of Wikimedia Germany, we have another technically competent center. However, it would be good to see other chapters taking particular software development and not just because particular software itself, but also because of the long-term stability of the movement, by building necessary resources for software development. The non-technical example would be if the chapters from the rich countries would work on international reach.

In relation to the financial details, although I definitely have a clue, I would prefer to leave the exact numbers suggested and explained by the professionals.

It's obvious that the exponential growth is not sustainable, but we are not in the phase of the exponential growth for at least a couple of years.

But what does differ an arbitrary number of 20% from other arbitrary numbers, like 10% or 27.87% or 17+8.43i? Obviously, 27.87% is more than 10%, while 17+8.43i is not particularly useful in our context, but what does it exactly mean for the Foundation, what does it mean for a small chapter, what does it mean for the movement? I don't think we are operating with enough of data and with enough of expertise.

WMF ED has two important roles: (1) As ED of the organization, where the standard measures could be applied; and (2) as de facto the top executive of the movement. In relation to the latter, general satisfaction of all movement's stakeholders should be counted as a part of ED's performance.
Dariusz Jemielniak (Pundit)
I believe it is the Board’s role to oversee the WMF’s growth, and the FDC is set up to assist the Board with this task. I think that a budgetary growth of more than 20% in the case of an organization of the WMF’s size would definitely be dangerous and possibly unhealthy (unless there was a very clear need for a certain vital project or investment). I believe that the WMF may have some scope for reducing costs, too – and efforts are already made in this direction.

My expectations towards a well-performing Executive Director are quite standard for this position: as the Board member I am going to monitor our external performance (e.g. request data about our readership, editorship, etc., all compared to previous years and analyzed), as well as our internal performance (staff satisfaction, HR procedures development, finance, legal threats, etc. – one of the things that we were missing and that I hopefully helped introduce are certain procedures for expressing concern). Since I’ve done this before, both as a Board member, and as an ED (6 years of running an NGO in the Soros network), I know what to expect.

One thing that I think is important for the Board is to not allow the professional ED and the C-levels take over the conversation – especially when they are performing well, there is a risk that they hijack the Board’s attention and priorities (in good-will, it is reasonable for them to act this way in their role). As an experienced organizational researcher, I am able to help avoid this pitfall and make good use of the C-levels and Board synergic collaboration.
James Heilman (Doc James)
Continued exponential growth is not a realistic possibility. When I was previously on the board I supported stabilizing spending at its than current levels. While Lisa Gruwell and her team who take care of fundraising are amazingly talented we do not want to wear down our donors' goodwill. Yes with more aggressive messaging we can raise more money, but we are not fighting financially to keep Wikipedia online. It is more important for us to be completely honest in our fundraising messages than raise more money. The good will we have will keep if we continue our good work.

With respect to hard-ish limits, the FDC has one set at 20% but even that IMO is too great with respect to the WMF. I would find it hard to imagine a situation where the foundation would need an increase in budget greater than that. Staff take time to on-board. For a request greater than 15% a movement discussion should be required.

With respect to ED and foundation evaluation, one needs to look at many aspects. Some include staff engagement, exit interviews, staff turnover, and the effectiveness and efficiency of software improvements. One also needs to look at our engagement with the wider world such as press and the general public. Is our ED building a collaborative environment which allows participation from those within the wider movement and by outside organizations that share our goals and values?
Abbad Diraneyya (عباد ديرانية)
It is a little tricky to deal with issues such as assessing the scope or size of the Foundation, since, at some point, discussing these issues might come down to sheer personal judgement, and I can by no means claim that my judgement will be necessarily the correct one. From my point of view, though, the size of the Foundation should be flexibly adaptable to the needs of the movement, so that new positions should be constantly created based on the feedback of the community, while any roles that prove to be ineffective should be removed as soon as possible. However, this is much easier said than done: because, in practice, it might be extremely hard to make these judgements and apply them through decisions. Budget limits are also important, specifically since the amount of spending has been rising on a scale so large for the past few years that it is potentially unsustainable. Still, such limits should not be treated so strictly as to hinder the activities of the Foundation. Budget is not only about sheets of numbers, it is about what each investment we are making is bringing back to the movement, and should be carefully managed as not to ever handicap a successful project only to allow us to have a little higher revenue figure at the end of the year (which will be possibly put into a much less important use later on).
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
I think there is definitely a limit to how much any organization can absorb in terms of money. That said, I believe the Foundation should not be rigid and static - if an opportunity arises, it should be able to consider taking it. Last November all United States-based nonprofits had a significant increase in donations after the US elections and were able to not only met but exceed their budgets in a much shorter timeframe than usual. There is no reason to believe this will happen again next November - it may well be a one-time-only situation. Well, the Foundation decided to use the opportunity to raise extra funds for several specific purposes - such as the Endowment, a caching center in Asia, the Anti-Harassment initiative, and movement strategy, presented it to the Board for approval, and the moment the funding for those initiatives was met the Foundation stopped that round of fundraising. I think it is important to have some freedom to seize opportunities in a thoughtful and sensible way. Ultimately, our publicly discussed annual plan and budget discussed with the communities remain the best way to manage our spending.

As to the Executive Director - the Human Resources committee within the Board works with the ED to mutually determine the goals for the ED and check their progress during the year. That way expectations are clearly set from the start on both sides.
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
I find much of the discussion about growth misguided. WMF has no share price and competition, so in which way does it need to grow? If there is anybody in the Foundation who is permanently overworked then they need a colleague or an assistant. But growth as such is not a goal. Actually as an editor I'm scared of a WMF that grows because that means more people having to prove they've got a purpose there. More people that create projects that we, the editors, neither want nor need. As Board member I will very carefully analyse any plan to expand, particularly into areas that are not obviously related to the movement (Knowledge Engine, if you need an example). An Executive Director needs to bring the Foundation forward. I think a good place to continue from where we are is to develop the capital that is already there, the Foundation's human resources. So far the staff turnover is just appalling. WMF must become a company for which talented and dedicated people want to work---and at which talented and dedicated people want to stay.
Yuri Astrakhan (yurik)
Any project that does not appear to adapt is bound to stagnate and die. In the last few years, many editors have told me that they rarely see any changes from WMF. The site’s capabilities stayed the same, editor tools did not improve, and the site remained stuck in the 20th century. While there has been some major work like Wikidata, the overall perception among the most loyal editor community is indicative of WMF needing to change. We can spend years polishing the site, but it feels the rate of innovation has significantly decreased in the past years. The best measurement of success is an improvement in perception and editor retention.
Abel Lifaefi Mbula (BamLifa)
Let me try to give some answers to questions asked above:
  • The size of the Foundation and its spending: I think we must focus our mind on the result rather than on the size of the Foundation itself. If we can satisfy the need of the movement with significant resultats and not much money spent, that's the best thing it is.
  • Budgetary growth: predetermined and definitive limits on budgetary growth is a good thing; but it must be flexible because our movement is a growing one (its expenses must also be so).
  • ED well-performing: as one of my tasks is to oversee the Foundation, I'll carrefoully pay attention to ED's plans and on how it's being executed.


Wikimedia as a global movement

Question.svg

The Wikimedia movement is composed of a global ecosystem of volunteers, readers, projects, local organizations, regional co-operations, committees, partners, and so on. The Wikimedia Foundation is important to this network. What would you like to change in this landscape within the next three years? How would you establish what the rights, roles, and responsibilities of the various Wikimedia entities should be, and how would you support their adoption?

Based on questions from Aegis Maelstrom and Seddon
Chris Keating (The Land)
My focus is on making the structures we have work better, rather than re-inventing movement roles. If anyone passionately believes that different structures are vital to the Wikimedia movement achieving its potential, I’d certainly listen carefully, but it’s roughly at the bottom of my own list of priorities.

So what would I like to see? In line with some of my other answers:

  • WMF listening, consulting and working as a partner with communities and affiliates, not imposing its own vision - continuing the big progress that has been made in this area in the last couple of years
  • More time and effort spent developing the skills of volunteers in online and offline leadership roles
  • A bigger and more established network of institutional partners. Many affiliates have done great work in this area but there is still far more to do.
Milos Rancic (millosh)
I have no doubt about the chances to change anything important inside of the Board. They are so small that it is better we do not fool ourselves.

However, the changes inside of the Board are not equal to the changes inside of the WMF or the movement. And if the Board can't be significantly changed, but both WMF and the movement can, it's obvious that the potential for the changes lays outside the Board.

During this term, most importantly, I want to see political articulation of the community and political articulation of the employees [of Wikimedia organizations].

In the capacity of a Wikimedian supported by the community enough to be elected as a Board member (not in the capacity of a Board member!), I would take the responsibility of leading the community to articulate its political will.

In relation to the political articulation of the employees of Wikimedia Foundation and other Wikimedia organizations, I would support employees willing to create an affiliate organization which would represent their interests.
Dariusz Jemielniak (Pundit)
One of my early analyses of Wikimedia in Common Knowledge? were the governance tensions between the WMF and the affiliates. I believe that most of these tensions are gone now, but still there are occasional cultural miscommunications and misunderstandings. The ownership of resources is always an issue. Should the WMF run fundraising campaigns on different projects in different languages? Should the affiliates organize big local fundraisers if they can and how should these money be best accommodated to serve our movement?

I think that one of the governance bodies that we lack is some sort of affiliates’ forum of discussion with the WMF, if they want it. The WMF is the biggest organization in our movement, but not the only one – and we should be able to have a platform of discussion about the division of responsibilities.

Also, I’d love to see more focus on grassroot Wikimedian organizations, and an even more clear differentiation of “professional” big organizations (such as the WMF or WMDE and some of the biggest chapters), as opposed to “passion-driven” small ones (I put it in quotation marks, as volunteer work is often done in a professional way, and many of our staff members are deeply passion-driven). Especially for the latter, we need more good practices sharing and ideas dissemination, as well as solid support for motivation (it can e.g. utterly discouraging when there is too much paperwork to be filled – although, our grants team in general is really solid and helpful).
James Heilman (Doc James)
Some of my greatest successes as a Wikipedian have been achieved through collaborations with other movement partners including the WMF. I believe strongly that we will succeed most by working together. Different individuals and organizations have different expertise. We need further trust and we need better communication channels to achieve this.

One amazingly successful group within the WMF with respect to community engagement has been the Community Tech team. I would love to see that team expanded (even though as a board member I realize I will not have the authority to make it so).

With respect to determining roles of movement entities, this is something the movement should determine through a shared discussion. I hope that it will be part of the strategy process. The board does not and should not get to decide this independently. How does the WMF facilitate such a discussion? By supporting a movement wide strategy process such as it is doing now.
Abbad Diraneyya (عباد ديرانية)
It is pretty hard to combine all my views about the future of the movement here, so I will try to build my answer around one theme that, although rarely addressed, I do consider crucial for the future of Wikimedia, which is about approaching community issues in a more effective manner.

During the past 15 years, Wikimedia movement has grown, and continues to grow, to a huge global community that combines dozens of thousands of people from all sorts of backgrounds. Hence, according to my vision, what the movement should be most concerned about for the next several years is understanding and positively responding to this massive growth rather than getting constantly caught in little loud complaints. To be more specific, I believe that, right now, the vast majority of our community has never been represented or heard of in any of the crucial movement’s discussions. That is for a simple reason: most of the people who are usually talking, suggesting or complaining are almost always members of active affiliates or Meta-wiki users who have been on the movement for way too long to be concerned with mere wiki pages, while the normal users, contributors and even sysops of smallers wikis (who are doing most of the actual work) are never there to participate neither provide their opinion on any of the movements critical matters.

It could be relatively hard to work around this problem since, potentially for the most part, individual contributors voices are not just missing because they do not get reached out, but also because they do not care enough to participate in any discussions on the movement’s scale in the first place. However, this is not, by any chance, to be considered as their fault. The typical wiki contributor is just a volunteer who is willingly giving up little bits of his or her precious time to perform small but very useful tasks, so they cannot, and should not, be asked to keep up with all of the movement wide issues that do not even remotely relate to their work. The solution for this is not to seek out those contributors to get involved in our major matters, such as the Strategy discussion, but to offer them a direct and straightforward channel to express their most important ideas, worries and concerns for the future. This could not be very easy to do, but it might be a much more effective approach to gain the community’s feedback than to focus all our efforts on solving problems that solely matters to the top one percent of our entire community.

Why do I think this is a very important thing to address? Because, if the movement shall ever keep on growing and succeeding in the future, the only possible way would be to keep recruiting new contributors and community members. However, if we only want to be concerned with what our most elite members think of the movement, then we are not ever going to understand the kind of problems that is hindering fresh, young or underrepresented people from joining our movement and bringing us the new blood that we desperately need.
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
I want the Wikimedia Movement to provide a framework where everyone’s voice is heard.

One of the purposes of the Movement Strategy process in which we are currently immersed is to get a really good snapshot of where the Movement is at right now - which is why it is key to get as much participation as possible from all projects, communities, affiliates, partners and so on. Once we get an adequate picture of our strengths and weaknesses, we can determine how to maximize opportunities and reduce threats - both internal and external. But something I would like to see is for the Foundation to move away from a parent organization status, and the affiliates moving away from a dependant status. I would like to see more international cooperation networks pop up, like Iberocoop or CEE. But what I would really would like for it to happen is for everyone to be aligned. If we get a 15 year strategy, we will know what the goals are - and we can have everyone working towards the priorities that emerge in their different contexts and different ways.

I definitely see the Foundation and the affiliates promoting international cooperation for a common purpose. We have editors, readers, and a lot of affiliates in practically every country in the world. There is a fantastic opportunity right there to have a lot of impact if we can align and coordinate. We need to also be able to get outside the Wikimedia ecosystem and partner with other movements, see what we can learn from them. Again this can be done in a much more structured and coordinated way - and with a very global approach.
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
These structures have grown over the years. Without a specific pressing need I would not change them at all, and the role of the BoT can only be indirect anyway. As for the second question, all entities of volunteers should take the places they wish. If what they want to do is mission-aligned they deserve support from the movement. Again Board members could only indirectly be involved.
Yuri Astrakhan (yurik)
The primary feedback I heard is that community members feel they are not being heard, and that their needs/requests are not being addressed. While I might not have as much knowledge about the social and financial aspects of the WMF-chapter interactions, the fact that “Community Tech” team was introduced almost as an afterthought after a massive "knowledge-engine-centric" restructuring highlights the lack of community-centric approach. I will aim to removing barriers to communication between the board, WMF, and the community. We need to encourage more methods for real community involvement in decision-making of the global movement, including the typically unheard voices from parts of the community that are not usually consulted.
Abel Lifaefi Mbula (BamLifa)
If we need to go forward and reach our goal, it's an obligation for us to create a good working environnement based on mutual respect, confidence, each one listenning and communication.

We don't need to start from scratch but we can consolidate what exists and build strategies to make it better. Here are what I think it can best suit for us:

  • WMF: for me, the main role of the Foundation is as the router or an arbitrator. It receives (that means to listen), keeps (legacy, resolution), passes (communication), settles (when there is tension).
  • Volunteers, readers: it's our first ressource. We must do all of our best so that they cannot feel left.
  • Local organisations, commettee, projects: should be as independent as possible so that the can carry out their missions. I don't like very hierarchical models we have in our classic entreprises because they are counter productive.
  • Partners and others: all our partnerships must be transparent.


Building trust

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There have been numerous time over the past few years when tensions between groups within the movement have reached levels where work and relationships were greatly hindered. Do you believe there are core problems which caused these tensions that remain today, and if so, how would you work to address them? How will you work to increase trust between elements of the movement, and why should readers, donors, staff members, editors, affiliate members, and supporters trust you?

Based on questions from Effeietsanders and Seddon
Chris Keating (The Land)
Well, the situation is a lot better than it used to be. I joined the Wikimedia UK board in 2011 just in time for the Haifa Letter and the subsequent six months of ceaseless arguments about fundraising and funds dissemination. We have come a long way since then. On tech side, the WMF is also handling community wishes and the introduction of new features much better than it did in 2014. And I think it's also treating its own staff much better than it did in 2015.

As I've said in other answers, I see some of the main value from having strong community-elected trustees being that we can play a role in helping avoid, de-escalate or defuse this kind of problem: probably quietly, behind the scenes.

Fundamentally the issue is about power. As I wrote in my essay on the subject, the WMF has a lot of power over things other people in the movement care about (money, servers, trademarks...). However, that power is held on trust - the WMF is the steward of those things for the movement, and needs to act like a partner. When it does that, it builds trust. When it appears to act arbitrarily, without regard for others' views, that's what erodes trust.

Why can you trust me? Well, I could write anything about how wonderfully trustworthy I am, but I don't think that would have any meaning. Please look at my statement, my answers to all these wonderful questions, my on-wiki contributions, my record on the Wikimedia UK board, and make up your mind whether you think I’m likely to act with integrity and good faith or not. :)
Milos Rancic (millosh)
The questions like "Why should we trust you?" seem to me like an attack on everybody's intelligence: I will bullshit a little bit why you should trust me and then you will trust me that you should trust me. So, thanks, but no, thanks.

At the other side, Lodewijk's question is my favorite one, as it addresses the complexity of the relations inside the movement.

I will start with the mantra: "We are one movement!" -- because we should repeat it to ourselves whenever we come into the seemingly unsolvable conflict. Not just one side, but both, all of the sides should remember that!

We could have quite opposite, different views related to the [real world] politics, even to the vision of our movement today or in the future. However, the power of the idea that knowledge should be accessible to everybody, the power of people following that idea, the power of our movement, that power makes those differences insignificant.

A person can't say for themselves that they are a Wikimedian if they haven't successfully survived numerous cultural shocks while doing Wikimedian tasks -- online or offline. A lot of our first contacts were initially catastrophic. But we've survived and learned how to get along. (Yes, especially you and me, Lodewijk :) )

That cultural trait is one of the most important strengths of our movement and we should nurture it.

But it's about culture and lack of trust is not just about culture. Culture helps us to have better communication and to heal our wounds more quickly, but lack of trust is about much more realistic things: it's about mismanagement in communication, it's about real or perceived opposite interests.

The general answer related to the "real part" of the trust issues is in the fact that the most responsible for building trust are those in position of power. While it's sometimes hard to define who is in position of power, in the most important cases it's obvious. Yes, Board members are in the position of power towards anyone else inside of the movement. Yes, chapters are in the position of power in real life towards the local communities. Yes, WMF employees are in the position of power towards the vast majority of editors. And, yes, and so on :)

Speaking in the most general terms, we should build the system to check the power. We should openly talk about it, that should likely be a set of Meta pages, where everybody could come and raise the issue -- not exclusively about power abuse -- but about power that should be checked.

But many of the issues are much more simple. We could easily see that there was a time when the Board flagrantly forced the perceived interests of WMF in confrontation with chapters, in confrontation with community, in confrontation with employees, even in confrontation with the fellow Board member.

We could easily see the stratification of our movement even now, during these elections: it's mostly obvious which candidate has been supported by which part of the movement. However, that's not explicitly noted anywhere. We are living in the limbo in which "everybody" knows more or less everything, but "nobody" is willing to talk about that openly.

That's because not all of the voices have been articulated. Not all of the movement factors are able to express themselves clearly, to be heard proportionally to their contribution to the movement.

Those in the position of power should understand that it's their interest to hear organized and articulated voices of those not yet represented in the dialogue because unrepresented voices lead to distrust and consequently to dysfunction.

How to solve that? Organizational articulation of unorganized parts of the movement would definitely help a lot. However, we could start doing that even before the completion of the process: Let's start talking openly! Let's not avoid the real issues! Let's think together how to address real issues that bother us and our fellow Wikimedians! Let's address them!

I am sure that opening discussion and showing that addressing the issues is going at a reasonable pace -- would immediately lower the tension and distrust.

But, again, whenever we come into the conflict situation I would urge everybody to use the culture to start overcoming the problems: We are one movement!
Dariusz Jemielniak (Pundit)
Some of the tensions stem are given by fundamental design – all organizations have some tension about the resource-allocation, in our case such tensions can be both internal (within the WMF) and external (including the affiliates). However, I believe that a lot of tensions have been alleviated – for instance, there is much more trust between our key stakeholders. Our leadership crisis was a huge blow to internal trust, and the Board’s authority has suffered. I believe that by acting as I did in this mayhem, both internally (in the Board, in the Foundation) and externally (by communicating with our community at large, also against explicit pressure not to do so) have proven that I have the integrity and strength to perform under high pressure. You should trust me, because I’ve proven I can follow my path in spite of heavy opposition. You can also trust me because I’ve held positions of trust in other organizations (I’ve served on other boards, I was on an advisory committee for the Minister of Science, more recently – I’ve been appointed to the Committee of Ethics of the Polish Academy of Sciences), but the history speaks better for itself.
James Heilman (Doc James)
Some of the past issues resulted from a lack of communication. Others occurred due to one group trying to increase their authority within the movement. In some cases tensions increased as there were real problems that needed to be dealt with. We have Wikimedia movement cultural norms and processes and all movement partners including the WMF are expected to abide by them. As a board member I will help make sure this occurs.

With respect to trust I am myself a reader, donor, editor, and affiliate member. My record of work speaks to both my dedication and trustworthiness. When staff raised issues a year and a half ago I both listened and took their concerns seriously. I came to the conclusions I did after fully informing myself of the issues. Those who know me, know that I will make the ethical choice.

I maintain complete financial independent from the WMF. When I was previously on the board I covered all my own travel and accommodation costs and plan to do so again if re elected. Additionally, I have always personally funded going to Wikimania to leave scholarships for those who need them more.
Abbad Diraneyya (عباد ديرانية)
There are various ways to bridge the trust between the community, the affiliates and the Foundation which each one of us might have a different view towards. My personal approach would be that the key solution for trust is communication.

When communication is present, everyone should be feeling much more comfortable, as long as there is a permanent channel where people can convey their concerns, suggestions and hopes for the future so that someone can here them out. Such channels could include a periodic discussion where members of the movement can express their feedback about the Foundation’s work: something along the lines of Strategy discussion but on smaller scale, as well as surveys and community wishlists. Communication between the Foundation and the community has been getting better in the past few years, but it could be made even more open. However, the challenge in this case might shift from hearing out the wishes and constant requests the community expresses to meeting them effectively, a problem which we might have to figure out ways to deal with.

I also believe transparency to be another key issue with trust. If the Foundation is not truthful, sincere and absolutely honest towards the community terrible problems could arise, as we have seen nearly a year ago, before the appointment of the current Executive Director. There is no reason for critical, serious information to be ever hidden from the broader movement unless there are unavoidable legal, security or other very specific consequences that make it impossible to release them publicly.

Even though transparency is essential, we might as well view as just another side of communication: since a truly open communication process is transactional conversation where each side receives information and shares feedback constantly with the others.
María Sefidari (Raystorm)
At the core, the problem is one of trust and cooperation.

For the longest time we worked in a paradigm of one country, one affiliate. It was the simplest way but not necessarily the most interesting regarding our mission. Relying on only one kind of supported group of wikimedians created a single point of failure per country, which was not exactly ideal. It became apparent it was limiting our ability to push forward our Mission, and there were calls to expand the models of affiliation. We had to figure out how to foster innovation and different initiatives. We learned it was problematic for volunteers to create an association just to get brand recognition and resources for their projects. When I was a member of AffCom we sought to give an answer to this with the creation of the new models of affiliation, particularly the user groups. This doesn't mean that the current user group model is a goal. It's also work in progress, and AffCom has been receiving input from user groups themselves asking to review some aspects. We must be sure that the model promotes cooperation, and prevents competition as much as possible. But as user groups thrive, we need to shift from a exclusivity paradigm to a cooperation one. Where other affiliates are not viewed as competition for resources and media attention. Many user groups work with no resources and achieve excellent impact for their efforts. I believe if we all get aligned and make it so every Wikimedia organizations feels equal to each other, we will be able to shift and collectively decide, agree and own decisions to focus on specific topics or regions.

How do we get there? Well, just like it took time for people to see chapters as groups that provided high value to the movement, I think we will see the same with user groups as they keep working and thriving. Some attitudes you just have to outlast. But for the most part I believe user groups are on the way to proving their value just like chapters once did - trust takes years - and in the meanwhile AffCom, as a Board advisory committee, has had success dealing with tensions between certain neighbouring affiliates, so I can definitely see them requesting the Board to expand their charter so they can deal proactively with these issues as they arise.
Peter Gallert (Pgallert)
Yes indeed, I think that there are several remaining issues, and that these are detrimental to the health of what we all want to achieve. The dismissal of Doc James without timely explanation and straightforward reasoning is one of them, so the Board itself has contributed to the tensions.

We have created some artificial hierarchies, and they do more harm than good. This starts in the editor community where an admin or steward is "worth more" than an editor. It affects chapters and user groups, the representatives of which are given preference when Wikimedians meet as a movement. It affects meetup and conference organisers who think it is a good idea to sieve out undesired participants. And it affects the Foundation whenever there are things forced down the throat of the editing community for the reason that the Foundation knows better.

In a society of Nobel laureates nobody would empty bins or staff tills. Sooner or later people would die from disease or starvation. In the Wiki world, no-one should elevate themselves or their peers. And instead of 'Board controls the WMF' and 'WMF steers the movement' it is, in my view, 'Board serves the WMF' and 'WMF serves the movement', legal duties of the Board notwithstanding.

I pledge to be open, honest, and responsible. I won't ask for your trust because I haven't earned it yet.
Yuri Astrakhan (yurik)
People will always be in conflict over resource allocation and strategic priorities. That is inevitable, and natural to all movements. We distinguish ourselves by how we deal with disagreements, and the roles we give to all stakeholders.

Tension about resource allocation and strategic movement has resulted in the adjustment of focus from the Foundation’s mission to the stakeholders’ disagreements. This is, to some degree, natural in a growing and changing organization, but it does not have to be the Foundation’s norm.

By allowing a safe space for stakeholders to share their experience and receive validation in the efforts they put forward to the success of the community, I will help the board gather the necessary information to make thoughtful progress in formulating a plan to move forward. By engaging stakeholders in their common objectives and visions of success, I will create a transparent forum with our aims as a priority rather than dissent within the organization. Without our stakeholders (readers, contributors, staff, etc.), we cannot move forward with our mission. For that reason, I will work with the Board to ensure that our stakeholders guide us through projected changes and endorse the trajectory we map out for success.
Abel Lifaefi Mbula (BamLifa)
Wikimedia movement is a great ecosystem, and everybody envies it today. The real matter we have, I think, is about power. To overcome that matter the best answer is transparency. People on the head of the movement must be transparent and inspire confidence of everybody. The confidence is built up over time and we all know that it is difficult to have the confidence of someone at first.
For me, truth be told, being from free/libre world I've its ethics and philosophy where confidence is a key element. In addition, I managed several services or departements and all audit repports are good. I'll do all my best to be more transparent as I can toword community, collegues and parteners.