Wikimedia Foundation Board noticeboard/Board Update on Branding: next steps/ku

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:This message, "Board Update on Branding: next steps", was sent on 26 June 2020.

Updates from Wikimedia Foundation Board

Dear all,

I want to share with you the next steps of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees about the Brand Project.

Originally the Board meeting dedicated to the brand project was supposed to happen no earlier than October. The expected outcome from the project were the recommendations on what the rebranding should look like - from changing fonts/logos to renaming. And if there is going to be a renaming - to what. Of course, the Board’s role is not in approving a change in fonts, but if a recommendation to rename was to be made - the Board’s role would have been to make a decision on that recommendation. The timeline has now been changed, and the renaming part of rebranding will be discussed in our August meeting.

Moreover, the Board will meet in early July to receive a briefing about the project and talk about the process between June 2018 - June 2020. The consolidated materials on what the brand project team has been working on for a while now will be presented to the Board, and these materials are also going to be posted publicly. The more-strategic conversation on renaming is planned for the August meeting. Time to prepare the materials is needed, and the ongoing conversations need to be summarised, so the Board can have an in-depth discussion about this, before making any kind of decision.

We would like to continue with the survey[1] - we have discussed the possibility of technical changes to the survey with an additional option like “no renaming is needed” (not the exact words, mind you), but with more than 700 respondents it is not methodologically sound to change the survey now. Staff have confirmed to the Board that responses to the survey will not be calculated as support for a change. The survey was only designed to collect feedback on the possible renaming options, not as a yes/no vote on whether to adopt them.

Thus the timeline on rebranding for the next 6-7 weeks is as follows:

  • Early July - special Board meeting with the Brand project team to review and discuss the process so far, and for the Board members to receive the briefing on discussions happening;
  • July - consolidated materials prepared for the July meeting will be posted publicly after the meeting;
  • August 5th - the Board meeting on renaming part of the rebranding, not about the process. The Board will make the decision about whether to stop, pause, or continue the work on this, within the framework of a discussion on strategic goals, tensions and tradeoffs, and potential next steps.
  • August (after the meeting) - the Board statement on the next steps about the Brand project.

I also want to acknowledge receiving the Community open letter on renaming[2] that was posted this week. Thank you for this statement on the position of those of you who signed. I know there are other perspectives, and that some would agree with it who have not signed it, and that there are also some who would not agree. We expect that the Board meetings and communication after them will address the concerns raised in the letter.

Stay safe,

antanana / Nataliia Tymkiv
Acting Chair, Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees