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Wikimedia Foundation elections/2024/Candidates/Kritzolina

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Christel Steigenberger (Kritzolina)

Kritzolina (talk meta edits global user summary CA  AE)

Candidate details
Christel Steigenberger (WikiConference India, April 2023)
  • Personal:
    • Name: Christel Steigenberger
    • Location: Munich, Germany
    • Languages: German, English, some French and Italian, smatterings of other languages like Greek, Farsi and Bengali
  • Editorial:
    • Wikimedian since: 2014
    • Active wikis: de.Wp, Commons, Wikidata
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 know the Wikiverse as a volunteer and I love it. I have experienced the perspective of a Foundation staff member and it was probably the most fulfilling professional role I held. Taking this journey of the exploration of the best place on the internet a bit further and bringing all I learnt in my previous (and ongoing) roles to the next level is something I see as challenging and rewarding at the same time. The Wikiverse has given me many amazing gifts - knowledge, friendship, inspiration and lots of happy memories. I hope I can give back some things as a Trustee. But I also expect to get knowledge, inspriration and more in this role, should you trust me to become a Trustee.
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 started editing the German language Wikipedia in 2014 with the intent to bring more knowledge about contemporary poetry to the platform. I soon was intrigued by the community behind the scenes and went first to local, then to international meet-ups. There I learned so many wonderful things and met so many amazing people, it made me want to contribute more and in more different ways. For about 3 1/2 years I was an administrator on de.WP. There I took a very active role in community discussions about behavior. I created content for de.WP about topics ranging from an archaeological site in Tunisia to a kitchen appliance. My main focus slowly shifted from literary topics to biographies of women and people from marginalized groups. Today I am part of FemNetz, a group of women who want to advance gender equity on de.WP. I also started discovering other Wikiprojects and other Wiki language versions and discovered my love for Commons. Today I do most of my work on this project. From uploading my own images, to helping categorize image donations and images uploaded via international campaigns to participating in the Featured Images process and Photo Challenges. Currently I have >102,000 edits on the projects.

I also contributed to the movement in my professional role first as a Trust&Safety Team member, later as a member of the Community Development Team. This work gave me deep insights into the challenges and sometimes dangers some of us have to face as a result of our good faith contributions to Wikipedia that outside powers don’t like to see. I also got interesting insights into the workings of very different communities around the globe, especially when we did research for the Universal Code of Conduct. I also learned a lot about how this unique and beloved community of strangers is collaborating and the amazing coping strategies it developed.

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? Dealing with the accrued technical debt and making the Wikiverse (and especially Commons) technologically fit for the future is certainly a high priority. We are in danger of losing contact with most internet users. Another high priority is further developing our abilities to fight Fake News and disinformation, as AI makes it easier every day to spread false narratives with convincing images.

For me however the main priority should be attracting more contributors from places around the world or niches in society that we have not reached so far. If we want to stay relevant, we need knowledge on our platform that is missing elsewhere - and often the people who hold this knowledge are not to be found in Europe or North America. If they are, they are not in the typical demography of the community as it is. Along with this we need to expand our ability to protect contributors to our platforms from harassment, unprovoked legal threats and similar dangers. So further developing the Human Rights capacity of the Foundation for me is also high on the lists of priorities.

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 have been on the boards of several smallish non-profit organizations in the social and artistic field. These range from an org that runs a training institution for Systemic Therapy and employs around 20 people (some of them as contractors), where I sat on the board during a time of significant change, to a purely volunteer run literary org where I hold financial responsibility for more than 20 years now.
Please describe your professional career experience. For most of my life I worked in the social field, centering on individual clients with complex problems using a systemic approach. I held some leadership positions in this field including the management of a large day care center for children with cognitive disabilities. For six years I worked for the Wikimedia Foundation in the Trust&Safety and the Community Development Teams. In this role I supported the committees that developed the UCoC and its implementation guidelines.
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?
Please describe your educational background, including degrees, certificates, and courses of study finished, and their relevance to board work. Diploma in Social Work, Certificates in Systemic Counseling, Trauma Counseling, Psychosocial Supporter during Legal Proceedings and Project Management (PRINCE2 and Scrum)
Please add any relevant links describing your professional background, experience, profile (such as LinkedIn, staff page, etc.).
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? In my professional capacity working for WMF I made sure to invite volunteers from different communities and diverse demographics to all discussions, research projects and consultations I was part of. And not only to formally invite them, but to really bring them in and to make space for them. I actually often was the person other WMF staff members turned to for advice on how to reach out to those voices that are not always heard. The most impactful thing I did in this capacity was probably making sure Maggie Dennis had a diverse and qualified candidate pool to choose from for the committees that wrote the UCoC and its enforcement guidelines.

I mentored a number of younger colleagues at WMF as well as at other workplaces. I often got the feedback that my advice helped them a lot to settle in their roles and to make important steps in their careers. Some of them brought grievances to my attention that they were not sure how to adress - among them a few serious problems with discrimination. In most cases I was able to connect them to the appropriate channels with some good advice on how to talk about these issues. This usually resulted in their perspective being heard and changes for the better being implemented.

Speaking a bit more generally, I am known for always listening carefully, stepping back to make space for other voices and passing the microphone to those who have not had their say. For people who are not comfortable holding the microphone themselves, I have been quite successful in finding other means of communication, like written text, or conveying their opinion in a smaller setting.

Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. With patience, with joy in what I do and with love I can remain productive.
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 am very happy the board of Trustee does well with gender diversity. I was also happy to have worked for the Foundation as part of the most diverse work force I ever experienced. Still, I see all the places that are not filled, I hear voices that are not represented. I see some communities that lack diversity. And I know about voices neither me nor others in the movement can hear. We need the knowledge of these voices, their wisdom and their skills. We need to make room for them, amplify those we hear and strain to listen to more of them. We need to realize we need them and then work to let them know about our need. Wikimedia needs diversity like Wikimedians need oxygen. Let's get more of it!
Verification Identity verification performed by Wikimedia Foundation staff and eligibility verification performed by the Elections Committee
Eligibility: Verified
Verified by: KTC (talk) 20:03, 3 June 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Identification: Verified
Verified by: – NahidSultan (WMF) (talk) 11:31, 29 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]