Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/2021-04-15 Resolution about the upcoming Board elections

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The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees met last week to decide on a plan for the 2021 Board elections. The Board Governance Committee created this proposal, based on the Call for Feedback about Community Board Seats. Below you can find a summary of the resolution, which was approved unanimously. The full proposal is available on Foundation Wiki.

  • The Board plans to hold the selection process as soon as possible. The draft timeline plans for the call for candidates opening June 8 and a voting period July 20 to August 3.
  • The Elections Committee will determine the voting method. The committee, in consultation with Wikimedia Foundation staff, may request a delay of up to three months to implement the voting system.
  • Four seats will be up for selection, the three due for renewal and a fourth from the approved Board expansion. The two other new community-and-affiliate seats approved will be selected during 2022, together with the two affiliate seats that will be due (four in total).
  • The Board will note the skills and experiences they would like selected trustees to have. Candidates will complete the evaluation form, but for information only.
  • The Wikimedia Foundation will provide communications support to the Elections Committee. We want to support candidates and promote the elections, particularly in underrepresented groups.

The Board has not introduced further changes in the community selection process. We hope the measures above will address the problem of diversity among selected community candidates. If this problem persists, the Board reserves the right to experiment with one of the two new seats next year.

The Board wants to thank the more than 800 volunteers that participated in the Call for Feedback in one way or another. There were almost a hundred conversations in multiple languages and in multiple regions. There was additional discussion on Meta, Telegram, and other channels used by local communities. Three new ideas were presented by volunteers during the Call. It has been very difficult to decide on every open question considering the quantity and diversity of opinions received. We hope this resolution feels sensible to everybody.

In the upcoming days, the Board elections facilitation team will share their ideas to support candidates and voters. The Board Community Affairs Committee is organizing an office hour in a few weeks where we welcome your questions and feedback about this resolution. Let's work together on elections with high and very diverse participation!