[Wikimedia-l] governance improvements

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[Wikimedia-l] governance improvements

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
hi,

I'm just writing to give you a short report on how the Board is working on
improving its governance and communication.

In March <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03>[1], Kelly
and I conducted an internal survey about our governance, preferences,
vision on how it can be improved. Geoff and Stephen (from our legal team)
have prepared a number of recommendations, based on the governance best
practices.

Currently, Maria and I are working on a proposal to the Board, that will be
discussed on Monday[
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05>2],
and that will address many of the issues that have been raised recently
about timely communication, the level of detail in reporting, as well as
transparency.

Following our discussions in Berlin, we're going to expand our onboarding
process for external/expert Board members. Apart from our regular
onboarding (which includes legal training, mentoring from senior Board
members, and for expert members - talking to people from the community, as
well as selected readings about wiki-culture), we are going to introduce a
short workshop, focusing on the most important things a person coming from
the outside should know.

I ran a short poll/discussion with the community
<https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training>[3]
on meta, to decide about the most important topics. "Copyright, copyleft
and everything in between" as well as "Values and community dynamics of a
global movement" have been selected.

Guy and Kelly are really interested and looking forward to participating in
the workshop at Wikimania, which will be also open to staff members. I've
been in touch with Ginevra and Lorenzo, who have graciously volunteered to run
the workshop
<https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop>[4],
possibly with some help from Asaf.

We are working quite hard on many fronts: the new ED search, the vacant
seats' fulfilment, internal governance improvements, communication,
onboarding processes, apart from our usual load. We still can do better,
and I hope we are on a right path.

best,

Dariusz Jemielniak, "pundit"
(a current WMF Trustee)


[1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03
[2]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05
[3]
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training
 [4]
https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] governance improvements

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
I wonder what you mean by doing better. Are you doing your best given the
circumstances? If so you do what can be expected of you. When people think
that is not enough, it is their problem. They are not in the same position
and have no genuine grasp what the situation is.

In the way that your inform about the issues you are dealing with it is
obvious that a lot of consultation is taking place. It is why I am happy
with your effort. I dare anyone to do better and be a candidate for the
next elections.Only people who bring positive suggestions at this time are
likely to have a positive impact when they are elected.

Dariusz, thank you for doing your job. Thank you for all the effort that
goes into making a positive difference.

Thanks,
      GerardM

On 15 May 2016 at 10:22, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]> wrote:

> hi,
>
> I'm just writing to give you a short report on how the Board is working on
> improving its governance and communication.
>
> In March <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03>[1], Kelly
> and I conducted an internal survey about our governance, preferences,
> vision on how it can be improved. Geoff and Stephen (from our legal team)
> have prepared a number of recommendations, based on the governance best
> practices.
>
> Currently, Maria and I are working on a proposal to the Board, that will be
> discussed on Monday[
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05
> >2],
> and that will address many of the issues that have been raised recently
> about timely communication, the level of detail in reporting, as well as
> transparency.
>
> Following our discussions in Berlin, we're going to expand our onboarding
> process for external/expert Board members. Apart from our regular
> onboarding (which includes legal training, mentoring from senior Board
> members, and for expert members - talking to people from the community, as
> well as selected readings about wiki-culture), we are going to introduce a
> short workshop, focusing on the most important things a person coming from
> the outside should know.
>
> I ran a short poll/discussion with the community
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training
> >[3]
> on meta, to decide about the most important topics. "Copyright, copyleft
> and everything in between" as well as "Values and community dynamics of a
> global movement" have been selected.
>
> Guy and Kelly are really interested and looking forward to participating in
> the workshop at Wikimania, which will be also open to staff members. I've
> been in touch with Ginevra and Lorenzo, who have graciously volunteered to
> run
> the workshop
> <
> https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop
> >[4],
> possibly with some help from Asaf.
>
> We are working quite hard on many fronts: the new ED search, the vacant
> seats' fulfilment, internal governance improvements, communication,
> onboarding processes, apart from our usual load. We still can do better,
> and I hope we are on a right path.
>
> best,
>
> Dariusz Jemielniak, "pundit"
> (a current WMF Trustee)
>
>
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05
> [3]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training
>  [4]
>
> https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop
> _______________________________________________
> 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] governance improvements

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 11:59 AM, Gerard Meijssen <[hidden email]
> wrote:

> Hoi,
> I wonder what you mean by doing better. Are you doing your best given the
> circumstances? If so you do what can be expected of you. When people think
> that is not enough, it is their problem. They are not in the same position
> and have no genuine grasp what the situation is.
>

I mean that I believe in continuous improvement, and always trying to do
better.



>
> In the way that your inform about the issues you are dealing with it is
> obvious that a lot of consultation is taking place. It is why I am happy
> with your effort. I dare anyone to do better and be a candidate for the
> next elections.Only people who bring positive suggestions at this time are
> likely to have a positive impact when they are elected.
>
> Dariusz, thank you for doing your job. Thank you for all the effort that
> goes into making a positive difference.
>

Many thanks, I really appreciate it! It makes this work worthwhile :) All
the best from the FDC deliberations...

dj
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] governance improvements

Chris Keating-2
In reply to this post by Dariusz Jemielniak-3
Hoi,

Thanks for this update Dariusz. Good to see (reading this along with the
March minutes) that the Board is moving forward on some of these important
areas. A couple of clarifying questions;

* Does your discussion on Monday include the Code of Conduct and
Confidentiality Agreement mentioned in the March minutes?
* Have you considered inviting community comment on these before finally
adopting them?
* A number of community members have mentioned the idea of a formal review
of WMF governance. In my experience these can be quite helpful* - has the
WMF board considered this option?
* Has the Board conducted any kind of review or "washup" of the
circumstances around Lila's departure with a view to documenting
board-level lessons to learn?

Thanks!

Chris


(* For the benefit of people who haven't spent years observing movement
governance issues, I was the Chair of Wikimedia UK when we undertook our
formal governance review in 2012)


On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 9:22 AM, Dariusz Jemielniak <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> hi,
>
> I'm just writing to give you a short report on how the Board is working on
> improving its governance and communication.
>
> In March <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03>[1], Kelly
> and I conducted an internal survey about our governance, preferences,
> vision on how it can be improved. Geoff and Stephen (from our legal team)
> have prepared a number of recommendations, based on the governance best
> practices.
>
> Currently, Maria and I are working on a proposal to the Board, that will be
> discussed on Monday[
> <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05
> >2],
> and that will address many of the issues that have been raised recently
> about timely communication, the level of detail in reporting, as well as
> transparency.
>
> Following our discussions in Berlin, we're going to expand our onboarding
> process for external/expert Board members. Apart from our regular
> onboarding (which includes legal training, mentoring from senior Board
> members, and for expert members - talking to people from the community, as
> well as selected readings about wiki-culture), we are going to introduce a
> short workshop, focusing on the most important things a person coming from
> the outside should know.
>
> I ran a short poll/discussion with the community
> <
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training
> >[3]
> on meta, to decide about the most important topics. "Copyright, copyleft
> and everything in between" as well as "Values and community dynamics of a
> global movement" have been selected.
>
> Guy and Kelly are really interested and looking forward to participating in
> the workshop at Wikimania, which will be also open to staff members. I've
> been in touch with Ginevra and Lorenzo, who have graciously volunteered to
> run
> the workshop
> <
> https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop
> >[4],
> possibly with some help from Asaf.
>
> We are working quite hard on many fronts: the new ED search, the vacant
> seats' fulfilment, internal governance improvements, communication,
> onboarding processes, apart from our usual load. We still can do better,
> and I hope we are on a right path.
>
> best,
>
> Dariusz Jemielniak, "pundit"
> (a current WMF Trustee)
>
>
> [1] https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Minutes/2016-03
> [2]
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_board_agenda_2016-05
> [3]
>
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Foundation_Board_Governance_Committee/Wikimania_2016_training
>  [4]
>
> https://wikimania2016.wikimedia.org/wiki/Training_sessions/Proposals/Wikimedia_Movement_Culture_workshop
> _______________________________________________
> 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] governance improvements

Dariusz Jemielniak-3
On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 12:19 PM, Chris Keating <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> * Does your discussion on Monday include the Code of Conduct and
> Confidentiality Agreement mentioned in the March minutes?
>

Actually, we have discussed and voted on them in April (minutes are in the
process of being approved).


> * Have you considered inviting community comment on these before finally
> adopting them?
>

We felt the need to make some amendments soon, but they are not written in
stone - I anticipate that, depending on needs, we may enter a process of
reviewing them in a wider process.



> * A number of community members have mentioned the idea of a formal review
> of WMF governance. In my experience these can be quite helpful* - has the
> WMF board considered this option?
>

We have not discussed this yet, but I will bring this proposal up at
Wikimania latest. Every organization occasionally can make good use of
governance review and consultation. It would be important to choose a good
advising organization (experienced in NGOs, as well as optimally in large
social movements and open source organizations). Speaking just for myself
and expressing my own opinion only, I think that the Board is quite open to
improvements, and the time for external suggestions is usally best exactly
after the body itself has done as much as it could on their own.

best,

dariusz
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