Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-21 Conversation with SWAN

2021-02-21 Conversation with SWAN


Comments on Ideas

  • Quotas
    • ”I am happy with a board of 100% women.” Three more agreed.
    • “I am content with less than 50% non-cisgender, straight while anglophone male, but happier if it goes under 33%”

Community Ideas

  • Regional Board Seats
    • Someone said regional seats are fine but voting on those seats should not be restricted to the region.


  • One person said, the Board can use appointed seats to address underrepresentation. Two more agreed.
  • One person said, a full size Global Council will meet the diversity & inclusivity goal.
  • One person asked, “Why are the Board governance changes happening separate from movement strategy? Would it make sense to coordinate these?”
  • One person said, “The governance discussion is urgent, elections are urgent, but board expansion is not.”
  • One person said, “This is a massive demand on time and is too much for the community.” Others agreed.
  • One person asked, “What is the Board of Trustees?” “A definition of the role and position of a body is needed.”
    • People on the call see this expansion as not fixing any of the issues (capacity, performance). It is suggested the Global Council might be a solution to this. It was suggested to divide responsibilities of governance and the global movement between the Board and Global Council first.
    • One person said, "The Board structure tries to be movement leadership and corporate leadership and it can't be both."
  • One person said, "You don't (s)elect a parliament and a charity board the same way:
    • in a parliament, you want to have ONE member that really represents YOU. That's what you want for a Global Council: make sure all community voices are heard.
    • for a charity board, you want to have a FULL BOARD of qualified people whose vision you share. This is what we need for the Wikimedia Foundation Board"
  • Communication
    • One person said, "Please be more inclusive. Wikimedia is text heavy - more visuals could be helpful especially for the neurodiverse community."
    • One person suggested, Placing limits on the time the Wikimedia Foundation can consult with community each year would be helpful.
    • People discussed, a calendar of community consultation would be helpful. Cronos list
    • Suggestions were made about best practices for the Wikimedia Foundation to engage with the community: Define what a global community conversation is. Have staff dedicated to make sure there is coordination between different departments.

CfF Feedback

  • Several people said, the Global council is higher priority than board expansion
  • One person said, the big problem with this CfF is that it didn't ask for feedback on appointed seats.
    • One person agreed: definitely, and that's where the biggest lack of diversity has been.
  • One person noted: We can't design community-elected seats without some understanding of the purpose of board-appointed seats
  • One person asked, does participating in discussions make a difference?