Affiliate-selected Board seats/2016/Nominations/Nataliia Tymkiv
- Nataliia Tymkiv
There are three main things I'd like to prioritize working on:
- WMF should do better. There are transparency issues, communication failures, lack of clear strategy, the Board's work is not as efficient as it should be etc. We need to develop policies, put in place clear rules and follow them. Or change them, if they are not working. WMF is viewed as a role model and should abide by its own policies and guidelines (Visual identity guidelines state that we are not allowed to place the Wikipedia globe on 'a colored, textured, or image background'... A small issue? Maybe. But a small issue here, a small issue there. Dead-letter policy is recognized as a problem in Community Capacity Development (CCD) project. And WMF is a part of the Community). Board should become more accountable, and difference in opinions and perspectives should be an asset. In addition, we should not forget that WMF staff is an important stakeholder, thus Board should also provide them conditions to work effectively.
- Community support. As an active community member (and I am active not only locally) I know that there are problems of WMF not hearing the Community needs, but there is also a strong need of WMF being able to explain its own needs and why's-that-and-this to the Community. Almost every movement organization (including WMF) has these problems, as we operate unlike the community itself, our work is different, but we need to acknowledge the issues, and do our best to address them. We need to understand that there would be some response lags from the Community. So if we want to implement something quickly, we are to do it slowly and nicely. We should ask a question, ask lots of questions, get some feedback, work on it, ask for more, engage people in conversation, not in battles afterwards. APG/PEG is an excellent example of the process: a grant application is submitted, it usually takes '30 days to review and an additional 30-60 days to process'. It is done like this because we want to hear the pros and cons, because we know that volunteers reviewing, answering and asking again, need more time to respond. Effective community engagement is a relatively well-understood challenge, and WMF has the necessary knowledge to do it well. This knowledge, however, does not seem to make it onto executive level decisions (and timelines) as much as it should, leading to predictable friction, disappointment, and mistrust.
- Support of Affiliates. Wikimedia movement affiliates are important partners of WMF. To perform better they are to become better. And for this they are to develop, to share the experience. I have mentioned CCD project above, I believe that we need to work on this closely, as we (as the Movement) consist of different parts with different levels of skills, different experience. We can learn better from each other. And to do it we need to know what we lack, where we excel and how to improve things. And WMF should play a key role in this, both in learning from the affiliates and helping affiliates to learn.
I grew up in Ivano-Frankivsk in Western Ukraine. I have a Masters degree in Records Management and Information Activities and the second higher education as a Master of Public Administration. While studying in the university I started working for a mineral water manufacturer, and three years later I became an executive director of a subsidiary firm engaged in manufacturing, selling and delivering bottled water with 30 employees. Then I worked for a year as a chief accountant of a construction company. Then I moved to Kyiv. Since 2010 I am working for Media Law Institute, a leading Ukrainian NGO in the field of media policy and human rights protection. I started there as a financial manager, and for the last two years I hold the C-level position of financial director.
I have registered at Wikipedia in 2009, but I was afraid of the perspective that everyone can see the edits I make, and these edits are going to stay forever. Even after I am gone. I have started editing only in April 2011, after I have discovered poetry of Leonid Terekhovych, and decided that he is worth writing an article about him in Wikipedia, not only on my personal blog. I have got a patroller flag very soon and I remember my frustration of getting some votes just because I was a girl (and 'clever girls are such rare birds!'), I know this is called 'positive discrimination', but I really do not like it. I wanted to have a right to be 'usual', and treated objectively. I have become an administrator of Ukrainian Wikipedia in November 2012, and I continue to be an active part of my community (sometimes even more actively, like completing 100wikidays challenge).
In December 2012 I joined Wikimedia Ukraine, I was shortly elected as a Board Member and have been on Board of Wikimedia Ukraine ever since. I was elected as a treasurer and took over responsibility for (or, more precisely, developed almost from scratch) financial reporting, accounting and dealing with financial matters. This was rather easy as I was (and still am) responsible for grant applications and reports in my main job. The next year my fellow board members trusted me to lead the organization, and I had more complex challenges including improving transparency and governance, developing impact of our projects and many other issues of a growing organization. In a bit over three years together we managed to achieve a lot and make Wikimedia Ukraine a much better organization, with successful transition to APG funding, three dedicated staff members, excellent relations with donors and partners (both inside and outside the movement) and, of course, our great volunteers. We also developed a lot of awesome projects, and I was involved in almost all of them, from organizing Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Meeting to conducting Wikipedia Asian Month in Ukrainian Wikipedia.
I am eligible to serve as a trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Endorsement from Wikimedia Eesti
Following the decision of the Wikimedia Eesti board from 1 March 2016, we endorse our excellent regional partner, Nataliia Tymkiv from Wikimedia Ukraine, in becoming a member of Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation.
Our decision is based on the qualities she has presented during her active participation in the Wikimedia CEE Collaborative, believing that these qualities would help her meet the current high expectations communities and affiliates have for the members of Board of Trustees during this time of transition.
The qualities Wikimedia Eesti values in Nataliia Tymkiv include:
- Good communication skills - she has always been able to communicate her opinion in an effective manner while also being attentive towards the opinions of others. This also enables her to prevent and resolve possible conflicts. She has been able to pay attention to details when needed and make generalizations where possible. We do believe that her abilities will serve well the interests of Wikimedia Foundation as well as its affiliates and communities and, most importantly, the communication between them.
- Skills and experience on- and off-wikis - she is an active and experienced member of the board of Wikimedia Ukraine, as well as one of the most notable leaders of the CEE collaborative. At the same time, she continues to be active on-wiki, counting more than 70,000 edits on different wikiprojects since her start in 2011. She knows how communities function and what it means to run a Wikimedia organization - qualities that every member of WMF board ought to have.
- Strategic thinking - in her work with Wikimedia Ukraine as well as the CEE collaborative, she has always been able to focus on the big picture and has given strategic input to discussions where it has been lacking. We believe that strategic thinking is of high value in the governing body of any organization and will increase the value of the input she can provide to the Board of Trustees.
In conclusion, Wikimedia Eesti is convinced that our faith in the candidature of Nataliia Tymkiv is well placed and that she would be not only a valuable addition to the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia Foundation, but also an excellent representative for Wikimedia Eesti itself, as well as for other affiliates.
- Endorsement from Wikimedia Ukraine
The Board of Wikimedia Ukraine is pleased to strongly support the candidacy of Nataliia Tymkiv (User:Antanana) for an affiliate-selected seat on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. We believe that her skills, qualities and commitment make her an asset for the entire Wikimedia community and will help address the challenges our movement will face for the next three years.
A board member of Wikimedia Ukraine since 2012 (and most recently, our Vice-Chair of Board and Treasurer since 2016), Nataliia Tymkiv led the transformation of our organisation. She was instrumental in putting in place best governance practices and clear planning process, improving transparency and significantly increasing impact of our activities. She proved to be a strong and hard-working board member who is ready to dedicate a lot of time and lead the board in overcoming complex challenges, from designing from scratch our financial reporting back in 2012 to our professionalisation and recruiting three new staff members in 2016. We are confident that her ability to make the change and lead a successful transformation will help her succeed as a board member.
Nataliia Tymkiv also contributed a lot to international collaboration in the Wikimedia movement. In particular she played an important role in coordinating efforts and increasing impact of Wikimedia Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) group. She is also a member of Small Annual Plan Grants committee which works with very diverse affiliates. She excels both at learning from the experience of other movement partners and at sharing our learnings with the broader movement. Her good knowledge of the needs and challenges of both developed and emerging Wikimedia communities will be essential for developing healthy relations between the Wikimedia Foundation and the affiliates.
What we also find extremely important, Nataliia Tymkiv (Antanana) is a very active and dedicated Wikimedian. Despite heavy involvement in chapter matters, she always finds time to contribute to the content, particularly on Ukrainian Wikipedia where she is an administrator and a bot owner. She always makes sure that Wikimedia Ukraine clearly communicates with the volunteer community and listens to voices of Wikimedians. We believe that her experience of an active editor who knows how to communicate with the community will be essential for restoring trust between the Board of Trustees and the community.
Finally, we appreciate Antanana as a very positive, constructive and caring person. She is an excellent team player and is good at both bringing new ideas and adopting a self-critical stance. She has a significant experience in nonprofit world and knows how to maintain excellent relations with all stakeholders, from donors to staffers.
We are sure that Nataliia Tymkiv (Antanana) will be an excellent trustee of the Wikimedia Foundation Board and we wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy.
- At the Wikimedia NYC March 2016 public meeting, attendees took part in an open vote to endorse Nataliia's participation as a candidate in this election. This is part of our chapter's policy to encourage a more diverse and more transparent process for the WMF board elections.--Pharos (talk) 17:45, 18 March 2016 (UTC)