Wikimedia Conference 2014/Documentation/14

14 Affiliate-selected board seats I: Plenary Q&A


  • There a several ways of electing the board seats.
  • Election is conducted by inviting nominations (couple of weeks ago). 4 candidates (initially 5, 1 withdrawal). Q&A today, then from Tuesday 15th, chapters and thematic orgs will cast votes on chpaters wiki, and then election. This will conclude on 3 May [check date], and then board will formally select the members.
  • Q&A with candidates: previously, the Q&A has entirely happened on Meta, but now face to face. Patricio and Anders are not here. Patricio will participate via Google Hangouts. Anders will not be making statements, but will answer questions via email, and is also on the etherpad. Problems with audio, so no live-streaming.


Frieda presenting herself
Frieda Brioschi's statement [incomplete transcript with some gaps]

37 years old, from Italy, met many of you during these years, and many of you remember me from last Wikimedia Conference in Milan. In my professional life, freelance consultant in [] studied CS, moved to other fields. Entered WM world in 2003: joined itwiki just at the beginning, founder member of WMIT (3rd chapter). Was a member of the board for 8 years, then resigned because WMIT is now healthy and ready to hire new ED. Closed cycle in the live of the chapter: step down now. If I remain, no-one will be interested to join the board: not because I'm huge, or because it's horrible to work with me, but because I've always been there. 1 week ago, new election, lats of candidates, so that was the right choice. I'm still in love with the WM movement. It's a piece of my life because I've been spending 11 years in the movement, and I can do anything else, and at a different level. Started as a user in the community, because chapter didn't exist. Joined the chapter and did many different roles, including Board of Trustees, organising WMCON 2013 [and others...]. So I can still help in some way. Compared to 2007, I'm a different person: I grew a lot, learned a lot in my personal, professional and WM life, and I want to share this. In my candidacy statement, I asked two things. We are in a challenging period: [] In offline world and in our movement, we need to scale in a different way, and w need to push [this?]. Took a lot of our society directly to our projects, and in a way we need to give it back.


Patricio behind Alice & Frieda
Patricio's statement [also with gaps, marked with square brackets]

Thank you for attending this session, and for organising it. Sorry that I couldn't attend the conference: I'm on the other side of the world; it's 4 AM - just woke up and washed my face. It's a pleasure to be with you. I was really shocked when I received the news yesterday, and I can imagine that if it was shocking for me, I suppose that it was sad and terrible for thhe community. I don't have words even in Spanish, so I'm not going to try to say anything smart in English. Thanks for organising the session, and for [?] Greets Frieda [video freezes]. Introduction of 4 minutes, and I've perhaps used 2 to say hello, so let me focus on one tiny topic. You already know what I think about most of our main topics, but what I really wanted to say is about the language issue. About the language we use. Some may think it's not important.

[Bells ring]

Language is never innocent. WMF decided to get rid of secondary issues as part of "narrowing focus". We stopped doing some crazy things such as opening offices instead of empowering communities. Maybe we still aren't empowering communities, but at that time we decided to focus on two activities: engineering and grantmaking. Running servers and making software, and distributing funds. I'm happy with this concept, but here comes the language: we are running servers and making software, and distributing funds. I'm happy with this concept, but here comes the language: we started to think of WMF as a grantmaking entity, and the movement partners as grantees. Traditionally the grantmaker is an external entity. If we think of the Nov decision in terms of movement roles, we see the grantee/grantor role in all its dimensions. []. Diversity is benefited and we're all a global collaborating network, but that will continue to be my personal commitment.


He believes that with his age and experience he can help things to work better, more coordinated and never have a split vote 6-5 again. His interest to be a candidate is the issue of the dynamic between chapters, WMF and the Board, which he believes have turned for the worse, with decision to cap FDC funding while increasing WMF by 20% for example.

Mattias (WMSE): Highly active Wikipedia editor. Has been in Chapcom/Affcom 2008/2009. Experience with Eriksson (global company). Swedish board will endorse him tomorrow.


Alice presenting herself
Alice's statement [also with gaps, marked with square brackets]

Good morning. I'm not in the best shape this morning: awaiting a personal call. I want to try to shortly talk about my motivation to run again. In the second part of my 4 minutes, I will talk about the November discussion.

Why do I run again? I experienced that of course, getting into the run in a body, needs some time. You need to get the flavour of the board, you need to run against walls and find out where the door is, and what the best path is, and I have done that. Now I'm able to be productive on this board. It needed some time: about a year. We need to find out how we do that better. Facing a great challenge as a board, having a tradition as an ED [] From both sides, from my expeerience within the board, and from my personal and professional life ( I'm the adivsor to the mayor of a city of around 50,000 inhabitants) so I can helpl the board to climb that next step, to be more productive and more transparent and communicating. I feel responsible for the WMF and also to our movement, also those who are not organised. It is a kind of support and expaectation that I'm there for the organisation. I can do that due to my background of three years on WMDE.

Second half: Talking about the November decision: there were two decisions taken with respect to the movement. FDC budget cut (voted against that) and delay of approving chapters (voted in favour of that). Expected a shitstorm and questions. Nothing of that happended. We know, there was a discussion on Wikimedia-l, but none of you asked my why I as a chpater-selected board member voted against that, but now I'll take the opportunity to tell you. We had a serious talk with AffCom starting with an apology towards AffCom about the decision, and I'd like to ask you to excuse this. It could have been done better, and I hope it will never happen again. I do think that the board has not yet done its homework. I can't with a good feeling approve a chapter if we know that we didn't know what we expect of them as an organisation. We don't have any idea if you feel well in it [] Need to talk more about our mutual expectations, and need to find the right way to organise this, and it's a good time to pitch this up and talk about strategy


Role within the boardEdit

  • Tim-Moritz (WMDE): Can you explain, what your role within the board should be?
  • Alice: It's about the taks within the board. One member is just part of the picture. I'm a friend of creative controversy. I don't think the board needs to reach consensus in each question: we do need to have different opinons and come to a clonclusion. I want to raise the board to a different level, and get a trustful reelationship with the new ED, and I'd like to advocate a strategy for the movement structure. I'm worried that this might be thrown off the back
  • Patricio: [...]
  • Frieda: [...]
  • Anders: To make sure the board, chapter and WMF coordinate their roles in a good way, to make sure we are aligned

More socialEdit

  • Patrick (WMCH): Frieda, if you could have a wish from a fairy, it would be that the Movement should be more social. Can you explain that?
  • Frieda: there is a gap between the board and the community, I want to be sure, that every role [], I think that we can not improve advocacy, [] I think we can improve on this side...

Incorporated bodiesEdit

  • Ad (WMNL): are user groups compatible with incorporated bodies - can user groups in this sense be incorporated bodies?
  • Alice: not an easy question. The language we use, and the style we communicate was really not got at all. There were so many missunderstandings, and after reviewing now, the sense was not transportated. There are better ways to do it.
  • Frieda: []
  • Patrico: Thank you for typing the question in net. I feel there was a clarification published. User groups can definitely be incorporated bodies.
  • Anders: the whole issue should have been hadled different by the Board, and then the wordigns woud hava been less ambigous