[Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Risker
On 3 March 2016 at 07:53, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thursday, March 3, 2016, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > >
> > > Why would minutes be written after the fact instead of during the
> meeting
> > > by the designated note taker(s)?
> >
> >
> > Because the notes you take as you go along aren't in a fit state to serve
> > as minutes?
>
>
> I'd appreciate a closer perspective on what that means; what sort of
> changes actually happen between notes taken at the time and the eventual
> publishing? Practically speaking, what could change in how they're taken or
> reviewed to make sure that happens faster?
>
>
I often participate and present at meetings where I am not formally part of
the group or committee, and will be asked to review sections of the minutes
that relate to my presentation/participation/comments.   I've discovered
that in about 60% of the draft minutes I review, major points are missed or
are misinterpreted or key facts  may be misreported or misrepresented. Even
the ones that are almost entirely correct usually need some editing. There
have been times when I've rewritten the entire section for the
minute-taker.  It may reflect on my ability to present the material, or the
level of knowledge to understand the presentation, or something else
entirely - but the bottom line is that the first draft of minutes is almost
never completely right.  (That's why we call them drafts...)

For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a large
part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that board
communications needs to deal with.

I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their meeting
minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a large
> part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
> discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that board
> communications needs to deal with.
>
> I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their meeting
> minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.
>

Thanks. I think one idea would be to e.g. invite a community representative
to each meeting as an observer, responsible for reviewing the minutes. This
would always be a different person, and by design it could be e.g. always a
former board/FDC member, or chapter representative, or former arbiter from
wikis that have arbiters, or a steward - anyhow, someone who is legitimized
without the need to organize yet another elections.

To reduce costs, this person could be connecting via Hangout, but physical
presence would also be an option. We could ask this person their views, but
they would mostly be an observer.

dj




--

__________________________
prof. dr hab. Dariusz Jemielniak
kierownik katedry Zarządzania Międzynarodowego
i grupy badawczej NeRDS
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego
http://n <http://www.crow.alk.edu.pl/>wrds.kozminski.edu.pl

członek Akademii Młodych Uczonych Polskiej Akademii Nauk
członek Komitetu Polityki Naukowej MNiSW

Wyszła pierwsza na świecie etnografia Wikipedii "Common Knowledge? An
Ethnography of Wikipedia" (2014, Stanford University Press) mojego
autorstwa http://www.sup.org/book.cgi?id=24010

Recenzje
Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Pacific Standard:
http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/killed-wikipedia-93777/
Motherboard: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/an-ethnography-of-wikipedia
The Wikipedian:
http://thewikipedian.net/2014/10/10/dariusz-jemielniak-common-knowledge
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Chris Sherlock
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 7:50 AM, Chris Sherlock <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
>
> Do you serve on any non-profit boards Chris?
>
> Chris
>


Chris Keating is on the board of the WMUK.

In any case, it seems like there are many deliberative or legislative
bodies that see themselves as responsible to the public which manage to
videotape meetings. More than a few even broadcast them live on public
television. There is always the opportunity to go into a non-public session
for the discussion of confidential information. While this "speak to the
camera" concern (which is the same reason why U.S. Supreme Court oral
arguments are not videotaped) is valid... I think the fear is overblown. A
potential alternative is to have a transcript of the meetings created and
published, which might alleviate some anxiety for the camera shy.
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Risker
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On 3 March 2016 at 09:22, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> >
> >
> > For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a
> large
> > part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
> > discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that
> board
> > communications needs to deal with.
> >
> > I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their
> meeting
> > minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.
> >
>
> Thanks. I think one idea would be to e.g. invite a community representative
> to each meeting as an observer, responsible for reviewing the minutes. This
> would always be a different person, and by design it could be e.g. always a
> former board/FDC member, or chapter representative, or former arbiter from
> wikis that have arbiters, or a steward - anyhow, someone who is legitimized
> without the need to organize yet another elections.
>
> To reduce costs, this person could be connecting via Hangout, but physical
> presence would also be an option. We could ask this person their views, but
> they would mostly be an observer.
>
>

"Responsible for reviewing the minutes".  This is a lovely ideal. Can we
now be realistic?  What do we really expect that "observer" to do?  Will
they have input in to what the minutes finally say? Do they have approval
authority (i.e., do they get to vote on the acceptance of the minutes)?
I'm not opposed to community members observing board meetings - I suspect
many people will find them to be unexpectedly boring, with less substantive
discussion than many would expect - but the objective should be a lot more
clear.  What about if they genuinely believe that the minutes (which most
of us would recognize as having been written using a template) don't
reflect or emphasize what the observer thinks were the key issues?  Do they
get to put forward publicly their own version of what happened or what they
observed?  Are they going to be permitted to observe the "executive
session", where even the WMF staff are out of the room?  I am fine with the
general concept, but I don't think either the board or the community has
really thought through the entire process.  We should get it pretty much
nailed down before it is implemented.

Minute-taking is a skill - just as is writing a featured article or
creating a featured image. Those who think it's an easy task that should be
able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 10:00 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>>
> "Responsible for reviewing the minutes".  This is a lovely ideal. Can we
> now be realistic?  What do we really expect that "observer" to do?  Will
> they have input in to what the minutes finally say? Do they have approval
> authority (i.e., do they get to vote on the acceptance of the minutes)?
> I'm not opposed to community members observing board meetings - I suspect
> many people will find them to be unexpectedly boring, with less substantive
> discussion than many would expect - but the objective should be a lot more
> clear.  What about if they genuinely believe that the minutes (which most
> of us would recognize as having been written using a template) don't
> reflect or emphasize what the observer thinks were the key issues?  Do they
> get to put forward publicly their own version of what happened or what they
> observed?  Are they going to be permitted to observe the "executive
> session", where even the WMF staff are out of the room?  I am fine with the
> general concept, but I don't think either the board or the community has
> really thought through the entire process.  We should get it pretty much
> nailed down before it is implemented.
>
> Minute-taking is a skill - just as is writing a featured article or
> creating a featured image. Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
> experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
> that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
> board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
> approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
> the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
>
>

hi Anne,

I appreciate your criticism, it definitely helps to shoot down ideas early,
before they can mature ;) What I'm getting at is trying to find a sensible
form of addressing the community's concerns without making the whole Board
meetings public (I don't think it is impossible, I basically think that it
would entirely change the dynamics of the meetings - there would be an
incentive for the community-elected members to speak up to gain political
support, for example; this idea calls for just as much shredding apart as
the "observer" one).

The observer I have in mind would not be responsible for taking the minutes
(as you've pointed out, it is a skill), but reviewing them. Anyhow, it is
just an ad-hoc idea that I think could be refined, if it was perceived as
addressing the problem of the Board meetings being overly cryptic and
secretive for the general public.

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Risker
On Mar 3, 2016 6:16 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I often participate and present at meetings where I am not formally part
of
> the group or committee, and will be asked to review sections of the
minutes
> that relate to my presentation/participation/comments.   I've discovered
> that in about 60% of the draft minutes I review, major points are missed
or
> are misinterpreted or key facts  may be misreported or misrepresented.
Even
> the ones that are almost entirely correct usually need some editing. There
> have been times when I've rewritten the entire section for the
> minute-taker.  It may reflect on my ability to present the material, or
the
> level of knowledge to understand the presentation, or something else
> entirely - but the bottom line is that the first draft of minutes is
almost
> never completely right.  (That's why we call them drafts...)

This makes me think "release early, release often" -- quick publishing of
draft notes so they can be reviewed and questions asked for clarification.

And/or lean further on recording to ensure that incorrect or missing notes
can be corrected by double checking what was actually said.

>
> For the WMF board, we throw in the additional complexity of having a large
> part of the board working in a non-primary language. This should not be
> discounted as an issue; it is actually one of the bigger factors that
board
> communications needs to deal with.

This is a legitimate concern deserving more thought at all levels of our
movement.

> I would love for the board to be able to complete and approve their
meeting
> minutes within a few weeks. I understand why they have a hard time.
>
> Risker/Anne

-- brion
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Risker
On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
> experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
> that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
> board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
> approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
> the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.

What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it rather
than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?

-- brion

>
> Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Risker
On 3 March 2016 at 10:36, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> > able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no
> real
> > experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> > non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is
> important
> > that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> > early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
> > board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
> > approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not
> be
> > the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
>
> What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
> by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
> member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it rather
> than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?
>
> -- brion
>
>
Well, there's the fact that board minutes are actually legal documents;
they are required by law, they need to contain certain information, and
they are binding on the organization.  I do not believe you will find
any major international non-profit organization (whether or not they've got
strong community links, support open and free knowledge, or are just
ordinary charities) that would publish drafts of their legal documents.
Getting approved versions out more promptly, and in particular including
more information and context for the decisions and discussion, is probably
a  better first objective; this should be achievable because we can find
good examples from other organizations.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, but there are plenty of people who
will point to the public draft and insist that's the "real" information and
that any subsequent modifications were made for political reasons rather
than to reflect correct information.  I think it's fair to say that, as of
this precise moment, there's not a huge assumption of good faith directed
at the board by at least some sectors of the broad community.  Whether or
not it is deserved, I think it reasonable to say that the Board has some
work in regaining the trust of the community. I'd encourage them to start
with small steps that are easily repeated and documented and don't need a
lot of exceptions, so that they will be building a more solid foundation.
Making major changes that, after a few months, turn out to be
unsustainable, will be more harmful than helpful.

Risker/Anne
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Brion Vibber-4
*nod* very good points; it may be worth thinking about whether "minutes"
and "communicating a clear reference of what's going on" should be distinct
issues treated separately. If we've been conflating them in out discussion
that might be leading some of us down wrong paths in potential solutions.

Definitely agree on not making major changes too fast. Thoughtful,
deliberate changes only!

-- brion
On Mar 3, 2016 8:03 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 3 March 2016 at 10:36, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Those who think it's an easy task that should be
> > > able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no
> > real
> > > experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
> > > non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is
> > important
> > > that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
> > > early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are
> 9
> > > board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct
> and
> > > approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not
> > be
> > > the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
> >
> > What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
> > by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
> > member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it
> rather
> > than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?
> >
> > -- brion
> >
> >
> Well, there's the fact that board minutes are actually legal documents;
> they are required by law, they need to contain certain information, and
> they are binding on the organization.  I do not believe you will find
> any major international non-profit organization (whether or not they've got
> strong community links, support open and free knowledge, or are just
> ordinary charities) that would publish drafts of their legal documents.
> Getting approved versions out more promptly, and in particular including
> more information and context for the decisions and discussion, is probably
> a  better first objective; this should be achievable because we can find
> good examples from other organizations.
>
> And, not to put too fine a point on it, but there are plenty of people who
> will point to the public draft and insist that's the "real" information and
> that any subsequent modifications were made for political reasons rather
> than to reflect correct information.  I think it's fair to say that, as of
> this precise moment, there's not a huge assumption of good faith directed
> at the board by at least some sectors of the broad community.  Whether or
> not it is deserved, I think it reasonable to say that the Board has some
> work in regaining the trust of the community. I'd encourage them to start
> with small steps that are easily repeated and documented and don't need a
> lot of exceptions, so that they will be building a more solid foundation.
> Making major changes that, after a few months, turn out to be
> unsustainable, will be more harmful than helpful.
>
> Risker/Anne
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Pete Forsyth-2
In reply to this post by Risker
Enjoying this discussion, glad to see it happening. One question I haven't
seen addressed:

Are there notes kept during executive sessions?

From what I've seen, it seems that the answer might be no -- and that
doesn't seem good. Having minutes is not the same thing as publishing
minutes; but keeping notes on private meetings, if only for the
participants to return to when there is a need to refresh their memories or
resolve disputes, seems important.

For similar reasons, I like the idea of video- or audio-recording meetings,
*independent* of the question of whether such recordings should be more
widely distributed.

-Pete
[[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Gregory Varnum-2
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
Speaking from my non-Wikimedia experiences with nonprofit boards, I think Risker makes some good points.

Even a very good notetaker is going to make mistakes. There are things said they accidentally didn’t hear, they misunderstood what someone was saying, or simply summarized a point using wording that doesn’t sound quite right to the person who said it. Note taking is a different skill from dictating ever word, and when a non-messenger is summarizing for messengers, things tend to need edits before they are considered “final”. However, that said, I do agree that our Board should be striving to do this faster than has been done recently.

Regarding recording meetings, I have seen this tried before, and do not believe it is what we are really looking for. In reality, as Risker noted, it changes the behavior of participants - and usually not in an effective way. A lot more time is spent in meetings pondering the “right” way to say something before you say it. When it’s not being recorded, people are more inclined to offer early and incomplete thoughts. Perhaps it is good for people to pick their words more carefully first, but in my experience, usually makes the meetings less effective, and just results in a lot more “behind the scenes” dealmaking and conversations. I believe these types of meetings are most effective when they are a safe space to talk through complex problems. Additionally, I feel I should note there is a very real difference between Wikimedia Foundation and the governments we are sometimes compared to. WMF does not enjoy the same legal protections as governments do, and our movement’s or Foundation’s public meeting documentation are not free from threats of defamation/libel lawsuit threats (which Govt. meetings are free from). The end result for organizations I have seen try this is that a lot less gets said in meetings out of fear of being sued. The only way to really offset that would be to create a large legal fund to prepare, but even then, who wants to the Board member that has dipped into the legal fund half a dozen times in their terms? Also, is a legal fund defending potentially offensive things said during Board meetings the best use of our donors’ dollars?

I absolutely 100% agree that work needs to be done to help both the organization and our Board rebuild trust, and some of that needs to be either putting information out in better ways, and making sure info IS out there. I also understand and have seen this particular set of ideas come up as solutions for similar problems elsewhere. However, I do feel I should point out that like some ideas that sounded good and logical on paper, when it was tried out, the results were disappointing. It is entirely possible we’ll be the exception, but I’m not personally very confident in that. As such, I think we should ponder ways to make the notes posting process better, and ways that the Board can improve communication outside of their official meetings. Plus, let’s be honest, the meetings are not where everything is happening anyway. I want to know about the whole picture, not just that part of it.

-greg (User:Varnent)


> On Mar 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Brion Vibber <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> On Mar 3, 2016 7:00 AM, "Risker" <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Those who think it's an easy task that should be
>> able to be done practically after the meeting is over tend to have no real
>> experience with writing and managing minutes at the international
>> non-profit board level and may not fully understand why it it is important
>> that they are correct before they're published.  Publicly presenting an
>> early, uncorrected draft will lead to nothing but tears, but there are 9
>> board members (plus individual presenters) who have to read, correct and
>> approve [sections of] the minutes.  The WMF Board is not and should not be
>> the most important person in the lives of any of our board members.
>
> What sort of problems are envisioned from public drafting of minutes lead
> by a dedicated secretary/minute-wrangler (ideally a professional staff
> member with experience doing this and enough time to dedicate to it rather
> than double-booking a trustee or a C-level)?
>
> -- brion
>
>>
>> Risker/Anne
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Brion Vibber-4
In reply to this post by Pete Forsyth-2
On Mar 3, 2016 8:19 AM, "Pete Forsyth" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Enjoying this discussion, glad to see it happening. One question I haven't
> seen addressed:
>
> Are there notes kept during executive sessions?

Per the minutes policy listed on wiki yes they are kept; they are kept
separate by the secretary and not published.

-- Brion

>
> From what I've seen, it seems that the answer might be no -- and that
> doesn't seem good. Having minutes is not the same thing as publishing
> minutes; but keeping notes on private meetings, if only for the
> participants to return to when there is a need to refresh their memories
or
> resolve disputes, seems important.
>
> For similar reasons, I like the idea of video- or audio-recording
meetings,
> *independent* of the question of whether such recordings should be more
> widely distributed.
>
> -Pete
> [[User:Peteforsyth]]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Andrew Lih
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:22 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 9:15 AM, Risker <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Thanks. I think one idea would be to e.g. invite a community representative
> to each meeting as an observer, responsible for reviewing the minutes. This
> would always be a different person, and by design it could be e.g. always a
> former board/FDC member, or chapter representative, or former arbiter from
> wikis that have arbiters, or a steward - anyhow, someone who is legitimized
> without the need to organize yet another elections.
>
> To reduce costs, this person could be connecting via Hangout, but physical
> presence would also be an option. We could ask this person their views, but
> they would mostly be an observer.
>

I’d be eager to try this idea of observers/scribes from the community, with
the slight amendment that I don’t think it *needs* to be a different person
every time, though it should certainly be open to participation as much as
possible. I’d also like for it to be open to folks from “the media” of our
community, such as The Signpost.

-Andrew
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Thu, Mar 3, 2016 at 12:07 PM, Andrew Lih <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I’d be eager to try this idea of observers/scribes from the community,
> with the slight amendment that I don’t think it *needs* to be a different
> person every time, though it should certainly be open to participation as
> much as possible. I’d also like for it to be open to folks from “the media”
> of our community, such as The Signpost.
>
> -
>

the reason why I think it would be good to rotate this person is that it
would allow to assure not getting into the Board's logic too much. If the
Board ever slides into group-think, this would be a safety valve.

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Nathan Awrich
In reply to this post by Andrew Lih
What do we want? We want to understand what board members think about major
issues, we want some sense of the direction of the organization as driven
by the board, we want to be able to see and verify that issues important to
stakeholders throughout the movement are being considered and addressed by
the board. Videotaping or audio recording or broadcasting all board
meetings may impede the necessary work of the board, and lots of reasons
have been offered to support this objection.

So instead - why not ask the board to hold quarterly public meetings? The
WMF engages with the community through the model of public meetings all the
time, and participants have been happy with the opportunity to hear staff
work through issues and offer feedback. Can't we extend that template to
the board, and ask the board to create some opportunities to engage either
with the public or at least in public?
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Trillium Corsage
In reply to this post by Brion Vibber-4
The "minutes" released to the public are ridiculously scant. I tried to find out more last year about the board's removing the identification requirement from those the WMF grants access to the non-public information of contributors, but ran into dead-ends. The only thing I could decipher really is that boardmember Samuel Klein raised the motion to remove the requirement.

Trillium Corsage
 

03.03.2016, 16:22, "Brion Vibber" <email clipped>:

> On Mar 3, 2016 8:19 AM, "Pete Forsyth" <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  Enjoying this discussion, glad to see it happening. One question I haven't
>>  seen addressed:
>>
>>  Are there notes kept during executive sessions?
>
> Per the minutes policy listed on wiki yes they are kept; they are kept
> separate by the secretary and not published.
>
> -- Brion
>
>>  From what I've seen, it seems that the answer might be no -- and that
>>  doesn't seem good. Having minutes is not the same thing as publishing
>>  minutes; but keeping notes on private meetings, if only for the
>>  participants to return to when there is a need to refresh their memories
>
> or
>>  resolve disputes, seems important.
>>
>>  For similar reasons, I like the idea of video- or audio-recording
>
> meetings,
>>  *independent* of the question of whether such recordings should be more
>>  widely distributed.
>>
>>  -Pete
>>  [[User:Peteforsyth]]

<text clipped for brevity>

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Yaroslav M. Blanter
In reply to this post by Nathan Awrich
On 2016-03-03 18:17, Nathan wrote:
>

>
> So instead - why not ask the board to hold quarterly public meetings?
> The
> WMF engages with the community through the model of public meetings all
> the
> time, and participants have been happy with the opportunity to hear
> staff
> work through issues and offer feedback. Can't we extend that template
> to
> the board, and ask the board to create some opportunities to engage
> either
> with the public or at least in public?

We can just ask them to hold office hours, as everybody in WMF does.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Craig Franklin
In reply to this post by Pine W
This sounds like an excellent strategy if you're looking to have the board
meetings turn into a rubber stamp for issues that have been discussed and
decided elsewhere.

Rather than solving the transparency problem through gimmicks like wheeling
a video camera into the board room, we should look at reasons why the Board
of Trustees might not feel comfortable being transparent.  The only real
solution will involve cultural change, not just on the WMF side, but also
from the community.  What can *we* as community members do to assist the
WMF in being transparent?

Although, I most certainly agree that the official minutes of meetings
could do with a little more detail.  If brevity is wit, then the existing
minutes are positively Wildean.

Cheers,
Craig

On 3 March 2016 at 16:31, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Having WMF Board meetings be open and recorded by default would be
> a wonderful step in aligning the Board with the value of transparency.
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

Ariel Glenn WMF
I'd like to see more complete minutes that get published more frequently; I
suspect the members of the Board would love it if they could make it happen
by waving a wand and have it be so.

I was once a public observer taking notes for a Board meeting for a
different organization, and there was no way to get notes out the door with
universal agreement except to redact large parts.  A lot of it involved "I
did not say that" or "I did not mean that" or "That's out of context".
Controversial topic discussions will be even harder to cover fairly without
being content-free.

And, as others have said on this list, recording meetings often has the
side effect of moving real discussions out of the limelight back into the
shadows.  If you don't believe me, check out your respective legislative
bodies ;-)

So, given that, as Risker and others point out, "it's complicated", perhaps
we could start with a smaller step: get the agenda published within 5 days
after any meeting.  This would mean publishing: the items brought into the
meeting for discussion, marking those that were actually discussed, and
those that were dropped or alternatively held over for a future meeting.

Even this document will not be controversy free and will need to be vetted
before being released, but a 5 day period (let's say) seems manageable.

Once we have that going smoothly we can take what's been learned from it
and apply it to summaries with a bit more detail, etc.

Ariel

On Fri, Mar 4, 2016 at 1:19 AM, Craig Franklin <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> This sounds like an excellent strategy if you're looking to have the board
> meetings turn into a rubber stamp for issues that have been discussed and
> decided elsewhere.
>
> Rather than solving the transparency problem through gimmicks like wheeling
> a video camera into the board room, we should look at reasons why the Board
> of Trustees might not feel comfortable being transparent.  The only real
> solution will involve cultural change, not just on the WMF side, but also
> from the community.  What can *we* as community members do to assist the
> WMF in being transparent?
>
> Although, I most certainly agree that the official minutes of meetings
> could do with a little more detail.  If brevity is wit, then the existing
> minutes are positively Wildean.
>
> Cheers,
> Craig
>
> On 3 March 2016 at 16:31, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Having WMF Board meetings be open and recorded by default would be
> > a wonderful step in aligning the Board with the value of transparency.
> >
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Open and recorded WMF Board meetings

James Salsman-2
In reply to this post by Pine W
>.... we could start with a smaller step: get the agenda
> published within 5 days after any meeting....

"I would support as best practice the public posting of agendas for
routine board meetings. I would support that minutes be posted
promptly - but before the next meetings agenda is finalized is not
really practical because we normally vote to approve the previous
meetings minutes at the next meeting - every board I have been on does
this. I would not support that unagendized items be deferred until the
next meeting - we are working board and we have long board meetings
and such a delay would not be helpful in any way."
-- Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

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