Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Election/2024/Candidates/Ilario

Ilario ([[Universal Code of Conduct/Coordinating Committee/Election/{{{year}}}/Questions#Ilario|Questions]])

Account Ilario (talk meta edits global user summary CA)
Candidate details
  • Languages: it, en, fr, de, es, pl (beginner)
  • Region: NWE
  • Active wikis: Wikipedia, Commons, Meta, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikidata
  • Wikimedian since: 2005
Selected home wiki {{{home wiki}}}
Type of seat (regional; community-at-large; or both) (division of regional seats) NWE
Candidate Introduction
Introductory statement / Application summary (maximum 200 words): Why are you running for the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee? What would you contribute? Since joining the Wikimedia community in 2005 and serving as a Community Manager from 2013, I have dedicated myself to creating an inclusive, respectful space for all users. My extensive experience in policy development, conflict resolution, and community engagement positions helps me to effectively contribute to the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee. My journey has provided me with a deep understanding of the community's dynamics and the challenges of maintaining a safe, welcoming environment. Now, at 55, with substantial experience in governance and community engagement, I am poised to contribute effectively to the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee. As a Committee member, I aim to promote a culture of respect and inclusion, balancing freedom of expression with the necessity of a harassment-free experience. My goal is to work collaboratively to uphold and advance our collective commitment to a safe and empowering Wikimedia community for everyone.
Please describe your Wikimedia experience (such as contributions to the Wikimedia projects, memberships in Wikimedia organizations or affiliates, experience working on conduct issues in your community, activities as a Wikimedia movement organizer, or participation in building Wikimedia policies). My Wikimedia journey is marked by foundational roles and leadership positions that reflect my deep commitment to the movement. I am proud to have established Wikimedia CH and Wikimedia IT, laying the groundwork for these thriving communities. Serving on the Wikimedia CH board since 2012 for six years, I've played a pivotal role in shaping community policies, leveraging my dual perspectives as a board member and an employee to foster a collaborative environment.

My contributions extend to advisory roles within the Affiliations Committee (AffCom), where I've guided emerging organizations, and as a member of the grantmaking committee, helping allocate resources to mission-aligned projects.

Additionally, my governance experience is complemented by board memberships in other Swiss associations (not connected to Wikiverse and operating to support elderly people or public health), enriching my understanding of nonprofit management.

As a Wikipedia administrator, I directly engage in maintaining content integrity and promoting a respectful community space.

Professional Experience, Skills and Education
Please briefly describe 3 situations that show how you worked on, or advised others on, a complex conduct or policy issue. How did you work with others to address the situations? Addressing complex policy issues within the Wikimedia community requires a thoughtful and delicate approach, especially when the situations involve individuals' emotions and historical sensitivities. In describing my experiences below, I've intentionally kept details to a minimum to respect the privacy and feelings of those involved. My goal is to share the essence of my involvement and the lessons learned without delving into specifics that might inadvertently affect any individuals connected to these events. Italian Wikipedia Blackout, 2011: I served as the liaison between the Wikimedia community, which opted for anonymity to prevent personal attacks, and the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). The community was united in its stance against legislation threatening internet freedom but wished to keep their identities confidential to safeguard members from potential backlash. The WMF sought assurance that the decision to blackout was reached democratically. My role involved communicating the community's decisions and the democratic process that led to the blackout, balancing the need for transparency with the community's desire for anonymity. Conflict Mediation within the Swiss Community: My role in resolving internal conflicts within Wikimedia CH emphasized empathy, understanding, and dialogue, aiming to strengthen community bonds without compromising individual sensitivities. Resolving Historical Content Dispute on Italian Wikipedia: Handling a conflict about WWII content on Italian Wikipedia was particularly poignant. My efforts to mediate between differing viewpoints, guided by a commitment to neutrality and sensitivity, were deeply emotional, especially considering the gratitude expressed by individuals directly affected by the historical events in question. This experience underscored the importance of handling sensitive content with care and respect for all perspectives.
Leadership Experience
Can you describe a policy, on wiki or off, that you helped to create or change? What did you learn from this experience? One significant contribution I made was in the development of the Safe Space Policy for the Wikimedia CH community. Recognizing the need to protect our members from personal attacks and harassment, this policy aimed to create a secure and welcoming environment for everyone. Through this initiative, we sought to improve participation rates and reduce conflict, reinforcing the importance of respect and safety within our community spaces. Crafting this policy taught me the crucial balance between open dialogue and maintaining a protective framework that guards against harmful behaviors.

Additionally, I authored the internal policy "Wikipedian vs Wikimedian" for Wikimedia CH, addressing the potential conflicts of interest between the roles of employees and volunteers. This policy delineates clear guidelines on how individuals can navigate their contributions to avoid overlap and conflict between their paid and volunteer work. The process of creating this policy highlighted the importance of clear definitions and boundaries in organizational roles, ensuring that our collective efforts towards our mission are cohesive yet respect the individual's dual capacities.

From these experiences, I learned the importance of proactive policy development in fostering a positive community culture. Effective policies not only address current challenges but also anticipate future needs, ensuring the community remains a safe, inclusive, and productive space for all members. Additionally, engaging with diverse viewpoints during the policy formulation process was invaluable in achieving comprehensive and adaptable solutions that meet the community's needs.

How have you been able to empower people to make their voices heard? Empowering people to make their voices heard has been a central aspect of my involvement with the Wikimedia community, drawing from my own experience as a member of both the Italian and Swiss communities. Despite being perceived as a minority in both contexts—Italian in Switzerland and Swiss in Italy, I've found strength in this intersectionality, leveraging it to advocate for inclusivity and representation within these diverse cultures. Switzerland, a country characterized by its heterogeneity and respect for minorities, has been an ideal backdrop for these efforts. I've dedicated myself to supporting the Romansh language, an endangered linguistic heritage of Switzerland, through various Wikimedia CH projects. These initiatives not only aim to preserve this precious language but also to ensure that the Romansh-speaking community has its rightful place in the digital world. Moreover, within Wikimedia CH, I've led specific projects focused on knowledge equity, including "Fill the Data Gap" and initiatives supporting the LGBT+ or elderly communities. These projects are designed to highlight and empower underrepresented voices, ensuring their histories, cultures, and contributions are acknowledged and celebrated. Through these efforts, I've learned the importance of actively listening, creating platforms for dialogue, and providing resources that enable minorities to share their stories and knowledge on their own terms.

In every project, my goal has been to foster an environment where every voice, especially those from marginalized communities, is heard and valued. This commitment to empowerment and equity is what drives my work, aiming to create a more inclusive and diverse Swiss Wikimedia community.

Sometimes in professional situations, there are personality conflicts. Explain how you remain productive even with personality conflicts. Throughout my 30 years of varied career as an IT manager, auditor, IT security lead, teacher, and in my extensive involvement with Wikimedia CH, I've encountered my fair share of personality conflicts, especially in my capacity as a volunteer. Such conflicts are often inevitable in any collaborative environment, where diverse perspectives and working styles intersect. My approach to navigating these conflicts has been consistent and effective, rooted in emotional intelligence and strategic patience. I prioritize managing my emotional reactions, consciously choosing to step back and allow for a cooling-off period before responding. This practice of pausing and reflecting before engaging has been crucial in diffusing tensions and preventing conflicts from escalating. By not reacting in the heat of the moment, I create space for thoughtful consideration of the other person's perspective and the broader context of the disagreement.

Additionally, I focus on maintaining a constructive dialogue that seeks to understand rather than to be understood. This approach involves actively listening, asking clarifying questions, and expressing my viewpoints without dismissing or undermining those of others. It's about finding common ground and focusing on shared goals rather than dwelling on personal differences.

Strategic Thinking
In your opinion, how can the U4C be a positive influence in the Wikimedia movement? The Universal Code of Conduct (U4C) stands as a cornerstone for fostering a healthier, more inclusive Wikimedia community. In my view, its greatest benefit lies in providing robust support and protection for individuals who are committed to contributing positively, yet find themselves facing aggression or undue pressure from others. Such negative behaviors can deter participation and diminish the rich diversity of voices that is vital for the movement's growth and vibrancy.

By establishing clear expectations for conduct and a framework for addressing violations, the U4C empowers individuals to engage confidently, knowing there are mechanisms in place to safeguard their dignity and right to contribute. This assurance is especially crucial for newcomers and those from underrepresented groups, who may otherwise feel marginalized or intimidated by hostile interactions.

Moreover, the U4C can be a catalyst for cultural change within the Wikimedia movement, promoting values of respect, empathy, and collaboration. It encourages all community members to reflect on their actions and their impact on others, fostering an environment where constructive feedback and dialogue are valued over conflict and confrontation.

A healthy community is the foundation for innovation, knowledge sharing, and collective achievement. By reinforcing a culture of inclusivity and respect, the U4C not only protects individuals but also enhances the collective capability of the Wikimedia movement to welcome diversity and harness the full potential of its contributors.

How would you help the Universal Code of Conduct develop and improve over time? I would contribute to the ongoing development and improvement of the Universal Code of Conduct (U4C) with a keen focus on fostering a diverse community where every voice is heard. Listening, I believe, is the foundation of a truly inclusive environment, and my efforts would aim to ensure the U4C reflects this principle at its core.

To achieve this, I propose establishing structured, inclusive feedback mechanisms that invite contributions from all segments of the Wikimedia community. This approach would enable us to capture a wide range of experiences and perspectives, ensuring the U4C is shaped by the collective insight of its diverse contributors.

Additionally, I would advocate for the use of analytics to assess the effectiveness of the U4C, identifying trends and patterns in its application and enforcement. This data-driven strategy would help highlight areas where the code may require refinement or enhancement, ensuring it remains relevant and robust in protecting and empowering contributors.

I would also focus on the development of comprehensive educational resources aimed at deepening the community's understanding of the U4C. By facilitating greater awareness and comprehension of the code, we can encourage a culture of respect and mutual listening, where all members feel valued and understood.

Through these strategies, my goal is to contribute to the U4C's evolution as a dynamic framework that not only safeguards the community but also champions the diversity of voices within it. By prioritizing listening and learning from the community, we can ensure the U4C continues to reflect and support the rich tapestry of contributions that define the Wikimedia movement.