[Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

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[Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

WereSpielChequers-2
Sydney and Risker make a good point that much of the current board is
already fairly new and simply appointing a whole new board is unlikely to
be the solution we now need.

Whether any individual board members feel sufficiently responsible for
recent events that they should resign few but they can say. But the
movement is in a serious mess and it is their duty to ensure we get out of
it.

In the short term the current board vacancy is an opportunity for the
board. Reappointing Doc James would  bring back a much respected board
member who already has several months recent WMF board experience. It would
also be a clear signal that the board wanted to start steering the movement
out of the current quagmire. Conversely, not reappointing Doc James risks
leaving the impression that this particular onion has a few more layers yet
to go.

In the medium term the board could reform it's constitution so that over
the next couple of years we move to an all elected board and a membership
system open to all who volunteer time to the project. There are some
discussions about this here:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy#Time_to_move_to_a_membership_system

I appreciate there are a lot of threads running on the current kerfuffle,
but I think board reform is worth a new thread.

WereSpielChequers



> Message-ID:
>         <CAPXs8yRT9xu2tvXpP-27BDzx8njuN=
> [hidden email]>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>
> On 22 February 2016 at 22:00, Sydney Poore <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:08 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > >>
> > > I also hope that the current Board members will thoughtfully consider
> > > whether it's in the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation and the
> > > larger Wikimedia movement for them to continue as Board members.
> >
> > The instability that would result from large scale resignations of
> > Board members would be devastating to WMF.
> >
> > That aside, under the best of circumstances, the volunteer BoT of WMF
> > are faced with an extremely demanding and challenging work load. And,
> > no volunteer board has the skill set to manage the problems that have
> > come up over the last few months and have escalated out of control.
> >
> > I strongly encourage giving the BoT time to react to the most recent
> > comments, and develop a responsible plan of action.
> >
> >
>
> I also agree with Sydney, and will point out that in the past year, we have
> had brand new board members in 3 board-selected seats (one of whom only
> participated for a few weeks), and 3 community seats (two of whom remain in
> place, the third being replaced by a former board member.  That is at least
> five new members in a single year, no matter how one cuts it - and it
> doesn't even take into consideration the ongoing process for
> chapter-selected seats.
>
> This past year has already seen the largest turnover in board membership
> that the Foundation has ever experienced; it was unusual to have more than
> two seats change incumbents in all the past years. We have already seen
> very significant change in the make-up of the Board, and half the board is
> still learning the ropes and responsibilities. This level of change is
> likely to be at least partly responsible for some of the unfortunate
> situations we have seen in the last several months. But those who are
> seeking a new board...well, you already have one.
>
> Risker/Anne
>
>
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Amir E. Aharoni
Well, since someone brought that up, I'd risk asking:
Does it make any sense to make the board in some of its future incarnations
more representative?
More representative of the editors?
More representative of the world's lands and languages?
More representative of the world's different economic regions?
More representative of some relevant professional fields that are relevant
for being in the Board of a massively-international-and-multilingual
transparent web-oriented education-oriented non-profit?

A thing that always bothered me strongly is that there were very little or
zero representation for these countries in the Board, ever: India, China,
Russia, Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab
countries and finally, all of Africa. (I picked these countries by
population and roughly, the representation in the list of the world's top
spoken languages.)

I'll possibly be sorry for bringing this up, but there were no black people
on the board, ever.

Also, it bothers me somewhat that there were fewer women than men in the
board, if you count the whole history at all times. There were 29 board
members ever, and 9 of them were women. Not a huge gap, but a gap
nevertheless. (I'm very bad with numbers, please slap me if I'm not
counting correctly.) Women are 4 out of 9 in the current board, which is
nearly a half and maybe it's not a concern any longer, but I wonder whether
it's intentional or just a coincidence. I am not saying that it must be
intentionally a half, but it's a thing to consider.

Finally, why is the board's composition as it is now? I refer to the total
number of people on it, and the number of elected and  appointed members,
and the quasi-permanent founder seat. I'm sorry if these things are obvious
to people who learned something about non-profit management; I did not, but
I care about this movement and I am curious, and possibly many other people
are curious as well. I can find the resolutions about expansion, but they
don't do much to explain the rationale behind the numbers.

PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE, correct me if any of my facts are wrong.


--
Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
http://aharoni.wordpress.com
‪“We're living in pieces,
I want to live in peace.” – T. Moore‬

2016-02-23 14:58 GMT+02:00 WereSpielChequers <[hidden email]>:

> Sydney and Risker make a good point that much of the current board is
> already fairly new and simply appointing a whole new board is unlikely to
> be the solution we now need.
>
> Whether any individual board members feel sufficiently responsible for
> recent events that they should resign few but they can say. But the
> movement is in a serious mess and it is their duty to ensure we get out of
> it.
>
> In the short term the current board vacancy is an opportunity for the
> board. Reappointing Doc James would  bring back a much respected board
> member who already has several months recent WMF board experience. It would
> also be a clear signal that the board wanted to start steering the movement
> out of the current quagmire. Conversely, not reappointing Doc James risks
> leaving the impression that this particular onion has a few more layers yet
> to go.
>
> In the medium term the board could reform it's constitution so that over
> the next couple of years we move to an all elected board and a membership
> system open to all who volunteer time to the project. There are some
> discussions about this here:
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Wikimedia_Foundation_membership_controversy#Time_to_move_to_a_membership_system
>
> I appreciate there are a lot of threads running on the current kerfuffle,
> but I think board reform is worth a new thread.
>
> WereSpielChequers
>
>
>
> > Message-ID:
> >         <CAPXs8yRT9xu2tvXpP-27BDzx8njuN=
> > [hidden email]>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
> >
> > On 22 February 2016 at 22:00, Sydney Poore <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
> >
> > > On Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 2:08 PM, Pine W <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > > >>
> > > > I also hope that the current Board members will thoughtfully consider
> > > > whether it's in the best interests of the Wikimedia Foundation and
> the
> > > > larger Wikimedia movement for them to continue as Board members.
> > >
> > > The instability that would result from large scale resignations of
> > > Board members would be devastating to WMF.
> > >
> > > That aside, under the best of circumstances, the volunteer BoT of WMF
> > > are faced with an extremely demanding and challenging work load. And,
> > > no volunteer board has the skill set to manage the problems that have
> > > come up over the last few months and have escalated out of control.
> > >
> > > I strongly encourage giving the BoT time to react to the most recent
> > > comments, and develop a responsible plan of action.
> > >
> > >
> >
> > I also agree with Sydney, and will point out that in the past year, we
> have
> > had brand new board members in 3 board-selected seats (one of whom only
> > participated for a few weeks), and 3 community seats (two of whom remain
> in
> > place, the third being replaced by a former board member.  That is at
> least
> > five new members in a single year, no matter how one cuts it - and it
> > doesn't even take into consideration the ongoing process for
> > chapter-selected seats.
> >
> > This past year has already seen the largest turnover in board membership
> > that the Foundation has ever experienced; it was unusual to have more
> than
> > two seats change incumbents in all the past years. We have already seen
> > very significant change in the make-up of the Board, and half the board
> is
> > still learning the ropes and responsibilities. This level of change is
> > likely to be at least partly responsible for some of the unfortunate
> > situations we have seen in the last several months. But those who are
> > seeking a new board...well, you already have one.
> >
> > Risker/Anne
> >
> >
> >
> _______________________________________________
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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2016-02-23 14:30, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:

> Well, since someone brought that up, I'd risk asking:
> Does it make any sense to make the board in some of its future
> incarnations
> more representative?
> More representative of the editors?
> More representative of the world's lands and languages?
> More representative of the world's different economic regions?
> More representative of some relevant professional fields that are
> relevant
> for being in the Board of a massively-international-and-multilingual
> transparent web-oriented education-oriented non-profit?
>

Hi Amir,

in my personal opinion, the current composition of the Board (elected vs
nominated by affiliates vs appointed seats) is in principle fine. It can
be fine-tuned by moving may be one seat here and there, but this is a
big deal and it is not clear for me how it is needed.

A big question which was there from the very beginning is how to ensure
the diversity. This is related to the composition of the board. We know
if we make all seats directly elected we do not necessarily have the
desired diversity and needed skills. If we make all of them appointed we
can in principle have diversity and skills (though recent events shown
this can have some problematic side issues) but then the community has
no voice.

I do not know how this can be currently solved. Or, to be precise, how
one can solve it without compromising on bigger issues.

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Thyge
We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a "house
of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and charged
with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the WMF,
changed of bylaws etc.

Regards,
Thyge

2016-02-23 14:38 GMT+01:00 Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>:

> On 2016-02-23 14:30, Amir E. Aharoni wrote:
>
>> Well, since someone brought that up, I'd risk asking:
>> Does it make any sense to make the board in some of its future
>> incarnations
>> more representative?
>> More representative of the editors?
>> More representative of the world's lands and languages?
>> More representative of the world's different economic regions?
>> More representative of some relevant professional fields that are relevant
>> for being in the Board of a massively-international-and-multilingual
>> transparent web-oriented education-oriented non-profit?
>>
>>
> Hi Amir,
>
> in my personal opinion, the current composition of the Board (elected vs
> nominated by affiliates vs appointed seats) is in principle fine. It can be
> fine-tuned by moving may be one seat here and there, but this is a big deal
> and it is not clear for me how it is needed.
>
> A big question which was there from the very beginning is how to ensure
> the diversity. This is related to the composition of the board. We know if
> we make all seats directly elected we do not necessarily have the desired
> diversity and needed skills. If we make all of them appointed we can in
> principle have diversity and skills (though recent events shown this can
> have some problematic side issues) but then the community has no voice.
>
> I do not know how this can be currently solved. Or, to be precise, how one
> can solve it without compromising on bigger issues.
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> 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] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Yaroslav M. Blanter
On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:

> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a
> "house
> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and
> charged
> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the
> WMF,
> changed of bylaws etc.
>
> Regards,
> Thyge
>

I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.

To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and
desired diversity to start with.

Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations
in different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the
doors of the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be
scouted, negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the
board. This is what currently various companies are paid to do, and this
seems to be a reasonable arrangement to me.

As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
whether the community, a selected group (like house of representatives),
or the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there
is also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude
that this House of representatives is not needed for the Board
elections.

(It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of
this discussion).

Cheers
Yaroslav

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Lane Rasberry
Hello,

Could I remind you all that there is a board election in progress right now
for 2 of the 10 seats? Please see details for the 2016 Affiliate-selected
board seats election at
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016>

Amir, you said that you wanted representation from "India, China, Russia,
Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab countries and
finally, all of Africa". If you like, you may encourage anyone from those
countries to seek a nomination. Also, it would be very helpful if you could
encourage the Wikimedia chapters in those countries to participate in the
election in any way that they could, especially by planning to vote during
the upcoming voting period.

Thyge - we do have a sort of house of representatives and it has a board
election happening right now.

Nominations for the board are open till March 8! Election starts March 24!
Please share the message.

Thanks - if anyone has questions post on the election page.

yours,



On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
>
>> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a "house
>> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and charged
>> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the WMF,
>> changed of bylaws etc.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Thyge
>>
>>
> I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
>
> To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
> diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and desired
> diversity to start with.
>
> Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations in
> different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the doors of
> the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
> negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board. This is
> what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to be a
> reasonable arrangement to me.
>
> As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
> whether the community, a selected group (like house of representatives), or
> the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there is
> also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude that
> this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
>
> (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of this
> discussion).
>
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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>
>



--
Lane Rasberry
user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
206.801.0814
[hidden email]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Thyge
In reply to this post by Yaroslav M. Blanter
I agree - few complicated problems can be solved once and for all - but it
is possible to move in a better direction. "Better" in this context means
to improve the existing lack of diversity and WWV (world wide view) of
things.

I´m fine with outsourcing the search for candidates for the board to ensure
that it holds the knowledge and talent required.  But the decision should
rest with the house of representatives - which then could be also take care
of those other things needed.

Regards,
Thyge

2016-02-23 15:47 GMT+01:00 Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>:

> On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
>
>> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a "house
>> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and charged
>> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the WMF,
>> changed of bylaws etc.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Thyge
>>
>>
> I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
>
> To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
> diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and desired
> diversity to start with.
>
> Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations in
> different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the doors of
> the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
> negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board. This is
> what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to be a
> reasonable arrangement to me.
>
> As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
> whether the community, a selected group (like house of representatives), or
> the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there is
> also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude that
> this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
>
> (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of this
> discussion).
>
>
> Cheers
> Yaroslav
>
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Thyge
In reply to this post by Lane Rasberry
Lane Rasberry,

I'm aware of the ongoing election - but in all respect, that has nothing to
do with a house of representavtives as I envision it, i.e. being "above"
the board.

The present structure allows the existing board to decline access to the
persons being elected.

Regards,
Thyge


2016-02-23 16:05 GMT+01:00 Lane Rasberry <[hidden email]>:

> Hello,
>
> Could I remind you all that there is a board election in progress right now
> for 2 of the 10 seats? Please see details for the 2016 Affiliate-selected
> board seats election at
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016>
>
> Amir, you said that you wanted representation from "India, China, Russia,
> Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab countries and
> finally, all of Africa". If you like, you may encourage anyone from those
> countries to seek a nomination. Also, it would be very helpful if you could
> encourage the Wikimedia chapters in those countries to participate in the
> election in any way that they could, especially by planning to vote during
> the upcoming voting period.
>
> Thyge - we do have a sort of house of representatives and it has a board
> election happening right now.
>
> Nominations for the board are open till March 8! Election starts March 24!
> Please share the message.
>
> Thanks - if anyone has questions post on the election page.
>
> yours,
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
> > On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
> >
> >> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a
> "house
> >> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and
> charged
> >> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the
> WMF,
> >> changed of bylaws etc.
> >>
> >> Regards,
> >> Thyge
> >>
> >>
> > I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
> >
> > To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
> > diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and desired
> > diversity to start with.
> >
> > Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations
> in
> > different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the doors of
> > the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
> > negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board. This is
> > what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to be a
> > reasonable arrangement to me.
> >
> > As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
> > whether the community, a selected group (like house of representatives),
> or
> > the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there is
> > also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude that
> > this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
> >
> > (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of this
> > discussion).
> >
> >
> > Cheers
> > Yaroslav
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
>
>
>
> --
> Lane Rasberry
> user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> 206.801.0814
> [hidden email]
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
I think it is an important conversation to have. I am a bit skeptical about
creating a parliament-like body, and I am a bit worried that it would
advance the disengagement of the board from the community.

I am working on a proposal for some reform (in short: I want to increase
the number of community/chapter seats, increase the level of professional
expertise, increase diversity, and all that without changing the overall
number of seats ;), but I need time to present it in a coherent way. I hope
to do so in March, but of course this dialogue will hopefully bring results
meanwhile, too.

dj

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:17 AM, Thyge <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Lane Rasberry,
>
> I'm aware of the ongoing election - but in all respect, that has nothing to
> do with a house of representavtives as I envision it, i.e. being "above"
> the board.
>
> The present structure allows the existing board to decline access to the
> persons being elected.
>
> Regards,
> Thyge
>
>
> 2016-02-23 16:05 GMT+01:00 Lane Rasberry <[hidden email]>:
>
> > Hello,
> >
> > Could I remind you all that there is a board election in progress right
> now
> > for 2 of the 10 seats? Please see details for the 2016 Affiliate-selected
> > board seats election at
> > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016>
> >
> > Amir, you said that you wanted representation from "India, China, Russia,
> > Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab countries and
> > finally, all of Africa". If you like, you may encourage anyone from those
> > countries to seek a nomination. Also, it would be very helpful if you
> could
> > encourage the Wikimedia chapters in those countries to participate in the
> > election in any way that they could, especially by planning to vote
> during
> > the upcoming voting period.
> >
> > Thyge - we do have a sort of house of representatives and it has a board
> > election happening right now.
> >
> > Nominations for the board are open till March 8! Election starts March
> 24!
> > Please share the message.
> >
> > Thanks - if anyone has questions post on the election page.
> >
> > yours,
> >
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>
> > wrote:
> >
> > > On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
> > >
> > >> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a
> > "house
> > >> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and
> > charged
> > >> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the
> > WMF,
> > >> changed of bylaws etc.
> > >>
> > >> Regards,
> > >> Thyge
> > >>
> > >>
> > > I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
> > >
> > > To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
> > > diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and
> desired
> > > diversity to start with.
> > >
> > > Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations
> > in
> > > different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the doors
> of
> > > the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
> > > negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board. This
> is
> > > what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to be a
> > > reasonable arrangement to me.
> > >
> > > As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
> > > whether the community, a selected group (like house of
> representatives),
> > or
> > > the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there
> is
> > > also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude
> that
> > > this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
> > >
> > > (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of
> this
> > > discussion).
> > >
> > >
> > > Cheers
> > > Yaroslav
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > 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>
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Lane Rasberry
> > user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> > 206.801.0814
> > [hidden email]
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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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> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
> New messages to: [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
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>



--

__________________________
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] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Andreas Kolbe-2
Dariusz,

Could I ask you to briefly outline for us, in general terms and from your
point of view,

(1) The most compelling arguments in favour of having appointees as voting
board members (as opposed to having them as advisory board members),
(2) If you are comfortable doing so, the most important risks or downsides
attached to the present arrangement?

I am glad to hear you are working on a proposal to increase the number of
community/chapter seats on the board (though I personally tend to think
that at 2 vs. 3, the chapters are already slightly over-represented,
compared to the general community).

Best,
Andreas

On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 3:35 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> I think it is an important conversation to have. I am a bit skeptical about
> creating a parliament-like body, and I am a bit worried that it would
> advance the disengagement of the board from the community.
>
> I am working on a proposal for some reform (in short: I want to increase
> the number of community/chapter seats, increase the level of professional
> expertise, increase diversity, and all that without changing the overall
> number of seats ;), but I need time to present it in a coherent way. I hope
> to do so in March, but of course this dialogue will hopefully bring results
> meanwhile, too.
>
> dj
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 10:17 AM, Thyge <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> > Lane Rasberry,
> >
> > I'm aware of the ongoing election - but in all respect, that has nothing
> to
> > do with a house of representavtives as I envision it, i.e. being "above"
> > the board.
> >
> > The present structure allows the existing board to decline access to the
> > persons being elected.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Thyge
> >
> >
> > 2016-02-23 16:05 GMT+01:00 Lane Rasberry <[hidden email]>:
> >
> > > Hello,
> > >
> > > Could I remind you all that there is a board election in progress right
> > now
> > > for 2 of the 10 seats? Please see details for the 2016
> Affiliate-selected
> > > board seats election at
> > > <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016>
> > >
> > > Amir, you said that you wanted representation from "India, China,
> Russia,
> > > Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab countries
> and
> > > finally, all of Africa". If you like, you may encourage anyone from
> those
> > > countries to seek a nomination. Also, it would be very helpful if you
> > could
> > > encourage the Wikimedia chapters in those countries to participate in
> the
> > > election in any way that they could, especially by planning to vote
> > during
> > > the upcoming voting period.
> > >
> > > Thyge - we do have a sort of house of representatives and it has a
> board
> > > election happening right now.
> > >
> > > Nominations for the board are open till March 8! Election starts March
> > 24!
> > > Please share the message.
> > >
> > > Thanks - if anyone has questions post on the election page.
> > >
> > > yours,
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]
> >
> > > wrote:
> > >
> > > > On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
> > > >
> > > >> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a
> > > "house
> > > >> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and
> > > charged
> > > >> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the
> > > WMF,
> > > >> changed of bylaws etc.
> > > >>
> > > >> Regards,
> > > >> Thyge
> > > >>
> > > >>
> > > > I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
> > > >
> > > > To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
> > > > diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and
> > desired
> > > > diversity to start with.
> > > >
> > > > Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other
> organizations
> > > in
> > > > different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the
> doors
> > of
> > > > the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
> > > > negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board.
> This
> > is
> > > > what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to
> be a
> > > > reasonable arrangement to me.
> > > >
> > > > As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
> > > > whether the community, a selected group (like house of
> > representatives),
> > > or
> > > > the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there
> > is
> > > > also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude
> > that
> > > > this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
> > > >
> > > > (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of
> > this
> > > > discussion).
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > Cheers
> > > > Yaroslav
> > > >
> > > > _______________________________________________
> > > > 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>
> > > >
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > --
> > > Lane Rasberry
> > > user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> > > 206.801.0814
> > > [hidden email]
> > > _______________________________________________
> > > 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>
> > >
> > _______________________________________________
> > 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>
> >
>
>
>
> --
>
> __________________________
> 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
> _______________________________________________
> 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] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> (1) The most compelling arguments in favour of having appointees as voting
> board members (as opposed to having them as advisory board members),
>

I'm not sure what you're asking. I think that both external experts and the
community-elected and chapter-appointed Board members should be voting
members, if they are to be on the board. If you're asking whether it is
useful to have external appointees on the Board at all, I think the answer
is quite obvious - we need the level of engagement and expertise, that will
not be available if we ask them to be on the advisory board, and I don't
think it is likely it would be if they were to no non-decisive board
members. Proportions between solely board-appointed and community-nominated
people is a different story.


>
> (2) If you are comfortable doing so, the most important risks or downsides
> attached to the present arrangement?
>


well, there are several, just from the top of my head: community/chapter
elected members do not always have any prior experience of working on an
NGO board or in any similar body; the current system disfavors diversity,
externally-appointed experts have trouble understanding open collaboration
organizations in general, and Wikipedia ecosystem in particular... I could
go on, but at the time I can't really sit down to it methodically.



>
> I am glad to hear you are working on a proposal to increase the number of
> community/chapter seats on the board (though I personally tend to think
> that at 2 vs. 3, the chapters are already slightly over-represented,
> compared to the general community).
>
>
Sadly, humans count in full numbers only, so it could be either 1 or 2 in
the current system, and 1 is not that many neither :)
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Andreas Kolbe-2
On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:12 PM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 11:02 AM, Andreas Kolbe <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>>
>> (1) The most compelling arguments in favour of having appointees as
>> voting board members (as opposed to having them as advisory board members),
>>
>
> I'm not sure what you're asking. I think that both external experts and
> the community-elected and chapter-appointed Board members should be voting
> members, if they are to be on the board. If you're asking whether it is
> useful to have external appointees on the Board at all, I think the answer
> is quite obvious - we need the level of engagement and expertise, that will
> not be available if we ask them to be on the advisory board, and I don't
> think it is likely it would be if they were to no non-decisive board
> members. Proportions between solely board-appointed and community-nominated
> people is a different story.
>


Thanks Dariusz. It's more or less what I was thinking too; a seat on an
advisory board is perhaps not attractive enough to really care.



> I am glad to hear you are working on a proposal to increase the number of
>> community/chapter seats on the board (though I personally tend to think
>> that at 2 vs. 3, the chapters are already slightly over-represented,
>> compared to the general community).
>>
>
>>
> Sadly, humans count in full numbers only, so it could be either 1 or 2 in
> the current system, and 1 is not that many neither :)
>


Well, you might add a community-selected board member. That would make 2
seats for the chapters, and 4 for the community in general. That seems a
healthier proportion.

Moreover, if you increase the community-selected board members to 4, this
would ensure that the majority of members (6 out of 11) can trace their
presence on the board to the results of a democratic process.

Hey, you could just re-add James, leaving María in place. :) I think the
community might welcome that, as a signal of reconciliation.

Andreas
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Todd Allen
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Dariusz,

It's very good to know that those changes are being considered at all. I do
tend to agree with Andreas about two chapter seats being a slight
overrepresentation, but I think there should be one.

If I were to make my ideal board (and I realize you may have something else
in mind, but just to throw the idea out :) ):

-Five community-elected seats. Truly community-elected, not
"community-suggested"; the Board cannot refuse to seat them or throw them
off, but can call a referendum to the community in the event a for-cause
removal is thought to be necessary. No not-for-cause involuntary removals,
though of course a Board member may voluntarily resign at any time and for
any or no reason.

-One chapter/org seat, appointed by the chapters as done today.

-Four appointed/"specialty" seats, appointed for specialty expertise or
outside perspective as would befit the current strategy.

And yes, there is a madness to my method, or something like that. Five
community seats (I don't consider the chapter seat a community seat) would
mean that while those five individuals could not act unilaterally, they
could, if unanimously opposed, block any actions by the unelected Board
members. (I presume tie votes are considered to fail, as is common
practice.) Similarly, the non-community members could, if unanimous, block
something brought forth by only the community board members. All business
that goes through would, by necessity, involve at least one person
supporting it from both "sides".

So, five community elected seats, five filled by other means. No Founder
seat. If Jimmy wants to serve, he's of course welcome to run for a
community-elected seat, or seek appointment to one of the appointed seats.

Like I said, not my call, but I'd be interested to know your thoughts on a
scheme like that.

Todd
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Liam Wyatt
On 23 February 2016 at 18:22, Todd Allen <[hidden email]> wrote:

> So, five community elected seats, five filled by other means. No Founder
> seat. If Jimmy wants to serve, he's of course welcome to run for a
> community-elected seat, or seek appointment to one of the appointed seats.
>

Since you raise this point, it might be worth noting that Jimmy's
"Founder's Seat" was renewed at the November board meeting. The new term
continues until the end of 2018 - when it may be renewed again.
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolution:Resolution_to_renew_the_Founder%27s_seat_(2015)

This resolution might not have gone unnoticed by many because the minutes
for that Board meeting were approved in December (and not published on Meta
until January) during the same meeting that also appointed Arnnon Geshuri
and removed James Heilman. Issues that, shall we say, occupied a lot of our
attention at the time!

[Chronological list of resolutions here:
https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Resolutions ]

-Liam / Wittylama

wittylama.com
Peace, love & metadata
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Ramzy Muliawan
Salam,

I sincerely appreciated any effort to craft a reform for the Board of
Trustees membership. Thank you, Dariusz and Todd. Also, apologize for
(possibly) flawed English, since it isn't my first language :)

As a volunteer from the so-called Global South community, I'm much more
concerned about the diversity issue in the Board. The issue here is that
geographical and linguistic groups that are significant in the current
state of our community should be proportionally represented. We must ensure
that their voice will be heard on deciding important issues that might also
affect them, in one way or another. Our current Board consist of no Asian
or African, a very disturbing reality especially if we consider the immense
potential and rapidly growing community in these two region.

Allow me to propose the Board composition I felt the most suitable to
accommodate this issue. This Board will be comprised of fifteen members,
all with same voting power:

- One Founder's Seat, reserved for Jimbo. While I believe that some might
found this as a strangely contrast position for any reform needed by the
Board, I think that we still need him in the Board as the voice of
moderation and what makes us completely unique to other Internet
institution.
- Six regional seats, popularly elected by the regional communities. The
proposed "regional communities" would be North America, South and Central
America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and
Asia Pacific and Oceania.
- Five at-large seats, or what we call today as community seats. Like the
regional one, it will be popularly elected --- but by the whole community.
- Three affiliate seats, elected by the affiliate and thematic
organizations.

Yes, there might be some flaw in this proposal. The biggest concern will be
how to define and categorize a project into a specific "regional
community". Maybe we could categorize the editors based on where do they
edit (English Wikipedia editors will be voting for European seat) or where
do they reside (which also possibly will raise question about privacy etc).

Some might also question about why there is no more appointed seats. While
I do agree with those who are saying that we need professional experts to
sit in the Board, I believe that their power and influence should be
nowhere more than the community to avoid another Arnnon-like controversy.
So I would like to see them as members of the Advisory Board (as discussed
in another thread before), possibly with increased function.

I'd be very grateful to know your thoughts.

Best,

Ramzy
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Adrian Raddatz
I like the idea of reserved seats for the global south. I would prefer to
still have some appointed members for expertise, but that number should be
diminished to give the community seats a majority.

Somewhat controversial: I'd prefer to scrap the affiliate - selected seats.
Chapters vary so much in organization and effectiveness that having seats
for them isn't ideal to me.

And, of course, let's remove Jimbo's seat. He contributes little to the
board or movement these days except for the occasional response on his talk
page, accepting awards on our behalf, and making ridiculous public comments
which are listened to due to his status. I actually have nothing against
the guy personally, but I see no need for this relic of a seat to continue.
Salam,

I sincerely appreciated any effort to craft a reform for the Board of
Trustees membership. Thank you, Dariusz and Todd. Also, apologize for
(possibly) flawed English, since it isn't my first language :)

As a volunteer from the so-called Global South community, I'm much more
concerned about the diversity issue in the Board. The issue here is that
geographical and linguistic groups that are significant in the current
state of our community should be proportionally represented. We must ensure
that their voice will be heard on deciding important issues that might also
affect them, in one way or another. Our current Board consist of no Asian
or African, a very disturbing reality especially if we consider the immense
potential and rapidly growing community in these two region.

Allow me to propose the Board composition I felt the most suitable to
accommodate this issue. This Board will be comprised of fifteen members,
all with same voting power:

- One Founder's Seat, reserved for Jimbo. While I believe that some might
found this as a strangely contrast position for any reform needed by the
Board, I think that we still need him in the Board as the voice of
moderation and what makes us completely unique to other Internet
institution.
- Six regional seats, popularly elected by the regional communities. The
proposed "regional communities" would be North America, South and Central
America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and
Asia Pacific and Oceania.
- Five at-large seats, or what we call today as community seats. Like the
regional one, it will be popularly elected --- but by the whole community.
- Three affiliate seats, elected by the affiliate and thematic
organizations.

Yes, there might be some flaw in this proposal. The biggest concern will be
how to define and categorize a project into a specific "regional
community". Maybe we could categorize the editors based on where do they
edit (English Wikipedia editors will be voting for European seat) or where
do they reside (which also possibly will raise question about privacy etc).

Some might also question about why there is no more appointed seats. While
I do agree with those who are saying that we need professional experts to
sit in the Board, I believe that their power and influence should be
nowhere more than the community to avoid another Arnnon-like controversy.
So I would like to see them as members of the Advisory Board (as discussed
in another thread before), possibly with increased function.

I'd be very grateful to know your thoughts.

Best,

Ramzy
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Josh Lim
In reply to this post by Lane Rasberry
Lane, it’s one thing to have nominees.  It’s another to win the election.  Global South candidates obviously didn’t win the community-selected seat selection, so I’d approach with some skepticism the possibility that we’ll suddenly have a Board member from those regions of the world as a result of the ASBS process.

That said, it’s early.  Maybe things will change this time around.  But if this process didn’t lead to an ASBS member from the regions of the world Amir talked about in his e-mail, then what will?

Josh

> Wiadomość napisana przez Lane Rasberry <[hidden email]> w dniu 23.02.2016, o godz. 23:05:
>
> Hello,
>
> Could I remind you all that there is a board election in progress right now
> for 2 of the 10 seats? Please see details for the 2016 Affiliate-selected
> board seats election at
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Affiliate-selected_Board_seats/2016>
>
> Amir, you said that you wanted representation from "India, China, Russia,
> Iran, Brazil, Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Arab countries and
> finally, all of Africa". If you like, you may encourage anyone from those
> countries to seek a nomination. Also, it would be very helpful if you could
> encourage the Wikimedia chapters in those countries to participate in the
> election in any way that they could, especially by planning to vote during
> the upcoming voting period.
>
> Thyge - we do have a sort of house of representatives and it has a board
> election happening right now.
>
> Nominations for the board are open till March 8! Election starts March 24!
> Please share the message.
>
> Thanks - if anyone has questions post on the election page.
>
> yours,
>
>
>
> On Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 9:47 AM, Yaroslav M. Blanter <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>
>> On 2016-02-23 14:54, Thyge wrote:
>>
>>> We should not have direct elections to the board. We should have a "house
>>> of representatives" with X members from each part of the world and charged
>>> with electing the board and decide major issues like location of the WMF,
>>> changed of bylaws etc.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> Thyge
>>>
>>>
>> I do not think it could solve the diversity issue.
>>
>> To appoint the number of individuals with a set of skills and needed
>> diversity, one needs candidates which will have needed skills and desired
>> diversity to start with.
>>
>> Our experience as a movement (and also of people in other organizations in
>> different contexts) that these people do not always queue at the doors of
>> the WMF office to wait for being elected. They need to be scouted,
>> negotiated with, and convinced to be willing to sit at the board. This is
>> what currently various companies are paid to do, and this seems to be a
>> reasonable arrangement to me.
>>
>> As far as the candidates are there, I do not see much of a difference
>> whether the community, a selected group (like house of representatives), or
>> the Board votes for them. And as soon as there is no difference there is
>> also no need to make the structure more complicated. I thus conclude that
>> this House of representatives is not needed for the Board elections.
>>
>> (It might be needed for other things, which are outside the scope of this
>> discussion).
>>
>>
>> Cheers
>> Yaroslav
>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>
>
>
> --
> Lane Rasberry
> user:bluerasberry on Wikipedia
> 206.801.0814
> [hidden email]
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JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> | +63 (977) 831-7582
Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
http://about.me/josh.lim <http://about.me/josh.lim>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Josh Lim
In reply to this post by Ramzy Muliawan
While my first impression of this proposed plan is fairly positive, I do have one major concern.

> Wiadomość napisana przez Ramzy Muliawan <[hidden email]> w dniu 24.02.2016, o godz. 11:47:
>
> - Six regional seats, popularly elected by the regional communities. The
> proposed "regional communities" would be North America, South and Central
> America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and
> Asia Pacific and Oceania.
> - Five at-large seats, or what we call today as community seats. Like the
> regional one, it will be popularly elected --- but by the whole community.

My concern with the "at-large" seats is that if we’ve looked at the history of community Board elections, the electorate is overwhelmingly from the developed world.  The candidates are also overwhelmingly from the developed world.  We’ve already seen this in the current election, where despite the presence of six fine developing world candidates, myself included, the electorate settled on three white men (no offense to Dariusz, Denny and James).

Under this proposed plan, Europe and North America will get one seat each.  Let’s hypothesize that all the elected "at-large" seats went to developed world candidates.  And then the affiliate seats have also traditionally gone to developed countries as well.  Then we have Jimmy’s seat.  Under this plan, we run the risk of having eleven of the fifteen seats dominated by developed countries.  So does this mean that the remaining four seats should simply be tokens for developing countries, but to which we have no leverage because we can easily be outvoted by the other members of the Board?

Last year, I had spoken out against quotas for developing countries, since it effectively puts our representation at the mercy of the Board.  I am still figuring out what would be the best way to approach this issue, especially since voting for community Board seats is by language, not by country, but I’m looking at a mixture of temporary quotas (and I stress "temporary"), developing stronger mechanisms for getting developing country Wikipedians involved in movement governance (through affiliates, stronger consultation mechanisms when discussing movement-wide issues, etc.), and weighted voting in favor of certain geographies if this is technologically possible.

Josh

JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

[hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> | +63 (977) 831-7582
Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
http://about.me/josh.lim <http://about.me/josh.lim>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Andrea Zanni-2
In reply to this post by Adrian Raddatz
I don't really want to generate yet-another-thread,
but it seems to me that many people in this conversation don't really
understand the need of chapter-elected seats, which to me feels like "I
don't understand the need for chapters".

I have mixed feeling about this. Of course, I've been in a chapter board
member for 5 years, so I do think they are useful. Chapters, in my POV,
help Wikipedia be understood and engaged by the outside world:
institutions, GLAMs, schools, universities, normal people. They try to
bring institution in Wikipedia, as useful, free content. They talk a lot
with people, make presentations and try to explain Wikipedia. This is
something that the editing community doesn't do very often.

Also, I think is that with chapters/affiliates there is at least the
beginning of a global conversation: chapters discuss a lot with each other,
and chapter elected seats are the result of a diplomatic conversation.
Their appointed are usually more diverse than "community-selected"... Many,
for example, don't come from English Wikipedia as their mother wiki.

Maybe I'm mistaken but it seems to me that when we talk about community, we
implicitly assume that is the English Wikipedia community. This then means
there is a huge disproportion between native English speakers (US, UK,
Australia, for etc.) and the rest of the world.
As much as I understand that many editors don't feel that chapters are
relevant, at least I feel that chapters and affiliates do try to talk to
each other and build an international community and common discourse.
It is a layer on top, if you will, but it has advantages.

M2c.

Aubrey

On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM, Adrian Raddatz <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I like the idea of reserved seats for the global south. I would prefer to
> still have some appointed members for expertise, but that number should be
> diminished to give the community seats a majority.
>
> Somewhat controversial: I'd prefer to scrap the affiliate - selected seats.
> Chapters vary so much in organization and effectiveness that having seats
> for them isn't ideal to me.
>
> And, of course, let's remove Jimbo's seat. He contributes little to the
> board or movement these days except for the occasional response on his talk
> page, accepting awards on our behalf, and making ridiculous public comments
> which are listened to due to his status. I actually have nothing against
> the guy personally, but I see no need for this relic of a seat to continue.
> Salam,
>
> I sincerely appreciated any effort to craft a reform for the Board of
> Trustees membership. Thank you, Dariusz and Todd. Also, apologize for
> (possibly) flawed English, since it isn't my first language :)
>
> As a volunteer from the so-called Global South community, I'm much more
> concerned about the diversity issue in the Board. The issue here is that
> geographical and linguistic groups that are significant in the current
> state of our community should be proportionally represented. We must ensure
> that their voice will be heard on deciding important issues that might also
> affect them, in one way or another. Our current Board consist of no Asian
> or African, a very disturbing reality especially if we consider the immense
> potential and rapidly growing community in these two region.
>
> Allow me to propose the Board composition I felt the most suitable to
> accommodate this issue. This Board will be comprised of fifteen members,
> all with same voting power:
>
> - One Founder's Seat, reserved for Jimbo. While I believe that some might
> found this as a strangely contrast position for any reform needed by the
> Board, I think that we still need him in the Board as the voice of
> moderation and what makes us completely unique to other Internet
> institution.
> - Six regional seats, popularly elected by the regional communities. The
> proposed "regional communities" would be North America, South and Central
> America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and
> Asia Pacific and Oceania.
> - Five at-large seats, or what we call today as community seats. Like the
> regional one, it will be popularly elected --- but by the whole community.
> - Three affiliate seats, elected by the affiliate and thematic
> organizations.
>
> Yes, there might be some flaw in this proposal. The biggest concern will be
> how to define and categorize a project into a specific "regional
> community". Maybe we could categorize the editors based on where do they
> edit (English Wikipedia editors will be voting for European seat) or where
> do they reside (which also possibly will raise question about privacy etc).
>
> Some might also question about why there is no more appointed seats. While
> I do agree with those who are saying that we need professional experts to
> sit in the Board, I believe that their power and influence should be
> nowhere more than the community to avoid another Arnnon-like controversy.
> So I would like to see them as members of the Advisory Board (as discussed
> in another thread before), possibly with increased function.
>
> I'd be very grateful to know your thoughts.
>
> Best,
>
> Ramzy
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Transition plans for WMF leadership - Board Reform

Ramzy Muliawan
In reply to this post by Josh Lim
Salam

Thank you for your feedback, Josh.

This proposal did not attempt to create a developing world-dominated Board,
nor is a developing world-dominated. A lack of diversity in current Board
composition is of course a discomforting reality while we have a immensely
growing and unimaginably potential community in the Global South.

But the key issue here is the total lack of proper representation for the
Global South community, or any possibility thereof.

The issue is not about developing vs developed, white or brown, but it is
about having a more proportional Board that would allow it to listen to a
more diverse range of opinion when deciding important issues. A
proportional Board I imagine here doesn't necessarily North-dominated,
neither South-dominated. Developing countries will not take this regional
seat for granted. They would still have same voting powers with their
at-large and affiliates counterparts. The goal we collectively want to
reach here is a balanced and adequately representative Board that can voice
concerns of the global community, so a fairer and more diverse important
consensus could be reached.

Under this plan, anybody can bid and win the at-large Board seat. If you're
afraid that the electorate will eventually elect five at-large Trustees
from Northern Hemisphere, then I can presume that there's something wrong
with the non-Northern candidates. The utmost purpose of this at-large
category is to ensure that the community will still have right to elect
trustees in an unified voice, as well as to prevent any possibility of
"Balkanization" of the Board membership. I believe in the wisdom of the
crowd, and I am sure that the crowd will elect someone with clear records
and trustworthy credentials, not just because he's an European or Asian.

Best,

Ramzy


*Ramzy Muliawan*
Chief Editor, Majalah AKSI MAN 2 Model Pekanbaru
<https://aksimagazinem2m.wordpress.com/>
Editor, min.wikipedia <https://min.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangguno:Muhraz> |
id.wikipedia <https://id.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pengguna:Muhraz> |
meta.wikimedia <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Muhraz>
Pekanbaru, Indonesia

On 24 February 2016 at 13:40, Josh Lim <[hidden email]> wrote:

> While my first impression of this proposed plan is fairly positive, I do
> have one major concern.
>
> > Wiadomość napisana przez Ramzy Muliawan <[hidden email]> w
> dniu 24.02.2016, o godz. 11:47:
> >
> > - Six regional seats, popularly elected by the regional communities. The
> > proposed "regional communities" would be North America, South and Central
> > America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and
> > Asia Pacific and Oceania.
> > - Five at-large seats, or what we call today as community seats. Like the
> > regional one, it will be popularly elected --- but by the whole
> community.
>
> My concern with the "at-large" seats is that if we’ve looked at the
> history of community Board elections, the electorate is overwhelmingly from
> the developed world.  The candidates are also overwhelmingly from the
> developed world.  We’ve already seen this in the current election, where
> despite the presence of six fine developing world candidates, myself
> included, the electorate settled on three white men (no offense to Dariusz,
> Denny and James).
>
> Under this proposed plan, Europe and North America will get one seat
> each.  Let’s hypothesize that all the elected "at-large" seats went to
> developed world candidates.  And then the affiliate seats have also
> traditionally gone to developed countries as well.  Then we have Jimmy’s
> seat.  Under this plan, we run the risk of having eleven of the fifteen
> seats dominated by developed countries.  So does this mean that the
> remaining four seats should simply be tokens for developing countries, but
> to which we have no leverage because we can easily be outvoted by the other
> members of the Board?
>
> Last year, I had spoken out against quotas for developing countries, since
> it effectively puts our representation at the mercy of the Board.  I am
> still figuring out what would be the best way to approach this issue,
> especially since voting for community Board seats is by language, not by
> country, but I’m looking at a mixture of temporary quotas (and I stress
> "temporary"), developing stronger mechanisms for getting developing country
> Wikipedians involved in movement governance (through affiliates, stronger
> consultation mechanisms when discussing movement-wide issues, etc.), and
> weighted voting in favor of certain geographies if this is technologically
> possible.
>
> Josh
>
> JAMES JOSHUA G. LIM
> Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
> Class of 2013, Ateneo de Manila University
> Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
>
> [hidden email] <mailto:[hidden email]> | +63 (977)
> 831-7582
> Facebook/Twitter: akiestar | Wikimedia: Sky Harbor
> http://about.me/josh.lim <http://about.me/josh.lim>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list, guidelines at:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mailing_lists/Guidelines
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> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l,
> <mailto:[hidden email]?subject=unsubscribe>
>
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