[Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

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[Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

Christophe Henner-3
Hi Everyone,

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met in Esino Lario during
Wikimania. The minutes will be published in the coming days, but we deemed
it too important to wait to share the outcome of this really great meeting.

During the meeting, the Board felt that it was important to establish three
clear priorities for the coming year: We will focus on three specific
topics:

* Improving the Board itself

* Supporting the Executive Director, Katherine Maher

* Fostering the creation of a strategy for the movement

Every trustee acknowledges that there's a clear need for the Board to
assume a leadership position for our movement. That being said, the eight
of us are only temporary stewards of our positions. We need to work toward
creating the best environment for all of us to push our mission forward.

That is the reason our first topic is about Board improvement — to work to
become the trustees you all need. The governance committee [1] is
continuing its work on incremental improvements, as well as on defining the
further actions we need to take.

Our second priority is to support  the Executive Director. As you all know,
the Board proposed to Katherine Maher to move from her interim ED position
to a permanent one. We are thrilled she agreed.

We must not consider this decision as the end of the process, but as a
beginning. In order for the Wikimedia Foundation to achieve great things,
the Board needs to be supporting the ED. This means providing her with a
consistent and clear explanation of the intentions in our decisions, and to
act as sparring partners to her.

The HR committee[2] will work toward that end, and the Board as whole is
ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with the
best environment possible.

Finally, the lack, or fuzziness, around movement strategy has been a
pending question for years. One that we never managed to tackle. And
perhaps because no one wanted to take on that charge. The Board of Trustees
decided that within the next 12 months we will have to define our vision
and strategy. A strategy that is suited with our goals, our values, and is
inclusive of every agent of the movement.

The past fifteen years were amazing. But now we have to think of the next
fifteen years. There are many challenges  ahead of us if we want to keep on
changing the world.

We must not shy away from those challenges, nor from the decisions we have
to make.

Within the Board of Trustees, Maria Sefidari and I take the lead on  the
necessary steps are being taken. Katherine and Foundation staff already
have worked on the first steps to reach that goal.

Our goal is to make sure we — as a movement — will have a strategy that we
can all embrace and push forward together.

As ever, decisions need action, and we will take them and share them
quickly so that you know that we walk the talk, and we want to walk it with
all of you.

We will be happy to answer any questions you have whether on list or off
list.

Thank you to everyone for those past fifteen years, and I’m looking forward
to what we'll achieve in the coming ones!

Christophe

[1]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee

[2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/HR_Committee
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

Cristian Consonni
2016-06-28 19:19 GMT+02:00 Christophe Henner <[hidden email]>:
> The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met in Esino Lario during
> Wikimania. The minutes will be published in the coming days, but we deemed
> it too important to wait to share the outcome of this really great meeting.

Thank you for the update, I really appreciate the heads up and the news!

Cristian

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

Andrea Zanni-2
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner-3
Thanks Christophe.
Looking forward to (collectively) work on the strategy.
I personally welcome a quick and hopeful mail like this,
and I'm quite happy about where we are right now.

Aubrey



On Tue, Jun 28, 2016 at 7:19 PM, Christophe Henner <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Hi Everyone,
>
> The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met in Esino Lario during
> Wikimania. The minutes will be published in the coming days, but we deemed
> it too important to wait to share the outcome of this really great meeting.
>
> During the meeting, the Board felt that it was important to establish three
> clear priorities for the coming year: We will focus on three specific
> topics:
>
> * Improving the Board itself
>
> * Supporting the Executive Director, Katherine Maher
>
> * Fostering the creation of a strategy for the movement
>
> Every trustee acknowledges that there's a clear need for the Board to
> assume a leadership position for our movement. That being said, the eight
> of us are only temporary stewards of our positions. We need to work toward
> creating the best environment for all of us to push our mission forward.
>
> That is the reason our first topic is about Board improvement — to work to
> become the trustees you all need. The governance committee [1] is
> continuing its work on incremental improvements, as well as on defining the
> further actions we need to take.
>
> Our second priority is to support  the Executive Director. As you all know,
> the Board proposed to Katherine Maher to move from her interim ED position
> to a permanent one. We are thrilled she agreed.
>
> We must not consider this decision as the end of the process, but as a
> beginning. In order for the Wikimedia Foundation to achieve great things,
> the Board needs to be supporting the ED. This means providing her with a
> consistent and clear explanation of the intentions in our decisions, and to
> act as sparring partners to her.
>
> The HR committee[2] will work toward that end, and the Board as whole is
> ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with the
> best environment possible.
>
> Finally, the lack, or fuzziness, around movement strategy has been a
> pending question for years. One that we never managed to tackle. And
> perhaps because no one wanted to take on that charge. The Board of Trustees
> decided that within the next 12 months we will have to define our vision
> and strategy. A strategy that is suited with our goals, our values, and is
> inclusive of every agent of the movement.
>
> The past fifteen years were amazing. But now we have to think of the next
> fifteen years. There are many challenges  ahead of us if we want to keep on
> changing the world.
>
> We must not shy away from those challenges, nor from the decisions we have
> to make.
>
> Within the Board of Trustees, Maria Sefidari and I take the lead on  the
> necessary steps are being taken. Katherine and Foundation staff already
> have worked on the first steps to reach that goal.
>
> Our goal is to make sure we — as a movement — will have a strategy that we
> can all embrace and push forward together.
>
> As ever, decisions need action, and we will take them and share them
> quickly so that you know that we walk the talk, and we want to walk it with
> all of you.
>
> We will be happy to answer any questions you have whether on list or off
> list.
>
> Thank you to everyone for those past fifteen years, and I’m looking forward
> to what we'll achieve in the coming ones!
>
> Christophe
>
> [1]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee
>
> [2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/HR_Committee
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner-3
Thanks Christophe!

Just a quick question...

>
> The HR committee[2] will work toward that end, and the Board as whole is
> ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with the
> best environment possible.
> [2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/HR_Committee


Has the HR Committee been updated to reflect the new Board - does it still
consist of Patricio, Guy and Jimmy?

Chris
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

attolippip
Dear Chris,

A quick answer:
Yes, all Board Committees have been updated.
I guess it just takes some time to update the pages with all the changes :)

Best regards,
antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv

2016-06-28 23:48 GMT+03:00 Chris Keating <[hidden email]>:

> Thanks Christophe!
>
> Just a quick question...
>
> >
> > The HR committee[2] will work toward that end, and the Board as whole is
> > ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with the
> > best environment possible.
> > [2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/HR_Committee
>
>
> Has the HR Committee been updated to reflect the new Board - does it still
> consist of Patricio, Guy and Jimmy?
>
> Chris
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

Tanweer Morshed
Thank you Christophe for letting us know the key decisions from the Board
meeting. We hope the Board would foster the movement in a way that it
needs, considering the challenges of upcoming days.


Best regards,
Tanweer

On Wednesday, June 29, 2016, attolippip <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Dear Chris,
>
> A quick answer:
> Yes, all Board Committees have been updated.
> I guess it just takes some time to update the pages with all the changes :)
>
> Best regards,
> antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
>
> 2016-06-28 23:48 GMT+03:00 Chris Keating <[hidden email]
> <javascript:;>>:
>
> > Thanks Christophe!
> >
> > Just a quick question...
> >
> > >
> > > The HR committee[2] will work toward that end, and the Board as whole
> is
> > > ready to take any steps necessary to provide her, and the staff, with
> the
> > > best environment possible.
> > > [2] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/HR_Committee
> >
> >
> > Has the HR Committee been updated to reflect the new Board - does it
> still
> > consist of Patricio, Guy and Jimmy?
> >
> > Chris
> > _______________________________________________
> > Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> > New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> > Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> > <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email] <javascript:;>
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email] <javascript:;>
> ?subject=unsubscribe>



--
Regards,
Tanweer
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] [Direction] WMF Board of Trustees 2016 priorities

pi zero
In reply to this post by Christophe Henner-3
While I as much as any hope for positive developments in relation to the
board, and certainly it's good to hear of enthusiasm and recognition of the
need to improve the board, if I might inject a note of caution.

Every trustee acknowledges that there's a clear need for the Board to
> assume a leadership position for our movement.


I suggest it is not even /possible/ for the Board to assume a leadership
position for the movement, and that the Board's efforts to do so over the
past ten years have been damaging to the movement.  The core idealism of
the movement --- the thing that drives volunteers to donate passionate
labor, which can only be driven by idealism --- is, I maintain, that
information providing should be in the hands of The People; a fundamentally
bottom-up ideal.  The more the centralized WMF tries to direct things, the
more it conflicts with the ideal in fact; and the more it is /seen/ to try
to direct things, the more it saps the desire of volunteers to donate labor
because it seems less like pursuit of the ideal.  If the WMF has a useful
role to play in the movement, it is neither leadership nor top-down
software initiatives (which most of the current initiatives are).

It has also been clear in recent times that the Foundation has evolved a
corporate culture that self-justifies some of its most unfortunate
attitudes, and in this regard I admit I am unsettled when I see statements
such as


> We must not shy away from those challenges, nor from the decisions we have
> to make.
>

From the outside, I honestly can't tell whether to cheer or cringe. This
would be a good attitude to take toward various necessary changes to the
Foundation, yet it also sounds like the reasoning that was used, not long
ago, to justify a position that any volunteers who disagree with the
Foundation's dictates should leave.

Within the Board of Trustees, Maria Sefidari and I take the lead on  the
> necessary steps are being taken. Katherine and Foundation staff already
> have worked on the first steps to reach that goal.
>
> Our goal is to make sure we — as a movement — will have a strategy that we
> can all embrace and push forward together.


I do hope that everyone together can find a positive way forward (says the
optimist in me, even while the pessimist in me lists all the things likely
to go wrong).

Pi zero
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