Affiliations Committee/Advisors/2022

Update: Effective 1 February 2022, the application period has closed.

Nominations edit

Lucas Teles (Teles) edit

Hello, folks! My name is Lucas Teles, I am Brazilian and work as a doctor in "real life". I'm a wikimedian since 2007, started out editing on Wikipedia in Portuguese, but I've gone through different projects and taken on different wiki roles since then. From years of work at Ombuds commission and as a Steward, I am used to deal with conflict management, sensitive information, different languages and groups.

Among my motivations for volunteering, the one I consider fundamental is to ensure that users are able to successfully interact in projects. I usually work on mentoring newcomers, helping outside groups to perform their activities on our projects respecting our internal rules. This inclination leads me to be interested in helping as an AffCom advisor.

I plan to use the experience I have in the editorial part of projects, add to the knowledge I have acquired with outreach activities and intend to gain from the experience on the committee, adding an editorial body perspective to AffCom

I have participated of two Wikimanias (Wikimania 2014 and Wikimania 2019) and many other smaller events. I am a member of Wiki Movement Brazil has been a long time and saw our members to become more and more engaged, professional and not only technically skilled, but we also have matured our ability to handle conflicts. As for myself, I still have a passion for Wikimedia, but at the same time I have acquired the ability to better deal with opposing opinions and come up with friendly solutions. I hope to be able to add this experience also in the area of conflict resolution of the committee.

From 2019 to 2020, I worked as a strategy liaison for Wikimedia Foundation in one of the phases of the Movement Strategy. That was a new experience for me, where I could improve many skills, like communication, task prioritizing, working with deadlines, besides getting to know better our communities.

Answers to the three questions edit

  • How do you think affiliates work best together to partner on effective projects and initiatives?

Identify similarities and respect differences. Sharing information that can help new members work around problems that everyone faces, yet there is understanding and respect if different groups make different decisions that they believe are more realistic for their culture and region. Working together should be seen as an option; an offering to exchange experience, reduce the workload, and ensure greater representation of the different existing cultures.

  • What do you see as the role of affiliates in the Wikimedia movement in the next three years?

I like the idea of affiliates that are able to engage local community to better work together, identify their own gaps and surpass it. They can work for different purposes, but what I think is essential for affiliates is working to diminish the gaps. And we are full of them. Every region will have a different one, with different means to solve them. Affiliates are made up of members from their own region interested in collaborating who understand more of their reality than people from other places and, therefore, are better able to solve their own problems, even if some outside help facilitates this process. So, for the next three years, I would like to see more specific gaps to be solved from each region, besides the broadly known ones.

  • What do you feel you will bring as an advisor to the committee that makes you a uniquely qualified candidate?

I have a strong bond with editorial community, but I'm also engaged with outreach activities. I have seen and acted in many conflicts, frustrations, differences in expectations when users coming from these two strands of our volunteer bodies come together. For example, when a GLAM activity involves the creation of articles on Wikipedia, it is common for such conflicts to arise when there is not good preparation. I believe, therefore, to be able to improve relations between these communities and facilitate the entry and stay of new members or affiliates in the projects.

I believe I have something to offer to the committee as an observer or AffCom Support, but I know I have a lot to learn about committee matters and I will spare no effort to absorb the required expertise.

I am available for any questions. I hope to see more colleagues from South America joining the committee, in order to have a diverse body. Thanks.—Teles «Talk ˱C L @ S˲» 02:06, 10 January 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Endorsements edit

  •   Strong support Very experienced user who has served in many global positions in our movement and who has a track of successful community communication. Teles will be especially good to support new applications coming from the Global South. --Joalpe (talk) 15:28, 1 February 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Questions for the candidate edit

Aleksey Chalabyan (Xelgen) edit

Hi all, I'm Aleksey Chalabyan a.k.a Xelgen, IT professional, Wikimedian since 2006, FLOSS evangelist, Mozillian, OpenStreetMapper, l10n/i18n enthusiast and professional, amateur photographer.

Since I joined my home hy:wiki (Armenian Wikipedia) in 2006, in it's very early stage when it had barely thousand articles (mostly stubs) I had a chance to try different wiki-roles: Guiding newcomers, creating essential templates, RC patrol, translations of policy and help pages, sysop, localization at trasnlatewiki, scanning/digitizing print encyclopedias, organizing first editathons, wiki-evangelism, running bots, developing gadgets and tools. Co-organized WLM in 2013 and served as jury.

I've been to Wikimania in 2008, 2010 and 2014, as well CEE meetup in 2016 and Wikimeida Conference in 2018. I remember times when we just announced our first ED and started making things a little bit more official. I've been following mailing-lists and Meta and en:wp/Commons discussions since my early wiki-life. I believe I "lurkedmoar" for enough and I have something to return to global movement now.

I have good, first hand experience with many non-profits. I was volunteering since I was 16, co-founded my first non-profit in 2004. Later in 2013, I helped in founding Wikimedia Armenia and served as board member in 2013-2014 and 2015-2018 (de facto). Besides being no stranger to non-profits I also worked at Open Society Institute Foundation, consulted other local funds, and I'm trustee of non-formal Awesome Foundation Yerevan. This gives me a good understanding of both donors and grantees perspective, challenges and needs. With over 22 years online and volunteering being my lifestyle, I've been part of different online/FLOSS communities and projects. I've observed them rise and fall, and I think that taught me few things about personal motivations, dynamics and patterns in communities. Importance of ownership, institutionalizing, and institutional memory. Keeping the spirit and having inflow of new participants. Roles bigger companies and governments sometimes want to play. Besides volunteering, 18 years of professional experience in very diverse environments, ranging from 2 person startups and non-profits, to Fortune 500 multi-nationals and UN agencies, gives me good understanding of how different teams and organizations of different size, type, maturity can be and how each requires individual approach.

As IT consultant I deal with sensitive information on daily bases. As someone who wears many hats I've learned to sense and avoid/disclose conflict of interests whenever possible, and expect same for others.

Roles I might be useful in edit

I think I might be of most help in the roles of Consultant and Observer. I'd be happy to help in Supporting Subcommittees or Other tasks at hand in all cases where my experience, cultural understanding or knowledge might be of use, taken I also have enough time in the period and there are no COI.

Answers to the three questions edit

  • How do you think affiliates work best together to partner on effective projects and initiatives?

I believe that regular communication and safe, healthy, cooperative environment will help affiliates in learning more about and from partners, aligning resources and complementing each other. But it's also important to understand that each affiliate, project and community is different too, and our variety and dynamics should be taken into consideration and adjusted for.

  • What do you see as the role of affiliates in the Wikimedia movement in the next three years?

Being a bridge, and active facilitator between local communities and global movement. Remembering where we're coming from, and also where we need to move. Helping communities grow and develop, yet refraining from substituting the communities. Not forgetting that numbers are indicators not goals. Moving past bike-shed color . And to name few specific things, implementation of UCoC and moving towards 2030 goals would be first things which comes to my mind.

  • What do you feel you will bring as an advisor to the committee that makes you a uniquely qualified candidate?
  • As someone born and risen on the border of European and Middle-Eastern culture, in late USSR, I have cultural understanding of broad region, or should I say 3 subregions (Eastern Europe, Middle East and post-Soviet). That also includes social and political nuances, which if properly accounted, navigated and balanced may turn (what may seem as) weaknesses into strong points.

Being bilingual person, who uses three languages on daily bases helps in seeing things from multiple perspectives. Roughly 16 years on wikis and more in broader FLOSS community give me a good understanding of how our movement started and evolved in this time-frame. What works, and what not. Dynamics in and around communities and affiliates. 18 years of work experience in diverse, international organizations, total of 10 years as board member of few non-profits, as well foundations taught me few things, I'd be happy to put into use. Experience with co-founding WMAM, while dated, may still be of use when guiding newly created Affiliates. Nearly 20 years of being moderator, admin/sysop online and nearly decade as board members of non-profits also helped in dealing with conflicts, listening to all sides, and keeping cool-head, with first hand experience on pros and cons of both escalating and not escalating things. Learning from both personal mistakes and mistakes of others were a very valuable lessons. Last not least: I believe long term, personal commitment to and believe in the missions of Wikimedia movement make me qualified, though I'm glad that I am not unique in this one.

Endorsements edit