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Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024/Candidates/Erik Hanberg

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Erik Hanberg (Erikemery)


Erikemery (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
Erik Hanberg
  • Personal:
    • Name: Erik Hanberg
    • Location: Tacoma, Washington, United States
    • Languages: English
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2006
    • Active wikis: English Wikipedia
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? I am running for the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees out of a desire to serve and support an organization that I deeply believe in. I would bring my experience as a nonprofit expert and as a science fiction author keenly interested in technology and open projects. I have been a near-daily user of Wikimedia projects for more than twenty years. And I’m a regular donor to the cause, who believes in supporting important services I use.

The most important thing to call out is that I am the author of “The Little Book of Boards” and three other books for nonprofit leaders, which have collectively sold more than 60,000 copies over the past 15 years. With a long history of nonprofit board experience and nonprofit staff leadership roles, I believe I have a lot to contribute to the Wikimedia board, its culture, and its systems. Additionally, I served as a local elected official on a nonpartisan government board for more than 12 years, and I bring that board experience as well.

Currently, I serve as the Director of Audience Development for my local NPR affiliate radio station, where I focus on promoting nonprofit and nonpartisan news. I also view my nonfiction books similarly, where I spread knowledge and sharing my experience with other nonprofit leaders.

Finally, my science fiction is particularly attuned to technology, information, and how it shapes society. My series “The Lattice Trilogy” looks at a world with perfect information and its implications. Whether personally or professionally, I am interested in these questions at all levels, and Wikimedia is at the forefront of addressing them for the future.

I bring an understanding of nonprofit boards, a desire to build systems and culture that outlast the people who created them, and a deep love of Wikipedia and the mission and projects of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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). As mentioned above, I am a near-daily user of Wikipedia and a variety of other Wikimedia projects. I give annually, and I have made edits here and there on topics that I care about and know about, especially around my hometown of Tacoma.
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? I am interested in ways that a trusted source like Wikimedia can continue to explore and build ways to publish accurate and timely news content to address news deserts and misinformation. I also see a growing threat of the slop from AI infecting the web as a whole, and making sure Wikipedia and the associated sites are resistant to it is a high priority.
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. Here are some highlights of board work:

- Elected Commissioner, Metro Parks Tacoma, 2010 to 2022. $50+ million annual budget, with hundreds of staff and dozens of parks and programs to manage. A board of five elected officials. I served as Board President for two years.

- Nonprofit board consultant, 2009 - present. Working with nonprofit boards all over the United States, usually for organizations with annual budgets in the hundreds of thousands or low millions and boards ranging from 5 to 15.

- Board Member, Grunewald Guild, 2016 to 2022. Including serving as Treasurer, Vice President, and President. A small arts-focused nonprofit retreat center. Board size of 7 to 10.

- Board Member & Treasurer, Association of Fundraising Professionals – South Sound Chapter, 2017 – 2019. Board size of 10+.

- Alumni Council Member, Carleton College, 2010 to 2014. Board size of 20+, advising the college, which has an annual budget of hundreds of millions.

- Board Member, Foundation for Tacoma Students, 2013 to 2014. Board size of 20+.

- Board member, Tacoma360, 2010 - 2012. Board president for one year, during which time I lead the effort to combine the nonprofit with the Foundation for Tacoma Students, which included getting approval from three government bodies.

- Board Member, First Night, 2003 – 2004. A small local nonprofit.

Please describe your professional career experience. I have spent more than 20 years working with nonprofits. In addition to serving as the director of two nonprofits, I have served as an Interim Executive Director twice and worked for nonprofits in marketing and fundraising. I have also served on boards and committees for more than a dozen organizations, often in leadership roles, and several times during a capital campaign.

I am the author of four books for nonprofits, focusing on nonprofit management, fundraising, social media, and board governance.

In addition, I served for more than 12 years in elected office on the board of Metro Parks Tacoma, a junior municipality with an annual operating budget of $50+ million. Currently, I work for my local NPR affiliate radio station as the Director of Audience Development.

As a prolific writer, I have written many science fiction and mystery novels, and even a play or two.

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? My work on boards is, by definition, group work. For example, I helped launch a capital campaign while on one board, which involved a lot of complex situations, emotions, and painstaking process. From 2013 to 2018, I led a grassroots campaign in Tacoma to remember science fiction author and Tacoma native Frank Herbert with a park named after him in Tacoma. This was a broad community effort, leading in the successful creation of Dune Peninsula, named after his landmark novel.
Please describe your educational background, including degrees, certificates, and courses of study finished, and their relevance to board work. Bachelor of Arts in English from Carleton College in Minnesota
Please add any relevant links describing your professional background, experience, profile (such as LinkedIn, staff page, etc.). https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikhanberg/, https://ErikHanberg.com, https://ForSmallNonprofits.com,
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).
Can you describe a policy, on wiki or off, that you helped to create or change? What did you learn from this experience?
How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard?
Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts.
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? I recognize that I come from a position of privilege as a white male who grew up speaking English. It’s my belief that nonprofit boards should aim to reflect the diversity of the population they serve. I would seek greater racial and geographic diversity on the board.
Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility: Verified
Verified by: KTC (talk) 20:06, 3 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Identification: Verified
Verified by: – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 10:52, 29 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]