Jump to content

Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024/Candidates/Deon Steyn

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Translate this page; This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

Deon Steyn (Oesjaar)


Oesjaar (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
  • Personal:
    • Name: Deon Steyn
    • Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
    • Languages: Afrikaans, English
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2009
    • Active wikis: Afrikaans, English
Total word count for the whole application (required + optional questions) is 1000 (one thousand) words
Required questions
Why are you running for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees? What would you contribute? What would you like to learn more about? As a totally outsider, the Afrikaans Wikipedia has met only one permanent staff member in the past four years, I will add a new perspective. Being well educated and experienced in business I will make a difference. I want to fight for the rights of the smaller Wikipedias. Eg. at the Mexico City Wikimania (2015) I asked for assistance on two matters, never got any answers nor solutions.
Please describe your Wikimedia experience (such as contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation with a Wikimedia movement ally organization). I have been a user for the past 15 years and have already created 15,700 articles on the Afrikaans Wikipedia and have made 234,000 edits already. I am serving on the WikimediaZA Chapter, responsible for the Afrikaans Wikipedia since 2014 and under my leadership it has grown in leaps and bounds. Currently we are the 69th biggest Wikipedia. Part of my marketing strategy includes radio interviews and I am proud to say that two radio stations have weekly interviews with us!

I was also successful in obtaining 60,000 pictures re flora from South Africa's leading botanist Prof. Braam van Wyk. He is currently loading all the pictures onto Commons to be used by all the communities, this will take another two years to complete.

Last year, under my leadership, we have started the High School Writing Competition and for the 2024 competition we have signed Rapport, the Afrikaans National Newspaper, as a partner. PretoriaFM, a radio station, has also signed up as partner. This gives the Afrikaans Wikipedia a national footprint.

From your perspective, what should the Wikimedia Foundation be prioritizing over the next 5-10 years, and why do you see these as the most important priorities? Focus on the smaller Wikipedia's as they also have good ideas. Focus on more collaboration with Universities and schools as inter alia the costs of text books are running through the roof not to mention the environmental impact of printing books. Virtually everybody have got a mobile phone.
Optional questions - Professional Experience, Skills and Education
Please describe your experience with governing bodies of organizations (nonprofit or for-profit), mentioning the scope of your responsibilities, as well as the complexity of the organization (in terms of scale of operations, budget, number of people involved, or other meaningful measures) and the size of the board or body. I am running my own business. My business has to advise clients re safety, compile safety plans for events and present the files to the authorities to obtain the necessary permits.

I have served as a member on the Eng. Council of South Africa where I was part of a team to decide on the Professional Status applications of Technologists. In my last job in the Corporate world I was a project manager for Siemens South Africa, running a R 200 million Signalling project between Kimberley and De Aar. The client was Transtel, South Africa. The duration of the project was two years, I have finished the project on time, within budget and with zero penalties! The permanent staff on site was 50 persons. Monthly meetings where held with the client, Siemens Financial Department, Logistics and the sub contractors.

Please describe your professional career experience. I am Technologist (Telecommunicatios) and have worked for Telkom SA for 20 years. I also hold a B.Com. Hons (Fin. Management) and is a qualified Safety Officer. I have also worked for Aberdare Cables (where I became a SME on Optic Fibre), Ericsson South Africa and Siemens South Africa as Project Manager.
Please briefly describe 3 situations that show how you tackled, or advised others on, a complex problem in an organization. How did you work with others to address the situations? I have run training courses for new users. Due to my vision the Afrikaans Wikipedia has signed a MOU with the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns which give us a base to operate from and visibility.

I have created the Campaigners for the Afrikaans Wikipedia campaign which 13 Afrikaans organisations have signed following 5 years of work. This will give us access to more resources including funding.

I have just been given permission to do a presentation at the South African Teachers Union Organisation re Wikipedia following three years of persistence.

Please describe your educational background, including degrees, certificates, and courses of study finished, and their relevance to board work. T6 (6 years) Technologist in Telecommunications. BCom Hons (Fin Management). SHEMTRAC - Safety Certificate.
Please add any relevant links describing your professional background, experience, profile (such as LinkedIn, staff page, etc.). https://www.linkedin.com/in/deon-steyn-0a9a952a0/
Optional questions - Leadership Experience
Please describe ways in which you have helped to form a bridge between multiple communities (such as by working on projects outside your home wiki, or working on a collaboration between multiple affiliates). Unfortunately the Afrikaans Wikipedia is cut off from the rest of the World language wize. I have managed to communicate with the Dutch and Belgium Wikipedia's. Communication within Africa is non-existent.
Can you describe a policy, on wiki or off, that you helped to create or change? What did you learn from this experience? Enforce that articles have the necessary sources. South African schools are still skeptical re Wikipedia and have articles with the proper sources are critical to get them to see the light.
How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard? I started by inviting people for coffee sessions, talk to them re the Afrikaans Wikipedia and listen to their side of the story. Then I have started a FB group where we put up a link to the weekly front page and invited them to become members. Then we fed them more and more info on our FB until they started to take part on Geselshoekie, our version of Village Pump. Most important, we treated their views with respect.
Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. I remind them to remember where they want to be, the end objective.
Optional questions - Strategic Thinking
Where do you see the need for greater diversity in the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees or within the movement? What steps would you take to improve diversity on the Board or within the movement? What steps would you recommend the Board take to improve diversity? The small Wikipedia's are ignored. A decision that works in Europe and America will not necessary work in Africa.
Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility: Verified
Verified by: KTC (talk) 20:00, 3 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Identification: Verified
Verified by: – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 07:06, 3 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]